Editorial Asks “Where Are Ordinary Black Youth in Popular Culture?”

Media depictions of black youth are more often than not deeply problematic.

Young black people are often presented as either the exceptional overachiever or the “lazy, dangerous thug.” The media seemingly has no interest in the spectrum of experiences and perspectives of young black people.

A recent editorial asks the question, “Where Are Ordinary Black Youth in Popular Culture?”

Central Park Five Documentary Airs Tonight on PBS

Ken Burn’s new documentary Central Park Five premieres tonight on PBS.

The film recounts the story of five young black and Hispanic men accused and wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York’s Central Park. Their confessions were coerced by law enforcement and there was no DNA evidence connecting them to the crime.

It would be years before their names were cleared.

Dubbed the  “Central Park Jogger” case, the fiasco is notorious for the insane media frenzy surrounding it.

Chicago HS B-Ball Star Jabari Parker Is Proud to Represent Young Black Males Going to College

Chicago high school Basketball star Jabari Parker is undoubtedly among the top young players in the country.

Set to attend Duke University next year as one of their most buzzed-about recruits in years, Parker says his greatest joy is being able to set a great example for other young people, and help change the narrative surrounding Chicago’s youth.

Top News Stories About Black Youth from Across the Nation: April 1 – 7

Every week, the Black Youth Project collects the top news stories about black youth from across the country. Click here to check out our archive of weekly news round-ups, and check back every Monday for a new roundup of headlines about young black America

Mental Health Disparities Endanger Chicago’s Youth
Rod McCullom, Ebony, 4/3/13

In the first 12 weeks of 2013, there have been 57 gun-related homicides in Chicago; Twelve of those victims were 18 years old or under, according to an analysis of preliminary crime data by Red Eye, a publication of the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Though the city has landed at the epicenter of the national debate over gun violence, the escalating numbers of Black and Latino youth killed have not received the same amount of attention as the victims of mass shootings in Colorado or Connecticut. Worse, while there has been a national outcry for increased access to mental health treatment in the wake of the Aurora and Newtown shootings, Chicago (whose gun-violence murder rate last year was the equivalent of “a ‘Newtown,’ [massacre] every four months”), has seen a steady decrease in funding to mental health programs.

Read more at Ebony.com

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Mystery of Abandoned Toddler’s Identity Solved Thanks to Social Media

The identity of a 4 year-old girl abandoned on a stranger’s doorstep has been solved, due in large part to social media.

Little Zoe Brown was mysteriously found on the doorstep of Roy Campbell in South Carolina, with a note on her diaper that read “Call DFAC” or Division of Family and Child Services.

Over 2 million people re-posted photos of the little girl, eventually leading to a tip that identified Zoe.

Two Teens Accused of Murdering 13 Month-Old Baby Will Be Tried as Adults

According to USA Today, the two Georgia teens accused of killing 13-month old Antonio Santiago and shooting his mother in the leg will be tried as adults.

The baby’s mother Sherry West says she was pushing her baby in a stroller when 17-year-old De’Marquise Elkins and 15-year-old Dominique Lang approached her demanding money. When she did not comply, Elkins pulled out a gun and shot West in the arm and her baby in the face.

Elkins is also being charged with a robbery and shooting that occurred 10 days prior to the slaying of Santiago.

High School Wrestler Without Arms or Legs Wins First Match!

St. Paul, Minnesota teenager Caleb Smith had to have his legs and arms amputated after a bout with a rare meningitis blood disorder at the age of three.

But he hasn’t let that stop him from pursuing his passion, amateur wrestling.

And at a mere 120 pounds, Caleb is good; he’s quick, strong, and (most importantly) in possession of a tirelessly positive attitude. He recently won his first match.

Top News Stories About Black Youth from Across the Nation: Feb. 25 – March 3

Every week, the Black Youth Project collects the top news stories about black youth from across the country. Click here to check out our archive of weekly news round-ups, and check back every Monday for a new roundup of headlines about young black America

 

 

Wanted: More black male teachers
Jim Cook, Dothan Eagle, 2/27/13

Phillip Burns jokingly banters with his students as they leave his music class on Wednesday afternoon, but when it counts, the students know who is boss.

Burns is one of a vanishing breed – black male teachers. The number of black male teachers has declined in recent decades. According to the Journal of African American Males in Education, the number of black males in education has dropped by 66 percent since 1954. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Education says only about 2 percent of the nation’s teachers are black men. About 35 percent of students in U.S. public schools are black or Hispanic.

Read more at Dothaneagle.com

 

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