Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace

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With an affection and painful frankness, Jonathan Kozol lets protagonists of his book Amazing Grace, and conditions he describes in it, to speak for themselves. He takes us into the realm of South Bronx, where we meet great number of children and adults, through whose experience we get a glimpse at a surrealistic world of destitution, crime, drugs, fear, diseases, and devastating hopelessness. Surrounded with South Bronx ghetto, Kozol’s dialogs take place mainly with people who are among the most impoverished of all: Hispanics, Blacks, and couple of Whites; almost all of them are poor. A Catholic pastor in charge of a soup kitchen explains life situation of the New York's poorest children by saying: “It is a bare existence” (Kozol 2012: 78). Through all that despair protrudes people's blindness to the suffering of these children, even though they might not be aware of societal evil that they are inflicting on them, which does not excuse them. Gregory Baum’s partition of social sin into four levels can help us to determine in what way “social sin blinds persons to value.” The first level is comprised of “the injustices and dehumanising trends”…show more content…
He has the courage to examine the cause of this blindness, its effects and the society’s stance to it. He discovers that the cause of blindness is “deep, social sin that requires a structural change, as well as a structural transformation” of the society (module 2, section a). This is neither about personal morality, nor about moralizing as a solution. These are significant issues that Kozol raises in front of American conscience. He points out how people turn their backs on suffering because they chose not to see, think, talk about, or do anything in regards to the condition of the poorest of the poor in their own country. Reverend Martha Overall from St. Ann’s Church expresses her incredulity at this

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