Young Black Men Describe What It's REALLY Like Growing Up Black In America. It's Absolutely Heartbreaking.

"There are things in this world, you have to watch out."

Every time a person of color is brutalized or killed by the police — which lately, seems like a lot of times — some people, even law enforcement, will say something along the lines of the following:

Don't break the law and you won't be harmed.

But the truth is, regardless of whether they break the law or not, people of color, Black men in particular are regularly unfairly targeted and subject to racism on a routine basis. These days racism doesn't look quite the same as it did years ago, but it manifests itself in new ways. 

The New York Times got a few young men of color to tell you their own stories, to show you what we mean. They spoke as part of a mini-documentary filmed by the Times called "A Conversation About Growing Up Black." 

The boys' questions were three-fold: What adversity do they face, what it's like to be a person of color in a racially charged world and what did their parents do to shelter or prepare them for said world.

Here's what they said:

"We had just gotten off the bus and we were almost home and there was this group of Black kids that had just gotten out of school — and [my friend] was like, 'Oh, there's a group of Black kids, let's cross the street.'"

"I wore a sweatband just to reinforce my wrist and I had a teacher came up to me and say 'You should take it off, it looks gang affiliated.'"

"I've been stopped by the cops on way my between classes — as my white students in the same class walk by me."

"I walk tall, I keep my head up, try to be very articulate and polite. And so, I'm like, I'm gonna be fine. And, of course, that has absolutely nothing to do with it. The way people perceive you is not up to you."

Watch the heartbreaking short documentary below: