"Black Men and Public Space" by Brent Staples Reflection Essay: The Big Black Truth and The Little White Lies

Topics: Police, Race and Ethnicity, United States Pages: 4 (1365 words) Published: March 9, 2015
Reinaldo Buitron
Professor Faulise
ENGL 1110-23: Lens Reflection A
23 February 2015
Black Lies and the White Little Truth: An Interpretive Thematic Analysis on Brent Staples’s “Black Men and Public Space” In his essay titled “Black Men and Public Space,” journalist and editorial writer for the New York Times, Brent Staples writes about his time residing in Chicago as a college graduate student and the conflicts he faced with the public. His essay reveals how the presence of black men represents the stereotypical misconception that the public has about them even up to this day. It represents the reality that every black man in United States faces day by day which is living in perception of fear, crime and murder. Staples realizes, within his college years, that his appearance in certain situations causes discomfort to the public due to his race. Throughout the essay, the author reveals that the racial discrimination he undergoes not only falls down the eye of the public but rather the agents of the law as well. Through his essay, Staples states examples of confrontations of black men, including himself, with police officers. These examples are something that the United States can so readily relate to these past months when so much controversy has arisen between black men and agents of the law. Consequently, we must address the elephant in the room and acknowledge that black men continue to be victim of police brutality and discrimination because our nation is becoming a police state. Some individuals renowned as doctors, professors and other professionals even suggest that the US lives in a military state. What is factual is that this essay represents a part of history that supports the existing police state the United States is undergoing. Staples starts off his essay writing upon a late night experience in an impoverished section in the streets of Chicago. The first words from his essay characterize the author as a potential criminal. “My first victim was...

Cited: Staples, Brent. “Black Men and Public Space.” The Little, Brown Reader. Eds, Marcia
Stubbs and Sylvan Barnet 12th ed. Boston: Longman, 2012. 16-18. Print.
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