Reading Response 11/18

There are only two days of reading left in this class. Let’s make them count.

Brent Staples, “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space” p. 192

Michael Chabon essay (Blackboard PDF)


39 thoughts on “Reading Response 11/18

  1. In Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space, how is it manly to embrace the power to frighten and intimidate?
    What does Brent Staples mean when he says, “It is my equivalent of the cowbell that hikers wear when they know they are in bear country?”
    It was saddening to read about the ten year old boy’s failed book club in the Michael Chabon essay.

  2. In “The Amateur Family” what makes the show “the greatest show ever in the history of television”?

    In “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space” why did he call the lady his first victim if she really was not a victim?

    I thought that the reading by Brent Staples was really interesting. I understand why people would get scared but I also see why that would make him feel the way he did.

  3. In “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space”, what did Staples accomplish by describing his appearance so early in the essay?
    In “The Amateur Family”, why does the father consider his family ‘geeks’ just because they are infatuated by the show?
    I believe that Staples effectively uses ethos to explain that Black men are still being discriminated against and often seen as a threat in America.

  4. In “Just Walk on By,” when Staples was at the jewelry store, why didn’t he say “hey I am here to just look around and killing time because I am on an assignment for the local paper?” Why didn’t he stand up for himself? I wouldn’t want people to think that I am a bad person and never see me again!

    In “The Amateur Family,” what is the real relevance as to why Chabon told us the story of his family being in a museum? Couldn’t he have just started on how he is nerdy? Why was telling the museum story so important to his text?

    I thought that it was very amusing how Staples would whistle classical pieces to alleviate tension when he is walking at night.

  5. Just walk on by: When he was mistaken for a burglar, why didn’t he shout/prove to the store manager that he is not and instead he let them take him hostage?
    Manhood for Amateurs: Why did he say that a father is a man who fails everyday?
    Reading “Just walk on by”, it seems like discrimination still exists in everyday life.

  6. Just walk on by: Why would it take press credentials for police to believe that a black man was not a suspect in a murder investigation?
    Why was the boy hesitant when he saw the room that the comic book club was in?
    Overall they were both very interesting readings.
    Palmer Harper

  7. Manhood for amateurs: The author says Marvel was struggling compared to DC; When did Marvel become a big thing again?

    The Amateur Family: How can more families unite and enjoy one show together to bring them closer?

    Manhood for Amateurs: The author is right on point when he says that we as humans remember a bad review much longer than a good one. We always tend to dwell on criticism much more than positive reviews, and this can very often depress us and hurt our goals.

  8. Do all stereotypes lead to social set backs like that of the fear associated to intimidating black males?
    Did Chabon mean for his essay about the child’s failed club to be inspiring or to provoke emotion for the disappointed kid?
    I thought it was ironic how the reporter following the murder story was accused of being the actual murderer.

  9. Why doesn’t the author seem to get offended by the stereotypes and assumptions people make of him?

    Why do men feel that their ability to intimidate is powerful?

    I find it sad that the author has to make such an effort in his everyday life just to avoid frightening people because of their stereotypes.

  10. Why is power so meaningful to people ?
    The author does not has any animosity towards stereotypes ?
    The Amateur Family: What strategies does parents used to make their family closer .

  11. Regarding Michael Carbon’s essay, why is the author so obsessed with finding a sense of companionship in fandom?

    Would you get scared if when walking alone late at night you turned around to see a six foot two man with a beard walking behind you regardless of whether their skin color?

    My mother was also born and raised in Chester, Pennsylvania and often complains of the area’s reputation for violence. I found this very ironic, and today its population consists of mostly African Americans.

    Louie Copley

  12. Why does Staples assume it’s only because of his race that people run away from him? Personally, I’m afraid of anyone who is intimidating.

    When was “Amateur Family” written? I can’t tell because it references ITunes, but also the old school Dr. Who.

    I felt sorry for the little kid in “The Loser’s Club”

  13. Is intimidation a good thing or a bad thing?

    What other things besides shows can people use to create a fandom?

    After reading “Amateur Family” I am really curious about Dr. Who. A couple of friends I met here talk about it al the time, but before then I had never heard of it.

  14. How does the author in “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space” deal with knowing that he is seen as a threat?

    How did the author in “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space” grow up amidst the violence and not be scarred?

    I didn’t realize “fan” could have so many meanings.

    Christie Gleason

  15. In “Just Walk on By” why would anyone let themselves be mistaken by a burglar? Don’t understand….

    Does the author not care about stereotypes, especially towards himself?

    I definitely agree that overall we dwell on the negatives much more than then positives. Its really sad actually.

  16. Andrew Miller

    Should women, specifically white women, feel they have to run from every black male that walks close to them down the street?

    Do stereotypes help us in potentially dangerous situations based on our personal experiences, or hurt us by closing our minds to opportunities?

    I try not to form stereotypes in my head before meeting people as best I can. Some of the most interesting people I’ve met have been people I had no idea I would be friends with.

  17. [Just Walk on By] Why do we fear young black men almost more than anyone else?
    [The Losers’ Club] Why do we remember the bad things people say/do to us so much more than the good?
    [Just Walk on By] It’s almost as though we teach ourselves to fear specific types of people. I do it too, and I feel bad, but it just happens.
    -Becky B.

  18. In “Just Walk On By”, is it really just blacks that frighten us, or is it the environment that the blacks happen to be in in each situation that scare us? (Ex: the first woman was alone in an alley being followed by the author. Was she scared because he was black or was she scared because a man was following her through an alley in a bad part of town, regardless of his color?)

    How old was Michael Chabon when he tried to start this club? Did he really expect to be taken seriously as a young child starting a club?

    Both of these stories show stereotypes that we place on specific groups, such as the stereotype of blacks being more likely to hurt us/commit a crime, and children being incapable of doing many things. Both of these stories made me realize that although I try not to be stereotypical towards specific groups, whether it be racial, age related, gender related, etc., I still generalize sometimes. For instance, just today I was in the room of my two best guy friends while they were looking for a lost pad of sticky notes. I proceeded to use a typical gender stereotype, and said “Guys are awful at finding things, they never look well enough. I could find these sticky notes in less than 5 minutes without even knowing where you keep your things”. As it happens, these two are actually awful at looking for things about 90% of the time, and I can usually find their things pretty easily, but I couldn’t find the sticky notes either. So that goes to show that even if the stereotype is right sometimes, it doesn’t apply to all situations and shouldn’t be expected to.

  19. Should girls feel the need to run away from black men all the time?

    Can stereotypes be helpful? What makes them so helpful specifically?

    I personally can be bad at stereotyping at first. But then once I stop myself and think for a minute, I realize that that is not fair.

  20. The Amateur Family: Are a lot of families this close just from bonding over the same show together?
    Just Walk on By: Why doesn’t the author try to make a different image for himself instead of just letting everyone think he’s a bad guy?
    “Just Walk on By” was a little sad to read about what people think of black men and how judgmental they can be.
    Lauren Anthony

  21. In Just Walk On By, what point do you think the author was trying to make when he said “my first victim was a woman.”

    In Michael Chapon’s essay, what was the reason he provided so much information about the background with his mother?

    Just Walk on By is a perfect example about judging someone before they know them. I can’t say I’ve never been afraid of something like this though, to say I haven’t would be a lie. The prejudice against someone of a different race needs to stop.

  22. Just Walk on By: Why does the author accept the stereotypes that society places on him?

    The Amateurs: While fandom may help a family bond, do you think it could also tear them apart?

    “Just Walk on By” made me think about how I react towards other genders/races when walking the streets, etc.

  23. Was Staples actually mistaken for a burglar just because he was running through the office with something in his hand?

    Why did Staples feel embarrassed because some women would get scared of him?

    It was sad to hear his point of view and how people looked at him walking just because of his color.

  24. In “Just walk” why did the man not try to prove his innocence when they thought he was a burglar?
    In “The Amateurs” what is the importance of the background info on his mom?
    Stereotypes, as much as we try to say we don’t believe them, will always play a role in what we think.

  25. The essay “Just walked By: A black man ponders his power to alter public space” was based in the 60s, are the sam stereotypes still alive today?

    Why does Brent Staples use the word power in the title as if it is a good thing?

    The “Loser’s Club” was slightly confusing. It kind of endorsed failing.

  26. Was the first victim in “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space” really a victim?

    I wonder how many families are as close as the family in “The Amateur Family” especially just from a show?

    My family does come together and watch certain shows together like “Scandel.”

    Le’otis Boswell-Johnson

  27. Why do people still have irrational fears about black males in public, as though their there to do harm?

    In The Amateur Family, why is the televisions show considered the greatest show ever?

    Reading “Just walk on by” made me realize that stereotypes are universally still affecting communities and are the basis of a lot of misunderstanding.

  28. “Manhood for Amateurs”: Why did the author single out fathers as failures? What about everyone else?

    “Just Walk On By”: Why does he refer to the women who first showed him evidence of stereotyping as his first victim?

    I thought in “Manhood for Amateurs” it was interesting how the author went on to completely knock down the image of fathers, when he himself was claiming to be one. It was very self criticizing so it made it seem like text and information was reliable and the stereotype of failing fathers is true.

  29. In “Just Walk on By” why is that woman that ran from him a “victim”? Victim is usually referred to someone that is harmed, not passed by.
    Why is the author so dependent on their mother in “Manhood for Amateurs”?
    I’m extremely guilty of seeing someone and stereotyping them like the “victim” in “Just Walk on By.” It has kinda become instinct for me to avoid most people.

  30. In “Just Walk on By” what is the point of stereotyping in the story and in everyday life?
    How do you think the author’s father leaving when he was a child affected him in “The Amateur Family.”
    I dislike how much focus is on stereotypes between the father’s character and his own kids.

  31. I think that the paper “Just Walk on by” brings up some of good points on the whole racial stereotype. I think that it is really unfair that a black male can’t walk down the street with being thought of as a mugger or some bad person. I mean people act as if only African American males are the only ones who commit crimes. There are plenty of other races that commit crimes, but people don’t make that assumption with any other race they have a trust for anyone else immediately that they are some sort of criminal. Some of the worst crimes in history were be white male but no one is afraid of walking near them.
    I think that in this day and age that we should no longer have racial profiling. Racial profiling is hurtful to many good American citizens and they should not have to deal with being treated this way. Everyone should be treated equally and be given the same amount of initial trust at first sight. But the problem is that peoples fear gets in the way of this trust and that’s what stops the change. With this fear we will not progress out of this racial stereotyping for a long time.

  32. Do you believe that families today do most of their bonding in front of a tv screen?
    How does racial profiling affect our choices made as a society today? Our president, the Trayvon Martin case, and the media in general.
    I’m sorry to say that just last night I was guilty of racial profiling.
    I was walking back from strozier with a friend and a large black man in black baggy clothes was walking toward us. My first instinct was to run, but as we passed by this guy I embarrassingly realized that he wasn’t going to hurt us.

  33. Why was he mistaken for a criminal?
    Why does our society follow stereotype so religiously?
    This text was interesting and makes me look at people differently.

  34. What is the community they are trying to represent in tv watchers?
    What racial stereotypes are presented?
    I thought it was interesting because it shows an outside perspective on how stereotypes affect communities.

  35. In “The Loser’s Club” why does the boy already believe that his club will be unsuccessful before it even starts by talking about not needing more than 1 table and only needing a few chairs at most? he should have been more optimistic.

    In “Just Walk on By” why does the author start with “My first victim was a woman-“? that made me think he was a serial killer.

    Both of these stories talk about community, the only difference is that one is a community you are born into and one in a community you choose to be in.

  36. In “Just Walk on By” why does everyone act like the victim around him when he really is?
    In “Manhood for Amateurs” was his mother trying to ditch him by renting out a space and just leaving?

    Failure is necessary to grow

    Zachary Anders

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