ERIC Number: ED328637
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Stony the Road They Trod: The African American Male. Runta (Truth).
Johnson, Jeffery M.; Watson, Betty Collier, Ed.
National Urban League Research Department Fact Sheet, v3 n2 June 1990
Stereotypes of the African American male in the popular media have imprinted a harsh and unflattering image in the public consciousness that has negatively affected the self-image of African Americans. Additionally, those stereotypes affect the decision making of employers, police officers, teachers, and other authority figures, resulting in a self-fulfilling prophecy. The following negative effects of the devaluation process are outlined: (1) African American males have a shorter life span than any other population group in America, due to a disporportionate vulnerability to disease and homicide; (2) structural changes in the labor market and racially discriminatory hiring practices create high unemployment among African American men, wide gaps between the earnings of African American and White men, and a disproportionate number of African American men living in poverty; (3) dysfunctional sociopsychological conditions include a large number of female-headed families, a lack of positive male role models, intraracial crime, and low levels of educational attainment; (4) the internalized negative self-image and the negative attitudes of authority figures result in the disproportionate involvement of African American males with the criminal justice system; and (5) the location of drug markets within African American communities results in an increase in violence and drug abuse. Changing economic and demographic conditions may provide a "window of opportunity" for improvement, but African American males must improve their education and skills in order to participate in the future economy. A list of 13 references is appended. (FMW)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Urban League, Inc., Washington, DC. Research Dept.