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The City
A coming-of-age tale of a jazz prodigy finding his way in 1960s New York City.
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Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

Created: 07/14/14

Replies: 10

Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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The Race Riots

Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah’s perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

Did anything about his attitude or his family's attitude about race surprise you?

What did you make of Mr. Yoshioka's Manzanar "posse" and the relationships among them?


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

I felt for Jonah. He was entering adolescence during a turbulent time in our history. Despite the low's Jonah witness to strides and progress time granted. The tension, the anger and violence halted Jonah but luckily he wasn't influenced. He shared dialog with his mother who wisely educated her son as he listened and leaned towards her widow/advice.

Jonah was part of a quasi contrasting world - a peaceful and loving mother yet a vacant and angry irresponsible father. Thank goodness Jonah's grandfather served as the true male role model in his life, erasing the flaws of his father.


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 158

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RE: Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

The family's attitude towards the riots was, to me, surprisingly detached. Perhaps this was due to their deep involvement in the world of music, where racial boundaries seem to be more elastic.

I loved Mr. Yoshioka's "posse". I believe there were many such relationships forged during their experience of internment.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

Having lived through that turbulent era of race riots and been in a city where they were taking place, I know that reactions were often divided along racial lines. It was only many years later that people on both sides seemed willing to speak out and say that they know there are good and bad people of all races and religions and political parties. So I loved the talk that Jonah's mother gave to him on page 85 when she said that for every [bad person] "there are three or four others in the same neighborhood who want no part of it..." This continues to be true for hate crimes of every sort.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

It was so refreshing to read a story that gave the main characters, Jonah and his family, such dignity and wisdom. They didn't capitulate to the times they lived in - they rose above the ugliness and strife. Color played a part but a very minor part. The grandfather believed people are just that - people. The color of their skin made no difference. Their character was all. His influence on Jonah was the greatest blessing Jonah could have had. That and his mother's love.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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jant

Join Date: 07/15/14

Posts: 20

RE: Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

I thought their reactions were interesting. I expected more reaction because they were African Americans but they reacted as citizens in a world gone mad. The Bledsoe family had such solid values - the strife in the world doesn't seem to touch them. Of course, darkness does come to the family and friends but those same values unite them. It is interesting too - Jonah is being raised by a single mom - as is the case with many African Americans. His grandfather and grandmother were wonderful role models who both achieved a successful life in a bigoted world.


jan t
Posted Jul. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 135

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RE: Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

I lived through some riots in 1968. I could appreciate how Jonah felt.


Posted Jul. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

Like some others, I thought Jonah and his family felt pretty detached from the riots. That was how I felt, too, because I lived so far away from where they took place. I can see now how the riots affected society, and affected me, too, since I'm part of society.


Posted Jul. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

With all that was going on in the world, it's easy to see how Jonah was sure that all the world was evil. Sylvia's words were so wise and comforting. She told Jonah that for every rioter and bad person there were four good people that don't make the news. I'm going to try to remember that myself.


Posted Jul. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

I agree that I felt that the family was pretty detached from the actual violence. Once again Sylvia's advice will stay with me and be part of my life. She said," live from the inside out not from the outside in".


Posted Jul. 25, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tyrad

Join Date: 07/17/14

Posts: 9

RE: Did you gain any special insights about the race riots from Jonah's perspective? How did the core values of the characters affect their approach to the riots?

As Rebeccar mentioned, I too thought that mom's lecture to Jonah while he was watching all the terrible news on TV was brilliant. I want to remember that phrase, " What do you want to be? News or nice?" Yes, and it is a helpful phrase to use with children today too.


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