July 27, 2007

From the block to the board room:

Filmmaker Janks Morton explores What Black Men Think 

By Tiffany Ginyard

Special to the AFRO

“Out of all the ethnic groups, Black people, and especially Black men, are the most ana­lyzed, arranged and assessed. Assorted, base lined, cataloged …categorized, classified, char­acterized…sliced, diced and divided… dissected, evaluated and examined.. .focused upon, fixated on and extrapolated… investigated, indexed and inspected… juggled, judged and labeled…meas­ured, numbered and ordered.., sorted, studied and surveyed …totaled, tabulated and tat­tooed…. “

Excerpt from Janks Morton’s What Black Men Think 

What do Black men think? What goes through their minds when they learn they are the topic of discussions across the globe, for all the wrong reasons? What do they think about how Black women see them as dogs, incapable of love and taking responsibility… as cheaters? What do Black men think about how the media plays up their seemingly interminable presence in the penal system, the stereotypes about their sexuality, the Black leadership that claims to represent them? What are Black men thinking? 

Black men address all these issues and more in Janks Morton’s new “docu-logue” style film What Black Men Think.

This movie intends not to throw any more salt on the open wound we call Black America by highlighting grim statistics or sensationaliz­ing miscreant behavior as the agenda-setting media blatantly does, but rather Morton’s inten­tions are to strike up a conversation within the Black community especially between Black men and Black women – and to set the record straight about Black men once and for all.

Morton has captured “candid conversations” and enlightening commentary of Black men, from the block to the board room, speaking their minds on topics ranging from education, interracial relationships, Black male identity, to Black male homosexuality and the so-called Black leadership that has bamboozled the entire community.

“I believe there are people profiting off of keeping Black men and Black women divided,” said Morton. The media is constantly bombard­ing us with [these] images and this informa­tion…our perceptions are slightly askew from what reality is….

What Black Men Think ends a double dose of reality by revealing the true statistics about the Black community-like what really is the number one killer of Blacks, who really is to blame for Black women being infected HIV at alarming rates and if there are really more Black men in’ jail than in college. Morton and others like Armstrong Williams, former Maryland lieu­tenant governor Michael Steele, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, spoken word artist Taalam Acey and actor and activist Joseph C. Phillips also look to the historical events to explain what has ushered the Black man into the state that he’s in today still fighting,, still struggling to prove his worth not only to his family and community, but to himself. These are issues that are still hushed in Black America-problems that Blacks, according to Morton, are too stuck in denial to address.

“Under our breaths …and deep down in our hearts, we’re saying these things, but no one is challenging us to do better and that’s really what the film is saying, `we have to do better together,’ look at each other for who we are and get our families back together,” said Morton.

“Black men are making a comeback,” he insists. All it takes is for people to “wake up,” snap out of denial and actively search for a solution, said Morton. A solution in which he asserts has been “right under our noses” all along.

“The answer is so simple; it just eludes us at times. But really it’s about the restoration of Black men.. .restore his roles of what he’s sup­pose to be to his family and then the family falls in line with the community. It’s just that simple,” offered the 43-year-old single parent.Raw energy, mind-boggling revelations, his­tory lessons and intimate, thought-provoking dialogue makes, “What Black Men Think,” a must see for any and everyone ready to not only see the change, but be the change in the Black community.

Throughout the movie Morton stresses that the Black man has to take the first steps toward change, “Black men have got to stand up and stand tall and really come correct.

Categories: PRESS
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