African american boys like my booty

assorted-2013-010Wendy Stokesbary
Cedar Rapids, IA

I went to middle school with lots of African american students and noticed the boys seemed to admire my curvy figure- I was flattered, not frightened, because no one ever tried to hurt me. I grew up with a curiosity and respect for diversity, and partly because of my professional training (mental health) I understood individual differences are more accurate than stereotypes. My town now has many inner city Chicago transplants who model a culture of baggy pants, drug use, violence, shootings. They saunter in the middle of the street taunting you driving by and this seems to perpetuate the stereotypes and hatred. My social scientist perspective tells me that their culture is just as familiar and comfortable to them as is mine, but I have to wonder how the aggression and hostility serves them in the end? We have many positive and pro-social role models of all races that I wish could make more impact on the disenfranchised racial minority youth.


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