Seyi Peter-Thomas‘ short film adaptation of Cortney Lamar Charleston’s poem “How Do You Raise a Black Child?” paints an important portrait of everyday life for a young black man growing up in America.
The visceral and contemplative film, “How Do You Raise a Black Child?” which debuted at the Motionpoems Showcase in Minneapolis, is powerfully narrated with both metaphoric and literal imagery.
“This poem is about the precarious balance black parents have to strike in order to raise their kids ‘right,’ ” director Seyi Peter-Thomas says of Lamar Charleston’s piece. “It’s wrenching and thought-provoking.” Seyi’s film perfectly communicates this balance as it follows young Malik and his mother navigating life’s highs and lows. The moments of levity and those of unsolicited sobriety explore the complexity of Malik’s experiences as a part of a larger conversation on race and community within today’s uneasy social and political climate.
Seyi says, “Maybe what’s really being asked is how do we save a black child? And, what are the elements we must save them from? It’s a uniquely American conversation, one we’re all having on some level right now.” He hopes viewers will connect with the humanity in the film and also be prompted to ask and answer some questions of their own.