Black Men and Public Space

Topics: Black people, White people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (317 words) Published: October 28, 2008
Black Men And Public Space

In the essay “Black Men And Public Space,” by Brent Staples, he argues that he

has been racially stereotyped, and has been falsely assumed to be a threat to the safety of

those around him. In this essay I will start by showing examples of how he is stereotyped,

why he is stereotyped, what he goes through as being stereotyped, and how your image

can affect you being stereotyped.

Staples provides many examples of how people are stereotyped in everyday life,

and a threat to others. He uses examples of a woman as his first victim in Chicago who

was terrified by him, by misjudging him as a robber or a murderer. Staples writes, “To her

the youngest black man a broad six feet two inches with a bears and billowing hair , both

hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket-seemed menacingly

Close. (Staples 154). The women who was walking down the street, well dressed, saw

someone who was African-American and got scared, and immediately started running

across the street. The woman saw him as a threatening person and perceived him as very

dangerous.
a society as culturally diverse as the one we live in, you would think that people would learn to be more accepting of others. Nevertheless, there are still those who simply cannot. In his essay Black Men and Public Space, Brent Staples describes something that most young black men experience on more than one occasion in their lives. Being perceived as a criminal simply based on his "unwieldy inheritance", the color of their skin. Staples recalls his experience as a 22-year-old graduate student away from home for the first time. His first "victim", as he puts it, was a young white woman who practically runs down the street when she sees him walking down the same street behind her. It is ...
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