Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Fire This Time

 The more things change, the more they remain the same. That’s the sad yet urgent message you will find in the riveting new book Firefight:The Century-Long Battle to Integrate New York’s Bravest (Palgrave Macmillan Trade, $28).  Journalist Ginger Adams Otis exhaustively examines the causes that led to the Big Apple’s 2014 settlement of a $98 million discrimination lawsuit. Cases went as far back as 1919 with the hiring of Welsey Williams. Nearly a century later, New York City has about 300 Black firefighters – roughly just three percent of the 11,000 serving a city with 2 million African-Americans. Eye-opening, this is a must read.

Review by P.H.B. in Essence, May 2015.

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