The Portrayal Of The Young Black Men And Public Space

Decent Essays

Imagine being wrongfully persecuted and mistreated based on assumptions painted by society. The portrayal of the young black male in the late 1980s has not changed much in the United States. Brent Staples is able to reveal the truths of racial stereotyping in the United States, and the stigmas placed on young black males with the use of imagery in Black Men and Public Space. Appealing to the readers’ senses allows for better understanding of the time period Staples is writing about. Visual imagery is used to contrast how Staples appears to his “victims” and how these “victims” appear to the public. The fear the general public has of black males is exposed by appealing to the auditory senses. Non-verbal reactions and body language of those around Staples uncovers their true sentiment towards black males. Imagery is an essential tool in uncovering the racism and stigmatization of black males in the United States. Appealing to ones senses is a very effective way to bring depth and meaning to a message. The text begins by setting the scene with a description of where Staples interacted with his first victim. Staples innocently walks, “on a deserted street in ... a relatively affluent neighbourhood,” that is near an impoverished area. This may have been his first mistake, as a young black male at, “a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair,” walking in a wealthy neighbourhood alone at night can cause some trouble. A lot of the prejudice and racism towards black

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