Reparations Now!

Ashley M Jones.. Hub City, $16 trade paper (80p) ISBN 978-1-938235-86-3
In poems that showcase a wide formal range, Jones (Magic City Gospel) expertly juxtaposes historical moments and incidents with personal history in her impressive third collection. Jones poses questions directly, without foregoing lyricism of expression or nuance: "is there a police protocol for grace,/ for the moment between show us your hands and shoot?" "Hymn of Our Jesus & The Holy Tow Truck" (after a concrete poem by Mary Szybist) asks: "-is it that easy, God?/ to be pulled, or,/ as if a car, halfcrushed/maybe to follow,/ on the back of a tow-truck?" The subsequent poem poignantly addresses the murder of Mary Turner, with striking insights ("it turns out, all along hell was earth"). These are powerful considerations of witness and strife, recovery and strength. In "She is Beauty, She is Grace," dedicated to Breonna Taylor and other murdered Black women, she speaks of her mother: "She told me how God made me Black and worthy... She knew, surely, what awaited me outside her door." This entry is full of heartbreaking and memorable observations, providing a necessary portrait of the ceaseless violence endured by Black Americans, and the long struggle for justice. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/14/2021
Release date: 09/07/2021
Genre: Poetry
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