Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Poverty in America

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For my Poverty sociology class, I have been reading Kozol’s Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. Just in the first chapter that discusses east St. Louis you get a good idea on how people in America are living in absolute poverty, lacking average necessities that we take for granted. They do not have a properly working garbage or waste system, so garbage bags and trash pile up in peoples properties, which then attract huge rats and insects that will then transmit diseases. The nicest building in the area was termed a “whore” house. They do not have a nearby hospital and the schools often flood with waste. The schools are very very segregated, there are are one or two white children that go to schools in that area, others go up hill to a better neighborhood. One of the children commented that they hear about Martin Luther King Jr. and see posters but that in reality he was just a black man that spoke about nice things, dying in vain. This comment hit me very hard because I would never expect someone to say that but after reading about their life conditions and lack of everything, I realize that the idea that black children and white children can go to school and play together is just not a reality for these children. They have absolutely nothing. If interested I highly encourage you to read this book. It is very enlightening!


Written by dmg24

February 6, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I also took this class and read this book and I also enjoyed it. But the books is so depressing when you confront the realities that so many children deal with on a daily basis. And in America we say this is land of opportunity and where dreams come true but how can you expect a human being to keep hope in conditions like these? How can you expect a child to worry about his math and reading skills when it is not even safe to play outside without the risk of catching some sort of disease from sewage. In America we have a tendency to blame the poor, white sand minorities, for their problems but how can any one one believe that children deserve these conditions?


    February 6, 2010 at 9:00 pm

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