Nate Boateng

Truth or Trope: Media Narratives of Black Men in a Post-Racial News World

Does the mainstream news media still perpetuate old tropes about African American men? In the time leading up to the election of President Barack Obama a media narrative emerged that the United States was becoming a "post-racial" society, essentially tossing aside hundreds of years of divisive racial, cultural, and socio-political history by focusing in on a single black presidential candidate. Through four news stories, this paper investigates the language used by the mainstream media to determine whether what we are seeing in the news is "post-racial" or "colorblind racism", along with the differences in those terms. The central thesis of this paper is that there remains an incessant racially charged discourse in the media, particularly when covering high profile stories involving black men, and that the post-racialism narrative is a myth.