A Black Man In Public Spaces Summary

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Historical Criticism on “A black man in public spaces”

“A black man in public spaces” is a short story in which the author, Brent Staples, presents the very well known case of racial profiling. Mr. Staples recalls his experiences of being a young black man in a society hell bent on profiling all black men as a danger to a peaceful community. When looking at the piece in the historical view you can rally together the author’s reasons for writing the essay, whether that is previous events in his life or the time period and social influences as to why he wrote it.

Brent Staples, a 6’2 very broad man, with a curly beard and billowing hair may seem very intimidating if you where to face him on the street. But the thing is, you really don’t know him. His past relationships with people and the place he grew up greatly influenced the reasoning behind him writing it. In the following quote Staples expresses that even though he grew up in the “ghetto” it didn’t influence him to be included in “the backdrop of gang warfare, street knifing”. “Many things go into the making of a young thug. One of those things is the consummation of the male romance with the power to intimidate… Unfortunately, poor and powerless
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The time period the essay was written in was 1986; so while looking back at the history during the late 70’s & early 80’s when many of his unjust treatments were bestowed upon him. Around this time period the black people community fought through barriers in many areas to achieve the equality they rightfully deserved. Likewise with civil rights activist groups like the black panthers protesting and rallying many people thought of the black community as violent or disrespectful which would have led to the maltreatment and inequality that many black men and women faced like
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