Poverty and Literature

Spring 2016

Mr. Spragins


Essay on Tally’s Corner (1967) by Elliott Liebow


Evaluate the validity of Liebow’s thesis.


Describe the ghetto related behaviors and attitudes which typify the street corner man’s culture.

Does Liebow succeed in making the case that this culture of poverty has been shaped primarily by the lack of career opportunities for black men living in urban neighborhoods? Does this argument refute the Moynihan Report’s understanding of the origin of the culture of poverty?


Does Liebow’s anthropological method, anecdotal evidence, and writer’s intuition enable him to provide convincing support for his argument, or has his perspective been biased by his own  ideological preconceptions and the unbridgeable class and cultural differences which exist between the observer and  the subjects of his study?


This essay is due on Friday, April 15th at 3:30 p.m