After college, Jason Hardy finds himself selling watches at J.C. Penney’s. Totally unsuited for the job he decides to try his hand at being a Probation and Parole Officer in one of America’s toughest cities, New Orleans. Coming on board just when criminal justice is taking a hard look at methods and trying to keep people out of prisons, Jason is confronted with helping people immersed in poverty, drug addiction, gangs and violence with very few resources. An amazing look inside a part of the justice system that is rarely talked about and the benefits of “social supervision.”
Ibram X. Kendi founded the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, whose stated mission “is to convene and team up varied specialists to figure out novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice.” Kendi’s new book, How to Be an Antiracist (One World, $27), is a continuation of both this project and his first book. While Stamped from the Beginning followed the lives of four historical individuals, Kendi here turns to autobiography to illustrate the unconscious pitfalls of racist thought, outlining a “how to” for gaining self-awareness of one’s own racist attitudes and thinking. Deploying history and political theory along with memoir, Kendi has devised a powerful tool for exploring the racism/antiracism dichotomy through multiple social dimensions, exposing the notion of a middle ground between them as an illusion. Whether you agree or disagree, Kendi’s ideas are bold and fresh, and sure to provoke discussion and self-reflection.
A Good Provider is One Who Leaves: One Family and Migration in the 21st Century (Viking, $28) by New York Times journalist Jason DeParle, has everything—historical sweep, graceful writing, engaging real-life characters, and tremendous relevance. It’s about the great migration of masses of people that’s been taking place around the world. Not just the highly politicized matter of immigration across the U.S. southern border on which Donald Trump is so fixated, but the vast movement of workers and families occurring in many places and transforming the politics, economics, and culture of continents. DeParle centers his story on the personal saga of a woman named Rosalie and her remarkable journey from a Manila shantytown to a Texas community. But additionally the book tracks three generations of Rosalie’s extended family across multiple countries and sets their search for better lives in the context of the epochal rise in global migration.