This past Wednesday, we launched a new series entitled MOCTales, a conversation series led by men of color discussing topics of shared experiences and personal tales in hopes to inspire, encourage and mobilize each other. Kicking off our first MOCTales, we discussed the stigmas surrounding Black fatherhood.
The event started with the screening of a short film written and directed by Terron Jones entitled Cycle, which centered on an emotional journey of an intimate conversation had between a father and son that gave an in-depth look into the generational ideology of what it means to be a man. Following the screening, a panel of Black men engaged in an open and heartfelt dialogue about manhood, their upbringings, and how to break the cycle of enforced traits of toxic masculinity. The panel included actor and author Hill Harper, Indianapolis Colts Wide Receiver Dontrelle Inman, filmmaker Terron Jones and Boys' Club of New York's Gerry Clubhouse Youth Director Terrence Taylor.
“Raising a Black man in this day and age in this society is so multifaceted," said Hill. “You want to be able to protect them and shield them, you want them to be able to communicate with you, you want them to have some measure of discipline. There are all of these different things to think about. They’re things I think about every day. I certainly don't believe I have the answers. I’m just doing the best I can on a daily basis, being cognitive of these issues but at the same time I’m happy to learn from anybody and everybody on how to do it better.”
Inman added, “the main way to keep us accountable is to talk about it. That’s one thing as Black men we don’t do that other races do. We don't talk to each other about the hard stuff. We never talk about the hard stuff that we need to do to grow and help the younger generation break the cycle.”
The first installment of MOCtales was in partnership with The Boys’ Club of New York with sponsoring parties Scotch Porter and Khari Edwards, the VP of External Affairs of Brookdale Hospital.
Check out more photos from the event below!
Photo Credit: Jamon Davis