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The Children of Wasafa: A Message to Gang Bangers

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  12 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
The Children of Wasafa: A Message to Gang Bangers, addresses the problem of gang violence in the African American community by using historical facts, archaeology and fiction to illustrate commonality. That is, who we think is our enemy or inconsequential to us, may be our relative. An embellished Chokwe symbol created by an Angolan man named Wasafa during the 17th Century ...more
Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Published November 2nd 2013 by Jacqueline Pitts (first published October 23rd 2013)
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Wendy
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Giveaways
"The Children of Wasafa" which I won from Goodreads Giveaways and begins in 2010 in Rockaway Beach, New York presents a fascinating and thought-provoking image of gang violence in an American community that stems from peer pressure, lack of a strong male influence, powerful family bonds and lack of personal and cultural identity. In this story Jacqueline Pitts sends a blatant message that an enemy may be a relative because of the historical backdrop forged by slave labour. She does this artfully ...more
Marie Guillaume
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Children of Wasafa blended many themes such as race, respect, identity, peer pressure, survival, genetics, colonization, gangs, identity , immigration, laws, and slavery in a complex and masterful way to draw a compelling story of how the lack of identity whether through cultural identity, family, identity, fatherless identity have a profound impact on how young men who often intersect in many communities of colors discourse. The Children of Wasafa is rich in history giving a wonderful back ...more
Marietje
I like the idea of the book that we all could be somehow family, and that when we harm someone we might be hurting a relative. Unfortunately the different relationships may be too confusing for the inexperienced reader. Most of the gangbangers this book is aimed at will get bored with the complicated family ties.

The characters in the gangs were not fleshed out in the sense that you understood their psychology. The whole story felt superficial; too much telling and very little showing.
David Duncan
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to David by: goodreads
The Children of Wasafa, this is the fifty-eighth book that I have received and read from Goodreads. It is an in-depth story that follows the descendents of Wasafa, an African from Chokwe tribe. It is a story of New York city gang members, and gang violence. It is a story of of young black males with a lack of strong male influences. At the end of this story Jacqueline Pitts shows how the enemy gangs that fight among themselves, just might be related. I was really surprised how one family that wa ...more
Sandra Proto
Jacqueline Pitts has proven herself a folklorist and griot with her debut work. Just like Zora Neale Hurston explored the African-American culture with archeology and storytelling, so has Mrs. Pitts.


Children of Wasafa: A Message to Gangbangers is an in-depth story that follows the descendents of Wasafa, an African from the Chokwe tribe. It starts in modern- contemporary time with the stories of gang members Thomas “Big T” Ellis, Sameul “Izzie” Allen, Javier Moreno, Tony Daniels, and Carl Beckles
...more
John Naylor
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free via Goodreads First Reads.

The first thing I noticed about the book was the title. Gang bangers is not a term I had heard for subject matter in the book before.
The book is an interesting story of how people from different backgrounds can be connected in some way and it does that brilliantly. It is well researched, well written and it even taught me a little about archaeology too.
It has a powerful message and 'If you don't have a father, father yourself' is a phrase
...more
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