• Hardcover: 272 pages
• Publisher: Amistad (July 1, 2014)
To save her son from a legal system bent on sending African American men to jail, a young mother agrees to an unprecedented, controversial defense offered up from a team of crack lawyers, in this debut novel that speaks to race, class, and justice in America.
Janae Williams, a never-missed-a-day-of-work single mother, has devoted her whole life to properly raising her son. From the time Malik could walk, Janae taught him that the best way to stay alive and out of trouble with the law was to cooperate. Terrified for his safety, she warned him to “raise your hands high, keep your mouth shut, and do whatever they say” if stopped by the police. But when a wave of murders hits Philadelphia and fifteen-year-old Malik is arrested, Janae’s terror is compounded by guilt and doubt: Would Malik be in jail if he had run?
Blocked at every turn from seeing her son, Janae is also unable to afford adequate legal representation. In steps the well-meaning Roger Whitford, a lawyer who wants to use Malik’s case to upend the entire criminal justice system. Janae simply wants her son free, but Roger, with the help of an ambitious private attorney, is determined to expose the system’s hostility toward black boys.
Offering a startling and unprecedented defense, the lawyers spark a national firestorm of debate over race, prison, and politics. As Janae battles to save her son, she begins to discover that she is also fighting for her own survival and that of the future of her community.
Praise for Endangered
“[An] engaging debut. . . . Cush has crafted a compassionate story that commands the reader’s attention.” —Publishers Weekly
“…frightening and realistic…Cush makes a passionate argument for the defense of young men whose only crimes were being born black in America.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Jean Love Cush fashions a far-reaching, thought-provoking tale from the kind of tragedy found any day on local newscasts and in the small type of big-city newspapers.” —Michael A. Fletcher, author of Being a Black Man in America and Supreme Discomfort
About Jean Love Cush
A native of Philadelphia, Jean Love Cush worked for the Philadelphia district attorney’s office directly out of law school before spending three years as a family law attorney helping low-income women escape domestic-abuse situations. After moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana, she hosted a weekly radio show called A View from Summit, where she covered such topics as public safety, urban violence, and inner-city education. Cush now lives in Illinois with her husband and two children.
Jean’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, July 1st: Turn the Page
Wednesday, July 2nd: Chaotic Compendiums
Thursday, July 3rd: A Book Geek
Monday, July 7th: Joyfully Retired
Wednesday, July 9th: FictionZeal
Thursday, July 10th: Books on the Table
Monday, July 14th: Between the Covers
Tuesday, July 15th: Pearls & Hoses
Thursday, July 17th: Veronica M.D.
Monday, July 21st: Priscilla and Her Books
Wednesday, July 23rd: The many thoughts of a reader
Thursday, July 24th: Queen of All She Reads
Friday, July 25th: Back Porchervations
Sunday, July 27th: Giraffe Days
Tuesday, August 5th: Literally Jen