We see images of black males as criminals on billboards, hear descriptions of black male criminals on the radio, and see frequent images of police wrestling a black male into hand-cuffs on TV. Rarely do we see the same display for female criminals (of any race) or white male criminals.
At R.A.C.E, we prefer to share images of the majority of the black males, honest men working hard and going about their daily lives. The 20 Men Project is reintroducing black men and boys to the American public.
It is only through the truthful depiction of black males in our society that we will recognize that they are not a threat to our communities, our lives, and livelihoods. A powerful and positive change will occur when all Americans begin to see black males as regular folks, neighbors, friends, and productive members of their community.
Imagery plays a big role in how society responds to various events. The widely viewed video of George Floyd being murdered by a police officer mobilized a whole country to rise and demand justice and changes in policing. This powerful imagery presented a window into the lives of Americans of color. As a result, many white Americans heard the cries that black families have made for decades. Cries that begged for an end to police brutality and the lack of equity in our society.
The 20 Men Project is working to change the narrative that prevents the creation of a just and equitable society. The project presents an accurate depiction of the majority of black males. We seek to open hearts and minds to these wonderful members of our community, because there can be no justice and no equity until the lives of ALL Americans are valued equally.
With that goal in mind, we kick off the “20 Men” a project by R.A.C.E. We will share the stories of amazing black and brown males who live and thrive in Chester County yet have remained “unseen” by our community.
RACE Group PA members are volunteers and try to respond to emails or return your call as quickly as possible. We apologize for any delays in answering and appreciate your patience.
WHAT THE 20 MEN ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS PROJECT
" I think that this is an important avenue to combat the pervasive negative stereotypes that innodate the public at large. Another reason that I participated in the project was to underscore the rich diversity that is the black community. For too long even black America has been infected with the racist view that all black people walk alike, talk and think alike. The richness and diversity of the African American community reflects and tracks the richness and diversity of this nation and must be embraced. "
"I joined this project because its mission is important and the first of its kind. I care about they way Black men are portrayed in the media and am very aware of how it impacts the way white people view us. In joining this project, I can change the narrative for those who are here and those who will come after me, and that is very important to me. A simple picture can change the way Black men are viewed in America."
"I decided to join this project because I'm looking forward to having the narrative and perception of black men change to highlight the reality of our world. News, TV, Movies, etc. tend to skew that perspective in a negative light and I wanted to be a part of an initiative aimed at correcting that view. I had a great time working with Sandrien during my photoshoot. It was very easy to open up and discuss my experiences and I trust that that energy will come across in the final images. She was very good at guiding me on where and how to pose, help me relax, be more natural, and capture me in a great way. "
"I joined this project as a way to give back to the community. I love initiatives that focus on seeing people for who they are and eliminating stereotypes. It's important that we as a community continue to be welcoming and inclusive of all people regardless of their lived experiences and lived backgrounds. Truly understanding that people go beyond a color and are truly intricate beings helps us to challenge our own perceptions and biases."
"I think a negative stereotype can often exist about Black fathers. I love being a dad and I love being a Black dad so I would like to show that. I'm a black man AND also a father, husband, son. Basketball player and coach. Sneaker head and Love bike riding."