Black Men in a Public Place

319 Words2 Pages
Black Men and Public Space Summary Brent Staples in his essay “Black Men and Public Space” decries that males are judged to be criminals simply because of the color of their skin. In Staples first incident with his first victim he states as he walked down a street late at night he came up behind a young lady and with a few looks back toward him the lady started to run away down a different street. States says he felt surprise, embarrassed, and dismayed. Considering he was often seen in his hometown of Chester, Pennsylvania as a one of the good boys. In the big cities of Chicago and 1+New York people showed fear of Staples by crossing to the other side of the streets, and holding their purses in a bandolier style. Staples again felt no solace against people who walk the streets and avoided eye contact. Staples had been working on assignment for a local paper. As he was killing time he entered a jewelry store and was approached by a shop owner with a large red Doberman pinscher. On another occasion as Staples rushed into an office of a magazine with a story that was on a deadline in hand when he was caught by security as he moved toward someone that knew him. States didn’t fare as bad as another black male who was in Waukegan, Illinois who was doing a story about a murder and was mistaken for the killer. The only thing that saved him from being booked was his press pass. Now when Staples goes for walks he takes precautions to make himself less threatening. He does this by giving space to nervous people who are waiting on subway platforms, also by whistling tunes of classical music such as Beethoven. Staples state “It is my equivalent of the cowbell that hikers wear when they know they are in bear

More about Black Men in a Public Place

Open Document