Black in White Space

Elijah Anderson writes that a spate of highly publicized recent incidents has highlighted the frequent racial targeting that blacks face as they live, work, study and otherwise navigate “white spaces.”
May 21, 2018, 1pm PDT | dlang
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members of the Philadelphia City Council hold a press conference on Monday, April 16, 2018 regarding the arrests of two African'American men at the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce.
Philadelphia City Council
Since the end of the Civil Rights Movement, large numbers of black people have made their way into settings previously occupied only by whites, though their reception has been mixed. Overwhelmingly white neighborhoods, schools, universities, workplaces, restaurants, and other public spaces remain. Blacks perceive these settings as “white space,” a perceptual category which they often consider to be informally “off limits” for people like them. In these settings, they expect to encounter occasional moments of acute disrespect, during which they are reminded that they “don’t belong.” 

A spate of highly publicized recent incidents has highlighted the frequent racial targeting that blacks face as they live, work, study and otherwise navigate “white spaces.” In recent weeks, through the lens of various video cameras, we have seen: the police arrest two black men for sitting in a Starbucks in Philadelphia, a white student call the police on a black student for taking a nap in a common area at Yale, and three black filmmakers surrounded by police as they checked out of an Airbnb rental in a white neighborhood in California.

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Published on Monday, May 21, 2018 in Penn IUR Urban Link
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