Essay on `` Black Men And Public Space `` By Brent Staples

Essay on `` Black Men And Public Space `` By Brent Staples

Length: 745 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In this narrative essay, Brent Staples provides a personal account of his experiences as a black man in modern society. “Black Men and Public Space” acts as a journey for the readers to follow as Staples discovers the many societal biases against him, simply because of his skin color. The essay begins when Staples was twenty-two years old, walking the streets of Chicago late in the evening, and a woman responds to his presence with fear. Being a larger black man, he learned that he would be stereotyped by others around him as a “mugger, rapist, or worse” (135).
Staples describes his experiences in Chicago of being racially profiled, for example: people locking car doors as he walked by, people crossing to the other side of the street after seeing him, or police officers assuming him to be a threat. Then, Staples moved to Brooklyn and experienced similar responses, seen as “a fearsome entity with whom pedestrians avoid making eye contact” (136).
The author first feels rage because of how he is treated. However, in the conclusion of the essay, Staples describes his decision to appear less threatening to others and smother his anger at his situation. His strategy is to whistle classical music in order avoid intimidating others on the street.

“Black Men and Public Space” was a reflective piece that ultimately centered around an issue that has plagued society for decades: race. Brent Staples focuses on his own experiences, which center around his perspective of racism and inequality. This perspective uniquely encapsulates the life of a black man with an outer image that directly affects how others perceive him as a person. Many readers, including myself, have never experienced the fear that Staples encounters so frequently. The sev...


... middle of paper ...


...o sum up a powerful piece.
This piece may be used in a paper concerning issues of social justice, and more specifically, my personal perspective on race. A universally applicable quote for an essay concerning these issues is, “Women are particularly vulnerable to street violence, and young black males are drastically over-represented among the perpetrators of that violence. Yet these truths are no solace to the kind of alienation that comes of ever being the suspect, a fearsome entity with whom pedestrians avoid making eye contact.” (135-136) This quote works for both victims of racial profiling as well as individuals that subconsciously participate in profiling. As a small, white female, I use the facts about violence committed against other women to shape my behavior. However, this quote provides me with insight on how my natural judgments negatively affect others.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Black Men And Public Space By Brent Staples

- Throughout history, as far back as one could remember, African- American men have been racially profiled and stereotyped by various individuals. It has been noted that simply because of their skin color, individuals within society begin to seem frightened when in their presence.In Black Men and Public Space, Brent Staples goes into elaborate detail regarding the stereotypical treatment he began to receive as a young man attending University of Chicago. He begins to explain incidents that took place numerous times in his life and assists the reader is seeing this hatred from his point of view....   [tags: Race, African American, Race, Racial profiling]

Strong Essays
1002 words (2.9 pages)

Black Men And Public Spaces By Brent Staples Essay

- Racial prejudice began an undoubtedly winding journey, meandering through decade after decade. In the Norton Reader 14th Edition the personal narrative "Black Men and Public Spaces" by Brent Staples describes the multiple experiences he had with being racially stereotyped and how it affected not only him, but also other black men in society. His specific experiences become imperative to the meaning and all inclusive power of narrative, bringing to women 's attention that not all black men pose a threat....   [tags: Race, Stereotype, Black people, Miscegenation]

Strong Essays
1018 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Black Men And Public Space By Brent Staples

- Response to Black Men and Public Space We still consider a black person as a bad individual in today’s society. In his essay, “Black Men and Public Space,” Brent Staples describes why he had to alter his behavior in order for the public to feel safe around him. Staples uses different examples in order for the reader to comprehend as to why he needed to do this. Staples further gives us details how he is being discriminated throughout all his life. Moreover, Staples tells us his emotions and frustration in how society is prejudice towards black people....   [tags: White people, Black people, Race]

Strong Essays
703 words (2 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Black Men And Public Space By Brent Staples

- Response to Black Men and Public Space We still consider a black person as a bad individual in today’s society. In his essay, “Black Men and Public Space,” Brent Staples describes why he had to alter his behavior in order for the public to feel safe around him. Staples uses different examples in order for the reader to comprehend as to why he needed to do this. Staples further gives us details how he is being discriminated throughout all his life. Moreover, Staples tells us his emotions and frustration at how societal is prejudice towards black people....   [tags: White people, Black people, Race]

Strong Essays
702 words (2 pages)

Black Men And Public Space By Brent Staples Essay

- Brent Staples’ piece “Black Men and Public Space” first published in 1986 in a liberal feminist magazine “Ms.” An African American, Staples was often the victim of racial prejudice throughout his young-adulthood. The publication, mostly directed toward white, feminist, affluent women, was supposed to send a message about racial prejudice and empathy. Staples develops his purpose, that people should be empathetic toward African Americans, through self-blaming tone, imagery, and ethical appeal. First, Staples uses a self-blaming tone to help his purpose....   [tags: Black people, African American, Race, Racism]

Strong Essays
1083 words (3.1 pages)

The Article ' Black Men And Public Space ' By Brent Staples Essay

- The article “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples, originally published in Ms. Magazine in 1986, under the title “Just Walk on by,” depicts the existence of racism within the unconscious prejudice of people. The main idea of this article is the fact that blacks are perceived as a violent and disastrous people, and this, in turn, puts them in danger. Staples uses a detailed imagery to illustrate the stereotype of individuals based on black people. In the article, the author portrays the poignant events that black people face and uses pathos to describe his melancholy of people judging him by his skin color....   [tags: Black people, White people, Race]

Strong Essays
824 words (2.4 pages)

Black Men And Public Space By Brent Staples Essay

- “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples shows the harmful effects that come from being discriminated against. Staples grew up in a violent neighborhood and learned that he wanted to stay away from a dangerous lifestyle. He moved to the city to stay out of trouble. Staples is faced with being stereotyped for being violent because he was a six foot tall black man. He thought of unique ways like whistling classical music to make himself seem less harmful. He didn’t want to be perceived as threatening and had to deal with this on a daily basis....   [tags: Discrimination, Racism, Race, Anxiety]

Strong Essays
900 words (2.6 pages)

“Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples Essay

- In Brent Staples’ "Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space," Staples describes the issues, stereotypes, and criticisms he faces being a black man in public surroundings. Staples initiates his perspective by introducing the audience in to thinking he is committing a crime, but eventually reveals how the actions taken towards him are because of the fear linked to his labelled stereotypes of being rapists, gangsters and muggers. Staples continues to unfold the audience from a 20 year old experience and sheds light onto how regardless of proving his survival compared to the other stereotypical blacks with his education levels and work ethics being in the modern era, he is still in the same...   [tags: Literary Analysis, Critique, Black Men]

Strong Essays
1433 words (4.1 pages)

Reading Brent Staples Textual Analysis ' Black Men And Public Space ' Essay

- While reading Brent Staples textual analysis “Black Men and Public Space”, I thought the theme was simply displayed: white people are still racist. However, when I reread the analysis a few more times it became very clear and more composite than how I interpreted it the first time. Staples implies that there is a fine distinction between the two races. The author notices the habits or cultural appropriation. Staples concentrates on how black men were being taken a gander at by the way they convey themselves or by the way they were wearing open spots....   [tags: White people, Race, Black people, United Kingdom]

Strong Essays
710 words (2 pages)

Essay on `` Black Men And Public Space `` By Brent Staples

- In this narrative essay, Brent Staples provides a personal account of his experiences as a black man in modern society. “Black Men and Public Space” acts as a journey for the readers to follow as Staples discovers the many societal biases against him, simply because of his skin color. The essay begins when Staples was twenty-two years old, walking the streets of Chicago late in the evening, and a woman responds to his presence with fear. Being a larger black man, he learned that he would be stereotyped by others around him as a “mugger, rapist, or worse” (135)....   [tags: Race, Black people, White people, Race]

Strong Essays
745 words (2.1 pages)