My Brother Moochie

A Black Family's Legacy of Race, Murder, and Reconciliation in the American South

Publisher: Other Press
A rare first-person account that combines a journalist’s skilled reporting with the raw emotion of a younger brother’s heartfelt testimony of what his family endured for decades after his eldest brother killed a man and was sentenced to life in prison.

At the age of nine, Issac J. Bailey saw his hero, his eldest brother, taken away in handcuffs, not to return from prison for thirty-two years. Bailey tells the story of their relationship and of his experience living in a family suffering guilt and shame. Drawing on sociological research as well as his expertise as a journalist, he seeks to answerthe crucial question of why Moochie and many other young black men—including half of the ten boys in his own family—end up in the criminal justice system. What role did poverty, race, and faith play? What effect did living in the South, in the Bible Belt, have? And why is their experience understood as a trope for black men, while white people who commit crimes are never seen in this generalized way?

My Brother Moochie provides a wide-ranging yet intensely intimateview of crime and incarceration in the United States, and the devastatingeffects on the incarcerated, their loved ones, their victims, andsociety as a whole.