Posted on May 11, 2012

Internalized Racism’s Association with African American Male Youth’s Propensity for Violence

Wesley W. Bryant, Journal of Black Studies, March 17, 2011


Youth Violence in African American communities is still considered to be at epidemic proportions. The traditional risk factors for youth violence (i.e. delinquent friends, poverty, drug use, carrying a weapon etc.) do not account for the disproportionate overrepresentation of African American males. This study sought to better understand the propensity for violence among African American males ages 14-19 years (N=224) from four different programmatic sites: A Philadelphia high school, an African-centered charter high school, a youth detention facility, and a program that serves youth who are on probation or parole. The findings indicate that internalized racism enhances the variance explained above the variables typically explored in the delinquency and criminology literature. If further research can replicate these findings, this has implications for the content and direction of prevention approaches with African American male youth.