Bad Boys by Arnette Ferguson Essay

1400 Words May 5th, 2013 6 Pages
Paige Kahalnik Sociology Bad Boys paper

In the book, Bad Boys, Ann Arnett Ferguson goes on a three-year journey through Rosa Parks Elementary School to observe and research why it is that mostly black males are ending up in jail and are unsalvageable from such a young age. She interviews and observes daily interactions with the eleven and twelve year old students that have been labeled “at risk” by their teachers and peers. She wants to research how it is being in school when all of the educators have already labeled them as “unsalvagable, at risk, and bound for jail”. These kids pretty much act in the way that their teachers treat them. They get into trouble every single day and most of the times these boys provoke it because
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African American boys are doubly displaced among society. Ann Arnett Ferguson says, “they are not seen as childlike but adultified; as black males they are denied the masculine dispensation constituting white males as being “naturally naughty” and are discerned as willfully bad”(page 80). These African American boys are thought of being two things, either a criminal or an endangered species. They are not allowed to be naughty by nature according to society, but rather there naughtiness is a sign of vicious, inherent, insubordinate behavior. African americans are seen as endangered victims, which makes them criminals. Ferguson states, “It is their own maladaptive and inappropriate behavior that causes African americans to self-destruct”(page 82). There are two versions of childhood that are contradictory to each other. A real child would be seen as a “little plants” ready to grow up accordingly which is what white men were like to educators. On the other hand the African American boys were seen as children who are powerful, self centered, and have an agenda of their own. These black boys are seen as adults from such a young age, they don’t have time to be young and grow up because others make it seem like they are already fully grown. This drives them in the path to do bad things and make bad decisions.
In the beginning of the book, the vice principal of Rosa Parks Elementary school said that most

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