Once you start in on "the Finkelstein 5", you will not be able to put this down. This story will grab you, enrage you, and break you while you chant along in a radical cry for justice. Adjei-Brenyah's voice rings powerful and true throughout this collection of stories. Satirical, heartbreaking, and violent stories set just within reach of "dystopian", but oh so relevant today.
I wouldn't last 1 hour, incarcerated for a crime I hadn't committed, but Anthony Ray Hinton survived 30 years on death row! Ignoring all evidence of the contrary, the state of Alabama decreed Ray guilty of two murders. Determined to return home, innocent man that he was, Ray was supported by Mama, his friend, Lester, and God. Ray used his imagination to travel all over the world and managed to form a monthly book club to distract other death row inmates from thinking about their execution dates. Brian Stephenson from the EJI sparks hope, as he reopens this case and works ceaselessly towards Ray's eventual release. An amazing story of strength and resilience!
In Taylor's first book, she traces the movement for black liberation from the Civil Rights Era up to the current #BlackLivesMatter movement. Through historical and politically analysis, Taylor demonstrates that not only is #BLM a movement (versus a moment) but it is also the harbinger for the liberation of all people from the death grip of racialized capitalism.
Tracy K. Smith's work has garnered her numerous awards. She is poet Laureate and the winner of a Pulitzer prize for her poetry. But Smith and her writing are more than her awards. Specifically in Life on Mars, Smith writes in a way that is at once down to earth and extremely profound. Touching on topics from race, to religion, ecology and astronomy (I mean, consider the title), Smith's prose will move the reader in every way.
With the urgent force of a rallying cry, Smith documents the many external and internal forces that imperil black bodies. His pain from his experience as an HIV-positive, queer black man is palpable, and every poem brims with anger, regret and unfathomable sadness. Take your time with each poem, for every one is rich, complex and worthy of re-reading.