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 housing project on the outskirts of Chicago. When Kotlowitz approached the boys' mother, LaJoe, about writing the book about her children, she agreed with him, but felt the need to set him straight.
You may think these are strange questions for people who live in America in the late 20th century, but some people’s answers to these questions may be very different from yours. Those people are the one’s living in the “other America”. Alex Kotlowitz tells us “the story of two boys growing up in the other America” in his book There Are No Children Here. The “other America” Kotlowitz describes in his book is the public housing complex at Henry Horner Homes in Chicago. By following the lives of two boys, Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers, we are exposed to the misfortunes, turmoil and death that their lives are filled with.
He includes all aspects of the young boys’ lives: problems with the law, drug deals, deaths of close and loved ones, a bad school and education system, and the thought of knowing that nothing can be guaranteed where the two boys live. A description from a scene in the book shows one of the aspects of the young boys’ lives. When Lafayette (the younger, and more scholarly brother) saw that his brother, Pharoah (the misguided and troubled brother) did not get sentenced to juvenile hall, the book described the scene as “Lafayette was shocked when Pharoah walked into the room. One day they’re here and the next day they could be gone”. This scene covers one of the aspects of lives in the ghetto and how nothing is promised or granted to them unlike people in nicer parts of the country.
The parents could speak very little english so they did not have a good chance of getting a job anytime soon. The family then moved into a shelter in downtown Manhattan. Living in the shelter was really hard for the two brothers. Kevin did not tell kids at school that he lived in a shelter, but even the kids at the shelter bullied him. He hated it there; there was no privacy and it was always loud.
This directly effects the amount income that they receive. Adequate urban planning is hard when the Oglala Sioux have “unemployment as high as 60 percent, little to no infrastructure, few entitlements, a safety net that never was, no industry to speak of, and a housing crisis that has been dire not for five years but since the reservation’s founding in 1855” (Treuer). These problems are noticeable throughout the movie, especially when Ray Levoi mentions that the reservation looks like a third world country. Trash is scattered everywhere likely due to a lack of waste management. Waste management is an important part of urban planning, but was neglected in this case since the tribe does not have the funds to support garbage trucks or other waste management services since they are not provided by the United States Government.
Just about everyone had brown and rotting teeth, even the royal figures. The only methods used to clean the mouth was either just using water or chewing on herbs in order to freshen the breath (insert citation here). Personal hygiene was not taken seriously at all and nobody knew or cared about the importance of keeping yourself clean. The middle ages were truly a time of disease, filth and
1901 Tenement House Act In 1894, the lack of cleanliness and sanitation in the tenements was starting to affect the health of tenants. The Tenement House Commission defined the tenements as unsafe and hazardous for health reasons. With no running water and piles of garbage all over the streets, it made it very hard for tenants to keep their selves clean and be able to wash clothes. Soon, many people became ill with diseases like cholera, typhoid, smallpox, and tuberculosis that spread throughout the tenement like a wild fire. Within one year, twenty cases of typhoid were reported from just one tenement.
Chris and Doughboy, two brothers in gangs, live with a single mother. Chris is headed for an athletic scholarship and there is hope he will escape gang life, however, with no mentor this does not happen. Tre is a young gang member whose father is always there in the background, and this is what keeps him alive and gets him out of gang life eventually. The movie makes a clear the point that if a child is watched by some adult who cares from early childhood, they stand a better chance of surviving the urban gang life they cannot escape otherwise. Scenes from the early childhood of the three boys foreshadows this as Chris and Doughboy are in juvenile hall as children, while Tre is spared this as a result of his father looking over him.
That would be another $69,500 ("Emergency Shelter"). Homeless shelters cannot rely on money from their pockets, so they rely on the nation's money or donations. Not many people are willing to randoml... ... middle of paper ... ...ness. N.p., Mar. 2014.
They were very poor, dirty areas where people who hadn’t much money would live. In the slums, there was much violence, drug circulation and prostitution. The only people that made any money in the slums were either the hustlers or the musicians. Considering Louis was not related to anyone of that status he and his family had very little money. That left Louis with no possessions whatsoever.