Essay on Black Men and Public Spaces Critical Analysis

998 Words Aug 2nd, 2012 4 Pages
In “Black Men and Public Spaces”, Brent Staples is in his early twenties and is faced with the menacing crime of being a black man in the 1970’s. As Staples likes to walk the streets at night due to his insomnia, every stranger that comes close enough to realize that he’s a tall black man lets their fear take control of them as they avoid him to the point of fleeing. To the eyes of people (mainly women) at night, he was no different from any other thug or criminal who prowls the street. Having moved to New York, and growing accustomed to being perceived as a threat, Staples learned to properly give people their space to intimidate them less as he walks the streets. Despite being a journalist, he has even had security called in on him at a …show more content…
Perhaps the woman ran in terror due to his skin color, but it makes more sense that she had the natural reaction of meeting a shady character in night. I have five sisters, and they never go out at night simply because they are afraid of running into a man who might be able to hurt them. They don’t even pay attention to what the man would look like, he can even be their size. They fear strangers, and they know that even if it’s a man of their height, he would over power them easily. He fails to recognize that women fear men simply because of the difference in strength and control. Staples misses the point of people running away, avoiding him, or locking their car doors. It’s not because he’s black, but because people fear that in which they . They cannot predict what to expect from a stranger who looks suspicious, whether they are black or white.

Despite mistaking fear with stereotyping, his skin color does come into play when deciding the factors that would cause one to avoid him or run away, but he does have to realize that the place and time of the event does matter just as much. Most drivers who lock their car doors at the sight of him are more paranoid at the risk of having a stranger attempt to break in and harm them; he did also mention that it didn’t matter whether that person was black and white, man and woman (Staples 369). After all, I would have avoided

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