With unprecedented numbers of black-on-black youth crime in Britain, and recent talks of honour killings among British Asians, I recently rediscovered SAFE, a video drama written for West Midlands Regional Health Authority as a resource for teachers, social workers and youth workers.
“SAFE is accessible, relevant and essential for everyone working with young black men.” – Neil Davidson, Trainer and Consultant. Author of Boys will be…
As a piece of educational drama, SAFE is possibly a little too domestic for the harsh realities of life on today’s gun-ridden streets. However, it was produced to raise issues relating to young men, and young African, Caribbean and Asian men in particular. Its storyline hinges around the relationships between 4 young men who live, work and/or attend college in Birmingham’s Solihull in the United Kingdom. While the drama will be of interest to young and old alike, its purpose is as a resource for social workers and youth workers wanting to raise the following issues:
<ol><li>Taking responsibility - in both a practical and emotional sense;</li> <li>Keeping up a front - the damage and confusion that this can cause;</li> <li>Being black and male - the interaction of masculinity and race;</li> <li>Risk-taking - both in a negative, harmful sense, as well as in a positive, enhancing way.</li></ol>
SAFE will also be of use for those wanting to develop work around health; bullying; homophobia; masculinity; race; relationships; sex; and responsibility.
Young men get an opportunity to reflect on underlying themes related to their health; on either being black and male, or the lives of young black men; to think about individual as well as societal aspects that impinge on both their physical and mental health; and to watch an enjoyable and informative video about themselves.
Workers get a good quality resource that raises issues about health without preaching or telling young people what they should think; a good quality (and rare) resource designed to reflect young black men’s lives and issues; and a resource that can be used with a number of different groups of young people with a variety of possible outcomes and levels of impact.
“SAFE addresses a number of issues with sensitivity and care. The ABPO welcomes the production of SAFE which will aid the discussing of personal issues which are of tremendous importance to young men today.” – Lloyd La Rose-Jones, Chair of the Association of Black Probation Officers.
SAFE was designed for use with groups aged from 14 to 25, although 15-19 is the primary target group. While we purposely went out to make a video about young African Caribbean and Asian men, this does not mean that the target audience need be restricted to this group. Many of the issues raised in SAFE are issues for young people generally and / or young men in particular, and, while there are differences in some of the specifics, there are many issues that all young people will relate to regardless of race, ethnicity or background.
For those of you who are wanting to look at racism and young white people’s stereo-typed views of black men, SAFE will be excellent.
SAFE runs for 25 minutes and was produced for distribution with a User’s Pack which detailed the issues the video raises and the ways that this resource can be used with different groups of young people.
SAFE is an APT Film and Television Production for Young Men’s Video Project (produced and directed by John White).