Reported by Ashley Naples
Young Black American males struggle significantly to receive acknowledgement outside of the judicial system, and even there they are still railroaded as the US Sentencing Commission reports they are given 19.5 percent longer sentences than white men for the same crime.
The contempt that Americans collectively have for the young Black male was shown in the reactions to the death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old unarmed Black boy who was killed by a bi-racial Hispanic and white male. White Americans took to social media to vehemently defend the boy’s killer, who had been instructed by a 911 operator to leave the child alone and wait for police to arrive to the scene. At the time of his death, Martin wasn’t engaged in any criminal activity and was merely walking back to his father’s home after leaving a convenient store. He was killed for what many people refer to as “being Black.” Many white people made memes out of the child’s lifeless body in an attempt to dehumanize him and further defend his killer’s actions.
Fortunately though, there are young Black men who are changing the perceptions of Black boys throughout America. One of them is YouTube sensation Marques Brownlee. He’s behind a YouTube product review empire that has more than 1.8 million subscribers.
Here’s more about his successful brand:
Marques Brownlee is a YouTube sensation. The tech-review prodigy has 1.8 million subscribers. Under the username MKBHD, he tests everything from cameras and headphones to Google Glass and the latest Tesla. This summer he got his hands on a sapphire crystal display rumored to be for the iPhone 6. In the video, which has gotten about 8 million views, he took keys, his foot, and even a blade to the screen with no result.
Brownlee started making review videos almost six years ago, though it’s only in the past few that he developed his affable persona and slick filming style. “If I’m going to give someone advice on what to buy, you want a personality to back it up rather than some robot telling you X is better than Y,” Brownlee says. Today, his channel generates enough money from ads “to pay for itself and to make it worth my time.”
Brownlee is currently balancing this one-man production with his senior year of college and—of course—playing professional Ultimate Frisbee for the New York Rumble. He wants to expand his universe of review subjects too. “Anything with an On button is fair game,” he says. Like most people his age, he’s not sure what he’ll do after graduation. We suggest media mogul.