MONSTER: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN L.A. GANG MEMBER by Sanyika Shakur aka Monster Kody Scott

This story is so real and true. Great book. It covers his whole experience with killing, robbing, and prison.

Monster starts out with the first day Kody Scott joins the crips. He’s 11 years old and kills a few people to get initiated. He reveals tho that he could barely sleep that night because he was upset about what happened. Still, he would go on to kill so many other people in the same style–just going out shooting at whole groups trying to get as many people as he could.

Like it would turn into such a habit that he couldn’t sleep some nights without it. One time he gets out of jail, goes home and has an argument with his mother, and then sneaks out the house to go kill a few people before coming back and going to sleep. I think what you worry about the whole time or wonder if how the hell does he or anyone survive this? As you get further along, it’s crazy to stop and remember that these are just his teenage years.

I really liked what he writes about gang philosophy. He is so honest and willing to reflect on his choices. He says he believed in the gang like a religious fanatic. That was his logic. When thinking about what the end goal was of all the toughness, he offers that the only thing you get is respect. That’s it. He recognizes that he was involved in a war in the street, and the point was to kill the other side. Defend your area against them. Kill off their big guys and anyone else in the meantime.

Scott was introduced to black nationalism in prison in his 20’s. That really turned things around for him. He learned to see gang activity as anti-black. He didn’t find senseless violence honorary anymore. If it wasn’t against white oppressors, it was a waste of time. He started reading and writing more and it’s all because of a speaker who came in to lead Muslim meetings. Political education really changes lives.

-Rachel Wagner

Click here to see other memoirs I have for sale at my bookstore Ten Dollar Books.

My blogs:
–  Girtalk
–  Read or Die

My books: 
– Jacob’s Hip: Poems
– FEM: New Millennium Beauty & Fashion
– Abandonment Issues: Alive in New Jersey
– Back Like I Never Left: Dating as a Single Mother

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