Amazing Grace

Satisfactory Essays
Amazing Grace

As part of the summer reading assignment this year, I read the book Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol. In this documentary-style book, he told about the horrible yet completely realistic conditions of the most poor, rundown neighborhoods and districts in New York City. Kozol wrote the book for the purpose of telling the stories of the children who lived in these parts of the city. He dedicated his work to those children and it was his goal to inform readers that slums were in fact in existence and the children who resided there did not deserve to live in such a poverty-stricken area. The question "Why should their childhood be different from others across the country?" arose often and needs to be examined by all.

In some ways the stories, accounts and tales of these inner city children were shocking. I was aware that slums existed, but knew nothing of how they functioned, what living conditions were really like, or how the people there managed to live. But in no way was I aware that such conditions existed in America, the so called "Land of Opportunity." It seems it was just the opposite in these ghettos. There was very little, if any for the people living here. No chance whatsoever of employment outside the ghetto, or being accepted outside it. It was their home, they were not supposed to leave it, and when they did they were eyed with hate by other people who did not want to be in their presence.

I was also mortified by the extremely high amounts of child deaths in this particular ghetto. It seemed terrible that so many young children were getting killed, whether it be an accidental death in an elevator shaft, and mistaken shootings, or because of the extremely unhealthy conditions they were living in and the poor treatments that were available at area hospitals. I cannot even imagine myself in those conditions or anyone for the matter.

The stories of people’s bravery in the face of so much adversity affected me the most. I am amazed by the people who live in these terrible conditions day after day year after year yet still have the drive to go on and encourage others that things will be better and that one day everything will be all right.
Get Access