Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts
The fol lowing essay and two short stories introduce a sequel to the book, The Rockwood Files: Tales from the Hood, which I wrote and published in 2002. The working title of the sequel is Rockwood Revisited. The original work is a collection of inspirational short stories that tell how several courageous inner city residents struggled to rise above obstacles they faced in search of a better life. Set in the fictional neighborhood known as Rockwood Square on Chicago's Westside, the stories chronicle life experiences of several of the neighborhood's past and present residents as seen through the eyes of lifelong resident and recovering drug addict, Tyrone ''T" Bates.
Rockwood Revisited will explore some of the same themes as the original tales, only through different eyes. The stories will be based on discussions and observations from a recent visit I made to the neighborhood Rockwood Square is based on, as well as the myriad of memories the visit conjured up. Al I of the stories are fictionalized accounts of real people and situations. The over-arching theme addresses life in this inner-city neighborhood and the issues the residents face and deal with - some unique, some no different than those of any other American city neighborhood. But these stories will also once again seek to shed light on why some residents flourish in spite of their humble beginnings while others succumb or fail to rise above them.
The stories will span several decades beginning in the I 950's when African Americans first began moving into the neighborhood, and extend through the end of the millennium at which time the demography had transitioned one hundred percent.
Clay, James A., "Rockwood Revisited: More Exciting Tales from the "Hood"" (2009). Theses. 508.
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