Money Rock: A Family's Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South

New Pr. Sept. 2018. 288p. notes. ISBN 9781620973271. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781620973288. SOC SCI
OrangeReviewStarFormer Charlotte Observer reporter Kelley's first book examines the Platt family and the trials of living in the projects of Charlotte, NC. Kelly is introduced to the family as a trial reporter writing about the conviction of Money Rock, or Belton Lamore Platt, a drug dealer living in public housing. What begins as an interview with Money Rock over a drug turf war unfolds into a novel-style case study of the effects of historical, national, and local politics and policies and its direct impact on an urban family and their choices to better their circumstances. The Platts' decisions reflect broader societal issues, from using civic engagement to make changes to busing and housing opportunities to the frustration over the lack of change and ultimately resorting to the drug trade to obtain economic empowerment outside of the system. This book would pair well with Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law as a study of the effects of segregated housing.
VERDICT An incisive take on uncovering causal analysis into the often overlooked criminal headlines. Highly recommended for those interested in urban or black studies.

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