Racial Stereotypes and Racism in African Americans


  • Adversely affect health and lives across all dimensions
  • Institutional discrimination (Bleich et al., 2019).
  • Long history from slavery to discriminative policies (Taylor et al., 2019)
  • Fuelling of negative stereotypes against blacks
  • Address racism and racial stereotypes in African Americans

Description of the Social Group

  • Descendants of the African continent
  • Characterized by the black color of skin
  • Constitute 40 million or 13% of the entire American population (Bialik, 2018)
  • Came through immigration and slave trade or slavery
  • High levels of racism and negative stereotyping (Taylor et al., 2019)

Definitions and Terms


Discrimination or antagonism because of racial-ethnic status (Bleich et al., 2019)


  • Fixed impressions of others’ attributes
  • Held to make a sense of others and their settings or situations
  • Influence biases and discriminations (Taylor et al., 2019)

Strengths and Positive Aspects of African Americans

  • Hardened by historical injustices
  • Development of a culture of resiliency (Holliman et al., 2018)

Effective for coping with and responding to stress
Easy survival and triumph over adversity

  • Effective coping helps overcome challenges like suicide (Holliman et al., 2018)
  • High levels of social cohesion

Family and social values
Religious participation
Social belongingness (Holliman et al., 2018)

  • Collectivism and communal approach to life

Challenges Faced by African Americans

Negative stereotypes

  • White men

Intelligent and competent (Hester & Gray, 2018)

  • Black men

Violent, aggressive, hostile, and a threat to security (Hester & Gray, 2018)

  • Fuels racial discrimination and mistreatment
  • Predisposition to the criminal justice system

2.5 times more incarcerations (Taylor et al., 2019)
One in three blacks to be imprisoned (Taylor et al., 2019)
More likely to be stopped, frisked, and arrested (Hester & Gray, 2018)

  • Labeled deviant, dangerous, violent, and criminal
  • Discrimination in employment

Reduced hiring of blacks
Prejudice and discrimination in education and employment
Led to poor social determinants of health (Taylor et al., 2019)

  • Social stigma and seeking services (Bleich et al., 2019)

Solutions and Strategies

  • A series of strategies and solutions
    Racism is deeply embedded in the American culture (Taylor et al., 2019)
  • Cultural competency training
    Target all professionals
    Mitigates systemic racism and stereotyping (Taylor et al., 2019)
  • Creation of awareness (Taylor et al., 2019)
  • Policies to promote racial diversity and equality or equity
    Promote affirmative action
  • Enhance equal access to education, healthcare, and employment (Bleich et al., 2019)
  • Encourage blacks to seek help from formal systems


  • Threat to racial equality and diversity
  • Promote discrimination by formal systems
    Institutional or systemic racism
  • Create awareness
  • Affirmative action and equality policies
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