Summary Of Just Walk On By Brent Staples

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“[What goes] into the making of a young thug?” (Staples 242). In his short story, “Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space,” Brent Staples shares what it is like to grow up as an African American male in America. Staples suggests that a person will become “a young thug” as a repercussion from their home life (242). Staples was raised in a neighborhood with “a backdrop of gang warfare, street knifings, and murders” (242). As a result, an adolescent who was raised in this environment would have difficulty staying out of trouble and avoiding becoming a thug. The norm of his neighborhood was ultimately to become a thug who commits crimes. In contrast, if a person goes against the norm they were considered “good boys
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