Dear Dr. Rios,

My name is Dynasty Spinks Breazeale. I am a 11th grader at Fremont High School. I am a straight A student and goals in life. When I graduate I want to go to college and become a lawyer. I have just finished chapter 7 and 8 of your autobiography Street Life. When I first started reading the book I knew you was gone have a rough life. As I was reading the book I visualized and put myself in your shoes. It made me sad to know what you been through. So far I been finding quotes and making responses to them.


I feel hurt about different parts of your story that you shared in the chapters titled “The Snake Belt” and “A True Gangster”.


In chapter 7, when you said “But worse I had backstabbed my own mother, betrayed her hopes for me to finish school, after all the pain and work. Even though my mother had made many mistakes while raising me…,”(page 36), I want you to know that It is good to have a state of mind you have, to realize you hurt your mom. Also, you said “I thought that the least I could do for my mother was to pay her back for having given birth to me” (page 37), and I thought It was hard for you to admit that you thank her after what all she did to you Dr. Rios.


Then I read chapter 8 where I read “ The stranger placed the gun on my forehead, the cold steel giving me an instant rush of goosebumps” (page 42) and I realized you never mentioned about being traumatized to go outside. If I was in that situation I would be scared to step a foot outside especially at the age of 11-years-old. Lastly, you shared “I grabbed the gun and pointed it towards the guys. Then, I raised the gun towards the air and shot into the night sky” (page 46), and I want you to know that it was smart of you to not kill the guys because you wouldn’t be able to become who you are today or successful. These two chapters was interesting and kind of emotional. To you kow that you joined a gang at a young age and still alive is a blessing.


Thank you for reading, and I hope to hear from you,



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February 22, 2018 6:18 pm

Hi Dynasty. I enjoyed your response, you sound really engaged as a reader. Iam glad that Dr Rios is addressing Gun Violence because it is a problem nationwide, this epidemic can only be controlled by the youth. I was intrigued by your introductory where you identify yourself as “Straight” this seemed very unusual to me; is there some correlation with the book or did I not read something correct? Please Respond Iam very interested!

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