And Still We Rise Essay

1073 words - 5 pages

And Still We Rise
Miles Corwin’s And Still We Rise is a memoir that follows the lives of intelligent students that live in the crime ridden area of South-Central Los Angeles. Corwin spent an entire year with twelve seniors that attend Crenshaw, South-Central’s gifted magnet program. He focused on the AP English Literature and Composition class because he felt the seniors would be free to express themselves. The book is centered on Affirmative Action, which students that attend Crenshaw fully rely on. Miles Corwin became part of the students’ lives, watching them face obstacles and prevail in spite of them.
Corwin tried to reach out to everyone that is oblivious to how unequal ...view middle of the document...

The author wants to showcase all of the student’s achievements and not focus their usually tragic backstories. The author states, “Latisha wants to prove to everyone-and herself- that, despite the years of abuse, she can still be a success” (Corwin 157).
The stories of the students are told from a neutral ground, the author never takes a side. He gives the accounts as if the seniors themselves were writing the novel. Details are used throughout the entire book and they are what develops each character in a fantastic way. In the prologue it states, “The last words Olivia remembers her mother saying were, ‘I don’t want her!’”(Corwin 11). The author includes important details of every characters background. It is important to know how big of a role an education played in their lives. The author talks about when Princess decided to stay in school, “She realized that if she did not want to be living like this in ten years, she needed to attend college” (Corwin 296). The purpose is elaborated on through the details inscribed on every page. “Nalia, who grew up in the Oakwood section of Venice, is one of the few students in the school who does not live in South-Central,” the author says (Corwin 250).
And Still We Rise provokes many emotions and reads like a work of fiction. Corwin tells of Toya’s horrific childhood, “Toya returned to the house after school at 3:30 p.m. and found her mother sprawled on the bedroom floor. She thought her mother was drunk. Toya shook her. Her mother did not move. She shook her again. Finally, she crouched beside her mother and looked into her eyes. Then she knew” (Corwin 46). This is one of the most intense passages to me. The author’s use of the word “sprawled” gives the whole passage a negative connotation. The short and choppy sentences add to the dramatic effect and enhance the sting of the word “crouched.”
By looking at the educational inequality that still plagues America even now, Corwin gives the reader a small glimpse to the overlooked realm of...

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