Black Boys and Men: Changing the Narrative — Season One

Banner artwork for Black Boys and Men: Changing the Narrative, Season 1

New! Don’t miss Season Two, launched January 2020.

The Black Boys & Men: Changing the Narrative podcast series brings together thought leaders from the public and private sectors to analyze stereotypes and dispel myths concerning Black boys and men, while providing facts and best practices for those working with these often marginalized populations. The series calls into question issues of systemic racism and oppression and provides concrete steps to prevent and address many of the issues that disproportionately affect Black boys and men, including health disparities, incarceration, trauma, and violence.

Listeners can find the latest episodes of Black Boys & Men: Changing the Narrative on multiple platforms. Make sure you are subscribed to receive regular updates automatically as each episode is released. For additional help, please contact the McSilver Institute. You can also continue this conversation and help support the McSilver Institute’s work by engaging with the #ChangingTheNarrative social media campaign. Join our mailing list for occasional updates from the McSilver Institute about this project and similar research and events.

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The first season of this podcast was lead by the following McSilver Institute staff members:

Dr. Michael Lindsey, PhD, MSW, MPH, is the Executive Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the NYU Silver School of Social Work.

Black Boys & Men: Changing the Narrative is hosted by Jayson K. Jones, LMSW.

Briana K. Gonçalves is a Producer of Black Boys & Men: Changing the Narrative.

Introduction: Changing the Narrative

Guest: Michael A. Lindsey, PhD, MSW, MPH

Release Date: January 15, 2018

“With increased media and attention, more folks are attuned to racial issues and the long lasting impact of discrimination. These topics are near and dear to my heart, not only because of my own personal and professional experiences, but because they are solution focused.”

Black boys and men are the subject of negative racial and gender-based stereotypes that significantly impact their health and social standing within the U.S. This episode provides an overview of the series and the need for us all to collectively change the narrative.


01: Addressing Historical Trauma

Guest: Samuel Simmons, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Release Date: January 18, 2018

“And we do not, as a people, do not want to deal with the trauma because we believe that if we deal with the trauma that validates that there’s something wrong with us and that the system will use it against us.”

The podcast will focus on the role of historical trauma in the lives of Black boys and men.These forms of trauma include destruction of cultural practices, slavery, forced relocation, and genocide, among others and can deeply impact individuals, families, and entire communities.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

02: Violence and Trauma

Guest: Joseph Richardson, PhD

Release Date: January 22, 2018

“I keep emphasizing this concept of structural violence, which means, in a nutshell, harm that is preventable. And so we know that in 2017, we can prevent polio because we have vaccines. And so we know we can prevent violence, because we know what produces violence. Poverty produces violence.”

Data suggests that deaths due to violent injury have been decreasing throughout the United States. However, Black men are disproportionately overrepresented among victims of violent injury and are at higher risk of violent trauma recidivism than all other populations. In this episode, Dr. Richardson will focus on the impact of violence and trauma among young Black men and models of prevention.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

03: Preventing Suicide

Guest: Sean Joe, PhD

Release Date: January 25, 2018

“…it’s important to understand and focus on how black males are expressing their masculinity, the importance of them having safe spaces to emote, and to deal with their feelings, and their critical needs.”

This episode focuses on suicide prevention efforts geared towards young black men. Despite the progress that we have made, suicide continues to be a taboo subject in many communities, which makes it all the more important to notice the signs and symptoms of depression, and have access to support.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

04: Racism, Masculinity, and Health

Guest: Wizdom Powell, PhD @Wizdomisms

Release Date: January 29, 2018

“Black men want to feel they are respected and human, and people see them in their fullest human potential. And so, when we are interacting with them, we need to do it respectfully, and with an appreciation for their humanity, the very appreciation we would all want for our humanity.”

This episode highlights the trends regarding the social determinants of health of Black boys and men and steps that we can take to decrease disparities and work towards better health outcomes.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

05: Masculinity and Trans Black Men

Guest: Tiq Milan @TheMrMilan

Release Date: February 1, 2018

“I think people need to listen, I think you need to ask questions. And asking questions not to invalidate other people’s truths but to complicate your own…It blows my mind that as a trans person I have to work so hard to try to make other people understand that I am as valuable in my humanity as they are. And that work is exhausting.”

How we conceptualize masculinity is widely debated and in many ways those definitions have been used as categories of inclusion and exclusion for years. This episode explores “organic masculinity,” as termed by Tiq Milan, and the beauty of being yourself.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

06: Raising Our Black Sons: A Mother's Perspective

Guests: Priscilla Shorter & Shawana Kemp

Release Date: February 5, 2018

“They want to give you another label. You’re already a young black boy.” “I want him to really have experienced joy and I feel like so much… So many of the boys don’t get to be joyful, they don’t get to smile, they don’t get to walk down the street and run with the sun beating down on their face.”

While families come in many forms, we often downplay the role that mothers have in the lives of young Black boys. This podcast focuses on the mothers of Black boys, the unsung heroes are who are more than deserving of our praise.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bios (PDF)

07: Engaging Black Boys in Schools

Guest: Ivory Toldson, PhD @toldson

Release Date: February 8, 2018

“He wants to be seen as a person with a name, not a statistic.”

There are many myths regarding the academic achievement of Black boys and men, including that that Black boys do not value education. However, those statements are not true. This podcast will focus on debunking many of those myths regarding the achievement of Black boys and provide tangible strategies to further engage them in schools.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

08: School-to-Prison Pipeline

Presenters: Daniel Losen, JD, MS and Amir Whitaker, JD, PhD

Release Date: February 12, 2018

“There’s a legacy of structural racism that also has contributed mightily to the phenomenon that we call the school-to-prison pipeline.”

The School to Prison Pipeline is the link between educational practices and the increase in Black boys entering the juvenile justice system. This podcast will describe this phenomenon and provide best practices that school administrators and policy advocates can take to intervene.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bios (PDF)

09: Policies That Adversely Affect Black Fathers

Guest: David Pate, PhD

Release Date: February 15, 2018

“And because we live in a very patriarchal society, where we think that men should be able to get a job and take care of their family, some people don’t have the same access to those opportunities to be able to take care of their family, have a child, get married if they desire to do that, and do all the things that would make them what we would call an ideal citizen.”

Black fathers often contend with the stereotypes of being lazy, disinterested in the lives of their children and families, and absent from their communities. Those stereotypes are just that, stereotypes. However, Black fathers also contend with policies that adversely affect them and their ability to provide for their families.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

10: Engaging Black Fathers in Behavioral Health Services

Guest: Tyrone M. Parchment, PhD Candidate, NYU Silver School of Social Work

Release Date: February 19, 2018

“…not all Black men are absent fathers. Even though there are statistics that show that there are some men who, for many reasons, may not be involved but there’s a certain amount of many other men who are. And why aren’t we hearing their story?”

Black fathers are often stigmatized within the U.S. for a myriad of reasons including negative stereotypes and inaccurate media portrayal. And for these reasons, they are often not engaged in child and family behavioral health settings. However, there is a host of data that describes the importance of black fathers in the lives of their children and families. In fact, there are currently more fathers living with their children than without and data suggests that black fathers are more involved in the daily lives of their children in comparison to their white and latino counterparts. This episode underscores the importance of engaging black fathers in behavioral health services.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

11: Police Brutality and Trauma

Guest: Samuel Aymer, PhD @aymerPhD

Release Date: February 22, 2018

“I think another takeaway is to really understand that police brutality is real, and that witnessing these acts of violence, gratuitous violence, on social media, on video cameras, we have to be careful that we don’t become numb to the viewing of Black bodies.”

Police brutality and the criminalization of Black men have been issues of concern within Black communities for centuries. Although making up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, Black people are disproportionately impacted by police related deaths. According to a recent study published by the American Journal of Public Health (Buehler, 2017), Black men are nearly 3 times as likely to die from the use of force by the police than their White counterparts. Police brutality and other forms of racial trauma often elicit race-based traumatic stress and psychological injury. This podcast will focus on the impact of police brutality on the psychological well-being of Black boys and men.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

12: Reentry Following Incarceration

Guest: Flores Forbes

Release Date: February 26, 2018

“I think that closing down a prison, I think is a great thing. But if you don’t change the nature, if you don’t change the actual criminal justice system, you’re just moving one issue over to another location, because the same conditions will probably exist unless you’re gonna deal with it.”

Incarceration has many impacts during and after sentencing. This podcast highlights the challenges that Black men often face with regards to reentry and removing the stigma of incarceration.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

13: Reentry Part 2: Getting Back to Work

Guest: Muschi Jean-Baptiste

Release Date: March 1, 2018

“…they just have a history of being treated as a number. And when you treat somebody as a number, you don’t really listen or you don’t really give the type of quantifying time that that individual needs for whatever it is that they’re facing.”

Following incarceration, black men who are seeking employment are met by several challenges that are detrimental to their success and increase recidivism. However, there are best practices that can be taken to ensure successful integration.This podcast focuses on the challenges that black men often face when reintegrating into the workforce following incarceration and what we can do to help.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)

14: Resilience and Steps Forward

Guest: Terrance Coffie, MSW

Release Date: March 5, 2018

“I think that people already have resilience. I think that it’s labelled in a way, where they don’t really understand that. If you have survived prison, if you have survived waking up day in and day out, just maintaining to get through that, trying, you’re practicing resilience, right then. When you’re dealing with the hardships, day in and day out, that’s resilience.”

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. It is the characteristic or trait that allows people to thrive despite inconceivable hardship and experiences of trauma. This podcast discusses how we are all resilience and the importance of support throughout your journey.

Episode Guide (PDF)   Guest Bio (PDF)