Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Ande Nesmith, Ph.D., LICSW


Social Work


The topic of media influencing racism in our society is significant in research. It targets media bias, and therefore it is wise to explore how media contributes to racism in explicit ways. During the beginning stages of film and media, African Americans struggled to represent their own stories, beliefs, opinions and identities because White people controlled the entertainment industry and chose what images of Black people to portray. This study incorporated an understanding standing of Bandura’s Learning Theory to gain understanding of how media messages impact our belief and value system. This study examined what information was available to readers and viewers of the news media and how that information impacts our beliefs, emotions, and behaviors towards others. Specifically, as it relates to racial differences, stereotypes, racial micro-aggressions and perceptions of African American males. Major findings include examples and information related to racial micro-aggressions and the impacts as it relates to media exposure. The research also recognizes "identifier" word patterns using "black" and "white". The research offers a conclusion, that on average, “black” is used three times, more in news reporting than "white". The over usage of the word “black” becomes a racial micro-aggression because it can condition the mind to associate the word with negative connotation. Patterns of criminalization and justification are exposed. Black men are often criminalized and represented as violent is the media. As contrast, in the event of a White officer as the shooter of a Black man, the officer's actions are justified or supported regardless of the criminality of the officers own actions. In consideration with how race is presented in the media historically, it seems that this research would show a correlation that racism is likely still reinforced through news media whether conscience or not.

Included in

Social Work Commons