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Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space

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1. Why does staples characterize the woman he encounters in a paragraph 1 as a “victim”?

One of the author’s purpose of characterizing the woman he encounters, is to share the reader a personal life experience in order to engage and catch the reader’s attention with this ironic and sarcastic situation. The author uses this type of language to transmit and inform the magnitude of racism at that time and how can affect an individual. He uses the word “victim” as a sarcastic expression of how black people were seen, as dangerous people. It is clear that the “victim” thought that being around Staples meant that her life was in a hazard.

2. What does Staples mean when he says he has he powers to “alter public space”?

The author recognize the fact that he have positive attributes on his side that can help him to “alter public space”. He works in a very good editorial, this means that, whatever he say can cause a strong impact in society’s mind set. Staples knows his influence in the media. Also, he is black and he understands how black people are stereotyped in society, so he uses to his favor the sense of “hazard” that society have toward black people. Staples have lived racism in a closer look since he was a child and he was able to convert that negative experience into a positive and encouraging method to overcome racism.

3. What is Staple’s thesis? Does he state it or imply it?

Staple’s purpose in the text “Just Walk on by” is to give a deep analysis of the cruel reality that black people suffered. The author clearly implies that “men are automatically prejudged to be threatening and are therefore avoided in streets” so, in society there were not the same privileges and equity between races. In consequence, racism brought rebellion from black people toward society standards and status quo. Nowadays, racism and discrimination towards black people is still current but in a smaller percentage.

4. Does Staple use logic, emotion, or a combination of the two o appeal to his readers? How appropriate in his strategy? The author performs an excellent description of the racism that was present in that time. Staple uses a combination of logic and emotion, which is very precise and appropriate because it helps the reader to acknowledge and understand the thesis of the text. Also, it helps the reader to characterize the discrimination toward black people in a closer perspective. Staple achieved his goal, he was able to start a breaking point about discrimination in society.

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