Love and Consequences

Love and Consequences

A Memoir of Hope and Survival

Book - 2008
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Penguin Putnam
A stunning memoir of a mixed-race girl growing up in gang-ridden South Central Los Angeles, where she followed her foster brothers into the Bloods before she hit puberty: what she witnessed, how she survived, and-against all odds-thrived.

This is a powerful portrait of life in L.A.'s gangland and drug trade as told through one household: a single, overworked grandmother, her two grandsons (who drop out of school and become Bloods before puberty), her two crack-baby granddaughters, and the foster child-the author-who comes to live with them at age eight, joins the gang, and then defies the odds, using education to climb her way out.

After her two foster brothers were "jumped in" by the Bloods at ages twelve and thirteen, Margaret-renamed "Bree" in her new street life-followed their example. At twelve she was making deliveries for local dealers in the gang. For her thirteenth birthday she received her own gun. At sixteen, forced to find a way to keep the water from being shut off in her foster home, she learned to cook crack cocaine. Soon after, she fell in love for the first time, dating a seasoned gang member until he was sentenced to life in prison. We observe the lives of these characters from childhood through adolescence and into early adulthood. For some, this means following a trajectory of crime, pregnancy, imprisonment-and ultimately, death. But for Margaret, her obvious intelligence, will, and tenacity-aided by sheer luck-enable her to break free, to graduate from high school, and then college. The strength of this book is testament to the remarkable adult she has become.

This unvarnished, humanizing portrait of people living in urban poverty transcends both statistics and stereotypes, and reveals the power of family in a chaotic world-and the poignancy of smart, philosophical teens who dream of a safer life waiting for them beyond the streets.

Baker & Taylor
A former child gang member who followed her foster brothers into the Bloods at the age of eight reveals her participation in drug activities and violence before finding the strength within herself to graduate college and break free.

Blackwell North Amer
In an unforgettable voice that weaves stunning, forthright narration together with the distinctive, rhythmic slang of the street, Margaret B. Jones brings us movingly into the world of her youth - a world of gangs and poverty, but also of hope and survival - to create a memoir like no other.
At age five, Margaret B. Jones was removed from her suburban California home and put into foster care. At age eight, after many relocations, she landed in a foster home in South Central Los Angeles, the region of gang-ridden neighborhoods made infamous by the Rodney King riots. A part white, part Native American girl, Jones grew up in the predominantly black community in an all-black household run by the formidable "Big Mom," a stem, single, overworked woman raising four grandchildren for their absent mother. The family's street was ruled by the Bloods gang, and Jones watched as her beloved older foster brothers were "jumped in" at ages twelve and thirteen. She quickly learned to admire and emulate the lifestyle and within a few years was a member of the gang herself.
Even through the cloud of danger and hardship that surrounds her story of life in the inner city, what resonates most is her portrayal of the human, emotional side of this world - the intimate family relationships and tensions, the life-changing lessons of friendship, and the passion and anguish of smart, philosophical kids like Jones struggling just to imagine a safer life waiting beyond their streets, let alone to find a way out.
In visceral, cinematic storytelling, she shows us a world in which most of her friends and siblings followed a trajectory of crime, imprisonment, pregnancy - and too often, death. Jones herself, however, was determined to beat the odds: a combination of intelligence, will, tenacity, and pure luck provided her with a lifesaving opportunity, a college education, and a way out of the neighborhood. But she has never left behind the lessons and strength she learned there.
An unvarnished look at inner-city life beyond the statistics and stereotypes, Love and Consequences is an alternately heartbreaking and uplifting story of what one girl witnessed, how she survived - and ultimately thrived.

& Taylor

A former child gang member who followed her foster brothers into the Bloods reveals her participation in drug activities and violence before finding the strength within herself to graduate college and break free.

Publisher: New York : Riverhead books, c2008
ISBN: 9781594489778
Characteristics: 296 p. ; 24 cm


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