La Shawn Barber

Pop quiz: What's the #1 killer of blacks? If you guessed heart disease or AIDS, you're wrong. It's abortion: 363,024 black babies were slaughtered in the womb in 2005. Although black women are roughly 13 percent of the female population in the United States, they account for over a third of all abortions. Why isn't this widely reported in the media? (Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger is briefly mentioned in the film. Read about The Negro Project.)

While Morton acknowledges serious problems in the black community, from the glorification of gangster rap to high illegitimacy and crime rates, the documentary provides a means to open a dialogue between black men and women and to urge blacks to question what they read and hear, especially from so-called black leaders (including the NAACP).

A recurring theme throughout the documentary is turning to self to solve problems and not to the government. Morton and others discuss how the gains of the civil rights movement were squandered when blacks became conditioned to rely on the government rather than on themselves, the way they had to during Jim Crow. Some of those interviewed pointed to the free love, if-it-feels-good-go-for-it era of the late 1960s, which had a devastating impact on the black community. The most urgent problem today is the collapse of the family, not racism.

Given the heavy representation of black conservative commentators in the film, no doubt Morton has been accused of catering to blame-the-victim views. But if a thing is true, it's true no matter who says it. What Black Men Think has the potential to inspire people to do their own thinking and question the status quo.

Change the way people think, and things will never be the same.

La Shawn Barber

Freelance writer La Shawn Barber blogs at the American Civil Rights Institute blog.