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by Dr. Boyce Watkins
Stereotypes are usually not a good thing, but for some, they can make life easier. Jews are often stereotyped as being good with money and wealth-building. Asians are stereotyped for being math geniuses. Even Latin Americans can be stereotyped as being hard-working.
If someone were to ask you to name one positive stereotype about black people, would you be able to do so?
If you’re like most people, you probably can’t. We do get some stereotypes thrust upon us, like being able to run fast and jump high (someone even said that we are well-endowed, as if that’s some kind of meaningful talent that you can put on a resume), but those are not stereotypes that typically lead to wealth building, at least not for most of us. If anything, athletic ability can sometimes cause men and women to waste their brain power and educational opportunities chasing hoop dreams or some obscure chance of getting into the NFL.
The Janks Morton film, “Hoodwinked” explores some of these issues. I encourage you to take a look at the trailer. I was very impressed with the film and appreciate that Roland Martin and Tom Joyner supported the effort by featuring the film on their shows. The premieres have sold out thus far, and we’re excited to be able to make this intellectual contribution to the African American community. I am in the film, along with four other outstanding scholars who care about the self-images of black men: Marc Lamont Hill, Steve Perry, Ivory Toldson and Jawanza Kunjufu.
The film is starting to take off, and I’m excited. Once black men begin learning how great we can be, then this will surely bust the lid of opportunity wide open. The scariest black man in America is not the thug on the corner. Actually, it’s the highly-educated, conscientious black man who knows no fear.
You can check out the trailer for the film by clicking here.