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

1433 Words3 Pages
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 plight. Although Staples relates such burdens through his personal experiences rather than directly revealing the psychological impacts such actions have upon African Americans with research, he effectively uses emotion to explain the social effects and challenges they have faced to avoid causing a ruckus with the “white American” world while keeping his reference up to date and accordingly to his history. Staples successfully begins by not only admitting the possible faults in his practiced race but also by understanding the perspective of the one who fear them. Black males being opened to more violence because of the environment they're raised in are labeled to be more likely to cause harm or committing crime towards women but Staples asks why that issue changes the outlook of everyday face to face contact and questions the simple actions of a black man? Staples admits, "women are particularly vulnerable to street violence, and young black males are drastically overrepresented among the perpetrators of that violence," (Staples 384) however... ... middle of paper ... ... that he was a grad student to familiarize them with his education levels; he shares his job position of being a writer, and at the same time openly reveals the emotions people feel with a black man's presences around them. Works Cited Boser, Ulrich. "The Black Man's Burden." U.S. News & World Report 133.8 (2002): 50. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. Green, Makiah. “I’m a Scholar, Not a Criminal: The Plight of Black Students at USC.” Makiah-isms: A Vocal Vessel. N.p. 4 May. 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2013. Myers, David G. “Chapter 14: Social Psychology.” Psychology. 10th ed. New York, NY US: Worth Publishers, 2013. 552-602. Print. Staples, Brent. “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space.” 50 Essays. Ed. Samuel Cohen. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford, 2011. 383-386. Print. “Trayvon Martin 911 Call.” The Young Turks. YouTube. 19 Mar. 2012. Web. Nov 16. 2013.
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