While there is considerable information on job opportunities and employment patterns, or lack thereof, for African Americans in the new economy, there is virtually no information on how African Americans view the world of work and how they attempt to navigate that world. From the Edge of the Ghetto examines how one group of African Americans conceptualizes the world of work, including the types of jobs that may be available and the skills and talents needed to find and do such jobs. Based on interviews with one hundred low-income African Americans in a suburb near Detroit, this study focuses on how people on the margins take stock of their situations and attempt to function in them. It addresses the questions of what they think are the “good” jobs, how they assess their own skills, and how they connect the two. It also explores how these individuals experience social categories such as race, class, and gender and how these impact their understanding of the world of work.