Racial profiling, racial discrimination and police brutality has been on the up rise for African-Americans in the United States. From Ferguson to Baton Rouge, the racial disparities in the criminal justice system raised awareness to others, such as the Black Lives Matter Movement. Just over the past three years, media headlines introduced us to the countless killings of unarmed Black men and adolescent boys by police officers. Unfortunately, black women are victims of police violence too, but are overlooked while black men receive most of the attention. Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Mike Brown, Philando Castile and Alfred Sterling are well-known household names who faced police brutality while African-American women received little to no attention. African-American women are victimized by police, but are missing from the mainstream media.

Why are African-American women left out of policing discussions? Why is it that African-American women do not receive the same massive outrage as their counterparts? As an African-American man, I find this to be a missing piece of a puzzle when attempts are made to end police brutality in the black community. I often wonder does gender play a part in police brutality and media attention amongst African-Americans. No studies have explored the gender differences in African-Americans receiving media attention. I hope that one day we will give African-American women the same respect and attention as their male counterparts.

Vashonte James, PsyD, LCSW