According to Theo "T", he and his buddies was fierce the day they was rolling down the street and witnessed Ricky-Ricky get flat-fixed. T tried to revive his friend but couldn't. The helpless feeling he had as he watched Money Mike gun down a neighborhood kid was the worst thing he had ever experienced.
Witnessing the shooting makes T angry and bitter. Listening to his mother and sister and the warnings they speak about staying at home and off the streets, fall on deaf ears. Even with threats that his mother is going to ship him off to Texas, T sneaks out to join his buddies and scheme ways to change things in the hood.
The sound of gunfire is common place in the hood, and there are far too many funerals. Mothers and grandmothers mourn the loss of boys who will never become men or even young men.
Having already lost his father in a shooting, T knows how tough it is to survive in the hood, but still he dreams of experiencing all the pleasures of life. He wishes his sister's unplanned pregnancy could work out, but he knows she plans to give up the child for adoption in hopes of finishing school and improving her life. He dreams of having a girl friend and his hopes grow when he meets Nia and discovers she might have feelings for him, too. But, when he learns Money Mike has sprayed a local basketball court with bullets and flat-fixed several little kids, T may be ready to sacrifice it all to get revenge.
Author e.E Charlton-Trujillo takes readers right to the streets in WHEN WE WAS FIERCE. Tough, vivid street talk leaps off the page as her characters reveal the odds stacked against them in the hood. Mentions of Ferguson and Trayvon Martin connect fiction to real life and remind readers that what's between the pages is in fact what it's like for many young people simply trying to stay alive.