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Big Shoes to Fill

October 11, 1992| The following passage is from Donald Bakeer's book, "Crips," the story of Jimmie Black, a man trying to keep his son from the cycle of gangs, murder and prison that entrapped him as a young man.

"Yo daddy is Fass Jimmie Black, O.G. Crip to the max."

"Huh?" said Little Jimmie, instantly knowing he was wrong, slow again. He had to think faster, now, all the Crips in town were treating him like gold or something fine. It was like the whole city had his back after that week the L.A. Sentinel printed his father's picture and a big story about the night when Allah had made him into an angel to save Flaco and himself in the alley. He felt he must do things differently, better.

He had tried to remember everything his father had ever said to him, the hard teachings that had come before the beatings, the whispered street teachings at corners on Manchester and Main or Broadway and Florence. He knew he remembered though it never quite came out right when he tried to explain it to Termite, who he was running with again. "Look Slick Jimmie, you can Crip Walk on Main Street past the 77th Street Police Station in broad daylight or night. You got the top spot, Cuzz," teased Termite.

"We got to take big chances, Cuzz. We got to do big things. We got to live up to yo' reputation in the neighborhood, Cuzz."

(c) 1987, 1992

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