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BLACK MAN: With a special focus on the Black Male image in America:

BY: Jeremy Robinson

Introduction:

My research paper will be on the topic, “What is black male success?” I chose his topic because I have written and published my book entitled, Black Man, a guide to helping black males become successful in America. Since publishing my book in February of 2018, I have sold 90 plus copies, and I plan to sell more and to have seminars on how to be a successful Black Man in America. I believe that there is no right or wrong answer of what success is, but I have realized that America has a limitation on how black male success is defined.

For example, according to desertnews.com, “relatively few black men get a college education, so the military is a hero in improving the finances of many black men”. This article showed that there are small avenues that black males can take to be successful and basically without a college degree, entertainment industry, or the military a black male is going to basically not be in the middle class and might face a better chance of poverty.

In my book Black Man Frank Adams States “success is not about how much money or the number of degrees, or the amount of material things you possess, success is measured by the fortitude of your Journey. Being successful is about the journey you take to reinvent yourself, and build a better, more successful man who embodies the attributes of altruism for not himself, but his family, community, and world in which he is to be a change agent.”

I also want to speak on the image of a black male in this paper because I believe that image can play a big role in what America may think about black males. I feel that no matter what status you may reach as a black male; America still will view you a certain way for doing things they deem not acceptable as a black man. For example, according to NFL.com, Collin Kaepernick states, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”, he stated, “ after the game to me this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.” In his protest he did not hurt anyone, but due to his stance, the San Francisco 49ers did not renew his contract and he has not been employed by the NFL since 2016. This shows that as a black man, if you do not abide by rules that they want you to follow they will try to stop your success and make your image look bad due to not supporting their beliefs while in actuality we as Americans have the right to protest. But again we as blacks have a limitation on what we can and cannot do in America when we are seen to be successful.

Wyche, Steve. “Colin Kaepernick Explains Why He Sat during National Anthem.” NFL.com History, National Football League, 28 Aug. 2016, www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000691077/article/colin-kaepernick-explains-why-he-sat-during-national-anthem.

Robinson, Jeremy M. “Black Man.” Amazon, Amazon, 12 Feb. 2018, www.amazon.com/Black-Man-Jeremy-Robinson/dp/1985266938.

Problem Statement:

Why is it so hard for black men to have a positive image in the Media industry, their daily lives, or in any facet of their life? According to (racialequitytools.org/) Naturally, the reason so much attention is devoted to media representations is that the collective image of blacks and black males has important effects. Many researchers discuss how distorted portrayals can be expected to create problematic understandings and attitudes among audiences, including: General antagonism toward black males; X Exaggerated views of, expectations of, and tolerance for race-based socio-economic disparities; X Exaggerated views related to criminality and violence; X Lack of identification with or sympathy for black males; X Reduced attention to structural and other big-picture factors; X Public support for punitive approaches to problems. Finally, of course, distortions in the media are ultimately significant because of the real-world effects they have on black males’ outcomes, which can be negatively affected any time a black male is in a position where his fate depends on how he is perceived by others, particularly whites, or on what kind of rapport he has with them.

Purpose of Study:

How a black man success is based upon his image in America?

This topic is important because sometimes there is no true narrative of the black man, but the point for writing this is to show how black males are successful in spite of how America portrays them to be. Everybody is affected by this subtopic because this topic affects every race. All people are affecting due to the image of a black men or the success of a black men. I am interested in this topic because I am the Author of my book named Black Man a guide to help black men to be successful in America. The only thing that would throw me off of topic would be with the multiple information on (what’s Black Males Success actually is).

According to (racialequitytools.org/) Naturally, the reason so much attention is devoted to media representations is that the collective image of blacks and black males has important effects. Political scientists should be interested in this topic because Black Male and African American Image is a big topic in today’s world. In writing this I plan to discover more on what is Black Male success and why is it not broadcasted like our Failures and criminal backgrounds

Works cited: Tucker, L. “Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys.” Images of Black Men in Popular Culture, University Press of Mississippi, 4 Aug. 2007, racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/Media-Impact-onLives-of-Black-Men-and-Boys-OppAgenda.pdf.

Literature Review:

This study is about what is black male success with a focus on the image of a black males in America. The black male image is very different from there other counter parts white, Hispanic, and other racial groups. In this study I will be explaining the different avenues black males face during obtaining success.

Black Males view in sports: It is troubling to me that young Black Men see the only way out is a profession that is only one in a million. We need to really focus on that success and the cost of that success and what it is really doing to black males. It takes a lot to be a professional athlete, you have to literally walk on egg shells to stay out of a bad wave of the media. If you try to be a political activist and stand for things you believe in the media portrays you as being a monster. In this I mean America sees Black males that are athletes as a machine that has to be set on a straight path. As a black athlete if you say the wrong thing, don’t speak to the media, or something as simple as post the wrong thing on social media. The life of that set athlete can be changed in a bad way in seconds.

Black Males view in sports: President Trump helped turn the NFL’s national anthem protests last year into a lightning rod political issue, another wedge driven into a sharply divided electorate and, according to testimony given by some NFL owners as part of the process in a grievance filed by former quarterback Colin Kaepernick obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Trump loomed large over the NFL discussions over the anthem protests.

Black Males view in sports: At the 2018 NBA All-Star media day, LeBron James spoke about social injustice and equality in response to the Fox News host who suggested he “shut up and dribble.” “We will definitely NOT shut up and dribble. I’m definitely not going to do that. I mean too much to society. I mean too much to the youth. I mean too much to the kids who feel like they don’t have a way out and need somebody to lead them out of the situation they’re in.”

Although the shut up and dribble comment caused controversy between the media and LeBron James it did not end his career. Like that of the peaceful protest that Kaepernick started that latter lead to him becoming a free agent and a chosen topic amongst politicians. LeBron did not remain silent he spoke out on the comment and told how he was more than an athlete and that he will be heard. Also much respect is given to him for not remaining silent and for that the black community loves and cherishes him. There actions have started a movement which aids to the transformation of the image of black men.

Black Males Socioeconomic view: Black male success is limited based off socioeconomic circumstances or differences in education and resources. Also black males have the thought of being confined to their location or home town. Most Black Males believe that if they grow up in one place then they will be forced to live there for life.

Black Males Socioeconomic view: The socioeconomic stratification that patterns American life, and differences in life for the major racial/ethnic groups, is assumed to be the root cause of these differences (Alder e et al., 1994; Link and Phelan, 1995). People of different social statuses lead lives that differ in almost all aspects—childhood circumstances, educational experiences, work careers, marriage and family experiences, leisure, neighborhood conditions, and health care (Williams and Collins, 1995).

Black Males Socioeconomic view: The area you grow up in does not decide who you will grow up to be. Black Males are the only race that are told to be safe because not only do they have to watch for gangs, confutation, and much more. Black Males also have to walk a thin line when it comes to police because if not they may become another hash tag. If you do not come from the correct socioeconomic back ground, you will have less access to resources that are needed to be successful.

Black males in media: Although black males have progressed in the Media Industry. There is still more progress and movie recognition to be given to them. They have had many opportunities to grow in this industry and before there were no opportunities accept those of being maids and set house roles, we still have a long way to go.

Black males in media: After reviewing numerous television shows, Seggar and Wheeler (1973) found that African Americans on these programs were generally depicted in service or blue-collar occupations, such as a house cleaner or a postal worker. Similarly, in an extensive review of Blacks in the media, Warren (1988) found that the media often portrayed African Americans in occupational roles, such as a servant, a crook, a cook, an entertainer, a musician, a sad non-White person, an exhibitionist, an athlete, or a corrupt individual. Moreover, he affirmed that most stereotypes about Blacks are intensified by television portrayals. Likewise, Baptiste-Fernandez and Greenberg (1980) discovered that African Americans on television were seldom depicted as having a highly recognizable occupation or a professional or supervisory position in comparison to White television characters

Black males in media: The media heavily influences the image of an African American male and also their success. Although black males have been in some of the greatest roles in the 21 century. It took a lot of simple house worker rolls, and it evolved due to people focusing on the bigger picture. Which is the entertainers we see in today’s movies. Also Black Males are not only on the screen, but behind the screen directing today due to the hard work put in by farmer actors of the times.

Black males in media: When the majority of minorities in the media are portrayed in news stories involving sex scandals or weapon possession or the top ten plays of the week, they are not exposed to the successful African-Americans in working jobs in the middle class. High school students and young males grow up with a “Be Like Mike” mentality, seeking to emulate the athletic success of Michael Jordan. Not the college graduate from the University of North Carolina, the entrepreneur, or the businessman responsible for one of the most popular shoe brands in history, but the professional athlete slamming baskets.

Black males in media: The Media never tells the story of African American Males being the college graduate, entrepreneur, or success outside of athletics or entertainment. The only time African American male entertainers are mostly showed on TV is when they break the law, and the great things they have accomplished are never mentioned. Through all the down falls due to the media Black Males still stand tall and succeed through all the reticule.

References:

Times, New York. “The Politics of Sports and Protest: Colin Kaepernick and the Practice of Leadership.” American Studies Journal, 22 May 2018, www.asjournal.org/64-2018/the-politics-of-sports-and-protest-colin-kaepernick-and-the-practice-of-leadership/.

Rosenberg, Eli. “’You Can’t Win This One,’ Trump Told NFL Owners about Anthem Protests. They Believed Him.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 31 May 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/05/30/you-cant-win-this-one-trump-told-nfl-owners-about-anthem-protests-they-believed-him/?utm_term=.9b216f261063.

Johnson, Alex M. “African-Americans Find Success, Obstacles in Sports and Entertainment Industries.” University of Virginia School of Law, 1 June 2016, www.law.virginia.edu/news/2001_02/winning.htm

Anderson, Norman B. “Race/Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Health.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970.

PUNYANUNT-CARTER, NARISSRA M. The Perceived Realism of African American Portrayals on Television. 2008.

Lintner, Stephen. “Sports and Poverty: Misrepresentations and Truths in the Youth Mentality’.” Furman.edu, 4 May 2010.

Ellentuck, Matt. “LeBron James Sharply Rebukes FOX News Host: ‘I Will Not Shut up and Dribble’.” SBNation.com, SBNation.com, 17 Feb. 2018, www.sbnation.com/nba/2018/2/17/17023686/lebron-james-fox-news-host-shut-up-and-dribble-nba-all-star-game-2018.

Wood, J. Luke. “Leaving the 2-Year College.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 43, no. 3, 2011, pp. 303–326., doi:10.1177/0021934711424490.

Johnson, Montel. “Measuring the Influence of Juvenile Arrest on the Odds of Four-Year College Enrollment for Black Males: An NLSY Analysis.” Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, vol. 4, no. 1, 2015, p. 49., doi:10.2979/spectrum.4.1.04.

STOR, J. “The Journal of Negro Education.” The Journal of Negro Education, www.journalnegroed.org/.

Black males view in sports: This study is about what is black male success with a focus on the image of a black males in America. The black male image is very different from there other counter parts white, Hispanic, and other racial groups. In this study my research will be explaining the different avenues black males face during obtaining success. Why is it so hard for black men to have a positive image in the Media industry, their daily lives, or in any facet of their life? The way that the youth believe that the only way to be successful is to be an athlete or entertainer is some form of brain washing.

The youth want to be successful without knowing the obstacles that come with being the star athlete or entertainer. no matter what status you may reach as a black male, America still will view you a certain way for doing things they deem not acceptable as a black man. According to NFL.com, Colin Kaepernick states, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”, he stated, “after the game to me this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.” The stance that Colin Kaepernick took ultamently caused him his job in the National football league.

This also turned into a political issue because President Trump made kaepernick a part of his campaign by stating negative comments about Colin’s cause and character. By Trump doing this he degraded, Kaepernick fight for the oppression of the African Americans. According to the Washington post, “President trump helped turn the NFL’s national anthem protest last year into a lightening-rod political issue, another wedge driven into a sharply divided electorate and according to testimony given by some NFL owners as part of the process in a grievance filed by former quarterback Colin Kaepernick obtained by the Wall Street Journal, trump loomed large over the NFL discussion over the anthem protest.

The Moment Kaepernick chose to stand for a cause (the oppression of black people in relation to the flag). While being an athlete in the Major league was the start of his demise. As a Black athlete or entertainer it is a shame that you have to pick a side when it comes to being an entertainer or activist. If you choose to be an activist you become a topic of reticule and people begin to ask why want he just play the sport, or rap, or do what blacks do which is entertain. Some people believe that if you cross this you will end up out of a job, but this is not all true because another athlete decided to speak out about social injustice.

“At the 2018 NBA All-Star media day, LeBron James spoke about social injustice and equality in response to the Fox News host who suggested he “shut up and dribble.” LeBron James followed up and stated that no I will not shut up and dribble because I have too big of a voice in this nation to not speak out on the issues us as African Americans face. This statement goes to show that black entertainers are provoked to walk a tight line each time they decide to speak on an issue, or just to make a statement on how they fill about situations. Although the comment to some came off as a joke in the black community it came off as a racial slur because why can’t any person use their right to speak. This small comment from the news reporter stimmed into LeBron James and other entertainers speaking out about how they fill Blacks are treated in America.

Also in this it showed that an athlete of his caliber could do more for his people by speaking out on social injustice instead of how many points he scored in a game. This is important because it showed all people that not only do entertainers stand for their professions but also they can stand for a cause that’s bigger than themselves.

Both of these Athletes have some slight of the same story with different endings. It is crazy that we live in a nation that say that we are in the land of the free, but we cannot even use our rights. What I mean is that as a black man you are supposed to do that one thing which is be the entertainer. Once you decide to be an activist or speak on the issues you believe in the tables start to turn on you because the racist Americans do not want you speaking the truth. It is wild that children see entertainment as the only way out of there situations, but never think that they can lose it all by just standing for something they believe in. Colin Kaepernick paid the ultimate price of losing it all they would say, but African Americans commend him for showing the youth that just because you are an athlete it does not change how the world views you.

According to Vice-Provost Alex M. Johnson, University of Virginia “the images of successful African American athletes, “poor blacks view sports as a vehicle to escape poverty; poor whites don’t Johnson said. “It’s kind of troubling to me that young black men see the only way out is a profession that is only one in a million.” He added, “we need to really focus on that success and the cost of that success and what it’s really doing to black males. The issues that black males’ athletes face is that if they choose to not follow the rules, or standards put out for them when entering their profession. They can fall victim of losing their careers, also they can be blacked balled in any industry causing no team or network to want to work with them. Black entertainers also can fall victim of the talk of a political campaign and how if we pay you to be an athlete then please just shut up and entertain me.

Times, New York. “The Politics of Sports and Protest: Colin Kaepernick and the Practice of Leadership.” American Studies Journal, 22 May 2018, www.asjournal.org/64-2018/the-politics-of-sports-and-protest-colin-kaepernick-and-the-practice-of-leadership/.

Rosenberg, Eli. “’You Can’t Win This One,’ Trump Told NFL Owners about Anthem Protests. They Believed Him.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 31 May 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/05/30/you-cant-win-this-one-trump-told-nfl-owners-about-anthem-protests-they-believed-him/?utm_term=.9b216f261063.

Ellen tuck, Matt. “LeBron James Sharply Rebukes FOX News Host: ‘I Will Not Shut up and Dribble’.” SBNation.com, SBNation.com, 17 Feb. 2018, www.sbnation.com/nba/2018/2/17/17023686/lebron-james-fox-news-host-shut-up-and-dribble-nba-all-star-game-2018.

Johnson, Alex M. “African-Americans Find Success, Obstacles in Sports and Entertainment Industries.” University of Virginia School of Law, 1 June 2016, www.law.virginia.edu/news/2001_02/winning.htm

Black Males Socioeconomic view:

Black male success is limited based off socioeconomic circumstances or differences in education and resources. Also black males have the thought of being confined to their location or home town. Most black males believe that if they grow up in one place then they will be forced to live there for life. African American males are able to show their true view of the world from the community they grew up in. based off the color of your skin or the neighborhood you are from one action or decision you make can change your life.

According to ncbi.gov the socioeconomic stratification that patterns American life, and differences in life for the major racial/ethnic groups, is assumed to be the root cause of these differences (Alder e et al., 1994; Link and Phelan, 1995). People of different social statuses lead lives that differ in almost all aspects—childhood circumstances, educational experiences, work careers, marriage and family experiences, leisure, neighborhood conditions, and health care (Williams and Collins, 1995).

The status of where a black male grow up can create many different avenues that leave them subject to grow up in different situations than those of other races. The African American view of life can be easily changed by the neighborhood he grows up in. The area you grow up in does not decide who you will grow up to be. Black Males are the only race that are told to be safe because not only do they have to watch for gangs, confutation, and much more. Black Males also have to walk a thin line when it comes to police because if not they may become another hash tag. If you do not come from the correct socioeconomic back ground, you will have less access to resources that are needed to be successful.

According to npr.org, a new study conducted by researchers at Stanford, Harvard and the census bureau, finds that 99 percent of neighborhoods in the United States, black boys earn less in adulthood than white boys who come from similar socioeconomic backgrounds. This undermines the widely-held belief that class, not race, is the most fundamental predictor of economic outcomes for children in the U.S.

This article helps to prove my theory that black individuals who grow up in certain neighborhoods tend to have corrupt education, and bad life values. The corrupt education causes black males to not believe that they can attend college or earn higher education. Thus proving my point of black males have a hard road to travel no matter their upbringing. Due to their locations of the neighborhoods they live in their resources to earn a great education can be corrupt.

Even though socioeconomic background for black males can decide whether a male will stay in the location they have spent their life in, or decide to move on to bigger and better things. That is completely up to the individual to take into consideration all of these factors so that he may make an informed decision. He has every chance in the world of being a product of his environment and staying, or being a catalyst for change and emerging from the ashes like a phoenix.

Gathright, Jenny. “Forget Wealth and Neighborhood. The Racial Income Gap Persists.” NPR, NPR, 19 Mar. 2018, www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2018/03/19/594993620/forget-wealth-and-neighborhood-the-racial-income-gap-persists.

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