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IRRPP Director Amanda Lewis Interviewed by Block Club Chicago on a Social Media Trend That Mocks Residents of Chicago’s South Side

Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy Director Amanda Lewis was recently interviewed by Block Club Chicago to give her take on the impacts of a recent trend among YouTubers and TikTokers to travel to historically marginalized communities in the city and prank their residents. One particular YouTube series films pranks inside of an Englewood gas station and has gained nearly 700,000 followers. While the makers of these videos insist that they are nothing more than jokes, critics see them using Black South Siders as a punchline.

Director Amanda Lewis expressed her concerns that these videos could reinforce negative stereotypes of disinvested communities and deter businesses that provide essential services from investing in neighborhoods like Englewood. Furthermore, they contribute to a narrative that shifts blame for the lack of resources in a neighborhood onto the people that live there rather than focusing on the history of disinvestment and exploitation that created the current conditions that these communities face.

Read the full article from Block Club Chicago.