By Professor Nikki Jones
Drawing on own encounters, traditions of city ethnography, Black feminist concept, gender reviews, and feminist criminology, Nikki Jones offers readers a richly descriptive and compassionate account of the way African American women negotiate colleges and neighborhoods ruled through the so-called "code of the street"--the kind of road justice that governs violence in distressed city components. She finds the a number of ideas they use to navigate interpersonal and gender-specific violence and the way they reconcile the gendered dilemmas in their early life. Illuminating struggles for survival inside of this crew, Between strong and Ghetto encourages others to maneuver African American ladies towards the guts of discussions of "the main issue" in terrible, city neighborhoods.
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Additional resources for Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence
In extreme circumstances, women may become frustrated and exhausted by their failed attempts to manage their daughters or granddaughters and may relinquish responsibility to school administrators, teachers, or even the juvenile or criminal justice system. 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 young men on the corner use their location to keep an eye on the activities of neighborhood residents, including adolescent girls like Lauren. Her old head encourages her to stay out of trouble, she says, and he knows when she should be in school. Lauren provides an example of how her self-styled street mentor monitors her behavior. ’ ” But the perceived positive contributions individual young men involved in the local drug market may make to their neighborhoods are offset by the street violence that accompanies the drug trade.
And I try to tell them that life is too short to just do stupid stuff. You can’t argue over dumb stuff. I don’t expect you to go to school and not fight anymore because that would just be too unreal. ’ I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. Just crazy. I’m like, ‘Okay, ya’ll Introduction 15 were ﬁghting because she said your sneakers were ugly—okay . . ’” “Do they answer you? ” I asked. ’ ” Tracey’s claim that young women were fighting “about being disrespected—that’s about it” foreshadowed the significant role that public displays of disrespect play in girls’ accounts of how fights begin.