"Monster"

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Content

  • "With each new generation of Crip and Blood bangers comes a more complex system, which is now reaching institutional proportions." paragraph (p 79/near end of chap 4)
  • “Prison loomed in my future like wisdom teeth: if you lived long enough you got them.” (p 163/chap 6-The Juvenile Tank)
  • "every jail I have ever been in seems designed to be recidivistic, as opposed to rehabilitative" What is the purpose of prison? Ideally? in actuality? (p 164/chap 6-The Juvenile Tank )
  • “From here on in, if we must die anyway, we will die fighting back and we will not die alone. We intend to see that our racist oppressors also get a taste of death.” (quoting Malcolm X) (p 215/chap 7-Muhammad Abdullah)
  • contemplating and rejecting religious faith "My interest here was drawn by the militancy of Malcolm X and Muhammad, not by the spirituality of Islam." Does Shakur really turn his life around, or does he trade in one gang for a bigger one, one war for another? (pp 226-7/chap 7-Muhammad Abdullah)
  • human vs mankind - people of color vs kind of man (mutants) - inventive etymology (pp 256-7/chap 8-Tamu)

Context

Sanyika Shakur

Crips

Republic of New Afrika

word appears to come from Rastafarians

1980s

Vietnam war

  • Vietnam is a theme throughout book. From the Vietnamese standpoint, it was a war against colonial oppression, a freedom struggle
  • US pulled out 1973, war ended 1975, reunification in 1976. Kody joined Crips in 1975.

Connections

  • Foucault talked about how crime narratives shifted from dying confessions to accounts of investigations - the public "was robbed of its old pride in its crimes." Does that shift hold true with Monster? He recognizes that gang activity is self destructive, yet he embraces a militant revolutionary stance.
  • How does Shakur’s vision of the race struggle compare to the visions put forth by Nat Turner and Charles Manson?
  • How does his redemptive experience in prison compare to the experiences in the colonial crime narratives?