Black Men and Public Space.pdf - Black Men and Public Space...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 4 pages.

Black Men and Public Space Brent Staples My first victim was a woman--white, well-dressed, probably in her late twenties. I came upon ( = Go to ) her late one evening on a deserted street in Hyde Park, a relatively affluent (tuong doi giau co ) neighborhood in an otherwise mean, impoverished section (thanh phan ngheo kho) of Chicago. As I swung onto (lung lay ) the avenue (dai lo) behind her, there seemed to be a discreet (= Careful person ), uninflammatory (khong kich dong) distance between us. Not so. She cast back (co dong lai) a worried glance. To her, the youngish black man (nguoi dan ong da den hoi tre) --a broad six feet two inches with a beard (bo rau) and billowing hair (toc cuon` cuon), both hands shoved into the pockets of a bulky military jacket--seemed menacingly (= threateningly) close. After a few more quick glimpses (cai nhin thoang qua), she picked up her pace and was soon running in earnest. Within seconds, she disappeared into a cross street. That was more than a decade ago. I was twenty-two years old, a graduate student newly arrived at the University of Chicago. It was in the echo of that terrified woman's footfalls that I first began to know the unwieldy inheritance (thua ke cong kenh) I'd come into--the ability to alter public space in ugly ways. It was clear that she thought herself the quarry of a mugger, a rapist, or worse. Suffering a bout of insomnia (dau kho vi mat ngu ), however, I was stalking sleep (ngu chap chon ), not defenseless wayfarers. 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 (that vong ve tat ca cung mot luc ). Her flight made me feel like an accomplice in tyranny ( ke dong loa trong che do doc tai ). It also made it clear that I was indistinguishable from the muggers who occasionally seeped into the area from the surrounding ghetto. That first encounter

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture