From the coverage of protests and riots on national news to the mug shots you see on the evening news, we as a society are battling a culture of demonizing blacks through our media. I have consistently asked myself, “Why, in 2016, are we still depicting black people in a negative matter.” For goodness sake, we have a Black president who has lasted two presidential terms. I believe that there are two things that need to be done. First, we need to understand the history of why this exists and determine ways in which we can change it.
Black people have never been treated equally in America. We (Black people) were brought to this country as slaves; and were thus looked at as possessions and being inhumane. Even through history with the end of slavery, we have been portrayed as second class citizens. Just take a look a segregation (Jim Crow) and the three-fifths compromise. Even now after those laws gone, we are still looked at as below white people.
In today’s time, besides certain events, it is not as outwardly obvious that blacks are still being discriminated against. I would at least say that today, it has been easier for those who do not believe discrimination exists to say that everyone is treated equally. Needless to say, everything is institutionalized. With our current societal systems, such as prisons, and the demographic of our poorest communities, just to name a couple of examples, it is evident that black people are not looked at as equals. This leads us to the negative portrayals that we see in today’s media. I will give you some examples of these portrayals that we see. One we can all see is the stereotype of Black hair. Also, Black America is portrayed as a struggling entity; when in fact, it is striving despite the hurdles that it must jump every day in American society. I will link to some articles that shine light on more examples of these negative portrayals.
We need to figure out solutions to this problem. Does the responsibility lie within the black community or with society as a whole? Or is it on our media? What would Millennials’ part be in this? There are so many questions to answer. I believe that the responsibility lies with all of us. In my opinion, media is not going to just change how they portray anyone, especially black people. We (Black people) have to take over the media or continue to strive in ways to prove that the negative portrayals that we see daily are false. We have to be all about action not just words. Instead of saying that these portrayals do not depict us, we have to show them how educated we are, how beautiful we are, and how well we contribute to society. Most importantly though, we have to prove that these portrayals will not stop us from being the great individuals that we are. This is where Millennials come into play, especially Black Millennials. As we are becoming more and more involved in society, we can project the positive aspects of all people of color. As we work on that, we need to continue to denounce these negative portrayals.
For African-American families, a daily task to combat negative stereotypes about hair
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