Opportunity for Black Men and Boys: Public Opinion, Media Depictions, and Media Consumption

Opportunity for Black Men and Boys: Public Opinion, Media Depictions, and Media Consumption

The challenges confronting African American men and boys are influenced not only by their depiction in the mainstream media but also by their own negative self-perception, a new report from the Opportunity Agenda, a project of the Tides Center, argues. Based on a literature review and public opinion research on race as well as an analysis of media consumption by black men, Opportunity for Black Men and Boys: Public Opinion, Media Depictions, and Media Consumption (150 pages, PDF) argues that media consumption among African Americans is linked to diminished self-perception driven by an overabundance of negative media stereotypes. The report also found that sports and music programming dominates the media consumption habits of black men and boys, which in turn limits the number of positive role models they're exposed to. Funded by the Open Society Foundations, the report calls for the media to pay more attention to the factors that lead to such disparities, with a focus on solutions; and for advocates to work with celebrities and magazines to reach broader audiences.