The Opportunity Agenda developed messaging guidance on Improving Media Coverage and Public Perceptions of African-American Men and Boys, based on its related research published in 2012 and years of work at the intersection of media, communications and racial justice. It is intended to inform those working to reduce stereotypes and expand opportunity for black males as well as those concerned with journalistic excellence and socially responsible entertainment media. The memo contains recommended messaging principles and themes as well as sample messages and Op-Eds.
Fostering change in the portrayal of African American men and boys in the media is critical. Research and experience find persistently distorted depictions, which contribute to negative stereotypes, unfair treatment, and unequal opportunity in areas ranging from employment to education to criminal justice and beyond.