- Who is Toneal?
- Literary Extraordinaire
- Social Activist
- Black Man Project
In February 2021, while working on a different project, I was prompted to create a book for men, from men, about men. So many times, society assumes that men ought to naturally be strong no matter what they face, and if/when they show vulnerability, it is typically not well-received. Additionally, I felt that the history of black people (the way our children learn it) should include some “everyday heroes” – men who are doing great things, helping to establish a moral code and maintain family values, but may not be recognized because they are not celebrities.
I initially set out to write a compilation consisting of black man interviews; after my second one, I knew that more should be done with the content. So, I decided to also create a documentary to help capture a more complete essence of this topic. Although these 28 men collectively hail from 12 states; ages range from 30-70; possess drastically different professions (blue collar, white collar, and everything in between), I was quite surprised how just the fact that they were all black men in America enabled them to have such similar stories.
On February 28, 2022, I hosted a private screening of the documentary at the Cinema Chatham theatre on 87th Street in Chicago, and celebrated these gentlemen in what I affectionately called, The Black Man Extravaganza!!! Men from Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, as well as various parts of the Chicagoland area attended.