What an incredible emotional roller-coaster it’s been working on this book with Bobby Brown. We started two years ago, when Bobby was in Atlanta for several weeks preparing to go on tour with New Edition. I spent time with him and the entire group and felt like he was in a very good place. But just as we were about to really dive deep into the conversations, he got the horrible news that his daughter was in a coma. So for months I had to watch with everyone else as he suffered through that grueling ordeal. When he was ready to begin work again on the book, I think we were both surprised that he found it helpful and therapeutic to talk about his unbelievable life—the joys and the tragedies. I am pleased to see that the public is responding well to the book, and the raw honesty that Bobby pours into the pages.
More than two years ago, I began talking with Atlanta attorney Robbin Shipp about how we might create in book form some kind of guide to help Black males deal with all-too-frequent harrowing encounters with law enforcement and provide them ways to avoid being devoured by the voracious prison industrial complex. After the heartbreak of Trayvon Martin’s tragic encounter with George Zimmerman, we sat down and started writing. The result is Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System.
Released by Agate Publishing, it will be available on October 14. While I am proud of the finished product, I am so distraught that with each passing day the book feels even more relevant and necessary. Justice While Black delves into racial profiling, the traps of the traffic stop, the motivations of the police, the proper mindset when in the back of a police car, the tricks of the plea bargain system, the systemic racism and brutality of the prison industrial complex—in addition to tracing how the modern American police force, particularly in the South, grew directly out of slave patrols and the KKK. It is a crucial book for anybody raising a Black child in America or anybody who cares how our nation locks up Black men and women to feed a multi-billion-dollar business and employment system.
Find more info here at Agate and pre-order your copy now at Amazon.