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Stereotypes And Racism In Black Men And Public Space

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People today make generalizations about others every day creating a reluctant change in their own behavior towards strangers. This been a big anger issue that been going on for years. Brent Staples essay ‘ Black Men and Public Spaces’ presents this topic which can be ranked as an intense reading because it shows the anger and embarrassment people feels when walking in public and being judged by people. Staples article talks about a man in his twenties being stereotyped as a rapist, burglar, and a threat because of his race and appearance, and also explains how he feels. The behavior of people when they stereotype others is really unnecessary, yet understandable. Now, it will be explained why Staples essay has a lot of intensity, and how he uses rhetorical strategies to prove the prejudged notions about race and how it forms an unwilling behavior that further alters society’s perceptions of an individual.

As mentioned above there is a lot of rage in society when people are judged based on their appearance and race. An individual can be walking down the street and people will look at that person in an abnormal way just because they have a beard, or for being black. This is shown in Brent Staples essay when it says that ‘ It was clear she thought herself the quarry of a mugger, a rapist or worse… I was stalking sleep, not defenseless wayfarers (267). In this quote the author uses irony to show the narrator’s feelings which he felt some type of intense anger because he was just walking the street minding his business and he saw how this woman was terrified of him based on his race and she thought he would be a rapist, a mugger, or like he said ‘or worse’ which was unnecessary. This is one way an intense fury from Staples article that can contribute to my point of the writing being classified with intensity, however, this is not the only way it can be shown.

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All of this intense anger presented throughout this essay from Brent Staples non-fiction story is mostly caused because of racism. Racism has been going on for many years, and it is still going on in today’s society, for example when a person goes into a store they would get kicked out just because of their appearance. This happened to the narrator in the story ‘ Black Men and Public Space’ when he ‘… entered a jewelry store on the city’s affluent near north side, the proprietor excused herself and returned with an enormous red Doberman… She stood, the dog extended toward me, silent to my questions, her eyes bulging nearly out of her head'(268). Basically, in this quote the owner brought out his dog because that person thought the narrator in the story came in to steal and just ignored all his question, so in other words he was telling him to leave the jewelry store. This right here was another example of a stereotype which causes fury in people, nobody should be treated this way based on their race or appearance. Racial stereotypes force individuals to reluctantly change their behavior to alter how they are perceived by other if it was a white male in a suit the proprietor of the jewelry store would have never done this and this is what causes the most intense fury in the reading.

To conclude, as shown the ‘victims’ Staples describes in his reading act in fear as a reaction to his race. This reaction is what caused the narrator to be angry, ranking Staples reading as a story full of anger and intensity. Even though Staples was angry he found a way to deal with things because people make bad choices, but that’s just something you have to live with. People should be able to walk freely in public without being embarrassed or judged by people who make wrong generalizations.

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Stereotypes And Racism In Black Men And Public Space. (2021, September 22). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“Stereotypes And Racism In Black Men And Public Space.” Edubirdie, 22 Sept. 2021,
Stereotypes And Racism In Black Men And Public Space. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2023].
Stereotypes And Racism In Black Men And Public Space [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 22 [cited 2023 Sept 24]. Available from:
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