Eric Barber's Reviews > Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir

Blue Rage, Black Redemption by Stanley Tookie Williams
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's review
Jul 27, 2011

This was an incredibly surprising novel and was a true pleasure to read. Tookie, the author, offers an exceptionally fascinating history of his founding the infamous Crips gang with his friend, and the story is told with a wonderful articulate and highly erudite narrative.

Tookie came from the ghetto of LA, with no education and describes his life and rise to gangsterism, but what is the most enlightening is his self discovery, renunciation of gangs and his self education while on death row.

The memoir is a composite of the realities of racism in society and in the prison system, and is an excellent sociological analysis from someone who grew up in it, was a victim of its own viciousness, and then realizes that despite the institutionalized bigotry he is faced with, still has the opportunity to maintain control if his life and not capitulate to what he is faced with.

However, if one were to be critical of an element of the book, it is the chapter about his meeting Winnie Mandela on death row. Although it must have been one hell of a revelation for him, being on death row, it is not a secret that she was guilty of her own version of gansterisms and ordered the death of people within her own organization and was extremely corrupt.

Tookie was executed in San Quentin and his prolonged death was the cause of the evaluation of current death sentence practices in the US.

This is a superb work, and a must read.

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