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Name Professor Class Date Street Literature and the High Price of Ghetto Life Appreciation for street literature has been on the rise during the recent years. Still, the statistics in the increase in street literature readers still has not surfaced. However, anecdotes from those who work among the young adults and teenagers reveal the existence of increasing audience for street literature…
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Download file to see previous pages Street literature is a genre involving an insightful look into the ghetto life (Morris et al. 20). The stories of “Midnight: A Gangster Love Story,” “Midnight and the Meaning of Love,” and “The Coldest Winter Ever” all fall within this gangsta realism that makes readers experience the high price of ghetto life through the characters. Street literature typically involves people from the African-American descent, and the main characters are usually mid-teens to mid-20s in age. They are usually depicted as people who go through extraordinary struggles in life, and they survive through obstacles such as violence, racism, and severe poverty. The whole story is filled with ghetto language, and this is more formally known as the African American Vernacular English (AAVE). The setting is usually in urban areas, and hip hop culture is the dominant scenario. Themes usually revolve around prostitution, premarital sex, illegal sex, crime, drugs, abortion, violence, and other illegal activities. The three novels mentioned above circle around such themes, and they are set within the urban hip hop milieu. However, despite such seemingly negative backdrop, these stories could serve as cautionary tales, and one does not need to go through the same experiences to learn what the characters learn in their life's journeys. The morals involved in the narratives are usually insightful in terms of understanding the, and learning from, the high price of ghetto life (Wright 42-45). “Midnight: A Gangster Love Story” is authored by Sister Souljah. It discusses the life of Midnight, a Muslim black immigrant from Sudan. In the opening lines of the book, Midnight is described as a tall guy with a dominating personality. He is pure black, and even his eyes are jet black. He is also described as lean and muscular, and females want to always be near him. Midnight is such a strong character because he never feels intimidated or insecure. Midnight is a fierce fighter inside and out. Being a fighter is one common characteristic among the main characters in the three street literature novels (Brooks and McNair 129-132). Midnight's young life goes through a process of being sheltered and protected under his father's care, to being vulnerable and open to the dangers of a foreign neighborhood. His character is developed by his experiences, and he bravely surpasses obstacles throughout his teenage years. First, due to hardship, he becomes home schooled, and he escorts his mother daily to and from her sweat shop job. Second, to develop himself, he learns martial arts, and he also becomes a talented basketball player. Third, to get over poverty, he begins to earn his own money through a fish market job, and he helps save up to purchase a bigger house for his family in a less dangerous neighborhood. He gets over hindrances towards his family progress and personal development, that is why even language barrier does not deter him from winning the heart of a Japanese beauty named Akemi. His character is shown even further development as he adheres to his strict Muslim principles while courting Akemi. It can therefore be said that surviving one hardship after another makes Midnight who he is in the novel, and makes him a striking protagonist in this street literature (A Gangster). As a further backgrounder, Midnight is a boy who flees Africa at ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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