2017-2018 Commentary — 16 February 2018
Time To Pull Away The Black Mask

Iris Ard

Media is what strongly influences children of color  in this century, like our black entertainment such as musicians and television and it’s time we take a closer look at how these mainstream things present African-American success.

This is a negative impact on the black community because of how the different types of media portrays black men and women. Instead of showing photos of a black man being a doctor, lawyer, or leader in any positive way, they show him as a rapper, drug dealer, or gangster.

Now there is nothing wrong with being a rapper–music is beautiful and comes in very many musical forms–but the media don’t often show artists that rap about inspirational, mind-changing things. Artists like J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Jay Z, and many more; those artists rap about positive change and many things that is helpful for our black children to try and become something positive. But media like television and magazines show artists that give a negative outlook on life, such as rappers like 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump, and Kodak Black.

These rappers are known as mumble rappers and they influence people to believe that drugs and violence are cool to do. This is where the negative impact comes in for the youth.

Children are always going to have someone they look up to, especially when they can’t have a parent as a role model. So they look up to a family member or a celebrity–most likely a celebrity. They choose musicians, models, actors, and athletes. If they choose a musician they choose a rapper and since more young children ages 6-10 have access to social media, they choose the new day and age rappers, and those are the mumble rappers.

But the music isn’t the only thing that is influencing our black youth. These TV shows and marketing ads on women are influencing our young girls also. The shows and ads are showing our girls society’s definition of true beauty which is fake butts and fake breasts. This what we all are seeing on women now.

This gives young black girls the impression that they have to look like this either to be accepted or to  become famous. Also TV shows are showing how black women are supposed to display their actions which are “ghetto” and “ratchet” behavior.

For example the hit TV shows “Love And Hip Hop” and “Black Ink Crew”  are shows that society uses to try to make it seem like that’s the way a black woman should act, sound, and look. This doesn’t just only influence our young black adolescent girls but also reaches more races and influences them to try and be these “characters.”

Like Disney influences most young girls want to become a princess, these shows influence girls to become these raunchy women to be accepted as “cool.” You have girls of white races culturally appropriating the black women that are displayed by society because media has made it seem like a new cool trend, like it’s fashionable to be black.

The list goes on as we know media displays every race as something that their not. Black media has very different masks to hide the true face but it seems that the most used mask is to influence young black children. The mask no one wants to acknowledge as being a problem to the black community.

Teens and parents should help pull this mask away and broaden the children’s horizon on what it means to be black. Don’t just sit them in front of a TV and let the broadcast teach them what it means to be black, take time to teach them yourself.

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