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Long before President Barack Obama praised his work as ""an all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck anti-poverty effort that is literally saving a generation of children,"" and First Lady Michelle Obama called him ""one of my heroes,"" Geoffrey Canada was a small and scared boy growing up in the South Bronx. His childhood world was one where ""sidewalk boys"" learned the codes of the block and were ranked through the rituals of fist, stick, knife, and, finally, gun. In a stunning pairing, acclaimed comics creator Jamar Nicholas presents Canada's raw and riveting account, one of the most authentic and important true stories of urban violence ever told.From Publishers WeeklyCanada knows the world of inner-city children intimately, for he grew up in some of the most dangerous areas of the Bronx. As a young child, he learned that only those who can fight will survive. When he reached adolescence, the knife was the weapon of choice, but for today's youth, which he calls ""the handgun generation,"" it is the pistol. Canada explains exactly what growing up in this war zone does to the psyche: fear, doubt and anger crowd the mind, driving out love, friendship and laughter. There is no post-traumatic stress syndrome, because there is no ""post."" Greedy drug dealers and gun manufacturers, he says, by flooding the inner cities with their products, have made urban violence, which always existed, more deadly. He has a series of recommendations, rooted in his own experience as a child and as an adult, that are thoroughly convincing. A more powerful depiction of the tragic life of urban children and a more compelling plea to end ""America's war against itself"" cannot be imagined. 40,000 first printing; author tour. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.From BooklistThis brutally honest account of a childhood in the Bronx is a personal history of violence in America and a hopeful plea for the salvation of our children caught in today's cross fire. Canada's childhood experiences influenced his sensitive understanding of violent attitudes born out of fear and self-preservation. What is perhaps most disturbing about the events Canada experienced is the degree to which all such occurrences (gang fights, weapon use, drug abuse) have increased in frequency and randomness, escalated in intensity, and been magnified by movies and media, which continue to promote heroes who succeed through brute force. Canada contends that we, particularly our children, are subjected to a kind of unstated death penalty as the odds for being shot and killed, not even being the target, have dramatically increased. Anyone living in urban America can relate to this book on some level, for we are all aware that our cities have become just as war torn and dangerous as any official battleground. Canada is willing not only to discuss this crisis, but to offer firsthand solutions by such examples as the Countee Cullen Community Center in Harlem, which provides unity, education, and safety for its neighboring community. This book should be necessary reading for all politicians and media personnel and for every NRA member who thinks licensing handguns, getting ""tough on crime,"" or ""just saying no"" is enough. For Canada, all such quick-fix solutions are temporary mortar for the ever-widening crack in America's foundation.
- ISBN: 9780807044490