Black Men And Public Space

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According to Brent Staples, in his book, “Black Men and Public Space”, he articulates about his experience as a young black man, moving from his small hometown to Chicago, to attend the University of Chicago. He shared that one late evening, walking on a deserted street in Hyde Park, which was an upscale neighborhood in the impoverished section of Chicago. While walking alone on the street, he saw a white, well dressed young lady, walking alone on the same street. He was a distance behind her walking, then he noticed her looking worried by the glance she gave, constantly noticing him. She was scare of this dark skinned young man who had a height of 6ft. 2 inches, with hands tucked in his pocked with bearded and uncut hair, wearing a military jacket – possible walking too close for her comfort. The white young lady started walking faster, then running extremely fast, then seemingly disappeared across the street away from him. This showed the judgement in characteristic this lady had of him, which was typical towards any young black man, especially in Chicago. That experience no doubt affected him in realizing the racial stereotyped identity he came into/being identified as a young black man, in an area that is known for high crime. To be identified as a mugger, rapist, or worse, was not a good thought to have about one’s self. Knowing that is not even close to the innocent personality possessed by him, would certainly cause one to be utterly

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