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Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  678 ratings  ·  119 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of Tears We Cannot Stop, a passionate call to America to finally reckon with race and start the journey to redemption.

The night of May 25, 2020 changed America. George Floyd, a 43-year-old Black man, was killed during an arrest in Minneapolis when a white cop suffocated him. The video of that night’s events went viral, sparking t
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published December 1st 2020 by St. Martin's Press
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Cym Next is hope of a better more perfect union and again is the MAGA vision of some white 1950’s utopia that never was

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Jenna
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing

(Memorial to Breonna Taylor, a 26 year old medical worker killed during a botched raid. Police barged into her and her boyfriend's apartment as they slept. The unarmed and recently awakened Breonna was shot six times, killing her. To date, none of the officers have been charged in Breonna's death. However, one officer was indicted for endangering her white neighbor (!). Mural painted by an unknown artist.)

One day last May, I picked up the phone to call an elderly patron from our library. Because
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Jessica | JustReadingJess
Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson is an interesting and informative book about race.

Long Time Coming is a fact based portrayal of race problems in the United States. Real life examples are described from recent events as well as events over the last few years. Long Time Coming started with discussing George Floyd’s death and then went on to discuss other black deaths. I’ve read multiple books about race over the last few months and I really enjoyed how Long T
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sarah
"As George Floyd's death suggests, the knees of the nation have been on the necks of Black America for centuries."

Long Time Coming offers a timely look at racism in the US, told in epistolary format with each chapter addressed to black victims and martyrs.

“to be Black in America is often to feel under siege, to feel, in the marrow of our bones, genuine terror.”

This book is a good opening for those looking to begin their journey of educating themselves on modern day racism. It provided clearly p
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Bethany
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-authors
Long Time Coming is a brief but important book written as a series of letters to Black people who have died at the hands of police officers. It is emotional, thought-provoking, and incisive as it addresses the history of racism in American and of police brutality directed at Black people, all through a lens of faith, hope, and the possibility for redemption.

It also specifically remembers many of the people who have so needlessly died, and recounts the circumstances of their deaths. The chapter
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Mari
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it

A worthwhile entry into everyone's anti-racist reading list. There were ideas here that shouldn't be new to anyone who has been engaging with ideas of institutional racism in America, but Dyson also presents things in fresh ways. I particularly appreciated the format, letters to Elijah McLain, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Ahmaud Arbery, Hadiya Pendleton, and Clementa Pinckney, that ultimately address some aspect of racism, dating back to slavery and through Jim Crow and up to this year's Black
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David Wineberg
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
There are only so many ways to slice and dice racism. There is the pathetic legal trail, the shameful political trail, tragic straight history, personal memoirs and the legacy of civil rights efforts, to name the top few. Michael Eric Dyson has taken pages from each of them and sewn them into “letters” to Blacks who have been murdered, mostly by whites, in Long Time Coming.

Each chapter is addressed to a different victim: Elijah McLain, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Ahmaud Arbery, Hadiya Pendleto
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Andy
Thank you to Libro.FM for an ALC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Definitely will be rereading this in the future.

What a way to start off my 2021 reading. This book is painful and challenging in the best way possible. Long Time Coming gives you the bare minimum in the details of the history of police brutality in the USA, but the details we do get, damn. Hearing the details of Floyd's murder was heartbreaking. I want this to never happen again in this country. I think
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Caleb
Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
The Not F-ing Around Coalition is the best part of this book. My heart was heavy after rehashing unarmed African-American murder victims. My gripe about this book is a lack of action plan for shifting power (e.g. bank black/financial empowerment or local policy reviews).
Rod Brown
Dec 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-real-books
Dyson addresses Black martyrs Elijah McClain, Emmett Till, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Hadiya Pendleton, Sandra Bland, and Rev. Clementa Pinckney in what is basically a series of essays about white supremacy, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement. Among other things, he also touches on the backlash against the Hamilton musical and the 1619 project, the Gayle King interview that brought up sexual assaults after Kobe Bryant's death, cancel culture, and white comfort.

As with his Te
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Sahitya
If we’ve been following the news for a few years and know a bit of American history with regards to white supremacy and racism, this book might not offer anything new but sometimes, we do need a reminder. The sheer repetition that I felt while listening to the audiobook is proof of how much racism permeates the so-called law and order/justice system in this country. I couldn’t bookmark a lot of the hard hitting lines because I didn’t have an ebook with me, but there were many moments where the a ...more
AudiobookFiend
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am ashamed to admit how much more I need to learn.

No book has ever instilled in me the need to hear two or more sides of the story than this.

I hope you will all read these critically important stories and find it as eye and heart opening as I did.
Andre
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Michael Eric Dyson is one of our most prolific scholars presently. So it may stand to reason with dozens of published works and hundreds of articles, that it may take some measure of creativity to keep tackling these issues of race in America. Dyson is at his inventive best here when he writes each chapter in a form of a letter to some fallen martyrs. In each he writes of sorrow and failure and updates the fallen as to the current atmosphere and if anything has changed. In the prelude he writes ...more
Randy Ringeisen
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I very much appreciated this book. Professor Dyson writes in they style of letters to those black Americans who have lost their lives to senseless violence. And he does so in a way that helps even a privileged white male like myself empathize with them. I encourage every American to read this book with an open mind and more importantly an open heart. There may be differing opinions on the politics but there can be no question about the pain and hurt that these individuals - and by extension many ...more
David Dunlap
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
A short, powerful book. The author assigns each chapter the name of a black person killed (mostly) by police and then addresses a letter to that person, writing about the implications of his/her death within the larger context of systemic racism in contemporary America. He also assigns each of the chapters a color: gold (prelude), black, blue, white, red, and green (postlude). The book is both engaging and thought provoking, as well as deeply moving in places. The chapters on the police (blue) , ...more
Isabella (The Feminist Bookworm)
This was a very, very good, very powerful, short book. The only reason it's not 5 stars is because of the chapter on cancel culture, which I felt was a bit out place and missed the mark. ...more
Shannaka
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If there is any time to read this book, IT IS NOW! This novel by Michael Eric Dyson provides a roadmap from racial reckoning to reconciliation. In letters written to 5 black martyrs, Dyson, a distinguished scholar of race and religion, brings to light black inequity, the struggle between the competing approaches of the "black next" versus the "white again", the expectation of reinforcing white comfort (both as a noun and a verb) and ending w/a plea for social justice & hope for the nation.

Thank
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Anna
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book is filled with over generalizations and hypocrisy that may sound morally “good” but certainly disregard fact. The tragic events mentioned in this book are inarguably horrible and inhumane. But it does not mean that they can be generalized to points that this author makes. Individual incidents cannot be simplified to national issues when it statistically does not make sense. Nor does it mean that the author can assume the thoughts of others wanting these things to happen. Additionally, ...more
Pam
Jan 20, 2021 rated it liked it
Michael Eric Dyson has written seven “letters” to African Americans—all but one who were killed by white people and addresses the systemic racism, hatred, ignorance, entitlement and violence that caused these horrific murders. Dyson is passionate and eloquent as he describes the circumstances of each person’s death and connects these terrible acts with the sickness in American culture that is revealed in the newly energized, but not new white supremacy movement, by the twisted and perverse conne ...more
Shalea
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America" was heartbreaking, infuriating and an insightful reminder. Heartbreaking and infuriating because in 2020 Blacks are STILL dealing with our skin color being seen as a weapon and/or a threat. Black parents are tasked with teaching our young sons and daughters that we are still viewed as unequal in the eyes of society. Young White boys and girls are treated better. You DO NOT have the same rights and privileges as your white friends (it may seem li ...more
Larry
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
The five chapters are written as letters to black victims of violence: "Black Death" (Emmett Till); "Blue Plague" (George Floyd); "White Theft" (Eric Garner); "Seeing Red" (Hadiya Pendleton); and "White Comfort" (Sandra Bland). Except for "Seeing Red," the letters are searing indictments of white supremacy, privilege, and state-sanctioned violence. "Seeing Red" is mostly about "cancel culture" and I thought it did not fit with the rest of book or the tragic fate of Hadiya Pendleton. The other ch ...more
Allison Berkowitz
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
There were glimmers of the book that beautifully do what the author said the whole book was about: racial reckoning and urging people, especially white people, to look inward and act. But much more than that there was a plethora of describing black deaths in depth. I think it’s important for all people to know this pain but so many of us have drowned in it this year.... personally I don’t feel any better off or more helpful or enlightened after reading about those deaths again. I did think it wa ...more
Jack Stedman
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Rarely am I able to read about history while it is still happening. This is what I found in Dyson's "Long Time Coming," written in 2020. He writes of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, while bringing in the context of the other pandemic–coronavirus. In ten, twenty, and thirty years, this is the book I will point to as the preeminent history text; the one that I'll give to my children and say, "This is what was happening when I was 25. Study it."

In the meantime, Dyson's book has been c
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Lynn
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was ok
As I began this book, I was very hopeful that it would be an important addition to our essential national conversation about and struggle against systemic racism. The more I read, the more disappointed Ii was. It was not until the fifth chapter that I was fully able to understand my disappointment.

The author is one of the most openly vocal and unabashed racists I have ever read.

Focusing on the hideous stories of police murders of African Americans, with a different victim for each chapter, Dyso
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Bob
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Matt, Sarah, Chris, Katie, Katherine, Nancy, Joan, Ginger, Patti
Shelves: 5-star-books
Another excellent, challenging sermon by Dyson on America today: the ongoing systemic crises of racism (and sexism, genderism, classism . . .), the failure of the country (and particularly white people) to confront these isms head-on, and his own sorrow and anger and hopefulness at where we have been and where we are. Addressing each chapter to a murdered Black man or woman, Dyson pulls no punches in calling out and naming the conscious and sub-conscious barriers and opponents to evolving equali ...more
charlie
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Dyson is a phenomenal writer. I've read several books on race is this one stands out by not intellectualizing the topic but really staying in the emotion of it. I really appreciated how he teased apart complex topics like 'cancel culture' in a way that was digestible but still honored the complexity of it. He also provides white folk with information on what they can do to be anti-racist. As a white reader, the book brought up my shame in the delay in understanding race and not having to learn a ...more
Dustin
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Michael Eric Dyson continues to be an important voice in the crusade against racial injustice. If you haven’t read any of his books, I’d begin with Tears We Cannot Stop. This book is basically a direct addendum.
Robin
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
As always, eloquent anger at the system mixed with practical advice for white people and delivered with the intensity of a preacher.
Morgan R
Feb 04, 2021 rated it liked it
This book reminded me so much of Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me. Similar format, length, message, and insight. While Long Time Coming was timely and will serve as an important part of the anti-racist cannon of literature, it felt at times overwrought, tedious and repetitive. (But maybe that was his point?!?) Still worth the read! Audio is narrated by Dyson. ...more
Donna Hines
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cloud-library
Triumphant! Profoundly Moving! Angelic!
This book moved me to tears in a beautiful eye-opening way that I can't ever recall happening in any other work such as this creation by Michael Eric Dyson.
The way this was worded as a tribute, a revolution, a call to action in standing united as one, is exactly what this nation needs.
We cannot allow ignorance, racial profiling, racism, and white supremacists ruin this country.
While many will look to the past to diagnosis the current state-you don't have to
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Mary Sisney
Jan 14, 2021 rated it liked it
I had declared a six-month moratorium on reading anti-racism books since I read so many in 2020 (and quite a few in 2019), but I usually enjoy the eloquent, profound (except when he’s discussing Jay-Z and Beyoncé) writing of the man I call the 21st Century James Baldwin, so I decided to buy and read this brief book before tackling the much longer Obama memoir. While I enjoyed sections of the book, the rhetorical device of addressing black victims of white violence didn’t work, especially when Dy ...more
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Michael Eric Dyson is an American academic, author, and radio host. He is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University.

Articles featuring this book

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights...
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“Black bodies have been killed and progress has been stalled to provide white comfort.” 1 likes
“...we must reckon with the plague of police brutality and how it has ravaged Black communities for three centuries. The cops remain in large part violent enforcers of white supremacy.” 0 likes
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