Brent Staples was born in 1951 in Chicago, Illinois. His memoir, A Brother’s Murder, chronicles the events leading up to and surrounding the murder of his brother, Julius. Brent was just eighteen years old at the time of Julius’s death, and the tragedy had a profound impact on his life. In the book, Brent opens up about his brother’s killer and how he coped with the aftermath of the murder. A Brother’s Murder is a moving account of familial love and loss, and it sheds light on the realities of gun violence in America.
Brent Staples’ essay, “A Brother’s Murder,” found in the Evergreen textbook, is about his younger brother Blake’s murder. Brent writes that he received a phone call telling him that Blake had been shot six times by a former friend. The choices and perception on life that led to his death caused it only being a matter of time before he either killed someone or was killed himself.
Blake’s spiral into a life of violence began early, at around the same time Brent was leaving home to attend college. Blake became involved in petty crimes and by the age of nineteen he had been convicted of two felonies. He was always getting into trouble and had run-ins with the police. In addition, he had been addicted to drugs since he was a teenager. It is clear that Brent loved his brother dearly, but he also felt powerless to help him.
Even when they were kids, Brent could see that Blake was different from him. Brent was studious and hardworking, while Blake was more impulsive and easily bored. Brent attributes some of his brother’s problems to their difficult upbringing. Their father was an abusive alcoholic who would often beat their mother. Brent and Blake were raised in a poor, inner-city neighborhood where violence was a way of life. In spite of all of this, Brent managed to make something of himself, while Blake continued to spiral downwards.
The night that Blake was killed, he had been out drinking with his friends. He got into an argument with one of them and ended up getting shot six times. Brent Staples writes about how his brother’s death has affected him. He talks about how he always tried to help Blake, but in the end he was powerless to save him. This essay is a poignant look at the reality of violence in inner-city neighborhoods. It is also a reminder that we must do everything we can to break the cycle of violence.
The essay then delves into the difficult conditions of Blake’s childhood. The region where he and his siblings lived was highly volatile, so young men often felt like they had to put up a tough front just to make it through each day. Over the course of his life, Blake saw multiple people get hurt because of this violence. Brent recalls one time when he eavesdropped on two Vietnam veterans discussing how much easier it was for themto fight against inner-city youths who “advertise their masculinity” instead of other adult opponents.
The other veteran replied that he didn’t want to fight those types of men because they were too unpredictable. Staples goes on to say how this line has always stuck with him, and how it applies to his brother Blake.
Brent Staples concludes the essay by talking about the last time he saw his brother, which was at a family gathering. They sat together and talked, and Brent could tell that Blake was happy. A few months later, Blake was killed in a drive-by shooting. The person who killed him was never caught, and Brent Staples says that he thinks about his brother every day.
The boys were raised believing that fighting and violence proved their manhood. Brent and Blake moved away from home to escape the environment of violence and poverty they were raised in. Brent went to Chicago to become a journalist, while Blake moved to Roanoke, Virginia – an area just as drug-filled and violent. Surrounding himself with negative influences such as drugs, guns, and gang activity, Blake chose a lifestyle that led him down a path of destruction. Meanwhile, Brent became successful.
“A Brother’s Murder” is a book by Brent Staples that tells the story of two brothers growing up in Chester, Pennsylvania. Brent and Blake both moved away from home to escape the violence and poverty that was so prevalent in their hometown. Brent became a successful journalist, while Blake chose to engage in negative behaviors like drug use, gun violence, and gangs. As a result, Blake became a statistic.
Brent came home to visit his brother and was shocked to see how much he had changed. Blake now hung out with drug dealers and gangs, and Brent could tell he was in way over his head. When Brent saw a wound on his brother’s hand, Blake shrugged it off as “kickback from a shotgun.” Brent knew he had to get him out of there before it was too late.
A Brother Murder is a story about growing up in the inner city and how drugs, gangs, and violence can tear a family apart. Blake was only 17 years old when he was killed in a drug-related shooting. Brent Staples writes about his brother’s murder and how it has affected him and his family.
In A Brother’s Murder, Brent Staples writes about the struggles of growing up in the inner city. He talks about how his brother Blake was killed in a drug-related shooting. Brent describes how he tried to talk to his brother about the dangers of hanging out with gangs and dealers. However, Blake didn’t listen and ended up getting killed. This event has affected Brent and his family deeply.
A Brother’s Murder is a powerful story about the realities of growing up in the inner city. Brent Staples writes about how his brother’s murder has affected him and his family. This essay is important because it highlights the dangers of drugs, gangs, and violence in the inner city. It is a reminder that we need to be careful about who we associate with and where we spend our time. A Brother’s Murder is a moving story that everyone should read.