Today’s the day! Congratulations to Zach Norris, Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, CA, on the release of We Keep Us Safe (Beacon Press) (with gratitude for being under the aegis of the luminous and tough Helene Atwan, Beacon’s Publisher). Another beautiful baby that I’m proud to have helped birth.
This sharp-witted huge-hearted man is already father to two small humans, who have cameos in the book. I feel lucky to have had so many hours tossing around ideas with him.
At some point we discovered that we both had loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books as kids (yes we are that old). Those books inspired the structure of the third section of the book, “Reimagined Realities,” in which we told three heartbreaking real stories from the current fear-based (Us vs. Them) system of dehumanization–the story of Allen and his son Durrell, the story of Marlena and her brother James, and the story of Anita– and then imagined all the alternative paths their lives could have taken if the USA had a care-based plan of public safety in place.