RaveThe Washington PostInnovative in style and structure, Cuz is nonetheless part of a tradition of moral reckoning expressed in black American nonfiction. It brings to mind its literary cousins: Jesmyn Ward’s memoir Men We Reaped, Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Like those three books, Cuz seems to draw its inspiration from James Baldwin’s lament that black progress in the United States has been at best superficial. 'Morally,' Baldwin wrote in 1984, 'there has been no change at all and a moral change is the only real one.' Through Michael’s tragedy, Cuz draws a portrait of the moral failings in America that are responsible for too many of our cousins’ troubled lives and early deaths ... Cuz is a literary miracle of form and content. The book pleads with us to find the moral imagination to break the American pattern of racial abuse. Allen’s ambitious, breathtaking book challenges the moral composition of the world it inhabits by telling all who listen: I loved my cousin and he loved me, and I know he’d be alive if you loved him, too.
RaveThe Los Angeles TimesBeatty's reliance on so many textured backstories and secondary characterizations feels both revelatory and absolutely intentional ... The Sellout while riding beneath terrifying waves of American racial terror and heteropatriarchy, is among the most important and difficult American novels written in the 21st century ... It is a bruising novel that readers will likely never forget.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
RaveThe Los Angeles Times...one of the most imaginative, daring books of the 21st century ... [but] while Democracy in Black is in many ways wholly persuasive as an effortless balance of memoir, journalism and analysis, it's also conveniently clean in places where political, communal and personal messiness might advance and complicate Glaude's calls to action.