12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in
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Edited by Gregory S. Parks and Matthew W. Hughey
with an introduction by Lani Guinier
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: New Press, The (January 11, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
Book Review by Kam Williams
"This book of stories by black men living in America can
serve as a primer to help all Americans understand the dominant roles that
history and culture, race and intergenerational poverty all play in defining
how we enforce our laws… The twelve angry men remind us of the outsized role
that we give to law enforcement in running our lives…
The men are the stopped-and-frisked, the unlawfully detained, the racially profiled… These men's accounts of their interactions with the police are cinematic in their clarity and pathos.
Their anger is understandable, justifiable. It stems from an often arbitrary, sometimes violent moment of encounter with personified state power, with its attendant embarrassment, helplessness, and fear…
If we ‘read race' through the eyes and the pain of these twelve angry men, we can begin to see… that the conversation on race has moved from the ‘colored' water fountain and the back of the bus to the profiling moment and the prison cell."
--Excerpted from the Introduction by Lani Guinier (pgs. xi-xli)
In "The Rage of a Privileged Class," Ellis Cose carefully chronicled the assortment of frustrations experienced by educated blacks upon entering the corporate world. In 12 Angry Men, a dozen brothers are allowed to give full vent to their feelings about another indignity routinely suffered by the majority of African-American males, namely, racial profiling.