Quotes from Jonathan Kozol
This weeks reading focused on writer Jonathan Kozol’s visit to a poverty stricken neighborhood called Mott Haven. The neighborhood is filled with violence, drugs, and various other issues. Kozol creates a clear image of life for the people of Mott Haven, showing their daily of living in poverty.
While reading Amazing Grace, I found that there were a few quotes that really stood out to me for different reasons. The first quote that caught my eye was when Kozol is speaking to Cliffie’s mother and she asks him if Cliffie had taken him to Jackson Avenue. When Kozol replies yes, Cliffie’s mother somewhat nonchalantly says “’You see a lot of prostitutes down there as well…’”(11). For me, the way Cliffie’s mother is so used to Cliffie walking down these streets filled with prostitues and drug users was shocking.
|St. Ann's Church in Mott Haven|
The other quote that really stood out to me was a series of lines also from Cliffie’s mother. When Kozol asks about the incinerator that Cliffie pointed out on their walk she says "’The point is that they put a lot of things into our neighborhood that no one wants…the waste incinerator is just one more lovely way of showing their affection…the truth is, you get used to the offense. There's trashy things all over.’”(10). This quote stood out to me because it’s crazy to think that this woman feels that the city that she calls her home is basically being used as a giant dumping ground for the rest of the cities. It’s horrible for the struggling citizens of Mott Haven to think that the surrounding towns have no interest in helping them better themselves but instead would rather just see the town in its current state and decide that there is no way to improve it so it might as well be used as dumping grounds. It was really sad to see how somewhat defeated and accepting Cliffie’s mother was about Mott Haven. Overall, I enjoyed the reading this week. It was very eye-opening.
If you were wondering what Mott Haven's been like recently take a look at their local paper's website and seeing all their latest news: Mott Haven Herald