Introduction: In 1987, Brent Staples published the thought-provoking short story “Black Men in Public Space,” in which he recounts multiple experiences in which he was viewed with suspicion, and even feared, simply because he was a black man. These experiences occurred in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but they are still resonant today. In my research paper, I will explore the themes of racism and stereotyping.
Thesis: In the story “Black Men in Public Space,” the author, Brent Staples, uses anecdotes, tone, imagery, and metaphors to explore the themes of racism and stereotyping. Staples contends that people are too quick to judge other based on their appearance without getting to know who they are.

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Plan: My plan is to explore racism and stereotyping in order to explore the effects that they have on the experiences of black men in the United States.

Black Men In Public Space Literature Analysis

Staples, Brent. “Black Men in Public Space.” Canvas. 19 April 2018.

Amodio, David M., and Patricia G. Devine. “Stereotyping and evaluation in implicit race bias: evidence for independent constructs and unique effects on behavior.” Journal of personality and social psychology 91.4 (2006): 652. Print
Howard, Tyrone C. “Who really cares? The disenfranchisement of African American males in preK-12 schools: A critical race theory perspective.” Teachers College Record 110.5 (2008): 954-985. Print
Lynn, Marvin. “Critical race theory and the perspectives of Black men teachers in the Los Angeles public schools.” Equity &Excellence in Education 35.2 (2002): 119-130. Print
Tyson, Karolyn, William Darity Jr, and Domini R. Castellino. “It’s not “a black thing”: Understanding the burden of acting white and other dilemmas of high achievement.” American Sociological Review 70.4 (2005): 582-605. Print
Zebrowitz, Leslie A., Masako Kikuchi, and Jean-Marc Fellous. “Facial resemblance to emotions: group differences, impression effects, and race stereotypes.” Journal of personality and social psychology 98.2 (2010): 175. Print

Annotated Bibliography:
Amodio, David M., and Patricia G. Devine. “Stereotyping and evaluation in implicit race bias: evidence for independent constructs and unique effects on behavior.” Journal of personality and social psychology 91.4 (2006): 652. Print

In this article, the authors discuss the psychological underpinnings of stereotyping and prejudice. Specifically, they suggest that that stereotyping is the results of semantic memory processes, while prejudice arises from the systemic memory system. To support their contention, the authors describe to experiments on people’s responses to African Americans.

This source is helpful because it offers a psychological perspective on racial bias and how the brain works to promote stereotyping and racial discrimination. It also provides an example that shows how different types of cognitive processes lead to discrimination against African Americans.

Howard, Tyrone C. “Who really cares? The disenfranchisement of African American males in preK-12 schools: A critical race theory perspective.” Teachers College Record 110.5 (2008): 954-985. Print
In this article, the author explores the academic achievement gap between African American male students and other students in US schools at every grade level. The examines the issue from the perspective of critical race theory, and it relies on the accounts of case studies in which African American male students described their experiences in US schools.

Secondary Sources For Plot Analysis

This source will contribute to my research by offering concrete examples and critical discussion of racism and stereotyping of young black males within the school setting, as well as the effectiveness of students’ efforts to counteract the stereotypes against them.

Lynn, Marvin. “Critical race theory and the perspectives of Black men teachers in the Los Angeles public schools.” Equity &Excellence in Education 35.2 (2002): 119-130. Print
This article uses critical race theory to explain the experiences of black male school children. It draws on the reports of black male teachers who work in urban Los Angeles and have firsthand experience with the longstanding racial discrimination against African American students in the United States.

For my research project, this article will be helpful because it provides a discussion of the racism and discrimination against black male teachers and the black students they teach. It also draws parallels between Staples’ experiences in previous decades and the more recent experiences of schoolchildren in the early 2000’s.

Tyson, Karolyn, William Darity Jr, and Domini R. Castellino. “It’s not “a black thing”: Understanding the burden of acting white and other dilemmas of high achievement.” American Sociological Review 70.4 (2005): 582-605. Print
In this article, the authors argue against the prevalent notion that the reason for the achievement gap between black and white students is that black students experience race-based pressure against high academic achievement. Because the experiences of high-achieving black and white students are relatively similar, the authors believe that structural forces within schools play a greater role in the achievement gap than student culture.

This article will be helpful because it offers an example of institutionalized racism and how it is interfering with academic achievement among black students.

Zebrowitz, Leslie A., Masako Kikuchi, and Jean-Marc Fellous. “Facial resemblance to emotions: group differences, impression effects, and race stereotypes.” Journal of personality and social psychology 98.2 (2010): 175. Print
In this article, the authors explore the connections between the neutral facial expressions of people from different races and specific emotion expresses. They use their modeling data to make the case that the connection is partly responsible for white stereotypes and responses to black and Asian individuals.

This article will be helpful for my research because it offers an explanation for why racism and stereotyping exist. It is important to understand that psychological processes of the people with whom Staples interacts underpin their responses to him as a black man.