In the face of another black male being killed at the hands of police, we all must challenge ourselves as to why this has become a norm that society has accepted. For something so horrific to happen this frequently speaks to how our communities view black males. Although this conversation is uncomfortable, we all must question why we are closing our eyes and hearts to a segment of our population. Although we love seeing black males in sports & entertainment, why do we avoid seeing them in a positive light in other environments? And what impact is this having? This narrative informs me that black males are loved and hated equally or only accepted in limited spaces.

The role that police provide is vital, or as their slogan says, “to serve and protect” but is this applicable to all citizens?  Unfortunately, the power of stereotyping has aided in the demise of the image of black males who find themselves victims, and whose voices consistently go unheard. Stereotyping is believing unfairly that all people or things with a particular characteristic are the same. The stereotyping of the black male population has gone too far and has justified the brutal treatment and devaluation of these lives. How long will we support the existence of these harsh generalizations of all black males that endanger their lives, families and communities consistently?  

Stereotypes are a very limited & impactful way for us to use our thoughts. As leaders, we truly need to understand that when things are said repetitively, they eventually create a reality. Therefore, as leaders, we must be very cautious of how we think and use our words. Furthermore, we must be more aware of what our words and actions support or challenge? We can all change how others think and operate within the world.  When we care about each other, we can do so much more. On that note, we all need to use our words for breathing life and not death into the world. If we are going to change this horrible reality, we need everyone to be intentional in changing how they view, interact and support the lives of black males everywhere.