The Nickel Boys

February 16, 20212 min read

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys is a story that should not exist. Heartbreakingly it does.

The story follows Elwood Curtis growing up in the Civil Rights Era, a time when hopes ran high and it seemed like anything was possible, a young man who held Dr. King’s words close to heart.

“We must believe in our souls that we are somebody, that we are significant, that we are worthful, and we must walk the streets of life every day with this sense of dignity and this sense of somebody-ness.” - Dr. Martin Luther King at Zion Hill

A young man whose life like countless others was stunted forever by hate and violence of others. 

“You can change the law but you can’t change people and how they treat each other.” 

Things take a turn when Elwood is sent to the Nickel Academy reform ‘school’, nothing but a pretence for perpetuating discrimination and violence against those powerless to defend against it.  

It is a must read. 

“When the state of Florida dug him up fifty years later, the forensic examiner noted the fractures in the wrists and speculated that he’d been restrained before he died, in addition to the other violence attested by the broken bones. Most of those who know the story of the rings in the trees are dead by now. The iron is still there. Rusty. Deep in the heartwood. Testifying to anyone who cares to listen.”

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Apurva Shukla

Created by Apurva Shukla.

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