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A Finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay
Insightful and searing essays that celebrate the vibrancy and strength of black history and culture in America by critically acclaimed writer Jabari Asim
"A fantastic essay collection...Blending personal reflection with historical analysis and cultural and literary criticism, these essays are a sharp, illuminating response to the nation’s continuing racial conflicts."—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
In We Can’t Breathe, Jabari Asim disrupts what Toni Morrison has exposed as the “Master Narrative” and replaces it with a story of black survival and persistence through art and community in the face of centuries of racism. In eight wide-ranging and penetrating essays, he explores such topics as the twisted legacy of jokes and falsehoods in black life; the importance of black fathers and community; the significance of black writers and stories; and the beauty and pain of the black body. What emerges is a rich portrait of a community and culture that has resisted, survived, and flourished despite centuries of racism, violence, and trauma. These thought-provoking essays present a different side of American history, one that doesn’t depend on a narrative steeped in oppression but rather reveals black voices telling their own stories.
Jabari Asim is the author of several adult and children's books, including Preaching to the Chickens which was named one of the New York Times Best Illustrated Books of 2016 and Fifty Cents and a Dream-an NAACP Image Award Nominee, CCBC Choice, School Library Journal Editor's Choice, and Kirkus Best Book. He is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston and executive editor of The Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP. He recently was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
Publication Date: 10/16/2018 - 12:00am
On Sale: 10/16/2018 - 12:00am