We have been led to believe that the ghetto culture is wholly negative, and there is nothing positive about it. But this notion is not true. There are some positive aspects in ghetto culture. And whenever we think about the ghetto culture, it is important for us to focus on these positive aspects. We need to do this, while always reminding ourselves one thing: that many of the people who find themselves living in the ghettos are not there by choice. It is circumstances that force them to be there. The ghetto culture arises as those people try to adopt to the circumstances they find themselves in. The positive aspects of ghetto culture include:
- Resilience: the people who live in the ghettos tend to be highly resilient individuals. This resilience grows over time, as the people try to cope with the vagaries that are thrown their way. The resilience is then inherited, and improved with each subsequent generation.
- Ambition: contrary to the widely held opinion, the people who live in the ghetto don’t lack ambition. They are (typically) very ambitious individuals. Some go to great lengths, to improve their lives. It is just that the ‘system’ seems to be against them. That is why, for instance, if a company like Nordstrom is setting up a new store, you are likely to find a good number of people from the surrounding ghettos looking for work there. Such individuals tend to go to great lengths, in their Mynordstrom sign up attempts. That is to say that they go to great lengths, showing up for interviews and networking with the ‘senior people’. All this they do trying to get jobs at Nordstrom: which would then give them unfettered Mynordstrom access. You simply can’t accuse them of lacking ambition.
- Community life: whereas life in the ‘better’ suburbs tends to be individualistic, life in the ghettos on the other hand tends to be communal. People share the little they have. People are always there to cheer each other up. People tend to be more accepting in the ghettos and community life there is generally strong.
- Vibrancy: ghetto life tends to be more vibrant than life in the so-called ‘better’ suburbs. This is largely due to the close proximity with which people are forced to live in the ghetto – unlike the ‘better’ suburbs, where there are picket fences and gates to separate the people.