Beth Am Synagogue organized a virtual talk and Q&A Sept. 28 with author Wes Moore on the release of his new book, “Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City.” Written by Moore and Erica L. Green, the book focuses on the stories and perspectives of eight people during the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015.
Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg introduced Moore as a “best-selling author, a combat veteran, a Rhodes Scholar, a social entrepreneur,” and the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, which focuses on addressing “the endemic and systemic challenges of poverty.” Calling the book’s stories “mesmerizing,” Burg credited Moore and Green with their ability to “weave together the different perspectives on an American moment that, in many ways, I think, presaged the nationwide and worldwide events of this past summer.”
“When people say to me that ‘Five Days’ and this book is so timely, my argument always back is ‘Name a single time in our nation’s history when it wouldn’t have been timely,’” Moore said, adding how important it was to use this moment in a way to stop having the same conversations and to put an end to “recurring tragedies.”
Moore also challenged the accusation that there is no one who is striving for a better and more just Baltimore. “The idea that no one is doing anything is just not true, and we can’t allow and feed into that narrative.”
At the same time, Moore argued that institutions and structures were not changing quickly enough, and that “we cannot continue to think that individual acts of goodness are going to uproot structures that actually have to be altered and changed.”