My reaction to the novel Amazing Grace by Jonathan kozol


12/03/02


Amazing Grace is a novel written by the author after numerous visits to residents of the South Bronx name Mott Haven. My immediate reaction was that of anger, sympathy, empathy, disbelief and mostly anger. Jonathan Kozol is a amazing and extraordinary author. The kind of writer who puts his life on the line going back to visit Mott Haven over fifty time to visit his friends and gather information for his novel. forward to his upcoming books. In his novel Amazing Grace he did a fantastic job exposing the king of life the folks of Washington height, Mott Haven, Beekman Avenue and other place close by. Amazing grace depicted the way of life and the life style the people of Mott Haven and the surrounding areas had to endure simply because of their race and their economic status. I think this book was written with the intention for the world to see what was going in that part of the country. They were over looked, neglected and their cry for help was swept under the carpet by the politicians and their representative who was given the responsibility to provide and tend to the needs of these citizen. The author stated that “Two -thirds of the 48,000 of the poorest people in that south Bronx were his Hispanic, one-third black and thirty five percent were children” (pg. 3). Also the New York Times stated that in 1991, the median income of that area was $7,600. My reaction to that information was disbelief and sadness for the men and woman and children who had to live through this horror of an existence. I refer to this as an existence because it was such a dreary and dangerous lifestyle. I think this book was written with a sincere simplicity and heartfelt concerns from the author for the people he make friends with and connected with over that period of time. I admire the strength of the person referred to as Ms. Washington. Even if she was very sick she was always willing to meet with the author and talk to him. After read this book I can see why most of the kids in the area suffered from asthma and depression.


How does the Community Environment Affect the Residents ?


The South Bronx area of New York city that was portrayed in this book was named Mott Haven. This rural and poverty stricken neighborhood was home to mainly Hispanics and blacks. They people that lived there was greatly affected by the drug use, the killings, the spread of HIV virus that seem to affect the population much more than any thing else. The lack of a good and timely health care system among several other issues. The installation of dangerous and hazardous pollution causing apparatus like the waste incinerator that was built within walking distance from where kids play and attend school. The rise in the cases of asthma and health related illness soon after this was built suggested that the incinerator was the cause of the wave of asthma sufferers in the area. All these situation affect the community environment greatly and with sometime deadly impact. Its was either you die by a bullet or the environment you live made you very sick or killed you eventually.


According to the author crack-cocaine and intravenous use of heroine has been intertwined into the life existence of Mott Haven. It has an extremely high heroin users and many of them are HIV infected. The author pointed out that almost all of the kids that live there either knew someone or had a neighbor or relative who had died of the disease or is dying from it. The Children mentioned in amazing were so courageous and brave it brought tears to my eyes. Imagining young kids having to walk home from school in the midst of Drugs users and drug sales and gunplay. One particular kid 13 years old David he was so smart and talented. In some way they were stronger from because the endured it all and lived to talk about it.





What are the needs of this community?


The need of the community named Mott Haven and the surrounding