Between Good and Ghetto

African American Girls and Inner-City Violence


With an outward gaze focused on a better future, Between Good and Ghetto reflects the social world of inner city African American girls and how they manage threats of personal violence.

Drawing on personal encounters, traditions of urban ethnography, Black feminist thought, gender studies, and feminist criminology, Nikki Jones gives readers a richly descriptive and compassionate account of how African American girls negotiate schools and neighborhoods governed by the so-called "code of the street"ùthe form of street justice that governs violence in distressed urban areas. She reveals the multiple strategies they use to navigate interpersonal and gender-specific violence and how they reconcile the gendered dilemmas of their adolescence. Illuminating struggles for survival within this group, Between Good and Ghetto encourages others to move African American girls toward the center of discussions of "the crisis" in poor, urban neighborhoods.

  • Rutgers University Press; October 2009
  • ISBN 9780813548258
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Between Good and Ghetto
  • Author: Nikki Jones
  • Imprint: Rutgers University Press

In The Press

"This book adds invaluable information and analysis to the growing debate on the violence perpetrated by girls, and the ethnographic method is exactly what is needed to further the question of whether today's girls—particularly those most marginalized due to class, race, and neighborhood—are more violent."