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“Thompson-Hernández's portrayal of Compton's black cowboys broadens our perception of Compton's young black residents, and connects the Compton Cowboys to the historical legacy of African Americans in the west. An eye-opening, moving book.”— Margot Lee Shetterly, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Figures A rising New York Times reporter tells the compelling story of The Compton Cowboys, a group of African-American men and women who defy stereotypes and continue the proud, centuries-old tradition of black cowboys in the heart of one of America’s most notorious cities. In Compton, California, ten black riders on horseback cut an unusual profile, their cowboy hats tilted against the hot Los Angeles sun. They are the Compton Cowboys, their small ranch one of the very last in a formerly semirural area of the city that has been home to African-American horse riders for decades. To most people, Compton is known only as the home of rap greats NWA and Kendrick Lamar, hyped in the media for its seemingly intractable gang violence. But in 1988 Mayisha Akbar founded The Compton Jr. Posse to provide local youth with a safe alternative to the streets, one that connected them with the rich legacy of black cowboys in American culture. From Mayisha’s youth organization came the Cowboys of today: black men and women from Compton for whom the ranch and the horses provide camaraderie, respite from violence, healing from trauma, and recovery from incarceration. The Cowboys include Randy, Mayisha’s nephew, faced with the daunting task of remaking the Cowboys for a new generation; Anthony, former drug dealer and inmate, now a family man and mentor, Keiara, a single mother pursuing her dream of winning a national rodeo championship, and a tight clan of twentysomethings—Kenneth, Keenan, Chris, and Tre—for whom horses bring the freedom, protection, and status that often elude the young black men of Compton. The Compton Cowboys is a story about trauma and transformation, race and identity, compassion, and ultimately, belonging. Walter Thompson-Hernández paints a unique and unexpected portrait of this city, pushing back against stereotypes to reveal an urban community in all its complexity, tragedy, and triumph.Show more
Inspired by a powerful New York Times article that went viral, this young readers’ edition tells the uplifting true story of Black men and women from Compton, California, who found purpose through raising and riding horses. The Compton Cowboys are a group who grew up in the city where Kendrick Lamar and Serena Williams were raised; a city portrayed in the media as ground zero for gang violence. But in 1988, with the creation of the Compton Junior Posse, a youth program set on a horse ranch in the middle of Compton, these men and women found a safe space. In this young readers’ edition, kids will witness how the Cowboys’ lives were shaped by harsh realities. The Cowboys were able to overcome their struggles by joining the Compton Junior Posse. Now they want to keep the program running to help other children do the same. Black cowboys are a part of history that has been all but forgotten, but the Compton Cowboys have made it their mission to carry on the tradition and be role models for their community. Author Walter Thompson-Hernández is a Whiting Grant winner and New York Times reporter.Show more
In this electric and provocative debut novel, Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture, brilliantly brought to life through a multi-voice performance featuring Glenn Davis, Ben Foster, Marc Maron, Jason Ritter, John Roberts, Russ Tamblyn, Amber Tamblyn, January Lavoy, Phoebe Strole, Robin Miles, Thérèse Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, and Michael Crouch. A violent serial rapist is on the loose, who goes by the name Maude. She hunts for men at bars, online, at home— the place doesn’t matter, neither does the man. Her victims then must live the aftermath of their assault in the form of doubt from the police, feelings of shame alienation from their friends and family and the haunting of a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society projects its greatest fears, fascinations and even misogyny. All the while the police are without leads and the media hound the victims, publicly dissecting the details of their attack. What is extraordinary is how as years pass these men learn to heal, by banding together and finding a space to raise their voices. Told in alternating viewpoints signature to each voice and experience of the victim, these pages crackle with emotion, ranging from horror to breathtaking empathy.As bold as it is timely, Any Man paints a searing portrait of survival and is a tribute to those who have lived through the nightmare of sexual assault.Show more