MARTIN: So, define black male privilege. Im sure thats a phrase on its face that will get people to sit up and take notice.
LEWIS: My working definition is really a system of built-in and often
overlooked systematic advantages that center the experience and the
concerns of black males while minimizing the power that black males
hold, which is a fancy way of saying, we are absolutely used to talking
about African-American men in crisis. And we can talk about this crisis
so much that we miss the ways in which black men are oppressed and can
also serve as oppressors.
MARTIN: And when you say privileged,
I think generally people think of privilege in relation to whom. So,
when you think of privilege, are you speaking relative to someone?
LEWIS: Absolutely. Black male privilege is first centered as being
relative to black women. Im not comparing black males privilege to white
male privilege. I think one could argue that, but itd be a very
dangerous leap. When we look in the African-American community, there
are actually spaces where black men are advantaged and often sometimes
dominate a dialogue, when we should be listening more carefully to whats
happening with black women equally.