Recently a three minute video was published highlighting the social issues of the African-American community. The video argues that it has been decided it is easier to incarcerate a certain population and how the justice system tends to use jail as a solution to underlying societal problems such as mental health issues. The video summarizes the article “Enduring Myth of Black Criminality” by The Atlantic, which is the beginning of a planned series discussing the African-American community and struggles they face. Its authors, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jackie Lay, are able to present their points in a brief yet powerful manor.
Locally, The Sacramento Building Healthy Communities initiative, funded by the California Endowment, is working to address these issues on many fronts. One of their methods is the Boys and Men of Color Initiative and President Obama’s upcoming My Brothers Keeper event . These programs hope to bring leaders and young people together to talk about these issues and possible solutions.
“The court system and its enforcers aren’t doing what the system’s designed to do,” said Mason Williams, local teen, when asked if he agreed with the video. “It’s doing what it wants to do and that’s why people are saying it’s corrupted.”
For the estimated 40,000 young black men in the Sacramento county, the efforts by the Endowment and it’s partner organizations offer hope for the future.