Black Men and Public Places by Brent Staples
In the short story Black Men and Public Spaces by Brent Staples, the writer goes through a struggle of being viewed as other “Black men” in society such as perpetrators of violence. Although he felt enraged as he stated on pg.316, “Over the years, I learned to smother the rage I felt at so often being taken for a criminal”. He begins to understand why people, mainly woman fear him so much. This is because as he states “I understand of course that the danger they perceive is not a hallucination. Women are particularly vulnerable to street violence, and young black males are drastically overrepresented among the perpetrators of that violence”. Since the writer understands why people fear him, he tries to change himself so people’s opinion and perception of black men also change. At this point I strongly disagree with the writer, because I believe you are who you are and you should not change anything about yourself to be accepted in society. In some ways I can connect with the writer in his struggle, because as a Muslim in the 21st Century some Americans view Muslims as terrorist due to ignorance, stereotype, and because of the tragedy that extremist of the religion caused which made the twin towers collapse and ended with thousands of civilians losing their lives. Although people who look the same, come from the same culture or religion doesn’t mean that they are the same nor act the same. The short story Black Men and Public Places begins with him walking behind a woman on a seemingly scary street. But because he was a black male, tall, and had his hands shoved in his pocket it made him look suspicious. The stereotypical perception of black men caused the women to speed up, and eventually start running. In this case this black male was innocent and meant no harm, but because of the way society view black men it caused her to be fearful of him. One day as I was walking from a long day of...
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