A motivational memoir by a formerly incarcerated man who transformed from founder and leader of the Dallas Bloods to a practitioner of peace and nonviolence in the neighborhood he once helped destroy
As a child of an incarcerated father, Antong Lucky grew up in an impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhood in East Dallas, Texas, born at the same time as East Dallas experienced an alarming rise in crack cocaine and heroin use. Despite his high grades and passion for learning, Antong is introduced to gang life and its consequences.
Eventually, Antong forms the Dallas Bloods gang, inaugurating a period in the 1990s of escalating retaliatory gun violence buoyed by a lucrative illegal drug enterprise until he is ultimately arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison. His journey through the doors of transformation came through the pain of incarceration and introspection that caused him to question the cognitive distortions embedded in him since childhood.
Once in prison, Antong denounced his gang affiliation and began working to unite rival gangs, quickly rising to become one of the most respected and sought-after mentors in prison. A spiritual transformation further inspired Antong to return to his old neighborhood after early release, seeking to align with like-minded people dedicated to challenging systemic issues in U.S. communities through collective efforts. The work of an incisive, determined mind, A Redemptive Path Forward will take its place among the broadening canon of titles championing and investigating prison reform and societal transformation.
About the Author
ANTONG LUCKY is an activist, advocate, and public speaker concentrating in the areas of mentoring Black men and boys, bridging the gap between community and police, and developing and launching violence reduction strategies, criminal justice reform, and reentry initiatives for formerly incarcerated people.
"Lucky is insightful, nuanced, and honest about himself, social problems, and the work he does. He understands his community and builds bridges between rival gangs and their neighbors. Lucky resists simplistic ideas and stays focused on fixing root causes and working with partners who share his goals. In this engaging and illuminating memoir, Lucky shares his experiences, insights, and community program know-how." —Booklist
“Harrowing as well as hopeful . . . While the redemption arc is immensely moving, it’s the unflinching way Lucky calls out systemic inequality—and the welcome corrective he offers to dehumanizing portrayals of those disproportionately affected by it—that cuts to the core. This should be required reading.” —Publishers Weekly
"Lucky has led an indisputably interesting and difficult life, and he tells his story with compelling frankness . . . A fascinating and inspiring chronicle of transformation." —Kirkus Reviews
“Antong’s redemptive journey from the most dangerous man in his neighborhood to an ambassador of peace should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand what authentic transformation truly requires. Over the years, I have had the privilege of witnessing first-hand his trials and tribulations, but more importantly, his many, many triumphs.” ––Bob Woodson, President of the Woodson Center
“With breathtaking candor, Antong Lucky shares his compelling journey from devastating poverty and incarceration to neighborhood leader in low-income Dallas communities, becoming a nationally recognized activist, equipping and empowering young inner-city residents, and advocating for sweeping changes in urban power structures to create a more just society. Antong has an extraordinary gift for leadership and a heart for community service. His story will inform and inspire others. It could very well change your life.” ––Don Williams, Founder & CEO of Foundation for Community Empowerment
“Experience an intellectual marvel tell a miraculous true story providing the solution to the widening divides in America. Antong Lucky reveals harsh realities and presents compassionate activism for timeless hope and a renewal of the belief that fearless love will win.” ––Drew Willey, CEO/Founder of Restoring Justice
“Antong Lucky’s story is both wrenching and inspiring. His experience is an undeniable lesson in the ways people can transform ourselves, each other, and our communities in ways the criminal legal system never can.” ––Danielle Sered, author of Until We Reckon
“A Redemptive Path Forward is both timely and timeless. Antong’s profoundly moving memoir offers a searing portrait of a young man caught between the laws of America’s unjust legal system and the laws of the streets––both hell bent on cutting his life short before it really even begins. Yet above all else, Antong gifts us with his inspiring journey to redemption. Hope is fuel, and this important book delivers it in droves––just when we need it most.” ––Brittany K. Barnett, attorney and author of A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice and Freedom
“Reading this book, A Redemptive Path Forward, has given me insights into just how vulnerable our youths are. The streets are waiting to pull them in. Antong’s redemptive path is masterfully laid out as a guide for others to follow. His natural leadership is turning this idea of Redemptive Activism into a force for good to be reckoned with!!!!” ––Alice Marie Johnson, Criminal Justice Activist, author of My Journey From Incarceration To Freedom, and CEO of Taking Action for Good
“Antong Lucky’s story is about transformation from beginning to end. Every human being has a God-given inalienable right to enter the road to redemption. He’s the example of the redemption our nation needs.” ––Malik Aziz, chief of police of Prince George’s County, Maryland