America Beyond the Color Line

Topics: Urban decay, City, Suburb Pages: 3 (811 words) Published: July 14, 2014

America Beyond the Color Line: The Streets of Heaven
January 20, 2013
Lydia T. Kerr
America Beyond the Color Line: The Streets of Heaven
In the video “America Beyond the Color Line: The Streets of Heaven,” Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. speaks of the turmoil that exists in the inner cities. He did so by speaking with people who lived in the Robert Taylor and Ida B. Wells housing projects as well as with inmates in the jail. Through these interviews he seeks to gain an understanding of the plight of those who live in the inner city. The interview begins with statistics which are followed up by interviews. I believe that the interviews support the statistics. Gangs and drugs are a major problem within the inner city which further supports the statistics. If those who live in the inner city and the projects feel that they only way to get ahead is by selling drugs that is what they will do. As one person interviewed stated, he makes $600.00 a month at his job but can make $6,000.00 in a day by selling drugs. The allure of fast money is what draws most people in and leads to the statistics of 1 in 5 black males in their 20s being in prison, on parole, or on probation. This allows leads to the 68% single-parent families. I do believe that what is described in Chicago is happening in other cities across the United States. Having been an inmate in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections for 17 years, I have seen, and come to know, men who have grown in the inner city of Boston and in the major cities of Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, and Lawrence who have felt that they had no choice but to deal drugs or to join a gang. Some of these men, sadly, I watched leave and come back two to three times during the time I served. They have felt hopeless with the lives that they have and that they have no chance in succeeding unless they take the fast way. In addition, there is the peer pressure of their peers to join gangs and they see their peers with...
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