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12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today Paperback – May 1 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (May 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595587713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595587718
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,669,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


<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.

About the Author

Gregory S. Parks is an attorney in private practice and a co-editor of Critical Race Realism (The New Press). He lives in Washington, D.C. Matthew W. Hughey is an assistant professor of sociology at Mississippi State University, where he lives, and is the co-editor of The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America. Lani Guinier, a professor at Harvard Law School, was the first black woman ever to head the civil rights division of the Justice Department. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Miner’s Canary and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f255114) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f034444) out of 5 stars Analyzes a sad reality that still lives on in modern America Feb. 15 2011
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Even with America's first black president, racial profiling still reigns strong. "Twelve Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today" draws on the crisis surrounding Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and how it revealed to many Americans a very real reality, where many black men, regardless of their status or own culture, find themselves demonized. From attorneys unable to walk in their own home, being arrested for visiting family, and more, "Twelve Angry Men" analyzes a sad reality that still lives on in modern America.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f034498) out of 5 stars The Color Line ... March 26 2013
By Norman A. Pattis - Published on
Format: Paperback
... continues to separate and divide. This is particularly clear in the context of policing, where being a black male is presumptive evidence of the need for "just a closer look."

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.
HASH(0x9f0348d0) out of 5 stars 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today Feb. 6 2013
By Troy of AALBC . com - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Men are the stopped-and-frisked, unlawfully detained, the racially profiled. 12 Angry Men is about men's accounts of their interactions with the police. There accounts are cinematic in their clarity and pathos. Unless you've been subjected to such un-Constitutional treatment, you are unlikely to be very sympathetic. After all, it is reasonable to think that if someone's not breaking the law, they presumably should have no problem cooperating with the cops for what ought to amount to a momentary inconvenience.

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.

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f034c90) out of 5 stars So Where's All The Anger? March 25 2011
By ink & penner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A mis-characterized book title gives the impression we'll find unbridled personal fire and brimstone regarding the practice of police profiling. However, each chapter, though interesting, is mostly a short, softball account of a black man's experience with biased cops who regularly claim they're "just doing their job." ~All happening while the angry men were driving, while walking the neighborhood or frequenting some place of business. Chapter-by-chapter, the repetition is evident; and the cool, calm tones suggest heavy editing, limiting the editors' overall direction and purpose.

Few can deny that racial profiling exists. ~And this book underlines it for us: racial profiling 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....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f034d74) out of 5 stars a right to be angry July 26 2011
By Rebecca L. Tushnet - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Publishers Weekly review mentions thematic repetition, which I thought was a big part of the point: a black man can be 18 or 60, have a GED or a Ph.D., a seat in Congress or no job, be a sports star-turned-commentator or an ACLU lawyer working on a racial profiling project, be a father watching his kids at the park, be on foot or in a car or at an airport or in his sister's apartment, have any ethnic background (Devin Carbado's piece about his racial naturalization after arrival from England is particularly striking here), have a "cooperative" attitude or an "uncooperative" attitude, and no matter what else he is, he's subject to police interruption and questioning. The biggest question is how trigger-happy the cops are going to be this time around. Paul Butler has the best laugh-so-you-won't-cry sentence, "Sometimes, being a scholar of criminal procedure and a black man seems redundant."