Thomas Chatterton Williams writes:
Soon after Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, a book called The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace was published, describing one New Jersey man’s dual existence as a top student at Yale and an incorrigible drug dealer. Peace was an alarmingly precocious black boy whose mother toiled in hospital kitchens to raise the money to send him to parochial schools, where he thrived. His father, a magnetic hustler his mother refused to marry, was an active presence in his early life; he taught his son how to use his fists and decode the logic of the streets. When Peace was seven, his father was convicted of double homicide on circumstantial evidence, and sentenced to life in prison.