Superpredator: The Media Myth That Demonized a Generation of Black Youth

Our 2020-21 Magic Grant Wolf Pack has published its first piece — a deep dive into the invention of the term “superpredator”. The team “found nearly 300 uses of ‘superpredator’ in 40 leading newspapers and magazines from 1995 to 2000. Fewer than 40% of these articles criticized the term.”

As Carroll Bogert and LynNell Hankock explain on their article, “from the moment the term was born, 25 years ago this month, ‘superpredator’ had a game-changing potency, derived in part from the avalanche of media coverage that began almost immediately.” The theory behind the term was eventually rebuffed but “as fodder for editorials, columns and magazine features, the term ‘superpredator’ was a tragic success — with an enormous, and lasting, human toll.”

Read the full piece on The Marshall Project or on NBC News.

LynNell and Carroll’s article has been recommended by Longreads and The New York Time’s Cooking newsletter.