Local Organizer Starts Trend to End Racial Targeting

In response to the Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant tragedies, #BeyondtheSkin seeks to change the negative images associated with black men.

Orlando, FL, September 05, 2013 --(PR.com)-- An independent podcast host/community organizer/lawyer created a Facebook group to counteract the “thug” persona commonly associated with African-American men. On the heels of the verdict in the Zimmerman trial, and the success of the “Fruitvale Station” film, #BeyondtheSkin was created. #BeyondtheSkin is a Facebook group that allows members to post a picture of the black men in their lives—doctors, lawyers, fathers—along with five sentences about who they are.

The group’s organizer, Germar Townsend, believes that the key to preventing the next “Trayvon Martin tragedy” is to change the perception of the African-American man. Regularly released studies show that many Americans associate negative stereotypes with black men, fear black men, and perceive black men as criminal. Because media reports, and incarceration rates seem to support this perception, the notion is perpetuated. But, statistically African-American men are no more likely to commit any crime than any other group of men. The associated numbers are negligible. (as cited in "The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander)

The #BeyondtheSkin Facebook group is located at: www.facebook.com/groups/beyondtheskin. The hashtag (#) #BeyondtheSkin can be used on other social networking sites, including Twitter and Tumblr. Mr. Townsend said that, “Our hope is that the group gets popular enough to impact people across the nation, so that they really think about this issue. Tattoos, dark skin, and baggy shorts does not equal danger.”

For additional information, join the Facebook group #BeyondtheSkin, contact Mr. Townsend, or tune in to his radical pop culture podcast Look to the Cookie at www.looktothecookie.org.
Germar Townsend