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.