Why do people like to say "they went to the ghetto? Or are "from the street?"

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  1. Dean Traylor profile image94
    Dean Traylorposted 2 years ago

    Why do people like to say "they went to the ghetto? Or are "from the street?"

    Recently, a hubber proclaimed that he "went to the ghetto" and was "from the streets."  It was used in a discussion question; however, this seems to be used by a lot of people who believe it's some type of badge of honor (well, that's my opinion). What kind of message is this person trying to convey? Having worked in an urban setting for more than 15 years, I still find this statement confounding.  (photo: http://www.albundy.net)


  2. lions44 profile image96
    lions44posted 2 years ago

    I have a unique take on this. I grew in a very diverse neighborhood in the east Bronx.  We had black, white, Hispanic, rich and poor (more working class, but still some upper middle holdovers from the 50s).  The buildings were lived in were very large, similar to public housing, but built in the late 30s/early 40s. Many were getting run down at the time. 
    As I got older, there were more African Americans coming into the neighborhood.  Most were from the South Bronx (below 170 St.).  This was an economic step up for them.  So our rec leagues/little league had a nice mix.  But what we found was stunning: the African Americans insisted on calling the neighborhood "the projects,"   It seemed to be done to impress kids from outside the area.  They seemed desperate for "cred."  Many kids who we knew for a long time would change when their friends and relatives would come over.  Calling the buildings projects was all they could do. 
    Whether it be a survival instinct or guilt, people love to say they are "street." 
    Trust me, it was not always fun.  The Bronx is a great place to be from, but I would not want to do it over again.

  3. Annsalo profile image85
    Annsaloposted 2 years ago

    In a sense, being "from the streets" is a badge of honor, same as being from the ghetto, as long as the person managed to get out of the ghetto/streets.

    Living in the ghetto is rough!!! Even the "better" ghettos are still rough. It's also very hard to get out. Being raised in low income neighborhoods implies the parents were poor. Poor parents are not able to provide for their children as well as better off parents. Poor children have less chances of graduating, going to college, or getting good paying jobs.

    I'm from "the streets" in a lot of ways. I managed to move out of that and make my life decent so in a way it is sort of my badge of honor. I made it up. I got an education.

    What I don't understand are people bragging about BEING in the ghetto, or those who don't want to get out of the ghetto. The ones who simply like being in the ghetto are delusional in my opinion. It's quite sad.

    1. dashingscorpio profile image87
      dashingscorpioposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      They either don't want people to think they "sold out" or they lack the self confidence to assimilate in mainstream society. You also see this with some former prisoners who have become "institutionalized". They're out of their comfort zone.

  4. dashingscorpio profile image87
    dashingscorpioposted 2 years ago


    Essentially anyone who spouts off about where they are from with "swagger" in their voice is attempting to say they are "tough" or "street smart". In other words "You don't want to mess with me!"
    Instead of saying: "I'm from LA" they'll say "I'm from South Central" or "East LA". Instead saying they're from Chicago they'll say: "I'm from (the South side) or the (West side) of Chicago", "I'm from East St. Louis!" "I'm from the Bronx", "I'm from Brooklyn!"....etc (It's an attempt to gain respect.) They want you to know they didn't grow up in the {nice part} of the city with a "silver spoon" in their mouth.
    They know how to "hustle" and survive! (They're not weak.)
    That's the message they want to send out.
    Pride is a strange thing: If one had nothing they brag about it. Otherwise the alternative is to walk in shame or pretend they had more than they did. Bragging about growing up in a tough area is their way of turning a negative into a positive.
    Somehow saying "I'm from Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, The Hamptons, Manhattan, or West Palm Beach doesn't quite put the fear of God in people. smile
    The perception on "the street" is if you grew up in an affluent neighborhood such as Beverly Hills, CA you're probably "soft".
    You lack "street smarts" and could never survive tough times.
    "You might kick my ass but I'll sue your pants off!" LOL!

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