Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Apocalypse, New Jersey

Simona's picture

It is strange--I just reflected on how hopeful, joyful, and warm the folks in Camden were the other day. But then, this article on Camden portrayed nothing but hopelessness, anger, and violence. Such contradictory impressions of a place. It makes me wonder just how individuals judge a place, how they make those distinctions. Perhaps it has to do with who you talk to and what you experience. I felt like this article was quite problematic—it only portrayed one way of perceiving Camden. Yes, there is a lot of crime. But that doesn’t always have to define a place, right? But I also don’t want to trivialize the serious issues in Camden. It’s a hard balance to find. And also, if you’re only ever told you are a dangerous person and you live in a dangerous hopeless place, will you ever grow up feeling like you can achieve? Will the kids we worked with the other day get caught in this system of oppression? I hope they hold on to the joy and ambition they found in that greenhouse, regardless of both the physical danger they may face in Camden, and the mental danger they face of being told they are hopeless.