Documentary Review: If It Ain’t Broke: Black...

Documentary Review: If It Ain’t Broke: Black Folks and Family Structure

IIAB Family Structure

What I loved about the documentary “IF IT AIN’T BROKE: Black Folks and Family Structure” was the 100 minutes of pure history.

I grew up in a single parent home without my father. My familial unit was lead by a Black matriarch. My mother only served as my mother–my mother never tried to compensate for my father’s absence.

What I loved about the documentary “IF IT AIN’T BROKE: Black Folks and Family Structure” was the 100 minutes of pure history. You go through all your years of schooling from elementary to college thinking you’ve absorbed an extensive mass of Black history to later watch the documentaries you don’t see in school and find out you really don’t know shit. It’s documentaries like IIAB that awake or revitalize your Black consciousness.

The realest documentary I recall watching in high school was the story of Emmett Till. I remember being the only person in class crying–I was bawling. I remember trying so hard to hold it in to not feel embarrassed for being overly emotional. That’s the type of film I want my children to watch in school so they can be rightfully educated on the treatment of Blacks in their homeland.


You take a group of people from their home to new land to work on your private land to bring money into your home.

This land is not our home.

I was born and raised in Savannah, Ga., my culture is truly southern. From the silence of my Ts to the charisma in my character; I am a southern belle. In the 1700s, Savannah became a city that had a port where slave ships entered from West Africa. There is a wealth of slave history in the downtown area; which is why it is one of the most popular cities in the country to visit for historic value.

I never wanted a dad for Christmas nor expected to see him on any birthdays. Who’s to even say if my father was even in my life I would have made better decisions. I would be assuming he’s a good man and if he was in my life it would be better because of him. Would it be?

I loved how this documentary made me think about my own family structure. It touched on all the elements that effect the family from past to current and is a film the entire family can watch. There are scenes of humor and scenes of realness. One of my favorite scenes came from Dr. Jemadari Kamara when he said, “Within our community and this increasingly globalized society, our most important export from [the] African American community in the United States is culture. Hip hop–the voice of young people.”

My most favorite part of the documentary was on technology. Since I am a millennial and grew up with the internet and went from passing notes in class in 6th grade to texting by 8th, it’s almost surreal to see how much technology has invaded our homes. When I was growing up the iPad was the Gameboy. The iPods were CD players and the only way you could play your personalized playlist was if you burned your own mix CD.

There’s also a spotlight feature on a single mother, Morgan,  who in her twenties already has with three children. Just like me, her father was never there. She is very candid and admits how motherhood outweighed a college degree. I’m sure we all know or have once ourselves been a Morgan.

This documentary brought out a lot of honesty in this review about my personal upbringing that I felt comfortable sharing. It’s a feel-good-film. There is so much depth in this documentary and I highly recommend you watch and have an open discussion about family.

As you can see I’m trying not to spoil anything. You have to watch it for yourself and trust me, it’s worth every single penny. Trust, it won’t break the bank.

Click here to support IIAB and watch the film directed by Keenan Morgan.


*This post was originally posted 09/05/2016 and later restored, edited and republished. Read about that here. It may or may not contain original photos used.





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