Notes from the Field
“This book was brilliant on all levels. The assortment of people who Smith interviewed, the content, the music and most of all, the acting. Smith embodies and becomes her subject. To say I was riveted was an understatement. To hear Smith become Congressman John Lewis, Bryan Stevenson and so many others is just indescribable. Read and listen to this book. It will stay with you for a long time.”Audrey, Belmont Books
"Smith’s powerful style of living journalism uses the collective, cathartic nature of the theater to move us from despair toward hope.” —The Village Voice
Anna Deavere Smith’s extraordinary form of documentary theater shines a light on injustices by portraying the real-life people who have experienced them. "One of her most ambitious and powerful works on how matters of race continue to divide and enslave the nation” (Variety).
Smith renders a host of figures who have lived and fought the system that pushes students of color out of the classroom and into prisons. (As Smith has put it: “Rich kids get mischief, poor kids get pathologized and incarcerated.”)
Using people’s own words, culled from interviews and speeches, Smith depicts Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant, who eulogized Freddie Gray; Niya Kenny, a high school student who confronted a violent police deputy; activist Bree Newsome, who took the Confederate flag down from the South Carolina State House grounds; and many others. Their voices bear powerful witness to a great iniquity of our time—and call us to action with their accounts of resistance and hope.
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