‘Always running’ is a book written by Luis J Rodriguez that talks about his life during his early years as an adolescent. When Luis moved to Texas with his family, life became hard for him. In school he faces difficulties because he is a Latino and engages in many fights and he keeps been suspended from school .At a time, he starts stealing and his family feels betrayed and he is kicked out of the house to live in their garage. It is at this time that he joins Loma gang and helps to fight rival gang members.
Luis moves from school to school and he joins Chicano Organization. At the same time, his family is facing difficulties because his sister has indulged herself into drugs, his brother murdered and his father arrested for stealing money at his school. Luis indulges himself into drugs, crime and discrimination at his young life. He is surrounded by violence at a very early age but a time comes when he .escapes from his criminal life and indulges into poetry.
Always running is an inspiring book that one can leave criminal life. It marks the transition point in the life of Luis. Luis wrote the book in an effort to save his son Ramiro at age 15 who has indulged in street gang in Chicago. His father tries to convince him to leave that life as himself did many years ago.
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Luis J Rodriguez is a recognized poet, journalist, critic and a columnist who has won many awards like Carl Sandburg literary Award, A Chicago Sun Times award and others. His life is an example to the topic breaking free. He has dedicated his life to helping young people who have indulged in to the world of crime. Over the years, he has become a leading gang expert testifying through affidavits, phone testimonies and court appearances. He is also a founder of some organizations like Youth Struggling for Survival and others.
Studs ‘C.P Ellis’
In the book ‘C.P Ellis’ by Studs Terkel, he talks about a boy raised by a man who hardly makes ends meet for his family. Ellis was born in a very poor family at Durhamand town in North Carolina. His father hated the Blacks, Jews, Roman Catholics and liberals. His father was also a member of Ku Klux Klans (K.K.K). This Klan protected the White Man from integration with the Black Man in any way. At school Ellis is ridiculed because of his poor dressing by his classmates and he develops self esteem. He grows up, marry and fathers four children, one born blind which cost him a fortune in taking care of the child. He seems not to make enough money for his family and he gets a loan to buy a gas station but two months before he completes paying the loan, he suffers a heart attack. He turns his frustrations to the Blacks and blames them for his misfortunes.
Ellis joins K.K.K and becomes an active leader and rises from being a member to being the president of the Klan. His encounter with a Black Woman activist Ann Atwater makes him change his mind about the Blacks, making him leave the Klan despite contempt from fellow white friends. He becomes the organizer for black women members of international union of operating engineers. His encounter with Atwater at a meeting about educational disintegration at a school made him realize that the Blacks faced the same problems. They had the same views with Ann Atwater. It was at this point that he realized whether Black or White all were the same.
Vincent Parillo ‘Cause of Prejudice’
The book “Cause of Prejudice” by Vincent Parillo tries to search for the cause of prejudice .Parillo argues that the cause is complex. He views the cause at two angles: Psychology and Sociology. Psychology as a cause, relates to emotions, beliefs and self-justification. Our feelings, what we believe might affect prejudice behavior. He gives an example of how a child is raised by his parents and shares.
Same beliefs as his parents accepting them without inquiring. Sociology relates to social norms, economic competition and also socialization that one encounters in his life that might lead to prejudice. In relating C.P Ellis life to what Vincent Parillo says, it shows the cause of his hatred for the Black. His low esteem developed at early, economical difficulties and frustrations of a blind child that made him convert his problems into hatred for the Black Race and joined K.K.K. It is the same kind of prejudice seen in the book “Always running” that Luis J Rodriguez faced in school all because he was a Latino. Also it was due to frustrations after he was kicked out of the house he joined a gang.
Currently, still prejudice reigns .It is due to Prejudice that up to date, two years after president Obama was elected as the United States of America, some citizens have not accepted him because he is an Afro-American. It was due to his skin color that some citizens campaigned for him because he is Black. Due to prejudice, columnist Charles Krauthammer in Washington still criticizes him up to date. Over the years till today The Roman Catholic pope has also tried to fight against the prejudice between Christians and Muslims and that’s why in the year 2006 he went to Istanbul Turkey and prayed in a mosque together with Muslim brothers to try to bridge the two religions.
Break through to success
Other people just like Luis have been able to overcome obstacles to a good life. On 19th,may 2005 “, celebrity gossip and life magazine “wrote an article about a USA celebrity, rapper Akon about his life as a convinct. It talks about his involvement in crime and when sent to Jail he writes songs and when he was finally released after serving three years, he produced songs and decided to leave criminal life for good. Just like Luis J tried to change his life, despite the challenges, they both became reformed. Akon through his Music passes message to his fans about his life just like Luis J wrote a book about his life. Also Ben Carson’s ‘Gifted hands”book talks about a young black boy who despite challenges involving racism, poverty, prejudice was able to achieve his dream and became one of the best pediatric neurosurgeons in the world. He tries to encourage readers that no matter the obstacles it is possible to break through to success. Just like Luis J, Ben Carson faces poverty and racism but with the help of his mother eventually achieves his dream.
Publishers weekly admire the work done by Luis J Rodriguez and criticize ignorance of the writer failing to be detailed about his activities while still in the gang. Suzanne Ruta of entertainment weekly feels Luis J description about his life fits his view about violence.
‘Always Running’ is an inspiring story and shows the power of will. Despite the challenges and criticism Luis J faced, he was still able to break free from crime and became a law abiding citizen. The author has been able to capture the attention of the reader and created suspension. It is an excellent written piece. This book can greatly help the young people who have indulged themselves in gangs blindly and the ones trying to break free from such kind of life. It shows great hope and strength and warns the young people from the world of crime.
‘Always Running’ is a true story about a man who writes a book about his life in the effort to save his son who has indulged himself in the same troubles the author escaped from in his early age. It shows some of the difficulties young people, especially adolescents’ face. It teaches the consequences of making wrong decisions. It is a very encouraging piece that no matter the obstacles, one can break free from one’s troubles as long as one is determined.