THE EFFECTS OF LEARNING ABOUT BLACK HISTORY ON RACIAL IDENTITY, SELF-EFFICACY, SELF-ESTEEM, AND DEPRESSION AMONG LOW-INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE YOUTH

The literature is clear that African American youth receive a shallow account from parents and schools about Black history. African American male youth from lowincome families in particular rarely receive information about Black history. Youth today watch more television than past generations, and African American youth are no exception to this trend. In fact, they watch more television than any other ethnic group. While youth watch television for entertainment, they also absorb new facts and information about the world around them – and ultimately, about themselves. It follows that because Black children watch more television than any other ethnic group, there is greater concern about the content they consume. In this vein, the relationship of television imagery to ethnic identity and development among low-income African American male youth becomes central. Television media has a long history of portraying African Americans in a negative light. Subsequently, the negative media portrayals of African Americans have impacted their racial identity, self-esteem, self-efficacy and their mental health. No research has been done on the effects of watching a Black History film since Roots back in the 1970’s. Further research is needed to understand the impact of how watching and learn from a Black history documentary impacts low-income young African American males’ racial identity, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and depression.

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