CAREFREE BLACK BOY

A STUDY ON BLACK MASCULINITY

>apart of the transmedia collective I Hope You Feel Uncomfortable

Black men have played a huge role in my life

from the start. Growing up I was surrounded by incredibly strong, successful, and hardworking black men. When I figured out how much the world hated them, I was confused. I started this project to give black men a platform to speak on their happiness and on their struggles-because there simply aren't enough. I took a recorder and a film camera lent to me by my then boyfriend and interviewed those close to me and even strangers.

 

Here's what happened: 

When I first heard the term “carefree black boy” I was immediately drawn to it. Black boys to men are too often stereotyped to be so negative and violent. “Thugs” and “Troublemakers.”

 

To get down to the real problem with society. It

is a deeply ingrained misconception of "male"

and "black." To be male is falsely perceived as dominance and to be black is falsely perceived as a plethora of false, horrible stereotypes. I won't list them. We all know. Mix the two together and the world becomes afraid of you. It’s simply a sad blend of sexism and racism.

 

The media, specifically American media, is absolute to blame for the skewed perception of many cultures. To see major publications- fashion and non-fashion, designers, and white media, in general, represent the black male in their true light now is beautiful yet not enough. Because it's a false mission for diversity for-profit and trends. 

 

I want to show black men in their own regular yet extraordinary light and voice. The transcendence of black men today is an incredible journey and one that older and younger generations should see and believe.

 

Black boys are learning to accept their true personalities. Black boys are learning to separate gender from sexuality. They are learning to own their sexuality in whatever way, whatever it may be. They are becoming comfortable in their own skin. They are living. 

 

This project doesn't take place to defer from the problems black men previously, currently, and maybe always will face, but I hope you will begin to understand the experiences of the men who I am most inspired by. 

 

To the carefree black boy~keep doing you.

 

What a time to be alive.

 

"I always say we have the upper hand in that case because the thing about it is when I open my mouth I know you’re expecting a certain thing and if I open my mouth and give you something totally different from what you’re expecting that’s even better for me."

 

"I see the young black man as the pillar of our community. So, I plan to better our community by investing time with these young black men. I believe it will make a world of difference in their lives."

"You just have to be on guard because you’re black. We’ve been taught that forever. That’s been passed down from generation to generation to generation and it’s still true today. You’ve got to kind of watch what you’re doing, and watch how you talk to officers and so on and so forth to not get yourself caught up in this fucked up situation.”

"People have this thing made up in their heads that we can’t think outside the box too. We have to be reduced to just fucking making music and playing basketball and shit when it’s niggas out here really doing amazing shit. I’m not saying knowing how to dunk from the free throw line isn’t amazing, but it’s niggas out here that know hella shit about technology and art and everything. People think that we’re just so easy to figure out and I think it’s more to our race than meets the eye."