Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
Method Read: Audible Audiobook
I heard about Men We Reaped on the Book Riot Podcast, “a weekly news and talk show about what’s new, cool, and worth talking about in the world of books and reading.” The hosts described Ward’s book as “important,” a description that I didn’t quite understand until I started reading it.
Men We Reaped tells the story of Ward’s childhood in Delisle, Mississippi and the ways growing up as black in the South affected her and her friends. Ward’s memoir grew out of her desire to process losing 5 men in her life in 4 years. Men We Reaped is hard to read, hard to understand and even harder to accept. It tells the story of systemic racism in the United States and paints such a vivid picture that you can’t ignore it.
I can’t say that I loved the experience of reading Men We Reaped but it certainly opened my eyes to issues of systemic racism and made me rethink a lot of things. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to explore racism in the United States AND for anyone who wants a great book club pick that will spark a lot of discussion.
If nonfiction is not for you, Jesmyn Ward is the author of Salvage the Bones, the 2011 National Book Award Winner.