Saturday, July 1, 2017

Black and White by Ben Burgess Jr.

Black and White
by Ben Burgess Jr.

 
Publisher: Legacy Books LLC (June 21, 2017)
Publication Date: June 21, 2017
Genre: Literature & Fiction | Multicultural
Print Length: 340 pages
Available from: Amazon
 
 When the prestigious law firm of Wayne, Rothstein, and Lincoln catches two major cases—a rape case where a White NBA star allegedly raped a Black stripper, and a murder case where a Black rapper allegedly killed a gay couple and two policemen—Bill O'Neil and Ben Turner are tasked to handle these racially charged litigations. The cases hit emotional chords with the two lawyers and force them to reckon with their interracial relationships and families. Will the racial tension of their cases destroy them or make them stronger?

 
 Black and White by Ben Burgess Jr.

They were both young attorneys vying for a coveted partnership in their prestigious law firm. Each is given an impossible case to win, each would have to grapple with their own set of morals, integrity and the interwoven racial elements that will lead them to reflect on their own lives, relationships and abilities to defend their high profile clients. One attorney is too black to be considered equal by his bigoted white firm, yet Ben is too white to be accepted by the black community. Bill is white, yet the world he grew up in didn’t accept him, either. He may have lived in the same poverty, but his color made him a pariah. It is the color of his skin that his firm sees as a way to “control” his actions in a tale of bigots, racial inequality, hate crimes and defending those considered innocent until proven guilty, unless the color of their skin says otherwise.

The title says it all, BLACK AND WHITE and the nuances of that title are both controversial and evocative as the talented and passionate Ben Burgess Jr. takes us into the hearts, minds and courtrooms where the only thing that should be seen as black and white are the laws.

Ben’s case: a black rapper is accused of four counts of murder, including a white gay couple and two police officers. How does Ben overcome both the racial/hate crime implications and the damning evidence? Ben must overcome his own stereotyping, because what if his client IS innocent?

Bill’s case: A white NBA star rapes a black stripper. How does he go against his own moral code and avoid drawing the stripper as a second class citizen? Should he even try? It isn’t an attorney’s job to believe his client or not, but Bill is in a relationship with a black police officer and he cannot help but be emotionally involved.

Ben Burgess Jr. tells a gripping and gritty tale of injustice in our justice system and the upward battle each attorney must face against the odds and from a fiction standpoint, this is stellar and riveting reading on its own merit. But Mr. Burgess does not stop there, he exposes the world’s warts, encapsulated in these two intertwining tales as he deftly weaves a tale that indicts society as a whole for our tunnel vision when it comes to humans of a different color, lifestyle or socioeconomic background. He does not preach, but if he opens one heart to seeing the world as individual humans together, he has done more than create fabulous fiction. This author writes with bold strokes from the heart, a passion for his craft and a gift for making his words magnetic.

Powerful writing, thought-provoking story-telling and a plot that rages with intrigue and high intensity tension. Read it for the storytelling, remember it for the depth of each twist and character.

I received this copy from Ben Burgess Jr. in exchange for my honest review.

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