What If Black Boys Were Butterflies?
  • DaeQuan Collier

film, 3 minutes, 2019.

Artist Statement

My short film, What If Black Boys Were Butterflies?, was created because I found that while other boys can enjoy a childhood of freedoms, for many reasons, “Black boyhood” is a brief, complicated existence. W.E.B. Dubois wrote about this in Souls Of Black Folk, saying, ”Throughout history, the powers of single Black men flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness.” At an early age, Black males are often labeled as violent and troublesome, over-policed in their communities, and forced into hyper-masculine gender norms. To me, What If Black Boys Were Butterflies? is an urgent social document. For us, freedom is a luxury. Throughout history, we’ve found this to be true, and through this film, I wanted to explore that idea. Showing young Black men enjoying their youth and seeking liberation from these complexities, alongside the intimate off-screen conversation between the two Black men, provides a closer look into this American reality.

Artist Bio

DaeQuan Collier is a filmmaker, born and raised in Bronx, New York. As an artist of color, DaeQuan believes that his identity is an indisputable part of his artistry that cannot be avoided in his work, and he strives to create work that properly illustrates their humanity. Growing up in the Bronx allowed him to come across people and communities that often go untold. He believes that their stories are complex, beautiful, and important, and he works to tell them. More at @daequan.