The Cocaine Kids: The Inside Story of a Teenage Drug Ring

The Cocaine Kids: The Inside Story of a Teenage Drug Ring

The Cocaine Kids: The Inside Story of a Teenage Drug Ring

The Cocaine Kids: The Inside Story of a Teenage Drug Ring

Synopsis

Sociologist Terry Williams brings us a story straight out of today's headlines--teens becoming big-time drug dealers--and asks us to take another look at who is winning the war on drugs. "A breath-takting ethnographic account of young drug deadlers".--Boston Herald.

Excerpt

The apartment is crowded with teenagers, all wearing half-laced sneakers and necklace ropes of gold. Doorbells ring every few minutes, white powder dusts the table tops; jagged-edge matchbook covers and dollar bills seem to flow from hand to hand.The talk is frenetic, filled with masterful plans and false promises. Everybody has a girl. Everybody has cocaine. Everybody has a gun.

This is a book about kids, cocaine and crack. But it is also a book about work and money, love and deceit, hope and ambition. It describes—as much as possible in their own words—the world of teenage members of a cocaine ring: the way they do business, their neighborhood, their families, their highs and lows.

When I first came on the teenage cocaine scene, I was apprehensive, even fearful. I knew these young people were volatile and unpredictable, prone to violence, and not inclined to trust adults—or, for that matter, anyone outside their circumscribed world. Yet I wanted to find out about the kids who sold drugs. How did they get into the cocaine business, and how do they stay in it? How transient is their involvement—can they get out of the business? And where do they go if they do? What are the rewards for those who succeed?

The only way to find the answers to these questions was to follow the kids over time, and that is what I did. For more than four years, I asked questions and recorded the answers without trying to find support for any particular thesis. In the process, I found that the truth was embedded . . .

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