So much has been said and written about black community and the challenges it has to face due to dismal poverty that another book on the same topic doesn't always spark much interest. However Ron Sacking's A hope in the Unseen doest suffer the same fate since it is based on a true story of one black boy's rise from ghettos to the Ivy League. It is not everyday that we meet such courageous boys and for this reason, the public warmly welcomed both the book and the boy.
Cendric Jennings is not your typical protagonist because unlike other heroes, he actually exists and has actually been through all the rough and tough times mentioned in the book. This is what makes him a real hero and a real source of inspiration for millions of black young men out there who have passively resigned to fate believing they can never get rid of their dismal poverty. Cendric makes them take a good look at the lives and see what is it that has made him a success while his peers are still suffering in the ghettos. You don't need to go very deep into the book to answer this question and to find out what did Cendric have that others lacked. 'Hope' and a strong faith in the future were what Cendric held on too and these were the only things that gave him strength to look beyond his immediate circumstances.
Hope plays a very important role in the book, which actually reads like a highly engrossing work of fiction. From the very beginning, Cendric was told that the only thing that would ever help him succeed was 'hope' in the future. His mother, Barbara, being a devout Churchwoman made Cendric believe in the power of God and to have faith in the future. Cendric held on to these beliefs during his rough days at school where he was a misfit since he was more a straight A student.
Cendric has been told that "distinctiveness is a dangerous thing" and to a large extent that was true especially in the ghettos where academic success was equivalent to being white. But through it all, Cendric knows that he can succeed if he doesn't let go of hope and strong faith that he had in God. It is interesting that Cendric didn't consider hope and faith to be the same things. He maintained that faith was the substance on which hope could be based. It was the light that could help you reach your destination. The following passage illustrates the difference between faith and hope as Cendric saw it and also highlights the significance of hope in Cendric's life.
Oh God, what now?" Cedric says, grabbing his book bag, shaking his head with a there-you-go-again grin.
Hebrews 11:1," says Mr. Taylor. 'The substance of faith is a hope in the unseen.'"
NO. Wrong -- you messed it!" Cedric laughs. "It goes: 'Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' Man, Mr. Taylor, you always getting 'em wrong."
Mr. Taylor howls. "All right, extra point for you," but, as usual, he wrestles the boy back to middle ground, thwarting an outright victory. "The Word, of course, is the Word my young friend. But make it into what's right for you. That's the lesson for today. Take from the Holy Scripture only what you need, nothing more." (49-50)
While Hope plays an important role in everyone's life, it holds a special place in the lives of less fortunate people, especially those who have nothing else to hold on too. Cendric is one such person. He was born into a very poor house with no father. His mother had only one thing to look forward to and that was a better future for Cendric. However to create that, she had to work really hard and instill in Cendric a burning desire to succeed. This desire required very strong faith so Cendric could hope for a better future. Hope in the Unseen however requires immense patience and an unflinching faith. These were ingrained in Cendric and it was because of hope that he rose from the ghettos to reach amazing heights of success. His acceptance at Brown University proved that hope did play a significant role in Cendric's life because without hope, he would have never worked hard and would have remained in the ghettos all…