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Rosa Lee : a mother and her family in urban America

Author: Leon Dash
Publisher: New York, NY : BasicBooks, ©1996.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
For four years, reporter Leon Dash followed the lives of Rosa Lee Cunningham, her eight children, and five of her grandchildren, in an effort to capture the stark reality of life in the growing black underclass. As a black journalist troubled by the crisis in urban America, he wanted readers to share his discomfort and alarm. Dash's reports in the Washington Post touched a powerful nerve - 4,600 readers called the
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Genre/Form: Case studies
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Dash, Leon.
Rosa Lee.
New York, NY : BasicBooks, c1996
(OCoLC)604839050
Online version:
Dash, Leon.
Rosa Lee.
New York, NY : BasicBooks, c1996
(OCoLC)609085077
Named Person: Rosa Lee Cunningham; Rosa Lee Cunningham
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Leon Dash
ISBN: 0465070922 9780465070923 0060993715 9780060993719
OCLC Number: 34618035
Description: 279 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Responsibility: Leon Dash.
More information:

Abstract:

For four years, reporter Leon Dash followed the lives of Rosa Lee Cunningham, her eight children, and five of her grandchildren, in an effort to capture the stark reality of life in the growing black underclass. As a black journalist troubled by the crisis in urban America, he wanted readers to share his discomfort and alarm. Dash's reports in the Washington Post touched a powerful nerve - 4,600 readers called the paper in response - and received critical acclaim as.

well, winning both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. (The Kennedy prize board called his series a "tour de force" that "sets the standard for reporting about poverty.") Dash continued reporting even after his articles were published, and in this book he provides the complete, unvarnished family portrait. But Leon Dash does more than simply report facts; he becomes an integral part of Rosa Lee's daily life, driving her to the methadone clinic,

helping her read her mail, visiting her in the hospital. While maintaining his journalistic distance - he never lends her money or intervenes with the city bureaucracy - Dash can't help forging a powerful bond with Rosa Lee. Once, after uncharacteristically losing his temper, Dash offers an apology, which she waves aside. "That lets me know that you're really concerned about me," she says. "That means a lot to a woman like me, who has been used and misused. People don't.

give a damn about me!" Rosa Lee's life story challenges the pieties of left and right: she has made choices that were often unwise and has paid the price for her actions, but through it all she cares about doing the right thing, even if she cannot always find the inner strength to do so. When she agreed to let Dash chronicle her life, she said simply, "Maybe I can help somebody not follow in my footsteps." Those who read this poignant and provocative portrait will find.

that Rosa Lee's voice is one than cannot be ignored, and through her experiences we see the magnitude of the problems facing urban America today.

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