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  • kjoannerixon

Devil in a Blue Dress

Devil in a Blue Dress is quite good, obviously. It's famous for a reason, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Has great depictions of the aftermath of war, segregation, law enforcement (ACAB), black male cultural identity, and how to solve a whodunit. Has mediocre depictions of women, especially black women--but no vivid descriptions of chopped up female bodies. The prose is clear, engaging and lovely. Would read again.

It's hard to say more; my copy of this book is one that was pulled from the jail library for being too damaged, and has the names of several of my favorite students in it, who read it before being sentenced and moved to other prisons. If there's one book that it feels absolutely right to imagine kept in a cell, shoved between a hard metal bed frame and a concrete wall, it's this one. The racism and power imbalances Easy Rawlins navigates in this book are the same injustices that still exist in the 'justice' system, that my students are navigating every day. I have a lot of feelings about it.

I wish I could sit down all my students who've read this book and ask them what they think of it, but I can't. A. went to Green Hill on a plea bargain; C. turned eighteen and was sent to county; I don't know where N. was sent, I just heard that he got five to seven.

Anyway, I want to get another copy of this book for the jail's library; I'll check on that when I go tonight.


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