Summary Of Black Men In Public Spaces By Brent Staples

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The racial stereotypes of the early American history had a substantial role in shaping attitudes toward African-Americans during that time. In the past, black men had characteristics that accompany thieves, rapist, murders, etc. and because of that, when looking into the black race, all black men are seen as threats despite being the same as any other race. When analyzing racial stereotypes, one will begin to see that they are “constructed beliefs that all members of the same race share given characteristics” and these associated characteristics are generally negative (Jewell, 1993). Brent Staples is an African American man who has been mistaken as a criminal numerous times just because of his race. He wrote a short story titled “Black Men in Public Spaces” which explained his first experience with individuals in public …show more content…

Brent begins the story saying “My first victim…” (1) Which is ironic as he himself is the victim and the woman, the offender. Though he did not harm the young woman or cause any trouble he says the ‘victim’ “picked up her pace and was soon running in earnest”. There seemed to have been a wide gap between them but the young woman walked so fast as if he was alarmingly close to her. He admits that he is suffering from insomnia and he “was [actually] stalking sleep, not defenseless wayfarers”. Staples had just moved to Chicago when he encountered this and since then he realized that he had inherited the ability to “alter public spaces in ugly ways” just because he is a black man. He introduces the story more than ten years back in Chicago and goes on listing other experiences as he moves to New York for his job. He established that no matter where he went to, the conception of a black man being precarious will never leave. Women never looked at him as he passed by instead they clutch their purses tight against their bodies and run around as if they were being

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