Summary Of Just Walk On By Brent Staples

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According to West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, a study in Maryland revealed that “70 percent of those stopped and searched on a stretch of I-95 were African American- despite the fact that they represented only 17 percent of drivers on the road.” In light of this confounding statistic, it can be seen that racism and racial profiling was, and still is, an issue in society. Even so, in his essay “Just Walk on By”, Brent Staples apprises of his story as a young, black man growing up in a large city and him facing racial profiling on the city streets. Furthermore, Staples shows his message that many people are willing to judge a person and assume what that person might have done and will do by their outside appearance by using a strong sense of Pathos and showing his persona through his own portrayal of his experience. Staples uses the strong appeal of Pathos and emotion to support his message that society not only fears the presence of him on the street but also acts irrationally against him because he is a black male. Namely, he gets his message across to his audience with the use of imagery. Even so, he says that when he’s out walking the streets of Brooklyn at night, he finds that women “set their faces on neutral”, place their purses “across their chest bandolier style”, and “forge ahead as though bracing themselves from being talked” (Staples 543). With this use of imagery, Staples is able to place an image in the reader’s head of a young woman walking the streets-

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