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Word Count: 1,364
This first hand account shows the cycle of violence between gangs in south central Los Angeles during the late nineteen seventies and eighties From age 11 to 27 a young black man lived the life of a gangbanger Monster Kody or more accurately Monsta repeatedly killed his hoods bordering territorial enemies As Kody matured he increasingly questioned this racial suicide and eventually found a way out Today he is a father husband author and leader promoting Afro-American self-identity and unity Chapter one is Initiation This included getting high with the other gang members then getting beaten by his new comrades then going out with a 12-gauge shotgun and ambushing a rival set Sets are subsets of larger gangs like the Crips or the Bloods Most gang violence occurs within these gangs between neighborhood sets For example Kodys gang the Eight Trays are Crips and mortal enemies to the Rollin Sixties Crips Not only must each set fight their neighboring rivals but also they are expected to respect the larger scale wars If a group of sets declare war on another group of sets then your set may be expected to take a side This can result in some very awkward diplomatic situations with Crip sets allied with Blood sets against Crip sets and their allied Blood sets At one point in the book the Eight Trays found themselves at war with a previously good ally because of these larger conflicts Kody took to the violence He saw it as the step from childhood into manhood He was good at it and soon received the gang name Monster He willingly and joyfully joined Fly Tray Ball Huckabuck Lep Crazy D and Gangster Cool These youths were very much aware of the gangster legends which had gone before them This older members were mostly either dead or in jail They seldom appear in the book but when they do there is respect and admiration from the younger
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