Posted on July 9, 2008

What Black Men Think: Film Is A Wake-Up Call to the African-American Community

Robyn H. Jimenez, Louisiana Weekly (New Orleans), July 7, 2008

{snip} As you sit there in awe and wonder, questioning your ancestor’s inability to be aware of the tragedy of their own circumstance, this I tell you and I tell you to be true, that 100 years from now, your descendents will look upon you with the same distain, questioning, how could you have let this happen? How could you have bought into the false castigation that keeps you from one another?” said Janks Morton, “You sit idly by and watch your media distort your images. You know that the government stratifies you. You know that the Black leadership exploits you. And you chose to do nothing. Or maybe, you don’t know. After today, there shall be no more excuses . . . because after today, you will know.”


Morton’s film, What Black Men Think, focuses on the way Blacks treat each other, how the African-American community thinks of itself, how it feeds off of the stereotypes and how it reacts to negativity. But most importantly, the film discusses the changes that are needed.

“I want the restoration of Black relationships. What I want is for the reconnection to happen,” said Morton stating that Blacks have the highest divorce rates, highest over-40-years-old singles rates, the lowest marriage rates and the highest-out-of-wedlock birth rates. “As a matter of fact, in the last 40 years, Blacks have almost turned their back on one another.”

In a ‘man-on-the-street’ survey, several Black men and women were asked what they thought of each other.

The men said that Black women are selfish, shallow, gold diggers, with attitude problems and multiple babies, who think that their being disrespectful is sexy.

The women said that Black men are thuggish, disrespectful liars, ignorant players, who don’t work and don’t take care of their multiple babies.


Blacks, according to the film, are the truest Americans. Throughout the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans kept their dignity and walked with pride. But they also had respect for each other.

The Black community as a whole had to have a higher standard in order to question the injustice of the government. But somewhere along the line, “things got tipped over.

“At the end of the Civil Rights era . . . 82-87 percent of the Black households were two parent, married households. Forty percent of those households were business owners,” said Mychal Massie, Chairman of Project 21 and columnist with WorldNetDaily.


The film said that the Black community has allowed itself to define itself by social status, job, house, car, trophy wife, etc. . . . after centuries of being oppressed. And those that don’t obtain that status are considered less than. What this does is give Black people permission to look down on one another in order to lift themselves up. And that only hides the underlying issues of self-doubt and low self-worth.


Morton posed another question to the community, asking, ‘Are there more Black men in jail or in college?’


Morton said that the answer lies in understanding where the numbers came from. The research that has been conducted was done so with the purpose of making sure it comes out a certain way. But, that’s not actual research.

He first looked at the typical age range for both. The average Black male in college is 18 to 24 years old. The average Black man in jail is between 15 and 55 years old. “This is truly an apples to oranges questions. “But to be fair to all the people that we asked the question of, lets just look at the sheer numbers, regardless of age,” he said.

He added up the total of men in prison and those in jail. They totaled 801,995, as reported by the Bureau of Justice and Statistics in 2005. However, the Department of Education reported 846,000 men in college that same year. So, there are truly more Black men in college than those incarcerated.


Additionally, Morton asked the question—based on a 2003 CDC study—”What is the number one killer of African Americans?” Some people said diabetes. And yes the numbers are high—12,892 died from diabetes that year. But that puts it in fifth place. Others said it was high blood pressure and stroke. Yet, stroke is the fourth highest, killing 18,806 people. There were some that guessed cancer as the leading killer. And though 62,660 people lost the battle to cancer in 2003, it still wasn’t the number one killer. Cancer is the third highest killer. Those that guessed heart disease and heart attack were close. It comes in second place, taking the lives of 77,732 African Americans.

There were many that said homicide and Black on Black crime. Several said that AIDS must be the number one killer in the African American community. A few guessed that it might be drugs. But, though they are among the top 10, those answers were still incorrect.

Absolutely no one guessed what the center reported as the number one killer of African-Americans . . . a killer that took the precious lives of 363,024 Black babies . . . abortion.

But why should we care? Doesn’t that mean that thousands of children will not be born into broken homes? Doesn’t that mean that there will be less children living in poverty? Not necessarily. According to the film, what it does mean is ‘genocide.’

“I think the crazy thing is, if you’re gonna argue pro-choice and pro-lie, then you’ve been hoodwinked and bamboozled, just like Malcolm said. What you need to be concerned about is the fact that, if it’s not killing Black people, why is the CDC tracking this?” said a guest on the film.

Pastor Clenard H. Childress, author of No Shepard’s Cry and director of, says that abortion is allowed to continue in order to control the growth of African Americans and cause the numbers to decrease.


The video says that main stream media has been the catalyst for such stereotypes for several years and they have been driven deep into our psyche. But a stereotype cannot live on words alone. There is always some element of truth. The news helps to bring these incidents to public attention. And the viewers respond to the sensationalism.

Furthermore, it is through this coverage and media’s love/hate relationship with hip hop and gangster rap that the Black community has been told that it’s okay to get angry and respond with anger. People are being told that its only way “we’re going to overcome.” But it’s too easy to act on anger. And what’s more, “whoever causes you to become angry, can also control you,” The film wasn’t just talking about the media and society’s control, but Black leaders as well.

Morton’s video says that Black leaders exploit the Black community. He explained that racism and hatred exist everywhere on all levels “and if your job is to tackle racism, you will always be employed.” But in reality, the Black community is no longer bound by racism. It, as a whole, can accomplish what it set out to do. Yes, there is still prejudice and acts of racism, but the community doesn’t have to respond with violence and hatred.


But prejudice goes both ways. The video also discussed how the Black community, with the memories of the past and in its struggle to assimilate into society, has developed bitterness toward the white community. It’s not uncommon for people to refer to high achievers—such as straight-A students, families who move to an upscale community or individuals who climb the corporate ladder—as “White,” when they are simply striving to be their best.