Raising Black Boys in America with Nicole Franklin

By Amanda Chambers

This week's episode of Brooklyn Savvy is an important one for mothers of black boys in particular. Nicole Franklin, the award-winning filmmaker responsible for the 10-chapter series Little Brother, discusses her work with the Savvy panelistas and what she hopes to achieve with it. The panelistas were also joined by Depelsha McGruder, who founded the group Moms of Black Boys United in response to the multiple killings of black men by cops throughout America. The panelistas share their personal experiences and consider the different ways to make positive changes for the young black boys in our country.

“Our consciousness is still black=beastly.”
— Nicole Franklin

The conversation this week focuses on the treatment and judgment of young black boys. Nicole Franklin notes that the impression of black boys changes when they are 9-13 years old; boys that were once seen as cute and innocent are now perceived as threatening thugs. Even some teachers start to drop off and treat these students differently. With Little Brother, Nicole Franklin aims to prove that this notion is wrong and that black men can be loving and sensitive.

Depelsha McGruder speaks about her organization Moms of Black Boys United, or MOBB United, and their efforts to display positive images of black boys. The ultimate goal of the group is to not only change perception and treatment, but policy as well. 

“I always say to [my son],  ‘Remember the skin you’re in.’”
— Toni Williams

Nicole Franklin is a writer, director, producer, educator, and much more. She received her BA in Communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago and earned her Masters in Liberal Studies from Ramapo College of New Jersey. Currently, she is the co-producer and co-moderator of a weekly Twitter series called #BlerdDating. To learn more about Little Brothers, visit http://LittleBrotherFilm.com.

Be sure to tune in to hear the full discussion with Nicole Franklin, Depelsha McGruder, Toni, and the Savvy panelistas. Missed the episode yesterday? Don't worry! You can catch it again tonight at 7:30 pm and Thursday at 3:00 pm, or visit us online at http://brooklynsavvy.tv.