Rosa Lee: A Mother and Her Family in Urban America (Essay Sample)
Rosa Lee: A Mother and Her Family in Urban America.
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The Case of Rosa Lee
The Case of Rosa Lee
Name: Rosa Lee Cunningham
Date of Interviews: 23/3/2015
Evaluator: Leon Dash
Reason for Assessment
Rosa Lee Cunningham is a 54-year-old African American woman who is of average height and has a slim body. Rose Lee has a husband but has lived with him for over forty years. She has eight adult children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She currently stays with three of her children. Her source of income is from the sale of illegal drugs, sale of stolen goods, and shoplifting. She receives money from the governmental benefits. A hospital admitted her for substance abuse and she has used the opportunity to receive additional income through a governmental program CITATION Leo96 \l 1033 (Dash, 1996).
Sources of Information
The report is from the book by Leon Dash-A Mother and Her Family in Urban America and the interview he conducted on Rosa Lee and her family. The report has both direct and interpretive observations as he observed her and her family CITATION Leo96 \l 1033 (Dash, 1996).
Rosa Lee is an only girl in a family of boys. Her mother was a homemaker while her father was an alcoholic. She had no role model for morality, as her mother was cruel. Her mother believed that the position of a girl was at home learning to do house chores as the boys went to school to study CITATION Leo96 \l 1033 (Dash, 1996). Education was not a priority for Rosa Lee and she spent her days in domestic work. She would chop wood, scrub rooms, carry heavy luggage, and cater for her family's needs.
In her need to please her mother and gain her affection, she would steal or shoplift good things to give her mother, who would later reprimand her or inspect them and approve of them. Her mother would always intimidate her work or physically harm her whenever she displeased her. Rosa Lee felt that she did not get enough love and affection from her mother and she would try her best to get close to her. Her father did not try to be a better role model as he was an alcoholic. He tried to treat her better as he indulged her with a few coins he could spare especially when he was drunk.
Regarding her education, Rosa lee fared poorly in school as she felt her poor status held her back from performing. As she was a slow learner, her favorite teacher threw her out of class and went to a class she did not like. Since she went to a class she less preferred, she did not develop her literacy skills and was never serious at school from then on.
When she got to her teenage years, she began noticing that while others wore better clothes, she wore tartars. With the need to belong and the growing desire for other children to notice her, she began shoplifting. Stealing became desirous as she could hide merchandise below her skirt or into her bag. This type of behavior became troublesome for her that in her thirteenth year she got pregnant. She stopped schooling to have the baby that her mother took care of for her CITATION Leo96 \l 1033 (Dash, 1996). Soon after, she had multiple pregnancies that she has many children before her twentieth birthday.
She justified her promiscuity as the need to leave her mother's home. When she was successful, she got a husband who beat her and soon she was back in her mother's house. Her mother had coerced her husband in the first place through threats.
She had to feed her children and resorted to prostitution and selling of illegal drugs. To her it was a means of survival. However, welfare checks were her steady mode of income but her mother took full control of its use. Rosa Lee intended to bring up her children right as she disapproved her mother's way. She remembered her life was full of beatings and cursing and she swore that those traumatic events and pai...
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