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.
Staples successfully begins by not only admitting the possible faults in his practiced race but also by understanding the perspective of the one who fear them. Black males being opened to more violence because of the environment they're raised in are labeled to be more likely to cause harm or committing crime towards women but Staples asks why that issue changes the outlook of
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 “Just Walk on By” by Brent Staples, the author uses pathos and ethos to get across his message on how subconscious racism and prejudice is still prevalent in today’s society. His main focus is the stereotypes, and the struggles as a result of those stereotypes, that black men have to deal with in society consistently that can affect daily life in ways that many don’t tend to consider.
Staples starts the essay writing about how his skin color has a negative change on the public perspective. “Black Men in Public Spaces,” written in December 1986 by Brent Staples, tells about his life in Illinois as a frequent “night walker.” He starts
Fueled by fear and ignorance, racism has corrupted the hearts of mankind throughout history. In the mid-1970’s, Brent Staples discovered such prejudice toward black men for merely being present in public. Staples wrote an essay describing how he could not even walk down the street normally, people, especially women, would stray away from him out of terror. Staples demonstrates his understanding of this fearful discrimination through his narrative structure, selection of detail, and manipulation of language.
In his essay, "Just Walk on By" Brent Staples explains how throughout his life, it is hard being a black man without having others discriminate against him because he is a tall, black man who works as a journalist in a predominantly white field. In Ta-Nehisi Coates book Between the World and Me Coates is addressing his son about the truth of being black in a society that is inherently races and the constructed stereotypes on them by those in power. Both Coates and Staples agree on the fact that the black body is being systematically oppressed by the powers of this society. Being born black which is something Coates and Staples has no control over, causes them to be perceived as a negative stereotype of black people. This is a world where the black body has been oppressed and damaged throughout history, but yet maintain a fearful presence implied by Staples piece. In Brent staples “Just Walking by”, a black male’s body is capable of altering public space because the stereotypical projection of their race, causing others to do irrational things damaging he black body.
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.
Staples explained what he went through when he was in Chicago, New York, and Pennsylvania. He tells us a story about why people looked at him in a different way and how they acted towards him because of his skin color. Staple’s voice showed strong emotions of frustration and anger in his story. His tone is very serious and calm. In his essay “Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power To Alter Public Space” He uses diction, figures of speech, and syntax. He wants everyone that is reading to feel and try to get the reader to see what he went through and how bad it was to get around town.
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
Brent Staples use of pathos though invoking a sad emotion that is invoked through me due to the situations he is put through with police, and people in general. “I could cross in front of a car stopped a traffic light and elicit the thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk of the driver – black, white, male, or female- hammering down the door locks” (174). This also invokes some anger at those people who are simply rude. “Then there were the standard unpleasantries with policemen, doormen, bouncers, cabdrivers, and others whose business it is to screen out troublesome individuals before there is any nastiness” (174). These instances not only show how only Staples was treated but how all of the black community was being treated in a dark era in American history. “The fearsomeness mistakenly attributed to me in public places often has a perilous flavor.”
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.
Brent Staples is an author and editorial writer for the New York Times. His writing is mostly on political issues, cultural issues and controversies including races. In one of his essay written in 1986 which was published in Ms. Magazine “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space,” Brent Staples explains about his personal experience being black in an American society. Author wants his reader to understand that we are living in a culture with is constantly becoming violent and dangerous. Staples in his essay is gathering sympathy from his audience. He explains his thesis throughout the essay describing different incidents which took place in his life. Staples wants his audience to know how racial stereotypes has affected him as well as many other peoples like him and forced him to change so that he is not misunderstood by people and can prove himself fearless for others.
In Brent Staples’ essay, “Just Walk on By” the author describes his experiences, feelings, and reactions towards the discrimination he has faced throughout his life as a black man. Staples describes several different personal experiences of when he felt that he had been judged or discriminated against by other people based on the color of his skin and how that contributed to his overall appearance. Staples has continuously been perceived as a danger or criminal simply because of his skin color, leading him to have to deal with many uncomfortable situations. The author has even gone so far as to take precautions when he is on the street just so that he will not be
Author and editorial writer for the New York Times, Brent Staples, skillfully uses both his educational and racial background to exemplify and reflect on the harrowing times black men faced during the mid-1900’s. Growing up the oldest of 9 in 1951, he pushed himself through primary schooling and against the predications of most, was accepted into college where he earned his B.A, and eventually, a coveted Ph.D. His anthology of literary works focus on politics and cultural issues and popularly include, Parallel Time: Growing up in Black and White, which won the Anisfield Wolf Book Award, An American Love Story, and the piece in mention, Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space.
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.
In Brent Staples’ life, he has had many life experiences dealing with racism and has experienced racism first hand. Relaying these personal experiences is what he chose to write about in his essay. A life experience that Brent Staples shared is, “My first victim was a woman - white, well dressed, probably in her early twenties. I came upon her late one evening on a deserted street in Hyde Park, a relatively affluent neighbourhood in an otherwise mean, impoverished section of Chicago…. She cast back a worried glance. To her, the youngish black man – a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into he pockets of a bulky military jacket-seemed menacingly close. After a few more quick glimpses, she picked up her pace and was soon running in earnest. Within seconds she disappeared into a cross street.” (Staples