If Black Lives Mattered was intended as a one-off profile of a victim of police violence, with the possibility of including it in yet another compilation of sonnets. One profile followed another. Sadly, the author found a glut of material. But, to preserve his sanity, he limited the book to fifty profiles.
The sonnet might be an unlikely format for the subject, and yet the author considered no other.
Although the sonnets work well alone, included with each profile is a single page "cheat sheet," which gives the profile context, as gleaned from online sources.
Several of these profiles recently resurfaced in the news, years after the victims met their sad fate at the hands of police. Others are all but forgotten; others await their turn. If the book claims a sense of urgency, let that be it.
If Black Lives Mattered isn't a diatribe against the police. But, as the guardians of public safety, it behooves us to hold them to strict account for their behavior. We must ask ourselves, as did the Roman poet Juvenal, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Or "Who will guard the guardians themselves?" The answer concerns every law abiding citizen, and even those who aren't.