And Still We Rise - Essay

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If you had different hardships in your life would you be a different person? The answer is most likely yes. A person’s character is based upon the experiences they have been through. “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant,” –Horace. In “And Still We Rise” by Miles Corwin, Corwin shares the lives of inner city kids who still strive to succeed and go to college although the circumstances they are dealt with have told them otherwise. Some of the kids that dealt with bad hands were Toya, Olivia, and Willie. The struggles that they went through are impetuous.

Growing up, Toya never knew her biological father. Instead she lived with her mom and stepfather. Toya would often see the two arguing and eventually it came to her stepfather beating her mother up on his drinking binges. Finally her mother getting so tired of this abuse grabbed her two daughters and took shelter. Although, once Toya’s mother could not afford the nightly shelter fee she arranged for her girls and herself to stay with a friend. When she went home one day to get the girls’ clothes her husband strangled her to death. Toya walked in the bathroom to find her mother dead on the floor. After the murder of her mother, Toya and her sister were sent to a group home and later to their aunt’s house. Toya was sexually abused by her stepfather who had a huge effect on her. She later became pregnant and gave birth to a boy during her junior year. This ruined a lot for her in school. She was now going to study at home, return to high school the next year and attend college. “I didn’t have time to think about tomorrow. I had to survive today,” (47). Her plans were completely ruined when both her aunt and cousin kicked her out. She could not graduate from high school but instead got her GED and will attend college with the help of her church.

Like Toya, Willie’s parents were divorced. Willie lived with his mother and siblings until she was...
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