Black Men Public Space

283 Words2 Pages
Jordan 1 Jasmine Jordan Mrs. Andrea Chester April 15, 2013 ENG 100 Not So Public Space In the essay “Black men and Public Spaces” by Brent Staples, the author introduces something that we are all guilty of, but pay a little attention to. From his experiences and other accounts, Brent Staple’s essay portrays the racial tendency of people to assume black men are potentially violent and dangerous. It took him nearly twenty-two years to realize that black men are a part of a stereotypical and discriminatory world. But yet, the author accepts being stereotyped and goes out of his way to try to make people not portray him as a dangerous young African-American male. Brent Staples started off his essay with his first “victim,” a young white female who was walking alone late at night, just as he was; she was not comfortable with the space he had provided her. After a few glances back, she started picking up her pace, eventually running off to a side street. It was obviously clear this woman thought that Staples was either a rapist, mugger, or just up to no good. In this situation, the author is in fact the victim-a victim of discrimination. By calling the white woman a victim, Staples accepts the social perception that he perpetrator. He comes to realize the “unwieldy inheritance” of being born into a race with the unwarranted Jordan 2 “ability to alter public space.” At this point in the authors life, he does not like what he was born in to because he does not want people to categorize him as a rapist, mugger, or any other criminal without knowing who he truly
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