In response to the George Zimmerman verdict, Essence Magazine is launching #HeIsNotASuspect, a social media campaign directed at stopping the racial profiling of Black men and boys. The campaign’s goal is to counter negative stereotypes by presenting young African American men as individuals who are loved, valued and cared about.
“ESSENCE editors have been flooded with responses ranging from anger to sadness over the Zimmerman verdict—especially from Black mothers who daily worry about the dangers their sons face when they are profiled without consequence,” said Essence Acting Managing Editor Vanessa Bush in a statement. “ESSENCE’s #HeIsNotASuspect campaign is designed to challenge negative images of young African-American men. We want also wanted to create a forum for mothers, grandmothers, aunts and everyone else to proclaim that young African-American men are to be celebrated and not feared.”
Those who wish to participate in the campaign are being asked to upload to Instagram or Facebook a picture of themselves and a young Black man who is important to them. A caption containing the hashtag #HeIsNotASuspect should explain why he is more than a stereotype.
(Photos: Submitted by users @rarobotham and @MelekaBeal via Twitter)