Posted on February 12, 2019

Esquire’s Profile of White American Boy During Black History Month Stirs Controversy

Jenna Amatulli, Huffington Post, February 12, 2019

Esquire has found itself embroiled in controversy on social media after a piece about a young white, middle-class teenager was chosen as the focal point for a piece on growing up in America in the March issue of the magazine, which was released during February ― Black History Month.

The piece follows 17-year-old high school senior Ryan Morgan from West Bend, Wisconsin. Morgan is featured in a powerful cover image on the March 2019 issue of Esquire. Overlaid over the image of Morgan, who is donning both a button-down and a hoodie and holding a sneaker, is the text: “An American Boy.”

Readers are given a rundown of Morgan’s day-to-day, which includes his retelling of an altercation with a female classmate, an AP exam, interactions with his girlfriend, Kaitlyn, and his feelings.


The piece goes on to say: “Ryan, raised in Republican households, was surprised by the vitriol. ‘Everyone hates me because I support Trump?’ he says. ‘I couldn’t debate anyone without being shut down and called names. Like, what did I do wrong?’”


{snip} There are countless narratives of white men in history. Why, in 2019, are we adding yet another?