Sunday, 11 September 2011

Black Men and Public Space" by Brent Staples

Article Summary 
In the article "Black Men and Public Space" by Brent Staples, the author explains his first hand experiences walking through a fairly affluent neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. He tells of an incident he was involved in regarding a white woman at night where she ran away from him when he was simply walking down the street behind her. Staples states that he feels the reason she was frightened was because he was a black man walking at night and the woman was alone. I know that whenever I am walking anywhere alone at night, I'm always a little frightened especially when I see a man walking alone. I wouldn't necessarily say that I get more scared if the man is a man of color but I do understand this. I think that a lot of people will jump to conclusions and stereotypes when they feel pressured or scared. Staples says he feels obligated to stay away from situations where he may potentially make people feel uncomfortable due to the color of his skin and the associations people make with his race. The part of this article that stood out the most to me was at the very end where Staples says in order to calm the fears of white people he would whistle the tunes of classical music. This made me think a lot about the other stereotypes surrounding people of color, and how just revealing knowledge of well known music can settle people's uneasiness.

I used to think that we should all be color-blind.
I now have realized that it is important to respect and appreciate all the differences each person is blessed with from their heritage.

1 comment:

  1. Good realization Grey! If we're "blind", we miss so much that is unique and special.