Altering Public Space

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David Paniagua Professor Dorothy A. Friedman English 101 9 November 2012 Altering Public Space Altering public space can be either positive or negative for the person doing it. For example, street performers or public speakers at a political rally alter public space. They can alter it in a positive or negative way. If we decompose the term to “Alter Public Space” we could understand a much clear analyses of what this expression means. Alter means to change, and public space is a place in which is not private, and the venue is accessible to everyone. Ultimately when we refer to altering public space we are describing the interaction subject “a” is having with his, or her environment, and what changes if any are occurring. Viewing examples from Bret Staples “Black Men and Public Space”, and my own experiences we can weigh our pros, and cons to enlighten us on the concept of altering public space. Bret Staples in his essay “Black Men and Public Space” discuss altering public space, his pretrial of black men in a public space was of negative influence. We can understand through examining Bret Staples examples that altering public space had a lot to do with appearance, and how someone perceived another person would be. Staples first sentence introduces the reader to his own experience on how a white woman feared something wrong would happen to her based on Bret’s appearance, he goes on to explain: “She cast back a worried glance. To her the youngish black man – a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket… After a few more quick glimpses, she picked up her pace and was soon running in earnest.” According to the author of Black Men and Public Space black men were stereotyped as being “criminals.” He believes to find a remedy to the situation, stating “I now take precautions to make
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