Scenes from the aftermath in Oakland:
stories of victims, survivors and healers.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Until You Bleed: The Caheri Gutierrez Story

Until You Bleed: The Caheri Gutierrez Story
This is the story of how it looks and feels when the bullet finds you. It’s the kind of story you encounter in violent neighborhoods across America. Only there's one big difference.

In old modeling photos, the face of Caheri Gutierrez confronts you with one of human history's miraculous hybrids, a sublime symbol of what we can accomplish, over centuries, if we work together: the big, dark, almond shaped meso-American eyes and wide, pre-Columbian cheekbones; the flared, triangular, European nose; the dark skin — burnt, Mexican; the full, downward, frowning mouth pure early 21st century Oakland, California, USA.

Gutierrez thought that face was her ticket to the future. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, came the bullet. Suddenly, on a cold night in November 2008, she found herself bleeding, choking, holding her face together with her hands, calculating her very chances of survival.

Caheri Gutierrez' inspiring struggle to heal herself and the city of Oakland is woven with courage, fear and defiance. In many ways, her personal story is much like the story of Oakland itself, a polyglot city decades in murderous decay, not quite so innocent as it wishes, but a victim nonetheless of the political flailing that comes of desperation and neglect. Like Gutierrez, Oakland is beautiful and wounded, unable to let go of its past and uncertain about its future.

Until You Bleed is a deeply researched, literate and brutally frank portrait of a city under the gun, and a young, wounded woman trying to change that.

Available as an Amazon Kindle Single, for $0.99.

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