During this time of civil unrest and misrepresentation of the Black male experience comes Black Boys, a documentary celebrating the joy, pains and full humanity of Black boys and men in America.
In a nation still struggling to acknowledge the suffering endured by Black men specifically and failing to uplift Black boys, this film reimagines an America in which Black boys can feel illuminated and empowered.
Black Boys directed by Sonia Lowman is only a glimpse into the complexities of being Black in a country with a racist legacy. This type of society sends deep rooted messages of intolerance to Black men and boys which leads to a thick, built up wall between the often-hidden dynamic of being vulnerable, expressing joy and sharing hurt and the face they put on for the world. “I think it’s up to people, especially White people to just be willing to listen, to ask questions. Several of the young men said, no one has ever asked me these questions before, especially not a White woman,” shares Lowman.
Activist and rapper Vic Mensa, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, former U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. John King Jr. and several other notable interviewees were featured in the powerful, must see documentary. “The real value to me was the African American voice speaking to each other. The value that I see in stories like this is the commonality in the story but also the license that each person on screen says to another person on screen that you’re good, you’re alright to say how you feel,” says sports journalist and author Howard Bryant.
The Knockturnal had an exclusive interview with director, writer and activist Sonia Lowman as well as radio and television personality, Howard Bryant. Be sure to check it out above! Black Boys premieres on NBC Universal’s new streaming platform, Peacock on September 10.