In examining the lives of the two Wes Moors, one cannot help but consider the influences of certain key elements of the public space in both men's lives. While the public space inhabited by one Wes Moore led him to succeed in life while his counterpart failed, it was the common challenges they experienced in the public space, which drew the two men together. Three such elements of the public space, namely, the narrow sense of self-identity imposed on Black urban youth, their relationship with authority, and the educational opportunities they are presented, were largely responsible for many of the challenges faced by both Wes Moores (and thousands of young men like them) as they grew up. Only by changing these dimensions of the public space can similar young men expect to achieve a greater degree of freedom and opportunity in life.
The Self-identity crisis in our society dictates the achievements and expectations communities have grown to accept from young adults. As Moore points out growing up without a father had such a negative impact on his life, even though his father died, "Your father wasn't there because he couldn't be, my father wasn't there because he chose not to be. Therefore, we are going to mourn their absence differently." know matter the circumstances of growing up without a father, it leaves a shattered sense of self to the chlid. The absence of a male figure in household leaves a psychological legacy with far reaching deficits. The expextations for these kids are to grow up and lead a life of crime and drugs. The example of Wes’s experience in South Africa allows us to see the differences and similarities our societies share when raising young men. . In Langa, South Africa, at 17 the boys went off with their elders for weeks for a ceremonial circumcision, this is a rite of passage and when they return they are treated as men with respect. In the US these same kids at the same age would be feared in their community. What does that say about our society, we fear our future. Wes feels the way to combat this crisi we must take a societal approach and implement mentoring programs in rual and urban communities. The lessons that become easy to recognize is the leadership component both Wes’s thrived through. We saw this when the other Wes went into his job program and now in jail, he is a leader. Providing options for these kids and single parent homes is crucial to change the future.
The narrow sense of self-identity imposed on Black urban youth needs to be highlighted. For almost as long as black people have been in this country, they have had a complicated relationship with law enforcement—and vice versa. But the situation in the 1980s felt like a new low. Drugs had brought fear to both sides of the equation. One could see it in the people in the neighborhood, intimidated by the drug dealers and gangs, harassed by the petty crimes of the crack heads, and frightened by the sometimes arbitrary and aggressive behavior of the cops themselves. On the other end of the relationship, the job of policemen, almost overnight, had gotten significantly tougher. The tide of drugs was matched by a tide of guns. The high-stakes crack trade brought a new level of competition and organization to the streets.
The educational opportunities Black youth were presented were very less. Wes often struggled to find the place where he would fit. At his private school, he was too black and in his neighborhood in the Bronx, he was too white. Wes felt like he had to act white or act black depending on which environment he was in. Justin was Wes‘s closest friend during childhood. He was one of the only other black students at the private school they attended. Despite personal tragedies, such as the deaths of his parents and his own battles with cancer, he became successful and remains one of Wes‘s friends. His obsession with hip-hop kept him credible with the kids in his neighborhood. It let them know that, regardless of his school affiliation, he still understood. Hip-hop also gave the kids in myhis school a point of entry into his life: Public Enemy‘s black nationalist anthems or KRS-One‘s pulpy fantasies about gunning down crack dealers offered a window into a world that before hip-hop had seemed foreign to those who even dared to look through.
Having an advocate on the inside-someone who had gotten to know him and understood his story on a personal level, had obviously helped. It made him think deeply about the way privilege and preference work in the world, and how many kinds who did not have luck like him in this instance would find themselves forever outside the ring of power and prestige. So many opportunities in this country were apportioned in this arbitrary and miserly way, distributed to those who already had the benefit or a privileged legacy.
Both Wes Moores often lament the cyclical nature of their communities: to provide a better life for oneself and ones family, one needs an education and a job, but to get an education and a job, one needs money. It can be difficult to stop the cycle of poverty, violence, etc. in a family or community.
In conclusion, Wes Moore has delivered an example to people, especially the younger generation that they need to work hard and never give up. The events, from the point of view of Wes Moore himself, gives a first-hand look at problems such as racism, fitting in, and a difficult home life. It keeps the race of life guessing, throwing curveballs left and right. Wes Moore grew up in Baltimore and lived most of his childhood in the Bronx. The story starts out right in the middle of the action with the loss of their fathers. One decision after another affects each of the two’s future. However, only one of the Moores will recognize the difference between second chances and last chances. This creates an unbalance between the contrasts of both lives, which can impede on the overall comparison between the two Moores.