A reading and public discussion on the joy and terror of Bronx childhood will be held on Monday, February 27 at 6 PM at the new Bronx Library Center at 310 East Kingsbridge Avenue. Admission is free.
Organized by Dr. James L. Wunsch, Associate Professor of History at Empire State College (SUNY) and Senior Educator, Bronx County Historical Society, the presentation showcases the rich and powerful literature of Bronx childhood.
The presentation will be drawn from Kate Simon’s Bronx Primitive, the story of a Jewish girl’s coming-of- age in the twenties, Geoffrey Canada’s Fist Stick Knife and Gun, a sixties chronicle of learning how to fight, and Latoya Hunter’s Diary—My First Year in Junior High written and published during 1990-1991 when the Jamaican-American girl was 12-years old.
Dr. Wunsch pointed out that as late as the sixties, caring and devoted families sent even young kids out to play. By the seventies the streets, parks and neighborhoods had became too dangerous. Kids had to be protected and they were put on “lockdown.” Confined to apartments, they now found society and entertainment not in the neighborhood but on TV and in playing video games. The joy, power, and terror of the city—all that had indelibly stamped Bronx childhood—had now disappeared.
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