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Straight Outta East Oakland

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Firstborn Walker is a book worm who dreams of attending one of America's most competitive universities. When his best friend is shot through the forehead with a hollow tip bullet, his desire to flee the mean streets only intensifies. Unemployed, he turns to the only person who can help him secure the money he'll need to supplement his scholarship, a childhood friend known Firstborn Walker is a book worm who dreams of attending one of America's most competitive universities. When his best friend is shot through the forehead with a hollow tip bullet, his desire to flee the mean streets only intensifies. Unemployed, he turns to the only person who can help him secure the money he'll need to supplement his scholarship, a childhood friend known as "Drama." Drama is a charismatic, ultra-violent block hog, an East Oakland crack dealer who makes his living with a triple beam scale and an Uzi submachine gun. He assures Firstborn that he can earn the money he needs in just three months. So, Firstborn becomes a member of the Black Christmas Mob. Now the community college valedictorian must struggle to survive in a game laced with gold diggers, contract killers, hard hitters, marks, knocks, snitches and infiltrators; a world where witness tampering, blinding violence, safehouses, and a relentless cop named "the Hawk" become his new reality. Will Firstborn slip up and catch that triple life sentence? Will a vengeful gang leader called "Latin Caesar" blast a hot one through his forehead? Or will he escape the game and graduate from college? Straight Outta East Oakland tells his suspenseful story.


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Firstborn Walker is a book worm who dreams of attending one of America's most competitive universities. When his best friend is shot through the forehead with a hollow tip bullet, his desire to flee the mean streets only intensifies. Unemployed, he turns to the only person who can help him secure the money he'll need to supplement his scholarship, a childhood friend known Firstborn Walker is a book worm who dreams of attending one of America's most competitive universities. When his best friend is shot through the forehead with a hollow tip bullet, his desire to flee the mean streets only intensifies. Unemployed, he turns to the only person who can help him secure the money he'll need to supplement his scholarship, a childhood friend known as "Drama." Drama is a charismatic, ultra-violent block hog, an East Oakland crack dealer who makes his living with a triple beam scale and an Uzi submachine gun. He assures Firstborn that he can earn the money he needs in just three months. So, Firstborn becomes a member of the Black Christmas Mob. Now the community college valedictorian must struggle to survive in a game laced with gold diggers, contract killers, hard hitters, marks, knocks, snitches and infiltrators; a world where witness tampering, blinding violence, safehouses, and a relentless cop named "the Hawk" become his new reality. Will Firstborn slip up and catch that triple life sentence? Will a vengeful gang leader called "Latin Caesar" blast a hot one through his forehead? Or will he escape the game and graduate from college? Straight Outta East Oakland tells his suspenseful story.

41 review for Straight Outta East Oakland

  1. 4 out of 5

    alexandra

    Super good title. Lots of action for the urban lit fans, but gives the reader a lot to think about how the government responds to poor people of color too.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    I read this through the lens of someone who's been working with youth in East Oakland for nearly 15 years. I'm constantly on the search for books that interest them and I finally took a chance on this one. The language can be a bit raw, the imagery can be graphic, and the writing unsophisticated at times, but Williams is writing for a particular audience, who often times won't pick up a book. Yet students I see who hate reading passed this one and discussed it. Overt social commentary runs throu I read this through the lens of someone who's been working with youth in East Oakland for nearly 15 years. I'm constantly on the search for books that interest them and I finally took a chance on this one. The language can be a bit raw, the imagery can be graphic, and the writing unsophisticated at times, but Williams is writing for a particular audience, who often times won't pick up a book. Yet students I see who hate reading passed this one and discussed it. Overt social commentary runs through the book, confronting ideological conflicts within Christianity, racism, and personal responsibility. When it first came out, I immediately shunned it due to the cover. I had little interest in "urban literature" that glorified violence, drugs, and fast money, which I mistakingly thought this was. The reason I initially rejected the book is exactly the reason that so many young people gravitated to it. It captures their attention, yet Williams uses that hook to push the readers to think about social issues and their own lives. Without that context, I might not have rated it as high, but seeing its impact on young people in the community, gives it power. Over the years I've interacted with the author and he's doing good work to reach out to people that most other people ignore. This book is just one of his venues.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Martha weasel Bear

    I loved this book and also enjoyed getting to meet the author Harry is an awesome guy

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Daviet

    An amazing book. The literary equivocal of a film like "Menace to Society" At times you feel like your in the same room with the books characters as they plan their takeovers of the Oakland street. This is the real stir from a man that live the life of a gangster and was lucky enough to walk away and make a book. An amazing book. The literary equivocal of a film like "Menace to Society" At times you feel like your in the same room with the books characters as they plan their takeovers of the Oakland street. This is the real stir from a man that live the life of a gangster and was lucky enough to walk away and make a book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Dever

    Stellar book from an amazing author and humanitarian. This genre is way outside of my normal reading, but reaching these "lost" souls is so very important. The action and emotions within this book are legit. Mr. Williams knows the Tenderloin and those living this life. He's real. This lifestyle is real. There is hope for those who want it! Stellar book from an amazing author and humanitarian. This genre is way outside of my normal reading, but reaching these "lost" souls is so very important. The action and emotions within this book are legit. Mr. Williams knows the Tenderloin and those living this life. He's real. This lifestyle is real. There is hope for those who want it!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Great read. Insightful and raw. Really captures the pulse of the streets.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nae johnson

    I think that this book was astonishing. Mind-Breaking. This book real have you jumping out of your seat.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lonnie

    Very good book, I'm from East Oakland and enjoyed the book. I was at a friends house and just happened to see in the book case, lucky me. My friend actually knows the author from Allen Temple. Very good book, I'm from East Oakland and enjoyed the book. I was at a friends house and just happened to see in the book case, lucky me. My friend actually knows the author from Allen Temple.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Downend

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mendel Chernack

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sean Michael

  12. 4 out of 5

    dianne (off seeking immunity)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  14. 5 out of 5

    Edward Domantay

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jerrell Miller

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fritz

  17. 5 out of 5

    Irean

  18. 4 out of 5

    Liza Guzman

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jaye

  20. 5 out of 5

    Erika

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy Cheney

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vi Louise

  23. 4 out of 5

    Esopion

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kassandra Palmer

  25. 5 out of 5

    Harry Louis

  26. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  28. 5 out of 5

    Poetruth

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jack

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  31. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

  32. 5 out of 5

    Brook

  33. 4 out of 5

    Alejandra

  34. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  35. 4 out of 5

    Jo

  36. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jorrail Morris

  38. 5 out of 5

    Krupa

  39. 4 out of 5

    Jose Perez

  40. 4 out of 5

    Stacci Hamilton

  41. 4 out of 5

    Maurica Anderson

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