Not too long ago, I had the privilege to interview a few friends of mine that live in the neighborhood. I was amazed because I learned a lot of tormenting secrets from their lives. I will not mention their real names in order to respect my friends’ images. The first person I interviewed, called “Omar”, first began telling about some of BC’s history. As far as he remembers, there was a group called Garden Grove Youngsters who were considered a “crew” but they saw their each other as a second family. Later on, the name changed to NSM, which stood for either Non-Stop Maniacs or Non-Stop Mexicans. Although they did not gang bang, they still hanged around with the local gang. This eventually brought them problems with enemy gangs. His older brother was part of NSM which currently is BCA. However, in contrast with other crews, BCA is not a “banging” crew; it’s more like a way to be proud of the small community of this neighborhood. With such information, I can say I’m from BCA and of course, I wouldn’t be lying. Well, back to Omar’s story. At age one, he was taken away from his mother and taken to foster parents because his alcoholic father would beat his mom. He was able to live back with his mom four years later but his father was long gone. She married another man and seems to be a lot happier now. He saw his first murder at age 8. As he heard some noises outside late at night, he peaked out through the window and saw his uncle ( a gangster of very high rank) stab his other uncle to death. The man killed him because the other uncle had cheated on the murder’s sister. Omar saw as his first uncle fled and the other one walked towards the stairs grabbing his stomach as he gasped for air. Once he reached the stairs, he fell dead. As time went by, he saw friends get shot at due to the gangster life, and saw friends get imprisoned. One of his friends was put in juvenile hall his 7th grade year. Now, he is 18 and so he has been transferred to a prison. Omar would go to high school drunk, high, or under the influence of either ecstasy, acid, mushrooms, etc. He went to continuation one year and eventually graduated in 2011. He admitted he started using drugs as a way to numb up his emotional pain but it later became a habit. I will post my other interviews soon.

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About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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