The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member by Sanyika Shakur aka Kody Scott

The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member by Sanyika Shakur aka Kody Scott

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This book Monster: the Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member by Sanyika Shakur aka Kody Scott depicts all of the events that Kody went through from the day he joined a gang up until when he decides to leave the gang, and his life after the gang. He joined the Eight Tray Crips when he was only eleven years old. He gets initiated into the gang after his sixth grade graduation, and he describes his initiation as an even bigger right of passage into society than his own graduation. The reasons that Kody suggests that he had joined a gang has to do a lot with the whole concept of belonging. He makes it sound like his family life was not a very good one, and that in school he felt as if he had no power because he hints at being bullied as a child. By being involved in a gang it gave him more of a family than the one that he had at home, and it made him feel powerful because if he could not protect himself his “homeboys” sure would. For his initiation he was beaten by the other gang members and then
Not too long after Kody joins the gang he gains the name Monster. One night while robbing someone the person fights back and he ends up beating the guy so severely that the police told the media that whoever did this was a monster, and the name seemed to stick. Monster ends up gaining the respect of the gang very quickly and soon becomes a very important member of the Eight Tray Crips. Throughout this time he kills many people and seems to be very ruthless. This reputation ends up getting him put on the enemy gangs list of people that need to be taken down. One night Kody was set up and ambushed by three men who shoot him six times, but he survives. Then not long after he has been out of the hospital he is shot again. He survives all of thes...

... middle of paper ... labeled by society eventually live up to the label. Many of the men in this book were automatically labeled criminals because of where they were living and their skin color, which I believe can influence a person’s life greatly. Something that Kody did that not many other people do was he was he found a way to stop letting his label define himself. By leaving the gang and getting a job to support his family he began living the life that was no longer that of a criminal, he found a way to not just be another statistic. Although he was able stop living up to his label, many of his friends and fellow gang members were not, which lead them to choose to stick with the life of crime. Also even though he changed his name and got out of the gang he still carried the label just because society generalized people like himself, but he no longer did things to live up to it.

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