Before delving into the complexities of Police brutality and the effects it has on African American communities there must first be a discussion on the source of this racism. Clint Smith, a poet and doctoral candidate at Harvard University, starts his TED talk ‘How to Raise a Black Son in America’ by telling a story from his childhood. Smith, a young boy at the time, was playing with Nerf guns in the neighborhood he grew up in with his white friends. His father saw Smith with the toy gun in his hands and yanked him into the house. Smith’s father tells him that he cannot be playing with guns like his white friends because he’s not white (Smith). The story is not meant to paint the father as overprotective or the son as irresponsible, it is instead supposed to show the difficulty in raising an African American son in America. The issue that arises when raising a Black son in America is not due to some violent pre-disposition or a difference in the psychological chemistry, but instead to how black people are viewed in society. Smith’s anecdote shows the dangers of being black and how early the fear of being black is imposed on young minds.
The fear of being black d...
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...population, and the cycle continues. Lamar’s line “the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice / the blacker the berry the harder I shoot” serves not only as a poignant reminder that racism still exists in the United States, but a warning of the effects of racial discrimination. Fear breeds fear, and “wherever fear and weapons meet—and they often do in North America—there is always the possibility of death” (Staples 302).
Since 2013 there have been numerous cases of violence against African American people—including the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Grey. These deaths and the circumstances surrounding them has led to racial protests throughout the nation. The death of Michael Brown and Freddie grey did not cause the racial protest but instead they served as the catalyst that brought socioracial inequality out of the social subconscious and into the public eye.
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