Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mike Brown and Black Men Writers

Among other angles we'll take on Mike Brown and Ferguson, I'll make the students in one of my classes aware of the large numbers of black men journalists offering extended coverage on the events. I'm teaching an African American literature course comprised of 24 black men, all of whom are first-year college students.

I've read and documented over 100 articles on Brown and Ferguson since August 9, and I couldn't help but notice how many black men journalists have converged on the topic. Wesley Lowery at The Washington Post, Trymaine Lee at MSNBC, Joel Anderson at BuzzFeed, Gene Demby at NPR, Mychal Denzel Smith at The Nation, Rembert Browne at Grantland, Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic, Adam Serwer at MSNBC, Jelani Cobb at The New Yorker, Jamelle Bouie at Slate, and probably more than I am overlooking.  

Obviously, black men are not the only ones covering Ferguson. Hundreds of journalists from the U.S. and aboard have contributed to reporting the shooting, police operations, government responses, and protests. All their collective compositions have given us much to consider.

Still,  one of the many ways I've tried to counteract the painful image of a black man's lifeless body on the ground has been by considering what it means that black men are actively writing about what happened.  Perhaps making my class of all black men aware of Anderson, Lee, Lowery, Demby, and others covering Brown and Ferguson will inspire some of them to consider careers in journalism as well.

Notebook on Mike Brown and Ferguson   

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