Essay about "Just Walk on by" - Brent Staples

Words: 1310
Pages: 6

Morgan Allen
Ms. Mayo
ENG 101-1035
30 October 2012
Just Walk on By In Brent Staples’ essay, “Just Walk on By” the author describes his experiences, feelings, and reactions towards the discrimination he has faced throughout his life as a black man. Staples describes several different personal experiences of when he felt that he had been judged or discriminated against by other people based on the color of his skin and how that contributed to his overall appearance. Staples has continuously been perceived as a danger or criminal simply because of his skin color, leading him to have to deal with many uncomfortable situations. The author has even gone so far as to take precautions when he is on the street just so that he will not be
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The imagery that Staples adds into his essay paint vivid pictures into the readers’ minds and help the reader to understand the situation clearly. Staples imagery is extremely strong throughout the essay and adds a lot to his different stories. Staples strongly expresses the fact that he wants the readers to feel sympathy for him whether it is intentional or not. It almost sounds like he makes himself to be the criminal in all of these situations. He takes precautions to look innocent, he avoids situations that could make him look like the bad guy, and he gives those who are judging him an easy out. Staples describes various colored men that grew up around him and he also notes that many of them end up in jail. He informs his audience that his skin color largely overshadows white skin color when it comes to crimes. Because he mentions this, he has the audience back to thinking that skin color really does make a difference. But by confronting these facts, he makes himself actually look that much more innocent, and a reader really can’t help but sympathize with him. Because he saw so many people with the same skin color end up in jail or worse, he understands why people misjudge him and he genuinely seems like he doesn’t blame them at all for the misconception. His reactions to these types of circumstances