So in the spirit of my ten month goal while working in the big apple, I have decided that I will try and read a book every two weeks. Fiction or Nonfiction; it doesn’t really matter. I just want to read a book that will provide a clear perceptive, intense growth and understanding in my life. I find it very important to constantly reflect and improve.
For my first subway book I am reading “Limbo” by Alfred Lubrano. My older sister had to read this book for a sociology class and passed it along to me. I have been reading this 241 page book for one week now and I am nearly finished. The book is about the American class system. Americans with Blue Collar roots moving upward in a White Collar world. It identifies many factors for moving up in a class, but focuses primarily on education as a means of moving upward.
*Blue Collar- working class
*White collar- middle class
Lubrano is a journalist, so I really enjoyed his unique way of telling a story. The book is filled with both reflections and personal stories of different “straddlers” who move upward. I could talk for days about the chapters in this book. But as I am sitting here on the 3 train heading home to BK, I find it only right to reflect on my idea of "class" in respects to my own standing.
It is weird that I've never thought about how "class" effects me. I knew that I am a rare breed stuck between Blue and White Collar life. I knew I was considered middle class but I never really understood why. I recall hiding for bill collectors as a child. I remember moving back from Jamaica and getting my Christmas presents donated to me from the local church because we couldn’t afford it. I also remember going to an extended family member's or friend's house for showers when the water bill wasn’t paid on time. Even with all of my stereotypical working class tendencies, I could never understand how I was considered "middle".
My aunt would always joke around with my family, saying that we were the "richest poor people" that she knew. We some how managed to live a middle and working class life.
Unlike my fellow upper and middle class classmates in college, I didn’t have my dad's credit card on hand. I worked all four years in college so that I can have anything extra. “Extra” was defined as "going out" money and other extra activities. It didn't pertain to food, clothing or shelter. Yes, I could have chose not to work like my sisters in college, but I never wanted to burden my parents. Which to me was a classic working class mentality .