November Book of the Month

by Christian Boyles

No Ashes in the Fire book cover

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black & Free in America
by Darnell L. Moore
HQ76.27.A37 M66 2018

About the book

When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn’t the last time he would face death.

Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer, a leading Black Lives Matter activist, and an advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he shares the journey taken by that scared, bullied teenager who not only survived, but found his calling. Moore’s transcendence over the myriad forces of repression that faced him is a testament to the grace and care of the people who loved him, and to his hometown, Camden, NJ, scarred and ignored but brimming with life. Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society’s edges can thrive.

No Ashes in the Fire is a story of beauty and hope-and an honest reckoning with family, with place, and with what it means to be free.

Is it checked out?

Don’t worry about it. Here are some other titles on the subject.

The Glass Closet : Why Coming Out is Good Business
HF5549.5.S47 B76 2014

Part memoir and part social criticism, The Glass Closet addresses the issue of homophobia that still pervades corporations around the world and underscores the immense challenges faced by LGBT employees.

In The Glass Closet, Lord John Browne, former CEO of BP, seeks to unsettle business leaders by exposing the culture of homophobia that remains rampant in corporations around the world, and which prevents employees from showing their authentic selves.

Drawing on his own experiences, and those of prominent members of the LGBT community around the world, as well as insights from well-known business leaders and celebrities, Lord Browne illustrates why, despite the risks involved, self-disclosure is best for employees—and for the businesses that support them. Above all, The Glass Closet offers inspiration and support for those who too often worry that coming out will hinder their chances of professional success.

Out of bounds: Coming Out of Sexual Abuse, Addiction, and My Life of Lies in the NFL Closet (ebook)

The second NFL player ever to come out as gay and the first ever to come out as HIV-positive, Roy Simmons was an up-and-coming star offensive lineman who quit football after just four years rather than be exposed as gay. Out of Bounds tells his compelling story-from his rape at age 10 to being plucked from his poor Southern background to join the NFL, from his first taste of pro football fame and sudden enormous wealth to his fast-paced, no holds barred nightlife of heavy drugs and countless sexual encounters with women and men. Simmons led a roller-coaster life that peaked in the late 1980s with his playing in the Superbowl. Ultimately, however, reckless living left him penniless, friendless, and on the brink of suicide. Finally, in 1992, Simmons tapped the courage to come out as gay on national TV—then coming out as HIV-positive 10 years later—leading him to a healthy path of sobriety and self-acceptance.

Do the Right Thing (DVD) 
PN1997 .D52 1998

It’s the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something, or you can…Do the Right Thing. Directed by visionary filmmaker Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing is one of the most thought-provoking and groundbreaking films of the last 20 years. The controversial story centers around one scorching inner-city day, when racial tensions reach the boiling point in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood. This powerful landmark film combines humor and drama with memorable characters, capturing an unforgettable piece of American history.

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