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Black boys are afraid to travel through white neighborhoods in America.

This isn’t necessarily a startling revelation for Black folks in our republic, but the new study by The Ohio State University may be illuminating for some in mainstream America.

Here’s how the study worked: Researchers gave 506 black youths in Columbus, Ohio smartphones that tracked their locations for a week. They asked them to rate how safe they felt in various neighborhoods five times a day.

“It doesn’t have to be a majority white neighborhood for African-American boys to feel more threatened,” Christopher Browning, lead author of the study and professor of sociology at The Ohio State University, told Ohio State News “It just has to be more white than what they typically encounter.”

Consider this undeniable reality: Black boys are forced to embrace the notion of racism at much younger ages and preparing them for potential racial strife has, for some, become the new normal.

The study comes at a time when Black boys have been racially profiled, shot and killed, and subjected to racial slurs in white neighborhoods across the country.

And recently, there has been a spate of incidents where white residents have called the police on innocent Black folks who were just going about their everyday lives.

In the Cleveland area recently, neighbors called the police on a 12-year-old boy who was cutting grass in his neighborhood; white neighbors called police on Kevin Moore, a Black firefighter in Oakland, California, as he was conducting a legally mandated safety inspection, dressed in his official firefighter uniform and carrying his city-issued identification; a white woman in San Francisco –dubbed “Permit Patty” — called the police on an 8-year-old Black girl for selling bottles of water in her neighborhood; a white woman in Oakland, California, nicknamed “BBQ Becky” called the police on a Black family who she accused of grilling in a public park illegally; Donald Sherman, an African-American lawyer and father, was pushing a stroller carrying his baby, Caleb, in Washington, DC, when a white woman who was jogging past Sherman called the police to report “a suspicious man walking the bike path with a baby.”

“We’ve seen a lot of stories in the media lately about the police being called on Black people going about their business in white areas,” Browning said. “This may help explain why Black youth felt more threatened in parts of town where they were exposed to more white people.”

Many black parents fear their sons could end up dead like Trayvon Martin, the innocent teenager who was gunned down by George Zimmerman in 2012 in Sanford, Florida while Martin was walking down the street.

The results of the study may not be surprising for Black parents as it confirms what they’ve been saying publicly and privately for years: that their boys are targeted by bigoted whites influenced by racial stereotypes.

This study resonates with me, too. While growing up in Detroit and riding my bike around the city, my father warned me about venturing into suburban white neighborhoods. I listened to my father and steered clear but braver kids who peddled through white communities could get beaten up just because they were black.

Today, Black boys and young men likely feel even more at risk then when I was growing up. In this racially divisive nation, President Donald Trump often signals to white supremacist supporters that it’s appropriate to denigrate Black people.

“Part of the experience for Black kids is having to leave their home neighborhoods to go to places that might not be as welcoming,” Browning said. “They are typically going to places with amenities like restaurants and movie theaters that may not be available in their neighborhoods. And these places are probably going to be whiter than the places they live.”

Browning’s confirms what Black people have been saying for decades — but it may be more significant today than ever before.

What do you think?




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10 thoughts on “Study Shows Black Boys Are Justified In Fear Of White Neighborhoods

  1. We need to stop self segregating. We need to move and evolve beyond “Black Culture” and “White Culture” and embrace our American culture. Skin color shouldn’t define who we are and who we associate with, and yet we continue to let it. This victim culture we have embraced is keeping our black youths uninterested and uneducated in the world around them while simultaneously convincing them that the world somehow owes them something.

    The sad reality is that it is much more likely for a white person to be assaulted, robbed, or bothered walking through a black neighborhood than a black person in a white neighborhood.

  2. vdabney722 on said:

    African American woman, I see what was done here, there is no way to respond to you directly, so I respond here. First of all, I wasn’t calling YOU “Moderator”. I was given the Impression when I asked what was happening to my posts to the article about the man urinating on the 5 year old, that there was a Moderator of these pages, because someone calling themselves Moderator responded to me when I asked why my posts weren’t being shown. (They never showed up anyway.) Second of all, you know NOTHING about the work I have done in my community probably for more years than you have been alive, both locally in my community or around the country. I am Fully aware of the crisis of black men killing other black men that has plagued our communities. In fact, the problem was FAR WORSE during the crack epidemic of the 80s. But the forces of mass incarceration and targeting of black men in the 90s brought those numbers down, BUT caused yet another problem–too many men locked up for non-violent offenses, that caused other problems in the neighborhoods. BUT, the powers that be got what they wanted at that time, a lowered crime rate. AND, during the 90s they loaded up police forces with men, mostly white, who should Never have been allowed to wear a badge or carry a gun. I could go on and on about every aspect of this problem, but there isn’t room. What I am saying is if you take white men, who “own” the police forces, the schools, the governments, the courts, most of the businesses, etc. out of the equation, the black man hasn’t a snowballs chance in hell of getting out of his situation. For example, WHO do you think is supplying the lions share of guns to the inner cities? You have to THINK. Personal responsibility is important too, but you cannot forget other important equations that need to be considered in solving multi-faceted problems.

    • African American Woman on said:

      Comprehension skills are of the utmost importance…read AGAIN…I was sarcastically mocking you because you were pointing me out to a moderator like a 5 year old. Secondly, I don’t know what you have and haven’t done and if you can’t show it; evidence doesn’t exist…you can make all of the excuses you want; excuses change NOTHING. They only serve as fodder to avoid responsibility. You blame white people for our predicament, yet you wait for them to get us out of it. Backwards and silly. Things change ONLY when people take action to make them change. The Japanese were forced to live in camps in this country well after slavery ended. Yes, it was wrong, but they didn’t self destruct; they overcame and sailed right pass everyone, including the white man…now, see what I did there?

  3. Goldie 2 on said:

    Where is BLACK LIVES MATTER when the 10 year old girl was shot by “4 Black Men”, where were they when the 14 year old Honor Student was walking home and then killed in a drive by. Yes – it is US KILLING US more than ANYBODY.

    • vdabney722 on said:

      But that’s not what we’re talking about right now. In all races and ethnicities there is more inter-community crime, than against people outside that community. Whites against other whites, Asians against other Asians, Hispanics against other Hispanics, Native Americans against Native Americans. So why is it so unique that blacks commit more crimes against blacks. WHY do we have to be different. That’s why white fear of black people is so overblown. What we are talking about here is the likelihood of the cops being called on a black person in a white neighborhood just for walking around doing NOTHING. Let’s STICK TO THE SUBJECT. When I was a kid, people in white neighborhoods used to train or either sic their dogs on us if we walked through their neighborhood. Calling the cops in this day and age is Far More dangerous to black people these days. STICK TO THE SUBJECT.

  4. African American Woman on said:

    I want to see the sample size, margin of error and statistical significance for this survey. I am not buying this. The reason is that our men and boys are FAR more likely to be hurt or killed by another black man boy. I think BAW is so obsessed with the “white man is after us fear based victim making” that they post anything to solidify this. I find it INCREDIBLY sad that black men are responsible for almost all murders of other black men, yet our supposed media isn’t obsessed with addressing this as much as they are with ANY and EVERYTHING white people do. A white person could sneeze in the direction of black person and BAW would post this as a blatant form of racism made to infect black people with the common cold. Please don’t tell me what white people do because I couldn’t give 2 shits. I care about the self-destruction and implosion of my brothers and sisters.

    • vdabney722 on said:

      See what I’m talking about Moderator? WHY would a black person write that they don’t care about what white people do to us? People like this are a big part of our problem. Anybody who can’t see that just being black is NOT the cause of most of our problems. Most crime is the result of poverty and lack of opportunity whether in the white or black community. It is the main cause of white on white crime. This person by LUMPING black people and CLAIMING to care about “the self-destruction and implosion of MY brothers and sisters.” Makes me think that she or he, is NOT a “brother or sister” in the first place, and has the same agenda as the white folks that come here and CHANGE THE SUBJECT to things like crime in Chicago, rather than ADMITTING that a BIG part of black peoples problems emanate from government and the systemic racism in the government at large, and the criminal justice system specifically. Now print this.

      • African American Woman on said:

        Lol…oooooooo, the Moderator. You got me now! LMAO. Just because you choose to stay blind and ignorant does not mean all black people choose to stay that way. People who are truly concerned and have love for people tell them the truth. People who duck, dodge and blame are ok with the status quo. Show me where I lumped all black people together…Whoops! I didn’t. I said that black men and boys are FAR more likely to get hurt or killed by another black man or boy? Are you disputing this? If so, provide facts. No, I really don’t care what white people do…I’m not obsessed with them and they can worry about their own. Im concerned about my people who are imploding from the inside. If that doesn’t concern you, then maybe you need stop obsessing over white people and focus more on your own. You can use that old poverty excuse for as long as you want. It doesn’t change the fact that are men and boys are taking each other out like deer. Lots of people come to this country poor and many have seen and experienced war, poverty and death and they don’t kill each other! Excuses stop nothing. Holding each other accountable, zero tolerance and support for criminals amomgst our ranks, taking control of our financial power, building our own educational opportunities and caring for our communities sparks real change. While you’re obsessing about the white man; we’ve probably lost 10 brothers.

  5. Young African American Males should be in FEAR period.
    There is a BOUNTY on their heads across Amerykah.
    In Chump’s US of A-it is against the LAW to be a PERSON OF COLOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So, BEWARE of RACIST whites, UGLY PIGS, ETC!!!!!!!!!!!!

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