First of all, I’m happy to be back as an active member of the bookly club. I’ve been decidedly absent in my time studying for my boards and as I figured no one wanted to hear my critique on “Radiology Cases: Emergency Medicine” or “Medical Physics” – I was laying low.
Admittedly, On the Run was a bit of a tough read to jump back into but, unless you have been living under a rock as of late, almost painfully poignant. Social media is the greatest blessing and curse of our generation. It simultaneously brought our collective youth and desired youths to a sniveling pile of filtered selfies and self congratulations and has given a voice to the historically silenced and marginalized population. In doing so, it created a national conversation/uproar about justice, race, and that truth that we hold to be “self-evident.” We are all created equal.
We are all created equal. But it is abundantly clear that we don’t live in a time or a society, that allows us to stay that way. We all come into this world the same way, but from that moment our directions change seemingly based on nothing more than the darkness of our skin and the zip code on our address. This is a concept that I “get”, but as a white girl, its a concept I clearly don’t really “get.” Alice Goffman shares that vantage point. In many ways, it was interesting to be keenly aware that Goffman was very much an outsider on the world she was reporting on. It gave her a “fly on the wall” prospective, less impassioned by personal experience or pain. However, I think that was also a downfall of the book.
I agree with Katherine C. in that the book read a bit like separate articles without a magic thread piecing it all together. That in combination with the heavy topic made it difficult to tear apart. I will say that with all the sorrow and tragedy that has befallen this planet in the past few months, I wish for us all to find a little more understanding and a little less fear. Perhaps its publications like Goffman’s that can help in that movement.