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Black Men And Public Space

Essay by   •  April 13, 2011  •  481 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,209 Views

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Not everyone has a special power to alter public space, but if you were different from your surrounding, then you would probably have a very good sense about what I am talking about. In "Black ... Space", Brent Staples claims that he is black man who whenever in public is meet with fear from his surrounding because of his races stereotype. He clearly points out one can easily change physical behavior and dressing in order to alter public space in a good way or bad way.

As Staples says, Black men have a very bad reputation of being a mugger, a rapist or even worse (P115, paragraph 2). Therefore, many people are afraid of them. However, from time to time, Staples had learned a way to change his perception or level of threat to others by putting attention to his physical behavior. As Staples says, a broad six feet with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pickets of a bulky military jacket, certainly is a threat to any women walking at night. (P115, 1) However, Staples notices if he walks slower and gives the frightened people more room then it would lower the level of threat ness.

Also, clothing is a huge part of ones identity since people are defined who they are by what they wear. Normally, people would not think a man in suit and tie could be a mugger, killer or rapist. In page 117, paragraph 8, Staples said he had a very bad experience. He get into a office building in rush to turn in a deadline story to his editor and the security thought he is a burglar since he did not wear suit and tie, instead, he wore T-shirt and jeans. Personally, I had a very similar experience about clothing. I have two different jobs, one in office and one delivering pizza. One day, right after I got off from my office and then I went to delivery pizza. Since I didn't change my nice cloth, three black guys thought I was rich and robbed me with a gun. I was so scared to dead and I swore I wouldn't wear any nice cloth if I have to walk



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