PositiveThe New York Times Book Review...a stirring anthology that takes more cues from Baldwin than just its title ... the joy and pain of existing while black is what’s celebrated here. That is to the credit of Ward, and the writers (like Edwidge Danticat, Kiese Laymon and Isabel Wilkerson) whose works she arranges in this volume ... The pain of black life (and death) often inspires flowery verse, but every poem and essay in Ward’s volume remains grounded in a harsh reality that our nation, at large, refuses fully to confront.
I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay StreetMatt Taibbi
RaveThe New York Times Book Review[Taibbi] has published a new book that properly depicts the Garner killing as a consequence of our society’s ills. Its title, I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street, seems to imply a narrow focus on the Garner killing, belying the book’s prismatic approach to both the people and policies involved in Garner’s life and death ... In this book, humanization does not equal lionization, and sympathy is never confused for pity. This applies to everyone, in particular the book’s principal subject ... Taibbi’s reportorial voice, often blunt and forceful, is most compassionate when he is integrating political realities with facts about Garner and the incidents depicted ... If readers are unfamiliar with the fatalism and frustration that racial discrimination, poverty and poor policing engender in men like Eric Garner, Taibbi provides an able introduction.