“Now, I sat on the bench outside Temptations with my two homies feeling as low as something I’d scrape off the bottom of my shoes. I couldn’t even tell the other guys about it because it wasn’t just the pressures of gang-banging and drug dealing that was getting to me. I could excuse all the robbing, stealing, cheating, fighting, even the people who had been killed. But how could I excuse myself? How had I become so cold and heartless?…” Damien Jackson
Damien Jackson, a former member of the Bloods, tells his amazing story in his autobiography, “Shoulda Been Dead.” Rejected by both his parents at 14, Damien was forced onto the streets of Atlanta, where old abandoned buildings were his shelter and gang members were his surrogate family. The easy money of dealing drugs and weapons put him in the crossfire of police shootouts, and time in jail just added to his reputation.
Damien’s life was one of survival. Dealing in thousands of dollars of contraband made him dangerous, getting stoned on drugs and alcohol made him fearless, facing down the barrels of guns from police and rival gangs made him tough, but nothing required the level of courage it took to change his life.
How a young man so unwanted and so far gone could ever find himself transformed, is what makes this compelling story a must-read for anyone who has wondered if hope exists for violent criminals.
“Shoulda Been Dead,” will open your eyes to another world and inspire you to turn your life around and start afresh.