There Are No Children Here is the true story of two African American brothers growing up in a violence plagued Chicago housing project called Henory Hornor projects. Lafeyette and Pharoah are forced to survive a life surrounded by violence, gangs, drugs, racism, and horrors that should never befall a child's eyes. Through these dehumanizing conditions they are changed from innocent children to adults. There is no innocence to he found in their urban struggle. Lafeyette and Pharoah struggle to hold on to each other in a feeble attempt to cling to their childhood purity, which is lost in this urban jungle. "There are no children here" their mother says, "They've seen to much to be children." In this hostile environment they are forced to endure struggles that would be difficult for an adult to undertake such as their dad's drug abuse, to being shot at in drive by shooting. How could a child still be a child when they are afraid of being shot if they go outside? How could a child remain a child when he or she is whiteness to drug abuse. These children are forced to grow up at an extremely exhilarated rate in order to cope with the situations they are continually exposed to. The children of this so-called other America are drowning in a sea of hardships, the violence slowly consuming them.
Racism plays a great role in this book as well. This book demonstrates to us that racism and oppression are not at all dead but thriving in many of Americas urban sectors. Fear and hate rule the lives of Lafeyette and Pheroah, as well as the other children in the neighborhood. With the oppression still imposed on them by much of white society there is little chance for any of them to escape the conditions they live in, which just continues the cycle of neglect and violence for another generation. Evidence of this oppression by the white society can be seen when Lafeyette and the four other boys were charged with breaking into a truck. While the two officers were...
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