One of the prominent considerations in terms of the 20th and 21st centuries has been progressive social movements. From civil rights to gender equality this historical time period witnessed significant shifts in terms of sociological perspectives and rights. While outward progressive gains were achieved, in large part there are a number of areas where gains still need to be made. When considering the means by which mainstream sociological perspectives are established, the pervasive understanding is the contemporary news media. This communication apparatus functions not simply as a means of disseminating information, but as a comprehensive means by which contemporary social paradigms and stereotypes are established and perpetuated. In addition to gender stereotypes, racial stereotypes are the largest example of this perception forming ability of the media, with African Americans one of the most prominent such instances. This essay examines how African American males are negatively portrayed by the news media.
The overarching consideration in terms of the portrayal of African American males in the news media is the extent that such portrayals can be legitimately established as negative. In this context of understanding it’s understood that while significant social progress has been made there still exists considerable disparity between the depictions of majority culture and African American culture.