Three Generations of a Harlem Family
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 755 , Segment 1
Episode: Three Generations of a Harlem Family, A Surgeon on the Frontiers of Pediatric Medicine
- Feb 24, 2018
- 51:17 mins
Guests: Co-Authors Bruce Haynes, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Davis, and Syma Solovitch, “Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family” Sociologist Bruce Haynes is an authority on race and urban communities, so his memoir “Down the Up Staircase” looks intimately at his own family’s quest for the American Dream in the 20th century, and at the bigger picture of social forces that empowered and ravaged black communities across America. Haynes, his parents and his grandparents all got college degrees. His grandparents were famous members of Harlem’s elite creative and political class in the early 1900s. His parents raised him in an enormous mansion in Harlem’s fanciest neighborhood, dressed him in clothes from Saks Fifth Avenue and sent him to private prep schools. And yet, Haynes compares the experience of black middle class life to walking a tight rope – “each generation one misstep from free fall.” His family was no exception: One of his brothers was gunned down in the street. Another fell into a vortex of drugs and crime.