Gang Leader for a Day

Charlie and Old Time Character Analysis

Two old men with whom Sudhir converses in a park near the University of Chicago campus. Charlie and Old Time give Sudhir valuable information about black urban community organizations of the ‘60s and ‘70s, but encourage Sudhir to talk to younger men to see how people live and work in the 1980s and ‘90s in Chicago.

Charlie and Old Time Quotes in Gang Leader for a Day

The Gang Leader for a Day quotes below are all either spoken by Charlie and Old Time or refer to Charlie and Old Time. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Hustling Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Gang Leader for a Day published in 2008.
Chapter 1 Quotes

You got blacks who are beating their heads trying to figure out a way to live where you live! Don’t ask me why. And then you got a whole lot of black folk who realize it ain’t no use. Like us. We just spend our time trying to get by, and we live around here, where it ain’t so pretty, but at least you won’t get your ass beat. At least not by the police.

Related Characters: Charlie and Old Time (speaker), Sudhir Venkatesh
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
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Charlie and Old Time Character Timeline in Gang Leader for a Day

The timeline below shows where the character Charlie and Old Time appears in Gang Leader for a Day. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 - How Does It Feel to Be Black and Poor?
Hustling Theme Icon
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
Sudhir meets a group of older men, including two named Charlie and Old Time, in Washington Park, where he often jogs to clear his mind after... (full context)
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
Sudhir appreciates speaking with Charlie and Old Time, but they recommend that he talk to younger men in the neighborhood... (full context)
Chapter 3 – Someone to Watch Over Me
Hustling Theme Icon
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
...charitable, community organization, as he more or less describes it. Sudhir is reminded of comments Charlie and Old Time made, back in Washington Park, about the relationship between Chicago gangs in... (full context)