Through a series of fictional episodes about a small Midwestern town, Jabari Asim brings into focus how the tumultuous events of 1968 affected real people's lives. The 16 connected stories are set in one of the most turbulent years in modern history, 1968, in the fictional town of South Gateway, where second-generation offspring of the Great Migrators have pieced together a thriving if uneasy existence. Centered on the lives of a diverse cast of well-drawn characters, the stories evoke a uniquely American epoch. With police brutality on the rise, the civil rights movement gaining momentum, and wars raging at home and abroad, the community Asim has conjured stands on edge.
Jabari Asim is the author of What Obama Means, The N Word, and several books for children. He is a scholar-in-residence at the University of Illinois and editor-in-chief of The Crisis. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Essence, Ebony, and other publications. He recently was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship.