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A History of Violence - My Life in Street Gangs - by Segun Akinsanya

"When I first started running with gangs in Grade 9, it was so I could be cool, so I could fit in. By the time I became involved in gang activity near Jane and Finch, it was because I didn’t see another option. I thought maybe, if I made some quick money, I could become a real estate mogul. I started selling drugs, mostly weed and coke, some ecstasy. I even tried cooking crack. My friends and I were always planning. Plotting. Smoking weed and thinking about our big hit—the one that would make us enough money to stop. As a small-time drug dealer, I was barely making minimum wage; you have to sell a lot of dime bags to get rich. In the year I was living at Jane and Finch, I only earned about $15,000. I spent it on a 1992 Nissan Altima. I didn’t want to sell heroin, or meth, or large quantities of weed. You have to decide where you draw the line, and when you’re moving hard drugs, you have to be prepared to die—or to kill someone in an instant. I couldn’t do that to my family."

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