A Framework for Black Masculine Caring
Edited By Lisa Bass
Chapter Five: Masking Mentorship: Critical (Race) Care among Black Males in Special Education
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Critical (Race) Care among Black Males in Special Education
VONZELL AGOSTO AND RODERICK JONES
Throughout the annals of U.S. history, Black males have been portrayed as a violent, irrational, and dysfunctional subgroup deserving of societal animus (Hutchison, 1996). Hutchison (1996) offers a well-argued critique of media as a major force in the widespread misrepresentations of Black males. Though it is not uncommon to hear public declarations that the election of the first Black male president of the United States helped mollify harmful racial beliefs and tensions, hardly a day passes in which the image of Black men is not assailed. Even President Barack Obama’s citizenship and therefore legitimacy as president has been challenged through commentary transmitted via television, radio, print, and the Internet. Notably, when his presidential opponent Mitt Romney (a White Republican) implied President Obama’s citizenry was uncertain at best, he was not questioned or challenged by media correspondents (Haake, 2012).
While the media construct negative representations and narratives of Black males, they are not the only institutions to do so. To some degree, schooling acts in concert with institutions—such as those governing media, justice, and health. Schooling thus reproduces, reflects, and responds to harmful sociocultural narratives and practices assailing the image of Black men. Moreover, systems of formal education support the dehumanization of Black males through acts that marginalize, commodify, or reinforce sources contributing to...
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