Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America

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Beacon Press, 1996 - Social Science - 179 pages
12 Reviews
Through shattering storytelling, Geoffrey Canada recreates his childhood world, one in which the "sidewalk" boys learned the codes of the block from their elders and were ranked - and to some degree protected - through the rituals of fist, stick, and knife. He gives a cogent, chilling analysis of how, through an unforeseen chain of consequences set in motion in the 1960s by New York Governor Rockefeller's drug laws, everything changed on the streets. And there is a portrait of present reality - of drive-by shootings, of ever-younger, automatic weapon-toting drug runners, of gun manufacturers' cold-blooded marketing of guns to children - which follows logically from our nation's public stance on children and violence, and yet still, to this gifted writer and passionate child advocate, makes no sense at all. The author's vision for a changed future for these children, and so for our nation as a whole, is backed up by descriptions of Canada's acclaimed and innovative inner-city programs for children and their families - Peacemakers, Beacon Schools, and the Harlem Freedom Schools. His is a vision that includes governmental, community, and personal innovation and bravery and one that offers indelible stories of lives lost and of lives turned around.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jrnewman - LibraryThing

Canada gives the reader a glimpse into the life of a poor African American growing up in the inner city in the 60's and 70's. His experiences on Union Street shaped his life and his understanding of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kmmoore - LibraryThing

Geoffrey Canada shares his story of growing up surrounded by violence in “Fist Stick Knife Gun”. Canada tells how everyday in his youth he dealt with some sort of violence. While he did not like to ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Preface
ix
Codes of Conduct
1
Chapter One
3
Chapter Two
9
Chapter Three
13
Chapter Four
23
Chapter Five
29
Chapter Six
35
Chapter Thirteen
89
Chapter Fourteen
99
The Best Way We Know How
105
Chapter Fifteen
107
Chapter Sixteen
117
Chapter Seventeen
121
Chapter Eighteen
127
Chapter Nineteen
133

Chapter Seven
45
Chapter Eight
51
Chapter Nine
57
A Matter of Time
65
Chapter Ten
67
Chapter Eleven
77
Chapter Twelve
83
Chapter Twenty
137
Chapter TwentyOne
143
Chapter TwentyTwo
147
Chapter TwentyThree
159
Chapter TwentyFour
169
Chapter TwentyFive
175
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Geoffrey Canada is president of the Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families in New York City. He is the recipient of a 1995 Heinz Foundation Award and a Parents Magazine Award for his work in child advocacy, and he is author of Fist Stick Knife Gun (Beacon/paperback/0-8070-0423-5/$12.00).

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