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Cuz : or, the life and times of Michael A. / Danielle Allen.

Allen, Danielle S., 1971- author. (Author).
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Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

1 current hold with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Detroit Lakes Public Library 921 ALL (Text) 33500012630885 Main Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781631493119
  • ISBN: 1631493116
  • Physical Description: xii, 243 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, [2017]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Formatted Contents Note: Part I: Release and resurrection. Garden party, July 2009 ; Release day, June 2006 ; The investigation, July 2009 ; Getting started, June-July 2006 ; Job, July 2006 ; Investigation, July 2009 ; School, August 2006 ; Funeral, July 27, 2009 ; Apartment, August 2006 ; Hitting bottom, November 2006 ; The end, August 2008-July 2009 -- Part II: Inferno. Crime and punishment ; Where was our family? Where were the lawyers? ; Milestones ; Norco ; Inferno, in Michael's words ; Visiting 1.0 ; Visiting 2.0 ; Dizzy ; The biggest wildfire in California history -- Part III: Unforgiving world. Fire and ice ; The single mother and the great white whale ; First steps ; "Sis, run!" ; Gangbanging--a definition ; How not to help your kids ; The limit on helping your kids ; City of angels ; The end ; My heart's locket -- Coda: What next?
Summary, etc.: The author relates how her cousin was imprisoned at the age of fifteen for attempted carjacking and how she took him in upon his release, only to lose him to the deadly streets of South Central L.A.
"A shattering work that shifts between a woman's private anguish over the loss of her beloved baby cousin and a scholar's fierce critique of the American prison system, Danielle Allen's Cuz seeks answers to what, for many years, felt unanswerable. Why? Why did her cousin, a precocious young man who dreamed of being a firefighter and a writer, end up dead? Why did he languish in prison? And why, at the age of fifteen, was he in an alley in South Central Los Angeles, holding a gun while trying to steal someone's car? Cuz means both 'cousin' and 'because.' In this searing memoir, Allen unfurls a 'new American story' about a world tragically transformed by the sudden availability of narcotics and the rise of street gangs--a collision, followed by a reactionary War on Drugs, that would devastate not only South Central L.A. but virtually every urban center in the nation. At thirteen, sensitive, talkative Michael Allen was suddenly tossed into this cauldron, a violent world where he would be tried at fifteen as an adult for an attempted carjacking, and where he would be sent, along with an entire generation, cascading into the spiral of the Los Angeles prison system. Throughout her cousin Michael's eleven years in prison, Danielle Allen--who became a dean at the University of Chicago at the age of thirty-two--remained psychically bonded to her self-appointed charge, visiting Michael in prison and corresponding with him regularly. When she finally welcomed her baby cousin home, she adopted the role of 'cousin on duty, ' devotedly supporting Michael's fresh start while juggling the demands of her own academic career. As Cuz heartbreakingly reveals, even Allen's devotion, as unwavering as it was, could not save Michael from the brutal realities encountered by newly released young men navigating the streets of South Central. The corrosive entanglements of gang warfare, combined with a star-crossed love for a gorgeous woman driving a gold Mercedes, would ultimately be Michael's undoing. In this Ellisonian story of a young African American man's coming-of-age in late twentieth-century America, and of the family who will always love Michael, we learn how we lost an entire generation."--Jacket.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2017 August #1
    *Starred Review* Allen, Harvard professor and author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (2014), illuminates the path that led to her cousin Michael's incarceration at age 15 and to his murder at 29, less than a year after his release. Eight years the author's junior, Michael was Allen's father's sister's son. Though a chasm existed between their circumstances—Allen's parents, an academic and a librarian, raised her with stability in idyllic Claremont, California, while Michael's strong, loving mother struggled to advance her career, secure reliable housing, and make ends meet for her three children after leaving their abusive father—they were always close. Arrested after an attempted carjacking in 1995, Michael also confessed to two other armed robberies and, three strikes suddenly against him, was sentenced to more than a decade in prison, where he would meet his eventual undoing. Allen, whose writing is creative and accessible, uses her finely tuned talent to fold Michael's fate into the gathering storms of the U.S. criminal-justice system and Los Angeles' gang-related and racial turmoil. Both a searching, personal elegy and a sure-footed lamentation of the systems meant to protect us, this is a searing must-read. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Subject: Allen, Michael Alexander, -2009.
Allen, Danielle S., 1971-
African American young men > Biography.
African American young men > Social conditions > 21st century.
African American juvenile delinquents.
African American families.
Criminal justice, Administration of > United States.
Discrimination in criminal justice administration > United States.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban.
Genre: Biographies.
Search Results Showing Item 1 of 1 Preferred library: Lake Agassiz Regional Library?

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