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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member

I was pleasantly surprised when my teacher assigned this as one of our required readings. Monster Kody Scott was initiated into the Crips at age 11. By age 16 his body count had to be well over 50. By 18, he was in and out of courts, juvenile halls, and eventually prisons. This autobiography is a tell all on gang violence, but more importantly, black on black violence. Monster was an Eight Tray Gangster, he went on to become an O.G. which could quite possibly be the highest honor in the gang world. But in the real world, what did that mean for his daughter? The violence all around the 'hood was too much to ignore. Violence is met with violence. If they were on enemy territory, you can expect bullets to be flying. If enemies came into their territory, people were going to be put down. These children, and I say children because that's what they were, were going out to find people to kill. They were going out to steal weapons, pick fights, and stake out the enemies! They were literally going out LOOKING for trouble! Monster finally realized the absurdity of gang life while he was in prison. He began attending Muslim services and learning of oppression. He became close friends with Muhammad who began teaching him Kiswahili and the ways to fight oppression without violence. Not once did Muhammad tell Monster to stop banging, just to stop the violence within his own set. Monster realized you cannot make peace with your enemies if there is not peace within your set. This change took time, effort, and a lot of explaining to the set. 
Upon release from San Quentin, Monster Kody Scott- O.G. Gang Banger became Sanyika Shakur- Revolutionary.  

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