This is the fire What I say to my friends about racism

Don Lemon, 1966-

Book - 2021

"The host of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon is more popular than ever. As America's only Black prime-time anchor, Lemon and his daily monologues on racism and antiracism, on the failures of the Trump administration and of so many of our leaders, and on America's systemic flaws speak for his millions of fans. Now, in an urgent, deeply personal, riveting plea, he shows us all how deep our problems lie, and what we can do to begin to fix them"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Little, Brown and Company 2021.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
213 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 197-202) and index.
ISBN
9780316257572
0316257575
Main Author
Don Lemon, 1966- (author)
  • Prologue: A letter to my nephew
  • Do I but dream
  • We didn't get here by accident
  • My Lord, what a mourning when the stars begin to fall
  • Seeking justice in the land of law and order
  • Of movies, myths, and monuments
  • About the Benjamins
  • How change happens.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* For CNN host Lemon, as for so many others, George Floyd's murder led him to reflect anew on racial injustice and political inequities, and as has also been true for others, James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time provided profound inspiration. Like Baldwin, Lemon begins his narrative with a letter to his nephew, revealing their family's history, preparing him for society's biases, and promising that he will not stand silent in the face of those wrongs. As a journalist, Lemon is honor bound to examine issues with an objectivity that allows for the gathering of facts and the sorting of truth from lies. But it is as a Black man that Lemon brings a searing power and persuasiveness to his arguments and views. In his eloquence and candor, Lemon is a lyrical and ardent advocate for what is decent, just, and long overdue. His dismay and anguish are laid bare with a fervor that is authentic and hard-won. Lemon's call-to-action is a soaring examination of the causes of racist violence and injustice past and present, and he expresses his commitment to asking tough questions and seeking demanding answers that he hopes will kindle the fire this time to constructively confront racism in all its forms. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Journalist Lemon (CNN Tonight with Don Lemon) candidly reflects on history and the major events of 2020, beginning with a heartfelt letter to his nephew in the wake of George Floyd's murder, describing progress and pitfalls in racial equity since Jim Crow. He argues that readers need to do something, however small, to combat racism and white supremacy in the United States. In order to inspire action, Lemon briefly describes historic events, as well as key stories he covered in 2020, like the COVID-19 pandemic and protests in response to racial injustice. He also provides thoughts and analysis on topics such as police brutality, death, segregation, and reparations. Lemon discusses anecdotes from his own life, including a trip to Ghana with his mother to discover their ancestry, and the tragic death of his sister Leisa. Throughout, he emphasizes empathy and the need for readers to value fellow humans despite their differences. Lemon ends by declaring that we are all capable of doing the work necessary to combat white supremacy. VERDICT A thoughtful analysis which deserves a place on readers' anti-racist reading lists. Recommended for those interested in trying to enact systemic change.—Rebekah Kati, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Journalist Lemon (CNN Tonight with Don Lemon) candidly reflects on history and the major events of 2020, beginning with a heartfelt letter to his nephew in the wake of George Floyd's murder, describing progress and pitfalls in racial equity since Jim Crow. He argues that readers need to do something, however small, to combat racism and white supremacy in the United States. In order to inspire action, Lemon briefly describes historic events, as well as key stories he covered in 2020, like the COVID-19 pandemic and protests in response to racial injustice. He also provides thoughts and analysis on topics such as police brutality, death, segregation, and reparations. Lemon discusses anecdotes from his own life, including a trip to Ghana with his mother to discover their ancestry, and the tragic death of his sister Leisa. Throughout, he emphasizes empathy and the need for readers to value fellow humans despite their differences. Lemon ends by declaring that we are all capable of doing the work necessary to combat white supremacy. VERDICT A thoughtful analysis which deserves a place on readers' anti-racist reading lists. Recommended for those interested in trying to enact systemic change.—Rebekah Kati, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

CNN host Lemon (Transparent) ruminates in this lyrical yet diffuse account on the legacy of white supremacy in America. Emulating James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me, Lemon opens with a letter to his 13-year-old nephew, recounting how his own grandmother, who had a fifth-grade education, had to submit to a literacy test in order to vote in Louisiana. From there, Lemon reflects on the founding of an African American enclave in Sag Harbor in 1947, describes how the election of Donald Trump ("a blatant White supremacist") made the problem of racism "impossible to ignore," and recounts his family's grief in the wake of his sister's accidental death in 2018. He also traces the roots of modern policing to pre–Civil War slave patrols and shares insights from historians and political analysts about the Lost Cause mythology and Jim Crow–era racial segregation. Lemon folds in noteworthy interviews from his TV show and startling statistics about Black mortality and incarceration rates into his personal reflections, but he meanders across well-trod ground, losing some of the thrust of his arguments. Readers will savor the well-honed language, but wish for stronger substance. (Mar.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"The host of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon is more popular than ever. As America's only Black prime-time anchor, Lemon and his daily monologues on racism and antiracism, on the failures of the Trump administration and of so many of our leaders, and on America's systemic flaws speak for his millions of fans. Now, in an urgent, deeply personal, riveting plea, he shows us all how deep our problems lie, and what we can do to begin to fix them"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Don Lemon brings his vast audience and experience as a reporter and a black man to today’s most urgent question: How can we end racism in America in our lifetimes?

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In this "vital book for these times" (Kirkus Reviews), Don Lemon brings his vast audience and experience as a reporter and a Black man to today's most urgent question: How can we end racism in America in our lifetimes?  The host of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon is more popular than ever. As America’s only Black prime-time anchor, Lemon and his daily monologues on racism and antiracism, on the failures of the Trump administration and of so many of our leaders, and on America’s systemic flaws speak for his millions of fans. Now, in an urgent, deeply personal, riveting plea, he shows us all how deep our problems lie, and what we can do to begin to fix them.Beginning with a letter to one of his Black nephews, he proceeds with reporting and reflections on his slave ancestors, his upbringing in the shadows of segregation, and his adult confrontations with politicians, activists, and scholars. In doing so, Lemon offers a searing and poetic ultimatum to America. He visits the slave port where a direct ancestor was shackled and shipped to America. He recalls a slave uprising in Louisiana, just a few miles from his birthplace. And he takes us to the heart of the 2020 protests in New York City. As he writes to his young nephew: We must resist racism every single day. We must resist it with love.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In this 'vital book for these times' (Kirkus Reviews), Don Lemon brings his vast audience and experience as a reporter and a Black man to today's most urgent question: How can we end racism in America in our lifetimes? The host of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon is more popular than ever. As America's only Black prime-time anchor, Lemon and his daily monologues on racism and antiracism, on the failures of the Trump administration and of so many of our leaders, and on America's systemic flaws speak for his millions of fans. Now, in an urgent, deeply personal, riveting plea, he shows us all how deep our problems lie, and what we can do to begin to fix them.Beginning with a letter to one of his Black nephews, he proceeds with reporting and reflections on his slave ancestors, his upbringing in the shadows of segregation, and his adult confrontations with politicians, activists, and scholars. In doing so, Lemon offers a searing and poetic ultimatum to America. He visits the slave port where a direct ancestor was shackled and shipped to America. He recalls a slave uprising in Louisiana, just a few miles from his birthplace. And he takes us to the heart of the 2020 protests in New York City. As he writes to his young nephew: We must resist racism every single day. We must resist it with love.