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Poverty and ignorance and all the terrible aftermaths that they bring about are not irrevocable parts of the human condition.  Through education and community, we  can break out of the ghettos -- both physical and mental - to which we 

have been assigned.

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From the Preface ...

The body on the slab was no different from the hundreds of other dead bodies I’ve encountered over the course of my career: tall, muscular, twenty-two years old, with close-cropped hair and a slight scar across the bridge of his nose. Had I met him on the street, I would have assumed he was an athlete.   Now he was just another black man, dead from multiple gunshot wounds to the face and torso.  To the world he was invisible and instantly forgotten.  For me he was a symbol of all the hate and violence and prejudice that crawls through the underbelly of our nation.  I had no doubt that he had a family and people who loved him.  Had he wanted to repay their love, to marry, carve out a career, to succeed and make them proud?   We would never know because he was gone before his life had truly begun.

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