I propose to open my mind as wide as possible to allow my readers the first ever glimpse at South Central from my side of the gun, street, fence and wall.
After pumping eight blasts from a sawed-off shotgun at a group of rival gang members, twelve-year-old Kody Scott was initiated into the L.A. gang the Crips. He quickly matured into one of the most formidable Crip combat soldiers, earning the name ‘Monster’ for committing acts of brutality and violence that repulsed even his fellow gang members. When the inevitable jail term confined him to a maximum-security cell, a complete political and personal transformation followed: from Monster to Sanyika Shakur, Black nationalist, member of the New Afrikan Independence Movement and crusader against the causes of gangsterism.
In a document that has been compared to The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice, Shakur makes palpable the despair and decay of America’s inner cities and gives eloquent voice to one aspect of the Black experience today.
The story of one man's painful spiritual journey from violence toward transcendence . . . attests not only to Shakur's journalistic eye for observation, but also to his novelistic skills as a storyteller, an ear for street language that is as perfectly pitched as Richard Price's, a feeling for character and status potentially as rich as Tom Wolfe's. This is a startling and galvanic book. -- Michiko Kakutani * New York Times * Unquestionably one of the most disturbingly authentic triumphs of the human spirit ever executed in print. * Los Angeles Times * [An] electrifying life story: an angry, stunningly violent odyssey through gang warfare and prison to redemption. * Kirkus Reviews * A compelling and frightening, bizarre, yet insightful insider's look at the society that spawned gangs and the gang's violent retaliation within it. * Quarterly Black Review of Books *
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