The Images Of Black Males Essay
In 1994, Susan Smith drowned her two boys, by driving her car into a body of water while the kids were still inside. Instead of confessing for this horrendous act, she placed the blame on a fictional character. Someone the public would believe; a black male. According to her original statement, she was carjacked by an African-American male, while her 3-year old son Michael and 14-month old son Alexander were still inside the vehicle. Shortly after this she recanted her statement and admitted to being the actual culprit.
Aside from the fact that most people would never imagine that a mother would kill her own kids, why was her story so believable? What possessed her to choose an African-American male as the fictitious culprit? Was there any outside influence that suggested this would be the most realistic account? Did the pictorial images of black males she had witnessed have anything to do with this?
In this paper, I will argue that positive images of black males must be utilized in order to reverse the negative stereotype of black males that is prevalent in our society today. I will look at the way in which black males have been represented in the past and seek to understand whether or not the negatives can be turned to positives through the medium of photography. The importance of this stems from a culture that assigns meaning and worth based on how someone or something looks. The images of black men portrayed in movies, primetime television shows and the…