So what do black men really have to say?
Monday’s program, “What Black Men Think” was sponsored by 100 Collegiate of NCSU, 100 Black Men of America, Inc. this presentation was centered around director Janks Morton’s short film, “What Black Men Think.” Several clips of the documentary were shown to illustrate some of the most common misperceptions of black men and women in the 21st century. Morton said, “What they see is what they will be commenting on the average black person witnesses on a day to day basis.”
The first portion of the program focused on the question, “Are there more black men in jail or in college?” This question puzzled the audience and forced them to create an informed decision as to what the real outcome to the question could be.
After viewing a short clip from the video, people sat startled at what the people surveyed had to say. The majority thought more blacks were in jail compared to being enrolled in college while a startling few opposed.
After a breakdown was done of the number and age group of the black men in jail and college were calculated it was proven that between the ages of 18-24 most black men are enrolled in college. Janks Morton, director and host, responded on the unsettling comments saying, “Real abomination is not so much self hate, but self doubt.” In 2005, the film reported that more black males were in college by 50,000 people and a 4:1 ratio between the ages of 18-24.
Warren Rhem II, program host, a junior in Agricultural Business Management, redirected the comments to a new thought, the entertainment industry and how it affects the black perception and the mindset of others outside of the black community.
Lonnie Bodiford a senior in Music Industry at North Carolina Central University stated, “Most role models are entertainment figures versus positive ones.” The next clip showed Dr. Kellina Craig-Henderson a professor at Howard University brought up the issue of interracial marriage. She said that “numbers have doubled since 1980 from about 3 percent to 5 percent.” According to Caleb Bell, senior in Computer Science, “Black people fall into their own stereotypes.” Meshawn Chalmers, a junior in Psychology and Africana Studies then followed up by stating that, “love doesn’t have a color… black always see the bad and not the good” referring to the stereotype that on average more than 20 percent of black men marry white women. The tone of the discussion changed as several opinions of the topic were voiced. Candace Lee, a junior in Business Management, said “understanding is love… people can sometimes feel sympathy for their companion rather than understand their frustrations” as it relates to interracial couples and their difference in childhood experience and understanding of the black culture.
The next major topic of the program was the actual percentage of women who die from AIDS. contracted through black men on the “down low.” The “down low” is an expression or term for black men who engage in monogamous, heterosexual relationships in a public or social setting but in their private life have sexual relations with men, commonly perceived as unprotected activity. According to the film, the Miller-Malebranche study in 2004 found that men who engage in sexual behavior with men and women tend to use contraception more than heterosexual couples. 36 percent of AIDS cases in Black women come from poor injection or use of drugs. 13 percent actually come from high risk sexual activity according to the 2004 statistic of the Centers for Disease Control for Female AIDS cases.
Lastly, the program covered a short portion of the film about incarceration rates or black males and the government’s way of “incapacitating through incarceration” stated by Morton. He went on to say that institutions such as the Justice Policy Institute was created as a means to keep black males out of jail but is actually a way to endorse money for the government. He even accused the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, of partaking in the governments “feeding frenzy” and stated that “it’s not about the cause anymore.” This documentary has been listed as a best-seller on amazon.com and had continued to spark the interest of people all over the nation. The film suggests the next time you hear a new statistic, program, or stereotype of the black community that we should research for ourselves before we fall victim to the myths of black people.