The Compton Cowboys: A New Generation of Cowboys in America's Urban Heartland
The grant jury: A captivating, sustained examination of a charismatic group of underprivileged men and women who challenge the stereotypes of “gangsta” and cowboy. Everything about this set of interlocking stories of transformation and struggle is compelling: the camaraderie as an alternative to urban gang life (‘Streets raised us, horses saved us’); what the cowboy subculture suggests about the possibilities of intimacy and community in the face of violence; and the universal themes of redemption and finding a sense of self. The book has the potential to disrupt some of the prevalent toxic stereotypes about black urban experience. Thompson-Hernández writes with rigor, gusto, and compassion, allowing his protagonists—who have given him unparalleled access—to be more than victims or villains. There is a genuine hope in these pages that is neither blind nor cheap: it's vexed and it's real and it's genuine, bringing a sense of possibility rather than despair to our conversations about inequality in American life.