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Black Men and Public Space

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In “Black Men and Public Space,” by Brent Staples, the narrator gives instances of how he grew to have knowledge of the consequence of his existence as a black man on other people in community. In the introductory sentence, he makes use of the expression "first victim" to lay down the ambiance of the article, an ironical way to start an article that will later on establish he is, in actual fact, the victim of inequity (Staples, 2012, para 1). Continuing in the initial paragraph, he portrays his efforts to uphold a tactful, uninflammatory space between himself and a white lady on an isolated street while he was a graduate student in Chicago. As the lady dodges him, he asserts that he felt like an accessory in tyranny. He explains the irritation he feels that he was impossible to tell apart from the thugs. His initial year away from his homeland opens his eyes to the world of fear.

“Black Men in Public Space” illustrates that black folks literally transform all the communal space they go into. By their sheer existence, black men change a space from secure and calm to one crammed with possible crime, civil chaos and at the very least much distrust, which in itself translates to lack of comfort and safety. People not merely whites but mostly this group, traverse the street upon drawing near a black man, chiefly at night. Women hold their purse more firmly as a black man goes by and everybody becomes to some extent more alert, aware and vigilant in the presence of a black man. Staple makes use his own incident as a graduate learner at the University of Chicago and as an educator in New York as illustrations (Staples, 2012, para 3). Staple pulls out his lessons from personal experiences. In his illustrations, everybody presupposes that he is already accountable for some crime or he is more prone to committing a crime, all for the reason that he is black.

European colonialism fashioned a system of white superiority and racialist beliefs. This led to a structure of power that advantaged whiteness over blackness. Biological dissimilarities in skin color were utilized as a validation for the enslavement and repression of Africans, mounting a social pecking order that positioned blacks at the bottom and whites at the top. The wish to rise out of this lower spot in the end caused internalized separations among Americans. This led to discrimination against blacks who were, and in some cases, are viewed as accomplices to crime.

“Black Men and Public Space,” portrays racism in early and in some cases present America. Racism indicates discrimination, repression and violence against a certain class of individuals by other groups of people. It is present in various forms all through the world. Racism is a big blemish on the humanitarian grounds, the basis of a global cordial society. The foundation of this dissimilarity is mainly the color of the skin, viz. racism against black populace. According to the essay, blacks who form a major part of the American populace were, and in some erratic cases, are subjected to great discrimination. The Civil War was to a certain extent a movement to stand up to this cruel arrangement, but unfortunately, racial discrimination continued to cast a dark shadow over the growth of America. Blacks were viewed as criminals and their presence in a public place created a sense of insecurity and discomfort.

In conclusion, the aim of this essay is to show how blacks were, and in some erratic cases, are subjected to discrimination.  Brent Staples manages to bring this into picture very clearly using his personal experiences as examples. This essay further gives clear details of discrimination and its impact in the society. In my opinion, this essay clearly illustrates discrimination against African-Americans.

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