Police brutality has been in the forefront of the news. So much that I really try to avoid being on social media to avoid the daily onslaught of traumatizing news, and most importantly, to avoid seeing which of my friends are ignorant as shit.
I read a book a while ago and just dragged my feet about doing a book review titled HUSH by Jacqueline Woodson. This book published was published in 2002 is still so chillingly timely 14 years later.
In this book, the main character African-American Toswiah Green is the daughter of a policeman who decides to testify against his fellow white cop when a young black man is shot.
As a result, Toswiah’s family is caught up in a dangerous storm of threats that causes her family to be placed in the witness protection program where they have to move to away.
What I love about this book is we see Toswiah’s family change as they handle the move and their new identities. Her non-religious mother turns to religion, becoming a devout Jehovah’s Witness, in order to cope with the transition. er father becomes mentally unstable, and her older sister become a rebel due to the decision of her father to speak truth to justice.
I also love the fact that this is from an African American cops’ perspective. We often don’t hear their stories in this cloudy time of distrust of the police in the US. The innocence and objectiveness Toswiah brings to the story, because she’s only seen good cops her entire life, is a great counterpoint to mainstream narratives involving police brutality.
We get to see how Toswiah’s dad’s decision to break the ‘blue code’ affects all people involved in such cases, especially the families of the police and victims and police department
I can’t express how much I recommend this book! I love it. So pick it up and read it, no matter if you’re young or young at heart. It’s a great way to talk about police brutality with your young person or people who have no idea what it’s about. I love it. Jacqueline Woodson is the truth.
Buy it here.
Thanks for reading!