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Book details
  • Genre:POETRY
  • SubGenre:American / African American & Black
  • Language:English
  • Pages:114
  • Paperback ISBN:9798989546909

If Black Lives Mattered

Fifty Victim Profiles of Police Violence

by James A. Baumgard

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Overview
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.
Description
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.
About the author
James A. Baumgard was born and raised in Chicago, IL. From the monotonous midwest, he moved to mountainous Boulder, CO., where he spent a winter making and selling sheepskin coats. In a mad rush for more adventure, came spring, he headed further west, to San Francisco, alas, too late to enjoy the "summer of love." Still, he loved the City by the Bay well enough to sojourn there for eighteen years; during which he wrote computer programs to support his photography business. When family beckoned, he upped stakes and southward moved to settle in Corona, CA., where he churned out six books. If Black Lives Mattered is his seventh.