Trayvon Martin: The Perception Of Young African-American Men in America
by Keisa Perry
As I think about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old young African-American male, who lived in the state of Florida. I reflect on the fact that I am a mother of a young African-American male, with this in mind this tragedy affects me indirectly. Trayvon Martin walking alone the streets of Florida, dressed with a Hood on, with a bag of skittles and drinking on a ice tea, might have been thinking how wonderful it is to be alive, or what a beautiful day it is. Who knows what was going on in his mind. Did he ever think this would be his last day on earth? I doubt it. It's disturbing to know that Mr. Martin lost his life due to the perception of his shooter, with no questions asked, but these questions come to my mind. What are the perceptions of African-American males in America and our local communities? How can we change the negative perceptions into a positive perception? One thing I found to be a fact of African-American males from the communities I have been apart of and where I have visit, is that most of them are perceived as thugs. According to Dictionary.com (2012) thugs are defined as, “a cruel vicious ruffian, robber, or murder. One of a former group of professional murders and robbers. A tough and violent man.” While this maybe true accusation for some, I believe it is false for many. Many males growing up in the hood or the ghetto develops many types of behaviors that are considered to be suitable amongst their peers. Survival is the name of the game. Most young Afro-American males are left to themselves with no apparent father- figure to shape their image of who they are and who they must become. So they take on the nature of their environment. Another negative perception that is associated with the African-American male is the irresponsibility of being a father. Once again, this maybe true for some...
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