Proximity to Violence

HBV is squarely located in the poorest congressional district in New York. A part of the city referred to in the The New York Times as “a pocket of the city awash with guns” (Baker, McKinley Jr., and Southall, 2017, p2), it’s no wonder that this section of the Bronx suffers from incredibly high violent crime rates. In a series of articles on murder in the Bronx, The New York Times quoted the New York Police Department as calling the Bronx “the department’s most violent and underserved borough” (Baker and Mueller, 2017, p1). I should point out here, that not once walking to or from HBV did I feel overtly unsafe; however, there were a few nights when I picked up the pace a tiny bit on the way to catch my train. That twinge of discomfort, or hint of fear, is what I’m curious about as having an effect on the voice. As the children walk to school, walk to HBV, or walk home in a section of New York that is “awash with guns,” it makes me wonder—does this environment have an impact on their voices?

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