Black Justice in a White World: The Bruce Wright Story

Bruce Wright, Author Barricade Books $20 (272p) ISBN 978-1-56980-076-8
Seventy-six-year-old former New York Supreme Court Justice Wright--dubbed ""Turn 'em Loose Bruce"" by critics who thought his bail terms too generous--has written not so much a memoir as a miscellany of recollections. He tells us little about his days in the court system, perhaps because he addressed that topic in his previous book, Black Robes, White Justice. Born in Princeton, N.J., the son of a black man and a white woman, Wright learned lasting lessons about America's racial ugliness; he gained a scholarship to the university there, but was rejected after his race was discovered. Similar treatment from Notre Dame launched his skepticism of Christianity. He went on to two black universities and to Fordham Law School, from which he was drafted in WWII. He was an unenthusiastic soldier, a rebel, and he remembers combat with astringent dismay. Wright--who says he'd like to be remembered as a ""minor poet--studs his narrative with his poetry, which gives the book a self-indulgent feel. He skates over his law-school days, then segues to his experience representing black jazz musicians, which, he says, helped him later as a judge to understand conflicts and addictions. Unfortunately, the rest of this book does not elaborate on this potentially compelling material. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
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