Analysis Of Just Walk On By : A Black Man Ponders His Power To Alter Public Space

Better Essays
“It was in the echo of that terrified woman’s footfalls that I first began to know the unwieldy inheritance I’d come into – the ability to alter public space in ugly ways.” Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space, was written by Brent Staples. Staples was born in 1951 in Chester, Pennsylvania. He graduated Widener University with a B.A and the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in psychology. Staples worked to correct the myth that the American stereotype of black people are defined only by poverty, violence, and crime. To white people, specifically white women, any person of color is seen as a threat to them. Staples wrote this narrative argument to show that people of color, specifically black people, are…show more content…
Staples published it again a year later in Harper magazine because more people had access to it. Not just white women. That ties in with his second and third audience because everyone could read his essay. Staples probably published it with that title because it draws the audience in. It makes the audience wonder how a black man can alter public space and it makes the readers want to read and see what it is about.
One effective way Staples got his claim across was the use if pathos. Throughout the essay, Staples strongly uses pathos by giving his readers examples of his encounters with some of his victims and his feelings during those situations. One example of how he uses pathos, is when Staples talks about his encounter with his first victim. Staples states, “As a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken- let alone hold it to a person’s throat- I was surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed all at once. Her flight made me feel like an accomplice in tyranny.” (1). His first victim was a white woman. Staples purpose for using his very first encounter with his victim, was to evoke pity out of his audience. According to Staples, “I grew up one of the good boys…” (2). Staples wants his audience to see that soft side of him and feel sorry for him. In addition, another example is when Staples states, “At dark, shadowy intersections in Chicago, I could
Get Access