Baldwin Response – Jennifer Guallpa

In James Baldwins article “A Report from Occupied Territory”  he explains the racial discrimation and abuse that black people were facing in the North specifically in the city of Harlem. The aspects of culture that Baldwin includes is describing Harlem as “occupied territory” meaning that Harlem was under control by the police in this case. The police where discriminating black people by, abusing, invading them and treating black people as if they were animals. Balwin states “And the police are simply the hired enemies of this population. They are present to keep the Negro in his place and to protect the white business interests, and they have no ther function.” Balwin furthermore explains how the police protect white people from the black people and try to put black people in their place, which means that if they were to try to speak out, the police will beat them, incarcerate them and label them as dangerous beings. 

In these circumstances a fieldworker may ask, why are the police, the people who are supposed to be protecting the public in general, mistreating just one group of people and invading their privacy without any authorization? Why is there no other authority such as the State not doing anything from its residents? What is the reason for white people to act so rapacious? These questions and more can help a fieldworker understand the situation and see a possible solution. Other sources of information that a fieldworker might use to penetrate the “insider perspective” is the history of Africans taken captive against their will to become slaves, being treated as animals and getting little to no payment for there work. To having to move North where it is “free” and having to face discrimination, police brutality and more. Fieldworkers can also look at documents, diaries, records, past events and current events in order to have an insider perspective.

One thought on “Baldwin Response – Jennifer Guallpa”

  • Its really interesting and I liked how you mentioned that, many black people may have thought that moving to the North, they were gonna experience a freedom they didn’t have in South. Instead they went through this brutality that policemen were doing to them, harassing them, beating them while protecting the white business stores.

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