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Thug Life: A Retrospective Look

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By the ripe old age of seventeen, Jerald Walker had experienced a lot—he'd already dropped out of high school, was addicted to drugs, and in a gang. Growing up the son of two blind parents trying to raise a family in Chicago's public housing was tough.

But nowadays, Walker can be found in Massachusetts, where he's an associate professor of English at Bridgewater State College. Walker highlights the tension between his two very different lives in the new book, Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption.

In fact, the book's very title reflects the impact he says his less-than-ideal childhood continues to have on life today, and how the shadows creep into his experiences in everyday life.

You can hear Jerald Walker read from his new book, Street Shadows tonight at the Herald Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago.

Music Button: Trick Daddy, "Thug Holiday," from the release Thug Holiday (Atlantic / WEA)

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