A new study recently published by a college professor finds that the American media portrayal of Black men “perpetuates many of the same, negative patterns that are common in popular culture.”
Armon Perry, a professor of social work at the University of Louisville, spent two decades reviewing research on Black men and families.
The research falls into one of two categories: many Black men are “disproportionately low income,” and “poor Black men reject monogamous romantic relationships in favor of a hypersexual masculinity to overcompensate for their inability to fulfill the traditional breadwinner role.”
Other studies found that Black males desire intimacy and companionship in stable relationships. But the economic disparities they face in every day American society is one of the factors in their struggles to maintain stable monogamous relationships.
In his 4 year study, Perry followed 33 Black men from Louisville, Kentucky. He found that “the near-exclusive focus on low-income Black men in research related to the family skews perceptions of these men.”
He found that the skewed perceptions of low income men reinforce negative stereotypes that portray Black males as dangerous and predatory.
Many of the Black men Perry interviewed credited their partners with making them better husbands, fathers and men.
According to one of the participants, “I always tell her that I couldn’t have become who I am without her. Meeting the right person… is probably the most important decision I’ve made in my life.”
Perry’s findings, which counter the popular image that society holds of Black men, are published in his book: “Black Love Matters: Authentic Men’s Voices on Marriage and Romantic Relationships.”