Africa / African / Blacks / Boys

“The One Thing All Men Feel, But Never Admit” by Elizabeth Plank on

Here is piece that is worth reading. It’s about a new documentary in the making on men and boys with the title The Mask You Live In 

The doccie works similar concerns we are seized with here at New African Men. Watch the trailer. The director of the doccie is Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

The piece by Plank says the director went around the United States interviewing boys and men “and what she found was jaw-dropping. She found that although men are dying to speak, they are taught to stay silent. They spend their life wearing a mask that they are taught to never remove.”

Oh, how hard would jaws drop if we could have two or three filmmaker going around each African country and asking boys and men about their lives as boys and men! Or perhaps not. Perhaps this is the best kept public secret of tough, rich, virile form of masculinity. That it really silences all but one or two Charles Saatchi, Silvio Berlusconi, Jacob Zuma type of individual. 

One of my wishes is to find a way of bring the message about African men to a much wider audience. To say, wake up black man. Be conscious. Question everything. Arm yourself with knowledge. Believe, man, start believing in what you can do.  Create. Do. 

I wish I could make a documentary to show what it means to grow up “a regular African boy” with needs and aspirations, anxieties and determination in this place we call home. But it must show how, in spite of the contraints that there is creativity, the get-up-and-do of making things and putting will to life. 

I could make another of the challenges that face young men as they try to work out their sexual and gender identities in cultures that constrain them even as they claim loyalty from the young males. Of the pressures of capitalist patriarchal hegemony to be conform to the dominant forms of masculinity, and yet in spite of it all, what young men does want the simple feeling of being cared for and wanted.   

And I would make yet another that would show African men are trying to make sense of who they are and their changing immediate worlds in a society itself undergoing change. Of how perhaps against our best selfs even, we are seduce to and reproduce the enjoyment of unjust inequality. But there are men amongst us how refuse to dominate others, refuse to enjoy seeing others not having. These men would be at the centre of the documentary.

There are so many movies to make, so many stories we need to tell. For now, again, watch the trailer.

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