- Pull together some material from the first four or five pages of the reading and describe Mike Rose’s parents’ immigration experience and adult working life. Then explain how Rose’s parents’ experience similar to and different from that of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s parents, aunts, and uncles?
Rose’s parents emigrated to the united states and were very poor, his mother had to drop out of school in the 7th grade to take care of her little brother and her father who lost his leg in a railway accident. His father was quite about his life but Rose knew that he was a salesman, a tailor, and a gambler and he also knew people in the mob. Rose’s uncles had done time in prison in Chicago.
- What should we make of Rose’s description on pp. 13-18 of his family house and the mixed-race, mixed-ethnicity South Los Angeles neighborhood he grew up in? Try to capture both Rose’s emotional feelings about the places he grew up and the objective dangers he very causally suggests he faced there. Compare Rose’s experiences of his home and neighborhood to Coates’s.
Rose talked a lot about the different people and saying that it wasn’t a violent place but a place with lots of drugs and older people with little motivation to pull themselves out of whatever situation they were in. He also had more diversity than Coates. Coates didn’t talk a lot about what the people looked like or who they were, he talked about what they meant to him and what they did.
- At the end of this long segment on his parents immigration and work experiences and his boyhood growing up in a mixed-race, mixed-ethnicity neighborhood in South Los Angeles, Rose writes that he “developed a picture of human existence that rendered it short and brutish or sad and aimless or long and quiet…. When, years later, I was introduced to humanistic psychologists…, with their visions of self actualization…., it all sounded like a glorious fairy tale, a magical account of a world full of possibility, full of hope and empowerment. Sinbad and Cinderella couldn’t have been more fanciful” (p. 18).
Rose saw lots of different kinds of people and he saw the good and the bad. And when he realized that he what he had the opportunity to get to the ultimate goal that is what he wanted to do. He didn’t want to be like the older people he saw that had no motivation and were bums on the street.