8 Ball Chicks

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  • Published : November 7, 2005
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8-Ball Chicks: A Year in the Violent World of Girl Gangsters 8-Ball Chicks: A Year in the Violent World of Girl Gangsters is a compelling glimpse into the lives of females in gangs. The book highlights two things: these women do exist, and they are screaming for help. The book's author, Gini Sikes, is a New York-based journalist who spent two years chronicling the worlds of these girls and women in three cities--Los Angeles, San Antonio and Milwaukee. Through her travels she became immersed in the lifestyles of each gang. What she found on her journey through backyards, living rooms and housing-projects was startling. There are perhaps thousands of girl gang members across the nation, and yes, many of them are violent. Sikes' portrait of female gangs in America will both shock and move you. She delves far beyond the usual clichés and shows a depth to her subjects that are rarely seen. These girls carry razor blades in their mouths and get into fights just like their male counterparts, but many of them overcome tremendous adversity to get out of their gangs and change their lives. Sikes reports on these girl gangsters with compassion and honesty, compellingly raising the issue of our troubled urban youth without posturing or preaching. Sikes details the girl's reactions to her as well as to their own environment. 8-Ball Chicks describes everything from gang members' stories of dangerous initiation rites (girls knowingly having sex with an AIDS infected boy; gang rape initiations; gang wannabes allowing a dozen girls to beat them up at once) to the conditions that drive these young women to join gangs in the first place. Most of these girls she discovered entered the gangs for power and belonging. They did not care if they were hurt because survival became their most significant recourse. If they survived the abuse and the poverty, then they felt powerful. In 8 Ball Chicks, we discover the fear and desperate desire for respect and status that drive girls into...
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