Men We Reaped

Men We Reaped

A Memoir

eBook - 2013
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In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life--to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth--and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi. She writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the men who can do no right and the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent. She bravely tells her story, revisiting the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends.
Publisher: New York :, Bloomsbury USA,, [2013]
Description: 1 online resource
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781608197576

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Sep 30, 2020

I wasn't keen to finish this book as I felt it was just going to repeat itself again and again. I did become engaged half way through and found it educational based on Ward's personal experience and ability to describe the circumstances of her childhood and those she lived with. Bit by bit she reveals more and more of her family, contacts, education and environment. She makes it easy to understand how difficult it is to better oneself when growing up in an environment where options are very limited and history seems to repeat itself despite conscious efforts to avoid traps. No one is at fault, most people seem to live what they learn. The strong family ties are endearing. You can definitely understand how difficult it is to make inroads to breaking down poverty, racial barriers and educating people to make changes for the better.

Sep 26, 2020

The most impactful read of the summer. Read if you dare, but be prepared to care.

Jul 28, 2020

I hesitated at first.. Salvage the Bones was not a book I cared for but something about the description overcame my hesitation and I’m glad it did. Jesmyn writes so matter of fact that even things I don’t relate to become normalized throughout her book. She has a unique insight for the middle/upper class white person—one that more of us should try to understand.

OPL_AnnaW Dec 20, 2019

Ward shares the stories of young men in her life who have died too soon. Powerful and important, this book will open your eyes to the black male experience in America today.

Dec 05, 2019

The book is made up of two timelines going in opposite directions and meeting in the middle. Written in alternating sections, one timeline proceeds in a fairly straightforward memoir style through Ward’s early life, while the other works backward through a time in her life in which five young men in her life died in quick succession. The timelines meet in the middle, and Ward’s skill is evident simply in the fact that the structure isn’t confusing. Instead, the two timelines contextualize and reinforce each other, supported by the vivid imagery and lyrical sentences. Ward’s account of growing up poor, Black, and Southern is haunting, as she takes the reader deep with her into both her connection with place and community and into her grief.

Mar 26, 2019

". . .and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped."-Harriet Tubman
A powerful, searching, and emotionally raw memoir from the author of "Salvage the Bones" and "Sing, Unburied, Sing."

May 23, 2018

Avail at NKC

PimaLib_HollyS Dec 27, 2017

From two time National Book Award winning author Jesmyn Ward comes a piercing and eloquent reflection of her poverty-stricken childhood in rural Mississippi. Alongside Ward's personal narrative, the book offers a broader exploration of the social conditions that have impacted and continue to impact poor and working class African Americas in the south. Equally heartfelt and heartbreaking, I devoured this powerful book. Ward's perspective offers much food for thought and provides a good launching point for discussion and introspection. I look forward to reading her novels.

Jun 01, 2015

My heart is close to Jesmyn Ward's struggle in too many ways to list here. We need to bring good manufacturing jobs back to this country to improve the lively hood of all people in this country, but especially the working poor whose only chance at a job are minimum wage jobs that won't provide for a persons needs much less a family's. Every person deserves to feel a sense of dignity. I only hope that Jesmyn will find God in her life to give her hope. Excellent story of black America today that I feel is representative of most poor black people in this country.

ArielaMigdal Dec 17, 2014

This is a devastating and beautiful book, showing how racism and poverty create loss.

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