The Bandana Republic contains powerful writing: fiction and essays, poetry, and polemics written by adolescents from gangs like the Crips and Bloods and the Mexican Mafia. There's also creative work by ex-gangbangers who have become activists, artists, musicians, and movie stars.
J. Sheeler's "Seven Immortals" finds grim poetry in a young girl's gang initiation. Jaha Zainabu's "The Jungle (Blood Territory)" is a lacerating portrait of an L.A. Blood. Commander's "The Brothas Gunnin'" piercingly profiles a neighborhood - and a world - under siege.
These writings give voice to an American subculture far richer and more complex than the headlines indicate.
©2008 Louis Rivera, Bruce George; (P)2008 Audible
"The energy and emotion in this anthology are maintained throughout the production in a myriad of ways. The mix of vocal talent adds to this collection of essays, poetry, fiction, and memoirs on what it means to survive in the world of gangs, violence, and drugs. Many of the narrators are activists, survivors, and icons from within the community, thus legitimizing both the book and audiobook." (AudioFile)
I don't know what I was thinking when I bought this book, I didn't realize it was so much poetry but I gave it a shot and much to my surprice I thought it was really good. The readers are very good and poems/prose like Letter to My Son by Luis J. Rodriguez are incredibly moving. I liked this book and it has probably given my some insight into a world I did not know much about (and into the hearts of men)
This collection was full of very similar poems that seemed to take up a lot of time. While the prose was interesting, it felt like listening to some similar stuff. Some authors didn't seem to add a lot of perspective to gang life, making the anthology lack perspective overall.
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