I read it. It was hard, hard, hard, hard to read. Aaron has probably had enough of me agonizing audibly while reading. But I see now why it has the attention it does. And I see why the author hesitated in having the movie made for fear of reinforcing negative stereotypes of African Americans.
The author, Sapphire, explained in an NPR interview that her breakout novel, Push, was written after her experience with teaching remedial education to young women from the inner city who had obstacle after obstacle placed in their way on their journey toward education and literacy.
And she states that, now, 13 years after writing Push, she feels that society is better primed to handle the film Precious, based on Push. I still won't be able to see the movie, but I am learning and trying to understand better.
(And I wish my work at the YMCA was helpful- but I am seeing that the children that come to dance class are usually those whose parents get them there and who are involved. What the program offers is reduced rates for top rate dance instruction- it is no where near the price of paying for studio training. That is not to say we don't turn out great dancers- anyhoo- I would like to look into volunteering to teach reading, it seems that literacy is one key to unlocking the door to a better life).