New NBM for April ’15: Ghetto Brother

GHETTO BROTHER, the true story of how a NYC gang leader turned into a peacemaker in the 60s, leads NBM’s offerings in Diamond Previews magazine for February.

This April, Julian Voloj and Claudia Ahlering bring you an illustrated biography of Benjy Melendez in GHETTO BROTHER: Warrior to Peacemaker”. Voloj made the blog last year when he was featured on NPR for his graphic novel. Ghetto Brothers talks about the historic Ghetto Brothers gang who roamed New York in the late 60s and ushered in an era of peace with a gang treaty, which saw the birth of Hip Hop. Jeff Chang, the author of “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation”, provides an introduction.

GHETTO BROTHER- Warrior to Peacemaker
Julian Voloj, Claudia Ahlering
Introduction by Jeff Chang, author of “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation”
ghetto cover.indd
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, 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.

“There’s no doubt that the Ghetto Brothers are an influence in NYC’s urban history. They paved the way for many who were searching for a sense of identity, a voice and social justice.”
-Jorge “Popmaster Fabel” Pabon
Breakdance Pioneer, Rock Steady Crew

“The gang truce back in the early seventies with Brother Benjy, with the Ghetto Brothers, Black Spades, the Savage Skulls, the Savage Nomads, Seven Immortals, the Reapers, Turbans, with all the major street organizations, was powerful. It was the time to put down the weapons against each other and try to organize… It was deep. It was powerful… We were all in the same game.”
Afrika Bambaataa
Hip Hop Pioneer
Participant in the 1971 Truce Summit

“The story of the Ghetto Brothers is the story of the Bronx in the 1970s… The Ghetto Brothers are still considered legendary by those who know.”
Jeff Chang,
Hip Hop Historian

6×9, 128pp., B&W, trade pb., $12.99;
ISBN 9781561639489
Diamond Order Code: FEB151507

For previews and more, click here!

To see NBM’s April offerings and place a preorder, please head to your local comic book store and ask to see the Diamond’s February Previews!

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