Critique of Geoffrey Canada's Fist Stick Knife Gun

1510 Words7 Pages
Critique of Geoffrey Canada's Fist Stick Knife Gun The Book “Fist Stick Knife Gun” by Geoffrey Canada is a biographical account of his childhood in the south Bronx. He and his 4 brothers were raised by only their mother. She would survive on no more than ten dollars a week. He moved several times as a child until finally landing on union avenue, the place were many of his life lessons were learned and at times applied. He learned about the ranking process of kids on union Ave. and how the only way to improve your status was to use your fists to fight your way up the chain. Looking back Geoffrey Canada notices the major shift in attitudes concerning the rules of the streets. What once was harmless fist fighting has now turned over to guns. His opinions can be seen in his title “Fist Stick Knife Gun”. One of the earliest lessons he ever learned was from his mother. She told all four of her boys to never let people think they were afraid and that they were never to become victims. This is shown with each word that Canada uses in his title. The first phase of his life consisted of “Fist”. He recalls the time when he first moved to Union Ave and he was trapped inside his apartment because he hadn’t established himself in the neighborhood. He would sit up in his 3rd floor apartment and jealously looked on, as all the other kids would play in the streets. One day his older brother John had enough and walked outside to face his fate. The rest of his brothers followed and eventually each got beat up as a pass to the streets. None of them showed their fears or their pain, a lesson that they first learned from their mother. This was only one of many steps/ factors in becoming an established individual not to be reckoned with. Age was the other factor to be considered. The older you were, the more respect you got from others. There were the young adults, who were the biggest and badest on the block. They weren’t usually around to defend their turf because they all belonged to a gang, however everyone knew they ruled all. Next were the mid-teen boys who were the “real rulers of Union Ave (18)” They were the ones who enforced the rules. The lower categories were the early teens and the pre teens. The early teens were just learning the rules whereas the pre teens couldn’t go off of the sidewalk. Geoffrey belonged to the lowest rung, the sidewalk group. As time wen... ... middle of paper ... ...hese rules. They may seem unfair and even ridiculous to us outsiders, but that’s because we have more options of obtaining success than those caught in the belly of the slums. These codes are all that they have and without them, they would have no meaning in their lives, nothing to live up to day in and day out. They give these people a reason to wake up in the morning and a sense of pride that can’t be provided in any other way. Geoffrey Canada gives his readers a rare opportunity to look inside the life of a ghetto kid and what they have to go through just to survive. He also provides answers to the many questions asked of why certain things happen the way they do in the Bronx. He used his childhood experiences and turned them into a unique tool when helping the youth of today. Now that he works as a youth councilor he sees that the problem in the slums has gotten dramatically worse with the emergence of guns. It used to be about pride and status, now any thug with a gun can be feared in the community. This, to Canada is a major problem because guns gives kids a sense of power, a strong feeling that is often abused and results in someone, even an innocent person dead.

    More about Critique of Geoffrey Canada's Fist Stick Knife Gun

      Open Document