Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America

Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America

Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America

Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America

Synopsis

A classic coming-of-age memoir that examines urban youth violence and its causes 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 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. Canada relives a childhood in which violence stalked every street corner. A Teacher's Guide for this book is available.

Excerpt

It was a bad summer, the summer of 1993 in New York City. Late August saw a sixteen-year-old mother accidently shot by a thirteen-year-old boy. He was trying to shoot a sixteen-year-old boy. The young mother was trying to save her baby, who was playing a few yards away. She was climbing a small fence that surrounded the playground. The bullet entered her head, killing her instantly, leaving her draped on the fence. Several days later the police arrested two other boys, both teenagers, who were accused of killing a thirteen-year-old girl. The girl was raped, cut several times with a knife, then as she lay half dead and moaning, one boy stomped on her neck, over and over. She was placed in a large box, carried to an abandoned lot, and hours later one boy came back to set the box on fire. The girl's body, burned beyond recognition, was discovered by firefighters who came to put out the fire.

Then, on August 29, a ten-year-old boy was shot. Two men had another man, their intended victim, in hand, guns out, when he broke away and ran for his life. They managed to shoot him in his thigh, also managed to shoot . . .

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