Tag Archives: Drugs

Growing Up Gangster by Gregory Marshall

Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Brown Girls Publishing
Price: $15.00
Purchase: Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Powerful…Poignant…Inspiring As a child growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Gregory Marshall was enamored with the fast life. Money, women and cars were the things to have and Greg was determined to get them-by any means necessary. It wasn’t long before the innocent youngster had turned into a cold-hearted gangster known around town simply as G Man. His ruthless life of crime made him a legend in South Central LA-and the go-to man for everyone from Tupac Shakur to the notorious Monster Kody. But a drug deal gone bad eventually left him shot and near death…forcing him into the ultimate struggle for survival. Faced with intense rehabilitation and paralysis that had crippled the entire right side of his body, Greg had two choices, give up or get up. He chose the latter. And with the use of only one finger, he wrote his story through gritty, breathtaking, and sometimes brutal details…including his anger at injustices, the pain of abandonment and one unlikely act of kindness that started him on the path of healing and forgiveness.

*** Watch the vlog review here: https://youtu.be/7ihwparEYdQ ***

Review

Growing Up Gangster is a powerful memoir about Gregory Marshall’s life. Gregory entered a life of crime at an early age, which was partly due to his father being absent from his life. His father had left his mother and abandoned him and his siblings, and started a new family. The rejection and pain he felt from what his father did drove him to the streets and into a life of crime.

If you want read a well-written memoir that will have you at the edge of your seat, I highly recommend this one.

For a more detailed and thorough review, please be sure to watch my vlog.

Greg Marshall was an innocent youngster-turned-gangster whose journey took him from the dangerous streets of South Central Los Angeles to the Deep South in Natchez, Mississippi. A life of crime, several stints in prison, all led up to Greg being shot and left for dead in a drug deal gone bad forcing him into the ultimate struggle for survival. After undergoing an intense rehabilitation, in which Greg had to overcome paralysis throughout the right side of his body, he penned his story about the deepest secrets of street life and the underworld, but also of how he eventually embraced God’s redemption and forgiveness. Greg’s story is one of pain, despair, crime, love, healing—all leading to where he is today—hoping to make a positive difference in the lives of others and becoming a beacon of hope for those who need it most.

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Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Convergent Books
Price: $14.00
Purchase: Amazon | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Shaka Senghor was raised in a middle class neighborhood on Detroit’s east side during the height of the 1980s crack epidemic. An honor roll student and a natural leader, he dreamed of becoming a doctor—but at age 11, his parents’ marriage began to unravel, and the beatings from his mother worsened, sending him on a downward spiral that saw him run away from home, turn to drug dealing to survive, and end up in prison for murder at the age of 19, fuming with anger and despair.
Writing My Wrongs is the story of what came next. During his nineteen-year incarceration, seven of which were spent in solitary confinement, Senghor discovered literature, meditation, self-examination, and the kindness of others—tools he used to confront the demons of his past, forgive the people who hurt him, and begin atoning for the wrongs he had committed. Upon his release at age thirty-eight, Senghor became an activist and mentor to young men and women facing circumstances like his. His work in the community and the courage to share his story led him to fellowships at the MIT Media Lab and the Kellogg Foundation and invitations to speak at events like TED and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

In equal turns, Writing My Wrongs is a page-turning portrait of life in the shadow of poverty, violence, and fear; an unforgettable story of redemption, reminding us that our worst deeds don’t define us; and a compelling witness to our country’s need for rethinking its approach to crime, prison, and the men and women sent there.

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Vlog Review: https://youtu.be/ER3t-xnHgE4

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Review

Writing My Wrongs is about the power of hope, change, and redemption. It sheds light on the reality and truth of mass incarceration.

I have read many books about prison, but never as poignant, gritty, and honest as this one. This memoir provoked me in ways I had not expected.

Shaka Senghor is an inspiration and a great writer. He was born with a gift which he was able to develop during his time in solitary confinement. It was through reading and writing that he was able to heal and find himself.

His story taught me that people deserve a second chance, and should not be limited or defined by their past.

Writing My Wrongs is an important and powerful book, which touched, inspired and encouraged me. I hope it gets into the hands of the youth in public schools, detention centers, and prisons across America. I highly recommend it.

In conclusion, I want to thank Convergent for sending me this complimentary book in exchange for an honest review.

Locked up for nearly nineteen years, Shaka Senghor has used his incarceration as a vehicle for change. Through years of study and self-reflection, he has transformed himself from an uncaring “thug” into a principled, progressive man who refuses to allow his circumstances to define who he is or what he’s capable of.

Once a very angry, bitter young man, it was books that saved him from self-destructing and allowed him to see beyond the barbed-wire fences that held him captive. In an environment where hopelessness and despair grow like weeds, writing became his refuge. Eventually, he began writing creatively, tapping into the growing interest in street/hip hop literature. The author of six books and countless articles and short stories, he is inspired by revolutionary prison writers like George Jackson, Malcolm X and Donald Goines.

Whether writing street lit or poetry, Shaka speaks the truth about the oppressive conditions of the ‘hood and the not-so-glamorous side of the streets. He writes in a way that compels his readers to see the hope and humanity of a discarded generation shaped by the crack epidemic, the fall of the auto industry and the rise of the prison industrial complex. He is soon to be released and is eager to begin working with youth through gun and violence prevention programs in his hometown of Detroit.

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B-More Careful by Shannon Holmes

Print Length: 292 pages
Page Numbers Source
ISBN: 1592323146
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

From the streets of Baltimore, Maryland hail an all girl clique called the Pussy Pound. At the head of the clique is Netta, at her side is her close friend, Mimi. Both women are armed with a do anything-for-the-money attitude. Quickly it becomes clear that Netta will go above and beyond the call of duty in her quest for the almighty dollar. Under her tutelage the Pussy Pound becomes infamous on the streets of Baltimore as they attract and target some of the most prominent dope boys in the city. With each hustler that they bed the Pussy Pound becomes more deeply entangled in the game.

As the consequences of their acts catch up to them. They soon discover that the streets of Baltimore are an unforgiving place and there is a heavy price to pay for their treachery.

Review

B-More Careful was a raw and gritty account of what takes place in the life of the streets. The premise of the story was based on betrayal, deception and treachery.

I would have rated this book five stars had it not been for the excessive typos and grammatical errors I came across. Nevertheless, Shannon Holmes is an exceptional and talented writer.

B-More Careful was fast paced. I was able to visualize and feel everything as if I was there.

I admit, I had a difficult time getting through this story. The characters and content felt so real to me. In reading this story, which took place in Baltimore, I came to understand the realities of the streets. The game is certainly not a lifestyle I would want to be a part of, because of all the danger, backstabbing, jealousy, envy, betrayal, greed and revenge which is paramount.

B-More Careful emphasized the life of drugs, money, sex and murder. There is nothing glamorous or attractive about it based on what I read. This story made me sad.

Shannon Holmes did not sugar coat anything. He gave it to you straight and to the point. The characters who stood out for me were Black, Netta and Mimi. Black and Netta being the most ruthless of them all.

Unfortunately, there was no happy Hollywood ending either. All in all, B-More Careful taught me a great deal and opened my eyes to the harsh realities of a world I knew very little about.

Shannon Holmes wrote his first novel, B-More Careful, while in prison. When it was published, it immediately became a #1 bestseller, making him a major name in a new generation of fiction: hip-hop fiction. He then launched Triple Crown Publications, one of the leading publishers of hip-hop fiction, with Vickie Stringer, and wrote more novels, including the #1Essence bestsellers Bad Girlz, Never Go Home Again, Dirty Game and Caught Up.

 

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