Note: The issue of gang violence is something that I just can’t overlook. Although I discuss mostly black inner-city history in Los Angeles and Chicago, I feel that this history directly relates to the gang problem across the country (and the world) today. In no way is this article intended to offend anyone (well, maybe the mainstream media…) In writing this piece, I simply hope to open more eyes to an issue that few know much about.
Former gang member Kershaun Scott on joining a gang at the age of 12:
“Initially, I didn’t feel any different because the people around me didn’t change. These were the same people I grew up with, from ‘short pants’ days. These were the same people I shot marbles with, flew kites with, you know. We weren’t flying kites and shooting marbles anymore, now we were shooting at people.”
- How can gang violence be stopped in a way that will compromise both the gangs and the surrounding community?
- Why do rappers use the type of equipment that they do? Is it cheaper to buy a synthesizer than to take up another instrument?
- How can these communities get more income?
- When do most of the shootings take place? Can you identify potential shooters in anticipation of an occurrence?
- Can these communities protect juveniles from bad influences by adding more inspiring elements to their surroundings? ie. more job opportunities, better education, capital, more “aesthetically pleasing” surroundings?
- How much political involvement is there in these areas? Are there any heroic figures to look up to like Malcolm X or Martin Luther King Jr.?
- Do hip-hop and rapping help contribute to communities’ financial situations?
- What does the community think of gangs?
- Affordable musical education opportunities?
- Why are hispanic gangs moving into black gang-occupied communities?