“I was a 29-year-old heroin addict who had taken barbiturates and quaaludes like daily vitamins since I was in my teens, and I had done cocaine, LSD, and MDA hundreds of times. I had been a prostitute and a member of an Arizona biker gang, a member of a Chicago street gang, and a drug dealer. I had ridden in limousines and stayed in the finest hotels. I was an accomplished thief and a con artist, had beaten or outrun every charge ever made against me, gamed every system I came up against, and loved every minute of it.”
----Angalia Bianca from her book, In Deep
If that first statement is eye opening, just know it’s only part of the story. Angalia's father was connected to the Chicago mob, “The Outfit”, she had a job on the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and a then had a stint as a groupie staying with The Who and drummer Keith Moon, arguably the greatest rock drummer of all time. She ran an internet porn empire from inside prison, conducted scam after scam, and witnessed two boyfriends shot to death right next to her, while another was nearly killed, and one was probably executed. Through it all, she lived life wild, insane, but not on the edge. No, Angalia Bianca kept redefining what the edge even meant. Then she didn’t just cross it, she leaped over it, did a double axel upside down spin move, and landed sideways in the abyss, then came up for more.
Still, somehow she survived.
If that was the whole story it would be a shocking one...but it’s not. Because she had an epiphany during one of her prison stays. When her dad died she realized that no one would mourn her death. She had done nothing for others. She had not earned that mourning. And with that understanding she never did another drug. She ended all scams and criminal activity. She got out of prison, and dedicated her life to helping others. She says, “I lived the first 50 years of my life for myself. I am living the rest of for everyone but myself.”
To achieve this she is a dedicated violence interrupter, rehab expert, and life changer. This has been her life for the last 15 years. Her efforts have saved countless lives. Among her many accolades are recognition by Illinois state representative Kelly Cassidy for “ invaluable contributions to the community and the fight against violence.” Along with this is recognition from the Change Nations Global Leadership Award for her “exemplary leadership to empower all of mankind.”, appointment as a goodwill ambassador for the Golden Rule International, honorary ambassador to Burundi and representative to the United Nations. Angalia has been presented an honorary doctorate of philosophy in humanities, the Community Leadership Award from the Jane Addams College of Social Work and Policy Change for her “transition from prisoner to world crusader for youth.” She was also named National Association of Social Workers Public Citizen of the Year in 2017. Along the way she has stared down gang bangers, stopped murders, and personally intervened to save lives.
Angalia travels worldwide to teach and reach people in fields as diverse as anti terrorism, trauma outreach, and especially addiction and recovery. This is what she is doing now in Flint, as well.
We have told many tales in the Aquarium story factory production line of Fish and The Flint Chronicles, but few can ever rival the true life of Angalia Bianca. It’s one you won’t soon forget.
This show originally aired on July 28, 2021.
You can also visit this episode at Fish's website: http://www.flintchronicles.com/