The Nickel Boys
- By Debbie Emery
Racial equality, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement have been on the forefront of everybody’s minds lately, with many people striving to educate themselves more on complex cultural issues. Having been blown away by the Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Underground Railroad, I began reading his follow-up book on May 24 – one day before George Floyd was killed at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Like its predecessor, The Nickel Boys is a fictional novel based on historical facts and explores the systematic racism that has been suffered by generations of African Americans for far too long.
Nickel Academy is inspired real-life Florida boys’ reformatory, the Dozier School, that ran an abusive and often deadly regime for over 100 years before being. The novel is set in the 1960s and revolves around Elwood, a studious young Black man with a sense of justice who unknowingly rides in a stolen car while hitchhiking to his university class. Elwood is arrested, sentenced and sent to Nickel — where his swaps listening to Martin Luther King Jr. speeches to witnessing the beatings, rapes, torture, and even murder of students by guards. While recovering from his own horrific beating, Elwood makes friends with Turner and forms a bond that will last their lifetimes and provide an impactful plot twist to the novel.
“The Nickel Boys” is currently available on Amazon.com