Taking its title from the name given to a section of Brooklyn that is one of the most dangerous areas in our country, The Ville is the true story of life in an urban ghetto. This two mile scar running through New York City is raw with the highest concentration of methadone clinics, homeless shelters, and homicides.
Racial conflict and violence are rampant in our inner cities today. As a teacher in some of Brooklyn's toughest schools, Donaldson knows this landscape well, describes it unsparingly, and challenges many accepted nostrums about inner city life - why kids drop out, whether or not they really want to work, the use of guns and drugs.
The Ville chronicles a year in the 75th precinct where 50,000 people live in the projects. Life is seen through the eyes of two black males, Gary Lemite, a young Housing police officer, and Sharron Corley, a member of a gang called the Lo-Lifes.
Donaldson's picture of cops and kids in urban America is both searing and hopeful. It is an image that will not be erased by our refusing to look at it.
- Gail Cooke
The review of this Book prepared by The Snide Gail Cooke