Black Men and Public Spaces Essay

1. In “Black Men and Public Spaces,” Brent Staples the author, claims how he uncomfortable and bothered of how others view him, due to the fact he is African American. I believe the purpose of this essay is for the readers to realize that stereotypes don’t always have to be real. What I mean by this is that, if you are black you are not always going to be dangerous, wearing baggy clothes, and a gun inside your jacket. He is accused of many things that he doesn’t do just due to the fact he is a young black man, which white people are terrified off.

He is an educated according to the reading and he doesn’t believe in violence. The purpose of this is to people to recognize that innocent lives are ending due to these stereotypes of discrimination and fake accusations. “Altering Public Space in Ugly Ways,” I believe that he uses his experiences and others that people are scared of people are assuming black men are potentially violent.

An example in the book is with the young white lady, which he describes in the book as his first victim. This lady in front of Brent Staples was walking and he says she was not comfortable with the space he gave to her. She started walking faster and faster until, she eventually ran, and went away. She thought something bad was going to happen, but as Staples says he enjoys talking walks during the night due to his insomnia. He has never felt comfortable around people as they’re mind is basically survival of the fittest they will stay away to any possible harm, Brent Staples wants to avoid invading personal space. As he states, “ I now take precautions to make myself less threating.” She is writing that during the nights of late evening he is walking with care around people.

Questions on Writing Strategy:

1. The concept of Altering Public Space is abstract, but Brent Staples really convinces the reader that it occurs due to all this encounters he has in his essay. As it is formatted in 1st person, it grabs your attention that this all really occurred. He starts off with the woman at the beginning that ran from him, the one she describes as the first victim, then when he moved to New York he describes how people look at him in the subway after he changes from a suit to informal clothes, and how the women will hold their bags tightly as if he was there to rob them. This essay is sad, and he writes gloomy, the writer is expressing how it’s a shame that he is always viewed as a criminal.

2. In Staples essay he gives many examples, but in a great way, he avoided the piece sounding like a list of events. He talks in great detail about an event that occurred, than he changes his setting. For example when he used to live in Chicago then he uses transitions like “ that was more than a decade ago.” And as well how changes the topic and explains his new role in that new city. He uses a lot of adjectives, and doesn’t write like a list.

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