“When I see cops, I feel paranoid,” says D’Andre Simpson, a young African-American man when asked about his feelings about being black in New York City.
David Wilson, founder of theGrio, recently spoke with a group of young men aged 16-19 about how they feel growing up black in this era. They see both tremendous inspiration in the form of figures such as President Obama, and also great challenges, such as the specter of being stereotyped.
“They [police] are just going to look at us differently, probably as someone who will start trouble with people,” adds Simpson.
“I’m 18 years old but I look like I’m a grown man,” says Jules Phillips of how his appearance might affect a police officer’s decision-making.
TheGrio interviewed young men of color from The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, a youth empowerment organization and the Arches mentoring program of the Harlem Commonwealth Council in New York City. They were joined by Khary Lazarre-White, the executive director of The Brotherhood.
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