Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America
By Michael Eric Dyson
“Powerfully illuminating, heart-wrenching, and enlightening.” Ibram X. Kendi, bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist
“Crushingly powerful, Long Time Coming is an unfiltered Marlboro of black pain.” Isabel Wilkerson, bestselling author of Caste
"Formidable, compelling...has much to offer on our nation’s crucial need for racial reckoning and the way forward." Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy
The night of May 25, 2020 changed America. George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed during an arrest in Minneapolis when a white cop suffocated him. The video of that night’s events went viral, sparking the largest protests in the nation’s history and the sort of social unrest we have not seen since the sixties. While Floyd’s death was certainly the catalyst, (heightened by the fact that it occurred during a pandemic whose victims were disproportionately of color) it was in truth the fuse that lit an ever-filling powder keg.
Long Time Coming grapples with the cultural and social forces that have shaped our nation in the brutal crucible of race. In five beautifully argued chapters―each addressed to a black martyr from Breonna Taylor to Rev. Clementa Pinckney―Dyson traces the genealogy of anti-blackness from the slave ship to the street corner where Floyd lost his life―and where America gained its will to confront the ugly truth of systemic racism. Ending with a poignant plea for hope, Dyson’s exciting new book points the way to social redemption. Long Time Coming is a necessary guide to help America finally reckon with race.
The ostensible purpose of Long Time Coming, organized as a string of letters, is to explain what led to the unrest that swept the nation last summer after George Floyd’s killing and what should be done to address it. But Dyson’s grander purpose, perhaps, is to bare the deep wounds left by generations of White-authored violence. He wants readers to feel that pain." ―Michael A. Fletcher, The Washington Post
“The writing is smart and the research that informs it is great, but what makes this is an important book is Dyson's voice, which is strong but always pregnant with frustration, pain, admiration and, ultimately, hope.” ―NPR Book Review