1. Who's Who
Characters 1's Name: Sudhir Venkatesh
Culture: Indian, lived in california, born in India
Brave: He walks into the projects and stays overnight with a gang even though he knows he doesn't fit in. (page12)
Intelligent: Sudhir is a university student wanting his degree in Sociology. Sudhir is also intelligent because he goes undercover into a gang. (page 22-25)
Respectful: Sudhir respects J.T.'s rules and isn't intrusive withthe gang. (page 21)
Blind to fear: Wanders into gang territory not knowing the dangers of what he is walking in to. (page 17)
Character 2's Name: J.T.
Gangster: gold teeth,dimond earring.
deep hollow eyes
important:" they stopped talking when a small entourage entered the stair-well.at the front wasa large man.
rude: "***** just shut the*** up".
about 23 or 24
(all the information for J.T. is on page 15)
2. Chapter Summary.
This chapter is about a man named Sudhir Venkatesh he is 25 years old. He is a University student studying Sociology. After Sudhir is welcomed to all these seminars he is invited to do a study on how black people live day to day. After finding a specific building he was looking for he walks right in. When walking in from left to right he could seetheuse of drugs. Right off the bat Sudhir is treated like an itruter, even though he is there for information and is not known around the city of Chicogo.The gang that Sudhir runs in to in this book is everything but pleasent if your not their "own kind". Sudhir is called a Mexican, the only reason he was called mexican was because of the way he looked. The gang thought he was a gang leader from the south side from a Mexican gang. He was also called a "******". Sudhir while being at the projects meets J.T. hes the gang leader of this side of town and everyone looks up to him. J.T. right from the start does not like Sudhir. J.T. is rude to him just like all the other members of the gang. J.T, is very rude and is trying to figure out why a guy like Sudhir would be in the projects in the first place. After reading Sudhir's survey J.T. laughs among the other guys standing around. J.T. talks to Sudhir and tells him he should get to know the people hes surveing before he starts asking questions. Sudhir the next day came back carrying beer for the guys. J.T. accepts Sudhir and shows him what its really like to be living day to day as a "black member of the community". Sudhir begings getting to know the people hes observing and starts to learn things he probably never thought he would.
As a reader I found it was very easy to relate to this book. I mean even still in high school I think it is the most judgmental place you could be. Not everyone in the community will accept you, and this made me feel like I was in the book. I can Relate to Sudhir because in the first chapter Sudhir is juged because of the way he looks and the colour of his skin, I go to school at Rober Bateman and it's the same way here as it is on the streets. People get judged everyday here either by what we wear or how we talk, sometimes even by who we hang out with. Sudhir in this book was varified as a "Mexican" and a "******" just because he was different, to be honest he is actually an Indian born in India and raised in California. People around school get made fun of because of their weight, I mean why is it people get juged about this stuff? Is it any of their business how people look. Sudhir puts up with all the comments and jokes for a hole night I mean like is it really nessasary to be juged? He was ridaculed about why he was in the projects when really all he wanted was a few questionairs answered. I myself don't get juged but alot of my friends do. I don't get why people can be so mean. Even though Sudhir was put through all that trouble of being different and coming into the projects, but he still goes back and tries to gain respect and learn about the gang. I go to school everyday in the most jugmental place I could think of and walk down the halls. People make fun of people all the time and judge them about almost everything. I still go back everyday with my head held high and keep pushing through, because in the end... does it really matter what they think?
1. What is Sudhir's reasons for hanging out with J.T.? Why is it important to know when reading the first chapter?
Sudhir hangs out with J.T because when Sudhir first went into the projects he meets J.T. and his gang. After spending the hole night with the gang and being the joke of the night Sudhir takes J.T.'s advice and gets to know the people he is observing.
2. Is Sudhir loyal and respectful to J.T. and his gang? why or why not.
Yes sudhir is loyal and respectful to J.T. and his gang.Sudhir respects J.T.'s rules and isn't intrusive with the gang. He keeps to himself and doesn't argue or complain about anything.
3. Why is Sudhir trying to observe about how black people live day to day and what they do?
Sudhir is university student studying Sociology. After Sudhir is welcomed to all these seminars he is invited to do a study on how black people live day to day. Sudhir goes to the project to do his research.
1. Who's Who?
C-Note: Old (p.69), smart (He can find 100 ways to make 100 dollars), quiet (p.60).
J.T.: Leader of the Black Kings gang, protective about his private life (p.68) can be violent when he needs to be, likes to feel important (p.67).
Brass: Late 40's, few teeth, he is a heroin addict, moves around a lot (p.69).
Sudhir: University student, indian, curious.
2. Chapter Summary
After being beaten in chapter 2, C-Note goes to the hospital for treatment, then after months of recuperating at a friend's apartment, he moved back into Robert Taylor. After witnessing the beating Sudhir left Robert Taylor for a week, but returned when invited to J.T's daughter's birthday party. Sudhir was not able to get the thought of the gang beating C-Note out of his head. The gang beat and killed a squatter named Brass for not paying his squatting fee, which only made sudhir think more about if what the gang did was right. J.T. explained to Sudhir how his authority works and why he had to beat C-Note.
Sudhir attended a meeting where a man named Lenny Duster talked to teenagers about the rights, responsibilities, and power of voting, he talked to them about the importance of education and told that they are wrong for dropping out, he told them how to 'work' (sells drugs) and who to sell to. 2 weeks later Sudhir followed 4 young Black Kings as they went door-to-door in J.T's building to register voters. Some people did not open their doors; few signed the sheet, looking as if they only did so to make them leave. At one apartment a lady opened the door and refused to sign, stating that no one would deicide for her how she would vote, and tried to explain how voting really worked.
Sudhir decided to go on his own and talk to residents without J.T., He found the Johnson brothers, Kris and Michael, who worked as car mechanics. They talked to him and allowed him to spend the day. During the day a fright broke out between Kris and a customer, because the man thought Kris was charging him too much to fix his radiator and clean his car. T-Bone gave Kris 25 dollars to solve the argument. They later explained why they use the gang to settle disputes instead of the police, and how everyone in the projects is affected by the gang. In his words "The building and the gang are the same."
One hot afternoon while Sudhir was in the lobby of J.T.s building he heard a woman screaming, everyone rushed over to see what the problem was, she was screaming that a man raped her daughter and gave her an S.T.D. and was on her way to deal with him. The gang spoke with her for a moment and then she continued on her way with Price following her. She rushed into his shop, still screaming and began to throw objects at him, Price stood leaning against a refrigerator, to make sure she did no real damage to the man. After a few minutes the man ran out of the shop to his car, the woman began to throw liquor bottles onto his car until she was stopped by other gang members. Price later explained that the "Ay-rab" did sleep with her daughter but did not give her the disease, and that the girl had gotten it somewhere else, she had been sleeping with men for food and household items. He explained to Sudhir that he helped the situation because it is the gang's job to keep peace in the projects.
J.T. left for a big gang meeting, sudhir was excited to talk to more residents without him around, and he found that most residents would not speak with him because of his affiliation with the gang. He ends up talking to Ms. Bailey, the building president who was one of the few people willing to speak with him. She told him about "Robert Taylor B" which was a few miles away on the other side of the projects. "Robert Taylor B" had a large boys and girls group where young people could go to participate in youth activities. "Robert Taylor A" only had 3 run down apartments that had been converted into playrooms for children. She said that people from "Robert Taylor A" had problems getting to "Robert Taylor B" because of gang boundaries. Ms. Bailey took Sudhir to "Robert Taylor B" to speak with Autry Harrison who was one of the clubs directors. Autry got Sudhir to read the children a book, saying that many of their parents could not read. Autry became a great source of information for Sudhir on how the project residents viewed the gang. He explained how Residents call in favours to help clean up the gang's mistakes, just as the gang does favours to clean up theirs. Autry invites J.T to a basket ball meeting, only to find out that every gang leader will be there, including J.T., J.T. gets very upset with Sudhir for coming to this meeting without his permission.
3. So What?
I think that this chapter teaches us that gangs are not just gangs, they are communities. They work together just as any comunity would, even when they oppose eachother, they make deals and help everyone in their negihbourhood out with what they need. They do not help in exactly legal ways but they help in the best way they can.
4. Trivia Time
Why did J.T. beat up C-Note?
Why do people call the gang rather then the police?
What kind of favors do residents call in to help the gang?
How did the gangs settle the issue with the drive by shooting?
Student at the University of Chicago
Brown hair and eyes
In the first few weeks of attending the University of Chicago, Sudhir had to attend a variety of orientation classes at the U of C which taught him about the area and it's dangers. He was assigned to specifically study Robert Taylor. Sudhir has two flaws; his overdeveloped sense of curiosity and his underdeveloped sense of fear. Despite having these flaws, he ends up befriending the gang, and it's leader of the area, J.T.
Name: C-Note (info on page 69)
Living in Robert Taylor
Name: Brass (info on page 69)
Squatter for J.T.
40 years old
Blond, streaked hair
-Sudhir went to J.T.'s daughters party
-Brass was ebaten by J.T.'s gang members and himself
-Lenny came to the church to talk to kids about voting
When Sudhir witnessed J.T. and others beat up C-Note, he could have stepped in and tried to stop it but instead, he stood back and watched every second of this awful thing happen because he was too scared to intervene. It's hard to be that person to step in and attempt to prevent fights, or even stop them. That part in the story isn't the average situation of what we as students might see in our normal high school lives, but the fights are still witnessed. Bullying adds a huge part to this. A lot of people know others who are bullied and actually see them being bullied but don't step in. Just because someone is a bystander, that doesn't mean that they don't have the power to do something about the situation. Sudhir didn't think that he could have done something to stop it but who knows, maybe he could have. This part of the novel teaches us as readers that violence isn't the way to solve our simple problems and that standing by and just watching can prolong the problems that could easily be changed if someone were to actually try and do something positive for the situation.
1.What was the reason for J.T. beating up C-Note?
2.Who is Lenny and what is his reason for speaking to the youth of Robert Taylor?
3. Why did J.T. track down Michael?
4. What is the name of the gang Sudhir follows around?
a) The Cobras
b) The Disciples
c) The Black Kings
d) The Vice Lords
5. Sudhirs studies are about gang life in the projects. True or False?
1. The reason for J.T. beating up C-Note was that J.T. had told C-Note that they need his space for a basket tournement and C-Note has agreed to it then, but when the time came, he denied J.T. which led to him and other members of the gang to beat up C-Note.
2. Lenny is an ex-gangster who came to Robert Taylor to talk to the youth about the rights, responsibilities and power of voting.
3. J.T. tracked down Michael because Michael had been weakening the crack that he sold and selling it for the same price in an attempt to make more money.
4. c) The Black Kings
Table of Contents
-In his mid-twenties
-Leader of the Black Kings in Robert Taylor
-Has some gold teeth
-In his early thirties
-J.T.'s head of security
Sudhir Venkatesh, (Author)
It's been three years since Sudhir started hanging out with J.T. and his gang. Sudhir starts to become curious about J.T.'s work and J.T. challenges Sudhir to be gang leader for a day. Sudhir encounters dealing with drug dealers, theifs, and making unforeseeable decisions. Brass goes against J.T.'s rules and is givin a beating as his consiquence. Sudhir stands up to J.T. regarding the beating of C-Note and Brass. J.T. responds to Sudhir telling him that in the projects, punishment is not paying a fine to the government. There are no police to take care of problems, so the punishments and consiquences are paying a fine to the gang leader and/or a brutal beating. While Sudhir is gang leader, he says he'll do it but he doesn't want anything to do with weapons or violence. Sudhir is faced to deal with Billy and Otis because Billy never payed Otis but Otis never gave all the money he owed Billy. Otis pocketed the rest of the money that he claimed Billy owed him. Sudhir thought it over and came to the conclusion that Billy never did pay Otis, but at the same time, Otis never denied stealing te owed money. This lead Sudhir to conclude that Otis stole the money and should be the one to be punished.
Sudhir wrote this book to show all the different life styles in the projects. But it also teaches us about it. Its hard to live in the projects and its hard to lead a gang. Life in the projects are poor and are full of businesses consisting of drug dealing, weapons, and prostitution. Most times in the projects, youth doesnt stand a chance to the gang leaders. They are forced to start training for drive by shootings and drug dealing at a young age.
1. Why were Brass and C-Note beat up? Was it necessary?
2. Why is J.T. taking the risk of letting Sudhir be gang leader?
3. Otis stole money from Billy but denied it. True or False
4. The author uses which writing technique in the beggining of chapter 4? How?
e)None of The Above
5. Why does J.T. tell Sudhir get into the car when it came time to giving Otis mouth shots?
Observant: Sudhir noticed that there is more to the housing complex than meets the eye. Starting at page 146 he begins to study Ms. Bailey's position.
Compassionate: When Sudhir took Clarisse home he made sure that her children were fed, even though he was used. (pg. 157)
Dedicated: When he was following the gang looking for Beebee, he follows along and joins in. He later learns that was a bad idea to involve himself with the beating. (pg. 170)
Underhanded: She uses her connections to get what she needs for the building complex. She then uses them to control the people. (pg. 150)
Caring: She tells Sudhir that no child goes hungry in her complex. (pg. 157)
Controlling: She uses all her connections to make all the people depend on her by, using the gang and her friends to gain access to everything. (Chapter 5)
The chapter starts off with Sudhir realizing that there is more to the housing complex than just J.T.'s gang. He follows Ms. Bailey the building president and to see how her business works. He answers some complicated questions to better understand the situation at Robert Taylor. After, he follows Ms. Bailey to her wheeling's and dealings to get the people of Robert Taylor more clothing and food. Later she only gives it to certain people, specifically not people on drugs like Clarisse. When she makes a scene and goes kind of crazy sudhir has to take her home. After wards he buys her children food to be nice but after learns he was used and her kids ate at Bailey's that morning. In a few days Ms. Bailey holds a meeting for the residences, she says they need to think that something is going on in the building. However the only words said were hurtful comments that put Ms. Bailey in a bad light. She shrugs it off and moves on. A couple of days later, Neesha is beaten up by Beebee over a money issue. Ms. Bailey uses C-Note and his group to hunt him down. Sudhir is surprised by the lack of federal service and how they have to fend for themselves. Disobeying his orders Sudhir follows C-Note and they find Beebee. When the fight in sues and Blue is in trouble Sudhir jumps in the fight. When they drag Beebee to Ms. Bailey she handles the situation, but later learns that sudhir help in the fight. Ms. Bailey is furious and tells Sudhir to be careful what he does within the complex.
This chapter shows allot more of the business side of Robert Taylor, the communities higher up wheeling's and dealings. It shows us the ways that they use to survive without money, and how each person helps to aid each other. With the one guardian angel there to help everyone, or there to control.
1. Would you have asked for Ms. Bailey's Part or stuck with the more pressing matter of J.T.?
2. Do you believe that what was in the bag was legal or illegal?
3. Do the board meetings actually help Robert Taylor?
4. Why do you think Ms. Bailey didn't call J.T. to help with Beebee?
5. Does Ms. Bailey's "Assistance" help or trap the people of Robert Taylor
Character Name: Ms.Bailey
average height and stout
tattoo on arm(MO-JO) which is her nickname
leader/controlling- her title is the president of the Robert Taylor buildings. She used to be the building president of the Local Advisory Council.
Caring- Ms.Bailey is very caring and giving due to all her hard work of food donations, clothing donations and food drives. Ms.Bailey also got medical clinics to give free check-ups to the children in her building and local stores to donate food.
For Chapter Five, Sudhir begins to tag along with Ms.Bailey more often. He starts to understand her work ethics, what it is exactly and why she ends up being so important to the community. Since Sudhir has become closer with Ms.Bailey, he starts to help her out with her food drives and food donations to the community, and as well her meetings that she runs. The housing projects, community and their building is low on clothing and food for the winter which is why Ms.Bailey helped out. As well, Sudhir kicked a guy in the stomach which is involving him in Ms.Baileys side. Sudhir then realizes the difference between him and them.
This portion of the novel teaches us of how many people out there have such different lifestyles and the way they live. At the beginning of this novel, Sudhir researched and surveyed people living in the housings projects to figure out how they lived their lives and about the poverty and race. His main question that he was asking people was "How does it feel to be black and poor?". Sudhir observes J.T and his gang as they go along with their own lives and his gang dealing. Throughtout this novel, it shows how people live in an urban poverty and what they do with their lives.
This portion of the novel also teaches us how our urban lifestyle is extremely different to the peoples lifestyles in the book. In the building, community and the housing projects, everyone helps eachother out and protects one another. The gang is there to secure and protect the community. Then in our lifestyle/community, everyone is secluded from one another and does their own thing. The difference in our community is that everyone has their own house to live in with their own family. In the novel, most live in poverty and have to live in group buildings or homes or gain their money from drugs.
1. Who is Ms.Baileys assistant?
2. What are the duties of Ms.Baileys work history of being a building president?
3. How do you think Ms.Bailey felt when she found out that Sudhir had kicked a guy in the stomach?
4. Most tenants were less suspicious of Sudhir and let him hang around more often than the past.
TRUE OR FALSE
5. What is the reason for Clarisse to get kicked out of the office and sent home?
Sudhir Venkatash: Sudhir is a University of Chicago student assigned to study poor black people in the projects of Chicago. He ends up becoming fairly close with the "Black Kings" gang speciffically their leader, J.T. After 4 years with the gang Sudhir has screwed up big time with other members of the community and is trying to rebuild their trust. Sudhir is unknowledgeable about gang life and is not entirely trusted or taken seriously by the Black Kings. He is fearful and often panics in sticky situations, and generally needs some sort of protection. Despite these flaws, he is still very interested in the Robert Taylor Homes and has been studying for 4 years at this point. Examples of Sudhir's traits can be found on pages 204 and 205.
Ms Bailey: Ms Bailey is a tenant of the Robert Taylor Homes. She helps family's in need, specifically young drug addicted single mothers. She trades alcohol for food and clothing for these people in need. Ms Bailey also runs different councils in the building and is the closest thing to a leader in the homes that's not gang related. She is manipulative and always tries to get what she wants. She is selfish and only does things to benefit herself, and has the whole community pretty much under her. She is also very authorative and lazy, examples of these are on page 200 and page 214.
Keisha: Keisha is a girl who attends Sudhir's women's writing workshops. At the workshop she reveals her past and how she was beaten by her drunken boyfriend constantly. One night when he fell asleep she stabbed him in the stomach, sending him to the hospital but not killing him like she expected. She is scared of her boyfriend coming back because he will most likely try to kill her, and she has no protection from the police or the black kings, because her boyfriend is a black kings member. She is also very emotional because of what she has gone through. Examples of this can be found on page 215
Chapter 6 starts off with Sudhir talking to Ms. Bailey and J.T. about legal obligations such as having to tell the police about any violence he see's. J.T. and Ms. Bailey were aware of this and give Sudhir the 2 options: go to jail or rat on the gang. Sudhir attempts to find a 3rd option but is unable to do so. Sudhir then decides to interview prostitutes and pimps to learn more. One of these prostitutes include Cordella. When talking to Cordella he learns of the previous power women had in Robert Taylor and how 4-5 women now share one apartment. A few weeks later Sudhir goes back to Robert Taylor and attempts to talk to C-Note. C-Note shrugs him off, eventually a confused Sudhir learns that C-Note and pretty much everyone else at Robert Taylor are mad at him because he shared everyone's earnings with J.T. and Ms. Bailey, causing workers to lose money. Sudhir attempts to talk to others but is either shrugged off or yelled at. In an attempt to regain peoples trust and continue his research Sudhir starts a womens writing workshop. Throughout this workshop he learns different stories about the women of Robert Taylor's lives mostly about drunken, abusive boyfriends. One women named Keisha actually stabbed her boyfriend and is fearful of his return. He also learns about the problems Ms. Bailey causes. At the end of the chapter Sudhir goes to a council meeting held by Ms. Bailey. Many women are not happy about Sudhir's appearance at the council and yell things at him. Finally he realizes women think their daughters and sleeping with him during the writing workshop. Sudhir ends the chapter realizing it's hard to think of any tenants that weren't mad at him.
I think what can be learned from this chapter is that Sudhir should have thought things through when he told J.T. and Ms. Bailey how much the workers made. I could relate to him because there have been times when i was trying to help somebody but never thought about how it could drastically affect many other people by giving up the information. A lesson i learned related to when Sudhir made the writers workshop and the whole thing backfired, that he should have just backed away for a while and let things blow over rather than to try and get more involved.
True or False: Up to 5 women share one apartment at Robert Taylor
True or False: Ms. Bailey Stabbed her boyfriend
Why was C-Note and other tenants mad at Sudhir?
Why didn't the Writing workshop work out?
How were the prostitutes affected when Sudhir told Ms. Bailey their earnings?
At the beginning of chapter 7, the residents of Robert Taylor were out and about around the building. having a barbecue in the summer heat. Everyone was relaxing and having a good time until a car pulled up with a few of men in it and started shooting. Derryl, J.T's uncle was shot along with Price who was rushed to the hospital by one of the other tenants. Sudhir did his best to help out with Price and to make sure everyone was okay. J.T immediately set out on a mission to find the intruders, instructing all his men to different duties. After this traumatic event, the well deserved good news was delivered, J.T got a promotion within the city wide BK organization. For J.T, T-Bone and Price this meant more money, and a larger responsibility of drug trafficking. Sudhir was asked by J.T to attend the next regional BK meeting with J.T. Reggie had invited Sudhir to the bar with him to hopefully further his insight of what the police men do on a daily basis, while at the bar on of Reggie's fellow cops started to become arrogant towards Sudhir and sending threats towards him. Just a few days later Sudhirs car got broken into at the Boys and Girls club.
On page 235 Sudhir shows us the power that Police think they have over the Robert Taylor residents, or people in general. This teaches us that alot of the time police do unjustly things just because they can. Like when Jerry beat up the man who didn't give his money to him right away. Also earlier in the chapter (page 230) the same point is showed when the police raided the BK party and took everyone's money and jewels.
1. Do you think it's fair that the police manipulate Robert Taylor residents nand use violence to enforce rules?
No, I do not believe this is a fair way to treat anyone; however most of the residents put up with it because a lot of them have deals with the police in order to stay protected.
2. Who Broke into Sudhirs car at the Boys and Girls club?
b) Officer Reggie
c) Officer Jerry
Correct answer: Officer Jerry
3. If you were in Sudhirs position at the bar with Jerry would you have handled it in the same manor?
If I was Sudhir i might have handled it similarly, I would have defended myself and my work bu I would have left sooner to avoid any more conflicts.
4. Do you believe that Sudhir is spying on the Robert Taylor residents?
TRUE OR FALSE?
Correct answer: FALSE
5. If you were Sudhir would you continue to hang around Robert Taylor if you knew you were in potential danger?
If I knew I was in potential danger I think I would still continue to hang around there because alot of those people have become like family to Sudhir, after hanging out there for 4-5 years. However I would keep a lower profile and just hang around the people that I knew I would be safe with, for example J.T.
Calumet Heights, a neighborhood relatively close to Chicago's South Side, identified as the "run-down working-class area". In modern terms, Calumet Heights was populated with middle or upper classed African- American families, whom had nurtured the appearances of their houses. Brian Jackson and Jerry Tillman had put Calumet Heights on the map. The two men are some of the most powerful gang leaders of the Midwest. It was the year of 95', Sudhir had driven to Calumet Heights with the invitation J.T had sent him. The Black Kings had organized a pool party at Brian's long, white, Prairie-styled house, the lawn was coated with expensive sports car, being nursed by the Black King "foot soldiers". As Sudhir approached the house, making his way into the backyard of Brian's house, Sudhir glanced around, seeing expensive stereos, crystal statues and marijuana. The inner layer of the Prairie-styled house was a complete illusion, the fine, leather couches were stained, as were the carpets. Disgusted, Sudhir traveled around, looking for familiar faces, he had caught a glimpse of J.T, and it was as if the two never skipped a beat, Sudhir and J.T exchanged hellos with a friendly hug. The atmosphere was relaxed and at ease, different men were congregating in the kitchen, the dining room and the living room. Each one of them discussing "their" business. Making rounds, J.T formally introduced Sudhir as "Mr. Professor". The explanation of why Sudhir was invited to the annual Black King pool party or any other event was clearly obvious, he was the voice, the voice of African- American Poverty. Sudhir being labeled as "New Director of Communications", was just a tad bit scary for him. Sudhir recalled J.T once saying, " Either you're with me or you're with someone else." How would I ever make it to the moment when I wanted to retire from studying the Black Kings? Sudhir thought. As more meetings passed, the promotion of J.T brought him a great deal of stress. He mentioned the difficulties of the promotion and how protective certain gangs are of their territory. J.T could instantly be killed for talking to the police, or even a simple rumor of him doing so. Sudhir needed to figure out how to carefully exit the group. As the demolition of Robert Taylor Homes arrived, residents moved with their distance families, while others looked for a place to stay. J.T kept fretting over not having a plan. His final promotion was falling down right in front of him, he had tried approaching West Pullman, a black neighborhood on the far South Side to recruit new Black King members. The attempt failed, miserably. Robert Taylor Homes were a sign of hope, that no one would be able to replace. The Robert Taylor research, had finally rewarded Sudhir a junior fellowship at Harvard's Society Of Fellows. Announcing this news to J.T left an awkward tension between the two. Everything relatively related to the Robert Taylor Homes had fallen apart. Ms. Bailey and J.T were struggling to find employment or any sort of pay. As the months passed, Sudhir and J.T's friendship fell apart. Sudhir's last thoughts were " How could I learn so much, absorb so many lessons and gain so many experiences at the side of a man who was so far removed from my academic world."
So What? What Can I learn?
Sudhir, being raised in a different cultural atomsphere has been brought up in a completely seperate world than the residents of Robert Taylor homes. As Sudhir continued with his studies, he was also challenging society. Sudhir stepped out of his "norm" and was welcome into Robert Taylor, where he learned a complete set of altered values, and beliefs. Sudhir does not specially say, Robert Taylor's powerful leaders, are in fact their government. But as you read along, desciphering the sentences, you will begin to learn the differences between the two sets of worlds. Robert Taylor has codes of conduct, rules of living, and no health support at all. Hypotheatically speaking, if Sudhir were to call for an ambulance, it would come almost immediatly. For Robert Taylor? Never. The consequences of not obeying a certain law could result in death. In America, the worst punishment one could recieve is jail time. No one tries to disagree with this type of government, it is their definition of life. The worst possible thought, one can think, is under estimating the " African- American" intelligence. Something you think you could learn the least amount about, can be the greatest impact on your life. For Sudhir, this statement stands correct. J.T and the Black Kings, had impacted his view of life tremendously.
1. J.T grew tired of maintaining a growing gang. What was his employment after the retirement of Black King's leader?
a) Consulting work for Black Kings "higher- ups"
c) Cousin's dry-cleaning business*
2. The breakdown of the Black Kings also affected who?
b) Ms. Bailey*
3) Our entire semester is based on Challenging Society. Did Sudhir challenge society? Explain.
Answer in the So What? Section.
4) Would you consider Ms. Bailey a successful leader, with poor work ethics? Or pure selfish? Why?
- Even though, her methods of leading are disgusting and inappropriate. Ms. Bailey is still a responsible woman, making sure everyone is sheltered, fed and merely healthy. Ms. Bailey is there turn to "gal". (pg. 279) à Help them feel confident and safe. Now in the outside world, without Ms. Bailey, the gang do not feel wanted.
5) What is your opinion on Robert Taylor? Is it a bad environment to be living in?
- The environment, yes it is bad. Residents go through discrimination, shootings and rapes, most importantly Ms. Bailey's ways. But the love and care everyone has for each other is tremendous. More treatment à we work, go to school: more of a proper setting. Black Kings: live life, all for a trade of drugs, no schooling. Still drive nice sport cars etc. In a way have more freedom.
In chapter 8, there are lots of key things that happen. To start of with, J.T. is being promoted big time, and now he is almost at the top of the ladder. That means more important meetings and more time he has to sppend without Sudhir unless he invites him to the meetings and the perties he goes to. Not only that, but the projects are finnaly getting demolished. They are getting down the buildings. So that is causing a problem a problem not only for the gang but the residents and the community about replacement plans. Later on, Sudhir is invited to the party of the Black kings who are only VIP's. He interview's some people and finds out that most of them want out. They are just in for the money and once they have enough, they will be out. Next, J.T. organizes a recruiting campaign. In that campaign, he recruits a bunch of kids and also takes over their territory. This is helpful to them since they are loosing their homes and their turf to the demolition, plus lots of their gang members are either quitting, or gwetting arrested. Apart from all that jazz, the demolition still continues. That causes a lot of comotion due to people/residents trying to find a replacement. That causes Ms. Bailey and other land lords in a fuss. They want to try to help the people but also want to get some profit of the tenants. Unfortunatly, they don't really suceed and that causes the tenants to think that they are robbing them their money. While all that drama is getting heated up, there's another lady on the other side who wants to help people move for free and she won't make a profit of them. She uses Ms. Bailey and other land owners as her link. The next day, Sudhir meets T-Bone in the car bnecause T-Bone wants to give Sudhir something. Later, we find out that he is giving Sudhir the master copy of all the accounts and financial ledgers. this is a big deal because now, if that gets in the wrong hands, then the whole gang plus all tghe BK leaders are totally screwed. Now we go back to the new recruits, and J.T. places them in their own territory and thats another set of delears on the streets making money for the BK's. Mean while, their are tons of arrests going on and unfortunatly, T-Bone gets arrested. J.T and the gang start to doubt that he'll rat the gang out but in the end, they get news that he dies in prison. he gets tonrured but he does'nt tell anything to the cops. There are lots of arrests still happening and J.T. knows he'll be in that situation some time, so he gives Sudhir the names and numbers or the important people he knows so Sudhir can study further in this gang subject. In the end, J.T. quits the gang, and opens his own business. The last this Sudhir can remember that J.T. saying is that "Your with me". That is the emotional point because they both are seperated and go their own way.
By reading this novel, we can learn that Sudhir is really determined to finish his research on the gang. Like we rad on the first few pages, he has to stay in the stairwell for one whole night and the condition he is in is really bad. The air is putrid because it smells heavily of urine and other fluids. The gang is watching him while carrying guns and knives. they won't let him move, or let him sleep. They also interigate him and get him scared. Going through all of that, J.T. tells him to actually stay with the gang and find out for him self that how can they stay in this condition where they are all poor and black. Determined as he is, he comes back the next day and sticks with his new mates. In the beginning, the gang is his enemy and he is a total stranger to the gang, but with lots of perserverence and struggloe, he makes them all his frineds. So thats what we learn, perserverence can get us far and make our enemy our friends.