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The Cook Up

Author: D. Watkins
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 1455588644
Size: 65.58 MB
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE O MAGAZINE BEST SUMMER BOOK Told by the man who lived it, The Cook Up is a riveting look inside the Baltimore drug trade as portrayed in the hit HBO series, The Wire. The smartest kid on his block in East Baltimore, D. was certain he would escape the life of drugs, decadence, and violence that had surrounded him since birth. But when his brother Devin is shot-only days after D. receives notice that he's been accepted into Georgetown University-the plans for his life are exploded, and he takes up the mantel of his brother's crack empire. D. succeeds in cultivating the family business, but when he meets a woman unlike any he's known before, his priorities are once more put into question. Equally terrifying and hilarious, inspiring and heartbreaking, D.'s story offers a rare glimpse into the mentality of a person who has escaped many hells.

The Beast Side

Author: D. Watkins
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 1510716408
Size: 29.83 MB
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A New York Times Best Seller! To many, the past 8 years under President Obama were meant to usher in a new post-racial American political era, dissolving the divisions of the past. However, when seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by a wannabe cop in Florida; and then Ferguson, Missouri, happened; and then South Carolina hit the headlines; and then Baltimore blew up, it was hard to find any evidence of a new post-racial order. Suddenly the entire country seemed to be awakened to a stark fact: African American men are in danger in America. This has only become clearer as groups like Black Lives Matter continue to draw attention to this reality daily not only online but also in the streets of our nation’s embattled cities. Now one of our country’s quintessential urban war zones is brought powerfully to life by a rising young literary talent, D. Watkins. The author fought his way up on the eastside (the “beastside”) of Baltimore, Maryland—or “Bodymore, Murderland,” as his friends call it. He writes openly and unapologetically about what it took to survive life on the streets while the casualties piled up around him, including his own brother. Watkins pushed drugs to pay his way through school, staying one step ahead of murderous business rivals and equally predatory lawmen. When black residents of Baltimore finally decided they had had enough—after the brutal killing of twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody—Watkins was on the streets as the city erupted. He writes about his bleeding city with the razor-sharp insights of someone who bleeds along with it. Here are true dispatches from the other side of America. In this new paperback edition, the author has also added new material responding to the rising tide of racial resentment and hate embodied by political figures like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and the impact this has had on issues of race in America. This book is essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of the chaos of our current political moment.

A Beautiful Ghetto

Author:
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781608467594
Size: 76.49 MB
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Allen asks us to see beyond the the violence and poverty that all too often defines the "ghetto."

All Day

Author: Liza Jessie Peterson
Publisher: Center Street
ISBN: 1455570907
Size: 24.39 MB
Format: PDF
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ALL DAY is a behind-the-bars, personal glimpse into the issue of mass incarceration via an unpredictable, insightful and ultimately hopeful reflection on teaching teens while they await sentencing. Told with equal parts raw honesty and unbridled compassion, ALL DAY recounts a year in Liza Jessie Peterson's classroom at Island Academy, the high school for inmates detained at New York City's Rikers Island. A poet and actress who had done occasional workshops at the correctional facility, Peterson was ill-prepared for a full-time stint teaching in the GED program for the incarcerated youths. For the first time faced with full days teaching the rambunctious, hyper, and fragile adolescent inmates, "Ms. P" comes to understand the essence of her predominantly Black and Latino students as she attempts not only to educate them, but to instill them with a sense of self-worth long stripped from their lives. "I have quite a spirited group of drama kings, court jesters, flyboy gangsters, tricksters, and wannabe pimps all in my charge, all up in my face, to educate," Peterson discovers. "Corralling this motley crew of bad-news bears to do any lesson is like running boot camp for hyperactive gremlins. I have to be consistent, alert, firm, witty, fearless, and demanding, and most important, I have to have strong command of the subject I'm teaching." Discipline is always a challenge, with the students spouting street-infused backtalk and often bouncing off the walls with pent-up testosterone. Peterson learns quickly that she must keep the upper hand-set the rules and enforce them with rigor, even when her sympathetic heart starts to waver. Despite their relentless bravura and antics-and in part because of it-Peterson becomes a fierce advocate for her students. She works to instill the young men, mostly black, with a sense of pride about their history and culture: from their African roots to Langston Hughes and Malcolm X. She encourages them to explore and express their true feelings by writing their own poems and essays. When the boys push her buttons (on an almost daily basis) she pushes back, demanding that they meet not only her expectations or the standards of the curriculum, but set expectations for themselves-something most of them have never before been asked to do. She witnesses some amazing successes as some of the boys come into their own under her tutelage. Peterson vividly captures the prison milieu and the exuberance of the kids who have been handed a raw deal by society and have become lost within the system. Her time in the classroom teaches her something, too-that these boys want to be rescued. They want normalcy and love and opportunity.

Innovating

Author: Luis Perez-Breva
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262035359
Size: 37.41 MB
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Innovating is for doers: you don't need to wait for an earth-shattering idea, but can build one with a hunch and scale it up to impact. Innovation is the subject of countless books and courses, but there's very little out there about how you actually innovate. Innovation and entrepreneurship are not one and the same, although aspiring innovators often think of them that way. They are told to get an idea and a team and to build a show-and-tell for potential investors. In Innovating, Luis Perez-Breva describes another approach—a doer's approach developed over a decade at MIT and internationally in workshops, classes, and companies. He shows that to start innovating it doesn't require an earth-shattering idea; all it takes is a hunch. Anyone can do it. By prototyping a problem and learning by being wrong, innovating can be scaled up to make an impact. As Perez-Breva demonstrates, "no thing is new" at the outset of what we only later celebrate as innovation. In Innovating, the process—illustrated by unique and dynamic artwork—is shown to be empirical, experimental, nonlinear, and incremental. You give your hunch the structure of a problem. Anything can be a part. Your innovating accrues other people's knowledge and skills. Perez-Breva describes how to create a kit for innovating, and outlines questions that will help you think in new ways. Finally, he shows how to systematize what you've learned: to advocate, communicate, scale up, manage innovating continuously, and document—“you need a notebook to converse with yourself,” he advises. Everyone interested in innovating also needs to read this book.

We Speak For Ourselves

Author: D. Watkins
Publisher: Atria Books
ISBN: 9781501187827
Size: 66.85 MB
Format: PDF
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The critically lauded author of The Beast Side and The Cook Up returns with an existential look at life in low-income black communities, while also offering a new framework for how we can improve the conversations occuring about them. While author D. Watkins is pleased about the number of books exploring issues of race that are being published, there’s one crucial aspect of contemporary black life that doesn’t get enough attention: the hood. The Baltimore native knows firsthand what it means to live in poverty, where violence and drugs are inescapable. As he sees it, the perspective of people who live in poor black communities is largely absent from the work of many of the top intellectuals who speak and write about race. Now, D. Watkins is here to tell his truth. Built upon Watkins's own experiences, We Speak for Ourselves eases us into the bigger conversation about race and the various issues affecting poor black neighborhoods in America. Unapologetic and eye-opening, We Speak for Ourselves identifies and addresses a range of issues affecting these low-income communities—such as the trouble with misrepresentation and why we need more than one black voice—and sheds light on the harsh realities of daily life. Additionally, Watkins examines various crucial activist movements, including the Civil Rights Movement, and asks what it means to be a model activist in today’s world. Through the personal retelling of his journey, Watkins aims to illuminate the lessons he’s learned navigating through two very distinct worlds—the hood and the elite sanctums of the prominent black thinkers and public figures—in hopes of providing actionable solutions.

You Re Better Than Me

Author: Bonnie McFarlane
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062319507
Size: 52.77 MB
Format: PDF
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In the spirit of Mindy Kaling, Kelly Oxford, and Sarah Silverman, a compulsively readable and outrageously funny memoir of growing up as a fish out of water, finding your voice, and embracing your inner crazy-person, from popular actress, writer, and comedian Bonnie McFarlane. It took Bonnie McFarlane a lot of time, effort, and tequila to get to where she is today. Before she starred on Last Comic Standing and directed her own films, she was an inappropriately loud tomboy growing up on her parents’ farm in Cold Lake, Canada, wetting her pants during standardized tests and killing chickens. Desperate to find “her people”—like-minded souls who wouldn’t judge her because she was honest, ruthless, and okay, sometimes really rude—Bonnie turned to comedy. In her explosively funny and no-holds-barred memoir, Bonnie tells it like it is, and lays bare all of her smart (and her not-so-smart) decisions along her way to finding her friends and her comedic voice. From fistfights in elementary school to riding motorcycles to the World Famous Comic Strip, to Late Night with David Letterman, and through to her infamous “c” word bit on Last Comic Standing, You’re Better Than Me is her funny and outrageous trip through the good, bad, and ugly of her life in comedy. McFarlane doesn’t always keep her mouth shut when she should, but at least she makes people laugh. And that’s all that matters, right?

Coming To My Senses

Author: Alice Waters
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
ISBN: 1101906650
Size: 79.91 MB
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The long-awaited memoir from cultural icon and culinary standard bearer Alice Waters recalls the circuitous road and tumultuous times leading to the opening of what is arguably America's most influential restaurant. When Alice Waters opened the doors of her "little French restaurant" in Berkeley, California in 1971 at the age of 27, no one ever anticipated the indelible mark it would leave on the culinary landscape—Alice least of all. Fueled in equal parts by naiveté and a relentless pursuit of beauty and pure flavor, she turned her passion project into an iconic institution that redefined American cuisine for generations of chefs and food lovers. In Coming to My Senses Alice retraces the events that led her to 1517 Shattuck Avenue and the tumultuous times that emboldened her to find her own voice as a cook when the prevailing food culture was embracing convenience and uniformity. Moving from a repressive suburban upbringing to Berkeley in 1964 at the height of the Free Speech Movement and campus unrest, she was drawn into a bohemian circle of charismatic figures whose views on design, politics, film, and food would ultimately inform the unique culture on which Chez Panisse was founded. Dotted with stories, recipes, photographs, and letters, Coming to My Senses is at once deeply personal and modestly understated, a quietly revealing look at one woman's evolution from a rebellious yet impressionable follower to a respected activist who effects social and political change on a global level through the common bond of food.

Raw Wounds

Author: Kondwani Fidel
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 9781542373654
Size: 29.57 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Beautiful Kondwani Fidel has once again composed a masterpiece of stories and memories that forms lessons to all young Suns growing up in the neighborhood. This piece, this lesson, is ever so necessary in an era where, we, who come from urban communities, are still fighting structural racism, police brutality, economic genocide while simultaneously fighting the ways in which we self-destruct, destroy one another, and create chaos in our communities. It is a critique of the system of our oppression and a critique of the dysfunctions in our own families, relationships, and communities. It is brilliant that a young mind such as Fidel's has been blessed with the conscious and creative spirit that allows him to compose a lesson from a perspective and in a way that no other could. Raw Wounds is sung in pitches and frequencies that invokes the emotion. It is a bittersweet song." -Dr. Zoe Spencer, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Virginia State University