Media Images and Public Opinion on Black Men and Boys 

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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 studies, which have been powerful tools in the hands of advocates, communicators, media makers, academics and others who are working toward a more fair and accurate portrayal of black males in the media.

  1. Social Science Literature Review
    Documented a decade of research studying the media images of black males and their impact on perceptions and life outcomes.
  2. Public Opinion Research Review
    Analyzed current perceptions and self-perceptions of black men and boys and their lives.
  3. Media Consumption Trends Among Black Men
    Studied what media platforms and content black men consumed in 2010-2011.

To work with us or for media inquiries, please contact Eleni Delimpaltadaki Janis at


Eleni Delimpaltadaki Janis discusses The Opportunity Agenda's research with


Alan Jenkins talks about Opportunity for Black Men and Boys at the "Black Male: Re-imagined II" Conference


Alan Jenkins - 'Opportunity for Black Men and Boys' from Open Society Foundations and The American Values Institute on

The mass media being one of the greatest influencers of public perceptions, their false portrayal of black males significantly impacts how the public perceives and behaves toward them, how black males see themselves as well as their the opportunities and achievements. But the mass media canbe part of the solution. Of course, the responsibility is not the media’s alone. But the media, as the public looking glass, can and should show the full spectrum of the lives of black men and boys.

Special thanks to our dedicated Advisory Committee and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement at Open Society Foundations for making this work possible.