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A city was waiting to be discovered, and I wouldn’t let inconvenient facts get in the way. – Garnette Cadogan, “Walking While Black”

We are given the background of Garnette Cadogan from a series of flashbacks from childhood to his adulthood. Each flashback is a descriptive summary without much dialogue; instead, the author picks out the important incidents he remembers, the most memorable of which are from his time as a college student. In this section, Cadogan uses clothing as a form of metaphor for freedom and captivity. “Despite my best efforts,” he writes, “the streets never felt comfortably safe.” Cadogan uses a double-meaning that is for both himself and the white people around him. His mentions of the police tell us that even the law is against his blackness. But all of the experiences in America are once again contrasted with his return to Jamaica, where Cadogan says that he now feels invisible, as he is among a sea of unfamiliar faces but similar stories. He constantly describes places as ‘vibrant,’ an irony to the reality that the people within these cities does not like non-White people at all. Cadogan’s choice in words, such as using the word ‘swarm’ to describe the police officers makes them feel more like a pack of predators than human.

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