To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.
—W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
A gripping nonfiction narrative—by turns action-packed, uplifting, and tragic—of a striving African American family swept up by the 1980s cocaine epidemic.
The saga begins in 1963 when Carrie Platt, a budding civil rights activist, gives birth to Belton Lamont Platt in a newly integrated North Carolina hospital. Veteran reporter Pam Kelley takes readers through a shootout that shocks the city of Charlotte, a botched FBI sting, and a trial with a judge known as “Maximum Bob.” When the story concludes more than a half century later, Belton has redeemed himself. But three of his sons have met violent deaths and his oldest, fresh from prison, struggles to make a new life in a world where the odds are stacked against him.
This decades-spanning tale, populated with characters both big-hearted and flawed, shows how social forces and public policies – racism, segregation, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration – help shape individual destinies. Money Rock is a deeply American story, troubling and all too common. It will leave readers reflecting on the near impossibility of making lasting change—in our lives and as a society—until we reckon with the sins of our past.