Brent Staples essay “Black Men and Public Spaces"

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Black people, African American Pages: 3 (1021 words) Published: December 9, 2013
How Do I Look?

It’s funny when you look at yourself. We try our best to look presentable to society. We strive to obtain attention, in most cases, from people to gain benefactors whom would help us in our lives. Due to this one must understand how we look affects others. We may appear in a variety of ways, both good and bad, based on how we look whether it because of our clothes and shoes all the way to the race we are as a human being. Brent Staples essay “Black Men and Public Spaces” represents this idea yet it shows the highly negative aspect of how someone responds to who we are. In his case though, Staples explains the prejudice side of human nature when they see someone due to our look. He explains of the first time he had an experience with racial segregation he faces as a black person when he is out for a midnight stroll and a white female runs from him due to how he appears. Apparently, being a black man in Staples’s society leads to the immediate idea of being identified as a criminal of society, like a thief, a killer, or some other absurd idea. He tells how he entered a jewelry store, and a female owner brought in a dog to “discourage” him to not be in for long. Staples recounts tales of other black men who faced his same conflict like a black man who was working as a reporter on a murder and the cops almost arrested him for the killer since he was around and they believed he stuck to the saying, “the killer ALWAYS returns to the scene of the crime.” These ridiculous assumptions made upon Staples as a young, black man as well as his peers’ displays the prejudice at the time, where black males were always placed in a category without question. For this I agree with Staples’s possible argument where people cannot judge a person based on the race of oneself or the image they display to the public without understanding- character, individual, or reasoning- the person for being who they are first. Staples recognized when he made a woman fear him, he was...
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