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Rosa Lee, by Leon Dash

Rosa Lee: A Mother and Her Family in Urban America
by Leon Dash
279 pages (trade paperback)
Genre: Nonfiction/Documentary

This book is a semi-compilation of a Pulitzer-Prize-winning article series Dash wrote for the Washington Post. It tells the story of Rosa Lee, a typical (or so Dash presents her) example of the black urban underclass. Her story starts off as compelling and poignant, but about a third of my way through the book, Dash's disjointed storytelling became merely repetitive and boring. The "plot" is a depressing cycle of multi-generational poverty/welfare/drug use, i.e. a case study of a poor urban black family. Ultimately, interesting for the academic sociological information, but not remotely entertaining for me as a "regular" reader.

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January 2011

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