Comparsion of Staples’s Just Walk on by and Walker’s Scattered Inconveniences

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 619 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Aug 6, 2021

Words: 619|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Aug 6, 2021

Table of contents

  1. Comparison of the Essays
  2. Conclusion
  3. References

In the essays "Scattered Inconveniences" by Jerald Walker and "Just Walk on by: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space" by Brent Staples, the authors offer distinct perspectives on issues related to race and discrimination. While their viewpoints differ, both essays shed light on the complex dynamics of racial diversity.

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Comparison of the Essays

In "Scattered Inconveniences" by Jerald Walker, the author explores the theme of racism, including stereotypes, exclusion, and accusations. Walker discusses how he sometimes resorts to stereotyping, assuming that a truck driver is a threat because he is white and wears a cowboy hat. He generalizes that everyone in Indiana is racist and that everyone in Iowa City is a hippie. Walker's fear of discrimination and negative influences on his family leads him to blame white people for various societal problems, including AIDS and gang-related issues. He also recounts instances of racial exclusion, such as being subjected to racist behavior at the gym, where white individuals made gorilla noises at him. Additionally, he excludes his friend Clyde for not conforming to the expectations of people of color. However, it becomes clear that not all individuals are racist, as demonstrated by the Chevy driver who actually helps Walker and his family when their car door is open. This essay serves as a reminder that racism is not a universal trait, and there are many well-intentioned individuals in society.

In "Just Walk on by: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space" by Brent Staples, the author reflects on his own experiences of being perceived as a threat due to his appearance as a black man. Staples shares anecdotes from his time as a graduate student when he took late-night walks and noticed the fear he instilled in others. He describes scenarios in which his mere presence led to reactions of fear and caution, such as people locking their car doors or crossing the street to avoid him. Staples employs powerful descriptions, like the repetitive "thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk" of car door locks, to illustrate the immediate impact of his presence on public spaces. He highlights the racial dynamics at play and how perceptions can alter the atmosphere of a public space.

Both essays delve into the issue of racial diversity, but their perspectives differ. "Scattered Inconveniences" portrays the author's initial inclination toward stereotyping and fear of discrimination, while "Just Walk on by" recounts instances of racial bias directed at the author. Both essays reveal that not everyone is racist, but racial biases and discrimination persist, illustrating the complexity of racial dynamics in society.

In the realm of storytelling, Jerald Walker reflects on his use of high metaphor in "Scattered Inconveniences." He suggests that the man in the Chevy serves as a metaphor for the sin of American racism, emphasizing how racism, although still prevalent, has weakened over time. Walker aims to tell a compelling story, but he acknowledges that readers may interpret it differently.

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In conclusion, these essays provide insights into the multifaceted issues surrounding race and discrimination. They highlight the importance of acknowledging and addressing racial biases while also recognizing that not all individuals hold racist beliefs. Both authors contribute to the ongoing conversation about racial diversity and its impact on society.


  1. Walker, J. (2008). Scattered Inconveniences. In "The Best American Essays" (pp. 169-182). Mariner Books.
  2. Staples, B. (1986). Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space. "Ms. Magazine," 46-48.
  3. Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castañeda, C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zúñiga, X. (2013). Readings for diversity and social justice. Routledge.
  4. Feagin, J. R., & Feagin, C. B. (2008). Racial and ethnic relations. Pearson.
  5. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2018). Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America. Rowman & Littlefield.
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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Comparsion Of Staples’s Just Walk On By And Walker’s Scattered Inconveniences. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from
“Comparsion Of Staples’s Just Walk On By And Walker’s Scattered Inconveniences.” GradesFixer, 06 Aug. 2021,
Comparsion Of Staples’s Just Walk On By And Walker’s Scattered Inconveniences. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
Comparsion Of Staples’s Just Walk On By And Walker’s Scattered Inconveniences [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Aug 06 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from:
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