The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang

The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang

The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang

The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang

Synopsis

From Los Angeles and New York to Chicago and Miami, street gangs are regarded as one of the most intractable crime problems facing our cities, and a vast array of resources is being deployed to combat them. This book chronicles the astounding self-transformation of one of the most feared gangs in the United States into a social movement acting on behalf of the dispossessed, renouncing violence and the underground economy, and requiring school attendance for membership.

What caused the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation of New York City to make this remarkable transformation? And why has it not happened to other gangs elsewhere? David C. Brotherton and Luis Barrios were given unprecedented access to new and never-before-published material by and about the Latin Kings and Queens, including the group's handbook, letters written by members, poems, rap songs, and prayers. In addition, they interviewed more than one hundred gang members, including such leaders as King Tone and King Hector. Featuring numerous photographs by award-winning photojournalist Steve Hart, the book explains the symbolic significance for the gang of hand gestures, attire, rituals, and rites of passage. Based on their inside information, the authors craft a unique portrait of the lives of the gang members and a ground-breaking study of their evolution.

Excerpt

I don't think that youth programs will help the Bloods, the Crips, the Latin Kings, the
Zulu Nation, MS13. These are gangs that begin in jail and in prison. These are violent
repeat career criminals and I don't think that giving them sewing lessons is going to
help
.

Mayor Giuliani of New York City during mayoral debates, as reported in the New York
Times
, Metropolitan Desk 1997:B-4

The press are driving us mad here. Everyday they want to do something on ustell
a bunch of lies about what we do and never want to say anything that tells it like it
is
to be real. They don't want that. Just today, Channel 9 was here and this woman
comes up to me and asks, "Where's the guns?" I said, "We don't have any. This is
a meeting. This is who we are." So, you know what? She wasn't interested any

more and she left. She was all like disappointed that we couldn't produce the kind of
negative publicity that she was looking for. All they want to show us as is something
crazed, out-of-control, a group of hoodlums. So when they can't show us in a bad
light, maybe when we are no longer 'news,' then maybe they'll leave us alone and
we can live in peace and go on about our business."

King N. of the ALKQN, 10/19/96

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