Gang Leader for a Day

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A “regular” squatter and “hustler” in Robert Taylor, C-Note gets his name from his ability to make “one hundred dollars” in “a hundred ways.” C-Note’s hustles including fixing cars and appliances, though he sometimes runs afoul of JT’s control if he doesn’t pay sufficient “tax” to the BKs to continue his operations.

C-Note Quotes in Gang Leader for a Day

The Gang Leader for a Day quotes below are all either spoken by C-Note or refer to C-Note. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Hustling Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin edition of Gang Leader for a Day published in 2008.
Chapter 3 Quotes

He [JT] had no real sense of what I would actually be writing—because, in truth, I didn’t know myself. Nor did I know if he’d be upset with me for having seen him beat up C-Note, or if perhaps he’d try to censor me.

Related Characters: Sudhir Venkatesh (speaker), JT, C-Note
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:

This quote uncovers several important features of Sudhir’s work. First, he admits that his “learning” is largely unstructured – once he abandoned the questionnaire script given to him by people in his department, he was no longer operating according to the standardized principles of his discipline. Of course, Sudhir attempts to maintain objectivity and journalistic distance from the people whose lives he is exploring. But there is no stated “mission” or “goal” to his work for years on end.

It is only later, on encouragement from his advisers and after a few key breaks in his work, that Sudhir realizes he can track the flow of money in the underground economies of the Homes – especially once he has access to the ledgers T-Bone provides him. Only then does the research take a certain form. And it is the relative formlessness of Sudhir’s early investigations that provides both its freedom and, occasionally, its ethical ambiguity – as when, for example, he is not sure whether or not to intervene when JT and his lieutenants beat C-Note.

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C-Note Character Timeline in Gang Leader for a Day

The timeline below shows where the character C-Note appears in Gang Leader for a Day. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 – First Days on Federal Street
Hustling Theme Icon
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
Sudhir meets others in the Homes, including “regular squatters” like C-Note, a handyman with many “side hustles” who washes cars and mends appliances for tenants in... (full context)
Hustling Theme Icon
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
...of the prostitution ring taxed (but not directly managed) by the Black Kings. He observes C-Note in particular, who tells him his nickname comes from the fact that “he has a... (full context)
Hustling Theme Icon
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
C-Note does not back down from JT, and refuses to move his auto-repair equipment from the... (full context)
Chapter 3 – Someone to Watch Over Me
Hustling Theme Icon
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
...function in the Homes and its violent streak. Sudhir remains disturbed by the beating of C-Note, although he does not bring it up with JT right away. He instead waits until... (full context)
Hustling Theme Icon
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
...car, and wonders what to do. This time, Sudhir says something to JT, noting that C-Note, unlike Brass, was paying his tax, and that the BKs seemed to beat Brass unnecessarily... (full context)
Hustling Theme Icon
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
JT responds to Sudhir, however, that both Brass and C-Note had “questioned his authority,” and that they therefore deserved punishment, and that it was an... (full context)
Hustling Theme Icon
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
...time on political organizing efforts. Sudhir meets with Kris and Michael, two other “hustlers” like C-Note, and helps them as they run a temporary car-washing business one day. When Michael gets... (full context)
Chapter 5 – Ms. Bailey’s Neighborhood
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
...Bee-Bee, a man they believe has just brutally beaten his girlfriend Taneesha. The squatters, including C-Note, are afraid that Bee-Bee will try to leave the building to avoid punishment. Sudhir goes... (full context)
Chapter 6 – The Hustler and the Hustled
Hustling Theme Icon
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
Sudhir continues his research. He interviews C-Note and some of the other “hustlers,” finding out that a lot of their “manual working,”... (full context)
Hustling Theme Icon
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Objectivity and Empathy Theme Icon
Crime and the Police Theme Icon
Poverty Theme Icon
...homes. JT and Ms. Bailey have gone around to tenants with boarders, to people like C-Note, and to prostitutes like Clarisse, asking them for more money, since they’re apparently making more... (full context)