A great account of inner city lives and a few people from subgroups that populate it--cop, teen, teacher, all black and all on different sides. I bought this for a college class and it was one of the best books read during my college years.
"Donaldson, a teacher and journalist, gives a vivid picture of the violent, inner-city neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn."
"Donaldson, who spent more than two years with "cops and kids," has written an eloquent and compelling account spanning four seasons in the lives of two black men, one an aspiring teenager, one a cautiously ambitious housing cop. Each has dreams for his future; each is mired in the daily nightmare existence that pervades Brooklyn's Brownsville section. Life in "the Ville" means drugs, AIDS, crack, gangs, carnage, failed hopes, and derailed promise--all exacerbated by the most deadly scourge, the gun. Donaldson calls it the drug of choice for the young there, "giving them release from the shadows of doubt to the white light of power and respect." This powerful statement of concern and tragedy deserves wide attention from politicians, professionals, and many, many others."