“A Report from Occupied Territory” by James Baldwin

In the essay “A Report from Occupied Territory,” written by James Baldwin, illustrates life in Harlem in the 1960s, where police brutality and discrimination took place against this community that is mostly conformed by black individuals. James Baldwin illustrates some behaviors that are present in this culture which is the absolute fear of police in this community. In one of the cases, one fellow got beaten while asking why the police brutalizes youngsters. Another example of unjust judging was when six youngsters – the “Harlem Six” – were incarcerated unjustly for the murder of a couple. In this community or culture, there is insider phrasing used against the people that live within it. Because of these past events, the shared believe within that community is that the police do not serve all people, and that they are just prejudiced savages.

To penetrate the insider perspective the fieldworker must visit the community and not only see what is happening currently but how these events and behaviors evolved. Also, some questions a fieldworker might ask is how the residents feel about the neighborhood current situations regarding justice and how the rising generations react to prior conflicts withing the community. And, how they think problems such as police brutality might impact their families. In summary, in front of problems like the ones explained in the prior paragraph, for a fieldworker to get a stronger insider perspective, they must go to families that have been affected by these experiences. How would people find a possible solution to this kind of issue?

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