From tears of joy to painful nights sobbing over the death of friends and relatives, living in Brixton for over 10 years has played an enormous role in my upbringing. The nights spent laughing over games of FIFA and COD, and chilling in the park after school are some of the best moments of my life. Journeys from Myatts field, past the numerous dirt-white and grey estates, to Somerleyton, where I was regularly greeted by the Jamaican residents who were hanging outside the cornershops or sat outside Somerleyton’s own set of estates, will forever remain with me. But where there is light, we must acknowledge the darkness. That darkness was the thriving gang activity.
Notoriously known for its gangs & violence, Somerleyton has always been an infamous area. Angel Town more so, with Myatts Field having a reputation of its own. I am not ashamed to say I knew, and was friends with some of the gang members. Brixton has been, and always will be, home for us. Although I was never in a gang, and had no desire to be, we all looked out for one another. So it was not strange to shiver as the all too familiar feeling of brotherly love fell on me as I sat with Patrick discussing our past. As a reformed alcoholic and drug addict, Patrick had a long history with the local gang. Continue reading