Introduction to 'Just Walk on By'

Brent Staples received his PhD from the University of Chicago and initially taught Psychology as an adjunct professor. However, he then turned to writing, and is now an author and editorial writer for the New York Times.

These quotations from Staples show a bit of his unique perspective and his desire to break down the stereotype of the deprived and bitter black person:
  • "All of us in this country have more in common than we have differences. Our skin color may not be the same, but we're the same people, the same biological unit.... When the news, entertainment, and publishing industries embark on a 'black story,' they often focus, with a kind of perverse romanticism, on the swaggering urban criminal."
  • "I am not a symbol. I am a real, flesh-and-blood man who can do certain things. If you want to engage me and find out how to do those things, I will deal with you, but first you have to have some context [in which] to do it."
  • "I despise the expression [black experience]. There is no such thing. Black people's lives in this country are too varied to be reduced to a single term."

These quotations come from this site, which also provides more information about Staples childhood and experiences:
Last modified: Thursday, 14 June 2012, 4:19 PM