New Journey, The

Personal Testimony

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Aaron Chancy (Host), Kitrell Lucas


Series Code: TNJ

Program Code: TNJ000063

00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues.
00:03 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:04 may be too candid for younger children.
00:10 Welcome to The New Journey,
00:11 a program where you'll meet real life people,
00:13 with real life testimonies,
00:15 doing real life ministry for Jesus Christ.
00:17 I'm your host Aaron Chancy,
00:19 come join us on The New Journey.
00:52 Welcome back to The New Journey.
00:53 On today's broadcast, we have with us Kitrell Lucas.
00:56 Kitrell, we'd like to thank you for being on the program today.
00:58 Welcome and thank you.
01:00 Yes sir, yes sir.
01:01 Just some general brief background information,
01:03 could you tell us your age and where you are from?
01:06 I'm 41 years old from Chicago, Illinois,
01:08 but right now I live in Huntsville, Alabama.
01:11 Okay, you mentioned Chicago, Illinois,
01:13 what was it like growing up in Chicago, Illinois
01:16 when you were younger?
01:17 Well, I grew up on the south side of Chicago.
01:23 We had limited resources.
01:28 But it was dangerous,
01:30 you know, the areas that I came in,
01:32 I grew up in a Robert Taylor Homes.
01:33 Okay.
01:34 That's a public house and development
01:36 on the south side.
01:37 All right.
01:39 Growing up, I was into do,
01:42 well, I was exposed to a whole lot.
01:44 Okay.
01:45 But I've learned even then
01:48 that if I mind my business
01:50 that I can get away with few things.
01:53 Okay, okay.
01:54 Now what was the likelihood growing up in Chicago back
01:57 when you were younger of a person young person
01:59 making it to 21 years old?
02:01 Wow, you know 21 seemed far away
02:04 for lot of people, you know.
02:06 Definitely.
02:08 And 21 would have meant that if for me
02:11 that we were in the early '90s, and that was close to 2000,
02:15 and that seemed like a distant future.
02:18 So a lot of things were handled for the moment.
02:23 We did have gang violence, a lot of gang violence,
02:25 little kids did get killed.
02:27 Wow.
02:28 A lot of lives were lost before the age of 21.
02:31 Okay.
02:32 The likelihood of a mother with more than one child,
02:36 you know, to get out of the projects with all of them.
02:39 Yeah.
02:40 That was really slim to get out.
02:41 Wow, wow.
02:43 So growing up, you mentioned that,
02:45 you know, friends got killed and young people got killed.
02:49 How did that make you feel growing up,
02:51 seeing those things around you?
02:53 Well, I wasn't one of those who didn't think
02:55 that I wouldn't live to see 21 years old.
02:59 Okay.
03:01 I always had a plan for myself but it was dangerous.
03:06 There was some areas that I knew not to go into.
03:10 There was some people that I knew
03:12 not to even look their way.
03:14 You know, because they'll, it could,
03:16 it could spell trouble for me.
03:17 Okay.
03:19 What was your early home life like growing up?
03:22 Well, it's funny because we grew up
03:24 in the heart of the projects.
03:26 Okay.
03:27 We lived on a 16th floor in a 16th storey high rise,
03:31 and I'd like to tell folk, I grew up in the projects,
03:35 but in that house,
03:36 in that apartment it was totally different.
03:39 Okay.
03:40 My mother she was introduced to Adventism
03:43 when I was very young.
03:45 She was a single parent,
03:46 she raised myself and two brothers
03:48 before another brother came along.
03:50 Okay.
03:51 And we were taught about God,
03:54 what we know outside of our house
03:56 didn't go inside of our house.
03:58 There was no smoking, no men in and out, you know.
04:03 It was a single mom
04:05 who'd pray with her children every day,
04:07 taught us about God every day.
04:09 We got whippings for messing up the house and all of that,
04:12 but for most part,
04:14 I have friends who were able to come over
04:16 a few but I was hardly able to go out and visit.
04:21 How do you think your mother manage to raise you all up,
04:24 you, and your brother,
04:25 and your siblings together in a house and protect you
04:29 and shelter you from certain things
04:30 that were going on around you.
04:32 My mother was a praying woman.
04:34 Okay.
04:35 And I believe that it was her prayers
04:37 that got us through
04:38 because not all families came out of there
04:42 with all of their siblings intact.
04:44 Okay.
04:45 With no grudges, no strings attached,
04:49 you know, if I went back and round in the old hood,
04:52 I might be recognized as the guy
04:54 who didn't come outside,
04:56 you know, wouldn't be anything held against me like,
04:59 "Oh, we've been looking for you, let's get him,
05:02 " the things like that.
05:03 I believe it was her prayers.
05:05 Okay. Okay, praise the Lord.
05:07 Now you mentioned that you grow up
05:08 in a Robert Taylor Homes.
05:09 Now, I'm not familiar with the Robert Taylor Homes
05:11 but I have heard about Cabrini Green Projects,
05:14 infamous Cabrini Green Projects.
05:17 What was the difference between those projects
05:19 and the projects that you grew up in?
05:21 Not much of a difference besides location.
05:23 Okay.
05:24 Robert Taylor was on the south side of Chicago,
05:26 and it was part of a housing development
05:28 that stretched 2 miles long.
05:30 Okay.
05:31 As a matter fact, from my 16th floor window
05:34 I could see the neighboring Stateway Gardens,
05:37 and there were Dearborn Homes, Ickes Homes downstate street.
05:42 If I look to my left, I can see across the Dan Ryan,
05:46 Wentworth Garden Housing Projects.
05:48 If I look to my right...
05:50 What?
05:51 You know, to the lake there was the Ida B. Wells,
05:54 you know, public house and development.
05:56 And behind me, or south of me
05:59 was the rest of the Robert Taylor Homes.
06:00 Okay, okay.
06:02 Cabrini Green, they had the same gangs.
06:05 As a matter of fact, their gangs were lot affiliated
06:07 with the gangs in my neighborhood.
06:09 Okay, okay.
06:10 There was an instance
06:12 where a little boy was killed in Cabrini Green,
06:14 and it was, it's known, it was on the news,
06:17 his name is Dantrell Davis,
06:20 and they wanted to get rid of their guns.
06:22 It just so happens a boy, a guy,
06:25 from the area I lived in
06:27 was followed by the police
06:29 bringing their guns to our neighborhood.
06:31 So they were pretty much
06:33 in cohesion as far as gang structure,
06:36 but one development was on the north side of Chicago
06:39 and the others on the south side.
06:40 Okay.
06:42 Now, Chicago is known for its gang violence,
06:45 and you eventually got involved in the GDs
06:47 or a Gangsters Disciples.
06:49 Can you shed some light upon that for us?
06:50 And the whole structure and formation
06:52 of the Gangster Disciples?
06:54 Well, from what I know the Gangster Disciples
06:56 come out of a gang that started as the Devils Disciples.
07:00 Okay, wow.
07:02 The chief in that gang disciple,
07:03 Gangster Disciples,
07:05 Larry Hover was a Devils Disciple.
07:08 And some of his friends, or gang partners,
07:14 you know, they branched off, and broke up,
07:16 and developed their own gangs.
07:18 Okay.
07:19 If you come down to the years, this was actually in 1970s,
07:22 the early '70s when this happen,
07:24 and I was just being born.
07:27 Yeah.
07:28 You want to know how I ended up in it?
07:29 Yeah, yeah.
07:31 Shed some light upon that also.
07:32 I was exposed to the gang, gangs at an early age.
07:37 As far as second grade I could remember
07:39 guys doing gang size, and trying to recruit.
07:41 Okay.
07:43 I was never really interested until about seventh grade.
07:47 I was more of a wannabe in seventh grade,
07:50 I was actually a student at an Adventist school.
07:54 So I took the mentality
07:56 that I saw in the projects to the school,
07:59 try to form my own gang in the school,
08:01 and be this and that in the school.
08:03 And when I graduated high school,
08:06 that's when I was actually drafted into the gang.
08:09 Didn't have courage to say I didn't want to be in it.
08:13 And I was drafted in
08:16 and became at that point a ranking member.
08:18 Okay.
08:19 Now talk about that whole drafting process,
08:21 and the ranking member, what you mean by that?
08:24 Well, I was sitting outside,
08:25 sports was a thing that I liked,
08:28 and the guys we would go to the school,
08:30 our neighboring school, and play basketball.
08:32 So I'm out one day bouncing a basketball,
08:36 bunch of guys outside, I just dip in a corner store,
08:39 or go into a corner store,
08:41 come out the corner store everybody's gone.
08:43 This happened two Wednesdays in a row.
08:45 Okay.
08:46 The third Wednesday,
08:48 and it was Wednesday is significant
08:49 because this is the time
08:51 where you get a lot of people out on the block.
08:53 Okay.
08:55 There was a guy come up and say,
08:56 "I want you, you, you and you on my staff,"
08:58 and I was one of them.
09:00 And other people say, "Uh-oh, Kitrell,
09:01 Kitrell go in to the thing, to the thing."
09:03 I didn't know what the thing was.
09:05 Okay, okay.
09:06 But I'm going with these guys, we go down an ally,
09:09 and to an abandoned house we go down in a basement.
09:13 Everybody says, well one fellow says,
09:15 "Now everybody get in your six point stance,"
09:17 and I didn't even know what that was.
09:19 But I'm a pretty fast learner, so I saw everybody was standing
09:21 and I'm standing there,
09:23 and these guys steps in the middle of a circle
09:26 that we have formed,
09:28 and said a creed, and I realized that
09:30 I'm not a gang member yet, you know.
09:32 Okay.
09:34 If I had the courage then,
09:35 if I had somebody probably guiding me
09:38 or steering me better from there,
09:40 I probably would have left.
09:42 Okay.
09:44 But instead I stayed there, and me being one of those guys,
09:48 he wanted on the staff,
09:49 he actually made me a ranked member.
09:51 Okay, now what are some of the rival gangs that,
09:53 that are located in the Chicago area,
09:56 the inner city Chicago area?
09:58 Well, you got the Gangster Disciples
10:00 which was a...
10:02 which was the gang that I was a member of.
10:04 You have Black Disciples. Okay.
10:06 You have Black Stones, you have Mickey Cobras,
10:11 you have Vice Lords,
10:13 and you got a lot of different factions.
10:16 One thing I could say about the Gangster Disciples,
10:18 you know, they say you are, it takes one to be one,
10:24 that probably took one to kill one.
10:26 Yeah, okay. Wow.
10:28 The Gangster Disciples were pretty much
10:29 hated by all those other gangs.
10:31 Yeah. Now, why was that?
10:32 Well, they were the biggest and probably the most ruthless,
10:35 the strongest, even to this day
10:39 they're reputed as the most strong,
10:42 strongest gang.
10:43 They run a penitentiaries,
10:44 they had a run in streets there,
10:46 they run a gangs, Cook County Jail there,
10:50 so all the other gangs I guess, you know what they,
10:53 they'll unite with one another to fight
10:55 the Gangster Disciples.
10:56 Wow, wow.
10:58 Now, you mentioned that you were a high ranking member,
10:59 being a high ranking member,
11:01 what were some of your responsibilities?
11:02 Okay, I was...
11:04 Well, high ranking, I won't say high ranking,
11:07 but I was chief of security.
11:10 My job was to make sure that the drug dealers has security,
11:15 I mean, someone looking out for the police.
11:18 So I would assign guys to stand on certain corners,
11:22 you know, to let us know when a police will come.
11:24 Okay, now growing up in that gang life,
11:27 and growing up in Chicago anyhow inner city
11:29 in '70s, '80s,
11:30 and seeing all the violence going on around you,
11:33 how did that impact your life
11:35 based upon the things that you saw?
11:37 You know, I never had a heart to kill a person.
11:41 Okay.
11:42 And that probably goes back
11:44 to when I was about three yeas old.
11:46 I was in a fight with another boy,
11:48 he was about five, I wrestled him to the ground,
11:51 and I was going to mash his head
11:53 to the concrete ground.
11:54 Hmm. At three years old?
11:55 Yes. Wow.
11:57 My mom though, she, she said, stop it.
12:01 And the way she said it, it hit so hard,
12:04 it made me see that I was doing something wrong.
12:06 Yeah, wow.
12:08 And just like that I could never hurt anyone.
12:11 Okay.
12:13 I can recall an instance
12:14 where the guys wanted to go and shoot
12:16 at the rival gangs.
12:17 Okay.
12:19 And it was 2:30; 2:30 was the time
12:20 when kids get out of school.
12:21 Hmm. Wow.
12:23 And I just couldn't agree with it,
12:24 I couldn't, I couldn't, I did not allow it.
12:28 Being chief of security, I was able to stop that.
12:31 I didn't allow it, I actually would argue with guys over it,
12:35 you know, I find myself in the base
12:37 in heated arguments over
12:40 why we will not go over there and shoot.
12:42 You can do it early in the morning
12:44 or do it late at night.
12:45 Yeah, but not while,
12:47 not when school kids getting out,
12:48 so how would a lot of, a lot of your friends in the gang,
12:51 how would they look at you being that you are saying,
12:53 "Okay, we're not gonna do this, or we're not gonna do this."
12:55 How did they view you?
12:57 Well, a few of them,
12:58 you know, those who were really gang bangers,
13:01 you know, all thrilled just being a little punk
13:03 this and that, and the other.
13:05 Yeah.
13:06 But I...
13:07 it's funny how folk look at you, you don't realize
13:09 what a person sees when they look at you.
13:12 Yeah.
13:13 I was with a guy
13:15 who was really heavy into that stuff recently,
13:18 may be about seven to eight years ago.
13:20 And he said, "Man, you know what?
13:22 You should've never been in an outing,
13:24 I don't know how you got in that."
13:25 He said, "You were never that type of person,"
13:28 you know, and I am like,
13:29 whoa, you saw it but I didn't even see it.
13:31 Yeah, wow.
13:32 What do you think that he saw in you
13:33 that was different from the others?
13:35 I don't know, you know, I was, like I said from the time
13:38 when my mom stopped me
13:40 from ramming that boy's head into the ground,
13:42 I was pro-life.
13:44 Okay.
13:45 I couldn't, I felt everybody's pain.
13:47 My best friend's grandmamma was rushed out to the hospital,
13:50 I cried more than he did, you know.
13:53 My uncle died, his children said,
13:55 "You cry like he was your daddy."
13:57 You know, I felt everyone else's pain,
14:00 and if I knew that someone was hurt,
14:03 I was hurt.
14:05 Someone was getting hurt, I was hurt.
14:06 So people, you know, they saw that in me.
14:08 Yeah.
14:09 Now you mentioned about if you would have had guidance
14:11 at a younger age,
14:12 you probably would have had the courage to stand up
14:15 and not get into the gang.
14:17 Where was your father at this time?
14:18 Yeah.
14:20 My mama going to get me for that
14:21 because she like to think that
14:22 she did a good job and she did.
14:24 She did a very good job. Okay. Praise the Lord.
14:25 But without a dad in that home, it hurt me.
14:29 Because I didn't have anything to model my life after.
14:32 Yeah, wow.
14:33 You know, I look at my sons,
14:35 and I see they have that same attitude,
14:37 one specially that I have.
14:39 I said, well, I have to let this boy know
14:41 that it's okay for him to be who God made him to be.
14:43 Yeah, wow.
14:45 And not try to be what he sees out there in the streets.
14:47 Yeah, definitely.
14:48 You know, I've seen a guy, he was actually crippled,
14:51 he walked a certain way.
14:52 Okay. I thought it was cool.
14:54 So I tried to do it. Yeah.
14:55 You know, and I look back,
14:58 and I learned that there were guys
15:00 who actually did to other gangs.
15:02 No, I'm not going to be a part of it.
15:03 Yeah.
15:05 And they actually were in the Robert,
15:06 in that area, and play ball and hung with everybody,
15:10 but they had nothing to do with the gangs.
15:12 And I feel like wow,
15:13 why I couldn't be strong like that.
15:15 What didn't I have somebody, you know, a father, or some,
15:19 you know some positive male, a big brother...
15:21 Yeah, definitely.
15:22 You know, to help me, and teach me
15:24 that that wasn't what I want.
15:26 What do you think would have been
15:27 some of the differences had you had
15:29 that father in a home?
15:30 Well, I tell you about my dad,
15:34 what I learned a lot about him
15:36 I can understand why he wasn't in the home.
15:37 Okay.
15:39 You know, my dad he depended on a gun.
15:42 And my mom said he was a coward.
15:44 I say because I told you about those different projects.
15:46 Yeah.
15:47 They were run by different gangs.
15:49 And as he went to visit each one,
15:51 he became whatever gang that were.
15:53 Wow. Wow.
15:55 Well, so how...
15:57 So, I mean, so how did
15:58 the lot of the gangs there being that,
15:59 you know, they would know him and know that he switched into,
16:02 you know, switch in the different gangs.
16:03 Well, they apparently never found out.
16:04 Never found. wow.
16:06 Because he probably wouldn't be alive today if they had.
16:07 Wow.
16:09 So growing up do you,
16:11 did you get involved in any drugs,
16:12 alcohol or anything along those lines?
16:14 You know, I was prejudiced against folk
16:17 who smoked marijuana,
16:18 my brother's daughter smoking marijuana,
16:20 and I caught him what if,
16:21 you know, there is name in Chicago
16:23 they called Crackheads.
16:25 Okay.
16:26 I'm sorry that they call people who use cocaine.
16:29 They call them Crackheads and they call them Hypes.
16:31 Okay.
16:32 And I used to call my brothers hypes all the time,
16:35 and they say, "We only smoking weed,
16:36 we ain't smoking crack."
16:37 I said, "Well, what you think going to be next,
16:39 you know, when the weed can't get you high more.
16:41 And it's so funny
16:43 because I went through a depression one time.
16:46 A period, I put a lot of love into a girlfriend,
16:49 and when that relationship broke up I was vulnerable,
16:52 and a cousin introduced me to marijuana.
16:54 Okay.
16:55 And that was the first time, this was in 1997
16:58 that I actually tried marijuana.
17:00 Okay.
17:01 Wasn't this part of a gang ritual,
17:02 or any of that type of, type of stuff.
17:05 Drinking, I tried in high school
17:07 and I stopped instantly.
17:08 I didn't understand
17:10 how somebody wanted a headache out of that,
17:12 you know, couldn't have do it.
17:13 Wow, wow.
17:14 So looking back on your life,
17:17 what do you think were some of the positive
17:19 versus some of the negative influences in your life?
17:21 Well, positive influences I found at church.
17:24 I actually bragged...
17:26 You know, went home to the projects
17:29 and bragged about my pathfinder instructor.
17:31 You know, and I bragged about the...
17:35 some of the elders in the church.
17:36 My Sabbath school teacher, you know, he was a male.
17:39 Most were a males that I bragged about.
17:42 There was all the males that I had.
17:44 Yeah, okay.
17:45 My mom was my mother, and my aunts were my dad.
17:49 Mean and they didn't let me get away with anything,
17:51 if I smut, they were on it.
17:52 Wow.
17:54 You know, if you rose your eyes a certain way,
17:56 they were on it, you know.
17:57 Yeah, wow, wow.
17:59 How do you think the effect is upon another young man,
18:02 especially a young man who doesn't have a father
18:04 in the home?
18:05 That may lead him to a lifestyle, a crime,
18:08 and different things like that.
18:09 And the reason I asked that question
18:11 is because I grew up in a home
18:12 where I had both parents,
18:14 and though everything wasn't hunky-dory
18:16 just because I had both parents,
18:17 I still gravitated to the streets.
18:19 I'm a street drug gravitated to the drugs, the alcohol,
18:22 the cocaine, the marijuana, different things
18:24 along those lines.
18:25 But what do you think another child's impact
18:29 has upon not having that parent in the home?
18:32 Well, it's a lot of elements, you know, because
18:35 we didn't have both parents in our home.
18:38 You know, but we didn't have a mama that was saying,
18:40 "You're gonna be just like your dad,
18:42 who is in penitentiary.
18:43 Yeah, that's very important, I think that's very good.
18:45 You got a lot of dads that went to penitentiary, and sometimes,
18:49 you know, I would hear it even today
18:51 you hear mothers tell their children,
18:53 "You're gonna be just like your dad."
18:55 You're gonna be this,
18:56 you ain't gonna be nothing this and all.
18:57 Yeah. Wow.
18:59 You know, so they had...
19:00 It's almost like setting up a child for failure.
19:01 Yes, different elements, you know,
19:03 they contribute to what role a child takes in life.
19:09 You know, you have some who may have a father
19:12 who is in a penitentiary,
19:14 and that may motivate them not be in the penitentiary.
19:16 Yeah, yeah, that's true.
19:17 You know, I tell it is, my mom at one point was a 21 year old
19:23 with three kids by three different dads.
19:25 Hmm, wow.
19:27 My dad not being there didn't hurt me.
19:29 Okay.
19:31 My younger brother, youngest brother his dad,
19:35 well, his dad was there in and out,
19:37 you know, and they eventually got married,
19:39 but it didn't hurt him.
19:41 But my middle brother his dad being out,
19:43 it angered him.
19:45 And now that anger is being shown
19:47 in his own relationship with his child.
19:49 Hmm. Wow, wow.
19:50 Looking back on your life growing up
19:52 in inner city Chicago.
19:54 What are some instances that you could talk about
19:57 where you specifically saw the hand of God protecting you?
20:00 Well, so many.
20:03 You know, I am 41 years old now.
20:06 I could remember something that I did at 19
20:10 where I probably be just getting out
20:11 of the penitentiary last year.
20:14 Wow.
20:17 I can tell you another instance where,
20:20 as far as gang related, you know, there were many.
20:23 You know, there were many,
20:25 many going through those projects,
20:28 you know, where,
20:29 I probably about give my brains blowing out.
20:32 You know, if I hadn't,
20:33 if the Lord didn't make me look to the left.
20:35 Yeah, okay.
20:36 You know, or at one time, he made me look to this God,
20:40 and I tell you this.
20:41 There was the one building down there,
20:43 told you the GD's they were very notorious gang.
20:48 Okay.
20:49 And they love violence.
20:51 Yeah, wow.
20:52 So, sometime they want to fight each other.
20:55 So there was one building
20:56 they didn't care where you were from
20:57 or who you were.
20:59 Yeah.
21:00 You come in their building, they want to fight.
21:01 Yeah.
21:03 And I had a nephew that lived there.
21:04 So I had to go there, that was so often that,
21:05 oh man, I dreaded it every time,
21:08 you know, because I knew these guys
21:10 can really say something to me.
21:12 Yeah.
21:13 So I'm going with my cousin one time,
21:14 we're taking her groceries,
21:16 we went grocery shop from there,
21:17 and God, they were all outside, it was, I mean, pack bats,
21:21 golf gloves, everything they use, you know,
21:24 and they guy said, yeah,
21:26 we're gonna touch them up from the top of their hairs
21:28 to their toenails, all right.
21:30 I'm like whoa.
21:31 Looking back now you can laugh about it.
21:33 They're getting ready to get me, you know.
21:34 So my cousin, he's acting as if nothing is wrong,
21:37 like what's wrong with him,
21:39 he didn't just hear what they said, you know.
21:40 Yeah.
21:42 So we get delivered the groceries,
21:43 and we're coming back out.
21:45 Coming out of the gangway, you coming out of the gangway,
21:48 you get a little glimpse of the sky.
21:50 Okay.
21:51 Lord had me look up at the sky, I don't know why.
21:54 But the clouds seemed to form rows of angels,
21:58 and there was another piece of a cloud off to city side
22:01 with his hand up like this.
22:02 Okay.
22:03 And I say, "Whoa, he is ready to charge."
22:05 Yeah.
22:06 And I heard the Lord say,
22:08 "Before I let them touch one hair on your head,
22:10 I've got allegiance of angels."
22:12 Wow.
22:14 And I'll tell you, it put a lot of courage in me
22:16 because it scared me.
22:18 Poked his chest out, I think I strutted to my car.
22:20 Yeah.
22:21 You know, and nobody say a one word
22:23 to either one of them.
22:24 Wow, wow, that's amazing.
22:26 Now you eventually were able to walk away from the gang.
22:28 How were you able to walk away from the gang where,
22:31 you know, a lot of times,
22:32 when you're in it, you're in it forever,
22:34 you're gonna die this, you can't get out.
22:36 How were you able to get out with your life?
22:39 There's this saying that they like to go about,
22:41 once a G, or once a gangster always a gangster?
22:44 Yeah.
22:46 Well, I never...
22:49 Well, before I wanted to get out,
22:52 I probably didn't think about the time
22:54 where I wouldn't be a gangster.
22:56 Yeah.
22:57 Because I was actually fooled,
22:58 I actually thought I would be a gangster for life,
23:02 you know, I actually thought what Larry Hoover's vision was
23:06 that his gangsters go to school,
23:08 and become productive citizens in the community.
23:11 Okay.
23:12 And that's how as gangsters we were going to take over.
23:14 Yeah.
23:16 But there was an instance
23:17 that took place that had a part to play in.
23:19 Okay.
23:21 And not long after that took place
23:24 I wanted out of the gang.
23:25 Okay.
23:26 Now there was before where
23:29 it was rumored that to get out of the gang,
23:31 you either get shot somewhere below your waist,
23:34 or you get a dead valleys, we beat you out of it.
23:37 Yeah, wow.
23:38 Well, I prayed to the Lord,
23:39 you know, and it wasn't so much
23:42 that they didn't do anything to me.
23:44 Okay.
23:45 I prayed to the Lord that
23:46 he forgive me for what I had did,
23:48 and that he would accept me.
23:49 Yeah.
23:50 And that even if I had to die, I'm getting ready to get out.
23:53 Hmm, wow.
23:54 So I went to the gang meeting
23:56 and I let the guys know I wanted out.
23:59 So about at what age were you
24:00 when you were getting out of the gang?
24:02 Well, I got out in 1995.
24:04 Okay.
24:05 So I was 22 years old.
24:07 Okay.
24:09 Yeah.
24:10 So how did those that you were speaking to about getting out,
24:13 how did they view you at that point?
24:15 Oh, my cousins, they were really upset.
24:18 Okay.
24:19 Being a member with rank,
24:20 you know, they probably want to see their cousin go higher.
24:23 Yeah, wow.
24:24 And then they probably looked at it as,
24:26 "Oh, he is a punk, you know, he wants to get out."
24:28 Wow.
24:30 I had other guys who would come to me saying,
24:32 "Man, you know, shake my hand.
24:34 You steer my gangster this, and that, and the other.
24:35 Okay.
24:37 I think to myself now I'm nobody's, I'm going.
24:42 Okay.
24:43 Okay, so looking back on your life,
24:45 what are some of the things that you would change and why?
24:48 What are some of the things that you would not change
24:49 that have made you into the person you are today?
24:51 Okay. Good question.
24:54 I'm what I would change is,
24:57 I probably would, well,
25:01 I don't know what I would change
25:02 because I've learned so much, you know.
25:04 Okay.
25:07 I can't think of anything
25:08 that I'd-- because I don't know how that would've developed.
25:10 Yeah wow.
25:12 So, not much that I would've changed,
25:15 I'm kind of proud of the fact that I'm a black person.
25:17 Yeah.
25:19 That I came from where I came from, you know,
25:21 I look at what's going on
25:23 with the people in the projects now.
25:25 Okay.
25:26 You know, they don't have a voice,
25:27 you know, so I feel like, you know,
25:29 I can't speak for them,
25:31 you know, because not everybody was really bad.
25:33 Yeah, yeah, definitely, definitely.
25:36 You said what I wouldn't change?
25:37 Yeah.
25:39 Yeah, that's pretty much. Okay.
25:40 So, now gonna back, you know, there's a lot of young people
25:43 that want to be a part of gangs.
25:44 They see things going on
25:46 whether it's in real life or whether it's on TV.
25:49 What can be done to prevent young people
25:51 from actually wanting to join the gang
25:54 and steer their life in the right direction.
25:56 Well, that's the,
25:57 that's the question Chicago is trying to find out.
25:59 Oh, wow.
26:02 There are so many elements again.
26:03 Okay.
26:04 And it reverse back to the time
26:07 when our ancestors migrated up to the north.
26:09 Okay.
26:10 You know, gangs were formed
26:12 as a haven against police brutality.
26:17 Okay.
26:18 You know, so that's one thing that needs to be rooted out,
26:21 you know, police brutality, or just speaking to the person,
26:25 you know, who is in that right now.
26:27 I mean if I put myself there,
26:29 and I'm looking at one of my sons
26:31 who wants to be in a gang this and then the other.
26:34 I don't know how I will really respond,
26:36 you know, I already told them I'm gonna whip their
26:38 but if I catch them with their pants hanging off.
26:39 Yeah.
26:42 But education, you know, love,
26:45 you got to love, you got to hug.
26:47 You know, you got to teach them that they are somebody,
26:50 you know, you got to help them find
26:52 who God created them to be.
26:53 You know what talents did He instill in them,
26:55 and you try to work at it.
26:57 Okay, okay.
26:58 What I want you to do real quick for about
26:59 the next 30-40 seconds is looking to the camera,
27:02 and I want you to talk to that young person
27:03 that is considering getting into a gang,
27:06 or even doesn't want to have a relationship with Jesus,
27:09 would rather, you know,
27:11 chase fast money, fast women, things like that.
27:13 Talk to that young person right now?
27:16 To the young man, or a young woman,
27:18 that's contemplating joining a gang.
27:21 You may want to reconsider.
27:23 Take it from someone that has been there.
27:26 It's not all good and glamorous it looks.
27:29 Gang members, a lot of gang members,
27:31 a lot of my peers were killed by members of their own gang.
27:36 If anything, you may want to find out
27:37 who God made you to be.
27:39 Find out what talents God has blessed you with,
27:43 and try to develop those talents
27:44 all for the glory of God.
27:46 Amen. Amen.
27:48 Well, Kitrell, we want to thank you
27:49 for being on our program
27:50 and sharing your testimony of how God took you
27:52 from the gang to serving Him.
27:54 Viewers, we want to thank you for tuning in.
27:56 Be sure to tune in next time
27:58 for an exciting program of The New Journey.
27:59 Be blessed.


Revised 2016-06-09