"MURDER. FRONT PAGE. AND THEY SAID IT WAS DONE, WITH A GAUGE... NO FAME. NO GLORY. PENITENTIARY. ANOTHER STORY. AIN'T IT A SHAME. CAUGHT UP IN A GANG GAME." By night, Eric Davis, James Martin, and Randy Holcomb work undercover in Chicago's toughest housing projects. Like all undercover cops, these three men lead double lives, but this trio's other life is a little more different than most. When the sun is shining, Eric, James, and Randy aren't "slick boys"— plain clothes cops— anymore, they're the Slick Boys, a rap group whose motto is "education, not incarceration".
The Slick Boys tour schools in inner cities all across the country, bringing with them their message that hope, peace, and education can change students' lives. Their efforts have been chronicled by the likes of Diane Sawyer and Oprah Winfrey, and their accomplishments have been written up around the world. What have they done? Arranged a truce between rival gangs. Helped kids stay away from drugs. Provided scholarships. And most important, shown that it's possible to break the cycle of violence that ruins so many young lives in America today.
Why do kids listen to what the Slick Boys have to say? Because Eric, James, and Randy have been where the kids are. They grew up in the projects and faced the same seemingly insurmountable obstacles of poverty, gang involvement, and prison. Where the three are now proves that it's possible to overcome adversity and achieve success. And what makes their message especially compelling is that as adults, the Slick Boys have returned to their community. They are living examples of their message, able to reach beyond their badges and pull other people up.
"The Slick Boys" tells their story and explains their message through a series of lessons that emphasize self-worth and dignity, education and open-mindedness, and above all, the belief that one by one, one to one, it's possible to change the world. It's an honest, heartwrenching, and important book that any parent can learn from and includes both local and national resources for anyone who wants to make a difference.
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