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Posts Tagged ‘police’

19. “Spider Bones,” Kathy Reichs

July 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I don’t know why I keep reading these books. The prose style does nothing for me, and the Temperance Brennen of these books is nothing like those of the television show.

Page count: 302
Page total: 5,386

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29. “Those Who Walk in Darkness,” John Ridley

May 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Page count: 310
Page total: 7,273

24. “Somewhere in the Darkness”, Walter Dean Myers

March 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Jimmy lives with his Mama Jean. His life is going okay– he’s getting hassled at school a little, because he just can’t bring himself to go much these days, but other than that, it’s good. Until he meets a stranger lurking outside his apartment door. The man identifies himself as Crab, Jimmy’s father, who just got out of prision. Before he knows it, Jimmy is roped into a road trip with the father he never knew. And, try as he might, Jimmy’s having a hard time getting to know him, as Crab doesn’t know how to be a father. But he has to try to show Jimmy who he was before he became the man Jimmy doesn’t know.

Jimmy hadn’t been sick as much as he had been tired. It was a funny kind of tired, not so much the kind that you got from playing ball. No muscles ached, his arms and legs weren’t tired. It seemed to come from inside. It was almost as if something tired was growing in him. In the mornings, he would just get up and not feel like doing anything. He didn’t know why.

Oh, Jimmy. Welcome to my life. Call back when waking up in the morning is physically painful and brings on dry heaves.

“When I was a kind, you couldn’t come in here and sit down and have a soda,” Crab said as he eased into one of the booths. “You could come in and buy a soda at the counter and take it out, but that was about it.”
“They didn’t have seats then?” [Asked Jimmy]
Crab looked at Jimmy, then away, then back to him again. “You never heard about segregation?”
“Yes, I heard about it,” Jimmy said. He felt slightly hurt by the accusation in Crab’s voice.
“What was it?” Crab asked.
“That’s when they didn’t like Martin Luther King?” Jimmy asked. “Wouldn’t let black people vote, stuff like that?”
“It’s when they divided the world into white people and niggers,” Crab said. “And they did little things to make sure you didn’t forget which you were. Things like making you take your soda outside to drink.” (121-122)

As much as I like this, particularly Crab’s description of segregation, it doesn’t ring true for me that a fourteen-year-old Black boy from New York city doesn’t know about racism. There’s another part later on where a cop is following them in their car and Crab explains what the cop is doing and how they just need to keep driving like they don’t even see him until he satisfies his curiosity and leaves. Jimmy is sort of dumbfounded by this. Listen, I grew up White in the suburbs. I was taught that police officers were our friends and could be trusted. Kids growing up in cities– especially kids growing up Black in cities– usually don’t have that experience. Jimmy’s a little naive, which I like, and he’s pretty dazed by the experience of getting to know his father (and getting lied to constantly), but this fundamental lack of understanding goes on and is surprising for me.

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Total: 14,122