2 September 2014
Brent Staples' essay Black Men and Public Space, explores racism and its difficulties. Staples tells his experiences with racism and what growing up as a black male was like. Staples describes his hardships with racism in order to show how he overcame these incidents and become a better man. The intended audience could be anyone really, particularly people struggling with racism themselves.
Staples suggest that people still tend to portray black men as violent and dangerous individuals from racial tendencies without rationalizing and thus causing stress to the victims (black men) because they’re seen as threats despite their true nature. In the past, black men have had reputations that associate themselves with murderers, thieves, rapist etc. thus making people around them feel anxious and/or concerned.
I feel Brent Staples' Black Men and Public Space was insightful. He really expresses what racism was like for him and every struggle he went through. "My first victim was a woman-white, well dressed, probably in her early twenties.” is the first example of the racism Staples' gives to explain his struggle as a black male. When I first started to read this, not knowing where this story was heading, I thought it was a confession of a serial killer or rapist. The author was actually the victim of racism and told it in a different way to captivate his audience. The purpose of this story is to let everyone know about the stereotypes and opinions made about black men.
Growing up in the south, I saw firsthand the ugliness of racism. So when Staples was telling his story, I could invasion what he was going through. Staples described himself as what I envisioned as the boogie man when I was a kid. As a kid I was told that all black men were thieves, rapist or murderers. But as I got older, I could see that was far from the case. My first day of Junior High my cousin told me that the black kids would ask you for your...