Rhetorical Analysis Of Black Men In Public Space

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Rhetorical Essay - Black Men and Public Space by Brent Staples Black Men and Public Space by Brent Staples is an essay about his concern of racism and the struggles black people are put through each day. He uses pathos, ethos and logos to express his thoughts. I believe the pathos provide the reader with emotion, the ethos are factual and statistical, and finally the logos help the reader understand how he can see both sides of the story. Throughout the essay, Staples sets the tone and theme to be very negative and rhetorically correct. He expresses that just because he was a six foot tall black man, walking around on quiet roads at night means you’re out to mug and physically hurt women. For example “ To her, the youngish black man-a broad …show more content…
For example, in the essay the author states, “As a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken--let alone hold one to a person 's throat--I was surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed all at once” (179). This quote clearly shows how Staples intends to present himself as an innocent and kind human being. He was shocked that she thought he would hurt her, and she judged him by his looks and labeled him as a bad person. It is important to express how he feels and show his true identity. This helps the reader understand his side of the story. Staples uses more pathos throughout the essay, by pulling his audience into the essay and showing his passion with pathos, using emotionally loaded language, figurative language, anecdotes and more language techniques to develop his pathos Staples says, “Yet these truths are no solace against the kind of alienation that comes of being ever the suspect, a fearsome entity with whom pedestrians avoid making eye contact” (180). This extract from the essay clearly shows how Staples was individualized as a suspect, feeling as though he is alienated from …show more content…
Logos appeal to the left side of our brain and we find certain conventions, patterns and methods of reasoning to be persuasive and convincing. In Staples essay, examples of logos were employed through the rhetorical device of narration and is where Staples provides first hand experiences to prove his point. One example from the essay is, “I understand, of course, that the danger they perceive is not a hallucination. Women are particularly vulnerable to street violence, and young black men are drastically overrepresented among the perpetrators of that violence” (180). From this example the reader can clearly see that Staples is confessing that he already knows why women on streets give him particular looks and are wary of them when they see him on the streets. By the author telling us this he is persuading the reader not to put all the blame on why some women give him these looks. A second example of the use of logos is, “Over the years, I learned to smother the rage I felt so often being taken for a criminal” (181). This example shows that the author appeals to logos by expressing to the audience that he has a reason. He explains how he has battled his rage, overcame it, and learned how to adjust and adapt to peoples judgements and perceptions. In conclusion, the theme throughout ‘Black Men and Public Space’ revolves around appearance versus reality. Throughout the story, Staples presents himself as a harmless, African-American

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