PositiveUSA Today...heartfelt, at times searing, essays ... Powell\'s reminiscences of their encounters, and [Shakur] the rapper\'s importance to him and many other young black men, is especially moving ... Powell\'s essays are written with a sense of urgency that is almost palpable.
Matthew Horace and Ron Harris
PositiveUSA TodayThere is frank discussion about bigoted cops, outdated procedures and fledgling signs of reform. In between, Horace offers testimonials from black law enforcement officers ... Still, the most powerful voice in The Black and the Blue is Horace’s own, steady, forthright and rooted in his experiences on both sides of the blue line ... The Black and the Blue is an affirmation of the critical need for criminal justice reform, all the more urgent because it comes from an insider who respects his profession yet is willing to reveal its flaws. Scrolling through its pages can be disheartening. It is overwhelming to contemplate how to root out bias, and stop the killings of unarmed black citizens, when even officers caught committing such acts on videotape are usually acquitted, if they are charged at all.
Issac J. Bailey
PositiveUSA TodayJournalist Issac J. Bailey has penned an elegant memoir that speaks to the inequities of the criminal justice system ... Bailey manages to distill his vast themes by channeling them through the prism of his own experience ... Bailey tells his story with a raw honesty, whether illuminating painful episodes in which he labored to utter a reply or complete a speech before a gaping, laughing crowd, or detailing his struggle to love relatives who followed Moochie into a life of crime ... At times My Brother Moochie feels a bit repetitive. But that\'s more a matter of structure. Its messages are thoughtful enough to bear repeating.
RaveUSA Today\"McNamara reveals with meticulous detail and matter-of-fact prose Shriver\'s relentless drive, nervous energy and lifelong efforts to affirm the dignity and abilities of those with special needs ... McNamara relies on letters, family records and the observations of Shriver\'s acquaintances and family to sketch a nuanced portrait of a woman who was brusque yet charismatic, demanding and at times imperious, but also down-to-earth.\
PositiveUSA TodayMore scholarly than lyrical, Jefferson’s Daughters pieces together letters, oral accounts and myriad biographies to craft a meticulously researched portrait of Martha and Maria, Jefferson’s children with his wife, Martha Wayles Jefferson, and Harriet, whose mother was the enslaved Sally Hemings … A highlight of Kerrison's work is that while noting the gender constraints that hemmed in white women, she does not sugarcoat their privileged status, nor deny their racism … Jefferson's Daughters offers a fascinating glimpse of where we have been as a nation.
RaveUSA Today...confronts the legacy of President Barack Obama, the election of Donald Trump, and what each says about the intractability of race in our country ...eloquently unfurls blunt truths in his latest book, pointing to how embedded white privilege is in the identity of our nation, and how the desire to preserve it constrained, and at times demeaned, the nation\'s first black president ... Each chapter is a thesis of sorts, in which Coates melds personal experience and observation with facts plumbed from history ...no sugarcoating, no effort to cloak the nation\'s underbelly in order to soothe those who do not want to believe it exists. Some may find Coates\' words validating. Others may pronounce them a bleak sermon or even a eulogy for the dashed possibilities imagined by some when Obama was first elected.
RaveUSA TodayHer spare prose, written with a raw grace, heightens the emotional resonance of her story, making each observation sharper, each revelation more riveting, and also sometimes difficult to bear ... there is triumph in the end, not because Gay's is trauma forgotten. But because she is on her way to healing, and she has invited readers to join her ... It is a thing of raw beauty.
RaveUSA TodayIn Madame President, the journey of Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf unspools like a novel, fitting for a life that is nothing short of mythic ... It's filled with details that emerge from dogged reporting as well as an intimate understanding of Liberia's complexity and culture, which perhaps could come only from being a native daughter ... Cooper's prose, witty, blunt and peppered with the Pidgin English spoken by the peoples of Liberia, immerses the reader in the fabric of that small, West African country ... Madame President is a fascinating read to enlighten those who may know little about this woman and the nation she leads, and who will undoubtedly be left wanting to know much more.
ed. Jesmyn Ward
RaveUSA Today...illuminating and even cathartic ... Ward's reflections on race and racism, along with those of 17 other writers, are thoughtful, searing, and at times, hopeful ... The Fire This Time is vivid proof that words are important, because of their power to both cleanse and to clarify.
Nancy Jo Sales
PositiveUSA TodaySales' steady string of vignettes can be numbing at times, with one girl after another talking about boys asking them for 'nudes,' the lack of romance in a culture that revolves around 'hook-ups,’ and the pressure to constantly project a virtually approved image of perfection. But that repetition, interspersed with many young women’s poignant reflections, powerfully conveys how pervasive these experiences and feelings are among American girls.