The word family can be very misleading.  When you first think of the word family the thoughts of love, support, togetherness and breaking bread together come to mind. The word family instills confidence in your bloodline. It's the family against the world.

Now that's what I like to think of when it comes to family or that's the way I am with my family. I'm only talking about me, the wife and the kids, down. So, let's get real, even though I said all of the nice things family should be, that's looking at it through rose colored glasses. Family can do some low down, dirty shit to you. If you don't believe me, just let somebody that has some money die and watch how their kids will cut each others throat for their piece of the inheritance.

I've learned that you've got to make your own family. Unfortunately, I come from a no-good family. I was raised by my great grandmother, and that says it all. I have seen people plot and plan the demise of their siblings for that all mighty dollar. I have seen children keep their parent on life support so they can maintain the power of attorney over their finances. I've seen women throw their new born babies in dumpsters that are then left alone to fend off the rats and roaches.

Just because someone shares the same name and bloodline, it doesn't make you family, it just makes you related. Family means loyalty. Whoever is loyal to you is FAMILY! Fuck everybody else.

Read more: Ghetto Bastard: A Memoir (Volume 1) and Ghetto Bastard 2 (Volume 2) by Russell Vann


  1. So true. My mother told me when I was very young to learn to live as if I had no one except God because people-family included-will always fail you on some level. She even said that she, my father and siblings will fail me at some point whether it being because my expectations would be too high or because that's just the way it is. I never forgot that and have grown to know that God is all I truly have, is the one who is loyal to me without a fault, was there in the past and here in the present. My family places a price tag on loyalty so I've cut them all off. I don't have time for those games cuz the bullshit is the bullshit. There are people in my life today that are "alright" but the leash I have on trust is miniscule. My circle is me, my brother and my man-we are family. Good blog Russ.

    1. When I read your response to my blog Bellz, the first thing and only thought that came to my mind was "DAMN HER ASS IS SMART!!!"


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