I hope that you’re all enjoying your easter and shoving lots of chocolate in your mouths, a long with hot crossed buns. It seems almost certain that I will have a job this week doing temping work – data entry. It’s better than the dole queue and it’s a step in the right direction. I also have an interview with ICAP, an organisation that works with Irish migrants in Birmingham and London. All looking good. Finally.
I am currently reading a book which, in its own way, has connections to do with my work in Honduras with some of the street kids who were linked to gangs. The Gangs of Birmingham (from the sloggers to the peaky blinders) by Philip Gooderson. It’s about Birmingham’s gangs in 19th century during Victorian times and the street kids living in poverty. Many of the case studies remind me of the street kids in Casa Alianza, being abandoned and turning to the gangs as a way of protection. Some things just don’t change, do they? It’s a fascinating read for brummies. There are similar books for Liverpool, Manchester and London, if that is where you are from. It’s extremely insightful. I’d no idea that Birmingham had deep religious segregation between Catholic Irish and Protestant English, leading to mass riots (the Murphy Riots). I recommend it. I picked it up for 3 quid at HMV if you’re interested. Otherwise, here is a link. The cover looks a bit grizzly, but don’t let put you off. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gangs-Birmingham-The-Philip-Gooderson/dp/1903854881/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333924815&sr=8-1.
Here is a small interview with the author Philip Gooderson. http://www.bgsalumni.com/philip-gooderson-the-gangs-of-birmingham/
Here is something from modern-day Birmingham gangs which I found on youtube. It’s from the Lozell’s area of Birmingham, which is very poor by UK standards and is one of the most dangerous areas. But again, some of the kids rapping do remind me of the street kids in Casa Alianza. I hope you enjoy it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFrnmTMiP1c