Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City
Police violence against black men is a longstanding reality in the U.S. Most recently, the murder of George Floyd sparked protests around the country, echoing the anger in Baltimore after Freddie Gray's death at the hands of officers in April 2015. During the week after Gray's murder, citizens agitated for change while civic and political leaders debated how to respond, and Gray's family and friends mourned his loss. In Five Days, his fifth nonfiction book, Baltimore native Wes Moore tells the stories of seven people who each played a key role in the week's events.
Moore (The Other Wes Moore) taps into the long-simmering rage and frustration fueled by racial inequality in his city. He highlights a broad range of Baltimoreans, such as black police captain Marc Partee, called to respond to the uprisings; Tawanda Jones, who had been protesting the death of her brother for two years when Gray was killed; Jenny Egan, a young white public defender; and John Angelos, whose family owns the Baltimore Orioles. Through these disparate life stories and experiences, Moore unfolds the deep history of segregation in Baltimore and the choices made by people in power to maintain the status quo. He asks difficult and damning questions about why and how the city has failed to serve its underprivileged youth. Paced like a TV documentary, with the camera cutting to different characters at key moments in the action, Five Days is essential reading for anyone looking to understand the systemic racism being exposed in America's cities, and the change the country desperately needs. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams