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Filmmaker Philip Youmans ‘Burning Cane’ Explores Religion in the Black Culture

June 9, 2019

ATM: In black Christian communities, you find it hard with sacrileges individuals to reconcile or not judge people. It the belief of the religion is supposed to do the opposite.

PY: I understand. The basis of religion is supposed to be about bringing people together. Sometimes people preach hate. Besides any ideological differences I have, the church is not perfect because people are not perfect. If there is an institution run by people than there is going to be issued. A lot of the issues that come with implementing the doctrines is how the people preaching are translating it. It is not an institution rooted in hate. It is hard to separate my personal ideological differences to the church to just my impression on it. It does not cancel out the communal nature or the value of the church.

ATM: There are people who take it to another level. They try to reach a perfect look.

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PY: Yes, it is impossible because we are fallible, and it is impossible to hold yourself to this standard. We are human beings. When we are young our perception of the world infuses into our personality.

ATM: When an individual gets connected to religion, it changes their perception. This infuses a different view on their personality. As a baby, you imitate what you see what you are around. As you grow up you start to shape a perception based on their environment. It becomes how you act and behave. Some people find a belief to extend humanity. Religion makes a person different not in always a bad way. There might be a separation of the person that moves into the religious mindset and the person they were before.

PY: Yes. It is hard to abandon your roots and what you are brought up in. My perception is nuance. I was raised in the Baptist Church. My parents advocated for my sister and I to be free thinkers. I do think people can grow and thought can change. It depends on how rigid of an upbringing you came up in. How much of your childhood depended on this? We went to church every Sunday. I am not trying to run away from it. She opened the door for my sister and me. So, we think different. She has always been open to accepting being open to our personal belief.

ATM: Religion is rigid in childhoods. It should not be forced. Some grow up to switch to another religion or start to have none at all. Typically, when things are forced on you. . .

PY: do not see what you are about sometimes. It is an interesting discussion about how deeply this was pressed upon you and feel like this is the one way to live.

ATM: Do you believe the Protestant religion plays a role in the levels of masculinity?

PY: It is about the value system that is in place when it comes to Protestant. I do not think the Baptist sector makes a point about masculinity. The culture around it does which is less about the religion.

ATM: What do you believe the perception of this is on masculinity when bringing in culture?

PY: Woah, this is a big question. In terms of masculinity, upholding doctrine follows in line with conservatism to a certain form in a social view. Social roles are pushed in the church because of this. Toxic masculinity, what defines women and men are all a part of this.  

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