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We Real Cool Written by Gwendolyn Brooks

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“We Real Cool,” written by Gwendolyn Brooks, is a poem talking about a group of young people who obviously think they are real cool. They skip school, hang out late, use swear words, drink and have sex. In their mind this is their definition of “cool” or in other words, this is what makes them a part of the in-crowd. Brooks shows how young people are endangering their lives by doing negative things trying to be cool; they are going to end up dying soon.

Young people are faced with many obstacles and challenges in their everyday life. Young people are surrounded by negative influences that have not only corrupted our minds, but have had a tremendous effect on our actions. For example: the use of underage alcohol consumption.

Alcohol use among young people under twenty-one is the leading drug problem in the United States. In 2004, The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 29% of youth between the ages of 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol. Everyday at least three teens die from drinking and driving. The use of alcohol can lead to some devastating consequences. Not only is underage drinking illegal, but it’s harmful to our health physically, emotionally, and mentally, especially when their bodies are still developing. Most young people fail to realize the dangers of alcohol consumption. They tend to use alcohol as an escape route to forget about their problems, in all reality alcohol may make their problems worse.

Another depressing influence that’s putting young people at risk is unprotected sex. The United States has the highest teenage pregnancy rate of all developed countries. About 860,000 teens become pregnant before the age of twenty. It is obvious that parents are not talking to their children about sex like they should be. Parents need to teach their children that love does not mean sex. They should tell their children about the risks of sex, not only about STD’s and pregnancy but also about the emotional hardships that can evolve from a sexual relationship.

What does it feel like to be seventeen and facing your own death? Sadly as the number of HIV infections among young people climbs, many teens are finding out. The epidemic of HIV began over twenty years ago. However, over 50,000 teens have contracted HIV and progressed to AIDS, many of them dying before the age of twenty. HIV is a big problem for young people. In 2005 it is estimated that there are 2.3 million people under fifteen living

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