BBDC (Black Boys Don't Cry) created by IGGYLDN is a project designed to deconstruct the ideals of black masculinity and manhood in the 21st century. BBDC is led by three creative mediums (spoken word, videography and photography) in order to bring to light the challenges that young black men face in today’s society.
Within the black community it is a largely considered stereotype that black boys must be taught to be masculine. In most senses of the word this means to have less emotion than women, to show no weakness and position themselves as strong. As this is considered to be the ‘norm,’ masculinity is rarely deconstructed in the same way as femininity has been. Considering the black race are the creators and contributors to soul, punk, rock, ballet to name a few things, it is evident that the black community are multi-faceted. Thus the narrow narrative of masculinity must be questioned to leave space for black men to show emotion without being considered less black or less of a man.
The project portrays this by subverting what it truly means to be a multi-faceted black man - starting from the narrative of a black boy. The poem begins by telling the story of a boy growing up and his perceptions of masculinity. Throughout the video the piece explores these concepts of masculinity by questioning gender, body and beauty ideals, self determination and power in order to reconstruct what it means to be a black man. Combined with photography of black men of all variations, the purpose of this is to deliberately break down upbringing, societal influences and colonial past to simply tell the younger generation that in order for you to be a black man in the 21st century you do not need to be strong or emotionless – you simply need to be black and a man.
Creator & Spoken Word Artist IGGYLDN
Directors SAU Agency
JADE CHARLOTTE COWANS
Video Assistant KMARIESOUL
Photographer JOAO HENRIQUES
Make-Up Artist JOMELYN FERRAS
Mixing and Mastering JOE MEEHAN