Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League – but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighbourhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.
Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up – way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty police officer beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.
I’m angry and achingly sad. This book made me cry more than any book has recently and I can’t reasure myself and say ‘It’s ok, it’s just a story’ because it isn’t! For some people this is real life and I hate that! There are no words to express how livid I am that this has happened to real people, not once but multiple times.
Justyce and Manny did nothing wrong and got shot for not turning the music down. The cop said that they had a gun on them, a blatant lie. He shot two black teenagers, killing one of them, because they were listening to music, that’s what it comes down to. He profiled them in his head thinking that they were bad people just because of the colour of their skin.
All I can think now is ‘How different would things have gone had I not been a black guy?’. I know the initially the cop could only go by what he saw (which prolly did seem a little sketchy), but I’ve never had my charachter challenged like that.Justyce
I both loved and hated this book. I loved it because it’s powerful and the message in it is so important and we can’t ignore what is going on around us! I hated it because it sickens me knowing that this happens inreal life. It makes my skin crawl.
But this is the reason I need to read these books, I need to listen and I need to understand what is happening.
“Sittin’ there listening to this rich white boy brag about breakig the law after I sat in handcuffs for no reason… I can’t tell you how hard that was, Ma. It’s like no matter what I do, I can’t win”Justyce to his mother
The book follows a year of Justyce’s life, it starts with him being put in handcuffs for helping out his drunk ex-girlfriend, he’s trying to make sure she gets home ok because she is drunk and thinks she’s ok to drive. But a police officer stops him saying that he’s stealing her car or trying to have his way with her. The officer wont even listen to her parents.
The story swaps between the present and Justyce’s letters to Dr. Martin King Jr., this is an ongoing project for Justyce and he’s trying to do what Dr. King would do, but this gets harder and harder throughout the year as things start to pile on top of him.
It’s like I’m trying to climb a mountain, but I’ve got one fool trying to shove me down so I won’t be on his level, and another fool tugging at my leg trying to pull me to the ground he refuses to leave…Justyce
This is a story of struggle, courage and bravery. I wont pretend to understand what POC go through on a daily basis. I won’t ever be able to understand, but I’m here to say that I stand with you all the way. I’m listening and I’m learning.
I’m putting this at the bottom of the post bcause it isn’t as important as the message. This is my 2nd book of the 10 books of sumer challenge hosted by Cathy at 746 Books.