I Just Wanna Be Average

What should we make of Rose’s description on pp. 13-18 of his family house and the mixed-race, mixed-ethnicity South Los Angeles neighborhood he grew up in? Try to capture both Rose’s emotional feelings about the places he grew up and the objective dangers he very casually suggests he faced there. Compare Rose’s experiences of his home and neighborhood to Coates’s.

the neighborhood was a result of Economic straits which Take people from all different walks of life and put them all one place. Nobody chooses to be in this neighborhood everybody’s there by necessity or worse and some people are mad. Mad that economic and social circumstances have relegated them to this place. Mad that in a lot drawing they weren’t even they were shoved into a pit of poverty. That makes people violent and hungry for what little power they can accumulate.


At the end of this long segment on his parents immigration and work experiences and his boyhood growing up in a mixed-race, mixed-ethnicity neighborhood in South Los Angeles, Rose writes that he “developed a picture of human existence that rendered it short and brutish or sad and aimless or long and quiet…. When, years later, I was introduced to humanistic psychologists…, with their visions of self actualization…., it all sounded like a glorious fairy tale, a magical account of a world full of possibility, full of hope and empowerment. Sinbad and Cinderella couldn’t have been more fanciful” (p. 18).

I guess it’s talking about how he lived in the situation that people idealize has a cauldron of adversity that forges strength but rarely remember about the people who are still stuck in the cauldron. People keep glorifying it but it is still a truly bad place to grow up.

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