The Marshall Project
Nonprofit journalism about criminal justice
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Superpredator: The Media Myth That Demonized a Generation of Black Youth
25 years ago this month, “superpredator” was coined in The Weekly Standard. Media spread the term like wildfire, creating repercussions on policy and culture we are still reckoning with today.
I Wasn’t a Superpredator. I Was a Kid Who Made a Terrible Decision.
In 1994, at age 14, Derrick Hardaway took part in the murder of an 11-year-old. The media used the crime to build the myth of the superpredator—and stuck him with a label he’s still trying to shed.
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