Black men have long been the target of stereotypes and discrimination. In the past, they were often portrayed as criminals or threats to society. This is still a problem today, as Black men are more likely to be stopped and searched by police, and more likely to be sentenced to longer prison terms than their white counterparts.
Black Men and Public Spaces is an essay by Brent Staples that was first published in 1986. In it, Staples discusses his experiences as a Black man in America and how he is often perceived by others. He talks about how he is constantly aware of his race and how it affects the way people treat him. He also talks about how Black men are often assumed to be dangerous, no matter what they are doing.
Literature has long been used as a means of expression. People have poured their emotions onto paper since there have been people to read them. The contrast between light and dark has emerged throughout history, with consistent motifs including the importance of humility. In ancient times, we perceived darkness as an indicator of wickedness; in modern terms, though, darkness is associated with negativity. We acquired what became social norms from literature, which later evolved into sociological ideas such as prejudice.
Prejudice is an incredibly harmful thing. It can manifest in many ways, but one of the most common is racism. People are judged based on the color of their skin, and this has led to some very terrible things happening throughout history. Black men, in particular, have been victims of prejudice. They have been stereotyped as being violent and dangerous, which has led to them being treated differently in public spaces.
In his essay “Black Men and Public Spaces”, Brent Staples talks about his own experiences with how people react to him when he is in a public space. He talks about how he is seen as a threat, simply because he is a black man. He goes on to say that this is not an isolated incident, but something that happens to black men all the time.
It is important to remember that not all black men are violent or dangerous. This is just a stereotype that has been perpetuated by society. Black men should be treated with the same respect as anyone else, and not be judged based on the color of their skin.
The concept that black men are inherently threatening is prevalent in society, and it is reflected in the authors own experiences of antipathy and hatred directed at him by his own self. In “Black Men and Public Space,” Brent Staples begins with a sense of how he would be seen for the rest of his life. He describes feelings of anxiety toward his newfound self-image. It all came to him one evening on an alleyway behind a young woman who was shorter than he was.
Brent Staples was alarmed to think that he himself could be perceived as a threat, and in the same way other Black men are seen as threatening. Staples then goes on to describe how the reactions from people change when he is wearing a suit and tie. The suit gives him an air of authority, and people trust him more. They also feel more comfortable around him, even though he is still a Black man.
In spite of this, Staples says that he still gets looks of apprehension from time to time. He attributes this to the fact that Black men are disproportionately represented in violent crimes, which creates an image problem that they have to face. Even though Brent Staples understands why people may see him as a potential threat, he doesn’t think it’s fair that he has to deal with the consequences of other people’s misconceptions.
This essay is important because it brings to light the issue of Black men being stereotype in society. It shows how Black men are automatically seen as dangerous, no matter what they are doing or what they are wearing. This is an important issue because it can lead to Black men being unfairly targeted and profiled by law enforcement. It also leads to Black men feeling like they have to prove themselves to be non-threatening, which is an unfair burden to put on them.
The protagonist was the first black person she had seen in her village, and it caused her to flee into the night. Even after he became a professional, this image continued to stalk him. When he is mistaken for a thief several times over, his problems takes on a far more serious dimension. Toward the end, the author learns how to deal with this problem by removing his bad reputation and taming his fury toward those who thought him an offender.
It is safe to say that the Black Men in America have it pretty tough. People see them as “violent”, “aggressive” and “dangerous”. And these stereotypes are often perpetuated in the media. Black Men are seen as a threat to society and are often treated with suspicion.
This was the case for Brent Staples, who recounts his experiences in the essay “Black Men and Public Spaces”. He talks about how he would be perceived as a threat just because he was a Black man, even though he was not doing anything wrong. He would be followed by store employees when he went shopping, and women would cross the street when they saw him walking towards them.
Staples eventually learned how to deal with this issue by making himself look less threatening. He would dress neatly and keep his hair short. He also made sure to control his anger, as people were always quick to judge Black men as being “violent” or “aggressive”.
Despite all the obstacles that Black men face, they continue to succeed in America. They are overcoming the stereotypes and proving that they are just like everyone else. Black men are doctors, lawyers, teachers, and so much more. They are showing that they are not the “threat” that society has made them out to be.
A person’s repeated rejection might cause him or her to view the world in black and white, to the extremes. As a consequence, one may inadvertently think and accept that every bad event is his/her own fault. He’s blaming himself for behavior that he didn’t intend. In “Black Men and Public Space,” Staples says, “My first victim was a lady” (566).
The woman he is referring to was white, and she was walking across the street when he walked behind her. The woman became so frightened by his presence that she ran to the other side of the street. Staples wasn’t trying to scare her, he was simply walking while being a black male. This instance happened in Chicago, where people are not as familiar with black people, which caused this woman to be more suspicious. Unfortunately, because of situations like this, black men are seen as criminals before anything else.
Black men are also often seen as animals that need to be caged or kept in check. In “A View from the Bridge,” Eddie says to Beatrice, “He’s an animal… and I’m gonna treat him like one” (Miller 1583). Eddie is talking about Marco, Beatrice’s cousin, who has just come to America illegally. Even though Marco has done nothing wrong, Eddie immediately labels him as an animal that needs to be treated like one. This is yet another example of how black men are seen as dangerous and animals.
It’s unfair that black men are seen this way because it’s not their fault. They can’t help the way they look or the color of their skin. Unfortunately, because of the way they are perceived, they have to go through life being extra careful not to do anything that might be seen as suspicious or threatening. They have to try to blend in and not stand out in order to avoid being targeted. Black men have to live in fear because of the way society sees them. It’s not right, but it’s the reality they face every day.