For the purposes of bridging the individual black male back to his humanity, I pursued the creation of my film and social project #Blackmendream. I felt a strong desire to build a platform for the black male to be able to reveal the layers of his essence and share them publicly with other black males from around the world through virtual communication. Through the hashtag #Blackmendream, we could see each other.
And we are.
Through the film, black men from all walks of life are proudly telling their stories. They are showcasing sides of themselves they have kept hidden out of the sames fears I experienced growing up. And as for me, there was a trust that was once absent that I have gained through standing my ground as an individual. Today I feel a true sense of community and an obligation to lay the foundations for other black males who are being silenced to build from.
Today in America, we are marching for liberation from extrajudicial persecution, economic disadvantage, and systemic racism. By the same token, statistics show black males are overwhelmingly deprived, suffering from hopelessness and depression at the highest rates, nationally. It must be remembered, as we bridge together to protect black lives in America, we also have a responsibility as a community to question how we are raising black boys to protect themselves externally and internally. So I ask, what freedoms have we culturally denied ourselves and others who look like us?
Shikeith is a multidisciplinary visual artist and filmmaker from Philadelphia. His works are an exploration into the individual psychological reaction to being viewed under the scopes of being black and male in America.
Shikeith is this week’s BE Modern Man Spotlight, and throughout the week we’ll be spotlighting his work in exploration of black manhood. Be sure to follow Shikeith on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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