This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Finding Strength In Poverty In There Are No Children Here

1199 words - 5 pages

There are No Children Here – Finding Strength in Poverty        

Being privileged is something that I didn’t understand until I read There are No Children Here, by Alex Kotlowitz. The truth is that I knew I had it better than others, but the absolute difference was not truly recognized until I met the boys Lafayette, and Pharaoh. These boys were presented to me by Kotlowitz, via his book, and the evident pain and sorrow that these young men went through on a daily basis was more than most privileged people experience in an entire lifetime. That is what being privileged is.

When I started reading this book, I thought that is was going to be another poor me story about some poor black kids who got a raw deal. That was my ignorant, privileged life rearing its head. When I forged ahead, and read the book, I did so in seek of a grade, not a new perspective. I got to the fifth page, and I felt guilty. The guilt again was a selfish one, for I had been fooled to believe that the poor were poor because they were lazy. I was forced to believe that I had discussed and argued issues of poverty for the last 10 years, only to find that I was arguing in ignorance. These children were poor by birth, just the same as I was privileged by birth. By accident of birth, these children would endure more pain and suffering than I could imagine. The feeling made me shutter with disbelief that people actually lived like this, in America. So I read on further, only discover more terrifying stories of death, abuse, filth, sorrow, poverty, and addiction.

Lafayette and Pharaoh are two of the seven kids birthed by LaJoe Rivers in Chicago Illinois. They all currently reside at the Henry Horner Homes that rests nestled away from the city amist another poverty stricken neighborhood. When LaJoe first moved to the Homes in the sixties, they were a grand place to live. The grass was green, the flowers were all around, and the hallways seemed to go on forever. Their family was the first to move into the homes, and at that time, they were proud of that. Here they were, in a nice, affordable place where they could raise their children in a descent environment, around other people. As more families moved in, they relied on each other, and would gather in the court yard to talk and enjoy each others company. The times sure changed though. The Chicago Housing Authority started neglecting the Homes. Grass would go months without mowing, the appliances would deteriorate without replacement, and the plumbing was left to self destruct. When the CHA didn’t control the Homes, and the police wouldn’t enforce the laws, crime soon ran free to torture the inhabitants of the once grand Henry Horner Homes. The people of Henry Horner, especially the good people, longed for a place that they could sit up at night on a porch without fear. They had a dream of a place without the violence, but many of the people here became so conditioned to think that this is the way it was supposed to be,...

Find Another Essay On Finding Strength in Poverty in There Are No Children Here

There Are No Children Here Essays: Style

603 words - 2 pages Style of There Are No Children Here There Are No Children Here  In Kotlowitz's description of the harsh realities of the Chicago projects, three stylistic elements stand out: his precise narration, his bluntness, and his questionable objectivity. These three elements blend to form a unique style that is particularly well-suited for There Are No Children Here. If there is one thing on which critics agree when discussing this book, it

The Urban Underclass Depicted in Alex Kotiowitz’s Book, There are no Children Here

634 words - 3 pages quote shows that most kids of this society drop out of school and make poor choices. This is a generalization and widely expected without a question. Many get involved in gangs and drugs, such as Lafeyette. It seems to be okay to do what everyone else is expected to do. Moreover, children need to grow up fast to take care of themselves in this environment. Lafeyette talks about the projects and quotes, “But you know, there are no children here

Barriers of Color, Prejudice and Fear in There Are No Children Here

1515 words - 6 pages Barriers of Color, Prejudice and Fear in There Are No Children Here          The barriers of color, as well as prejudice and fear show through in this story of two young boys growing up in inner city Chicago. Confined to the project housing the brothers and their family are well aware of their "caste" in society. The story follows the events of the Rivers family living in the Henry Horner Homes (near the United Center in Chicago). Over

There Are No Children Here - If I Grow Up

1273 words - 5 pages There Are No Children Here - If I Grow Up          "If I grow up, I'd like to be a bus driver." If -- not when. Sentiments like this echo hauntingly through the pages of Alex Kotlowitz's account of his two-year documentation of the lives of two brothers, Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers. The boys are afforded little happiness and too much grief, trying to survive from day to day in their appartment at the crime-ridden Henry Horner Homes

Keeping Our Youthfulness in No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz

1785 words - 8 pages There are No Children Here; by Alex Kotlowitz is a story about two brothers and their mother, Pharaoh, Lafayette and LaJoe Rivers and them growing up in the late 1980's in the (HHH) Henry Horner Homes, a housing project in Chicago. In the story the boys try to retain their youthfulness while they see constant gang violence, death of people close to them and their brother is in jail and their dad is struggling with drug addiction. In Horner

In the novel "Perfume", discuss how Patrick Suskind tells a story in which there are no relationships of any strength, and no dialogue of any length

860 words - 3 pages Grennouille does not reflect on any of his actions.As there is no dialogues or developments in the relations, it doesn't really help develop characters as a whole. We are only introduced to other characters beyond the protagonist before Suskind kills them off. They are unable to know Grennouille and the audience is unable to view how one character perceives another. Patrick Suskind still manages to create something magical. He creates suspense and curiosity among the reader by describing the story vividly and descriptively at a very fast tempo. The short chapters also help the reader flow through the book very quickly.

In the Game of Life, There are No Continues

1910 words - 8 pages In the Game of Life, There are No Continues It was July when Charles Whitman, who was 24, killed both his wife and mother. He then took a “footlocker full of ammunition, shotguns, rifles, Spam sandwiches and water” to a clock tower at the University of Texas. In the next hour and half, he shot 46 people, killing 16 of them before finally being shot to death by police. Charles Starkweather was 19 when he led Caril Fugate, 14, on a

there are no winners

850 words - 4 pages Imagine that you are a passenger on a flight headed to a major city. Hijackers take over the cockpit and the pilots are left murdered. The hijackers begin to terrorize the passengers on the plane. They plan to drop nuclear bombs down onto the major city you are headed to. They make it clear that, they in no way want to die, and therefore all passengers besides the pilots will survive the flight. You and other passengers discuss that together

There is no such thing as poverty in the UK today

1676 words - 7 pages individual or family that they are, in effect, excluded from ordinary living patterns, customs and activities” (1979). It is estimated that there was over two million children living in relative poverty during the period 2011-12 and this figure is rising rapidly as time elapses, according to Harrison (2013). The obvious difference between absolute and relative poverty is that absolute poverty is measured on the amount a person needs in order

We Percieve the World as Coloured, But There Are No Colours in the World

1250 words - 5 pages We percieve the world as coloured: but there are no colours in the world. That we percieve the world as coloured is considered trivial, so in this essay I will concetrate mainly on the latter claim, “there are no colours in the world”. There are two philosophical positions which are compatible with this claim. The first one is an error thoery known as eliminativism and the second is subjectivism. There are two reasons that people give for

The eradication of poverty. Thesis Statement: There are many different reasons why poverty occurs and as such there are many different avenues to pursue in the eradication of poverty

711 words - 3 pages employed. This occurs many of the times because there are too many children to support with the income being earned. Through education about family planning people can learn to have manageable sized families where they can enjoy a reasonable standard of living even if their income is not very high.Lastly, drug treatment centers will aid in the task of eradicating poverty. Many people become destitute because of their addiction to drugs. Centers are

Similar Essays

The Effect Of Gangs In There Are No Children Here

986 words - 4 pages The Effect of Gangs in There Are No Children Here           Throughout There Are No Children Here, a continuous, powerful tension always lurks in the background. The gangs that are rampant in the housing projects of Chicago cause this tension. In the Henry Horner Homes, according to Kotlowitz, one person is beaten, shot, or stabbed due to gangs every three days. In one week during the author's study of the projects, police confiscated 22

There Are No Children Here Essay

1353 words - 6 pages There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America (or There are No Children Here For short), is written by Alex Kotlowitz. Kotlowitz grew up around New York City. He attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut. After graduating from Wesleyan, he worked on a cattle farm and then finally after one year started working at a Journalism firm in Lansing, Michigan. After he became a popular writer for the Wall Street

There Are No Children Here Essay

1048 words - 4 pages There Are No Children Here Alex Kotlowitz was a freelance journalist. In 1985 a friend came to him and asked him to write a text for a photo essay he was doing on (children living in poverty) for a Chicago magazine. That is when he met the Rivers brothers, Lafeyette, age ten, and Pharoah age seven. He spent only a few hours with them interviewing for the photo essay. Lafeyette had an impact on Kotlowitz. When asked what he wanted to be

No Hope For The Children In There Are No Children Here

1323 words - 5 pages No Hope for the Children in There Are No Children Here       Henry Horner Homes, an inner-city housing project, is the setting in which the story of two boys growing up in America’s inner-city occurs. The story tracks the River’s family, particularly the two middle boys, Lafeyette and Pharoah, focusing on the strife-ridden times of drugs, death, gangs, and poverty. The author describes how devastating life in the inner city is for a