Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-242).
Formatted Contents Note:
What do you want to be? -- Day of reckoning -- A crack in the foundation -- Origins -- The end of things -- Starved -- Putting out the fire -- Free today -- A home of our own -- Only one rule -- 54 out of 54 -- Death is here -- Wedding day -- Home street -- Seeing with only these eyes -- Away -- Not poor, poor -- Sonnie's got a baby - Cell block high -- A place called home -- A light -- Food for all -- New mission -- Gone -- In the desert -- Brighter -- Little brother -- Accepted -- Graduation -- I'll fly away -- What should be done? -- Epilogue.
"'Standing on the stage, I felt exposed and like an intruder. In these professional settings, my personal experiences with hunger, poverty, and episodic homelessness, often go undetected. I had worked hard to learn the rules and disguise my beginning in life ... ' So begins C. Nicole Mason's powerful memoir, a story of reconciliation, constrained choices and life on the other side of the tracks. Born in the 1970s in Los Angeles, California, Mason was raised by a beautiful, but volatile 16-year-old single mother. Early on, she learned to navigate between an unpredictable home life and school where she excelled. While showing us her own path out of poverty, Mason examines the conditions that make it nearly impossible to escape and exposes the presumption harbored by many--that the poor don't help themselves enough"--