There Are No Children Here

by

Alex Kotlowitz

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Jimmie Lee Character Analysis

Jimmie Lee is the head of the Conservative Vice Lords gang and reigns through fear over the Henry Horner Homes, as he controls the trafficking of drugs, the punishment of “snitchers,” and the defense of his territory against rival gangs. At the same time, he impresses Horner residents with his gentlemanly attitude, his refusal to let young adolescents join his gang, and his surprisingly moderate use of drugs and alcohol. Despite seemingly having more control over Horner than the police, Lee is finally arrested and condemned to thirty years in prison for drug trafficking.

Jimmie Lee Quotes in There Are No Children Here

The There Are No Children Here quotes below are all either spoken by Jimmie Lee or refer to Jimmie Lee. 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:
Family, Love, and Care Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of There Are No Children Here published in 1991.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Lafeyette, Pharoah, and the other children knew to keep their distance from Jimmie Lee. But they also knew that he and no one else—not the mayor, the police, or the housing authority—ruled Henry Horner. The boys never had reason to speak to Lee or to meet him, but his very presence and activities ruled their lives.

Related Characters: Alex Kotlowitz (speaker), Lafeyette Rivers, Pharoah Rivers, Jimmie Lee
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

“To treat this as a cause célèbre, to give this man some long, long term in prison, is not going to change the narcotics problem. I wish I knew the answer—maybe some form of legalization, something to take the profit out of it. I don’t know. But I know it doesn’t stop it by giving people long terms in prison.”

Related Characters: Jimmie Lee’s Lawyer (speaker), Jimmie Lee
Page Number: 137-138
Explanation and Analysis:
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Jimmie Lee Character Timeline in There Are No Children Here

The timeline below shows where the character Jimmie Lee appears in There Are No Children Here. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Family, Love, and Care Theme Icon
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
One July day, Jimmie Lee, the head of the Conservative Vice Lords gang, gets out of his car at Horner... (full context)
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Jimmie Lee and his gang control Henry Horner and have more authority than any other group, including... (full context)
Family, Love, and Care Theme Icon
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Surprisingly, while Lee is dangerous because he rules over a variety of crimes, he is also seen as... (full context)
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
...someone die before his eyes. In a fight to take control of Henry Horner, Jimmie Lee’s Vice Lords killed a young member of a rival gang, the Disciples, whom Lafeyette watched... (full context)
Chapter 5
Family, Love, and Care Theme Icon
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
...and communicating with dogs, becomes involved in gang activity, finding love and protection in Jimmie Lee’s organization even though he does not actually deal drugs. Before joining a gang himself, Bird... (full context)
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
Jimmie Lee soon arrives on the crime scene and immediately proceeds to lead a group of Vice... (full context)
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
...impassive during the ceremony. The service takes place in an uncomfortably humid atmosphere. Even Jimmie Lee attends, serving as a pallbearer. (full context)
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
...could happen to anyone else in the crowd. At the end of the speech, Jimmie Lee thanks the young girl for her thoughtful words. Pharoah and James begin to cry when... (full context)
Chapter 14
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
A few weeks earlier, Jimmie Lee was arrested for possession of a large quantity of heroin. Despite escaping law enforcement for... (full context)
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
At the trial, the prosecution attempts to prove that Jimmie Lee is the head of the Vice Lords. Charlie Toussas recounts Lee’s plan to take revenge... (full context)
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
In the end, the judge sentences Lee to the maximum sentence, thirty years in prison. News travels fast from the court room... (full context)
Chapter 15
Violence and Growing Up Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
In the weeks following Jimmie Lee’s conviction, violence at Horner slows down a bit. This allows Pharoah’s stutter to subside, and... (full context)
A Note on Reporting Methods
Family, Love, and Care Theme Icon
Justice and the Law Theme Icon
...relied on numerous reports and interviews to discuss events such as Craig Davis’s shooting, Jimmie Lee’s life, and the history of Horner and Chicago. (full context)