A writer writes!
The image of an African American male. What do you think of when someone says describe an African American male? The images that describe an African American male are often crystallized by what we see via local news stories, television shows, movies, videos and stories posted on the internet, the experiences of others, material written in books, and of course our own personal experiences. Some of these images can become stereotypical if they only represent one aspect of the African American male.
For all the African American males out there, their fathers, mothers, and those who care about you here is my advice on how not to get negatively profiled. Now, by being negatively profiled, I mean what to do to lessen your chances of being stopped and frisked by the police. By being negatively profiled, I mean by avoiding women holding their purse closer to them or crossing the street when they see you coming. By being negatively profiled, I mean the person who sees you automatically thinking of you as a threat to their safety rather than your being a human being.
Tip number one. Don't dress similar to most characters portrayed in movies produced by main stream Hollywood. Typically, those roles will be of criminals and Black males who have very little if any positive traits to admire.
Tip number two. Don't dress similar to Black males shown on your local news stories. Local news stories typically only show Black males who also have committed some type of crime. The person typically is involved with a murder, theft, or some other act that paints them as being a bad person.
Tip number three. Don't dress in gangster, rap, thug, or other non conformist clothes. Especially do not wear your pants sagging off your behind. You are automatically deemed to be unworthy of being hired for a job if you present yourself in such a wardrobe. Don't even bother to go to a job interview if you are dressed in such a manner.
Here is the costume you need to wear. A simple long sleeve white collared dress shirt, a conservative tie, a sports jacket or suit jacket and matching pants, dark colored dress shoes, dark socks, with your hair groomed and neat. Very little jewelry is needed other than maybe a conservative watch. There is no need to wear chains, ear rings, or display body tatoos. I call this a costume, because that is what it is. It presents an image that will be respected, admired, and complimented. It is the anti slave look. By wearing this costume you are dressing and presenting yourself for business, not to perform in a minstrel show. You are taking control of how you are presented and not letting local news producers and Hollywood filmmakers display a negative image of you that fuels negative stereotypes of others.
Young people. You especially need to not allow clothes makers to tell you that you look good in a hoodie or other wardrobe attire that paints you into the thug, gangster, or minstrel show category. You are not being anti establishment by dressing in the latest fashion trends as identified by corporate America. You are merely feeding the pockets of those who are taking advantage of your being gullible to think you are dressing differently and dressing "Black".
Take control of how you are presented. Try the costume of a white shirt with a conservative tie, sports coat or suit jacket and watch how people react to you differently. Stop feeding and supporting a media that only wants to present you in a negative manner.