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Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807004235, Paperback)Long before U.S. News and World Report named him one of America's Best Leaders and Oprah Winfrey called him "an angel from God," Geoffrey Canada was a small, vulnerable, scared boy growing up in the South Bronx. Canada's world was one where "sidewalk" boys learned the codes of the block and were ranked through the rituals of fist, stick, and knife. Then the streets changed, and the stakes got even higher. In this candid and riveting memoir, Canada relives a childhood in which violence stalked every street corner. "If you wonder how a fourteen-year-old can shoot another child his own age in the head and then go home to dinner," Canada writes, "you need to know you don't get there in a day, or week, or month. It takes years of preparation to be willing to commit murder, to be willing to kill or die for a corner, a color, or a leather jacket."
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)
Through shattering storytelling, Geoffrey Canada recreates his childhood world, one in which the "sidewalk" boys learned the codes of the block from their elders and were ranked - and to some degree protected - through the rituals of fist, stick, and knife. He gives a cogent, chilling analysis of how, through an unforeseen chain of consequences set in motion in the 1960s by New York Governor Rockefeller's drug laws, everything changed on the streets. And there is a portrait of present reality - of drive-by shootings, of ever-younger, automatic weapon-toting drug runners, of gun manufacturers' cold-blooded marketing of guns to children - which follows logically from our nation's public stance on children and violence, and yet still, to this gifted writer and passionate child advocate, makes no sense at all. The author's vision for a changed future for these children, and so for our nation as a whole, is backed up by descriptions of Canada's acclaimed and innovative inner-city programs for children and their families - Peacemakers, Beacon Schools, and the Harlem Freedom Schools. His is a vision that includes governmental, community, and personal innovation and bravery and one that offers indelible stories of lives lost and of lives turned around.
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