The National Association of Black Journalists is on a mission to combat the negative portrayals of Black men in the media. For the third consecutive year, the organization will host its “Black Male Media Project” as an avenue to empower and inspire Black men to reclaim their narratives.
The organization has been dedicated to the advocacy of Black journalists worldwide. The Black Male Media Project was created as a safe space to foster discussions surrounding everything from the need for more diversity and inclusion in newsrooms to the improvement of positive Black male representation. One of the panels, dubbed #MoreThanMugshots, will take a deep dive into how Black men are portrayed in news coverage. The event is also utilized to align Black men with mentoring and networking opportunities.
As part of the global event—which is slated to take place on June 1—nearly 20 NABJ chapters within the U.S. and other parts of the world will host workshops, panels and forums. There will be events hosted in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia and other major cities. The organization hopes that the movement transcends beyond the physical safe spaces that they’ve created as part of the event and encourages individuals to connect and spread awareness about the efforts digitally through the use of the hashtag #InspireBlackMen on social media.
“The overarching goal of BMMP is to counteract negative images of Black men often portrayed in the media,” NABJ President Sarah Glover said in a statement. “We encourage all newsrooms across the country to make this a priority because how Black men are portrayed in the news can have a direct impact on issues such as racial profiling, discriminatory hiring practices, violence and more. Black men are intellectuals, professionals, innovators, spiritual leaders, activists, fathers, brothers and sons just like any other man and should be treated and portrayed that way.”
Forums like the Black Male Media Project are needed. According to a study conducted by the Rutgers School of Public Health, there is a direct correlation between the media’s negative portrayal of Black men and how they are treated by the police.