The Devastation of Myths, Stereotypes, and Misrepresentations

Recently I took the opportunity to watch a documentary on my culture, the African American culture, entitled What Black Men Think.

It was a winner of the Best Black Documentary of 2007 and Best Black Documentary Director of 2007 by the African American Film Critics Association

And just like my experience of hearing the Gospel of our Adoption roughly 7 years ago, it was similarly one of the most devastating and liberating things I have ever heard or seen, as lie, after lie was exposed by the truth.

For instance, did you know that there are more African American men in school than in jail, and that African American men in school outnumber the men in jail? In 2005, in pure numbers, there were 801, 995 African American men in prison and in jail combined, but the number of African American men in college that year was 864,000. If you only count actual college age students, age 18-24, there were 106,000 in prison that same year and a whopping 473,000 in college! That means that African American college aged men actually going to college outweigh the men in prison by a ratio of 4:1!!

The director and producer of the film, Janks Morton, revealed the truth by asking African Americans of all ages what they thought the answers were to certain questions. Their answers tended to fall into the 30% range regardless. For instance,

1.) As a percentage, how many African American men pay their court-ordered child support? False responses based on myth: 30%!  Truth? 67.3%!

2.) As a percentage, how many African American men have a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent? Responses based on misrepresentation: 30%!  Truth: 78.9%!

Other myths, stereotypes and misrepresentations that have waylaid the African American man and African American community are things such as:

3.) Who earns more money, black men, or black women? Responses based on stereotype: Black women!    Truth: Black Men!

4.) As a percentage, who enters college more, black men or white men? False answer based on perception: White men!    Truth:  Black Men! (5.3% white, 5.4% black)

5.) What is the leading cause of death in the African American Community? False answers based on myths: Heart attack, diabetes, A.I.D.S., murder? Wrong! Though it ties in with murder, it is certainly not what we typically think of. The true answer is: Abortion!

With myths and misrepresentations like these being so pervasive it is easy to imagine the obstacles an African American man would face from his very youth! It would also be easy to see how this would negatively impact his relationship with others due to misperceptions about who he is, as well as the misperceptions of others about who he is! Yikes!

Do you see how not knowing who you REALLY are can take on a monster form that hideously gobbles you up, bones and all??

Even more fundamentally, can you see how important it is to know who Jesus is, regardless of your race or culture? After all, Jesus is the One in Whom we all live, move and have our being, and the One in, through, by and for Whom all things are created and sustained!(Acts 17:28, Col 1:13-23) Do you see how embracing this could put a stop to the myths, stereotypes and misrepresentations of the Evil one IN YOUR LIFE?!

By its title, “What Black Men Think”, the documentary proclaims to African American men, especially, that if we keep embracing myths, stereotypes and misrepresentations about ourselves, then we can only foster and expect a harvest of negative consequences on our minds, bodies, spirit, culture, relationships and communities!

With our blog site title Trinity and Humanity, and with the name of our sister site, The Adopted life, we have a similar purpose as the documentary noted above.

We are proclaiming the Gospel of All of Humanity’s Adoption into the Life of the Trinity, in Jesus, and trying to help everyone embrace this Truth of the Good News! We also want to help you avoid the lies and corresponding harvest of negative consequences on mind, body, spirit, culture and relational human community!

~ by Timothy Brassell


2 comments so far

  1. Boyd Merriman on

    I knew that there were many stereotypes for all races, and those of the opposite race are usually the ones that are not informed properly, but it’s another thing when one does not know their own race. That is very interesting to know the facts.

    Many historical facts are told making assumptions about race because it is often not mentioned. Therefore, we only assume that certain inventions, discoveries or great novels are by white or Euro-white people. Turns out, many of the best inventions are done by the black or other races.

    It seems that in this country, we have not problem saying something was invented by a white, Chinese, German or other nationality, but fail to mention it when it is a black person who was responsible. Unless its a crime, then blame goes to the black.

    Nice to know that improvements are being made.


    • tjbrassell on

      Wow! What open and honest dialogue from your heart Boyd! Thanks for putting yourself out there like that! That’s sacred! As you stated “there [are] many stereotypes for all races”, and that was my point, particularly the stereotypes about all of us that go against the Gospel of our acceptance and inclusion in the Life of the Trinity! Peace, Love and Blessings!

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