Friday, 9 September 2011

Summary of "Black Men in Public Spaces"


Brent Staples, an African American man, has been mistaken for a criminal countless times because of his race. The first time this happened, he scared a young white women when he turned the corner at night, and she ran off, convinced that he was “a mugger, a rapist, or worse.” Brent shares instances of people locking their car doors or crossing the street when he walked by, but he says he can’t blame them, as “young black males are drastically overrepresented among the perpetrators of… violence.” He discusses his childhood in Chester, Pennsylvania where there is “gang warfare, street knifings, and murders” that many of his friends and family have gone to prison or been killed over. He mentions two extreme situations in which he is mistaken for a burglar and tells the story of a journalist mistaken for the killer he was reporting on. Brent Staples makes it clear that these occurrences are continuous and common, and so he has had to make changes to accommodate for these terrified white people in public places by, for example, whistling classic music at night. The point he is trying to make with this article is that Caucasians have some common misconceptions about African Americans, often assuming they are all criminals, even though Brent has clearly illustrated himself as “one of the good boys.”

1 comment:

  1. Very good article..Sad not to get more people responding to this, regarding race...I too have had multiple incidents bieng a black supervisor offshore. I wish we were still divided North and South.So many lives lost....and all.At what cost?? Are things REALLY better?? You have 2 types of people..Those that are racist, and those who are not.Imagine the level of true freedom not to be discriminated ANYMORE..no more racist people to deny you employment opportunities because you dont "fit" with company culture.

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