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Measuring the Meaning of Black Media Stereotypes and Their Relationship to the Racial Identity, Black History Knowledge, and Racial Socialization of African American Youth

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Journal of Black Studies

Published online on


While consensus has grown about the prevalence of negative Black media images, measuring the influence of these images and youth rejection or endorsement of these images on Black youth well-being and identity is a new and understudied phenomenon. This study was designed to create a measure of Black media stereotypes for use with adolescents. Focus groups with Black youth ages 14 to 21 were conducted and the data were used to design the Black Media Messages Questionnaire (BMMQ). One hundred thirteen Black youth completed the BMMQ along with measures of racial socialization, racial identity, Black history knowledge, body image, and self-esteem. Confirmatory factor analysis of the BMMQ resulted in three scales with six factors. The factors were entered into correlation and ANOVA analyses. Age, gender, and TV viewing consistently correlated with BMMQ factors. ANOVA results demonstrated that few variables were significant for the positive stereotype BMMQ factors, but endorsement of negative Black stereotype media messages resulted in significant age and gender differences. Analyses also revealed expected relationships among BMMQ, racial socialization, racial identity, and Black history knowledge variables.