“A Conversation About Growing Up Black”
*Re-posted from NYTimes.com*
Imagine strangers crossing the street to avoid you, imagine the police arbitrarily stopping you, imagine knowing people fear you because of the color of your skin. Many of this country’s young black men and boys don’t have to imagine.
In this Op-Doc video, “A Conversation about Growing Up Black,” we ask African-American boys and young men to tell us candidly about the daily challenges they face because of these realities. They speak openly about what it means to be a young black man in a racially charged world and explain how they feel when their parents try to shelter and prepare them for a world that is too often unfair and biased.
As we debate the headlines about the deaths of young black men and police misconduct, from Baltimore to Ferguson to Staten Island, we fear our society is turning away from the painful conversations that need to be had at home, in our own communities, schools and families. Focusing our attention on the nation’s latest racial hot zone often devolves into the same old invectives about race and politics, and we lose sight of the bigger picture. Worse, it allows us to avoid the painful discussions we need to have with our young people about their concerns, and the role we each may play in them. We can be a part of the solution only if we dare to open up and have the conversation.