Truly one of the best books I've ever read on the civil rights movement and fight for economic opportunity and how the two are, at the core, inseparabTruly one of the best books I've ever read on the civil rights movement and fight for economic opportunity and how the two are, at the core, inseparable. As the title says, freedom is not enough. People must have the opportunity to earn a living and to provide for their families. Without this, the promise of freedom rings hollow.
I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that it is nearly impossible for those of us who were not deeply involved in the 50s & 60s movements or are not Ph.D.s in American history to really understand how important Title XII was to minority men and all women. This book is a first step toward understanding and appreciating how we now stand on the shoulders of the people who fought for our rights. ...more
Many people talk about welfare and the poor, but few really understand the nature of poverty in America. Most people in poverty work, part time or fulMany people talk about welfare and the poor, but few really understand the nature of poverty in America. Most people in poverty work, part time or full time, in the regulated economy or under the table, for cash or for in-kind services, many work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. What does it take to keep your head above water in Harlem (where the study was conducted), how possible is it that you can pull yourself up by the proverbial boot straps and escape the clutches of minimum wage? What opportunities are available to those willing to work up the ranks? Who make up the ranks of the working poor? This book is an illuminating study on the working poor, work opportunities in urban areas, and what the U.S. can do to help those who are working full time but barely surviving, whose lives can be derailed with disturbing ease. Highly recommended to anyone interested in general social issues, family well-being, education, or youth social work. ...more
Full of generalizations, yes. Entirely wrong- no. The role of language and story; Hidden rules among classes & Characteristics of Generational PovFull of generalizations, yes. Entirely wrong- no. The role of language and story; Hidden rules among classes & Characteristics of Generational Poverty are some of the better chapters. There ARE rules of behavior and language in the middle class (and other classes) and trying to function in a middle class atmosphere requires knowledge of these rules. This is not a judgment statement, just statement of fact; just as knowledge of French would be a requirement for success in France. The difference is that knowledge of middle class rules is generally valued whereas the knowledge of those in poverty is dismissed and devalued.
I would say that a serious student of class and issues related to poverty in the U.S. would want to include this book in their reading, but would not want to rely on it for the reasons that other reviewers have stated. It is predominantly anecdotal and short on hard data. Nonetheless, it is a decent starting point for new teachers or social workers who may not have much exposure to the realities of low-income, urban areas and their students' lives at home....more
The. Best. Book. Ever. Anyone who is interested in feminism, race, class and American history MUST read this book. In one slim volumn originally publiThe. Best. Book. Ever. Anyone who is interested in feminism, race, class and American history MUST read this book. In one slim volumn originally published in the 70s (I think) the concept of intersecting identities and oppression is made vividly clear. Anyone who is watching the current presidential nominee race and the "race vs gender" meme pushed by the media will appreciate this book for clearly demonstrating that race, class and gender are inseperable and shifting identities that cannot be measured against each other to see "which is worse" because people do not choose which aspect of their identity is most significant in their oppression at any given time. ...more