In an environment such as the one portrayed in the book, " There Are No Children here," by Alex Kotlowitz, the social development of youth is strongly affected by the state of the physical environment and the actions that take place around them. Children in the ghettos use defense mechanisms to shield themselves from the violence, and perform below average in schools, because they are preoccupied with the violence on the streets. With the combination of gang violence, unemployment, and the city's disregard for the dire shambles that the complexes are in, a negative environment is created making it nearly impossible for the youth to survive, let alone succeed.
By the time many of the children of the inner city have hit adolescence, they have witnessed and experienced many tragedies that even an adult would find disturbing. They have sold drugs, joined a gang, have seen their best friend shot, or even killed their neighbor. "By season's end, the police would record that one person every three days had been beaten, shot at, or stabbed at Horner. In just one week, they confiscated twenty-two guns and 330 grams of cocaine. Most of the violence here that summer was related to drugs." (32) There events seriously impact the childhoods of the youth, and rob these children of their innocence by showing them events that are not healthy for a child's growing mind to see. Pharaoh and Lafayette, like most all of the other children in the ghettos, are faced with a hard choice: stand up for yourself and succeed by refusing to accept the cities violence, or succumb to the pressure that pushes down on you from -more-
Giving into the pressures of the environment is a far easier choice for these children, which makes them vulnerable to corruption. LaJoe does everything in her power to shield her children from the harsh realities of Horner, but her efforts are hopeless against the sheer power of the neighborhood. Of...