The book, Rosa Lee, is about the life of an urban, black woman and her children. Leon Dash, a journalist for the Washington Post, faithfully kept an eleven-year appointment with Rosa's family. He took them to methadone clinics for appointments, he took them out to lunch. They liked him, he learned to love them despite all their devious behaviors.
One single ray of hope is that youngsters can grow up in a family that barely exists if the child has one caring adult that continues to be a dependable role model. Two of Mama Rosa's five children are not on drugs, are not in prison and are not living on the street. Why? Each of these kids had a caring mentor - one of the mentors was a teacher, the other was a school counselor.