The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League
Robert Peace was born outside Newark in a ghetto known as "Illtown." His unwed mother worked long hours in a kitchen. His charismatic father was later convicted of a double murder. Peace's intellectual brilliance and hard-won determination earned him a full scholarship to Yale University. At college, while majoring in molecular ...more
Where were the dorm police in all this? Who was there to help Rob see the error in his thinking? Who was giving career advice at Yale? The truth be known, Rob was caught in the middle. Students from rich families who have fathers with worthwhile connections do not have the worries that Rob carried everyday of his short lived life. Rob didn't have the advantage of golf course connections that other Yale student fathers were making so upon graduation their sons have a job waiting for them. This story, in many ways, reminds me of the NFL. Young star athletes are given huge sign-on bonuses, but nobody is there to tell them how to invest it. Was there one Yale professor willing to take Rob under his wing?
The people who should be reading this book are all of Rob's Yale professors. I'm from East Orange. I chose to stay away from drugs and alcohol. Some of my friends did not. Many are dead. The legalization of marijuana is not the answer to the inner city's woes.(less)
His parents did so much to help him rise above the disadvantages that were his birthright, but, in doing so, I feel they anchored him to Newark and to themselves. (less)
Rob Peace grew up in a poor and dangerous New Jersey neighbourhood. The odds were stacked against him. He was black, male and being raised by his single mother (his father was loosely involved in the drug business ...more
(I'm covering the rest of the review with a spoiler alert, but I don't think the content I reveal would ...more
Sherman Alexie was raised on an Indian Reservation -- with unbearable conditions --he moved on to schools where he could get a better education- in all white schools. His classmates came to love and respect him. ---
Sherman Alexie is a successful author today --at the same time ...Sherman never 'fully' escaped his environment.
He is a Native American- with memories of property - abuse - drugs - etc. He has ...more
On the one hand, Jeff Hobbs is a talented writer. Here is an engaging work of non-fiction, that brings the reader deep into the life of a man they'll never know.
On the other, much weightier hand, this book is yet another monetization of black tragedy. Hobbs knew Peace, but by his own admission in his work, he didn't really know this man. He gleaned the details of his life from family and friends and then wrote a work that regularly centered his ...more
This sums up my feelings exactly after reading this troubling book, but at the same time, it is so much more complicated than that.
Robert “Shawn” Peace is born to a single mother in poverty and crime-stricken Newark, New Jersey in 1980. Although his mother and father never married, his father remained a powerful influence in his life, both negative (hustling drugs) and positive (tirelessly drilling his son ...more
I highly suggest this book!
"Robert Peace was born outside Newark in a ghetto known as "Illtown." His unwed mother worked long hours in a kitchen. His charismatic father was later convicted of a double murder. Peace's intellectual brilliance and hard-won determination earned him a full scholarship to Yale University. At college, while majoring in molecular ...more
And yet it's ...more
Such intelligence, such potential, such strength to overcome adversity.....to achieve so much and then throw it all away.....such a waste!
A Yale grad, a great leader, and an admired teacher with a degree in molecular biochemistry and biophysics.....lost to the drug trade. What a dam shame!
I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. Please, everyone, read this book.
What is the secret of success? This young man's story tells you what that secret is not: it's not ...more
A lot of people are probably going to say he wasted his life. I’m not going to. (Mostly because I bet a lot of people have said the same about me.) Sometimes people just don’t know which way to go in life.
Jeff Hobbs not only knew Robert Peace, when he decided to write about him, he researched his life in-depth. Mr. Peace grew up in a violent and ...more
Growing up in Orange, New Jersey, an outlying district of Newark, Rob was raised by a poor but hardworking mother who sacrificed mightily for his education. His intelligent and street smart father took an interest in him, too, helping him with his ...more
The story above is a kind of trope we should all recognize now. It's a story that is commonly told in media and amongst ourselves as a form of reassurance that race and class issues still boil down to individual ...more
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