Brent Staples Black Men And Public Space

568 Words3 Pages

“Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples
Stereotyping can have serious affects on those afflicted. Staples writes about how a move away from his hometown changed his view of himself in seeing how others viewed him. He wants people, white people and women in particular, to stop presuming the worst in black men.
This essay put to words something difficult to speak about both socially and politically. Nevertheless the author writes three pages on the effects of stereotyping on black men without making the reader feel uncomfortable. He expresses his own feelings wile acknowledging the feelings of others. I believe this essay is nicely written in how the author says a lot about a sizable topic so simply. He does not over analyze the situations …show more content…

After describing how a woman, assuming the worst in a black man walking at night, once ran away from him in an otherwise deserted street, he explains how “Her flight made me feel like an accomplice in tyranny” (Staples 385). Staples, having no intentions of wrongdoing in the least by taking a nigh time stroll, was rightly hurt by the woman 's actions. Writing how nefarious he felt in unintentionally making the woman run for her life leads the audience to commiserate with him. Using pathos, Staples allows his audience to see how the stereotype of the danger in black men made him feel like a vicious person. The audience does not want people to feel ostracized, hopefully, making them less likely to prejudge others. He uses pathos again when describing what would have happened if he had taken the stereotyping to heart. Staples “. . .learned to smother the rage [he] felt at so often being mistaken for a criminal. Not to do so would surely have led to madness. . .” (386). The stirring use of pathos here makes the audience feel not only for him, but for all others in similar situations. Staples suggests that knowing how many people view him, as a felon, would drive anyone to insanity unless they found a way to contend. The people who assume the worst in others because of their race have created the rage that Staples and many others feel. Learning how Staples and other black men suffer will insight the audience to stop judging people in this

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