1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 93 minutes) : digital, .flv file, sound
What does it mean to be young, black, male and dare to step out of invisibility? Finding the Gold Within follows six Black men from Akron, Ohio, through their first years of college. Despite their high levels of confidence and critical thinking, the stark reality of being away from their families and communities brings a series of crises. A sister dies in a car accident; a home gets broken into, a brush with the law, racial jokes and provocations never seem to end. Each young man is tested. Can he keep his eyes on the prize? Each of them is determined to disprove society’s stereotypes and low expectations. Many will have to overcome the fate of their missing fathers, some that of their scheming uncles or drug-dealing cousins. In the intimate circle of Alchemy – which has been their “family” since sixth grade – they speak of their disappointments, despairs, trials and triumphs with a disarming honesty. Since 2003, Alchemy, Inc. has been mentoring urban youth from elementary through high school in the Cleveland area. Exploring ancient stories, as well as drumming and writing, this innovative program gives young males a chance to grow into self-knowledge, discipline and confidence. The young men of Finding the Gold Within are allowing us to have an intimate look, but they are also looking back at us. They are stepping out of invisibility. Cinematically, the film is exploring America’s historically embedded fear of “Blackness.” The willingness of our six protagonists to be fully awake, to struggle and create new cultural identities, individually and collectively, will inspire us all.