Images of black men and boys in the media overall are a distortion of reality in a variety of ways, as extensive audits conducted by scholars and researchers over the years show. To combat these media images and improve black men and boys' opportunities, The Opportunity Agenda conducted three research studies, which accomplished the following:
- Social Science Literature Review
Documented a decade of research studying the media images of black males and their impact on perceptions and life outcomes.
- Public Opinion Research Review
Analyzed current perceptions and self-perceptions of black men and boys and their lives.
- Media Consumption Trends Among Black Men
Studied what media platforms and content black men consumed in 2010-2011.
For example, black men and boys are grossly overrepresented in depictions of criminality and violence in news and entertainment media compare to documented reality. At the same time, positive images are limited to mostly sports and entertainment, omitting a wide range of positive roles that many black men and boys hold in their lives, such as small business owners, attentive fathers or good students.
Watch Eleni Delimpaltadaki Janis discuss the results of our report with prospect.org
Media being one of the greatest influencers of public perceptions, their false portrayal of black men and boys significantly impacts how the public perceives and behaves toward black males and how black males see themselves. In turn, these perceptions influence, along with other important factors, the opportunities and achievements of black men and boys in our society. The Opportunity Agenda's research can be a powerful tool in the hands of advocates, communicators, media makers, academics and others who are working toward more fair and accurate portrayal of black males in the media.
Special thanks to our dedicated Advisory Committee and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement at Open Society Foundations for making this work possible.
For more information about this initiative, please contact Eleni Delimpaltadaki at email@example.com.
VIDEO: Alan Jenkins talks about Opportunity for Black Men and Boys during the Conference "Black Male: Re-imagined II."