The aggressive African American male is a pervasive stereotype in America. This view of African American males has found support from those who claim a biological basis for this perceived propensity for aggression and violence. High arrest rates are used as an indicator for defining African American males as more aggressive and more violent than males from any other ethnic group. There are, however, environmental factors, such as the industrial shift of the 1980 s, the dynamic blending of race, the legal system, the community and the individual, and the influence of family structure that do not receive serious consideration in the extant research. These factors examined from an ecological framework are revealed as possible predictors, confounding variables or direct or indirect causes of the disproportional representation of African Americans in crime statistics.