“You can’t change the facts. You just have to deal with them,” said James Boyd, Martinsburg Community Cultivator.
In a new study released by the racial justice organization Color of Change, researchers found that black families are often portrayed in a negative light in the media and are many times shown as dysfunctional or impoverished.
“When you talk about poverty, the first thing you see in the media is maybe blacks hanging around in a store someplace or out on the corner somewhere,” said George Rutherford, President, Jefferson County NAACP.
“These are the people that are on welfare, and statistics show that that’s not the case,” Boyd stated.
In the study, researchers reviewed more than 800 local and national news programs. They found African American families represented 59 percent of the impoverished portrayed in media. But in reality, they only represent less than half of that percentage.
Some believed this stereotype has evolved.
“Years ago, you had shows where you had blacks portrayed as useless, jumping around and dancing for entertainment. Now, it has changed,” said Rutherford.
While some would argue that not all media portrays minorities negatively, others said the U.S. still has a long way to go.
“The wheels of justice are slow, but they are turning, and they are turning for the better,” Boyd stated.
The study analyzed relevant stories that aired between 2015 and 2016.
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