Sunday, December 30, 2007

BMD Examines: The Power (and politics) of Presentation

Phillipe Copeland challenges the spin of image and perception when it comes to the examination of white teenagers and pregnancy versus that of black teenagers.

Phillipe writes: "For many the unmarried, black teenage mother has become a virtual icon of the alleged depravity and decline of "black culture". How often do you hear pundits, politicians and intellectuals bemoaning the depravity and decline of "white culture" because sometimes a young white woman gets pregnant when she didn't plan to? Like so called "black on black" crime, it appears that the rules are different when a white teenager gets pregnant."

It seems that in the wake of the Jaime Spears revelation we have an opportunity to see with clear lenses how a set of circumstances for black teenagers can be used to focus the collective conscience on carelessness, moral depravity and a dearth of hope while that same situation in the life of a white teenager acts a perfect opportunity to focus on maturity, courage and the potential to overcome obstacles.

What do you think about the disparity in portrayal? How much of its negative effects do you think would be avoided by pulling our children away from the television where they are constantly being packaged in one stereotypical way or another?

Do you think that as parents of black children it is imperative that we provide our children with every opportunity to be encouraged and self affirming, even when the action is less than skillful? Generations of young people having babies has proven that as difficult as it might be, the ultimate outcome is not always so grin and detrimental.

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