BLUE RAGE BLACK REDEMPTION PDF
InBlue Rage, Black RedemptionTookie Williams discusses his life, from his humble background in Louisiana, to his emergence as a gang leader in the streets of. Garcia, who grew up in the housing projects on Richmond's Easter Hill, joined a gang at age 9 and took part in drug deals, beatings and. Reprint. Download Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir by Williams, pdf · Read Online Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir by William pdf.
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A gripping tale of personal revolution by a man who went from Crips co-founder to Nobel Peace Prize nominee, author, and antigang activist When his L.A. Blue Rage, Black Redemption by Stanley Tookie Williams - A gripping tale of personal revolution by a man who went from Crips co-founder to Nobel Peace. ppti.info: Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir (): Stanley Tookie Williams, Barbara Becnel, Tavis Smiley: Books.
In , Williams addressed a group of Crips, Bloods, and other gang members via video from death row. Such activism earned Williams several Nobel Prize nominations for peace and literature Dolan, As his address to the gang summit indicates, he remained focused on how gangs destroyed and divided communities of color. Law enforcement, for Williams , remained a barrier to peace. Meanwhile, for a generation of disgruntled youth and adults, living the thug life and going to prison have morphed into an underdog aspiration.
This transgressive discourse of redemption invited young African Americans to reinvent their subjectivities within the enabling contours of radical imagination.
After Williams received a December 13, , execution date, a multitude of anti- death penalty and other activists mobilized to secure clemency from Schwarzenegger by deploying neoliberal rhetorics of redemption.
The narrative that emerged from mainstream organizations like Amnesty International and celebrity activists was one of a wayward soul who finally found his way. The most pronounced public statement by such figures was a petition of signatures arranged by the anti-death penalty group Death Penalty Focus.
The prominent names included Archbishop Desmond Tutu; former U. Williams has become a tireless resource for every child, school district and community group that asks for his help. Through his work, gang truces have been mediated and long-standing wounds have been healed.
Lives have been saved. While Williams had indeed renounced his gang past and worked to change the lives of inner-city youth, he also repudiated the rhetorical norms of neoliberalism his outspoken advocates strategically promoted in his name.
McCann Redemption in Neoliberal and Radical Imagination He has refused, despite his hollow claims of atonement, to be debriefed by the prison authorities. Such a debriefing could provide the prison authorities with important information to aid them in establishing institutional security. It would also provide tremendous insight into how the gang members operate within the prison walls and how they are able to continue their criminal activities on our city streets while locked up behind those walls.
Lastly, it would show that Williams has finally renounced his criminal life, and in some small way, has begun to accept responsibility for his actions. In spite of the fact that many of the individuals listed were or still are incarcerated under dubious circumstances, in many cases by the State of California, Schwarzenegger accepts their guilt on face value; they are a motley crew in whose company Williams should feel perfectly at home.
Opening with a montage of archival speeches from figures like Malcolm X, contemporary comments from Williams and his supporters, and a tapestry of rap, funk, and soul tracks, the segment is unabashed in its militant tone. If you believe in redemption, if you understand who this Governor is and what he represents to the people of this state, you will stand up and do all you can to save Tookie today.
Breakdown FM, , Emphasis added Like other uses of redemption, Banjoko emphasizes the value of Williams to oppressed communities. Williams, for all his flaws, represented to them a radical alternative to the neoliberal imaginary they blame for such devastation. Williams, these advocates argue, must live to serve such populations in a way that the elites of a racist state apparatus cannot. For that reason his right-wing critics are incapable of recognizing that his transformation is for real, and the State of California is eager to silence him as quickly as it can.
These activists want to save Williams on the basis of redemption because they believe those in power seek to eliminate him because of it. For them, redemption ceases to be an articulation of neoliberal individualism, but, instead, of resistance to the status-quo in the interests of marginalized people. Such was the nature of the redemption Williams espoused. Furthermore, while it is difficult to deny the racially disparate impacts the American criminal justice system has on poor communities of color, the suggestion that such consequences of public policy are maliciously deliberate rather than overdetermined functions of social structures reads more like an extravagant conspiracy theory than measured analysis of the status quo.
In this respect, the circulation of redemption in the struggle to save Stanley Williams, while certainly hopeful that it would halt the execution, also sought to rescue him in a Benjaminian sense.
For him, the great danger for history is that it conforms to the whims of the ruling class. Activists who situated the story of Stanley Williams within the broader trajectory of Black struggle in America saw obvious homologies to the horrors of the Middle Passage, slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration. While the state can indeed take his body, the fight over his legacy and the meaning of his redemption has profound ramifications for oppressed bodies in the future.
There was, in the end, more than one way to save Stanley Williams. Toward a Radical Democratic Imagination Stanley Williams might have reasonably chosen to surrender his redemption to the neoliberal demands of the State of California, but he did not. Instead, while his own battle against the executioner was lost, his insistence on a redemption that was both beyond and against the cruel structures he believed conditioned his entire life remains a potent resource for death penalty abolitionist struggle, as well as other progressive battles.
Several others have met the same fate as Williams, including Black Georgia inmate Troy Davis, who the state executed in spite of significant doubts about his guilt. McCann Redemption in Neoliberal and Radical Imagination It may seem the worst kind of political opportunism to view the flesh-and-bone bodies of the condemned as empty signifiers for grander social causes.
Those who most embraced the radical iterations of his story were deeply implicated by the social sins Williams critiqued, even as he confessed his own. Indeed, as the saga of Stanley Williams demonstrates, operating within an imaginary that embraces structural critique and alternative subjectivities may hold optimal potential for empowering heretofore excluded communities to participate in and lead sustained efforts against regimes of domination.
See Ogbar See, for example, Warren For analysis of the racial dimensions of the prison-industrial complex, see Alexander McCann 11 On rhetorics of conspiracy in the context of race and the criminal justice system, see McCann Democracy Now!
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Carragee Eds. Austin, C. Up against the wall: Violence in the making and unmaking of the Black Panther Party. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. Basu, M. Williams, Blue rage, Black redemption: A memoir pp. New York, NY: Touchstone. Benjamin, W. On the concept of history. Jennings Eds. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.
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Bybee, C. Socialist Worker. The imaginary institution of society K. Blamey, Trans. Cambridge, England: Polity. San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial section, B8.
Cloud, D. Control and consolation in American culture and politics: Rhetorics of therapy. Conover, T. Newjack: Guarding sing sing. New York, NY: Vintage. Cooley, S. Board of Education. The end of racism: Principles for a multiracial society. Davis, A. Are prisons obsolete? Davis, M. City of quartz: Excavating the future in Los Angeles 2nd ed. London, England: Verso. Dolan, M. Telling his story to save his life. Los Angeles Times. Is Bill Cosby right? Or has the Black middle class lost its mind?
Egelko, B. San Francisco Chronicle. Enck-Wanzer, D. Barack Obama, the Tea Party, and the threat of race: On racial neoliberalism and born again racism. Fanon, F. The wretched of the earth C. Farrington, Trans.
Fleming, Jr. Reply petition for executive clemency. Capitalism and freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago.
Friedman, T. The world is flat 3. New York, NY: Picador. Furillo, A. Sacramento Bee. Toward new imaginaries: An introduction. Public Culture, 14, 1— Garvey, M.
Africa for the Africans. Blaisdell Ed. Mineola, NY: Dover. Gasper, P. Killing a voice for peace: The race to execute Stanley Williams. Introduction: Black Power revisited. Glaude Ed. Contemporary essays on Black power and Black nationalism pp.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Greene, R. Argumentation and Advocacy, 39, — Grier, W. Black rage. Gunn, J. Refiguring fantasy: Imagination and its decline in U. The Quarterly Journal of Speech, 89, 41— Hartnett, S. The annihilating policies of the prison-industrial complex; Or, crime, violence, and punishment in an age of neoliberalism.
Turning silence into speech and action: Prison activism and the pedagogy of empowered citizenship. Harvey, D. A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. McCann Harvey, D. The enigma of capital and the crises of capitalism.
Hooks, B. Killing rage: Ending racism. Howcott, T.
The Black Commentator. Management Communication Quarterly, 4, — James, J. If my mother happened to discover any item unaccounted for, she would march me back to return the item, or would destroy it. That was the street rule. Sometimes my partner in crime was Rex, my brown and white mutt dog. The entire neighborhood was in an uproar over my letting Rex run through flower beds and chase chickens and roosters.
Time and time again I was warned about unleashing Rex, but it was all fun and games to me. Eventually I had to watch teary-eyed as Rex was hauled away to the dog pound. Being mischievous, hyperactive, and with a short attention span, I had to find something to do. My older cousin Walter and I used to slide and tumble on a gunnysack down a nearby dirt hill. Too poor to afford baseball equipment, we liked playing stickball with rocks and would play stickball for hours before dinner.
That was stopped after Walter hit a rock that smashed into my forehead. Blood gushed everywhere! My grandmother, Momma, simply patched me up with some Beechnut chewing tobacco, a trusted home remedy, and I was good as new. But my stickball days were over. She first planned to leave me behind and then send for me after she got settled.
But I was too hyperactive for my aunts and my aging grandmother. A beautiful Cherokee Indian, she was five feet tall, about ninety pounds, with whitish-gray shoulder-length hair and a copper-penny skin tone. Momma spoke softly, her melodic voice often issuing quotations from Biblical scriptures. Her religious influence was evident in each of her sixteen children—nine daughters and seven sons. I enjoyed sitting on the porch with her, drinking ice-cold lemonade, listening to her preach. Afterward, I would bombard her with questions.
But I could not fathom why the religious figures in drawings and paintings were all white—and most of them glowed. I remember trying to sneak a peek whenever I saw white men, women or children, just to see if they really did glow.
They did not. Only the devil was red. Did God only make white people? Momma always seemed to be holding back. Though I never did get a straight answer, I still believed something was not right with all those pictures depicting white figures as divine.
The taste was heavenly, etched forever in my taste buds. Her sweet potato pies were better than any store pies I ever tasted. There were rare times when Momma would fall silent—the mention of my grandfather inevitably stopped her. He was a huge, muscular, loving, pensive man who worked tirelessly on the railroad and held other jobs to support his large family. He died from overexhaustion; he worked himself to death.
He left behind no pictures of himself. My mother said he would fight if you tried to take a picture of him. Often my mother would tell me, If you want to know what your grandfather looked like, just look in the mirror. Since he loved Momma as I did, there is no doubt I would have loved him too. Fear and curiosity had me wondering what was in store for us in California.
Blue rage, Black redemption : a memoir
Neither of us talked that much, anyway. Still, our bond was evident. My mother struggled hard to clothe, feed, and provide for me. She was a fighter who had to wade through incredible obstacles to her progress. In more ways than she cared to admit, we were alike: determined, stubborn, demanding, quick-tempered, and fastidious. Besides our characteristically serious expression, each of us had a black mole on the upper left side of the nose.
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I adored my mother, and I regret never voicing those feelings to her. As she slept on the bus, a beam of sunlight shone through the window onto the smooth dark brown skin of her face, and I wondered if my mother was as worried as I was about our destination. After several days the Greyhound bus finally reached the bus terminal in downtown Los Angeles, California. The ambience was strange. It was like being on another planet. People dressed differently, talked fast, and moved fast, as did the cars and trucks.
It was the first time I had ever seen a hobo close up. This was the so-called City of Angels, where my mother hoped to achieve prosperity. If she could have foreseen the path I would follow, no doubt we would have quickly reboarded the bus to return to New Orleans. After several days and nights in a motel, my mother located an affordable, furnished place to stay.
It was a white duplex apartment on 43rd and Kansas on the west side, the area called South Central, or South Los Angeles, as it was recently renamed. The apartment was positioned far in the back, behind two larger duplexes. The front door of the duplex was set up high, about three feet, with three rickety steps up to the door.
Immediately inside was the kitchen. To the left was a small living room, where I slept on a couch that unfolded into a bed. Inside her room, to the left, was a tiny bathroom. The entire place was smaller than a tiny classroom. But it was home. We lived in a predominantly black area of private homes, apartments, and duplexes. The neighborhood was a shiny red apple rotting away at the core. I was the new six-year-old on the block, soon to undergo the ritual that would determine my position in the pecking order.
The scenario was no different than one between nations, corporate executives, siblings, animals, or anyone else vying for status. The first day, outside the duplex, I was presented with a fight-or-flight option.
Monroe, a stocky black youth about my height, strolled up and asked my name. I was about to say Stan when Monroe suddenly rained a barrage of punches on my head. Caught off guard, out of panicked anger I began to swing wildly in defense. Whether it was a lucky punch or a slip, Monroe fell to the ground. Spurred by fear and instinct, I jumped on top of Monroe and started whaling away at his head. She held me by the head with one arm, viselike, while holding in her free hand a jug of wine that was spilling all over me.
Monroe marched me down the narrow walkway to the duplex and knocked on the door. When my mother opened the door, I could see the puzzled look on her face. Rocking back and forth, Mrs. Monroe released me and began to complain loudly about how I beat up her son for nothing. The evidence against me seemed overwhelming. Monroe stood there with a bloodied nose, big lip, and black eye. I wanted to believe that my mother would not take the word of this foul-mouthed woman.
But when my mother flashed her trademark accusatory look, there was nothing I could say. As soon as they left and I entered the duplex, my mother was all over me with a leather strap, quicker than Monroe was with his fists. I learned two valuable lessons that day: remain silent in the face of controversy, whether I was guilty or not—and be prepared to strike first. Later, Monroe and I would befriend one another.
His family lived directly across the street from us. Whenever he showed up, I could tell that my mother disapproved of our friendship, but she never uttered a word.
The front yard was cluttered with all kinds of junk: broken toys, tires, hubcaps, refrigerators, television sets, car engines, radios, mattresses, bicycles, and other unwanted items. There were also dogs, huge white chickens, and roosters that Monroe and I used to chase around the yard. Our affinity for mischief led us past other boundaries of curiosity and trouble. We had several brushes with the law for minor offenses.
There was a time that Monroe and I were accused of stealing Oreo cookies out of a small sack in a liquor store. They threw both of us in the back of the store and then left. The back door was locked. I saw a window behind some stacked boxes. As I climbed on top of the boxes, I felt a sharp blow to my back, causing me to fall to the floor amidst tumbling boxes. I was then pinned to the floor on my back by the younger Asian with the butt of an ax handle across my throat.
[PDF] Blue Rage Black Redemption: A Memoir Free Books
From the corner of my eye I could see Monroe creeping away like a thief in the night, only to reappear standing between two white cops.
They were beaming with exaggerated pride, as if they had captured a vicious killer. The shorter, pudgy cop joked about how he should have fired a shot, just to scare the hell out of the little nigger. Immediately there was a chorus of laughter among the two cops and the Asians. After the laughter died down, the younger Asian snatched me up by the collar like a rag doll and shoved me down on a box next to Monroe.
For a moment the cops and Asians stood in a huddle, whispering. I was scared because I had heard that white cops were notorious for cracking black skulls in the neighborhood. When the huddle broke up, the cops tried to elicit a confession from us with the good-cop, bad-cop routine.
It pissed me off that two complete strangers would try to get me to snitch. Plus, every child in the neighborhood knew that cops were the enemy. When the good-cop routine failed, the pudgy cop tried the bad routine on me. My silence infuriated him. He snatched me forward within inches of his face.
His foul breath smelled like uncooked chitterlings, bad enough to curl my eyebrows. I held my breath for so long, I thought I would pass out. I believe the cop would have cracked his skull wide open had Monroe not fallen to the floor and gone into convulsions. Both cops and the Asians stood there dumbfounded, their smiles gone.
I was shocked to see Monroe lying on the ground with his eyes rolling back into their sockets, saliva dribbling from the corner of his mouth.
When his eyes closed, I thought he had died, and I began to cry. But seconds later, to my surprise and relief, Monroe regained consciousness. I struggled to help him back up onto the boxes. Meanwhile, both the cops and the Asians regained their composure, then they huddled. Afterward, they shook hands. They tried to save face by saying they were willing to let us go. The pudgy cop asked Monroe where he and I lived. In spite of his recent seizure, Monroe answered with clarity.
During the short ride home in the back of the squad car, I asked Monroe what had happened. He said he had experienced seizures since he was a baby. He was epileptic. I prayed that it would never ever happen again when I was around. As the patrol car pulled into the driveway where Monroe lived, the pudgy cop asked, Is this where you really live, boy?
Monroe said yes, and the cop burst out in laughter at the bizarre, cluttered front yard. It was like The Munsters in Los Angeles. From the patrol car I could see Mrs. Monroe staggering out of the house wearing a black ruffled dress, red stockings, a long red feathered boa, and a red flower in her hair.
She looked like a s harlot. The two cops nudged one another and again broke into hysterical laughter. The pudgy cop leaned his head out of the window and told Mrs.
Monroe his distorted version of what had happened. He ended by pointing at me, then asking her if she could take the mute boy home.
Though puzzled, she agreed to take me home. She muttered a few words of profanity and ordered her son into the house. She then whirled around and gave me a hard look that clearly said I was responsible for leading her son astray.
To me, Mrs. Monroe was a female version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. But drunk, her facial expression became a scowl, her speech foul, and to her I was like a red cape to a bull.
She actually enjoyed marching me home to tell my mother lies about my getting Monroe into trouble. As usual, I prepared myself for another biblical beating.
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But it was not a deterrent for me. I just found the streets to be more interesting than being at home. It felt liberating to be able to face the street adventures and to make my own decisions about what I should do. There were many things I avoided telling her for my own safety, punishment-wise. There was nothing I had witnessed or experienced that I wished to reveal to my mother.
She is not responsible for my actions. Any of them. She was in thrall to some handed-down black rendition of a Euro-American parenting philosophy that was in total conflict with the environment I saw around me and its stringent requirements for survival.
I was a member of that class. As a boy, I was incapable of articulating the contradictions I saw, or to dodge confrontations with the ominous influences outside my home. Each time I stepped out into this society—rife with poverty, filth, crime, drugs, illiteracy, and daily brutal miscarriages of justice—I inhaled its moral pollutants and so absorbed a distorted sense of self-preservation.
As a child I was duped into believing that this toxic environment was normal. I was unaware of the violence being done to my mind, but my behavior was revelatory.
Lacking any real knowledge of African culture, there was a black hole in my existence. As beneficiary of more than five hundred years of slavery, I was left only scattered remnants of a broken culture.Yu-Chin Yang Lin was shot once in the upper left face area at a distance of a few feet.
Board is a relic of the past, as opposed to an icon of an ongoing struggle, contradicts a trove of social science whose breadth and depth are beyond the scope of this article see Brown et al. Indeed, as the saga of Stanley Williams demonstrates, operating within an imaginary that embraces structural critique and alternative subjectivities may hold optimal potential for empowering heretofore excluded communities to participate in and lead sustained efforts against regimes of domination.
It was like The Munsters in Los Angeles. I enjoyed sitting on the porch with her, drinking ice-cold lemonade, listening to her preach.
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