African American Studies


Julio Calderon is a Bronx resident who moved to the borough after having lived in Chicago, Illinois. Although he is currently a professional musicians, he was witnessed street life in both Chicago and New York City.

Calderon was born in Chicago to a young mother and father. Growing up, Calderon says that he got into his first fight while he was in the first grade. Furthermore, Calderon says that several of his good friends passed away as a result of joining Chicago’s street gangs. Specifically, Calderon said that 10 of his friends dies as a result of gang violence and a close friend of his had been wounded in a shooting. Calderon cited the violence of the Chicago street scene as a major factor in his decision to leave the city. He moved from Chicago to Birmingham, Alabama in 1997. After living in Birmingham for four years, he moved back to Chicago in 2001, and moved again to the Bronx in 2011.

Calderon, who moved to the Bronx in order to become a musician Rebel Diaz Arts Collective. One of the major differences he noticed from Chicago is that his neighborhood had a high concentration of people from the Dominican Republic. Additionally, he has also advocated against police brutality with his Take Back The Bronx initiative. Calderon specifically stated that an increased police presence was one of the major differences that he has noticed between the Bronx and New York. Additionally, he also said that he would rather have more gangs rather than more police since the police can act with impunity.

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