Dear Martin – Nic Stone
Ok, there’s a thing we need to say before I review this.
I am a white woman living in Britain where police don’t have guns except on very rare occasions, yes there is racism in the way the police treat non white people and I have been horrified by stories my uncle has told me about growing up black in a predominately white area and how people would cross the road rather than walk alongside him but I have not experienced it and I don’t feel like I, as a white person who has never experienced racial profiling, am the right person to talk about how powerful this book is or how it is an important addition to a conversation, that sadly, still need to happen.
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.
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 neighborhood 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 cop 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.
Like I said, I am not the person is qualified to talk about this book, so I’ll keep this brief and let you guys make up your minds for yourselves.
I like to think I’m pretty woke and I work hard every day to fight prejudice when I see it, much like SJ in this book though, while I am trying to do the right thing, these aren’t battles that I or other white people should be taking from those actually fighting them. It is something that white people should open their eyes too and support those in these situations however and that was my main take away from this book.
Justyce’s story is interspersed with conversations, letters to Martin Luther King and news reports, which really flesh out the whole experience.
Nic Stone has given us a very well written story about a modern problem I raced through this story reading the whole thing in one sitting, it was captivating from the first page. I have yet to read The Hate You Give, which I’m aware is of a similar nature, but it is on my TBR and has gone up several spaces since Netgalley let me read this. I want to read more own voices novels, so if you guys can recommend me some more, I’d be grateful.