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Baldwin Response – Jaylen Salvatto

In James Baldwins article “A Report from Occupied Territory” he describes the discrimination of African Americans in Harlem in the 1960’s. A large factor of this was from police brutality. The police saw “Negroes” as less than them and the police felt they controlled the area, hence the title saying “Occupied Territory”. The abuse of power was going on for centuries but it was now masked under the badge that everyone seems to respect. Police would beat on anyone, young or old, especially if they were Negro. Baldwin mentions the “Harlem Six”, who are six young African Americans who were serving life sentences for murder. Baldwin further explains the lack of freedom for African Americans and the abuse of power by police throughout the article. Baldwin mentions that the article is a “plea for the recognition of our common humanity. Without this recognition, our common humanity will be proved in unutterable ways. My report is also based on what I myself know, for I was born in Harlem and raised there.” A fieldworker may ask, “why does the police treat this certain demographic of people this way?” to further understand the relationship between African Americans and law enforcement. They would then be comparing the relationship between the two and between other cultures. They would see that the police conduct unexplainable stops, unnecessary and excessive force and many other things that a fieldworker might not see looking from an outsider stance. The media plays a big part in how outsiders see African Americans, but if the fieldworker views things from their perspective, they can understand things more in depth.

4 thoughts on “Baldwin Response – Jaylen Salvatto

  • I appreciate the way of writing and absolutely agree with the significance of media, which undoubtedly has the ability to shape people’s opinion and portray different sides of an issue. I also found the field-working questions very informative.

  • I agree with you and what both previous comments say about the médicas influence on society. As you mentioned its true that the media wrongfully accuses people of color of crimes and depicts them as criminals or someone who should be feared and is always in the wrong. I honestly think that if the media depicted people of color the way they depict white people there would be a new level of fairness. I also think that it would be very helpful to focus on what African Americans have to endure to educate people on what’s really going on as how they can help.

  • I like how you further explained the title of the article because I didn’t think much of it until you brought it to my attention. You gave a good overall description of the article and I was interested in your thoughts about social medias influence on society and it’s opinions.

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