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Books Making a Killing

Books Making a Killing

An Introduction

Chapter:
(p.3) Books Making a Killing
Source:
The Culture and Politics of Contemporary Street Gang Memoirs
Author(s):
Josephine Metcalf
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617032813.003.0001

This chapter explores the conflict between the competing forces of violence and pedagogy, as shown by the execution of the former street gang leader Stanley “Tookie” Williams. It points out that the execution of Williams has crystallized the polarized discussions about contemporary gang memoirs, which have been labeled as violent and sensationalist or praised as something that offers a pedagogic and preventive anti-gang stance. It adds that the memoirs also follow a contradictory structure, often starting with violence as a young gang member goes through punishment then experiences enlightenment and the eventual renunciation of violence.

Keywords:   street gang, violence, enlightenment, Stanley Tookie Williams, anti-gang stance, pedagogy

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