Racism is a topic that has been relevant for many years though our time. Brent Staples wrote "Black Men and Public Space," published in Ms. Magazine in 1986, where he discusses how he became "familiar with the language of fear" (614). Throughout his essay, Staples uses logos, ethos, and pathos to give a reader an insight into the life of a black man in society, which effectively reaches his intended audience, but not his current day audience. Brent Staples starts talking about his "first victim" (613) picking up her pace until she was no longer able to be seen. In the beginning paragraph, he uses thriller words such as victim and mean to set up a picture in the mind of the reader that when he was behind this lady on the street, something was …show more content…
He starts to allow the reader to empathize with him by going from identifying the woman as his victim to stating how her response caused him to feel bad about himself. Staples does an excellent job in drawing a guilty sensation from the audience, which is important when gaining an emotion response. "I grew accustomed to but never being comfortable," in my opinion, this is the most influential statement because it makes the readers feel guilt and think about being in the writer 's shoes (614). He accomplishes a rhetorical goal by pulling emotion from his audience. He makes the audience see from his level that racism still exists whether society chooses to believe it or …show more content…
Staples utilizes the three main rhetorical devices, pathos, ethos, and logos all to give the reader an insight into the life of a black man in society. By using these rhetoric techniques, Staples can produce reactions from the reader and accomplish his goal of bringing the reader to his level and allow them to empathize with him. By being able to use these rhetorical techniques and pulling the reader into his piece, he can accomplish his overall goal of the piece and make the audience see that even though society claims against it, there is still racism today and that it is not obvious to us because it has become a part of our
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Black Men and Public Space Brent Staples has had several experiences that have made him come to a conclusion that the black male body inspires fear in public spaces. In my opinion he is right to feel that way. Unfortunately, it is something that comes naturally to some people. This is due to the media exposure with black males, the lack of diversity in their upbringing and demographics.
In his essay entitled Black Men and Public Space (1987), Brent Staples talks about how people will have a common misconception on the black community by thinking that they are all mugger ,rapist or thugs. Staples supports his claim by telling the reader events/ stories that occured to him and talks about how people will assume that he is a danger to society when in reality he isnt. The authors purpose is to inform the reader that his experiences of being stereotyped is to show the reader his point of view when it comes to these types of situations. Staples writes in a formal tone for an intelligent or free minded person.
Staples expresses his argument with real life experiences that have caused him to be stereotyped as a black male. People often think black males are “thugs”, “muggers”, or “rapist”, Staples points out that not all blacks fall under this category, especially him. Staples was first stereotyped when he was out walking at night (because this is what he likes to do) and comes across a white female who perceived him as a mugger or a rapist. This is when he realizes that he was “indistinguishable from the muggers who occasionally seeped into the area”( Pg.301 Para. 2). Staples comes to the conclusion that “being perceived as dangerous is a hazard itself” (Pg. 301 Para.)
Society in today’s world is very alike to society years ago, with different social classes and stereotypes. In “Just walk on by” by Brent staples, a variety of rhetorical devices are used in order to convey the message of how a black man is trying to show society that he is so much more than the color of his skin. The author explains how the character was characterized as violent and dangerous because he was black. Staples continues on a sort of journey with the character to show how he overcomes that stereotype, by whistling classical music to give the idea that he is mature and less threatening. Throughout the piece, Staples uses devices that will help the reader better understand the struggles that the character has to face on a daily basis.
“Black Men and Public Spaces” Diagnostic Essay Brent Staples in “Black Men and Public Spaces,” illustrates the inescapable prejudices and stereotyping that African-American men face in America. He does this by relating to his audience through his personal experiences with stereotyping, and sharing his malcontent on how these events have made him alter his way of living. From “victimizing” woman, watching people lock themselves away, and having to whistle classical music to calm the nerves of people around him; Staples builds a picture to help people better sympathize and understand his frustration. Although Staples describes himself as a college graduate, a journalist, and a softy in the face of violence, he details that the overall public deems him a dangerous criminal.
In his essay “Black Men and Public Spaces,” Brent Staples explains that people often find him intimidating because he is tall and black. Staples shares his account of a number of personal encounters, arguing that in each situation, he was misinterpreted as being dangerous because of his daunting physical appearance. Staples asserts that as a result of this misinterpretation, he was continually mistreated. Staples begins his article by describing the events leading up to his life-changing realization that he has inherited “the ability to alter public space in ugly ways (183).” When he was twenty-two years old, Staples found himself one evening, walking behind a well-dressed white woman on a deserted street in a rather wealthy neighborhood.
In his essay, “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space”, Brent Staples uses the rhetorical strategies of anecdote and diction in order to convey his message that due to racial discrimination black people (mainly men) have to change the way they naturally conduct themselves in public for they run the risk of something terrible happening to them. Staples uses anecdotes to bring in the personal side of the message to the audience. Staples creates a persona of innocence and almost alienation in his writing. Anecdotes such as his both instances in which he accidently scared women on walks and the time in which he and another reporter were mistaken for murder suspects or robbers are used to show real life proof of his message.
Throughout his essay, Staples is able to make the audience understand what he has to deal with as a black man. Staples does this by using words and phrases such as, “...her flight made me feel like an accomplice in tyranny” and “... I was indistinguishable from the muggers who occasionally seeped into the area…” (542). By writing and describing how he (Staples) feels, the audience is able to get an inside look into how black men are treated and better understand why society’s teachings, play a vital role in how we see each other. Staples’ powerful writing also allows the reader to take a step back and see how as a society, people make judgements on others based on appearance alone.
Author and editorial writer, Brent Staples acknowledges this issue as well as experience many situations in which people distinguish him from others. Brent Staples message in his essay titled “Just Walk On By” is conveyed to the audience through many rhetorical devices in which he suggests that stereotypes of race and gender can impact someone 's life in the easiest ways. Brent Staples use of pathos creates an emotional connection and pulls the reader into his essay, through his anecdotes and diction. His intro paragraph tells an interesting story, in a way that readers often forget what type of passage they are reading. Staples uses of phrases such as “my first victim”, “seemed menacingly close” “picked up her pace” and notably “running in earnest” (1-2).
Stereotypes have the power to label someone and rob them of all their hard work or strike fear into others. One such stereotype is that of black men being more dangerous;yet, one black writer voices his opinion on such a stereotype. In the essay “Just Walk On By” by Brent Staples, Staples describes his experience of being a large black man and how it affects the people around him. From people locking their doors to pedestrians crossing the street to avoid a confrontation, people seem to be afraid of Staples just from a glance. Yet Staples does nothing to cause this fear, rather his stereotype is to blame.
In his essay, "Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power To Alter Public Space" Brent Staples demonstrates the negative views and stereotypes of black men. He narrates a personal story about the path he takes to understand the effects of his appearance and how it also affects his environment around him. In the essay, Staples describes how he has always been discriminated. This was first realized as a young graduate student when he takes a walk one evening and frightens a white woman who believed he was following her.
Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space by Brent Staples discusses the relevant issues of racial bias and how prejudice against people of color has embedded minds, as it demonstrates the importance of being aware of how we conceive others. Staples uses a contrasting element of race by introducing a white female and a black male. He uses his experiences and other people of colour to display the struggles of racism they face everyday. Staples reveals how people are prejudice against appearance, despite the importance of individuality of people and being impartial regardless of someone 's skin or looks. The story begins with Staples describing his first experience frightening a white women due to the colour of his skin.
The revolutionary Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr, once described discrimination as “a hellbound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.” His point being that African Americans face racial discrimination on a daily basis. Brent Staples, being an African American living in America, expresses his view on the subject in his essay “Just Walk on By”, where he conveys the message of how fear is influenced by society's stereotypical and discriminating views of certain groups of people; his point is made clear through his sympathetic persona, descriptive diction, depressing tone, and many analogies. Staples sympathetic persona helps the reader feel and understand the racial problems that he experiences daily.
When Staples was growing up he has experienced a lot of hatred. Even from the young age, he is treated as a threat. He has narrated different encounters with different people in different cities, and the reaction was always the same. He describes how he has always been discriminated against for being a black journalist. As a black human male, Staples feels like he is walking on eggshells everywhere he goes. "
The ongoing problem of discrimination due to appearance has affected many, specifically black people. One of the most unusual things with no point or definition. This prejudice against black people has caused much unification within the United States. The lives of these black people have been severely affected, as it has affected their acts, appearances, and ways of life. As Brent Staples explains in his essay “Black Men and Public Space,” black people deal with many problems, from discrimination, and he explains these points in an orderly manner and each very thoroughly.