breaking news

Black Friday deals: Here’s what we’re finding today

Springfield’s John Legend talks gender roles, growing up black in Ohio


Grammy and Oscar-winning singer and Springfield native John Legend believes children are exposed to gender stereotypes from an early age that leading to problems, especially for young boys.

» RELATED: Springfield’s John Legen blasts Trump, supports protesting NFL players

Legend recently sat down for an interview with NBC Think ahead AXE’s Senior Orientation — an event aimed at teaching high school senior boys about inclusive masculinity — where he discussed how children are exposed to stereotypes early in life and feel pressured to conform.

“Society gives you all kinds of cues as to what’s valuable, what’s considered masculine and feminine,” Legend said in the interview. “But as a kid you’re not really understanding it as such, you’re just seeing it as this is what boys are likely to do and this is what girls are likely to do.”

» READ MORE: That time 10-year-old John Legend was a Springfield spelling bee champion

Boys tend to internalize a lot of their emotions, Legend said, but black boys in particular face intense pressure to conform to what people perceive black men to be.

“I think we’re expected to be even more masculine than other men are,” he told NBC. “Some of this expectation we put on ourselves, I think, to some extent. But it’s also driven from other people, as well as from the broader phenomenon of hyper-masculinity.”

Legend said growing up in Ohio, where sports are placed under a bright spotlight, made him feel less valuable because he wasn’t a good athlete and focused more on the arts. His sense of awkwardness only increased as he grew older as he progressed through school quickly and entered college when he was only 16. But because of his upbringing, he said he was able to embrace what it was he wanted to do and become who he is today.

» MORE COVERAGE: Springfield’s John Legend remembers the times before the legend began

Legend said keeping an open mind and being willing to accept different outlooks is what can help young men struggling with their own viewpoints.

“Well, I think part of it is to learn, to listen, to pay attention to other people and not only learn from books and from outside media, but also listen to your classmates. Listen to women. Listen to people who are different from you and develop a sense of empathy for the things that they’re going through. I think we should all be humble and we should all listen to each other and learn from each other.”

3 Must Read Stories

Here’s what Chrissy Teigen said about her $1K tip to Ohio Outback server

Caller to Springfield bakery: “We will come shoot this place up!”

5 things to know about Election 2017 results in Springfield



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Black Friday deals: Here’s what we found today
Black Friday deals: Here’s what we found today

Shoppers are already out finding the best deals at big box retailers on Black Friday. Retailers like Target and Walmart opened last night on Thanksgiving, offering major deals for shoppers. Cabela’s opened again at 6 a.m. today, and gave away prizes to the first 600 customers in line. These are the best deals we’ve found so far:
Ohio lawmaker wants to limit child marriage
Ohio lawmaker wants to limit child marriage

Efforts to reform Ohio’s child marriage laws, which currently allow children of any age to marry if they obtain parental and judicial consent, could get tangled up in politics over gay marriage, lawmakers say. A Dayton Daily News investigation detailed more than 4,400 girls under 18 married in Ohio over the past 15 years, including 59 girls who...
Colin Kaepernick surprise guest at 'Unthanksgiving Day' on Alcatraz
Colin Kaepernick surprise guest at 'Unthanksgiving Day' on Alcatraz

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made a surprise appearance at the Alcatraz Indigenous People's Sunrise Gathering on Thursday, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. A tradition in California since 1975, the annual dawn festivities, also known as Unthanksgiving Day, commemorate the occupation of Alcatraz by American...
Love sweets? 4 local candy shops to check out
Love sweets? 4 local candy shops to check out

Have a sweet tooth? So do we. Luckily for all of us, there are a slew of candy shops in the Miami Valley to check out. Here are some favorites.  (Pro Tip: Candy makes a great stocking stuffer.) They’re known for their gourmet cotton candy, but they’ve got several sweet treats to try, including Sweet Tart Chews, rock candy, gummies...
What Ohio wine pairs best with Wolverine meat? We have the answer!
What Ohio wine pairs best with Wolverine meat? We have the answer!

The Ohio State-Michigan football rivalry has been a wee bit lopsided in recent years — thank you, Urban Meyer, and thank YOU as well, Jim Harbaugh — so since this Buckeye fan and OSU alum has a keen interest in food and wine as well as football, that leads us to one and only one question as the two teams prepare to battle on Saturday: What...
More Stories