Professor screens film on black masculinity throughout history

Patsy Powell

A full theater of diverse ages and backgrounds gathered in CSUN’s Little Theater Wednesday for the premiere of “From Buckism to Barackism,” a documentary about black masculinity throughout history.

The documentary was written and directed by Pan-African studies professor Dr. Theresa White and has been working on the film since the summer of 2009. She has interviewed 115 African-American boys and men about their stories of being a black male in today’s society.

“With over 49 hours of footage, it was a challenge to create a one hour film.” White said. “It took time, but we had to finish the project. I had to know we hadn’t been working in vain.”

White described her inspiration to create the “From Buckism to Barackism” to derive from the a previous film she had created about women.

“The inspiration came from serendipity. I was doing interviews about westernized beauty with a few men and they shared their own stories with me,” White said. “I became very interested in what it’s like to be an African American boy or man, especially in the transitional era of Barack Obama.”

A few key players in the production came onstage to create a panel after the film ended. The panelists then answered questions from both moderator professor Nate Thomas and the audience. A student asked what set the film apart from many books and films on the same topic.

“You can’t get the tears you saw in the film in those books” panelist Laythan Armor said. “You don’t hear black men admitting to the feelings they did in this film. There’s an impact in hearing them say it.”

The film is not completely finished. White hopes to have all copyrights taken care of and the film marketable by summer of this year.