During Black History Month, a group of African-American male students at Illinois’ Central High School decided to get together and make a video to defy racial stereotypes.
The video is titled “Suit & Tie in the 217,” and offers a different perspective of young black men than mainstream media typically report on. They did this by having the students dress up in business attire with the following messages:
- “We are not gangsters and thugs”
- “We are employees and volunteers”
- “We are scholars”
- “We are athletes.”
According to NewsOne:
“The negative stories told daily in the media and in our culture about our young African-American men tend to ignore their successes and don’t tell the full story about how young Black men are becoming leaders within our community schools,” said Central High counselor Tiffany Gholson, who worked with the students on the effort. “In this video, our students reclaim the narrative of who they are and inspire other students to follow in their footsteps.”