Reaching Up Manhood CL

Geoffrey Canada, Author
Geoffrey Canada, Author Beacon Press (MA) $22 (176p) ISBN 978-0-8070-2316-7
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
As president of New York City's Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families, Canada (Fist Stick Knife Gun) has been a pioneer in providing mentorship and advancement opportunities to inner-city children. Here, he not only illuminates the problems facing urban boys but also provides practical solutions and ways to combat what he sees as a culture that mistakes violence for manliness. Although much of the book details theories for change, Canada safeguards against generalization with anecdotes about his work at Rheedlen and his childhood in the South Bronx. His youthful entanglements with drugs, alcohol and troubled kids provide a backdrop for his perceptive recommendations. Canada adopts a style close to memoir, then ties up each narrative with a general summary of what could be learned from his experience and how that lesson might be extrapolated into social policy. While he writes of unemployment problems, Canada also has some critical words about the poor work ethic and lack of commitment on the part of some inner-city boys. He offers a smart, street-level picture of what's bad about an inner-city boyhood and, more impressively, also gives us some sound advice about the hard work necessary to remedy it. (Jan.)
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