Kiese Laymon's How To Slowly Kill Yourselves And Others In America And Brent Staples' Black Men And Public Spaces

1218 words - 5 pages

In Kiese Laymon “How to Slowly Kill yourselves and others in America” and Brent Staples “Black Men and Public Spaces” both essays deal with being an African American man but the authors respond in a different ways. At one point in history being an African American wasn’t always the easiest but two Authors shared their stories about the experiences they had which were very different. Although the color of their skin is the same and how they treated was as well both authors take different precaution’s to handle the situations they were in to persuade the audience on how to deal with the effects of racism. Both authors show their hidden message through the actions presented throughout the essays. Laymon`s casual tone and will to fight make him more relatable
Both authors have some of the same experience when it comes to racism and they don`t understand. Staples says “I was to become thoroughly familiar with the language of fear. At dark. Shadowy intersections. “I could cross in front of a car stopped at a traffic light and elicit the thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk of the driver— black, white, male, or female — hammering down the door locks.” Laymon has a similar experience when “we got close to Shonda`s Saturn and one of the men says. “Kiese write about this!” Then another voice calls me a “Nigger” and Shonda a “nigger bitch” I think and feel a lot but mostly I feel that I can’t do anything to make the boys feel like they`ve made us feel like right there.” After reading these experiences both authors have a sense of fear from the side effects of racisms.
Laymon goes on to tell you to stand up for what you believe in contrary to Staples. Laymon comes off very high strung, not afraid to speak his mind. “Fuck you” I tell him and suck my teeth “I ain’t going nowhere” He tells many stories of where he strikes back against the opposing person to let them know that he wasn’t backing down and that he was going to fight for what he believed in Laymon comes off as trustworthy and someone everyone can relate too. On the other hand Staples believes that violence isn’t the answer and to just be harmonious he finds himself bothered with the fear he instills in others from the color of his skin, but he never takes aggression to any of the situations he faces. “I learned to smother the rage I felt at so often being taken for a criminal. Not to do so would surely have led to madness.” This quote shows how Staples tends to conform to society and while he clearly doesn’t agree, he refuses to challenge societal views on blacks and how they should be treated.
Even though both authors go through similar situations but act differently one can’t help but to feel sympathy for both of them. staples goes above and beyond to remove himself from the situation and avoid any trouble, staples even says “I chose, Perhaps unconsciously remain a shadow-timid but a survivor” so without even knowing it staples conforms himself to society’s expectation to not be seen as a criminal. “I...

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