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Charles M. Blow Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Fire Shut Up in My Bones (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Charles M Blow is a journalist and author best known as a New York Times columnist and writer of blockbuster novel “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” The author was born in Gibsland, Louisiana in 1970 and as a young boy drew much inspiration from his mother who was a school administrator and teacher. As a teenager, he attended Grambling University, from where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. He showcased his talent for writing very early on and was the editor in chief of “The Gramblinite” and interned at “The New York Times.” He was also the founder of “Razz,” a now defunct student magazine.
When Charles M Blow graduated in 1991 from Grambling State University, he got a job at “The Detroit News” where he was a graphic artist. In 1994, he was hired at “The New York Times” as a graphics editor and it was not long before he was director of graphics, a position that he held for nearly a decade. He would then be appointed to the position of design director for “The New York Times” news segment before he left in 2006 as he had been offered a position with “National Geographic Magazine,” where he became Art Director. In 2008, he was back at “The New York Times” as a visual op ed columnist where he wrote biweekly columns. During this time, he also authored “By The Numbers,” a blog that ran on the Times website. Blow was also a commentator on “CNN” and made appearances on the likes of “HBO,” “MSNBC,” “Al Jazeera,” the “BBC,” and “Fox News.”

While he was working with “The New York Times” Charles led the team that won the “Society of News Design” best of show award for its coverage of the 9/11 attacks. This was the first time graphics coverage had ever won such an award. The International Infographics Summit also awarded the paper with two best in show awards for work that included coverage of the War in Iraq. For more than a decade since 2011, Charles Blow has made the list of the 100 most influential people by “The Roots.” In addition to receiving these honors, he has also been a leading voice in condemning the murder of Trayvon Martin. Apart from his work in the media, he is the author of “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” a memoir that came out in 2014. The author makes his home in Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife and three children.

“Fire Shut Up in My Bones” by Charles M Blow is a moving and gorgeous memoir that tells the story of how one of the most respected and innovative journalists in America came to terms with a painful past. Charles finds inspiration from the gripping poetry of the African town in Louisiana where he was brought up. It was a town where the legacy of slavery was always reverberating as the elders told stories of bondage which was compounded by the almost constant wash of violence. She had a love of learning and newspapers, a job plucking poultry at the local factory and a useless husband that she would divorce and hence she never knew what was happening to her son. The damage from the abuse results in years of searing self questioning and anger. Charles finally managed to escape when he joined the state university and became an active member of a black fraternity, following a brutal hazing that passed as a rite of passage. He would then enjoy a life of sexual and racial privilege and thinks he now has everything he ever wanted and needing . But then he is told that he has to perpetuate some shocking abuse and he faces expulsion as he is not sure he is up to it.

Charles M Blow’s “The Devil You Know” was not conceived because the author intended to write about race. What happened is that as violence against people of color both in the psychological and physical realms increased, he thought about writing something. The increase culminated in the 2020 summer protests and the historic pandemic and he thought there was no better time to write for Black Americans. Blow envisioned an impassioned, counterintuitive and succinct story to correct the many myths that have shaped the thinking about geography and race in the US. Drawing on both personal experience and political observations, he writes that people of color have the chance to achieve equality. It is a groundbreaking manifesto that proposes a daring power play by Black people in the United States. It is a grand exhortation for lasting change that offers a road map to lasting and true freedom.

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