The black men throughout history has always had a negative perceived image of them by those in power. The idea that one’s skin give others pre-deceived notions about them. Stereotypes of black people only illustrates them as negative things in a society. The strong perpetuated stereotypes of black people create a fear based off their image. Staples states his experience “She cast back a worried glance. To her,
Over the years, our generations’ stereotypical views over the issue on young black males being viewed as dangerous has grown significantly. There are different reasons why these stereotypes occur in our society. People feel on edge when running into them in dark passageways, whenever it’s late at night. Also, while they’re sitting at red lights and notice someone walking towards their cars, they instantly initiate down the door locks. People think stereotyping black men this way keeps them safer because they assume the worst. However; other people disagree with instantly judging who they see around them, it hurts more people as well as themselves by viewing black men this way. Brent Staples, the author of “Black Men and Public Spaces,” claims that he’s considered a stereotypical black criminal. In his essay, Staples succeeds because he successfully appeals to people’s emotions, is an expert on human behavior, creates common ground and offers a logical solution.
In Brent Staples’ "Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space," Staples describes the issues, stereotypes, and criticisms he faces being a black man in public surroundings. Staples initiates his perspective by introducing the audience in to thinking he is committing a crime, but eventually reveals how the actions taken towards him are because of the fear linked to his labelled stereotypes of being rapists, gangsters and muggers. Staples continues to unfold the audience from a 20 year old experience and sheds light onto how regardless of proving his survival compared to the other stereotypical blacks with his education levels and work ethics being in the modern era, he is still in the same plight. Although Staples relates such burdens
In the short essay, “Black Men in Public Space” written by Brent Staples, discusses his own experiences on how he is stereotyped because he is an African American and looks intimidated in “public places” (Staples 225). Staples, an intelligent man that is a graduate student at University of Chicago. Due to his skin complexity, he is not treated fairly and always being discriminated against. On one of his usual nightly walks he encountered a white woman. She took a couple glances at him and soon began to walk faster and avoided him that night. He decided to change his appearance so others would not be frightened by his skin color. He changed the way he looked and walked. Staples dressed sophisticated to look more professional so no
When describing the reactions that people had to his presence, Staples provides excellent detail. Women “seemed to have their faces on neutral, and with their purse straps across their chests bandolier style, they forge ahead as though bracing themselves against being tackled.” As a result of ample experience, Staples can accurately describe the fearful responses people had to him. Although, Staples does “understand, or course, that the danger they perceive is not a hallucination.” During that time period, there were young black men involved in street violence. Staples paints a vivid picture of himself when he was younger with the excellent detail he includes in the first paragraph. He was “a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket.” Staples recognizes that his menacing appearance combined with narrow sidewalks and tightly spaced buildings did not help his case.
In Brent Staples’ “Just Walk On By: Black Men and Public Space” he forces women to recognize the feeling of estrangement from the surrounding public that he has endured. He first took notice at the age of twenty two, when his own self-judgement resulted from scaring a woman when solely walking at night near his college, the University of Chicago. He maintained his dejected attitude when he wrote that a few years later, his own work mistook him for a thief instead of a journalist. Brent Staples heightened his frustration by mentioning a black male journalist who was blamed as a killer in a murder, instead of the writer reporting it. In portraying two versions of his story, he proves that this was a rather common and difficult occurrence for not only him, but others of his race. To attempt to resolve this, he decided to attempt to cross the street or sing classical songs to portray innocence. In this article, Staples’ forces his audience to encounter the hypocrisy in which all black men are dangerous. He concluded the essay with the realization that you can't change what people think, only attempt to show them who you are. Brent Staples appeals to the audience through his emotionally charged language with the use of his experiences with unconscious prejudice.
As a target of racism and prejudice, Brent Staple wrote Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space. Throughout this essay he explains his personal experience in public spaces and the stereotypes he has faced. Since society has deeply embedded their views of “blacks,” just their presence induces fear and causes unnecessary feelings and emotions to arise. Staples presents no anger in his decision to alter his actions and his appearance to ease those around him despite his skin tone. Societal views on blacks are based on reputations as a whole and not on each individual person, Staples presents this through the uses of point of view, ethos, and pathos.
In Brent Staples’ "Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space," Staples describes the issues, stereotypes, and criticisms he faces being a black man in public surroundings. Staples initiates his perspective by introducing the audience into thinking he is committing a crime, but eventually reveals how the actions taken towards him are because of the fear linked to his labelled stereotypes of being rapists, gangsters and muggers. Staples continues to unfold the audience from a 20 year old experience and sheds light onto how regardless of proving his survival compared to the other stereotypical blacks with his education levels and work ethics being in the modern era, he is still in the same plight. Although Staples relates such burdens through his personal experiences rather than directly revealing the psychological impacts such actions have upon African Americans with research, he effectively uses emotion to explain the social effects and challenges they have faced to avoid causing a ruckus with the “white American” world while keeping his reference up to date and accordingly to his history.
In the present scenario, the main challenge of our society is the stereotype that exists. One of the common stereotypes is that we deem black men as dangerous. Most people grow up with such a perception and feel it be true. In ‘Just Walk on by: Black Men and Public Space’ Brent Staples describes the way black men are perceived as dangerous individuals to society by his own experiences. He rightly acknowledges the occasional hatred that black men are subjected to in everyday social situations. Staples begins his writing with an anecdote using an ironic tone, describing the concerns successfully with emotional and logical appeals in chronological order. He aims to see the problems from the white American perspective and he makes efforts so as to clear their concerns with ease through the use of diction, ironic tone, ethos & pathos.
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
Brent Staples talks about how people are so fueled by racism and fear that they judge people solely on appearance and never stop and think about who they actually are, Staples uses persona to get that point across. Staples is a tall black man and many people may see that and jump straight to fear, “After a few more
To properly set the scene, I might add, that it was mid-1970 Chicago and well into the night. Imagine a big, broad black man walking behind you quite a distance away, but still within eyesight, walking nowhere fast with his hands in his jacket pockets well past midnight on a nearly deserted street. Would you be frightened? I feel as though Brent’s essay just proves the stereotype that black people, especially black males, are expected to be highly dangerous. There are plenty of examples of this happening where years and years or media washing and conditioning has lead people to assume the worst of a certain race of people with no real proof of that being an example of the whole group and or race of people. Think about the very definition of black and white. White is defined as the color of pure snow whereas black is something without moral quality; evil. I don’t think these are accurate definitions in my opinion. Overall Brent is taken back to a point in his life when he understands what it means to stand out. When he was living in Chester, Pennsylvania he just felt like another face in a sea of violence and death, but as a newly graduated college student of the University of Chicago, he stood out like a sore
Similar to Dumas’ struggle in America as an Iranian, Brent Staples’ “Black Men and Public Space” details the struggle of being a black man in America. There are countless stereotypes implanted in the minds of Americans of the typical black person, aggressive, dishonest, ruthless, and overall ill intentioned. The first encounter with this racist outlook on blacks Staples had was in a wealthier area of downbeat Chicago, who began to appear worrisome and soon after proceeded to run from the author, who had done nothing intentionally to provoke fear in her. I agree that women should always place their safety as their first priority and should remove themselves from any situation in which they find themselves uncomfortable or at risk, but if blacks and whites can’t manage to walk the same streets without one race thinking the other is going to attack at any given moment due to the misconceptions floating around in their heads, then America really isn’t a land of diversity. It then becomes a land of hierarchy. As he says, Staples is too scared to even wield a knife at a chicken, let alone wield a knife at another human being, but by the color of his skin and appearance, one would never know this. Being perceived as dangerous, he writes, is a hazard in itself, and could easily land him in the back of a police car
Staples seems to have become self-indoctrinated and quite belligerent in the gestures, word usage, and outline that he chose to write his essay. He understood the characteristics that trigger the social aspect of being endangered and yet utilized the same social cues to stay alive to where he calls himself a survivalist. A graduate student and yet his social views generally portray someone who is being forced to amalgamate into another echelon of society. I generally try and disregard articles with a foundation in race-bating tactics so this essay was rather controversial to me. Having personal experience with the issue he is attempting to portray I find it irresponsible to not show the opposite side of the social spectrum. When dealing with
I am a mother of a black male. I tell my son he was marked from the day I found out I was having a boy that he would be judge by the color of his skin. I can relate and have experience Staples story. I believe his story wanted to show the readers how black men are stereotyped. Personally, I don’t care what color you are when walking down an alley at night I will be caution of any stranger walking behind me. However, when in a retail store or walking into a hotel or restaurant, the color of my skin shouldn’t be an issue or cause alarm. Staples’s essay wanted to address that every black man isn’t going to rob you, rape you or just do any harm to you period.