Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Other Wes Moore--#14 finished

A very good read about 2 people that started growing up around the same time in Baltimore.  Both were without fathers much of their lives and both were in tough situations and both are black.  Growing up in inner city or close to inner cities in the 1970s & 1980s had to be tough, the one Wes Moore got caught up on the street.  With no father figure around and seeing his older brother into the drug trade, he followed suit.  Even when he got older and tried the jobs corp and had some limited success at that, he couldn't see a career there and went back to the drugs.  He eventually commits an armed robbery of a jewelry store with his brother and 2 others, where a police officer working security was shot & killed. This Wes Moore is now doing life in prison.

The author is the other Wes Moore.  His dad died when he was young & mom fought to raise him right. Moved to Brooklyn to be closer to her family and paid to send him to private school and then to  a military school to get him out of the neighborhood and to force him to take school and life seriously.  From there he gets to Johns Hopkins, internship with mayor,  overseas study in South Africa, Rhodes scholar, officer in Army fighting in Afghanistan and just a true success.

It was interesting to see the two people and the similarities and also the differences.  The author's family was college educated and it was an unfortunate health problem that was the cause of his father's death.  The Wes in prison's father was never around, the book mentions the son only seeing his father a handful of times and then usually his father being drunk or not recognizing his son.  This Wes did like his father, having kids at a young age but did seem to want to be involved but really had no idea how and by then was already wrapped up on the drug life.  It is a sad story that is just seen too much in too many cities across our country.  Hopefully this book helps a few find their way.

I am posting it on PBS, there was plenty of WL for it.  I feel it is a book that needs to be passed along, the more that read it the more people could be helped.  I am also reading Tomato Red and The Reluctant Fundamentalist and I still have the short story book The Watch but haven't read it for a few days now.

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