The fatal shooting last year of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer rocked the celebrated Chicago poet and publisher Haki Madhubuti.
He was so disturbed, he says, that he couldn't sleep and rose at 4:30 a.m. to write. What would become the book Taking Bullets: Black People in the 21st Century America Fighting Terrorism, Fighting Violence and Seeking Healing is now in galley form for final proofing.
The book closes with his ruminations on the aftermath of the story of Laquan McDonald, the 17-year-old youth shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. "I am angry,'' he says. "It's like the police have become the predators in the black community."
Madhubuti, who marched in Chicago with the Rev. Martin Luther King in the 1960s, also talks with reporter Maureen McKinney about his impression of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Madhubuti discussed his dismay over the shooting of McDonald and what he views as the poor handling of the case by the Chicago police, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Both the mayor and top county prosecutor have told reporters their political aspirations played no role in their reactions.
Madhubuti’s other works include Tough Notes: A Healing Call for Creating Exceptional Black Men and Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The Afrikan American Family in Transition, which sold 1 million copies, and Don’t Cry, Scream.