Black Men : How do we stop the demonization of Black Men in the Media?

Discussion in 'Black Men - Fathers - Brothers - Sons' started by panafrica, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The subject really says it all. From Newspaper articles like "ManSharing hurts Sistas"..to News Reports which suggest that the Black male is a criminal....to Magazines which depict the black man as a sperm donors that do not care about their children. In almost all public discussions the Black man is portrayed as a vile creature, who does not compare to men of other races. My question to the brothers of Destee is how do we balance the scales and shed light on positive Brothas? Not celebrities..but the average Brotha who takes care of his family, does not commit crimes, and is a leader in his community. In other words how do we make the "invisible" Black man visible?
     
  2. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I really don't know brotha. The media has done such a fine job of defining us a animals that everyone already believes that's what we are. We indeed have black men out there who are contributing members of society, but they don't show that. They want to show the worst of us. That's the plan. Make the black man so undesirable to all, that's how they make themselves feel secure. As long as were not on the same level as other men are, the plan is a success to them. We all have to do things differently in our everyday lives also. We have to stop listening to music that makes our race look like fools. Many rappers, singers, sports athletes are financially secure, yet they still want to portray a negative image of themselves. Everyone wants to be a thug. Everyone brags how they sold drugs, killed people, robbed banks...even if they really didn't. We also have to stop coming out in movies that make us look ignorant. I see a lot of black movies that are just rediculous. Glorifying killing, gangbanging, selling drugs, etc. Just because it goes on doesn't mean we have to make tons of movies filled with black actors glorifying it. We tend to make a living by supporting the stereotypes that are killing us. We have to mold our own images. We can't depend on the media outlets to make us look good because we know that's not their job. We have to respect ourselves enough to carry ourselves as strong black men, not ignorant, disrespectful idiots, like these sell-outs in entertainment do. Most of all, the rest of the world needs to check themselves and stop believing everything that the media and entertainment industry shows them about black men. Think for themselves. We are just as strong, smart, dependable and caring as any other race.
     
  3. ZeroGravity

    ZeroGravity Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Framing Our Realities

    Brother kente417mojo has already said what I wanted to say with his comment "We have to mold our own images".

    Leave it up to the media and you might think that healthy two-parent households don't exist anymore and men/fathers are abandoning their wives, girlfriends and children while chasing drugs, unprotected sex, and crime. Thank God we know better! The question has been asked "why don't we see more positive uplifting news about families or events that paint a better picture of African Americans?". The definition of news is recent events and happenings, especially those that are unusual or notable. In other words, news is of something that's different or not normal. When you look at it that way, you can see why positive events and happenings are not newsworthy....they are normal. Those images you see of African Americans plastered or broadcasted on the evening news are images or occurrences that are of abnormal or unusual behavior. We don't need the media to show us positive, normal African American behavior or lifestyles, we see it everyday. We live it every day.

    Over the summer I spent a lot of time in the parks...try this. If you are tiring of the negative perceptions, the distortion of the African American family seen daily on the news, try this. Take a vacation from the tv and radio and get out in the community more. Go to a park and observe. Everywhere you look you will see normalcy in the African American communities. These are the images that should be framing our realities, not those on the tv screens. The parks are filled daily with families spending quality time with each other. Dads tossing frisbies with his children; kids riding their bikes; mothers teaching their sons how to hit a baseball; grandparents carefully watching their grandchildren play on the swings and sliding board. Stepdads watching their children flipping and twisting their bodies on the monkey bars.

    No you won't see these images of African American lifestyles on tv because this is normal, this is how the majority of African American families spend their time, not the abnormal visions you see in the media. We have to frame our realities with what we know to be the truth and not be influenced or distracted by any other means.

    We have to mold our own images, as kinte417mojo eloquently stated. What we see or hear in the media is not normal behavior, don't let the media influence or distort your perception of us; we should be the ones, and are the ones "Framing Our Realities".

    In order for us to see or make the "invisible" Black man visible...we just need to open our perceptions a little wider to what we live and see everyday.

    Peace
     
  4. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Great responses brothas. It is true that the news media's standpoint is to tell the eye catching & ear catching stories. Thus the hardworking family blackman who is with a blackwoman is not news. However the career criminal blackman who abandons his children, or the black celebrity with a taste for white women will make the 6:00 news everytime. It is encouraging that two brothas can look through the smoke & mirrors, and see the media's philosophy: Controversy Sells! Unfortunately not everyone can see this, and most people (including other blacks) take their opinion of blackmen directly from the news.

    It is obvious there is little that can be done to the image of the blackman in white media. What really frustrates me though is that black media (movies & magazines) not only show similar images of blackmen, in some instances we are shown in a more negative light. In addition the images of the blackmale from black media carries more validation, because people reason that if this is how they portray themselves, then it must be true. Ultimately though the only way to change this view of the blackman is to do what ZeroGravity suggested, and take a grassroots approach (going out in the community and observing black men with their families).

    I usually get stares of amazement and smiles when walking through the streets or shopping with my daughter (especially when my wife isn't with us). However I have walked through the streets of New York and seen blackmen walking with their children also. Positive blackmen are definately around, just hard to see (or easy to miss). My only concern about this approach is that it is too slow...an individual basis, but for now it is all we have (that is until black media decides to balance the scales)
     
  5. yaphet al-wynn

    yaphet al-wynn Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I know people will get on me for this. I say as been stated before-mold our own images and own some of the media ourselves. Reason that I READ Black owned media along with general media. Ebony, Jet, Black Enterprise, and others and I'll even actually buy the Final Call from the brothers of the NOI selling it. Our general media (Ebony for example) do show some of the negative press Black men get in the regualar mainstream media,but unlike them THEY DO show the positive brothers-those universally known and those not so known.
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Get on you? For what reading the Final Call? This is a black website brother, not a white corporate boardroom. Positive news about blackmen is welcome where ever it comes from.
     
  7. Khasm13

    Khasm13 STAFF STAFF

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    The demonization will continue until we get out own media outlets that portray the other side of black brothas. Right now, the media paints a vivid picture of black men that are crime and sex crazed. I just read in the paper the other day that dr. j's wifes lawyers released a 15 year old tape of him having sex with another woman while they were seperated.The media will never be totally objective towards the black man, so this distorted picture will continue to be painted about us until we gain control of some of these outlets.
    one love
    khasm
     
  8. yaphet al-wynn

    yaphet al-wynn Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Reason I said what I said was that some Black people think in lockstep that the NOI is equal to the Klan, cause whitefolks said so. What? The Klan was violent from the outset from which they were created shortly after the Civil War. The NOI was created or formed in the late 20's or early 30's and not too many people heard of them-unless you were in Chicago or Detroit or maybe New York. Only in the late 50's and early 60's that anybody nationwide started hearing of them. Now nobody can never come up with any crimes it has committed unless against each other or former members, but never any violence on the scale against whitefolks as the Klan against Black people.
     
  9. HODEE

    HODEE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Lots of good points... well if you want to punch a hole in a dam, you crack the weakest point. What is that point? Unknown at this time. But now that the question is out there. Let’s see where it goes.

    Media... is paper, airways, television, cable, and PBS networks. The latter one is well known for getting another view point to the market. We know our target. The market is ourselves.

    This makes it easier to see and hit.

    My thought free flow is to break even better into the market of radio first.

    College campuses... talk shows featuring individuals that have contributed, and have a message or program to offer the masses.

    Coupled with that, would have to be a massive marketing campaign in each community to let the public know what stations to tune in on. For the information and highlights of programs available.

    Local college DJ’s are open minded about what goes up on the air... we can start with education topics since that benefits them and opens up the thought first in the mind of those well known for public and community change.

    Then move into social services and wellness programs. Community news and events.

    It’s a start... Where else can we take this?
     
  10. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is a great topic and I hope the Brothers don't mind a Sister responding and sharing a few of her thoughts on the subject. :)

    I like the idea that Black men have to create their own image instead of the media doing it. I believe this is extremely critical. But, let's be realistic about whether that will stop the negative publicity about the Black man in the media. After all, you all have already recognized that the portrayal of Black men in the media is biased and unbalanced reporting at the present time, when we know there are great Black men in our communities. But I think Black men creating their own image is good, but it should be coupled with some other activities as well if an answer to the thread topic is to be found.

    I also like the idea that more of us should own our own communication networks and companies, but maybe a different type than "Ebony", "Jet", et al. We need a better balance in our reporting, don't you think? I've not read The Final Call, but I'm sure its message adds more depth into the consciousness of Black people than say, "Jet" or "Essence" magazines. This is probably one of the best ways to communicate what we want to about ourselves.

    But until more of us purchase or start our own communication businesses, what else can be done to stop the demonization of Black men in the media? What about good ole grassroots approaches such as boycotting the companies that perpetuate negative images of Black men? What about things like starting letter writing campaigns to producers/editors expressing our displeasure with such negative imagery?

    I also think we can put pressure on and add steam behind organizations such as the NAACP, Urban League, NOI, and PanAfrican groups, to publically protest as well as lead boycotts.

    If we withhold our money from these major companies, reducing their capital, do you think this might make a difference and an immediate impact? These companies are owned by large conglomerates that own other companies as well. We should research these corporations to find out exactly what their company portfolios consist of and hit them hard.

    Just a few thoughts. Thanks for indulging me! :)

    Queenie :spinstar:
     
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