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A few weeks ago I had to make a quick trip home. I’d received a copy for Panther Baby by Jamal Joseph from Algonquin Books just a couple of days before my trip.

I don’t read a lot of memoirs, but this one looked interesting. I’ve read other books about the Black Panther Party and the stories from that era and the organization always intrigue me.

I took Panther Baby with me, even though I doubted I’d have much time to read. The morning of my early morning flight, I’d had only three hours of sleep, so I definitely did not plan to read on the plane.

Once I was seated on the plane, I took Panther Baby out of my bag anyway. Just to start reading until we were off the ground. Well we were nearly halfway through the flight and I was still reading. I was already taken in by Jamal Joseph’s story and wondering what his teen age self would do next. How would his Nonnie handle it? Who would protect this young, black teen during the Black Power movement?

His story is an engaging coming-of-age tale that reveals what life was like for the Black Panthers. And how the party shaped him and influenced the rest of his life.

I enjoyed the book because it was another perspective on the Black Panther Party experience. Even though some of the history was familiar, seeing the events through a teenager’s eyes was interesting. And I think having more coming of age stories by people of color is something to applaud.

You can follow Jamal Joseph on Twitter (@jjpantherbaby).

Disclosure: Algonquin Books sent me a review copy of this title. My thoughts and opinions about the book are my own

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