Perception Of Fear In Brent Staple's 'Just Walk On By'

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We all have those feelings of fear at some point or another. In the essay “Just Walk on By” written by Brent Staples we see a good perspective of fear when he ends up in a few situations where he feels his life could be at stake. Staples should have been fearful at this time in his life because of the stories he sees of black men being mistaken and dragged from their cars and, the way he sees people react to him as he walks down the street being a black man himself. This sense of fear could possibly affect his American Dream. Staples is fearful because he is a black male in the late seventies and early eighties where people looked at them differently as if they were bad people, even though staples is as any other american working towards his dream. In the essay he says he’s fearful when he had written a story and was rushing to the office to show his editor and as he entered the building they had security chase after him, mistakenly thinking he was a burglar. He says, “ I had no way of proving who I was. I could only move briskly toward the company of…show more content…
Staples understood that he was unwelcome in the store and left wishing her a goodnight. As Staples was growing up in the sixties he says how he was “scarcely noticeable against a backdrop of gang warfare, street knifings, and murders” (2). Around him he sees his friends, family, and neighbors, “all gone down in episodes of bravado played out in the streets”(2). He is fearful from these things because at any point in time that could be him who lays dead. In the essay he even says, “ Where fear and weapons meet-and they often do in urban America -there is always the possibility of death”(1). Staples is living in this time where there seems to be a lot of violence and hatred towards the black community and absolutely is reason as to why he should be
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