The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs
Do you remember how schoolteachers would always talk about students having such potential? Well this book always brings that to mind for me. It centers on an African American male who is raised in a ghetto neighborhood outside of Newark, NJ and has potential to live a life outside of the ‘cage’ but ultimately circles back to it. From the author’s narrative, we are able to envision the struggles that Robert had to face daily while living in a poor, drug ridden neighborhood and how it shapes who he becomes as a man. Although he is socioeconomically in the lowest strata, his intelligence is off the charts, which allows him to enter Yale University on a scholarship. As a reader, you cheer him on as he does well for himself and creates goals and dreams. You also fear for him when he makes unhealthy choices, such as starting to sell drugs himself. Unfortunately, after graduation he takes a job back in his hometown and enters the drug trade, which ends in his brutal murder. The reader is able to get a glimpse of Robert’s unforgettable life, from the extreme highs to the extreme lows, all due to his college roommate (the author) who interviewed his family members, friends, and mentors. This is a book that will have you turning each page wondering what happens next in the all too short life of Robert Peace.