Brent Staples and Richard Rodriguez’s autobiographical essays both start out with a problem, but they deal with it in different ways. Brent Staples’ “Just Walk on By” deals with the issue of racism and social judgment he faces because he is African-American, while Rodriguez’s essay “Complexion,” details the self-hatred and shame he felt in his childhood because of his skin color. Both of these essays deal with race, appearance, and self-acceptance, but the authors write about them in different ways. When looking at the similarities and differences together, the points of these essays have a much stronger message about how to deal with discrimination. These essays seem to have different stories, but both have many apparent similarities. In Brent Staples’ essay he discusses how society treats him like a threat and how he can do nothing about it. Likewise, in Richard Rodriguez’s essay, he talks about how he feels that society judged his skin color to be too dark and ugly. Both men felt like outcasts in their surroundings and neither could do anything to change that. Because of this discrimination, both men had to change their lifestyles. Staples adapted to how society viewed him and learned to live that way. For example, he always made sure to keep a certain distance between him and other pedestrians at night to make sure they felt safe. Rodriguez states many times in his essay how much he wanted to just be shirtless in the sun, but could not do it because he was sure his friends would judge him. So although he had urges to do certain actions, he held them back to adapt to the way he felt that his family and his friends saw him. Another similarity these two authors share is how they handled this hate. Staples writes that he learne... ... middle of paper ... ...like Staples’ methods. Both of these essays deal with racism, self-acceptance, and adapting to life’s challenges, but they show them from different views and methods. “Just Walk On By” started out as Staples’ sad life story, but turned into the story of a man who eventually came to terms with the difficulties he would deal with in his life, and he faced them with a positive attitude. “Complexion,” unfortunately, ended with Rodriguez feeling self-defeated and believing he would never find a resolution to his problem. He did not want to ignore the issue of his skin color, but let it slowly take over his life. Seeing them side-by-side, these essays start out with the same problem, but eventually go in completely different directions near the end. Staples and Rodriguez dealt with the racism and social judgment on the inside and both had radically different resolutions.
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Okita and Cisneros’ stories are written from very different standpoints, and from first glance do not even appear related, yet through all of this emerges the idea that you can create your own identity. This common theme would not be achievable if it were not for the eloquent use of literary devices such as tone, mood, and shifts by Okita and Cisneros. Not only do Okita and Cisneros’ works bring together a common theme they manage to bring to light the very real problem of racism in America, that has existed since it’s very foundation, in an attempt to bring about change. Although Both authors used a wide variety of literary techniques to write their works they show that commonalities can be found in the most different of
The introduction to this article begins with a personal narrative about his own experiences as an African American teenage
America have a long history of black’s relationship with their fellow white citizens, there’s two authors that dedicated their whole life, fighting for equality for blacks in America. – Audre Lorde and Brent Staples. They both devoted their professional careers outlying their opinions, on how to reduce the hatred towards blacks and other colored. From their contributions they left a huge impression on many academic studies and Americans about the lack of awareness, on race issues that are towards African-American. There’s been countless, of critical evidence that these two prolific writers will always be synonymous to writing great academic papers, after reading and learning about their life experience, from their memoirs.
The way Staples structures this essay emphasizes his awareness of the problem he faces. The essay’s framework consists mostly of Staples informing the reader of a scenario in which he was discriminated against and then following it with a discussion or elaboration on the situation. This follow-up information is often an expression stating comprehension of his problem and than subtitle, logical criticisms toward it. For example, Staples describes women “fearing the worst of him” on the streets of Brooklyn. He then proceeds to declare that he understands that “women are particularly vulnerable to street violence, and young black males are drastically overrepresented among the perpetrators of that violence.” Staples supports this statement with information about how he had witnessed gang violence in Chester, Pennsylvania and saw countless black youths locked away, however, Staples pronounces that this is no excuse for holding every young black man accountable, because he was an example of a black man who “grew up one of the good boys” coming “to doubt the virtues of intimidation early on.” This narrative structure highlights that Staples is not a hypocrite because he is not show ignorance toward the problem he is addressing unlik...
Ethnic group is a settled mannerism for many people during their lives. Both Zora Neale Hurston, author of “How It Feels to Be Colored Me; and Brent Staples, author of “Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space,” realize that their life will be influenced when they are black; however, they take it in pace and don’t reside on it. They grew up in different places which make their form differently; however, in the end, It does not matter to them as they both find ways to match the different sexes and still have productivity in their lives.. Hurston was raised in Eatonville, Florida, a quiet black town with only white passer-by from time-to-time, while Staples grew up in Chester, Pennsylvania, surrounded by gang activity from the beginning. Both Hurston and Staples share similar and contrasting views about the effect of the color of their
He writes, “black men have a firm place in New York mugging literature” (1). The literature in his time have key influence to encourage negative thoughts towards black men. Staples mentions an essay that was popularized at the time; the essay by Norman Podhoretz titled “My Negro Problem—and Ours” narrates the childhood memories of terror that he experienced while encountering men of color on specific streets. This piece of literature creates a false image and displays encounters with black men as a scene from a horror film. It inspires hate and generalizes the image of African-American men. Staples also mentions the essayist Edward Hoagland, who openly displays his prejudicial beliefs regarding black males. Hoagland states that when he encounters a black man he views him as “a mugger who is clearly screwing up his nerve to do more than just ask for money” (1). Due to Hoagland’s influence, he spreads more unnecessary hatred towards the image of this racial
In “Black Men in Public Spaces” the author talks about multiply situation where he was treated different for being an African American. Staples said,” I entered a jewelry store on the city’s affluent near North side. The proprietor excused herself and returned with an enormous red Doberman pinscher straining at the end of a leash” (161.) Then there is “Right Place, Wrong Face, which is focused on and African American man that is wrongly accused of a crime because of his race. White said, “I was searched, stripped of my backpack, put on my knees, handcuffed, and told to be quieted when I tried to ask questions” (229.) The two articles have many similarities. Both articles have two educated African America men who get treated different because of their race. Staples and White both have situations where they are being stereotyped by society because there black
Thomas uses pathos in order to demonstrate the difficulties she had to endure while growing up as an interracial child. She goes in depth concerning the treatment she received from both racial spectrums. Thomas presents her first example of unfair treatment from a black person’s perspective by stating how whites reacted when they found out her true identity beyond her physical appearance. She states, “I have had friends never speak to me again, parents forbid their children to play with me, job offers suddenly evaporate…when people found out my father is black” (416). Thomas distinctly uses these examples mainly because they are synonymous with the racial boundaries that blacks endure in an everyday American society. Furthermore, these examples grab the emotions of the reader, especially if the reader is black. To further the influence of pathos in the essay, Thomas changes her direction by focusing on how the black community did not accept her, knowing of her mixture. She provides her second example of society’s ignorance by explaining her...
In the two essays, “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space” by Brent Staples and “I’m Not Racist But…” by Neil Bissoondath, there are both differences and similarities. The two authors differ in their opinion on the causes of racism and life experiences involving racism, but are similar in regards to the use of stereotypes in the world
In Brent Staples’ "Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space," Staples describes the issues, stereotypes, and criticisms he faces being a black man in public surroundings. Staples initiates his perspective by introducing the audience in to thinking he is committing a crime, but eventually reveals how the actions taken towards him are because of the fear linked to his labelled stereotypes of being rapists, gangsters and muggers. Staples continues to unfold the audience from a 20 year old experience and sheds light onto how regardless of proving his survival compared to the other stereotypical blacks with his education levels and work ethics being in the modern era, he is still in the same plight. Although Staples relates such burdens through his personal experiences rather than directly revealing the psychological impacts such actions have upon African Americans with research, he effectively uses emotion to explain the social effects and challenges they have faced to avoid causing a ruckus with the “white American” world while keeping his reference up to date and accordingly to his history.
Brent Staples effectively used his personal experiences personal experiences that he has had in the past and present to convey his message to the reader. Staples conveys his message with the Prejudice is still occurring. The article Black Men and Public Space for Harper’s Magazine was effective in the rhetorical strategies staples used such an appeal to pathos with strong diction and imager, and
In his article “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space”, which first appeared in the women’s magazine Ms. Magazine and later Harpers, Brent Staples explores the discrimination he faced as a black man living in Chicago and New York. In writing this piece, Brent Staples hoped to use a combination of pathos and ethos to demonstrate to the women that read Ms. Harper’s that Staples is actually the victim when the women treat him the way they do and to get these women to view him, and other black men, differently and to make them realize that they are people too. Staples use of his ethos and pathos serve well to support his position and convince others to take a new perspective. Staples uses ethos in multiple ways
In the autobiography Black Boy by Richard Wright, Wright’s defining aspect is his hunger for equality between whites and blacks in the Jim Crow South. Wright recounts his life from a young boy in the repugnant south to an adult in the north. In the book, Wright’s interpretation of hunger goes beyond the literal denotation. Thus, Wright possesses an insatiable hunger for knowledge, acceptance, and understanding. Wright’s encounters with racial discrimination exhibit the depths of misunderstanding fostered by an imbalance of power.
I was late for school, and my father had to walk me in to class so that my teacher would know the reason for my tardiness. My dad opened the door to my classroom, and there was a hush of silence. Everyone's eyes were fixed on my father and me. He told the teacher why I was late, gave me a kiss goodbye and left for work. As I sat down at my seat, all of my so-called friends called me names and teased me. The students teased me not because I was late, but because my father was black. They were too young to understand. All of this time, they thought that I was white, because I had fare skin like them, therefore I had to be white. Growing up having a white mother and a black father was tough. To some people, being black and white is a contradiction in itself. People thought that I had to be one or the other, but not both. I thought that I was fine the way I was. But like myself, Shelby Steele was stuck in between two opposite forces of his double bind. He was black and middle class, both having significant roles in his life. "Race, he insisted, blurred class distinctions among blacks. If you were black, you were just black and that was that" (Steele 211).
Brent Staples focuses on his own experiences, which center around his perspective of racism and inequality. This perspective uniquely encapsulates the life of a black man with an outer image that directly affects how others perceive him as a person. Many readers, including myself, have never experienced the fear that Staples encounters so frequently. The severity of his experiences was highlighted for me when he wrote, “It also made it clear that I was indistinguishable from the muggers who occasionally seeped into the area from the surrounding ghetto.” (135) Having to accept that fact as a reality is something that many people will never understand. It is monumentally important that Staples was able to share this perspective of the world so others could begin to comprehend society from a viewpoint different from their