Ok here we go again, One of the driving forces for starting Black Westchester, was to help change the narrative. We can talk about how far we have come as a people all we want, but we must face one simple fact: The Media Narrative of Black Men in America Is All Wrong! One clear example is there were 23 African-American men who graduated with their law degrees from North Carolina Central University School of Law on May 9, 2015. Black Westchester would like to salute you brothers.
Ok I don’t think you heard me, let me see if I can say it in another language to bang the point home:
23 homens Afrikan americanos se formou com seus diplomas de direito da Escola North Carolina Central University of Law em 9 de maio de 2015.
Still nothing will how about:
23 Afrikan watu wa Marekani kufuzu na shahada ya sheria zao kutoka North Carolina Kati Chuo cha sheria Mei 9, 2015.
Had it been anything else, had this been about 23 black men doing almost anything else, winning a championship in organized sports, making the best rap song in the history of hip-hop, creating the biggest drug enterprise known to man, or had they been a gang, robbing and killing everyone in their path, this story would have been all over the news but since it was 23 BLACK MEN graduating from North Carolina Central University School of Law, it was omitted from the media. I can’t even just blame this one on the mainstream media because I do not remember reading this in the black press or hearing about it on Black Entertainment Television or anywhere else, you get my point.
Once again Black Westchester spotlights these young black men for defying stereotypes and achieving excellence! Today’s Black Men Don’t Fit The Old Stereotypes, but if no one reports it, all we see is the baggy pants, sagging jeans wearing, tattoo infested, menaces to society, the media portrays our black youth to be, which plays into the mind state that leads to young black men becoming an endangered species, at the hands of the police and other young black men.
In March 2015, Newsweek reported: More Black men are going to college than ever before in the nation’s history. Black men make up the largest share of people of color in the US Armed Forces. And Black Fathers living with their children are more likely to take on child care duties than fathers of any other demographic groups.
Yet many portrayals of black men continue to focus on the negative. Unfortunately these outdated stereotypes neglect the breadth and depth of the loves of American Black Men, who have many roles including, husband, father, mentor and community leader, just to name a few.
Media Portrayals of Black Youths Contribute to Racial Tension
Mainstream media often portray African-American youths, especially black men and boys, as criminals, crime victims and predators. These stereotypes, according to social justice advocates, can create a racially charged atmosphere that results in violence such as the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.
U.S. popular culture has become increasingly desensitized to one-dimensional portrayals of black youths. Perpetuation of them as dangerous has been embedded in American society not only by words and images projected by journalists but also by a wide variety of other media and entertainment sources, including the Internet, movies and video games.
Clearly, the perception of African-Americans and other people of color as inferior to whites is rooted in the nation’s legacy of racial hierarchy, a system of stratification based on belief that skin color makes whites superior. Also contributing to embedding these stereotypes is that even as U.S. Census data show a growing number of non-whites in America, fewer people of color are in decision-making positions at daily newspapers, television and radio stations, and online news organizations.
Black Lives Matter
I repeat once again since some may have missed it in the beginning; 23 African-American men graduated with their law degrees from North Carolina Central University School of Law on May 9, 2015. The problem isn’t just the media portrayal of young black men, it that we have been so brainwashed by the media, they we too look at out young brothers and all we see are the same stereotypes we complain we are being misrepresented by in the media as. Even if the mainstream media does not lift up the accomplishments of our young black boys and girls (let’s not forget about the sistahs), in the era of social media, where pics of Kim Kardashian’s ass can go viral, we have the power to do the same when our youth excel in academics. I am all for bigging up our young people who excel in sports and entertainment, but we have to show them there is more for them than just ‘slinging crack rocks or having a wicked jump shot,’ as Biggie states in ‘Things Done Changed.’
We must erase the Mis-Education of The [Black Man] that Dr. Carter G. Woodson wrote about in 1933, and strive for excellence, no matter where we are from and what we have against us. Show the youth, what we can be, by living up to our potential and we also must elevate, congratulate and participate in the celebrations in our youth success across the board.
You know me I can go on and on and, but I think you get what Im saying!,
I end this by once again saying…. 23 African-American men graduated with their law degrees from North Carolina Central University School of Law on May 9, 2015. Black Westchester Magazine would like to encourage these brothers and all young African-Americans to strive to succeed and be all you can be. That doesn’t mean joining the military either, not that there is anything wrong with that path but that is not all we are, or all we are good for. These 23 young men are an example of what our new normal can be!
I want to hear from all of you on this one, holla back in the comment section!