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Lorene Cary was a black female in a predominately white male society. She chose to go to a boarding school in hope of becoming someone in the future. By making this choice she had to leave her family and closest friends behind, and the issue of retaining her black heritage arose. Cary wanted to succeed in life and set and example for other young black children to follow, but she didn’t want to sell out and leave her black heritage behind in the process. Through this book we discover how Cary was able to over come the challenges facing her and thrive as a young black female without losing her identity. We also learn what society Cary envisions for black youth. We come to understand that she wants young black children to succeed and not fall through the cracks in the ice ahead of them.


The answer to the challenges facing her is illustrated in the title of the book that records her time at St. Pauls. Black Ice refers to what Cary believes will be the perfect world for blacks if they don’t adopt white culture as their own. Cary pictures a world in which her children will move with grace and ease toward success, skating on the strength of their own culture as opposed to falling through the thinner ice of a substitute culture


not strong enough to support them as aspiring black youth. She beings her book by quoting, “ Shall it no longer be said of the daughters of Africa, they have no ambition …?” (begging).


Cary wanted black students to appreciate school, and know that through hard work they will be able to achieve and succeed in life. In one part of the book she says, If you get a really good report card, you feel like you better hide it on the way home (p. 6). I can say that this is true; often in schools students tend to look down on people who are doing good. The kids who are “Gangster” or tuff are the ones that are modeled. However, Cary wants black children to appreciate the values of leaning and be able to stand tall and proud showing that blacks can become important in life. She wants future black children to represent the intellect that black people have; which is hidden in the stereotypes inflicted upon them by society.





In her book she also tells about her belief that blacks should form and work to meet higher standards for themselves, leaving behind the aspects of black culture that encourage youth to become drug dealers, gang members, and gunmen. Cary hopes that blacks can learn and work together, so the future generations can thrive, but she say, “we don’t stick together” ( p. 10). Hopefully blacks can learn to work together as one so their children can grow up and become inspiring young role models.


Black Ice is a compelling autobiographical narrative. As American society becomes increasingly multiracial, more and more young people find themselves as Lorene Cary did, in a strange and unfamiliar world. By attending St. Paul Lorene was


able to find her self and figure out what she wanted in life. She was also able to reflect on her world before St. Paul and see how it can change for the better.





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