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12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  146 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Called a book that is factual yet reads like a novel on the "Huffington Post," "12 Angry Men" reveals some pointed truths about our nation as a dozen African American authors from across the United States tell their personal stories of being racially profiled.
In this extraordinarily compelling ("Publishers Weekly") book, we hear tales of injustice from Joe Morgan, a forme
ebook, 225 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by New Press (first published October 12th 2010)
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Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book should be required reading for every white person in America.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
While I've certainly been aware of the practice of racial profiling and read about the disproportionate numbers of black men who have been abused and killed by US police, this was the first time I'd read first-person stories of what it's like to be the target of racial profiling. Yes, there is repetition, but I agree with one of the other reviewers here that that's part of the point. These incidents are a repetitive fact of life for all too many black male citizens -- and it should not be. I am ...more
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a young black man, I'd been racially profiled more times than I could count. And even as a middle-aged man, I've been tagged more than once. This book, through personal testimony, perfectly encapsulates the anger, frustration, and fear that I'd felt on those occasions. It's a bit infuriating, but definitely well worth the read.
The essays are all articulate and interesting, and the editor makes and effort to have a lot of socioeconomic range in the writers. My husband actually picked it up and read it after I was done, which is a huge compliment.

The material wasn't particularly illuminating though, if you read magazines that include such essays regularly.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The more things change the more they remain the same. It is infuriating that police criminality and brutality are still as rampant today as they were decades ago. What is even more disheartening is that certain members of society believe: 1) not only that "if you just comply" everything will be fine and 2) that racial profiling doesn't exist.

If you are among the sect of society that I just mentioned, read this book. If you were insulted by what I just said, read this book because you are most li
Tod Hilton
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
A sobering topic that every person needs to be aware of. This collection of essays puts the reader in the place of each author, an exercise in empathy every person needs to experience, especially white people in the U.S., like myself. It's not that we experience the world through different perspectives, it's as though they're completely different worlds.

The stories are both heart wrenching and maddening. The sense of helplessness inflicted is bad enough to warrant action; the violence and hatred
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Each of these essays were compelling accounts. A few of them were even downright poetic. This is a book everyone, and I mostly mean people who don't believe racial profiling exists, or that police brutality exists, needs to read. This book really could change a person's perspective. Yes, there are many good police police departments in this country, but there are also corrupt police and corrupt police departments in this country, and if people could open their minds to that concept, maybe we rea ...more
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, nonfic
Twelve black men with varied backgrounds and lives recount very similar experiences of being racially profiled, sometimes on numerous occasions. This book was illuminating, heart-breaking and powerful.

The voices behind these essays are diverse and distinct. These men range in age, career, education level and SES. The backdrops, too, vary from upscale neighborhoods to public housing to airports, from major metropolises to suburbs, from coast to coast to the South to our nation's capital. Still t
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This collection of essays is an amazing look into the life of the average, not so average black man in the United States of America. It is interesting how a slight peak into interactions with the police and the world at large can help shift your perspective.

How would you react to being pulled over so often that you allow yourself extra time to arrive on time to function factoring in the evitable flashing lights that accompany your driving?

How would you react to being stopped and frisked almost
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chronics
This book presents 12 stories of verbal and physical abuse received by 12 black men in America. Their only sin: being black. All these are honorable; respected and innocent men that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time: walking on the streets; trying to enter their home; driving their car; making a phone call in an airport. But wait... the wrong place? Not if they were not black. They are just the wrong color; and that is so unfair that makes me sick. I literally got a headache re ...more
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The fact that this is a very quick read (maybe an hour) belies the fact that it leaves you stunned and nearly speechless. I'm not sure what to say -- I'm not naive, but this made me ill. I think anyone who has led a sheltered life, who believes people should just 'get a job,' or 'show some initiative,' should read this book. There's more to say. I'm having trouble finding the words.
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
The nice thing about a book of essays is that if you don't like one, you're on to the next one pretty quickly. The book was fine. Racial profiling is a very interesting topic, particularly when told by the victims of the profiling. With that said, not all of the essays were that great.
Warren Benton
Sep 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This book gave me a perspective that i do not currently hold. Some of the stories are heart wrenching and point out how the police do abuse their power in some situations. I must say that reading this book sort of made me an angry man also
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
that book was awesome because that book inspired me to fight for justice so now when i grow up i want to be a lawyer.
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Definitely eye opening, and sad. Being a white woman, I have no idea what it's like to be black in America. This book of short stories helped that.
Tony Laplume
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I really have a problem as to how I should think of this one.

On the one hand, clearly racial profiling is real and a social evil that needs to end. On the other, a book like this is not going to make it end.

This book was released several years into the Obama administration but several years before the mass protests of police shootings the media has covered extensively, so that you don't need to be a part of the given community to have heard of it. I describe the latter as such because even in Tw
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It took just over a day for me to read this book. It was a quick, and excellent read. I recommend it to anyone who needs to be reminded of the racial injustices still being carried out today.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is call “12 angry man” by Gregory S. Part.
It talked about twelve men which is Judgment a boy that maybe killed his father. At first, there are only one of them had gives him Innocence. But at last, all of them gives him Innocence.
Bob Anderson
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of twelve accounts of racial profiling. The author’s identity and tone shifts between the chapter, but like Odysseus the reader can apprehend in the swirl a Protean form that connects each of them, the vastness of American racism. Stories from a law student, a baseball Hall of Famer, a recent high school graduate, several professors and more show readers that it is irrelevant in the eyes of racism what accomplishments one does or doesn’t have, that the experience transcends ...more
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
It would be odd to say I enjoyed this book. Enjoyed isn't really the right word. It intrigued me, disturbed me, made me question assumptions I have made before. All together, an uncomfortable book. And yet, one I am glad to have read. I am still thinking about this collection of true stories, especially in light of current events. It's never comfortable when your view of the world is challenged, but sometimes it can be a good thing.
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it
With all that has happened on the streets of America, these past months this book was so appropriate with the police racial profiling of black men and the "quick draw" of their guns on these men. The essays say it all about black/brown men not being able to trust law officials, from the average to not so average black/brown man in the U.S.A.
Tahni Candelaria
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ethnicity-race
An excellent introduction to the racism that remains inherent in American society. A collection of stories that I tore through quickly, my eyes still being opened to even my own prejudice. The stories were easy to read, yet very disheartening at times. So glad I read it, despite how upsetting some of it was.
Brandon Donnell
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very well put together book. A must read for anyone genuinely interested in walking a mile in another man's shoes. Educational and informative. 12 views of America that you probably won't get from mainstream media.
Few books have reached me the way this one did. Of course, I knew that racial profiling was rampant -- yet hearing the accounts of people who experienced this injustice was eye-opening. This book is a must-read.
AnaFernanda Cardenas
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
12 Angry Men by Gregory S. Parks is fascinating story about 12 completely different opinionated man with strong personalities decide the case of a young boy whom is thought of murdering his father. The 12 angry men gather together to make decision of the life of child... is he guilty or not.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Powerful book of essays from 12 men, all different walks of life, different socio-economic status, different ages but each sharing their personal stories of racial discrimination, harassment and abuse. Powerful.
Apr 15, 2016 rated it liked it
it was okay they couldn't make up their mind and that was making me mad.
Jess Lagos
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Good play. Very well written.
Pat Horton
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
thought provoking.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 17, 2016
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“A people without knowledge of their history is like a tree without roots.” I” 1 likes
“Joe Morgan’s lawsuit convinced the trial judge that the police had violated his rights. In reviewing the case, the appellate court compared the testimony from Morgan and the police officers, as well as the eye-witness account of the bystander. This comparison provides a rare official look at the different perspectives on profiling: what the police often say to justify their actions versus how the people profiled describe their experience.” 0 likes
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