Through Our Eyes: The Young Black Men’s Photovoice Project on Factors Affecting Their Transition to Manhood

Saturday September 18, 2010

Through Our Eyes – Promotional Video from Vim Crony on Vimeo.

Saturday September 18, 2010
Houghton Park Community Center
6301 North Myrtle Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90805

Walking Exhibition 1-3:45 PM
Presentation 2:00 PM
Long Beach Central Area Association
Councilman Steve Neal-District 9
Felton Williams Ph.D .. Pres., LBUSD Board of Ed
LB Parks Recreation & Marine
LB GRIP Project
St. Mary Medical Center

In Collaboration with:
National Family Life & Education Center
Healthy African American Families II
Los Angeles Urban League
KAOS Network
Calif Institute of Health & Social Services, Inc.
Children’s Institute, Inc.
Rand Corporation
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

The Young Black Men’s Photovoice Project

Click here to download the “Through Our Eyes: The Young Black Men’s Photovoice Project on Factors Affecting Their Transition to Manhood” flyer.

The photovoice project provided cameras to young, Black males in Los Angeles (LA) County to take photographs and discuss factors associated with their transition to manhood. The photovoice process is based on health promotion principles and theory from Paulo Freire’s work on education for critical consciousness, feminist theory, empowerment education, and a community based approach to photography.

The project was envisioned by a 12-member community/academic advisory board with community members from various family, health, arts, neighborhood, education, and social service organizations who were interested in addressing premature morbidity and mortality in Black men in LA. Through multiple meetings, the advisory board decided on a photovoice project that examined factors associated with the transition to manhood because this transition point was felt to be a dangerous, yet intervenable point to promote a safe and healthy life trajectory. Twelve participants, aged 16-26 years, completed all phases of the project: a 3-month period of photo-taking, pile-sorting photos and discussions, and theme/sub-theme development. They identified four major themes influential in their transition: struggles, social supports and inspiration, role of sports, and LA lifestyle. Each of these themes has several sub-themes: for example, struggles includes police harassment, incarceration, institutional racism, lack of financial and employment stability, homelessness, community violence, urban decay, acceptance of drugs in the neighborhood, racial tensions and gangs, lack of direction and despair, fatalism, health behaviors, illness or death of caretakers, and family challenges in the foster care system.

Young Black Men’s Group

The Young Black Men’s Group was created out of The Young Black Men’s Photovoice Project. During the photovoice project, we recognized that the young men required additional skills and knowledge to realize their future aspirations. The nationally renowned Ten Step Rites of Passage model was adapted to educate, encourage, empower, and equip young Black men to achieve their life goals. These sessions include lectures, a diverse body of professionals that serve as guest presenters, interactive workshops, and reading assignments. The Young Black Men’s Group also serves as a forum to dialogue about the issues faced by these men.

We hope the Young Black Men’s Group may be a resource for community advocacy and service to promote a safe and healthy transition to adulthood for youth. The group is led by Dr. Rab Razzak, Dr. Roberto Vargas, and Mr. Charles Lee-Johnson with ongoing collaboration from the photovoice community/academic advisory board.

Community and Academic Collaborative – Young Black Men’s Photovoice Project

  • National Family Life & Education Center:

Mr. Charles Lee-Johnson, Executive Director and Mr. Jamico Elders

  • Healthy African American Families II

Ms. Loretta Jones, Executive Director and Mr. Anthony Brown

  • Los Angeles Urban League: Ms. D’Ann Morris, Deputy Neighborhood Officer

  • KAOS Network: Mr. Ben Caldwell, Executive Director

  • California Institute of Health & Social Services, Inc.

Ms. Charlene Meeks, Program Manager

  • Children’s Institute, Inc.: Dr. Tina Houston, Urban League Head Start

  • UCLA

Dr. Nazleen Bharmal and Dr. Arleen Brown, Associate Professor, Div of GIM/HSR

  • RAND Corporation: Dr. David Kennedy, Associate Behavioral & Social Scientist

  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center: Dr. Rab Razzak, Hospitalist

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.