By: Leticia Latrice
Why is it that there are so many negative stereotypes of black people? It seems like these days people would rather believe the stereotype than the truth. Common stereotypes of black people are that all young black men are dangerous thugs and drug dealers. That all black women wear weave and are on wealth fare. Or that black people are savages that like to kill each other. Granted there is a certain population of black folks that do fit these stereotypes. However the majority of African Americans are not thugs, ghetto, poor, or uneducated.
To believe these stereotypes is one thing. It becomes dangerous when society begins to reacting to these stereotypes. Innocent young black men are losing their lives because America has painted them to be dangerous, uncontrollable savages. Due to negative stereotypes, George Zimmerman assumed that Travon Martin was a dangerous just because he was a young black boy with a hoodie on.
Negative and unrealistic images of how black people are “supposed” to look and act have blinded society for the past 200 years. A person who never took the time to actually get to know a black person could easily believe all of these horrible stereotypes. Instead of believing how other people portray black people do your due diligence and get the facts. That is why it is important to create and maintain your own image and perception of black people.
A recent post from Dr. Boyce Watkins says “It’s interesting when black people say, “We need to stop killing each other.” My friends are black. They haven’t killed anybody. Stop acting like we’re all contributing to the violence. The shooters represent only a small minority and many of them are given their guns by the drug dealers they work for, most of whom are not black at all.
Let’s please be clear about the issues and stop acting like the entire black community has co-signed on this nonsense. Urban violence is the product of social engineering, that’s why it’s not happening to white people.”
The truth is the African American culture is strong, resilient, loving, kind, supportive, prestigious and, intelligent. There are more African American’s that are not on welfare than are. There is a large percent of black people that are educated professionals and business owners. Some black people in Pittsburgh started a movement called #IAMBLACKPITTSBURGH – A CALL TO ACTION AGAINST STEREOTYPING. They use a powerful image of three black men in a cap and gown in what looks like a mug shot. It is sad that in the media you are more likely to see a black man in a mug shot than a cap and gown. They want people to use their hashtag or your cities to tell people where you went to school, where you work, and a successful story. This movement wants to highlight the millions of middle and upper class black people that are living good lives.
Please try not fall into the stereotypes that American has placed on African American’s for the past 200 years. Do everything you can to show society how intelligent, sophisticated and powerful black people are. Most of all don’t believe stereotypes other races have created to define the black culture. Know your truth and believe in who you REELlly are!