Money Rock: A Family's Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South

Money Rock: A Family's Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South

by Pam Kelley
Money Rock: A Family's Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South

Money Rock: A Family's Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South

by Pam Kelley


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“An ambitious look at the cost of urban gentrification.”
Atlanta-Journal Constitution

“Kelley could have written a fine book about Charlotte’s drug trade in the ’80s and ’90s, filled with shoot-outs and flashy jewelry. What she accomplishes with Money Rock, however, is far more laudable.”
Charlotte Magazine

“Pam Kelley knows a good story when she sees one—and Money Rock is a hell of a story. . . like a New South version of The Wire.”
Shelf Awareness

Meet Money Rock—young, charismatic, and Charlotte’s flashiest coke dealer—in a riveting social history with echoes of Ghettoside and Random Family

Meet Money Rock. He's young. He's charismatic. He's generous, often to a fault. He's one of Charlotte's most successful cocaine dealers, and that's what first prompted veteran reporter Pam Kelley to craft this riveting social history—by turns action-packed, uplifting, and tragic—of a striving African American family, swept up and transformed by the 1980s cocaine epidemic.

The saga begins in 1963 when a budding civil rights activist named Carrie gives birth to Belton Lamont Platt, eventually known as Money Rock, in a newly integrated North Carolina hospital. Pam Kelley takes readers through a shootout that shocks the city, a botched FBI sting, and a trial with a judge known as "Maximum Bob." When the story concludes more than a half century later, Belton has redeemed himself. But three of his sons have met violent deaths and his oldest, fresh from prison, struggles to make a new life in a world where the odds are stacked against him.

This gripping tale, populated with characters both big-hearted and flawed, shows how social forces and public policies—racism, segregation, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration—help shape individual destinies. Money Rock is a deeply American story, one that will leave readers reflecting on the near impossibility of making lasting change, in our lives and as a society, until we reckon with the sins of our past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620973271
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 09/25/2018
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

A former reporter for the Charlotte Observer, Pam Kelley has won honors from the National Press Club and the Society for Features Journalism. She contributed to a subprime mortgage exposé that was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She lives in Cornelius, North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Prologue xi

Map of Money Rock's Charlotte xv

1 Money Rock and Big Lou 1

2 Showdown 11

3 Carrie Platt and the American Dream 17

4 Candy Kingpin 35

5 The Dealer's Mother 53

6 What Went Wrong with Piedmont Courts? 61

7 State of North Carolina Versus Money Rock 73

8 Convictions 85

9 Heavy in the Weight 95

10 Going Down 109

11 United States Versus Money Rock 119

12 Coming of Age in a World-Class City 131

13 The Christian Inmate 147

14 Sentencing a Generation 161

15 Lost Boys 173

16 The Love of His Life 187

17 Freedom 199

18 Trying to Make a Change 209

19 Susan and Mashandia 215

20 Homecoming 227

21 Life on the Outside 233

22 Uprising 241

23 Southside Homes 249

Epilogue 259

Where They Are Now 265

Acknowledgments 267

Notes 269

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