Review: This Is The Fire – What I Say to My Friends About Racism

This Is The Fire –

What I Say to My Friends About Racism

Author: Don Lemon

Little, Brown & Company


ISBN#  978-0316257572

This book is a call to action, as seen through the eyes of a black man. Anchor of “CNN Tonight With Don Lemon”, Lemon is articulate about presenting his views, and the historical reasons behind his views. Above all, one walks away from reading this book with a sense that decency and honesty should prevail, and that tough questions need to be asked in search of bottom-line answers.

We experience in this book not only Lemon’s feelings and viewpoints, but glimpses of his life, the people in his life, experiences from his life, and amazingly in-depth references to past and present racial injustices.   

The book begins with a letter to his nephew, ala James Baldwin in “The Fire Next Time”. In this letter, Lemon talks about family, what they have been through, and what his nephew should expect.

Lemon discusses his partner, Tim, the death of his sister, Leisa, and the home that his father (a lawyer) and his mother (his father’s secretary) created for he and his sisters. His speaks with eloquence, honesty, and humor.

Lemon gives the reader a very in-depth, honest look at racial issues going back to the founding of this country, and the issue of slavery. He makes a very real connection with the past, and with current actions (such as taking down Confederate statues). The historical references in this book are amazing – some I was not aware of, some are more of my generation, and I was aware of.

At the end of this book is an Appendix listing book reference, Podcasts, movies, and organizations.

This book is a treasure trove of information, written in a fluid, eloquent manner. It is one of those books that you read more than once. Both personal and global by nature, this book speaks its own truth.

© April 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission.

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