Brent Staples’ persona helps the message through the use of strong diction. Throughout his essay, Staples is able to make the audience understand what he has to deal with as a black man. Staples does this by using words and phrases such as, “...her flight made me feel like an accomplice in tyranny” and “... I was indistinguishable from the muggers who occasionally seeped into the area…” (542). By writing and describing how he (Staples) feels, the audience is able to get an inside look into how black men are treated and better understand why society’s teachings, play a vital role in how we see each other.
Emotional Argumentation: The Rhetorical Genius of Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass’ use of vivid imagery, metaphor, parallelism, and irony in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave was even more impressive and effective in his time than now. Graphic visual and sensory imagery grabbed polite society’s attention to demonstrate the violence against slaves. Metaphors countered racial bias by equating violence across races. Irony emphasized the reality of religious, political, and social hypocrisy against black people. Each device is effective independently, but their placement augmented Douglass’ protest of slavery and racism.
The suggestion that the Judge’s life contains “splendid rubbish [...] to cover up and paralyze a more active and subtle conscience” displays the duality of the characterization which the narrator creates. The juxtaposition of “splendid” and “rubbish” serve to expose the Judge’s deteriorating morals, while crafting the surface of respectability. This subtle use of contrasting opinions aids to establish the narrator’s sarcastic tone, simultaneously displaying the judge’s desired character and then undermining that character with suggestions of his true nature. The choice of the word “rubbish” especially highlights the sarcastic tone, equating the sequence of Judge Pyncheon’s life to that of trash, worthy of nothing. This carefully placed, critical diction reveals the true feelings of the narrator, bolstering his sarcasm.
Following the stereotypes, one can simplify the whole picture of the world and make it more comprehensible. But very often the stereotypes appear to be too generalized or wrong. One of the crucial social issues in the United States is constant racial stereotyping of ethnic minorities, which leads to the emergence of such phenomena as racism and discrimination. Brent Staples in his essay “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space” and Judith Ortiz Cofer in her work “The Myth of the Latin Woman: Just Met a Girl Named Maria” both make several important observations about the biased attitude of the whites to ethnic minorities in the United States. Although both authors present their own life experiences and reveal the harmful consequences of racial stereotyping in the society their points of view on the ways of avoiding the conflict situations based on those misunderstandings are different.
Will society ever view African-Americans as people and not as less than? In “Chokehold” Paul Butler will discuss this very idea depth. Butler provides history on why and how society sees African-American men as violent thugs. Butler goes on to explain in detail how the chokehold plays a part in oppressing African-American men and how to avoid the ramifications of the Chokehold, if possible. In the last chapter, Butler provides various ideals in effort to rid the Chokehold in its entirety.
Through the various works of historic Black Intellectual Jeremiads and modern civil rights activists, one can understand that Black individuals in America have and continue to be subjected to positions of unfreedom. This social fact— evoked by the oppressor’s (whites) need to keep the oppressed (Blacks) ignorant, thereby disenfranchised and incapacitated— problematizes notions introduced by James Baldwin when he states, “we cannot be free until they are also free.” Though Baldwin’s optimistic intentions of American unity as the result of black and white solidarity seemingly revokes Black agency in our own liberation and leaves us permanently doomed to white recognition of their own immorality, he is correct to an extent. This is because systemic
In his essay, “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space”, Brent Staples uses the rhetorical strategies of anecdote and diction in order to convey his message that due to racial discrimination black people (mainly men) have to change the way they naturally conduct themselves in public for they run the risk of something terrible happening to them. Staples uses anecdotes to bring in the personal side of the message to the audience. Staples creates a persona of innocence and almost alienation in his writing. Anecdotes such as his both instances in which he accidently scared women on walks and the time in which he and another reporter were mistaken for murder suspects or robbers are used to show real life proof of his message. That it is reality and not just a concept based off of racism.
In the reading Just Walk on By by Brent Staples, the topic of racial stereotypes surfaces from the man who gets racially profiled quite often as he explains his personal experiences. The author bluntly tries to pass the message that racially judging people is wrong and explaining how it makes the other party ,african americans, feel. When analyzing Staples’ message his rhetorical strategies play a huge role into how his message is perceived. He uses influential diction allowing each word to give an impact unmatched by any white man who tried to convey a black man’s thought process. Staples also appeals to his credibility with the obvious observation that he is a black man talking about his real life experiences.
Staples utilizes the three main rhetorical devices, pathos, ethos, and logos all to give the reader an insight into the life of a black man in society. By using these rhetoric techniques, Staples can produce reactions from the reader and accomplish his goal of bringing the reader to his level and allow them to empathize with him. By being able to use these rhetorical techniques and pulling the reader into his piece, he can accomplish his overall goal of the piece and make the audience see that even though society claims against it, there is still racism today and that it is not obvious to us because it has become a part of our
Perhaps the greatest bane of the notions of equality, justice, and unity that define the U.S. today is the institutionalized exploitation of different minorities. Carl Bagely and Ricardo Castro-Salazar argue in New Frontiers in Ethnography that this perennial exploitation happens due to the inability to respond to the, “sensory, emotional, and kinesthetic realities of the twenty-first century” (Bagely Castro-Salazar 153). In an effort to rectify these travesties, the authors suggest the implementation of critical performance ethnography (CPE), a method of societal correction via critical race theory (CRT), counter life history narratives (CLHN), and performance ethnography (PE). The parts of CPE are not individually powerful, however together