Very eye-opening article! Its definitely easy to forget that so many people not far away from you are living in complete poverty and in conditions so terrible that you'd think the article is describing a third world country!
Here are some quotes that I thought were particularly important:
- "There are children in the poorest, most abandoned places who, despite the miseries and poisons that the wurld has pumped into their jives, seem, when you first meet them, to be cheeerful anyway." ~ Kozol
Its hopeful to think that children's spirits can be so resilient to the evil that is going on around them. It makes you realize that there is a lot of potential in those children, and if they were given the opportunity they could become just as successful as anybody else. Its so sad that with time those spirits can be dampened and put out completely as these children turn into teenagers and enter the world of drug use and prostitution. It makes you want to rescue them while they are still cheerful, hopeful, and full of life and potential.Its amazing that people living in the poorest of conditions can have so much compassion for others when they themselves are suffering. Its amazing that he would give his pizza away with so much willingness, and makes me wonder whether I would even do the same.
- -"three slices, one for my mom, one for my dad,
and one for me"-he says he saw a homeless man who told
him he was hungry. "But he was too cold to move his
mouth! He couldn't talk!"
"How did you know that he was hungry if he couldn't
"He pointed to my pizza."
"What did you do?"
"I gave him some!"
"Were your parents mad at you?"
He looks surprised by this. "Why would they be mad?"
he asks. "God told us, 'Share!'"
- "I have yet to figure out what she has done that was irrational".
Go hear for one man's theory for how to beat the system:
This article was very intense and certainly appealing to people's emotions. I felt very sorry for the people who have to live in these conditions and can only wonder how bad it must be.
I would love to see more blacks rise out of the rubble, beat the system, and become successful despite the odds.
The only question I have is WHY so few of the people who live in Harlem work. The article did mention that many are too sick to work, but I cannot imagine that such a majority would be so disabled rendering it impossible to work on at least some kind of job. Are jobs simply not available? Are there other factors that might be withholding people from job posts?