The Myth of the Latin Woman and Just Walk on By
Brent Staples essay “Just Walk on By: Black Men in Public Spaces” he talks about the way people see him. The reason being he is African American and within his neighborhood people see him as a mugger, rapist, or worse than the two. He is also discriminated and stereotyped because of his race and his skin color. In Judith Ortiz Cofer’s essay “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria” she explains how people stereotyped Latin people and herself for the way they dressed, their education, and the way they were viewed just by watching a movie. Also their lack of English they had and the differences between her race and the American race. Both of the writers are informing readers of how deeply Puerto Ricans and blacks are stereotyped. Moreover of how their race is being judged and discriminated against just from what they see and hear.
First of all Staples explains how white women and other people view him by the color of his skin and appearance. In the essay he states a white woman is walking a distance from him but she gives off a negative vibe by glancing behind her. She avoids eye contact from him and made her think he is up to no good. However Staples stated he is “A softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken”. This demonstrated to him that she was judging him by the color of his skin, black a dark color used to depict African Americans. It showed Staples that white women would depict him as dangerous. It also showed him that people stereotyped African Americans as the people who are up to no good. In another subject Cofer’s essay also had the same conflicts dealing with race, stereotype, and ethnicity. It conveyed how Puerto Rican women were viewed and misunderstood as well as being labeled by people outside her race. In the essay she also talked about wanting to fit in but she could not because of her tradition and culture. The differences between what she
Cited: Cofer, Judith Ortiz. "The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria." 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. 4th ed. Bedford/ St. Martin 's: Samuel Cohen, 2014. 103-109. Staples, Brent. "Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space." 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. 4th ed. Bedford/ St. Martin 's: Samuel Cohen, 2014. 394-397.