Ghetto Bastard, a memoir

Which of these babies is the next dope fiend? The next dope dealer?
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This was such a beautiful story. It tugs on the heartstrings and gives you a glimpse into the life of someone growing up when New York City was still New York City. It’s a real look at the way the hood can make you or break you.

-- Sydney
Book Description:

Society has labelled babies born between 1961 and 1982 Generation X. But in 1968, in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, which was one of the most dope-infested areas of the world, they donned another moniker.

Right across the bridge from Harlem, in the glory days of notorious drug kingpins such as Nicky Barns and Frank Lucas, children born in this section were known as Generation Next, because no one looked at those babies and asked: “Who’s going to be a doctor? Lawyer? Politician? Businessman? Real estate tycoon?” Instead they wondered:

Which of these babies is the next dope fiend? The next dope dealer? The next one to go to prison? The next unwed teenaged mother?

The odds of one of these children, a Gen Next, surviving their circumstances undamaged were on par with the journey of sperm to egg: three hundred million are in the race, but only one makes it to the target.

Ghetto Bastard is a story of survival. Malik was born into these circumstances–with no father to teach him how to be a man, and to a mother who didn’t want him. Malik must navigate his way to adulthood with only the streets as his guide–through the seventies heroin infestation, the eighties crack rage, and the nineties Clinton mass incarceration era, and AIDS epidemic.

Once he becomes a man, his vision broadens, but will it be enough to abandon the very ghetto that created him?

Ghetto Bastard is the intimate journey of an innocent child in search of love and self-worth. He just wants what we all want. And Malik Russell wasn’t born with any ‘quit’, so he’s got that going for him, but neither was his opponent: the ghetto.

Russell Vann (Author)
I was born in the South Bronx in the late sixties to a drug-addicted mother, who didn’t know who my father was, and into a world that didn’t want me. Growing up, I faced life or death situations every step of the way, it seemed. Not only have I struggled to overcome my own specters, but also those of my environment. I started to write these books as a form of therapy. In doing so, I realized that all the people around me, throughout my life, had been dealing with their own misfortunes. That’s when it hit me that I was writing my memoirs to convey that “current situation” neither determines nor defines “final destination.” I’ve had to overcome many obstacles affiliated with living in the ghetto. Did I escape unscathed? No, but I’m stronger. And matters of the heart–that I’ve experienced because of the ghetto–have shaped me into the man I’ve become. I’m no longer in the ghetto, and while those experiences haven’t defined me, they haven’t left me, either. I am truly blessed to have my loving family’s support on this journey to become an author. Regardless of where you come from or what you do, I hope my life story touches you. The threads of commonality that run through my memoir show that we all face similar struggles in life and must overcome much of the same troubles. Life and death battles don’t lurk around every corner, but fears and worries haunt us all; love and heartbreak can change our lives in a moment. Because of that, Ghetto Bastard tells everyone’s story.
Dear Reader, author’s recently published book “Ghetto Bastard, a memoir” is now available on leading bookstores, get your copy now and help the author by writing a review of the book.
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