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A short documentary takes a look at what it's like to grow up black in America.

"I want people to know I'm perfectly fine, and I'm not going to hurt anybody or do anything bad." — Maddox, 10 years old

A short documentary takes a look at what it's like to grow up black in America.
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Open Society Foundations

A new documentary explores what it's like to grow up black in America.

Joe Brewster and Perri Peltz released "A Conversation About Growing Up Black" earlier this month via The New York Times. The short documentary, just over five minutes long, provides insight into just some of the many unique challenges and fears black boys must face.

Several interview subjects brought up the issue that's been on everyone's mind: police violence.

17-year-old Malik touched on the topic, discussing how it hurts him that violence or abuse might come from the people who are supposed to protect him.


Clips by The New York Times.

Jumoke, also 17, brought up that he feels like he and other young black men are being "hunted" by police.

Another struggle brought up in the video is that black men are often more likely to be seen as a threat to strangers in public.

Miles, 13, describes a time he was walking home with a classmate. "I was walking home from school with this one white girl and we had just gotten off the bus," he says. When they were almost home, they approached a crowd of black children who'd also just gotten out of school. The girl turned to Miles and said: "Oh, let's cross the street. There's a group of black kids. I don't want to run into them."

25-year-old Marvin talks about one of his teachers, who made him take off a wristband because "it looks gang-affiliated." And he discusses what it's like to have the world see him as a potential threat.

Racism in society takes many forms and is far more subtle than many people realize.

I am white. Because of that, I'm never going to know what racism feels like. I can't say, "I know how that feels" because I don't. I can't.

What I and others who have benefitted from institutional racism can do is to start listening. We can start sharing the stories of men and boys like Miles, Jumoke, Malik, and Marvin.

Because as Bisa, 17, explains, understanding the hows and whys of racism is a complicated process that young men like him have to deal with from a very young age.

And Maddox, just 10 years old, already knows that society unfairly expects him to grow up to be a threat.

No one should have to grow up like this or go through life like this.

via KrustyKhajiit / YouTube

Thomas F. Wilson played one of the most recognizable villains in film history, Biff Tannen, in the "Back to the Future" series. So, understandably, he gets recognized wherever he goes for the iconic role.

The attention must be nice, but it has to get exhausting answering the same questions day in and day out about the films. So Wilson created a card that he carries with him to hand out to people that answers all the questions he gets asked on a daily basis.

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Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

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via Marcella Mares / Facebook

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Marcella, mother to a 10-month-old girl, received an email from one of her instructors at Fresno City College in California, requiring all students to turn on their cameras and microphones during class time.

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via WatchMojo / YouTube

There are two conflicting viewpoints when it comes to addressing culture from that past that contains offensive elements that would never be acceptable today.

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