By Professor Nikki Jones
Drawing on own encounters, traditions of city ethnography, Black feminist notion, gender reports, and feminist criminology, Nikki Jones supplies readers a richly descriptive and compassionate account of ways African American women negotiate faculties and neighborhoods ruled through the so-called "code of the street"--the kind of highway justice that governs violence in distressed city parts. She finds the a number of innovations they use to navigate interpersonal and gender-specific violence and the way they reconcile the gendered dilemmas in their formative years. Illuminating struggles for survival inside of this staff, Between strong and Ghetto encourages others to maneuver African American ladies towards the guts of discussions of "the quandary" in negative, city neighborhoods.
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Extra resources for Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence
But a lack of order, a sense that things are “out of control,” as Naima, one my 22 Between Good and Ghetto respondents, says, distinguishes many urban public schools from schools with more institutional support and economic resources. During a visit to Martin Luther King (MLK) High, for example, I breathed in the lingering scent of marijuana that clings to some students as they make their way through the front-entrance security checks. Graduates and others familiar with the school suggested to me that security guards ignore students who arrive at school high on marijuana because the drug makes the young people less difficult to deal with.
The Role of Grandmothers Historically, Black grandmothers either have assisted in the care of children or have taken over care altogether (Collins 2000; Anderson 1994, 1999; Stack 1974; Gutman 1976). This remained true during the periods of violence that characterized much of inner-city life in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when women took in their grandchildren after their own children became casualties of the street, and this pattern continues today (Anderson 1999; Hunter 1997). The contemporary circumstances of inner-city life present physical, emotional, and financial challenges for grandmothers who are caring for their grandchildren.
During the several-month period that I visited the “Prison on the Hill,” for example, a group of teenaged girls entered the high school and, armed with box cutters, launched a violent lunchroom battle that drew much attention from the local news media. Inner-city residents feel that the violence in these schools is getting worse, especially among the girls. ” In many cases, Naima explains, conflicts at school are extensions of battles for respect both within and between neighborhoods: “It’s just, like, a neighborhood thing.