The Black Man and Public Space

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, White people, Black people Pages: 2 (698 words) Published: April 3, 2013
In the story “Black Men and Public Space” Brent Staples describes the racial discrimination, the treatment of black men in the United States. He includes some personal experience and stories of other black people. In his case, one particular occasion makes him realize that he, like many black men, is treated as a potential troublemaker even though he has always been a quiet and smart person. Staples states that black men came to this world with the inheritance-with the ability to alter public space in ugly ways. In his opening paragraph, Staples describes his first particular occasion that happened while he was walking in the dark streets of Chicago. His “first victim”, a white woman quickens her pace after her first glance at him and within seconds disappears just because he was a black guy wearing street clothes. Since Staples describes himself as a “softy” person scarcely being able to cut a raw kitchen rather than a human, he got surprised why that woman recognized at him a mugger or rapist. Furthermore, he realizes that he does not differ a lot from other black-skinned muggers, even though he is a smart and quiet person. Staples states that in the public places where black men appear, people avoid encountering them or treat them as if they are potential troublemakers. Moreover, Staples describes “the language of fear” by including some usual incidents from his personal life. He describes the behavior of drivers, immediately locking their cars when he passes near them, the behavior of people, moving to another side of the street rather than passing by him. He also points out those standard unpleasantries occurring between black men and people whose job is to prevent troubles. Furthermore, Staples gets surprised how till the age of twenty-two he has not been aware of that discriminating demeanor towards him. He mentions how he grew up as one of the good boys being scarcely noticeable in the street fights and murders. He also mentions how...
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