From the writer: This paper was inspired by my work on "The Community Child Project" and the book "Amazing Grace" by Jonathan Kozol. The project was a children's literacy initiative that included discussions which pointed to poverty as being a deterrent in children's educational success. I then began to think about perceptions of poverty held by myself an others. I have here attempted to capture those attitudes and identify why I see them as problematic.
From the teacher: Sarah found her project for this course (Writing With Theory) in her work in a service learning course she was taking with Rosaria Champagne in ETS. As Sarah began to write, she thought the differences between her own life and the lives of the young girls she was "helping" were extremely large. As she explored her own interests and the conversations she was having with other SU students, she came to think that the differences were much more subtle. Her way of describing the differences, then, came in her use of metaphor and juxtaposition. Sarah was the student in this course who was the most dedicated to the writing--process as well as product.
From the editors: This piece addresses the impoverished conditions faced by urban families in America, confronting the issues that many of us dismiss. Smith integrates the novel Push, by Sapphire, with anecdotes of her childhood and reflections upon her experiences with children as a maturing adult. Through application of social theory, textual analysis and literary narrative, this paper demonstrates the author's developing cognition about the hardships endured by the underprivileged and calls for the reader to apprehend these ideals.
As Veronica's sisters drove home in their black Lex...
... middle of paper ...
... the negative effects of our behaviors on others. This is apparent in classism with what I'll call the "us-not-them" phenomenon. When we are able to separate ourselves from the other, more specifically the other living in poverty, there is no desire to remedy the situation. When we neglect to foster a sense of community between them and us there is no bond, no relationship. When there is no community it is easy to separate our actions from others. It is impossible to realize the ramifications of classism from within a culture that lacks any cohesive community.
We sometimes ask why those living on the streets and in poverty do nothing to help themselves? Let's try to imagine what the reality of their existence is. Try to see what they see.
Veronica reminds me as she gives me a ride in her new Pathfinder, "No one would have all those factors beating them down."
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