In an effort to promote positive role models for black children beyond the 28 days of Black History Month, local nonprofit Black Girl Karate has teamed up with The Crystal Lens Productions to launch, “Dear Little Black Boy” and “Dear Little Black Girl” is a video project and photo exhibition that promotes positive affirmations to little black boys and girls.
“It is essential that children of color know they are valued regardless of the shade of their skin, their background or any other factors that may make them feel othered,” said Tia Hines founder and CEO of the nonprofit Black Girl Karate.
During an internet search for creative material, Hines came across the poems “Dear Black Boy” and “Dear Black Girl”, written by Derryck Patton. Hines, who was inspired by Patton’s work shared the poems with local media producer, Crystal Chandler (founder of The Crystal Lens Productions). Chandler, whose creative work typically focuses on highlighting the voices of underrepresented groups, was equally moved by Patton’s poems. They both knew they wanted to do something big and impactful. Chandler and Hines drafted up a plan to turn these poems into videos that could be shared with the world. After receiving permission from Patton, who resides in Nevada, to use his creative work for this project, the duo organized a five week filming shoot. The filming began on December 30th, 2017 and ended on January 28th, 2018. Every Saturday and Sunday from 8am-10pm, they filmed dozens of volunteers of all ages totaling more than 150 participants.
The video launch of "Dear Little Black Boy” & “Dear Little Black Girl” was held on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at Warehouse XI in Somerville, MA from 3pm-7pm. This special event highlighted positive black imagery for children of color across the globe as the participants varied in national origin, city they currently reside in, native language, skin color, hair texture etc.
“I can’t wait for this to go viral,” said Abiah Floyd, Event Coordinator for Black Girl Karate. “Today, we are in an era where positive reinforcement for black children is imperative.”
There is no time like the present to inspire children of color by motivating them through creative works by those who are often overlooked. In an interview with The Somerville Times Newspaper, Chandler explained the vision of the project. “The goal of the project is to really flood the internet with positive affirmations, words and images for little black boys and girls because there isn’t enough of that. We have a lot of negative messages embedded into society, especially for black children. With this project we want to combat a lot of those negative images and messages.” (Direct quote from The Somerville Times Newspaper)
Since the video launch, Chandler and Hines have transformed the project into a traveling exhibit with stops at local bookstores, cafes, community centers and churches, just to name a few. The purpose is to not only showcase the videos and photographs but to also hold workshops and discussions with adults and children about positivity and self-esteem particularly within the context of representation for black children.https://www.facebook.com/ScatvSNN/videos/2105592519677811/
Black Girl Karate's mission is to educate and empower young girls through creative arts, martial arts and academics”.
All proceeds will go toward expenses(create projects, traveling exhibit, free lifeskills & self defense workshops, permenant space) and further program development to efficiently and effectively serve it's community and fulfill the program's mission.
About Black Girl Karate & The Crystal Lens
Established in the summer of 2017, Black Girl Karate is a 501 (c) (3) community based creative arts enrichment program dedicated to providing underprivileged girls with the tools they need to be successful in life. The Crystal Lens is a media production entity which was established in 2017 with a goal of highlighting intersectional stories of underrepresented communities. To learn more, visit www.thecrystallens.com .