Child of the Dark Book Review

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Carolina Maria de Jesus' journal "Child of the Dark" is a complete account of five years spent living in a favela in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Carolina and her children spent their days and nights trying to survive in the most horrific of slums while the rest of the nation looked down upon them, scolding them for being poor and complaining about how the residents of the favela were nothing but a burden on the rest of the world. Rarely did anyone take pity on the single mother and her young, defenseless children. Random acts of kindness were few and far between, but these rare gifts of a few cruzeiros brought great happiness and eased the burdens of living in destitute poverty for a day or two. Though no gift was ever enough to keep the hard working Carolina out of the favela, she did everything in her power to keep her children nourished and as happy as possible without the help of the government or her children's fathers. (The father of her daughter, Vera, did eventually start donating a few hundred cruzeiros in the latest part of the 1950s, but it was never enough to do much good.) Carolina spent her days picking up and selling trash and trying to make enough to provide her family with food and some of the essentials while trying to raise her children to be good people and protecting them from the criminals and brutal lifestyle of the favela. This was more than most residents of the favela did, but it was not enough for Carolina. She also kept a concise record of the injustice that she endured for being not only poor but also black during these years. This journal was later published and helped to educate the world on the injustice and inequities endured by thousands of nameless people every day; it also provided her family the resources necessary to get out of the favela. On page forty-three of Carolina Maria de Jesus records having thought to herself "…ah money! It kills and it makes hate take root." This statement encompasses everything that results from money,...
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