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Through Our Eyes: African American Men's Experiences of Race, Gender, and Violence. Show all authors. Waverly Duck. Waverly Duck · See all articles by this .
Table of contents

Cambridge Scholars Press, September The Violence Against Women Act. The Institute on Violence, The Institute on Violence, Inc. Congregate Care for Babies: An Alternative Care Arrangement. Skip to main content. Psychosocial Struggles Five men openly discussed psychological challenges during their transition to manhood. One participant described feeling alone and uncertain about his future, while another spoke about his depression:. It seemed like there was no end in sight and I started thinking about committing suicide.


It was just a real dark time for me, just deep in depression. CAB members described the transition to manhood as a time period where everything appears more intense and urgent, but without having developed healthy coping mechanisms. Some men described avoidance through alcohol and drugs: Sources of Support and Inspiration Struggles faced by the participants were buffered by a number of support systems that allowed the men to navigate the transition to manhood in ways that were positive.

Supports included family, friends, and community members, as well as inspiration from service work with youth, African-American leaders e. All twelve participants described ways in which they helped the younger generation: Church and faith was frequently mentioned as a source of support, especially among men who may not have had positive role models:. I got saved-I was living a wrong life. While some men struggled with feeling alone and misunderstood, they also credited their supports in helping them choose pathways that decreased the likelihood for gang involvement, incarceration, substance abuse, or death.

Photograph and quote depicting social support from community members. But [these coaches] are giving back to the community. They helped me to get to where I'm at now.

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Sports Ten participants discussed the role of sports in their lives. Sports were described as a source of teamwork, an outlet or escape, a way to socialize with other African-American men without police harassment, fitness, coaching, entertainment, and personal accomplishment that was pivotal during their transition to manhood. Sports are an outlet for anybody, any color. While CAB members agreed on the positive aspects of sports, they also acknowledged sports accomplishments are often the sole source of pride for young, African-American men and boys, and an overemphasis on sports may undermine educational pursuits and future life goals.

Lifestyle All the participants photographed the excess and opulence associated with the L.

Through Our Eyes: African American Men’s Experiences of Race, Gender, and Violence

They recognized the influence of living in L. Once I own a Bentley I know I'm set for life. I know I can take care of my family, take care of myself.

And I know how to be a better man once I have one of those. The CAB played a critical role in shaping the project and partnering with the young men to interpret the findings. CAB members identified the transition to manhood as one of the most dangerous periods for African-American men because of the expectations of manhood e. Although the recruited participants were men who the CAB felt had successfully navigated the transition to manhood because they were not currently in gangs, in jail, selling drugs, or dead, it became evident to both the participants and CAB members that the young men continued to struggle with the challenges they described as they attempted to realize life goals.

The group met twice monthly for three months with a structured program of speakers, exercises, and readings based on a Rites of Success curriculum that helps participants access and utilize community resources to build bridges to their futures. The men have also conducted events in community venues in Los Angeles and Long Beach and in local secondary schools where they shared their photographs and discussed lessons that helped them increase their physical and emotional well-being.

The events have been well-received with over attendees and positive evaluations. The men plan to continue dissemination events and become trained in a Rites of Passage curriculum with the support of the CAB.

Violence Against Women & Male Involvement

The young, African-American men in this project used photovoice, pile-sorting, and input from a CAB to identify four major themes that characterized their transition to manhood: Participants credited family, friends, significant others, community members, church participation, and sports as supports that helped them navigate the transition to manhood.

As described by older African-American men in Ornelas et al. Our findings show that opportunities to be involved in community work may serve as a healthy coping mechanism during the transition to manhood for young, African-American men. To our knowledge, this study is the first to highlight the viewpoints of young, African-American men on factors influencing their transition to manhood. Our findings support prior research that suggest public health interventions that address challenging contextual factors in pathways to manhood and build on community assets may lower risk for unhealthy behaviors for young, urban African-American men.

Our research study has potential limitations.

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Our sample, though similar in size to other photovoice projects, was nonetheless a small convenience sample with participants who were heterogeneous in age, socioeconomic status, and childhood experiences, so generalizations from our findings should be made with caution. However, certain themes, such as police harassment, unemployment, financial difficulty, sports, the paradox of L. Community-based participatory research and photovoice methods effectively engaged community leaders and young men in research protocol development, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination.

The research process led to an intervention for the young men who realized that they may not have had successful transitions to manhood. These methods are an important strategy for understanding and reducing health disparities among vulnerable populations. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Gen Intern Med. Published online Sep Brown , MD, PhD 9. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Table 1 Demographics of Photovoice Participants.

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Study Procedures and Data Collection Photovoice Photovoice is a participatory strategy that uses photographs taken by individuals to promote critical reflection, enhance group discussion, share knowledge, create empowerment, and reach policy makers. One college-educated participant described his experiences: Conflict of Interest None disclosed. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, With Special Feature on Death and Dying. Kawashi I, Berkman L, editors.

Oxford University Press; Social determinants of health inequalities. Race, race-based discrimination, and health outcomes among African Americans. Social sources of racial disparities in health. Am J Public Health. Prevalence and social correlates of cardiovascular disease risk factors in Harlem. The burden of disease associated with being African-American in the United States and the contribution of socio-economic status. State of Black Los Angeles Los Angeles Urban League;April Mortality in Los Angeles County Leading causes of death and premature death with trends for — The Life Cycle Completed: Constructions of masculinity and their influence on men's well-being: Minkler M, Wallerstein N.

Introduction to community based participatory research. Community-based participatory research for health. Jones L, Wells K. Strategies for academic and clinician engagement in community—participatory partnered research. Wang C, Burris MA. The Teen Photovoice Project: Progress in community health partnerships: Understanding African American men's perceptions of racism, male gender socialization, and social capital through photovoice. Engaging youth through photovoice.

Wallerstein N, Bernstein E. Freire's ideas adapted to health education. Empowerment through photo novella: