By Evan F. Moore
Filmmaker Janks Morton latest film is called Hoodwinked, Hoodwinked will be an exploration of the most recent data being released by the U.S. Census Bureau,DOJ, DOE, DOC and the CDC to highlight strides and achievements in the African American community. Morton sat down with WVON recently to answer questions regarding the interviews he did for the documentary, the origin of the project and personal responsibility regarding African-Americans.
WVON: What made you come up with the concept of the documentary?
Janks Morton: Hoodwinked is the sequel to the film WHAT BLACK MEN THINK, Best black Documentary 2007 AALBC, and is based on an article of the same title published in Ebony Magazine in June of 2011.”
After speaking with the people you interviewed in the movie, were you shocked at how stereotypes negatively influenced the perception of black males?
In the original film WHAT BLACK MEN THINK, in the same man-on-the-street fashion, I addressed similar questions around the state of black males, so I have grown accustomed to the misperceptions around Black male Identity. What does surprise me at times is how far removed from reality some people’s estimates of the statistics can be. I was interviewing at an annual street and vendor fair in Baltimore, I asked the question “What percent of Black Males Drop out of High School?”, The median response to the question is 50% (and the title of the segment of the film), but I heard my fair share of 80 and 90 percent. The Black Male dropout rate is 9.5%
Do you believe the black community bears some responsibility for creating the stereotypes people have of black males?
Most stereotypes have to have a kernel of truth in order to work. The genesis of stereotypes may start with behaviors endemic to our group, but the hyper-portrayal of these as normative black behavior by media and special interest groups is what allows, what is typically a fragmented snapshot of Black behavior, to be projected as the negative narrative of us all.
Will the film made available in other cities beside Washington, D.C.?
I will be taking HOOWINKED to multiple cities across the country after its theatrical premiere in Washington DC, September 6th. It looks like we will be screening HOODWINKED at the ICE Theater on 87th Street on Sept 13th….I’ll keep you posted.