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Blog 7

Posted on March 20, 2017

Prejudice is something that follows each one of us. Race, though socially constructed, is one of the main factors used to judge a person. The color of one’s skin determines the qualities and abilities of a person. Such a statement is very confusing to understand. But yes, this is the world that we live in, stories like Ricard Wright’s, “Living in a Jim Crow Society “show such.



Brent Staples’s short story “Black Men and Public Space” was one of the readings I enjoyed the most. For one, its title is so simple but the depth of his stories is beyond. He himself is a product of what it’s like to be a black man. He opens his story with the description of “his first victim”. He describes her to be a “women-white, well dressed, probably in her early twenties”. He goes on to stay the fear that she is overcome with just by seeing his presence. She is so threatening by the black man that she finds her way away from him the quickest manner. Yet, staples seem completely understanding to the manner. He isn’t overcome by anger or frustration but by conformity. Society has programmed him and in fact even the women to believe instances like this are NORMAL!  makes no sense tbh.

Anyways, he experiences the instance judgement even when it comes to his ability to perform a job. He describes a few instances where no one believed he was there to perform a task. The color of his skin automatically made people believe he was incapable of handling a well-recognized job title. However, staples continued to describe the ways of dealing with it. Public space comes with a mandated for of behavioral odes. What is meant by that is that there are forms in which individual’s subject to prejudice by the mere concept of their look showed behave in such manners to protected themselves and be pre-cautious. For example, Staples moves to the other side of the road when he is walking late by a group of white people or a lady. He also signs classical tunes in situations where hostility might arise with his presence.



Black men are the threat of public space. That’s just the sad truth. It’s a concept that we still recognized to day. A black man is believed to be very threatening because of the qualities that are associated with him. In a recently released movie, “Get Out”, the girlfriend’s father of the protagonist mentioned how the protagonist Is built in some type of way because of “his black genes”. He automatically assumed that because he was black he had a talent in things like fighting and basketball. Though this is not very true. The associated aggression hangs a negative cloud on black men today; and it’s still seen to be the stereotypical way of portraying them in the movie. “Get Out” is a lately controversial movie because it for one boldly shows an attack with race, black against the white. The dilemmas of race are frequently addressed I movies and media but this movie addressed it and made the antagonist a white family, a family who is deliberately out to hurt colored people. It is DEFINENTLY a movie to watch. Not to get off topic but trust me.


  1. Jessica Hautsch

    I love the connection that you make to “Get Out” (I was hoping someone would!). I haven’t seen it yet (I’m kind of a chicken, so I don’t generally do horror, but I think I might need to make an exception).

    You do a great job of explaining Staples’s essay. It’s short but compact; and there is a lot to talk about. I like your observations about the ways in which the white women’s behavior is normalized.

Eileen Castillo

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