Brent Staples: Being a Black Man Critical Essay

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Redefining Stereotypes In Brent Staples essay, “Black Men and Public Spaces” he candidly examines his experiences of being a stereotyped black man. Always feeling like he has to avoid others, or walk on the opposite side of the street just to make people feel comfortable around him. Staples’ personal accounts as well as the life he lived and the things he witnessed as a child influenced the thoughts and ideas for his essay. Through his quick establishment of his own authority and the tones he uses makes this essay literarily effective. Right away, Staples begins claiming authority. He “was twenty-two years old, a graduate student newly arrived at the University of Chicago”. It then is known that Staples is a well-educated man, not just anyone writing about how they feel. By establishing this so soon in his essay, it makes the rest seem more valid and the reader is more likely to believe what Staples has to say, to agree, and take Staples’ ideas into account. Later in the essay, he references past authors who have written about a similar topic. This shows that Staples has done some extensive research and has more knowledge than just relying on his own opinions. His ability to make connections to other pieces of literature is proof that his authority is valid. Through mentioning writers Podhoretz and Hoagland, Staples now can back up his own beliefs with the fact that past legitimate writers have written about a similar topic of discriminating and stereotyping black men. In their writing however, they support the idea that black men are known for their violent nature. Staples takes these ideas and challenges them with his own take on black men and violence. This puts Staples essay to a whole new level by using other pieces of literature to argue against his own opinion. With all Staples’ life experiences as a child growing up and watching the men around him destruct

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