Black boys tend to fear for their lives while moving through white neighborhoods, a new study by Ohio State University found.

The study involved 506 boys in Columbus, Ohio, who were given smartphones that tracked their locations for a week. The participants were asked to use the phones to rate how safe they felt in various neighborhoods five times a day.

“It doesn’t have to be a majority-White neighborhood for African American boys to feel more threatened,” Christopher Browning, lead author of the study and OSU professor of sociology, told Ohio State News. “It just has to be more White than what they typically encounter.”

The study comes amid increased racial tension nationwide, with Black men and boys particularly subjected to racially charged violence and profiling.

“We’ve seen a lot of stories in the media lately about the police being called on Black people going about their business in white areas,” Browning said. “This may help explain why Black youth felt more threatened in parts of town where they were exposed to more white people.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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