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April 18, 2018

2

Pulitzer Prize 2018: Locking Up Our Own

by N@ncy

Perspective:

As a lawyer who started his career as a public defender in Washington D.C., Forman retains a pro-African American perspective for the entirety of the book.

Goal:

His goal is an honest retelling of the struggles the black man is up against:
arrests for minor marijuana infractions, opiate crisis getting worse particularly among blacks, racial profiling and guns. “From Wyatt Earp to the Godfather…USA misleads their young people who think they can secure their manhood through the barrel of a gun.”

Strong point:

With a fact-based approach Forman effectively presents the story of the racial injustice and inequality that is unchecked in Forman’s area of Washington D.C. . The War on Drugs that started in 1970’s did more harm than good resulting in mass incarcerations of black men.

Tone:    Forman maintains a level-leaded and intellectual tone throughout the narrative.

Weak point:

The book begins slowly and the first 2 chapters (legislation drugs and guns) did not ‘grab’ my attention. But once I reached chapter 3 “1948-1978 – Rise of African American police” I was hooked.

 

Conclusion:

  1. This book is a welcome addition to the
  2. …debate about racial issues in the USA.
  3. It cannot be compared to:
  4. Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy   or
  5. Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America
  6. Heather Thompson and Jill Levoy shift the tone in their books from
  7. fact, despair, to excitement, back to fact.
  8. They take the reader on a roller coaster of emotions.
  9. James Forman jr. as professor of law at Yale and legal scholar
  10. .. keeps emotions subdued but enlightens the reader
  11. …with facts only a lawyer can reveal through years of experience.
  12. Forman offers solutions that should be investigated.
  13. This book is a winner!
  14. Pulitzer Prize General Non-Fiction 2018.

 

Last  Thoughts:

  1. Sometimes it is best to read these books ‘hot off the presses’.
  2. If I wait too long the chances are
  3. …high the book disappears on my TRB.
  4. Pulitzer has a habit of selecting great books
  5. …but I have been disappointed at times.
  6. Never overlook the longlists
  7. …there hide many potential winners.
  8. Emotion is always a ‘cincher’ and
  9. …H. Thompson’s book was filled with
  10. emotion and much more ‘shock and awe’.
  11. J. Levoy’s book was a deep personal story
  12. ….one police officer was a leading example
  13. …and proved #BlackLives do matter!
  14. This was a very good book.
  15. J. Forman jr.’s book attests to the fact
  16. …there is still much to be corrected in USA.

 

Structure:

  1. 1975 – Struggle to pass a bill to legalize marijuana
  2. 1975 – Struggle to pass gun regulation
  3. 1948-1978 – Rise of African American police
  4. 1981-82 – Forman’s personal experiences as a young public defender
  5. 1988-92 – Crack: the worst thing to hit African Americans since slavery
  6. 1995 – Racial profiling ( stop-and search)
  7. Epilogue:  2014-16 Our reach for mercy
Read more from non-fiction, Pulitzer
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apr 19 2018

    How clever of you be reading & reviewing book as it wins a major prize!

    Like

    Reply
    • Apr 19 2018

      Sometimes it is best to read these books ‘hot off the presses’. If I wait too long the chances are high the book disappears on my TRB. Pulitzer has a habit of selecting great books…but I have been disappointed at times. Never overlook the longlists…there hide many potential winners.
      Emotion is always a ‘cincher’ and H. Thompson’s book was filled with emotion and much more ‘shock and awe’. J. Levoy’s book was a deep personal story ….one police officer was a leading example and proved #BlackLives do matter! This was a very good book.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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