by Mark Van Streefkerk
“Being Black in America” is a short film based on a poem by 14-year-old Lincoln Wilmore. Originally written last year, the poem counters racist stereotypes with positive affirmations and messages for Black youth, ending on a revolutionary high note with footage from the We Want To Live rally on June 7.
In the film, Wilmore gazes confidently at the camera as he begins, “Being Black in America, you’re often looked at differently when they [sic] meet. Not for the content of your character, but still by the color of your skin. Being Black in America means you’re athletic, not academic. Certainly a rapper, entertainer, or maybe even a thug, born and raised in the hood or the streets or on them drugs.”
He goes on to say, “These are all stereotypes, because certainly we are much more than that. Being African American means you are amazing. You are smart, strong, creative, geniuses, inventors, and kind, full of an undeniable resilience, strength, and wisdom.”