IN DEEP: How I Survived Gangs, Heroin, And Prison To Become A Chicago Violence Interrupter

A Chicago hero’s mission to stop violence in the same streets where she once struggled to survive.

Before Angalia Bianca became one of Chicago’s foremost authorities on violence interruption and prevention and before she received international recognition and was honored by the City of Chicago, she was a criminal, a master manipulator, a brilliant con artist. Bianca spent twelve years in prison for forgery, embezzlement, drug dealing, and theft. But now she has gone far beyond the expectations for recovery to a life of service fueled by an unrelenting determination to make a difference. Bianca was once a gang member; now she puts her life on the line to interrupt gang violence. For thirty-six years she was a heroin addict; now she mentors people in recovery. She was homeless; now she appears as an invited guest, speaking across the country and around the world. Bianca crawled out of the deepest hole imaginable; now through her work with CeaseFire/Cure Violence she climbs back down to change lives. In Deep is a blunt, honest look at Bianca’s life. Her mind-blowing stories take readers deep into a life of grit and gang violence that seems inescapable. Her story is at once fascinating, terrifying, and ultimately full of hope. Readers will be inspired by Bianca’s climb out of the depths of depravity, and by her commitment to those facing the worst that the city of Chicago has to offer.

Available for purchase HERE. Publisher: Chicago Review Press.


Angalia Bianca talks about her book on WGN


On a frigid February morning, Chicago violence interrupter Angalia Bianca was driving past a local convenience store when three shooters opened fire on the store, wounding a 15-year-old boy. Responding in her usual way, Bianca rushed to the boy amidst the gunfire, putting pressure on his wound and keeping him alive until paramedics arrived. She would later receive the Resolution for Bravery Award from the city, both for saving the boy’s life that day and for her ongoing efforts towards ending gang violence—a far cry from the Angalia Bianca of years past.

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A Tragic Love Affair
Poem By Angalia Bianca April 17, 2018

I was just 9 years old when you first fooled me. You disguised yourself as a harmless little white pill; in fact your disguise was so good that it took 8 years to learn your real name. Your introduction promised me self-esteem, confidence and beautiful dreams that only you could provide.
I learned your name on that first night I sat on a dark floor with a needle in my arm. I dreamed while the warm brown liquid rushed through my veins. I felt the euphoria of your power. I looked up to you and fell in love. You told me you loved me and would always be there. You took me to places I could have never imagined. We made a pack on an unwritten contract.
You claimed my soul while never tipping your hand. You sent me out onto the streets to steal and taught me hate. You took my logic, my pride, morals and my dignity. You took my beautiful looks right from under me. I never noticed when I looked in the mirror. You owned me yet I never knew I was under your spell.
You taught me how to make excuses to advocate for you which I proudly did!
You stole 36 years of my life and made sure I was too high to notice. I knew you controlled me on that day you brought me to my knees so I’d beg you for one more. You turned on me and told me NO! You let the pain creep in so I would stay loyal and never cross you. The withdrawal was too much to bear so I willfully gave you the rest of me. In spite of it all, I still loved you.
You took my family, my children and everyone I loved. You killed my friend’s right in front of me and tried to kill me too.
You sent me to prison and kept me alone and homeless. You lied when you made me believe that only you cared about me.
You tried so hard to hold on to me till death do us part but I broke free. Its been 8 years since you entered my soul.
The only promise you kept was that you would always be there.
I have become strong, powerful and relentless against you. I learned everything about you and you won’t fool me again.
Now my promise to you HEROIN, I will not stop till I take YOU down.