It's September, 1969, int he Brooklyn projects, The Cause, where poverty consumes the residents and rarely spits them out. Five Ends Baptist Church is a strong force within this community. One of its deacons, a kindhearted by drunken 71 year-old known as Sportcoat, shoots a young drug dealer in broad daylight before many witnesses. Stumbling off toward the rest of his day, Sportcoat eludes the law and claims not to remember a thing about shooting Deems. From this point on the spicy dialogues swirl before the reader, as people react to this unexpected act of violence. Sportcoat's reputation weighs in heavily, making clear the loyalty that poverty generates. McBride's brilliant portrait of these connected souls underline the power of words!
It's staggering to see all this history compiled into one book for the simple fact alone that it makes it impossible not to notice the patterns. Of the behavior, thoughts, ideals, and motivations of white people in positions of power finding ways to undermine black people throughout America's history. I learned more from this single book than any history class I took in school. So, please read this book immediately, but I also say we commission Jason Reynolds to write every history book from now until forever.
Bump writes from his own childhood experience on the South Side of Chicago. It’s a heartfelt story with familiar themes of family, love, and growing up, but from a completely unique voice – one that will endear you to main character Claude McKay and one that needs to be heard.
Pair it with Margo Jefferson’s Negroland a memoir, also about growing up, decades earlier and in another part of Chicago, as an affluent African-American. Two illuminating and unforgettable portrayals of race in the U.S.
Whitehead lined up the plot of this novel as meticulously as dominos and then with a flick tore everything down in moments.
I sobbed at the end. Read it read it read it.
Many of us hope that we would not end up on the wrong side of the potent conversations in this electrifying play. But there are so many wrong sides. The lines Rankine draws here are blurry and moving fast - the discomfort is the point. Rankine does here what all great dramatists do - distills the complex noise of our time into a clear mirror. When we catch a glimpse of ourselves we are forced to try to do better.