Beyond Stereotypes in Black and White: How Everyday Leaders Can Build Healthier Opportunities for African American Boys and Men

Beyond Stereotypes in Black and White: How Everyday Leaders Can Build Healthier Opportunities for African American Boys and Men

Beyond Stereotypes in Black and White: How Everyday Leaders Can Build Healthier Opportunities for African American Boys and Men

Beyond Stereotypes in Black and White: How Everyday Leaders Can Build Healthier Opportunities for African American Boys and Men

Synopsis

This book spotlights the plight of African American boys and men, examining multiple systems beyond education, incarceration, and employment to assess their impact on the mental and physical health of African American boys and men-and challenges everyday citizens to help start a social transformation.

Excerpt

“I fit into the stereotype as the person who got shot.”

In February 2012, Trayvon Martin was gunned down in a gated town-- house community in Florida. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, had called the police because the boy looked “real suspi- cious,” and proceeded to pursue Martin in a sport-utility vehicle. The boy’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office and listed as a John Doe. Zimmerman claimed he acted in self-defense. Trayvon was “armed” with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. Trayvon was 17 years old and black. Zimmerman was 28 years old at the time and Hispanic/white. As reported in the New York Times, one of the witnesses was a 13-year-old black boy, who ended his description of what he saw by saying, “I just think that sometimes people get stereotyped, and I ft into the stereotype as the person who got shot.” If a 13-year-old boy can see what’s happen- ing, can feel the burden of black boys, why can’t we?

All We Want Is a Different Life

Fred Anderson and his wife sat with me one Saturday morning to share more of his story, his work, and his vision. Fred is an ex-offender who has come home after serving more than 8 years in prison. I have known him for 2 years now, and I always leave from seeing Fred inspired and moved. Such a talented man. I won- der, where would he be right now if only he had all of the right chances and made all of the right choices? Regardless, he leaves a large footprint. Fred’s story s…

Can you imagine being stripped of everything, family, lifestyle, free- dom, and even constitutional rights? Of becoming a victim of circum- stances resorting to survival rather than success? Have you ever lived amongst murderers, rapists, thieves, angels, and demons? This living condition is obtained due to bad choices. Many of us are known as . . .

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