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WP: DeSean Jackson’s path to the NFL

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SNF

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Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s path to the NFL wound through gang territory

By Kent Babb, Wednesday, April 16

LOS ANGELES — Every morning he made the journey: the walk to the bus stop through South Central, the bus to Vernon Station, the blue-line train to Long Beach and his high school.

DeSean Jackson was a freshman at Long Beach Polytechnic High then, and some mornings were peaceful and others were not. One side of a road might be Neighborhood Crips territory, the other patrolled by Bloods, the Rollin 40s or any of the 300 street gangs in Los Angeles. The bus would take him through neighborhoods where a hat or a gold chain is a statement; the train through four rival gang territories.

Many athletes spend years trying to escape their pasts, trying to put behind them a time that, among other things, drove them to reach their sport’s mountaintop. But Jackson, a 27-year-old wide receiver who recently signed with the Washington Redskins , has maintained a connection with his roots, which outsiders see as questionable — though others who grew up here understand it as the norm.

Much more at the link
Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson?s path to the NFL wound through gang territory - The Washington Post
 

Cycleans

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I walked from Long Beach to Beverly Hills in one day through the same area back when I was a teen. I was T.A.D. at Long Beach Naval base for 10 days. I had an aunt who lived in Beverly Hills and I didn't know about City buses and such being a bumpkin from Virginia. So I walked through the same area.
 

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