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And Still We Rise Literary Analysis

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Autor:   •  May 18, 2017  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,234 Words (5 Pages)  •  58 Views

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And Still We Rise Literary Analysis

In 1996, California began abolishing affirmative action(an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education). Affirmative action was created in the 1960s to benefit blacks because of their history of enslavement, legal segregation and harsh discrimination. Los Angeles Times reporter Miles Corwin spent a school year at Crenshaw High School in South-Central L.A, writing about the students who avoid temptations of the street and strive for success. This book acknowledges these students courage, achievements, and their resilient spirit.

As a reporter for Los Angeles Times, Miles Corwin had written many stories about gangbangers but he wanted to find a way to write about the students who avoid the temptations of the street, who strive for success, and continue to endure and succeed. He decided to follow the class of 1997 seniors at Crenshaw High School’s magnet class. Miles followed them from their first day of class, during their final year of high school to graduation. Students expressed themselves in their AP English class so that it provided him with an insight into the student's academic and personal lives.

Although the students from Crenshaw High came out of poverty, abusive families, and gang-infested neighborhoods, they fought to maintain the academic standards of an advanced placement program. The book is based on: Miesha, Danielle, Toya, Willie, Claudia, Venola, Latisha, Princess, Sabreen, Curt, Nalia, Robert, Sadi and Olivia; who were seniors in the AP English class at Crenshaw during the 1996-97 school years. They overcame many obstacles against all odds. There was Toya who got pregnant before her final year that struggled with teen motherhood; determined and independent Olivia whom was in the foster care system; and Sadikifu who tried to keep distant from friends in gangs, and many other students who had to overcome obstacles in order to graduate from Crenshaw High School. Corwin also discusses the tensions between the two English teachers Toni Little and Anita Moultrie who disagreed about how to prepare their students for the academic challenges of college and their social life.

Toni Little teaches A.P. English to seniors and Moultrie teaches English to juniors. Little is white, single, fiercely intellectual and emotionally temperament, passionate in her belief that students can best cultivate their own intellect and learn much by reading Hawthorne, Shakespeare, Joyce. Moultrie is black, maternal, and loves talking about life-lessons to her students she regards as nothing less than her own children. Both are deeply invested in their students and nurture them the best way they know how. However, these two teachers do not seem to get along well. They had many issues that involved the principal having to meet with both of them and confront their problems. But although they did not get along, they both focused on educating their students until the end of the year.

In this book “And Still We Rise” Miles Corwin argues that minorities are still in need of affirmative action. Affirmative action affected minorities in a positive way that helped them exceed their education by getting accepted into colleges. Corwin says “I wanted to show how inequality is built into a system touted as a meritocracy, and how it is not only them but also the universities who benefit from the inclusion of those proficient, despite students of lesser character and fortitude.” Although I disagree on how Miles refers to these minority students as “lesser character” just because they are from the hood, I agree how universities benefit from them attending their school because of their intelligence and hard work. These minorities may have attended a high school with fewer resources, however, they have the same goals and aspirations as any other student from a suburban high school wanting to attend college. They are also very resilient which means if they are put in a tough situation they will find a way to get through it in order to succeed.

Corwin wanted to show that students from places such as South-Central face obstacles that they still need help from affirmative action. Affirmative action helps minority students get into college because they do not have the same resources as suburban high schools. Many parents in suburban neighborhoods pay for tutors in order to prepare their children for the SAT exam. Since students in the hood do not have money for tutors, nor time to study because of they full time jobs and late nights, they walk into the SAT exam unprepared.

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