At its core this is a story we've all heard before. It's a story we're seeing an alarming amount of the time on the news these days. It's a story that is powerful & tragic & relevant.
What I enjoyed most about this book was its honest portrayal of modern issues among black communities, and how largely unaware we who are outside of those communities can be.
There are a lot of hot topic ideas presented here:
- How both drug and prison industries are designed to keep minorities in a revolving door of failure.
- How the media unabashedly contaminates our ideas about reality.
- How the people paid to protect us don't always consider all of us worth protecting.
- How racism is intentional at times. How racism is unintentional at times. How racism is destructive all of the time.
- How death isn't something we think about until it affects someone we know personally.
"Her words used to have power. If she said it was fine, it was fine. But after you've held two people as they took their last breaths, words like that don't mean shit anymore."
I think this book has all the elements necessary to make a resounding point; a compelling narrative, believable characters, excellent writing, and an insightful voice can all be found here. This is quite an accomplishment for a debut author, especially given the content she chose to tackle.
It addresses those ugly manifestations of hatred, but it also shines a light on the hope we must have for the future.
My own personal fear is that those of us who desperately need to read a story like this will not be the ones racing to pick it up. Nonetheless, it's a story that must be told now and preserved for later.