"Amazing Grace" By Johnathan Kuzal Essay

1128 words - 5 pages

"Amazing Grace" by Jonathan Kozal focuses on race and poverty by exploring lives of inner-city people in the Bronx. Author Jonathan Kozal focuses on the troubles of everyday life for children who live in the poorest district of the United States, Mott Haven, in New York City's Bronx. These black and Hispanic children strive for survival while living in a community of violence and disease. Thousands of people were killed from fires, accidents shootings or diseases such as AIDS. Their lives seem horrible to think about but they're so used to them that to them that they seem as normal as everyone else's. Living in the poor urban neighborhood of Mott Haven, you never know what will happen next. No one is there to protect you not even the police. Sometimes police respond hours later. If you step on somebody's foot or even look at someone the wrong way he might pull out a gun and kill you. These are not only adults but young kids. Women are victims of sexual abuse and rape on constant. For example, a little girl who was only eleven was found burned and murdered under the Bruckner Boulevard (Kozol p.48). People get killed for no reason. You can get shot simply just walking in the lobby of your own building. All this disruption is cause by the highest level of poverty seen in America. Poverty is caused by many ways but in the Bronx it seems to be the continuous cycle of drug dealing. Poverty effects the family, jobs and their living conditions.The Drug problem in the Bronx is a continuous cycle that seems to continue to worsen. Majority of people have drug addictions that are so strong that it is a necessary part of their life. The Drug dealing is a continuous cycle because for the majority they have to sell drugs in order to purchase some. Dealing is done is the streets and not as secretive as some might think. At night the Park where children play during the day, is turned into the center of the drug ring. Many drug dealers sell here because it is at the center of the Bronx. Since the drugs are such a main part of their life, outside sources sent in sterile needles and condoms to lessen the spreading of AIDS. AIDS is a problem because women have to resort to prostitution in order to get money. Sometimes it's as low as dollars and cents. The money they earn goes towards drugs, their children and certain necessities. So many times the prostitutes money goes towards their drugs instead of the families needs. "then in the alleys sometimes, you see addicts with their needles and the rope around their arm..."(pg 86)The Families are often threatened by drug use, abuse, racial discrimination and financial difficulty caused by these things. Because of drug dealing and prostitution the families cannot trust their members, but everyone must help pitch in financially. Because of this financial crisis, families live in horrible places. Their "homes" are infested with cockroaches and rats. In the book it is mentioned that the rats bite the babies at night. In the...

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