Black Men and Public Space

Topics: Black people, White people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (702 words) Published: April 19, 2011
Black Men and Public Space talked about the misadventures of Brent Staples and other black men living in a racially obsessed society. Brent Staples refers to the many whites women that he encounters on daily basics as victims. Staples began his writings with an example of a woman who is walking down a street late at night in Chicago and Staples is walking behind her. He noticed she is a white female in her late twenties. She began to pick up her pace and eventually proceeded to a slow running pace. Within seconds she is gone. She disappeared from sight all because she saw Staples (a black man) walking down the street at night. After this experience he learned that by being black he has the ability to alter public space. He has the unfortunate ability to move mountains. Today, when a black person walks around at night, they are automatically thought of as being a troublemaker, a rapist, robber and even a murderer. Most will do virtually anything to avoid a black person, whether it is walking on the other side of the street, crossing the street at a different area. They would do anything to be rid of those presumed tyrants. I believe it is horrid that we as African Americans are brought up to suppress this type of anger and rage.

I have to question, who are the real victims? Is it the faceless white women that see him and see fear, or is it is him and the millions of black men and women that are considered guilty before they even know the crime? He is his "first victim." By attributing the situations around him relating to fear and stereotypes that he feels everyone has about his skin color, he is victimizing himself to that stereotype by failing to look more responsive as he feels they are failing to look more into his characteristics because of that same stereotype. Women have been conditioned to fear men because of their strength and dominance. Men have been conditioned to fear woman because of the affect they can have on them. Minorities fear whites because...

Cited: Staples, Brent. “Black Men and Public Space.” Literature for Composition: Reading and Writing Arguments about Essays, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 8th ed. Eds. Sylvan Barnet, William Burto, and William E. Cain. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2007. 301-303. Print.
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