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Live to See the Day : Coming of Age in American Poverty - Nikhil Goyal

Live to See the Day

Coming of Age in American Poverty

By: Nikhil Goyal

Paperback | 13 August 2024

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An indelible portrait of three children struggling to survive in the poorest neighborhood of the poorest large city in America
Kensington, Philadelphia, is distinguished only by its poverty. It is home to Ryan, Giancarlos,
and Emmanuel, three Puerto Rican children who live among the most marginalized families in
the United States. This is the story of their coming-of-age, which is beset by violence--the
violence of homelessness, hunger, incarceration, stray bullets, sexual and physical assault, the
hypermasculine logic of the streets, and the drug trade. In Kensington, eighteenth birthdays are
not rites of passage but statistical miracles.

One mistake drives Ryan out of middle school and into the juvenile justice pipeline. For
Emmanuel, his queerness means his mother's rejection and sleeping in shelters. School closures
and budget cuts inspire Giancarlos to lead walkouts, which get him kicked out of the system.
Although all three are high school dropouts, they are on a quest to defy their fate and their
neighborhood and get high school diplomas.

In a triumph of empathy and drawing on nearly a decade of reporting, sociologist and
policymaker Nikhil Goyal follows Ryan, Giancarlos, and Emmanuel on their mission, plunging
deep into their lives as they strive to resist their designated place in the social hierarchy. In the
process, Live to See the Day confronts a new age of American poverty, after the end of "welfare
as we know it," after "zero tolerance" in schools criminalized a generation of students, after the
odds of making it out are ever slighter.

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