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William Breveard April 6, 2010 English 101 Darren Cifareli T/Th 11:10-12:30 G. A. N. G. L. I. F. E Ghetto Star is a neighborhood “celebrity” known for actions such as gangbanging and dealing drugs (Shakur, Sanyika). For the past four decades gangs have populated the streets of Los Angeles; growing from 18 to 60 from 1972 to 1978, and from 155 to 270 gangs from 1982 to 1996. The bloods and crips in Los Angeles are predominately African Americans; with the exceptions of about four gangs which reside in Long Beach, Carson, Compton, and Inglewood and they consist of Samoan and members from Tongan descent.

Gangs aren’t just an urban city problem but gangs have reached out to suburban and rural areas, which make modern day gangs an issue that can affect anyone in its path. In the early nineteen-seventies late sixties a young man named Raymond Washington got together with several fellow kids in his neighborhood and organized a set called the Baby Avenues (aka Avenue Cribs). The name Crib chosen by the Raymond and his peers is were the word “Crips” originates from no one knows the actual reason people start calling them that but they soon adopted the word.

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In the year of 1971 the Avenue Cribs started to be known around the Los Angeles area as what we call today crips. Raymond Washington and his fellow peers looked-up and admired the Black Panthers, him and his friends wanted to preserve the aura of the Panthers, by creating the Avenue Cribs or Baby Avenues which were the first of their kind but not the last. They were like big brothers of the neighborhood protectors of their block to a certain extent, they wouldn’t let anyone come to their neighborhood and start trouble.

Raymond and his Avenue Cribs originated from the Eastside of Los Angeles they were later known or actually given the title as the original crips. Gangs like the Avenue Cribs were being formed throughout the Los Angeles area from as far as Watts and Compton to Inglewood and the Westside of Los Angeles. Not just Black gangs were created in Los Angeles but Mexican gangs such as the notorious MS-13 were too, Ms-13 is one of the biggest gangs in the country.

Ms-13 created by the children of Hispanic immigrants who left the civil war in El Salvador in the nineteen-eighties, their purpose of this gang was to protect themselves from rival Mexican-American gangs. Ms-13 has wide-spread from Los Angeles area throughout southern cities such as Charlotte, Durhan, and North Carolina where Hispanics are the fattest growing minority. The gang culture of Ms-13 has spread even as far out from Los Angeles urban and suburban areas all the way out of the country such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

These gangs may have limit boundaries between each other in the city of Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean they stay between them. “Gangs are no longer just the problem of those who live in the crime ridden neighborhoods where the gangs thrive; they are now everyone’s problem” (LAPD). Although people think of gang culture or the history of it is just a group of delinquent kids, gang culture is actually a highly structured social entity with hierarchies of power and authority to which gang members abide by. Gangs have been and will always be a [arty of our society, they have in one way or another been around for hundreds of years.

A form of how gangs have been around is the example of pirates they can be considered an organized gang. Traditionally when you think of modern day gangs the Crips and Bloods are brought to mind and these two gangs can be dated as far back as to the nineteen-sixties. The gang culture is so deep on the west coast that plenty of families have generations of gang members living in the same residence. In the past five years in Los Angeles there has been 23,000 violent gang crimes, the following include 784 homicides, nearly 12,000 felony assaults, approximately 10,000 robberies, and just fewer than 500 rapes.

As of today they are more than 250 active gangs in the city of Los Angeles and these gangs have a combined membership of over 26,000 individuals. LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT Citywide Gang Crime Summary JUNE 2009 This report was compiled by Gang and Narcotics Division Gang – Related Crimes CRIME CATEGORY THIS MONTH THIS MONTH LAST YEAR YTD LAST YTD % OF CHANGE 1 Homicide 10 16 74 95 -22. 1% 2 Aggravated Assault (Excl. ADW on PO) 225 241 1268 1423 -10. 9% 3 Attacks on Police Officers (Agg. & Simple) 4 1 33 22 50. 0% 4 Rape 3 4 14 25 -44. % 5 Robbery Excl. Carjacking 140 213 1054 1252 -15. 8% 6 Carjacking 4 10 40 56 -28. 6% 7 Kidnap 5 5 19 22 -13. 6% 8 Shots Inhabited Dwelling 11 14 84 72 16. 7% 9 Arson 0 0 1 1 0. 0% 10 Criminal Threats 61 88 371 432 -14. 1% 11 Extortion 3 3 14 14 0. 0% TOTAL 466 595 2972 3414 -12. 9% LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT Citywide Gang Crime Summary JUNE 2009 This report was compiled by Gang and Narcotics Division Gang – Related Crimes AREA THIS MONTH THIS MONTH LAST YEAR YTD LAST YTD % Chg Operations Central Bureau 155 220 1106 1305 -15. 2%

CENTRAL AREA 8 11 65 66 -1. 5% HOLLENBECK AREA 35 45 255 265 -3. 8% RAMPART AREA 46 55 223 357 -37. 5% NORTHEAST AREA 32 30 237 264 -10. 2% NEWTON AREA 34 79 326 353 -7. 6% Operations South Bureau 178 208 1023 1161 -11. 9% 77th STREET AREA 75 78 440 411 7. 1% HARBOR AREA 15 18 92 146 -37. 0% SOUTHEAST AREA 44 58 278 297 -6. 4% SOUTHWEST AREA 44 54 213 307 -30. 6% Operations Valley Bureau 99 117 576 626 -8. 0% DEVONSHIRE AREA 8 5 57 37 54. 1% FOOTHILL AREA 29 34 182 156 16. 7% NORTH HOLLYWOOD AREA 9 15 62 75 -17. 3% VAN NUYS AREA 6 33 45 140 -67. 9%

WEST VALLEY AREA 2 21 32 103 -68. 9% TOPANGA AREA 10 0 49 0 0 MISSION AREA 35 9 149 115 -29. 6% Operations West Bureau 34 50 267 322 -17. 1% HOLLYWOOD AREA 9 19 53 104 -49. 0% OLYMPIC AREA 13 0 97 0 0 PACIFIC AREA 3 17 56 81 -30. 9% WEST LOS ANGELES AREA 4 4 18 28 -35. 7% WILSHIRE AREA 5 10 43 109 -60. 6 Youth involvement with gangs can begin as early as grade school starting at 7-11 years old. “Recruitment, or conscription, begins at eleven years of age” (Sanyika, Shakur xii). Roles of leadership in street gangs usually aren’t formally recognizable positions.

These positions are addressed by a gang member who demonstrates or puts in enough work at a given time. Most gang members are made up of males ranging from adolescents at the age of 7 to adults of the age 30. Gangs aren’t sexist at all they allow women to partake in the killing, stealing and other acts of crime that males take part in. “Although both armies are predominately made up of males, there are many females involved in fighting” (Sanyika, Shakur xii). Some women pioneers as you would call it, have a even stepped into the gang culture creating their own separate gangs or sets.

Some women have built up a reputation or rep so massive they too, can be honored with the title of Original Gangster “OG”. In the novel, monster Sanyika Shakur wrote about his start and rise of becoming a gang member or be considered a “Ghetto Star” in his neighborhood. Some ways he portrayed gangbanging was as glamorous and full of adventure. The way gangs were when Shakur was young child had changed by the time he was a teenager, there were more gangs in L. A meaning there was more gang activity. By the time he had children gang culture had made itself into suburban and rural areas, even places outside the country.

Even though Sanyika Shakur had portrayed some parts of gangbanging as glamorous, eventually had to find out after attending funerals of his dead gang members and serving time in jail for crimes he realized living life like this wasn’t all what life could offer him. He’s now involved in the Black Nationalist Movement where he mentors the youth about gangs and how gangs can affect their families and them. Programs like the Black Nationalist Movement can intervene and help prevent the youth from getting involved in gang activity. Certain programs like this one are solutions to gang activity.

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