This program is part of Albany Reads..
Please note that this program will take place at the Albany High School Little Theater at 603 Key Route Blvd, Albany, CA 94706
The Mask You Live In (documentary, 1h 37m) follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.
Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it.
The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.
Ashanti Branch, M.Ed.: Founder and Executive Director of Ever Forward/Siempre Adelante
Mr. Branch, featured in The Mask You Live In, was born and raised by a single mother on welfare in Oakland, California. He took the road less traveled to get out of the ghetto and attended one of California’s premier engineering colleges, California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo. After tutoring struggling students and realizing his true passion was teaching, Mr. Branch changed careers.
In 2004 as a first-year teacher, Ashanti started The Ever Forward Club to provide a support group for African American and Latino males, who were not achieving to the level of their potential. Since then, The Ever Forward Club has grown to serve both young men and women and become a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and has helped 100% of its members graduate high school and 93% have gone on to attend college.
Ashanti was awarded with a Fulbright Exchange Fellowship to India, a Rotary Club Cultural Ambassadorial Fellowship to Mexico and a 2010 Teacher of the Year Award from the Alameda-Contra Costa County Math Educators.
Mr. Branch is on a mission to change the way that students interact with their education and the way schools interact with students.
Presented in partnership with Albany Unified School District and Albany FilmFest.
Made possible by generous support from the Friends of the Albany Library.