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An updated on the African American Male is due. *LINK*

Never thought I would live to see these days when African Americans embrace RASTAFARI (reminds me of the eighties in T&T). While the Afro-Trini youth tries to mimic the negative images that the media sells of the African American. But the 'reality' on the ground is not being shown in their media.

Historical context of young African-Trinbagonian males' behaviour - Part 1
Posted: August 03, 2004
By Dr. Kwame Nantambu

The purpose of this article is to present a historical background reality-check on cultural violence in TnT with special reference to the behavioural patterns of young African-Trinbagonian males.

The stark reality is that now it is "hip" and "cool" for these men to wear their pants almost down to their knees and to have their underwear exposed.

In this clothing apparel exhibition, these young men walk in a crooked, side-to-side, drop-step mode and with a particular facial attitude/expression.

Now, the crucial question that immediately comes to the fore is: what is the historical and cultural contextual origin of such obnoxious behaviour?

The fact of the matter is that from the mid-1970s to early 1980s, this writer taught Economics and Business Administration courses at the maximum security Lorton prison in Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.

The students who attended those classes were all young African-American males.

These young men were already accomplished, seasoned criminals and some of them were even facing life imprisonment at that tender age --- teens to early twenties.

What is the point being made here?

During the luncheon or any other break period, this writer observed up close and personal that these young criminals/murderers/rapists, etc, would all congregate in the open courtyard and their dress-code of choice was: wearing their pants down to their knees and with their underwear exposed.

They also walked crooked in a side-to-side, drop-step fashion and with a particular facial attitude/expression that was never too difficult to discern or decode. The facial look spoke volumes as to their intent in the courtyard during the period of their incarceration.

Does this past observation ring a present bell?

In other words, the mannerisms and behaviour of young African-Trinbagonian males are a direct copycat, albeit mimicking/imitation, of the mannerisms and behaviour of young African-American males in prisons throughout America.

These young African-American male criminals are now the role models of our male youths. Are such mannerisms and behaviour really "cool"?

Trinidad and Tobago News

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