Sep 22 2014

Series Explores Black Male Experience in the US – I Am A Man Featuring Hop’s Story

(This is Episode 3. Click here to listen to Episode 1, and here to listen to Episode 2.) The events of this summer in Ferguson, Missouri, highlighted an ugly truth to mainstream Americans – that Black men in this country are viewed as so suspicious by law enforcement that they are shot first and questioned later. It is a reality that black men have been living with in the United States since the very beginning.

Today, Black American Men have the shortest life expectancy of any demographic in the US. One in every 15 African American men is incarcerated compared to 1 in every 106 white men. Fully one third of all black men can expect to go to prison during their lifetime. Why do we as a society refuse to embrace the humanity of black men? Why are black men constantly seen as “the other”? How does it affect their psyche, and by extension, all of us?

Today, as part of our on-going series Real People, Real Stories, we wrap our 3 week project called “I Am a Man,” exploring the lives, aspirations, and struggles of black men. The title of this project is based on the civil rights era declaration of humanity by striking sanitation workers in Memphis and at various other times in the US.

To explore the themes of this project Uprising host Sonali Kolhatkar reached out to men in her own circle of friends and colleagues.

We’ve already brought you two episodes featuring Jon and Mark’s stories. Here is the third and final episode.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Series Explores Black Male Experience in the US – I Am A Man Featuring Hop’s Story”

  1. Orlison 23 Sep 2014 at 8:24 am

    I listened to the 3rd and final episode of this segment. To get right to the point, it was indeed an eye-opener to hear what the interviewee so articulately described.

    I am a man of colour myself (i.e., 1/3rd Indigenous, 1/3rd European, 1/3rd African) but have not nearly experienced the depth of persecution, stereotyping, suspicion, that most African Americans apparently experience on a consistent basis. This episode – rather, the interviewee’s excellent description – has shed some light on a few questions of my own.

    Thank you kindly

  2. Meg Tayloron 27 Sep 2014 at 8:07 pm

    This series is FANTASTIC and so needed. I really wish this were not the final episode. I was literally talking back to the radio as I listened. I saw Hop Hopkins at an LA Food Policy Council meeting, and to hear him describe his experience of racism and white supremacy in his life brought me to tears. If only we could create a world where all he had to talk about is farming and gardening and bicycle transportation tips and the like. So many of his comments and recollections reminded me of how patriarchy works, as I have experienced it. Thank you for this series. I sincerely hope this is not the last segment in it. They have all been upsetting, moving, and needed.