A Black Man?s Perspective
In his essay, ?A Black Man Ponders His Power To Alter Public Space,? Brent Staples examines racism and the misconceptions that contribute to it. He writes of how something as simple and innocent as taking a late night stroll subjected him to the racism and fear
of others, and of how his everyday life was under continuous scrutiny by a white society that both feared and misunderstood him. He discusses how black men are frequently victimized by white racist presumptions about their characters that are based solely upon the color of their skin.
Writing from the perspective of a black man, Staples makes his point right away in the essay by describing an encounter with a white woman while he is out for a late night walk. Her obvious fear of him even though she has no logical personal reason to fear him makes him realize that he has ?the ability to alter public space in ugly ways.? (Staples) If her reaction to him had been an isolated incident he would not have reached such a conclusion, but unfortunately, such experiences
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