Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Beautiful Struggle, Chps. 1 & 2 Reflections

[The Beautiful Struggle]

After reading the first two chapters of Ta-Nehisi Coates's The Beautiful Struggle, what do you view as one of the key challenges that impede productive intellectual development for black boys in West Baltimore, or any struggling section of a city for that matter?    

6 comments:

Collis T. said...

The first two chapters of "The Beautiful Struggle" dwell on the protagonist father and older brothers portrayals of manhood as well as Ta-Nehisi's personal experience dealing with a culture of violence. The book often portrays an illuminating dichotomy of both African American culture as well as the paradigms of "conscious" individuals of that group. Those who tend to be intellectually active in the text are often ostracized or mocked and viewed as weak by dominant members of the community resulting in an uniformed paradigm. The elder brother in the story represents the (at the time) recent distortion of black culture while the father represents a flawed yet still better alternative way of living. The most important portion of the initial chapters has to be the violent encounter that both "Tana" and his friend Fruitie encountered when a gang tried to take their things. When the protagonist folded and not assisted Fruitie (Pg.62) when he was accosted he betrayed both e code of his brother and his father in regards to manhood, ushering in a new segment of his life.

Anonymous said...

I believe one of the key challenges in any struggling section of a city is the role models of the last and current generation. For example, I grew up in the Englewood area of the city of Chicago. Was the environment somewhat bad and dangerous? Sure, but due to being properly raised by my family and not hanging around the wrong crowd, I didn't turn out like any of the children my age doing illegal activities and have behavior problems. It's not directly their fault. It's the fault of who they learned from by setting a terrible example.
Stephen K.

Rodrick Robins said...

One of the key struggles impeding positive intellectual development in inner city areas that are economically...deserted, is the absence of belief in the minds of the young Black boys who live there that they can be better and still thrive in their environment. The boy's in the authors Baltimore see their behavior and Knowledge as a mode of survival. They fail to see that one can have Knowledge and wisdom and dreams and aspirations. They feel and are led to believe by their peers that Knowledge has to not only operate in their physical behavior, but in their mindset and spirit also.

Jeremiah B, said...

One of the key challenges I thought really impeded the intellectual development of black boys in struggling areas is the environment they perceive. If you are in an area where you have to be an expert on street smarts, the productivity of your development may be slowed or halted. These struggles can easily be overcome but peer pressure and influence from poor role models are also factors. This might explain how black boys with unlimited potential seem to get stuck in these struggling sections because they weren't allowed to fully develop intellectually.

Belainesh Nigeda said...

When growing up in a struggling section of the city, a person learns what is accepted behavior and what is not accepted. In the city, sometimes in order to survive you have to constantly watch your back (which is why it may seem like common sense to form a "clique" or "gang"). I understood exactly what the author was talking about when he said that hot weather made it perfect for fights. That is usually how it is in Chicago (more violence occurs in the summer time). Overall, I just think that the violence in these cities are one the key challenges that one must try to avoid in order to stay unharmed and focused on the right things in life.
-B.Nigeda

Joey N. said...

One of the key challenges that stood out to me in the first two chapters of The Beautiful Struggle was the environment in which the main characters lived in. The fact that the main characters of the story didn't have access to the type of opportunities that someone in a more economically stable community had, played a huge role in how successful the main characters became.