Ghetto Brother (Paperback)

Warrior to Peacemaker (Biographies)

By Julian Voloj, Claudia Ahlering (Illustrator), Jeff Chang (Introduction by)

Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing, 9781561639489, 128pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2015



Winner of:
2016 In the Margins Book Award
2016 Booklist's Top 10 Graphic Novels
2017 Maverick Graphic Novel List

An engrossing and counter view of one of the most dangerous elements of American urban history, this graphic novel tells the true story of Benjy Melendez, a Bronx legend, son of Puerto-Rican immigrants, who founded, at the end of the 1960s, the notorious Ghetto Brothers gang. From the seemingly bombed-out ravages of his neighborhood, wracked by drugs, poverty, and violence, he managed to extract an incredibly positive energy from this riot ridden era: his multiracial gang promoted peace rather than violence. After initiating a gang truce, the Ghetto Brothers held weekly concerts on the streets or in abandoned buildings, which fostered the emergence of hip-hop. Melendez also began to reclaim his Jewish roots after learning about his family's dramatic crypto-Jewish background.

About the Author

Julian Voloj is a photographer and writer who explores aspects of identity and cultural heritage through his work. He lives in New York City. Claudia Ahlering is a painter and illustrator. She is the founder of the magazine Spring.