This entire show is devoted to just one story. A former pimp tells how he and three childhood friends became pimps in the 1970s in Oakland, California. He explains all the elaborate "rules of the game" among pimps and prostitutes of that era. He didn't have the stomach for the violence of pimping, and failed as a pimp because of that. Tamar Brott reports.
Ira talks about the classic biography of an American pimp, Iceberg Slim's Pimp: The Story of My Life, and explains today's show. He warns listeners that although there's no sex in the show at all, there is a scene or two in which men hit women. (3 minutes)
Geoffrey Canada, author of the book Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America, talks about what it's like to carry a gun. He also talks about what poor neighborhoods in New York were like before the proliferation of handguns among young people. When he grew up in the South Bronx, kids had fistfights in a very formal arrangement with formal rules that everyone lived by.