Why this book?
This book epitomizes what it means to be Black and male in American society and how one’s poor choices or the choices that chose one can be overcome. Horton, a native of the segregated South and the by-product of educators, headed north to college and became swept away by the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s. A major drug smuggler, he spent seven years in prison for his crime. But it was during that time, that poetry discovered him and upon his release he earned a B.A., Master, and PhD degrees. In fact, he describes himself as the only tenured professor with seven convicted felonies. In addition, Horton is an award-winning poet, essayist, musician, and devotes much of his time to outreach into the criminal justice system to provide hope for others. Dead Weight, with its theme of redemption, is destined to become an American classic and should be on the same shelves with The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Dead Weight: A Memoir in Essays
Why should I read it?
1 author picked Dead Weight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
Dead Weight chronicles the improbable turnaround of a drug smuggler who, after being sentenced to eight years in state prison, returned to society to earn a PhD in creative writing and become the only tenured professor in the United States with seven felony convictions. Horton's visceral essays highlight the difficulties of trying to change one's life for the better, how the weight of felony convictions never dissipates.
The memoir begins with a conversation between Horton and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man statue in New York City. Their imagined dialogue examines the psychological impact of racism on Black men and boys, including…