Amazing Grace

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Ph.D.A+, May 1996

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Amazing Grace


Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace is a book about the trials and tribulations of everyday life for a group of children who live in the poorest congressional district of the United States, the South Bronx. Their lives may seem extraordinary to us, but to them, they are just as normal as everyone else. What is normal? For the children of the South Bronx, living with the pollution, the sickness, the drugs, and the violence is the only way of life many of them have ever known.

In this book, the children speak openly and honestly about feeling 'abandoned', 'hidden' or 'forgotten' by our nation, one that is blind to their problems. Studying the people themselves would only get us so far in understanding what their community is really like and why they feel this way. Jonathan Kozol really got to know the people individually. We can take his knowledge and stories to try for a better understanding of the environment in which they live.

By doing this, we can explore the many reasons why the people have problems, what some levels of intervention could be, and possibly find some solutions to making the South Bronx a healthier and safer place for these children and others to live.

Problem Identification

The environment in which we study these people can only be defined by first taking a look at possible reasons why the people have problems. Some of the problems discussed in Amazing Grace have festered throughout the United States for some time now. The high numbers of drug users in the community, the high amounts of gang-related violence, and the numerous cases of people who have contracted the AIDS virus are just some of the problems that have arisen in this ghetto. There are many differences...