To be black in the Baltimore of my youth

What are some of the “rules of the street” in the Baltimore of Coates’s youth? What does “toughness” mean in that context? What’s the price of toughness? How are those rules a response to the American Dream? This is a Text+Me question.

One of the rules of the streets is to know who’s who and who controls what. Actualities I really, we have the street as much as a rule of life and survival. Knowing these groups and their histories allow you to better plan around their activities and keep out of trouble. this stuff just knowing these groups or how to avoid them it’s also how to communicate vocals and physically language. not to mention the difficulty of cultivating in the image of “toughness”. the complexity of which requiring every minuscule detail of a person to reflect this idea of strength withheld. Details such as how large of a social group you were walking with was or how many times you smiled at someone or Where you were walking. This type of social restriction too necessary survival tactics on the streets runs completely contradict too the ideals of the American dream. “The crew walked the block of their neighborhood, loud and rude because it was only through their rudeness that they might feel any sense of security and power”. ( Coates 22) What should be an ideal time in your life before the realities of work and family become involved and it is turned to a time of pure survival instinct and social stress? Instead of worry about his baseball card collection, he must worry about the local street gang. instead of worrying about whether he was going to apply to the local Ivy League school They have to worry about whether they’re going to pass high school. That’s a type of environment just opposed to the American Dream. instead of worrying about what you want to accomplish in life you’re worried about if you’re going to be able to make it to the next day.



Speculate, to what degree might Coates’s son’s experiences in his neighborhood be similar or different to Coates’s? This is a Text+Me question.

While Coate’s son Experience may be radically different than his father’s due to his father’s experience. like all parents, they want better for their children and he may know what ways to for a son to move down in order to move beyond his childhood condition. Most likely to astringe his son from the condition which seems to have shaped his life. So, his son would have a better chance with academic work in order to keep economic depression away. He highlights his inability to focus on his studies due to the conditions he grew up in this quote, “And what precisely did this have to do with an education rendered as a rote discipline? To be educated in Baltimore mostly meant always packing an extra number 2 pencil and working quietly.” (Coates 25) This paper is written for his son this is probably to tell him about his experiences with American Society at large and the dream. The fact that he wrote a book for his son so that he’d know what life was like for him really is telling about how large the problem he talks about is. So that his whole experience about the American dream can only be contained within a book shows you how difficult and complicated such a thing is to explain to other people and why it is so special to America.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.