"We Live in the Shadow": Inner-City Kids Tell Their Stories through Photographs

Elaine Bell Kaplan
Book Cover

PB: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0790-0
Publication: Jun 13

HC: $81.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0789-4
Publication: Jun 13

Ebook: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0791-7

208 pages
6 x 9
3 tables, 53 halftones

The inner-city world of young at-risk teens though their powerful photos and stories

Read Chapter 1 (pdf).


Looking at their photo of railroad tracks, a group of preteen students in South Central Los Angeles see either "a way out of the ghetto," or a "dirty, bad environment." Such are the impressions expressed in the poignant "We Live in the Shadow": Inner-City Kids Tell Their Stories through Photographs. In Elaine Bell Kaplan's perceptive book, at-risk youth were given five-dollar cameras to tell stories about their world. Their photos and stories show us their response to negative inner-city teen images. We follow them into their schools, and we hear about their creative coping strategies. While these kids see South Central as dangerous, they also see themselves as confident enough to not let the inner-city take them down. They refuse to be labeled as "ghetto thugs," as outsiders sometimes do. These outsiders include police, teachers, and other groups representing the institutional voices governing their daily lives. The kids in "We Live in the Shadow": Inner-City Kids Tell Their Stories through Photographs have developed a multilayered view of society. This impressive book gives voice to their resilience.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Part I: Kids with Cameras 1. “What Do You Want to Tell Me about This Picture?” 2. The Photovoice Methodology Part II: History and Transformation of South Central 3. “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central while Drinking Your Juice in the Hood” 4. “Send Them All to Iraq” Part III: Kids’ School Stories 5. Teachers and Dirty Bathrooms 6. “She’s Gettin’ Her Learn On” Part IV: Kids’ Neighborhood Stories 7. “I Was Just Scared” 8. Garbage, Alleyways, and Painted Doors Part V: Kids’ Family Stories 9. Strain of a Heart 10. To Hope for Something Appendix A: Participants by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Age Appendix B: University of Southern California Neighborhood Academic Initiative Program Graduate Survey, 1997–2011 Appendix C: Assignments and Questionnaire Notes Index

About the Author(s)

Elaine Bell Kaplan is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California, and author of Not Our Kind of Girl: Unraveling the Myths of Black Teenage Motherhood.