No Ashes in the Fire

No Ashes in the Fire

Coming of Age Black and Free in America

From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.

When Darnell Moore was fourteen years old, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they assumed he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn’t the last time he would face death.

Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer and activist, a leader in the Movement for Black Lives, and a tireless advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he sets out to understand how that scared, bullied teenager not only survived, but found his calling. Moore traces his life from his childhood in Camden, New Jersey, a city scarred by uprisings and repression; to his search for intimacy in the gay neighborhoods of Philadelphia; and, finally, to the movements in Newark, Brooklyn, and Ferguson where he could fight for those who, like him, survive on society’s edges.

No Ashes in the Fire is a story of beauty and hope – and an honest reckoning with family, with place, and with what it means to be free.

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Genre: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

On Sale: May 29th 2018

Price: $15.99

Page Count: 256

ISBN-13: 9781568589497

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"Darnell Moore is one of the most influential black writers and thinkers of our time--a beautiful, intentionally complex feminist activist writing liberatory futures. I cannot wait for the world to read No Ashes in the Fire."—Janet Mock, author of Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty
"No Ashes in the Fire is everything that is quintessentially Darnell Moore: brilliant, courageous, transparent, and wholly original. Moore's masterful writing feels like equal parts soul music and gospel testimony. With this book, Moore positions himself as one of the leading public intellectuals of our generation. More importantly, he has written a text that will inspire, and maybe even save, many lives."—Marc Lamont Hill, author of Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, From Ferguson to Flint and Beyond
"Darnell Moore is doing something we've never seen in American literature. He's not just texturing a life, a place, and a movement while all three are in flux; Darnell is memorializing and reckoning with a life, place, and movement that are targeted by the worst parts of our nation. He never loses sight of the importance of love, honesty, and organization on his journey. We need this book more than, or as much as we've needed any book this century."—Kiese Laymon, author of How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America
"No Ashes in the Fire is part memoir, part social commentary. Darnell honestly tells his story with an intensity and passion that offers readers a deep understanding of a gay black male coming of age who open-heartedly claims his identity, and who embraces redemptive suffering. Ultimately, he reaches out to everyone with an inclusive love."—bell hooks
"Radical black love is the major force for black freedom, as so powerfully embodied and enacted in Darnell Moore's courageous book. From Camden, New Jersey, as a youth, to Brooklyn, New York, as an adult, Moore takes us on his torturous yet triumphant journey through racist and homophobic America. Don't miss his inspiring story!"
Dr. Cornel West
"Darnell L. Moore's powerful and inspiring memoir No Ashes in the Fire speaks to the bittersweet struggle to reconcile sexuality, spirituality, and masculinity during the vulnerable years of youth when violence in its various ruthless forms threatens to shatter both body and soul. Honest and revealing, Moore's sobering voice turns his unsettling truths into grace notes; his history of heartache into a poignant story of a hard-won triumph."—Rigoberto González, author of Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa
"Darnell Moore reflects on what it meant to come of age during the bitter end of the 20th century. He maps the neoliberal political trends that collapsed cities like Camden, then blamed their demise on black children and their mothers. He unspools threads of intimate moments, locating his earliest memories of discovering desire for another boy. He recounts the violence that became the single story of his generation and deepens those annual murder rate statistics by raising the names and stories of the dead. He is in the radius as Hip Hop is born and considers its effect on posturing, on masculinity, on public joy. But mostly this is excavation work-digging past shame, conspiratorial family secrets. He is greatly served by the same curiosity that belonged to the smart, shy boy he was. As he navigates and collects memories, he unlocks closed doors that turned single rooms in a family home into silos of suffering. Healing and deep care is on the other side of this memory map, and it is a journey well spent."—dream hampton
"Darnell Moore's No Ashes in the Fire is a searing, tender, and wise memoir. It is the captivating story of a man, a family, a community, and an age in the life of Black America in which old wounds and new possibilities meet at an earth-shaking crossroads. Moore is a reflective, contemplative, and instructive scribe. His are the words of an organizer, a social historian, and a fighter with a deep love for his people."—Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University
"In No Ashes in the Fire, Darnell Moore takes a single life-his own-to prove the principle of intersectionality: the so-called issues we'd like to push away from ourselves, those supposed other worlds we claim to only encounter on the news, are indeed the actual individual lives we lead. Moore shows us how he, and therefore each and every one of us, grapples with the myths surrounding sexuality, race, class, and loneliness. Or as Moore himself writes, "I lost myself because I had longed so badly to be found." No one goes unscathed, but on the other hand, no one goes untouched. This is a book of experience and survival."—Jericho Brown, author of The New Testament
"[A] bold and candid memoir... Moore's well-crafted book is a stunning tribute to affirmation, forgiveness, and healing--and serves as an invigorating emotional tonic."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"A heart-wrenching memoir of triumphing over...racial violence."
The Root
"In this stirring and beautifully rendered memoir, journalist and activist Darnell L. Moore recounts his life from his childhood in New Jersey, where he was almost set on fire as a boy by neighborhood bullies; to his exploration of his sexuality and identity in Philadelphia's gay neighborhoods; to his ultimate arrival at the heart of the Movement for Black Lives Matter in Newark, Brooklyn, Ferguson, and beyond. Part autobiographical, part social commentary, and entirely eye-opening, No Ashes in the Fire is a timely book about race, sexuality, class, and equality that everyone in America should be reading."—Bustle
"An open-hearted exploration of faith, fluid sexuality, and the myriad challenges of being a black American when advancement seems elusive as ever... Moore writes deftly in passages that purposefully meander to present a broad, socially engaged tableau of his experiences, though some of his observations can be repetitive. An engaging meditation on identity and creativity within challenging settings."
Kirkus Reviews
"This coming-of-age memoir cum meditation is the introspective story of a man in search of self... A cultural and political history that examines and defies the stereotypes of black life in America.. [Darnell L. Moore's] story is an inspiration."
"Necessary... In the voice that's made him a standout writer, Moore gives readers much to chew and ruminate on."—Bitch, The 30 Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of 2018
"[Darnell L. Moore] is ready to tell the world his story of resilience and bravery."—Popsugar