"Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker" by Julian Voloj and Claudia Aherling

Updated: Jan 30


TITLE: Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker

AUTHOR: Julian Voloj and Claudia Aherling

PUBLISHER: NBM Publisher

PUBLISHED DATE: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 9781561639489

PAGES: 128

* Hype Lit Book Club Selection September 2017

This was a concise telling of a little known piece of Hip Hop history told through the lense of Benjy Menendez - a founding member of the NYC gang Ghetto Brother.

Written by Julian Voloj, and illustrated by Claudia Aherling, this young adult graphic nonfiction narrative paints the bleak circumstances of the 1970s which led hundreds of youths throughout the boroughs of New York - but particularly the Bronx - to join gangs as a means of protection and belonging.

The black and white line drawings are expressive and convey unspoken emotions. Sharing anecdotal historical findings of the mass Jewish exodus from Spain in 1492 along will the peace meeting that lead to the scaffolding of what we call hip hop, this narrative proves to be just as compelling as it is informative.

For further reading and watching:

Hype Lit Discussion Guide

Flyin' Cut Sleeves Documentary

The Other 1492: Jewish Settlement in the New World

The Hip Hop Family Tree Book 1: 1970s - 1981

The Jews of Latin America

Julian Voloj: 8Ball Radio show: Ghetto Brothers

Recommendation: Read it! This is quick informative read.

Audience: Young Adults and up

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