Uptown Kids

Terry Williams, Author, William Kornblum, With
Terry Williams, Author, William Kornblum, With Putnam Publishing Group $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-399-13887-4
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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Harlem public housing projects need not be the ``hell in a tall place'' that many assume, but can be a good place to raise children, argue the authors. As an outgrowth of their landmark 1985 study, Growing Up Poor , Williams, a sociologist at Manhattan's New School for Social Research, and Kornblum, who teaches sociology at City University of New York, recruited teen-agers from different Harlem housing projects to gather regularly in Williams's Harlem apartment where they would read from journals each kept about their daily lives and aspirations. Excerpts from the journals of six members of the Writers' Crew, which met for four years, are interwoven with a narrative about the teenagers, their families, backgrounds and personal struggles as Williams and Kornblum point out how the housing projects function as a source of strength and community for these young people. Around such issues as work, education, race, sex and family, the authors deftly illustrate, often in the language of the teenagers, a hopeful aspect of project communities that deserves more attention. (Mar.)
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