Born and Raised in the Streets of Compton

Born and Raised in the Streets of Compton

by Kevin “Salt Rocc” Lewis

A story of ghetto youth growing up in the city of Compton, California, a place where the navigation of daily life is literally, a tightrope between life and death.

Born and Raised in the Streets of Compton is a true story based upon many events among the urban black youth growing up amidst poverty in the notorious city of Compton, California. This story follows the path of a second generation Crip member, who weaves his journey into the context of the United States sociological history and governmental action that propagated the birth and escalation of gangs and gang violence, now careening out of control.

This work represents the personal history of a young black man’s struggle in the context of racism, poverty, and violence, serving as a valuable historical resource. Included is a report released by the United States Senate Select Committee on COINTELPRO’s activities against the Black Panther Party and Martin Luther King Jr., in 1975, along with another report that outlined a plot to dismantle stability in the black community. Finally added, is a historical break-down of the evolution of street gangs from the 1930s to the present, which includes a complete compilation of gangs and gang territories in the United States as well as statistical material and an extensive reference listing.



“A rocking great read. Kevin Lewis has faced his past with extraordinary honesty; all the violence and real life horror is there, building to a spellbinding epiphany. All youngsters—as well as their parents—should read this book and absorb the lessons it provides so clearly.” – Leon Bing, author of Do or Die

“This well-documented research offering has interpersonal appeal and a compelling story line. It is accurate and contains details necessary for higher education perusal in the disciplines of Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Communication Studies and Criminal Studies. I would also recommend it for Bible Study and Prayer groups seeking to put their faith into action and intercession. Kevin Lewis exposes one strata of American life all citizens should be aware of. This slice of life has a value which far exceeds anything a reader could pay; $17 is nothing for the knowledge and wisdom this narrative contains.” – Dr. C. S. Eigenmann, Professor of Communication Studies, Fort Hays State University

“I [personally] know Kevin Lewis… The book is written well and a very interesting read. The end of the book is full of references backing up the different incidents mentioned in the story. Although the language throughout the book may be offensive to readers, as Kevin explained to me, that is the way it was.” – Judith Lambert

Book is an eye opener – For a small town girl from the central USA, boy was this book an eye opener. All through my life all I have seen about gangs are in the movies, magazines or on TV. Boy that is no match to what I learned in this book. The spirit of the book takes you into the each situation through Kevin’s life with a REAL look at what day to day living is like for those, not just in gangs but how it is just to grow up in the neighborhood where gangs congregate day and night. I have heard through the years many say that these thug kids have a choice. This book shows and as I heard Kevin say at a speaking engagement, “If you don’t know there is a choice how can you choose a different one”? People born and raised in Compton that are poor and never see streets outside of the city see the rest of the world like I saw gangs before this book, just a made up story on the TV. The language is sharp, but it is the real world in the streets of Compton. I was captivated and intrigued the whole book. I felt like I took a class in a whole different culture. My compassion has grown by leaps and bounds for children in the streets of gangs everywhere. I have donated this book to several institutions already. It is a great teaching tool for cultural awakening and a wake up call to bring forth great healing in our world. – ST

Kevin “Salt Rocc” Lewis

Hometown: Watts, Los Angeles

Raised: Compton, California

Gang Affilation: Compton, Crips 1970-1994

Kevin grew up in the city of Compton, California, during a time when civil rights and neighborhood self-help organizations were on a rise. It was also a time of struggle which was evident by a war which was raging between the Black Panther Party, The United Slaves Organization, and the FBI. During this time, Kevin had envisioned himself being a Black Panther, but his dreams were cut short by the activities of COINTLPRO, an F.B.I. counterintelligence program designed to disrupt and  discredit domestic groups of the 70s.

In 1972, Kevin officially joined the Crips after the death of an admired comrade. His involvement with the Crips took him on a journey of self-destruction. Several times during his young life he found himself incarcerated in the juvenile system. In 1987, after traveling from state to state proliferating gang violence and selling drugs, the doors of freedom finally closed on him. He was sentenced to more years than he could count for drug sales, attempted assaults, burglary, and other hideous crimes, but in September 2002, Kevin was released from prison in the State of Oregon.

After Kevin’s release from prison he returned to California where he attended California State University, Dominquez Hills. He earned his bachelor degree in Sociology, and moved to the State of Kansas in an effort to separate himself from the gangs and drugs that still permeated and overwhelmed the city of Compton, California. Before leaving Oregon, Kevin worked with several organizations dealing with the problem of gangs.

Sojourners Magazine, August 1993

In August 1993, he appeared on the front cover of the Sojourners Magazine attending the Urban Gang Peace Summit held in Kansas City. This summit was a nationwide call to peace and gang members and leaders from 26 cities converged on Kansas City calling for an end to gang violence.

Kevin’s latest endeavor has involved the creation of a nonprofit program assisting youth at risk of gangs and drugs. In his words, “I was once a part of the problem, now I stand as a panacea to the problem.”

Kevin and Chasity Lewis

Kevin now resides in Kansas, with his wife, Chasity, who has been a big inspiration in his life and his continued driving force for positive change.

Contact Kevin through his website:

ISBN: 978-1-939054-26-5

Trim Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″

Pages: 474


  • Biography & Autobiography : Political
  • Social Science : Discrimination & Racism
  • Social Science : Violence in Society
  • History
  • Social Issues
  • True Accounts


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Warning: This book contains strong language, violence, and adult content.

474 pages, softcover (revised August 2016)

Price: $19.99


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