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Today when a black person walks around at night they are automatically thought of as being a troublemaker People will often do everything possible to avoid a black person be it walk on the other side of the street or cross a street at a different area Black Men and Public Space by Brent Staples demonstrates just what really happens to a black person when heshe is walking around at night or even during the middle of the day Staples uses personal experiences and stories he heard about other black men to prove his point He leads off with an example of a woman who was walking down a street in Chicago and Staples was walking down the same street behind her He noticed that she kept picking up her pace of walking eventually reaching a slow running pace Within seconds she disappeared from his sight all because he was a black man walking down a street at night It was because of this one experience that he learns of his ability to alter public space in ugly ways Staples describes himself as a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken let alone hold one to a persons throat Many black people today who are just like Staples are mistaken for muggers rapists and murderers He realized that being perceived as dangerous is a hazard in itself All he needed to do was to turn a corner into a bad situation or crowd some frightened armed person or make an errant move at a police officer and he could wind up hurt or even dead He then moved to Brooklyn and it is the same here as it was in Chicago Women will not look at him when he passes by they have their purses clinging against their bodies and they forge ahead as though they are playing football and are being tackled He understands why women
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