And Still We Rise Study Guide

Part 2: Fall (Cont.)

The Proposition is what all of the teachers and administrators in Crenshaw are talking about. Cassandra Roy, the school’s college counselor drops by Little’s class to remind them about college applications. Meanwhile, Braxton remains conservative about his view on the proposition. He still worries about Toya and her situation. At 3:15, Sabreen arrives in Braxton’s office. Charles Oshiro, Sabreen’s counselor, informs her that it’s illegal for her to work 40 hours a week and still be in high school. She tells him that she wants to be emancipated from the system. She plans on marrying her fiancé and go to college to be a doctor.


By Friday, she decided to drop out of Crenshaw and get emancipated. Braxton couldn’t change her mind anymore. He wished her luck and asked her to call or write. Little cried when she found out that Sabreen was leaving school. Sabreen arrives at the children’s court on a Tuesday morning, making sure that she looked mature for the judge. Her mother was there with a friend. Her mother’s friend approached her and handed her a copy of “The Gift of Forgiveness” and told the child that it changed her life. Sabreen went into court and was told that she could only be emancipated on her 19th birthday. The judge let her pick out two toys—a doll and a yellow teddy bear before sending her off. Sabreen has a plan B, though. She’ll ask for her cousin to be named as her legal guardian. However, she’ll rent an apartment with her boyfriend and get married in a few months’ time.

Little announced that she had just finished grading all of the essays that her class had made about The Crucible. She gave two grades for the paper: one for content, another one for writing style. Olivia was worried about her grade because she rushed the paper, but was relieved when she found out that she had the highest grade. On the other hand, Little was disappointed at Sadi. He knew that his writing was getting weaker. After class, he went to Braxton’s office to ask for help. He tells Braxton about how his auto mechanics teacher, Daniel Vidaure, took his CD player. Braxton walked with him to the class to get the player back. Braxton managed to convince Vidaure to let Sadi back into his class. While walking back, Sadi revealed that he wants to get into Clark College in Atlanta.

On a Friday afternoon in the middle of November, the Crenshaw football team is playing against Dorsey High School. This is more than just a match, as Crenshaw is a Crip school, and Dorsey is a Blood territory. Games between the two schools are never held in the evenings to avoid gang violence. There are no AP English students on the football team, but there are several cheerleaders, including Miesha.

The next piece that the AP English students will be working on is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Boy by James Joyce. Little introduces the novel by asking her class about the significance of novels. Out of all the pieces that she teaches to her students, this one had always been her favorite. She wants her students to identify with Stephen Dedalus, the protagonist of the story.

At 8AM, before her next class, Little finds that her classroom door was vandalized. She ignores it and teaches her class like normal. She tells her class that their next assignment is to write an autobiography. When she was about to hand out the graded assignments, she reveals to her class that her dog ate some of their assignments. She asks the students what shaped them to become the person that they are now.

Later in the week, Latisha drops by and sees Little. She has shown little interest in the class since the first day. Little was surprised when the girl told her that Portrait of the Artist is a pleasant experience for her. She said that she identifies well with James Joyce’s work. So many experiences in the book were similar to hers. Latisha grew up in a housing project in Huntsville, Alabama. When she was in elementary, she longed to be a part of her school’s gifted program. She took a special IQ test and got in. Her world was shattered when her mother’s boyfriend started abusing her. The abuse ended after her mother split up with the man, around the time she was finishing elementary school. When she was in junior high, another horror had begun; her mother started using crack and used to leave Latisha and her brother for days. When she was in eighth grade, she was sent to Los Angeles to live with her father. However, her father didn’t have any room for her in his house, so she was sent to live with his sister instead. She was miserable. She managed to persuade her father to rent a bigger place and eventually moved in with him. In the ninth grade, she was enrolled to Crenshaw and became an alcoholic at fifteen. She didn’t tell anybody about the abuse because of her fear and shame. Eventually, she told an aunt in Alabama. This helped her towards the road to transformation and regained her enthusiasm for school. Latish struggled with her autobiography because she had to recount her past once again. She wants to prove to everyone that despite her past, she can become successful. When she was crowned homecoming queen of Crenshaw, she proved that the abuse did not destroy her.

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Celis, Christine. "TheBestNotes on And Still We Rise". TheBestNotes.com. . 09 May 2017
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Summary of And Still We Rise by Miles Corwin