12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today Paperback – May 1 2012
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<DIV>Winner of a PASS Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
"Beautifully written, painfully honest."
—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
—Jet</DIV> --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In this short collection of essays, twelve black men describe what they have endured at the hands of police officers, and what it feels to be a suspect merely by virtue of one's skin color.
The book did not surprise, but it was a useful reminder that the promise of equal protection of the law remains elusive and must be worked for one day at a time. I wish every federal judge in the United States were required to read this work before issuing a ruling on routine cases of police misconduct. Bad policing is as disruptive to community well-being as a riot.
Well edited, and concise, I recommend this book to anyone working in civil rights, or, for that matter, law enforcement.
I could write at length from personal experience about the trauma inflicted on my psyche by the time I was 25 by a decade of being routinely stopped and frisked by police about once a month or so, and always on the flimsiest of pretexts. Back then, the prison industrial complex was undergoing a mammoth growth spurt thanks to the so-called "War on Drugs," which was really just a rationale for feeding the corporate beast with the bodies of millions of non-violent, black offenders.
Judging by the accounts related in 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today, the situation hasn't improved much over the interim.
This eye-opening tome's entries adopt a much more serious tone to drive home ever so effectively the salient point that state-sanctioned racial profiling amounts to a painful assault on individual dignity and a serious impediment to the collective American Dream of a colorblind society.
Read the full review and more book reviews from AALBC.com on your Kindle Edition
Few can deny that racial profiling exists. ~And this book underlines it for us: racial profiling exists...as described first-hand by some high-rent lawyers, university professors and reporters. ~But this reader might have been more informed if the breakdown included a few from the black middle-class and the black unemployed. How about ordinary neighborhood folks? ~Maybe a couple of voices from "the projects"?
Perhaps the editors' pre-book plans intentionally zeroed-in on the well-dressed, well-educated blacks...helping us to conclude that Color makes the difference, especially on the street --the only difference. At that, the only thing we glean from this weak surface compilation is (for sure): racial profiling exists. ~Unfortunately, there's not much more than that here. On a topic so culturally significant, the book might have taken us much, much deeper. [Did I see a short Renaissance poem in one of the selections? How "raindrops and rosy" need it get?]
Not the fault of the "12 Angry Men" themselves by any stretch, these twelve (actually not-so-angry men in print) give us little insight beyond the sketchy details of their up-close experiences with clear racial bias. Even the few "F-bombs" here and there do not make the accounts more compelling, realistic or believable. Here's a simplistic, overly-quick read, narrowed by its own soft focus.
~Not very rigorous, mostly conversational. ~Not at all what I expected....
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