You will prepare and submit a term paper on Facing Lifes Challenges The Short Story/Poetry Unit. Your paper should be a minimum of 1000 words in length. In this essay, I will analyze the “Black men in Public Space” article by Brent Staples. The character in the story is a black man and he feels that he is being treated like a suspect in the places he goes. streets, ghettos and places of work.
As noted, the black man is treated as a suspect in every place he goes to. His first encounter is with a white woman in the street. He comes upon the white woman in the street and it is late in the evening. The place is Hyde Park and it looks deserted. It is a relatively affluent neighborhood in an impoverished section of Chicago. As he walks in the street behind the white woman, she increases the distance between her and the black man. She casts back glances thinking that the man is approaching her and thought that the man was menacingly approaching. After a few more glimpses, she picked up her normal pace and was soon rushing in earnest. Within seconds, the woman disappeared into a cross street.
Going through this encounter makes him feel so bad. It was in the echo of that terrified woman’s footfalls that he began to know the unwieldy inheritance he had come into. He had come into the ability to alter public space in ugly ways. In other words, he realizes that he has come in place where he will face a lot of discrimination. Indeed, he goes through lots of discrimination. Being a black man he believes that from the woman’s reaction, she had mistaken him for a rapist, mugger, or even a worse character. Suffering a bout of insomnia, he was stalking sleep, not defenseless wayfarers. He believes that his character cannot even give him the courage to take a knife to a raw chicken, let alone holding somebody’s throat and strangling him or her. For Staples “softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken, let alone holding one to a persons throat”(Staples).
In this situation, the man is surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed all at once.