A redemptive path forward From incarceration to a life of activism

Antong Lucky

Book - 2022

"The child of an incarcerated father, Antong Lucky grew up in an impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhood in East Dallas, Texas, born at the same time as East Dallas experienced an alarming rise in crack cocaine and heroin use. Despite his high grades and strong love for learning, Antong is introduced to gang life and its consequences when confronted by law enforcement. Antong eventually forms the Dallas Bloods gang, inaugurating a period in the 1990s of escalating, retaliatory gun violence ...buoyed by a lucrative, illegal drug enterprise until Antong is arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison. His journey through the doors of transformation came through the pain of incarceration and self-introspection that caused him to question the cognitive distortions embedded in him since childhood. In prison Antong denounced his gang affiliation and began working to unite the rival gangs. He quickly rose to become one of the most respected and sought after mentors in prison. His teachings of accountability and conflict resolution taught fellow inmates how to become part of the solution rather than the problem. A spiritual transformation further inspired Antong to return to his old neighborhood after early release, seeking to align with like-minded people dedicated to challenge the unchanged and systemic issues in American communities that need can only change through collective efforts. Antong's memoir is the work of an incisive, determined mind that takes its place among the broadening canon of titles championing and investigating prison abolition and societal transformation"--

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2nd Floor New Shelf 365.6092/Lucky (NEW SHELF) Checked In
Subjects
Genres
Autobiographies
Published
Berkeley, CA : Counterpoint 2022.
Edition
First hardcover edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xviii, 205 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781640095342
1640095349
Main Author
Antong Lucky (author)
  • Foreword /
  • by Deion "Prime Time" Sanders
  • Introduction: Everything must change
  • The boy is the father of the man
  • Hood credentials
  • Deviant, delinquent, and dangerous
  • The mouth of the beast
  • How do you behave?
  • Losing me
  • Cops and crack houses
  • Good girls
  • Crossroads
  • Coming out of the cave
  • In the belly of the beast
  • The disease
  • The cirlce [sic] of kings
  • Getting out of the can
  • God's plan
  • Forging forgiveness
  • Peace be still
  • Each one, teach one
  • Gang busters
  • A new perspective
  • The audacity of activism
  • Vision regeneration
  • Slander
  • Free at last, free at last
  • Urban specialist
  • Unlikely collaborators.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Antong Lucky was born into a family with a tough reputation and became a founder of the Dallas branch of the infamous Bloods gang. Although he may seem like an unlikely candidate for becoming a nationally recognized, community-healing activist, his memoir charts his path. Following his first arrest at 13, he attended reform school only to return to his neighborhood and turn himself into a drug dealer and influential gang leader, eventually landing in prison. While incarcerated, he converted to Islam, which changed him and his perspective on the problems within himself and his community. He began to feel responsible for the damage he did and wanted to use his leadership abilities to effect change for the better. Lucky is insightful, nuanced, and honest about himself, social problems, and the work he does. He understands his community and builds bridges between rival gangs and their neighbors. Lucky resists simplistic ideas and stays focused on fixing root causes and working with partners who share his goals. In this engaging and illuminating memoir, Lucky shares his experiences, insights, and community program know-how. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Growing up in poverty-stricken East Dallas, TX, with his father incarcerated and use of crack cocaine and heroin on the rise, Lucky was a strong student but was pulled into the orbit of gang life. In the early 1990s, he formed the Dallas Bloods gang, riding a wave of illegal drug sales and retaliatory gun violence until his arrest and imprisonment. In prison, he renounced his gang affiliation and sought to unite rival gangs, and since his early release he has focused on mentoring Black men and boys, bridging the gap between community and police, and developing and launching violence-reduction strategies, criminal justice reform, and reentry initiatives for formerly incarcerated people. Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Activist Lucky debuts with a harrowing as well as hopeful account of how he turned his life around after founding the Dallas Bloods gang and surviving a stint in prison. Beginning with his 1980s childhood in East Dallas, Tex., Lucky recounts how growing up in a housing project "filled with drugs, alcohol, and violence" led to his hustling drugs as a teen, and to his establishing a Dallas chapter of the Bloods gang in 1993. At 20, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for drug possession. Recalling the "dismally reliable pattern in these courtroom dramas," he writes, "a Black kid was charged, a white expert was brought in to explain how the drug world worked, an all-white jury listened and deliberated, and... they passed down a guilty verdict." Fortunately for Lucky, several transformative encounters in prison—including with Imam Willie Fareed Fleming, who helped Lucky parlay his leadership skills into influencing fellow inmates to do good—led to his early release and a role with a nonprofit devoted to eliminating urban violence. While the redemption arc is immensely moving, it's the unflinching way Lucky calls out systemic inequality—and the welcome corrective he offers to dehumanizing portrayals of those disproportionately affected by it—that cuts to the core. This should be required reading. (May) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"The child of an incarcerated father, Antong Lucky grew up in an impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhood in East Dallas, Texas, born at the same time as East Dallas experienced an alarming rise in crack cocaine and heroin use. Despite his high grades andstrong love for learning, Antong is introduced to gang life and its consequences when confronted by law enforcement. Antong eventually forms the Dallas Bloods gang, inaugurating a period in the 1990s of escalating, retaliatory gun violence buoyed by a lucrative, illegal drug enterprise until Antong is arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison. His journey through the doors of transformation came through the pain of incarceration and self-introspection that caused him to question the cognitive distortions embedded in him since childhood. In prison Antong denounced his gang affiliation and began working to unite the rival gangs. He quickly rose to become one of the most respected and sought after mentors in prison. His teachings of accountability andconflict resolution taught fellow inmates how to become part of the solution rather than the problem. A spiritual transformation further inspired Antong to return to his old neighborhood after early release, seeking to align with like-minded people dedicated to challenge the unchanged and systemic issues in American communities that can only change through collective efforts. Antong's memoir is the work of an incisive, determined mind that takes its place among the broadening canon of titles championing and investigating prison abolition and societal transformation"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The formerly incarcerated leader of the Dallas Bloods gang tells the story of his spiritual transformation in prison and subsequent efforts to spread peace and non-violence in his old neighborhood after being released.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A motivational memoir by a formerly incarcerated man who transformed from founder and leader of the Dallas Bloods to a practitioner of peace and nonviolence in the neighborhood he once helped destroyAs a child of an incarcerated father, Antong Lucky grew up in an impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhood in East Dallas, Texas, born at the same time as East Dallas experienced an alarming rise in crack cocaine and heroin use. Despite his high grades and passion for learning, Antong is introduced to gang life and its consequences. Eventually, Antong forms the Dallas Bloods gang, inaugurating a period in the 1990s of escalating retaliatory gun violence buoyed by a lucrative illegal drug enterprise until he is ultimately arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison. His journey through the doors of transformation came through the pain of incarceration and introspection that caused him to question the cognitive distortions embedded in him since childhood. Once in prison, Antong denounced his gang affiliation and began working to unite rival gangs, quickly rising to become one of the most respected and sought-after mentors in prison. A spiritual transformation further inspired Antong to return to his old neighborhood after early release, seeking to align with like-minded people dedicated to challenging systemic issues in U.S. communities through collective efforts. The work of an incisive, determined mind, A Redemptive Path Forward will take its place among the broadening canon of titles championing and investigating prison reform and societal transformation.