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Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City
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Bonus Tag: Black Lives Matter > Five Days/Moore - 4 stars

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message 1: by Anita (last edited Jul 15, 2020 04:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anita Pomerantz | 6564 comments This book follows the five days in the aftermath of Freddy Gray's death while in custody of the Baltimore police. As someone living in the adjacent county at the time, I can say the ramifications of this event roiled Baltimore. By and large, I thought Moore picked a really interesting way to show the events from varying perspectives from an African-American police officer to the owner of the Baltimore Orioles to the manager of a popular roller rink to the sister of a man killed by the police. Each person perceived the events slightly differently, and in their own way, tried to make sense of what happened and tried to help their city.

Moore summarizes his perspectives at the end of the book with a call to action.

This book was uniquely fascinating to me because I know a lot about the physical locations and many of the political players. So it is hard for me to really know how a reader outside of the Baltimore metro area would perceive it. The chapters are very, very short, with each one focusing on a different person. This gives the book a fragmented feeling, and I wonder if that might get confusing for some readers.

And obviously, there is a political message, and not everyone is going to agree with the conclusions. Moore focuses as much on poverty as he does on racism (which in Baltimore, a city where every leadership position is held by black people makes sense), but his final chapter has an academic tone to it and really doesn't talk about how change can be made when a city with so many murders is an unattractive location for economic development. Baltimore has a terrible reputation, and for a city with so many amazing physical assets and beauty, that is a hurdle that no one seems able to overcome. Post Freddy Gray and the consent decree, the police are policing much less and the murder rate has soared. What is the answer? The city is grappling with these issues as we speak which makes this book so gripping and topical right now.


message 2: by Holly R W (last edited Jul 15, 2020 06:32AM) (new)

Holly R W | 1439 comments I live in Cleveland, which has a similar reputation to your city. As a local, I too see the area's cultural strengths and beautiful surrounding metro parks. We had a 12 year old black boy here (Tamir Rice) who was killed by the police 5 years ago, whose death continues to reverberate.

I am interested in your review, Anita. Freddy Gray's death was a tragedy.


Anita Pomerantz | 6564 comments Holly R W wrote: "I live in Cleveland, which has a similar reputation to your city. As a local, I too, see the area's cultural strengths and beautiful surrounding metro parks. We had a 12 year old black boy here (Ta..."

It really is so heartbreaking when you see all the potential of the city, and yet somehow we can't seem to leverage it to make the city as good as it can be. Our governor is about to publish his memoir which apparently also addresses the Freddy Gray situation in depth. It would be interesting to read these two books juxtaposed.

So interesting to learn about the parallels between Baltimore and Cleveland. I've been to Cleveland and honestly, I was impressed with it.


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