By Greg Donaldson
Greg Donaldson’s Zebratown follows the lifetime of Kevin Davis, an ex-con from Brownsville, Brooklyn, who, after his liberate from felony, strikes to Elmira, big apple, and takes up with Karen, a tender lady with a six-year-old daughter. Kevin is apparently the embodiment of hip-hop gangsterism—a seriously muscled, feared thug who has overwhelmed a homicide rap. And but, as Donaldson’s lovely reportage finds, Kevin has survived at the streets and in criminal with a pointy intelligence and a inflexible code of useful morality and actual health whereas craving to make a greater lifestyles for himself and be a greater guy.
Month through month and 12 months via yr, Donaldson follows Kevin and Karen’s try and make a house jointly, a quest made tougher via Kevin’s hassle discovering felony employment. the harmful lures of the road stay for him, either in manhattan urban and in Zebratown, and he's not continually profitable at averting them. in the meantime, as Kevin and Karen fight, the reader involves deal with them, while they act in ways in which society won't condone. Theirs is a posh tale with many moments of drama, discomfort, hope, and revelation—a tale that's often stunning and unforgettable to the tip.
Like Adrian Nicole LeBlanc in Random relations, Donaldson explores a mostly hidden global; such immersion journalism is hard to accomplish yet uniquely strong to learn. as well as spending lengthy classes with Kevin and Karen, Donaldson interviews policemen, judges, kin, and others in Kevin and Karen’s orbit, supplying a remarkably panoramic account in their lives.
Relationships among white girls and black males have lengthy been a sizzling factor in American tradition. Even years after the 2008 presidential election, whilst society has in many ways probably moved directly to a "postracial" point of view, humans nonetheless have much to assert approximately interracial relationships. Zebratown takes us into the center of 1 and gives the paradoxical fact that whereas race isn't now not a subject matter in such relationships, finally, what transpires among a pair is extremely person.
Meanwhile, the trouble that ex-cons have effectively reentering society is an ongoing problem—for them, their households, and the groups the place they dwell. Zebratown makes this fight actual, as Kevin Davis confronts not just his felony list and his terrible formal schooling however the cruelties of the postindustrial financial system. either his and Karen’s tales resonate powerfully with twenty-first-century American truth, and in telling them, Greg Donaldson confirms his place as probably the most intrepid reporters at paintings today.
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Additional resources for Zebratown: The True Story of a Black Ex-Con and a White Single Mother in Small-Town America
Zebratown: The True Story of a Black Ex-Con and a White Single Mother in Small-Town America by Greg Donaldson