Black Boys Don’t Cry

By Body of Christ News

Ali Jackson is currently working on a documentary called Black Boys Don’t Cry that has been in the making for since 2003. The film is subtitled The Untold Truth because statistics show that less than 1% of sexual assaults on black boys are reported. Jackson asks all of us, but black males in particular, “If I don’t speak out for our children, who will?”

photo of Ali JacksonStatistics in the United States show that nearly one in six boys from the ages of one to twelve, of all races, is abused in some way. It has been estimated that anywhere from 50% to 90% of all boys who are abused or molested will not report that assault, especially if it is of a sexual nature.

An unfathomable 15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12. Up to 80% of the abuse inflicted on boys is by someone in the home or known to the child, with as much as half of those instances at the hands of a female. Thirty percent of all sexually abused children will develop into the abusers themselves which increases to an estimated 60% in cases with children under the age of 12.

As an active member of the black community, Ali Jackson has been impacted by the increased rate of violence, crime, suicide, acting out and predatory behavior of young black males who have been raised in a culture that does not allow them to cry for the help they desperately need. The impact has not been as a result of being the one in six who is abused, but rather a genuinely concerned male role model and mentor to children through various avenues.

Both the mental and physical damage done by their attackers may even contribute to the increased spread of AIDS and other diseases within the black community, further perpetuating the issues discussed in his film. This educational, experimental documentary will enlighten, inform and encourage individuals to speak out about their sexual abuse and/or that of others.

The documentary, which is narrated by Collin Cheadle (younger brother of Don Cheadle), is a guide on a taboo tour that peels back the ugly scab of sex assaults in the black community. It also looks at the AIDS boom in the black community, homophobia, illegitimate children and sex crimes.

Through interviews with survivors and rape crisis experts, file footage, photos, music videos, news clips and re-enactments, Jackson traces back the roots to why African American boys do not disclose sexual assault and what may cause or create an adult rapist.

This film will dive deep into the early childhood development of an assaulted black male and analyze the psyche. What in his environment (home, school, peers and media influence) prevents the disclosure of assault? There is the clinical assumption that children who feel compelled to keep sexual abuse a secret suffer greater psychological distress than victims who disclose the secret and receive assistance and support.

It is the belief of most mental health care professionals that deal with issues of sexual abuse that long standing historical and culturally based stigmas about masculinity among African- American males are the main reason for this lack of honest disclosure.

Pervasive stereotypical images of African-American males such as the “Big Field Buck,” “Thug,” “Pimp,” “Gangsta,” “Rapper,” (50 Cent, Snoop, TI, Lil Wayne) and, “professional athlete,” are believed to account for a great majority of boys who will not report abuse under any circumstances.

Living up to these images and stereotypes is far more important than acknowledging, confronting and disclosing the assault.

This stereotype holds true to Hispanic and Caucasians who purchase more than 70% of Hip- Hop Albums and memorabilia sold. To showcase weakness would go against the image that generates mass record sales. What is the motivation for a child to disclose? The inability to be viewed as being weak, soft, feminine or “gay” among peers and foes tends to be a shared sentiment amongst most African American males across America.

When any man, of any race comes forward to disclose a sex assault it becomes almost comical. In the mind of most adults, men have the physical ability to fight off a rape attack, unlike their female counterparts.

Jackson’s film will address the continuing display of physical dominance over all other humans, male, female, black and white is vital to the image.

Ultimately how society, press, music and subcultures will also not allow black males to be viewed as less than masculine and misogynistic. Therefore these children go untreated from their abuse, both mentally and physically. And this untreated illness spreads like a virus through inner city communities.

When Ali Jackson was asked what he feels the solution to this horrifying truth may be, he said that only a multifaceted approach involving the entire community with black men in the lead would work.

“We have to change the way we view the definition of what a black man is and the way we raise black boys,” he stated. “We need to educate ourselves.”

He speaks of the comparisons being made between the typical black male figures being promoted in the media versus Barak Obama since he won the Presidency. There is an extreme that says, “Choose. You’re going to be either an intellect and a graduate like Obama or you’re going to be a low down street thug like 50 Cent.”

Jackson asks the black community to consider and acknowledge the gray area between the two extremes where most reside. He also feels that a large portion of the blame for the silence and proliferation of abuse rests on the shoulders of black men who need to step up as the protectors and providers for their children. “We need to regain that role in our homes and our communities so that we can begin to give our children the ability to speak out. Let them know it’s OK to tell.”

The filmmaker talks about the way black men tend to shy away from the topic due to the disgusting statistics and descriptions of abuse that they must face in order to acknowledge and respond to the problems their children are facing.

“I feel it’s partially our fault because there is no room for open dialog to talk about this because we immediately shut it down. It’s as if shutting down is a cure for our children being sexually abused.” Children in need of medical care due to injuries resulting from abuse can only get it by telling to prevent the long term damage that is made evident by analyzing the statistics.

Through Black Boys Don’t Cry, Jackson hopes to give strength to the black family. He seeks to give strength to black children to speak out against abuse. And he wants to educate the community at large in hopes of inciting action on the part of its members. In addition to being an activist, Ali is a football and wrestling coach, a mentor and a back-up teacher at Overland High School.

If you are interested in getting more information, making a donation to this project or communicating directly with Ali Jackson, please do so via email at or call him at 303-750- 5963.

2 Responses to “Black Boys Don’t Cry”

  1. GEORGINA Says:

    congratulations my friend!

  2. KonstantinMiller Says:

    I think I will try to recommend this post to my friends and family, cuz it’s really helpful.

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