“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
It is not uncommon nowadays to see African American males traveling the world, excelling in higher education, and successfully pursuing creative outlets, such as fashion, music, and film. It is not uncommon to see African American engineers, doctors, and teachers making an impact in their communities. It is not uncommon to see young black entrepreneurs creating businesses and thriving as they create a brand for themselves. It’s not uncommon to sometimes think about how far we’ve come in a society that, at one point, turned a blind eye to the accomplishments of African American males, but now, have no choice BUT to look in their direction. This is in part due to the new black male stereotype.
This “New Stereotype” is making strides to show how far we’ve come, while still acknowledging how far we have to go. Black males consistently make major, life-changing contributions to the world; however, still can’t seem to shake some of the negative stereotypes that have been placed upon them by society, and then often emphasized by the media. The purpose of “The New Stereotype” is to portray African American males in a positive light.
The new black male stereotype does not accept the negative connotation that is often associated with the black male; however, uses it as motivation to keep pushing forward. Through this new stereotype movement, black men are deeming it unacceptable to be labeled as “thugs” and “criminals”, and are now taking matters in their own hands by setting the example and becoming role models for the younger generations, which in turn, will create a domino effect. These men are starting nonprofits and mentoring organizations in order to give back to the communities and build up their young brothers to grow into well rounded, knowledgeable, outspoken men.
Representation is everything when it comes to influence and that’s exactly what this new stereotype aspires to do. When these young men see their fathers and big brothers, dressed in suits with their head in the books or providing for their families, it gives them something to strive for. When they see their mentors traveling from country to country, it inspires them to want to follow in their footsteps. When a young black male sees his role models developing and leading successful companies, they understand that achieving greatness is possible through hard work and determination. When the little black boy is looking at the television screen and sees that the leader of our nation is the same skin color as he is, he realizes that his dreams are attainable and his possibilities for success are limitless.
The new black male stereotype is the shifting of a culture. These men are focused on not only succeeding themselves, but also, reaching back into their schools and neighborhoods to ensure that no one gets left behind. These men have taken it upon themselves to show the world that the black male is more than just who society sometimes negatively portrays them to be; rather, showing the wor