From Trayvon Martin, to Jordan Davis, to Ramarly Graham, black men are still widely viewed as suspicious and dangerous - even as a black man and his family reside in the White House. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Historically, black men have generally been viewed through a stereotypical lens. The image of the buck, the buffoon, the coon, the jester, the criminal, the oversexed rapist, the pimp, the hustler, the morally deficient, and untrustworthy black man are lasting caricatures and are quick and easy signifiers for black men. The media industry is central to recycling negative images that continue to dehumanize black boys and men. Hip-Hop as a genre of music is often cited as the problem. True, corporate controlled hip-hop does play a role in perpetuating many of those images. But hip-hop is not alone in reproducing limiting and narrow views on black men in America. What are your thoughts on contemporary images of black masculinity in the U.S. media, and how do these representations, old and new, impact social policy, the criminal justice system, and the way our society views and treats us?
Check out this short tease for Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes Interactive, and share your thoughts.