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As the mother of a young son, I am keenly aware of the media’s portrayal of young Black men. While I try to instill in him the basic tenants of respect, honesty, and kindness for all humankind, none of those things will protect him from an overzealous cop or an armed citizen who claims to be “afraid” of my son.

A new documentary by filmmaker Mya B. seeks to answer the question so many Black parents ask, “Why is America afraid of Black men and boys.”

In the film Afraid of the Dark, Maya B. examines the stereotypes about Black men and attempts to dispel them.

Afraid_of_dark_movie_poster_Mya_The film’s website gives more details about the documentary:

“Why is everyone so afraid of black men?”  In her new documentary, “Afraid of Dark”, filmmaker Mya B. attempts to answer this question.  In examining two of the most prevalent stereotypes about the black man as the brute and as the Mandingo we are led on a journey to understanding how the fear of these stereotypes have contributed to the rates of violence and incarceration against black men.  We see how racism uses black on black crime and other unfortunate occurrences in black communities as justification for attacks on black males by police and citizen vigilantes alike.

The documentary challenges these stereotypes, and their resulting worldview, through candid interviews of black men -who span the spectrum of age and background – to illustrate through their own words and personal reflections the difference between how society perceives black men and how they define themselves.

Mya B. also profiles three generations of black men in her family that offered alternative archetypes of what black men can be and are in this society.

The film ultimately shows us that black men are struggling to find love and meaningful identity in a world that mutes their individual stories and colors them all with one brush; and that the way towards healing means facing this dilemma head on, looking deep into it, and using our understanding and our love to transform the image and likeness we perceive of black men.

Afraid of the Dark features commentary from Dr. Cornel West, Malik Yoba, Kevin Powell, Vondie Curtis Hall, Lou Myers, Dr. Herukhuti, Sadat X, and several others.

Visit the Afraid of the Dark website to learn more about the film.

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  • joe

    So much for the new, more civil, comment section.

  • Know

    @ D.j.
    “Also self hating Black men have been producing self hating mixed children who hate their blackness and worship whiteness for decades, So I think it’s hypocritical for Black men to suddenly be concerned about prejudice biracial kids.”

    Not true,
    Many Biracial children of Black men esp sons start dating marrying with a preference of Black women- or at least biracial women first before any other race. Nia long-Ime Udoka, Boris Kodjoe- Nicole, Even now within hip hop two most known mixed rap artist Drake, J cole have only been linked to Black women from dark to light. Politics Barack Obama- Michelle, Maryland Lt governor Anthony G brown- brown skinned CEO wife, former DC mayor Adrian Fenty- ex wife was black too. Hell even on reality tv, Doug Christie-Jackie Christie, Apollo- Phaedra.

    All of the men above have white mothers. Yet Biracial males with black mothers like Miguel Jontel- latina girlfriend, Kid Cudi-white girlfriend, Tahj Mowry- Asian-girlfriend. Both Diana ross’s sons are engaged to white women soo…….. I very much disagree with you.

    • Know

      @D.j- In England and America, Most Biracial men with black fathers date marry,and f.. both, the same cannot be said of biracial men with black mothers.

      I would also like to add- that most mixed men with black mothers- identify with other biracial and black males they become friends and hang out with each other- but for some reason,most of these biracial men with black mothers are not befriending, dating, or even mingling with black women who are like there mothers at the same level biracial males with black father do. That’s common knowledge in England. Even more disturbing is the biracial daughters of black women who only socialize with white women and OTHER biracial women more than they do with fully black women. I think “Beyond black and white” touched the subject of black women raising- self hating biracial males(with non-black fathers) as well as self hating black males (with black fathers)-
      Good day

    • Nirvana

      Healthy people are not into people who hate themselves. When you raise someone that hates your own image, the reason is beyond obvious.

  • lil ray

    What About Our Daughters

  • know

    I want to see a document that focuses on BW . Because women are the back bone of any society. Black people can’t change how society views us but we can definitely change how we interact with each other ,how the mistreatment of black women affects the community as a whole – even at the hands of a black man, how black women view each other(these days team natural vs permed, team light skin vs darkskin, team i hate black men vs team black men all day like one is superior to another) , black women parenting skills single and married, obstacles they face in a white society in comparison to other races of women AS WELL as in the black community when dealing with black men. Black women’s views on sexuality(I’ve seen some bw so mad at bm they dealt with they turn lesbian), black women’s views on hip hop’s misogyny. Etc….

    Topics about bm are used over and over again.

    • Mike Harper

      The difference is they only talk about the Black male, but Black women dont recognize the benefits they have. in a court system the only one who is listened to besides a white male, is the black women. but this is all part of a bigger plot. Us men have to get together away from the niggas, and bring the blacks back, And the women have to recognize the power they have with vagina, the bad decisions they make by picking niggas over black people. (ACCOUNTABILITY) black girls rock, and femininity. Its both the male and female failing each other now, dont worry about what about the BM, or BW, more of a Black race idea. this is our exact problem, we try to fight each other the way society wants us to. Its the Male fault JUST AS much as the woman because neither rises without the other. I love My black sister but i hate when she acts like a man, and most of my brothas are already acting like bitches so we have even more useless people. WE RISE or Fall together because at the end of the day society sees us as dumb ass niggas as a race, fuck male or female.