Los Angeles, CA July 14, 2014- Former drug kingpin turned author and reformer, Freeway Rick Ross is embarking on his nationwide collegiate tour. Ross has already filled auditoriums at Brown University, UCLA, St. Johns University and USC. He is looking forward to bringing his message to colleges across the country.
“I know that college students are the future of our country and they are energized, so I wanted to bring my story to them so that they can help push the cause of prison reform. And a lot of them have heard of me but don’t my story and how it has impacted the history of this country.”
His legacy as a drug dealer is just half the history. His 600 million dollar crack cocaine empire was also tied to the Iran-Contra scandal which nearly brought down the Reagan administration in the 80s. After being released from prison, Ross is starting the second phase of his life story which he hopes will be just as impacting as the first. Ross is not only telling his controversial story, but he is pushing his agenda for prison reform. As a prisoner facing a life sentence, Ross saw firsthand how the prison industrial complex was engulfing urban youth and robbing them of both their adolescence and potential with mandatory sentences. Upon his release he vowed to use his street credibility and political connections to address this issue head on.
With the release of his new book “Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Biography,” which debuted at number 15 on the Amazon best-sellers list for Crime and Criminal Biographies, he now has the platform he needs to champion his cause. His new book was written with LA Times’ best-selling author Cathy Scott and it serves as a myth buster.
The myth that’s cleared up in the book is that Ross was a ruthless drug kingpin and leader of the Crip gang in Los Angeles. Mainstream media played up this angle for years. Ross confesses his ties to the Crips because of the neighborhood he grew up in but he never joined the gang, and in fact his empire was made up of dealers from both the Crip and Blood gangs. Instead Ross used his position to try and create safe zones in various neighborhoods to curb gang violence.
Even though Ross amassed a fortune, he was illiterate and didn’t learn to read and write until his last prison conviction. After her learned to read, he began to research his case and discovered that his life sentence was handed down under the wrong circumstances. Education became the key to his freedom. Upon being released he founded the Freeway Literacy Foundation. His speaking engagements are how he raises funds for his charity. His goal is to provide free books and learning tools to underprivileged children.
As the subject of numerous films, books and TV shows, Ross’ life story has become a part of American folklore. A few include Gary Webb’s book “Dark Alliance,” BET’s “American Gangster,” the movie “100 Kilos,” and the documentary “Planet Rock: History of Crack and Hip Hop.”
Ross’ tour will kick off in August and run until early December. If you are interested in having Ross speak at your campus we are currently taking dates. For more information visit www.rickrosslectures.com.
Name: Eric Robinson