Slugg: A Boy's Life in the Age of Mass Incarceration / Lewis Jr., Tony

Slugg: A Boy's Life in the Age of Mass Incarceration is a blueprint for survival and a demonstration of the power of love, sacrifice, and service. The son of a Kingpin and the prince of a close-knit crime family, Tony Lewis Jr.'s life took a dramatic turn after his father's arrest in 1989. Washington D.C. stood as the murder capital of the country and Lewis was cast into the heart of the struggle, from a life of stability and riches to one of chaos and poverty. How does one make it in America, battling the breakdown of families, the plague of premature death and the hopelessness of being reviled, isolated, and forgotten? Tony Lewis' astonishing journey answers these questions and offers, for the first time, a close look at the familial residue of America's historic program of mass incarceration.

"Slugg is truly an incredible work. It is so beautifully written, powerful, poignant. A must read for us all." Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Blood in the Water: the Attica Prison uprising of 1971

From School Library Journal When Lewis was two years old, his father was 19, a drug kingpin, and a millionaire. As a child, the author led a pampered life in a big house with cars, electronics, and the trappings of wealth, even going to private schools. At age nine, his life descended into chaos when his father was arrested and given a life sentence. Lewis’s mother became increasingly paranoid, finally succumbing to mental illness. This beautiful and important book holds page after page of insight and reflection about prison, choices, fatherhood, and connection. Lewis went from seeing his father every day to seeing him three times in the 13 years he was incarcerated. The young man struggles with his own demons and what he is going to make of his life. Eventually, he goes on to win national awards for community service, and readers cheer him on as he does. This book is a must buy. Amy Cheney, Librarian and founder of "In the Margins" book award.

"Tony Lewis Jr. has a perspective like no other on the crack trade that decimated the nation's capital in the 80's and 90's. With this gripping memoir, Lewis relates an intimate history and portrays a side of Washington D.C. rarely seen." Joe Heim, The Washington Post

"A modern day hero, Tony Lewis Jr has all the tools to lead us to a better tomorrow. This book promotes qualities that are lost in too many of our men. Slugg is essentially the story of a whole generation"-Wale, Grammy Nominated Artist

“Tony’s story is one of incredible triumph against all odds after having his world crash down around him. He was thrust into poverty during one of the most desperate and horrific eras in the District of Columbia’s history, but he rejected his father’s life of crime and instead embraced community activism to improve his hometown and the lives of those around him.”—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
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