In the year 1971 within the folds of a Harlem ghetto, Claireece Precious Jones is born. Her father is a severe alcoholic, and her mother is trying her best to keep the family together. They live in a barely standing section 8 tenement where Claireece’s family has lived for years. As time passes the family’s situation worsens. Her dad drinks more. Her mom enters depression. At 12 years of age, Claireece is raped by her father and has a baby named Mongo who has Down syndrome. Still things get worse.
Four years later, Claireece is living on government assistance and obese at 16 years old because her family cannot afford to eat healthy. Again she is raped by her father and enters her second pregnancy causing her father to dessert her and her mom to pursue a better life. Claireece suffers from routine physical and emotional abuse from her mother who resents her and blames her for their circumstances. She is kicked out of her school, and unable to read or write she feels trapped in this horrible situation.
So what does Claireece do? What are her options? How does she find resources?
Chances are Claireece will not find any resources because more than likely she is unaware of the resources and social services that exist. She probably does not know who to ask for help. Chances are Claireece will not feel as though she has options. Her entire life is confined to just a few blocks. She probably does not know where else to go or what she would do when she got there. Chances are Claireece will remain in her situation, as bad as it may be, and continue the cycle of generational poverty.
You may recognize Claireece’s story from the 2009 film, Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Nevertheless, there are thousands of Claireece’s across the country trapped in generational poverty, looking and begging for a way out. It is up to us to help stop the cycle by starting right here in the East Texas community building bridges out of poverty.