A term originating from Claude Brown's 1965 memoir "Man-Child in the Promised Land" about growing up in the streets of 1940s and 50s Harlem, NYC, one of the earliest and most powerful accounts of ghetto life and its culture. A "Man-Child" originally referred to a boy or adolescent from the streets who was prematurely exposed to and knowledgeable about sex, violence and crime, incarceration, adult responsibility for younger siblings due to a dysfunctional home, and hustling to make a living.
You think life in the 'hood is rough now? Check out Brown's book one day. By the time he was 15 he'd already been locked up, hustling for a living and doing whatever he had to to survive as a man-child on the streets.
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