There have been many reports of cab drivers refusing to take passengers to predominantly Black neighborhoods, fearing for their own personal safety or White people crossing the street to avoid passing Black youth on the sidewalk. But a new study led by Christopher Browning, a professor of sociology at Ohio State University found that young Black males also feel less safe when they travel to neighborhoods that are predominantly White.
Researchers gave a large group of Black youths smartphones that tracked their locations for a week and asked the participants to rate how safe they felt (among other questions) five times per day. Results showed that African American boys felt less safe even in areas that were only modestly more White than where they usually spent time.
“It doesn’t have to be a majority White neighborhood for African American boys to feel more threatened,” Professor Browning said. “It just has to be more White than what they typically encounter.”
The data showed that African American girls did not feel less safe in White neighborhoods.