The Portrayal of a Black Man
Don't judge a book by the the cover that you want it to be.
If I was an alien and I came to earth for the first time I would have a very clear view on who black men are based on media stereo types. The reality is that media has such a large influence on how we think. The media has an it has an impact on how neighbours will treat you, if companies will hire you and in some situations if someone will stay on the same side of the street as you when you are approaching. So what is with he fascination that the media has with portraying black men a certain way? Can it be that when you continue to subject people to certain images they naturally start to become what they are seeing?
Let us dive into this a bit.
"It is well known that, red triggers stimulation, appetite, hunger, it attracts attention, and this is why fast foods companies use these colour schemes and images all the time."
So we know companies understand that imagery, fonts, colours schemes have a direct influence on peoples perception towards others. Research has also shown us that negative exposure to African American portrayals in the media significantly influences the evaluations of African Americans in general. We cannot be naive to think that what is being done is simply by accident, organizations that are worth billions of dollars do not do things by accident.
Almost every year we see the same thing in Hollywood, the token slavery movie. This is not to take away from the actors that are in some of these movies but why is there this obsession with showing black people as slaves? Why are these the movies that become box office hits? Media continues to focus on one of two things for black men either being a slave or being a gangster. So when you start to think about the influence that media has you start to realize what part of the problem is. We are fighting against a portrayal of black men that is negative, inaccurate and most importantly damaging. So why is it so hard for black actors to get roles that show us as leaders?
There are two people that allegedly commit a crime, one of them white and one of them black. In this specific scenario one left her child next to the park where she worked the other raped a woman in a alley behind a dumpster. I am not here to debate or right about the actual crime, I am here to highlight the difference in how the media profiled each one. Take away the words on the bottom of the picture and just look at the picture itself and ask yourself what would your first reaction be, if you are saying that it would be the same you are lying to yourself. Ask yourself again are these images selected an accident? The natural instinct is to feel sorry for the kid on the right who raped a woman, a white kid smiling with a suite that goes to Stanford couldn't possibly rape someone, the images put doubt in your mind.
We need to train our mind, this is why you need to be able to separate yourself from media and social media. We don't live in a world that you can simply just disconnect, and this is the reason it is so important for you to find the time in the day where you can disconnect and reenergize your mind with reality not media reality. You need to take the time to look for movies that are portraying the positive in black people, not just what the media shows you. Most importantly you need to challenge the norm, research, educate and teach.