No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America

by Darnell L Moore


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From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.

When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn't the last time he would face death.

Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer, a leading Black Lives Matter activist, and an advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he shares the journey taken by that scared, bullied teenager who not only survived, but found his calling. Moore's transcendence over the myriad forces of repression that faced him is a testament to the grace and care of the people who loved him, and to his hometown, Camden, NJ, scarred and ignored but brimming with life. Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society's edges can thrive.

No Ashes in the Fire is a story of beauty and hope-and an honest reckoning with family, with place, and with what it means to be free.

Lambda Literary Award - Gay Memoir/Biography (Winner - 2019)
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year (2018)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568589404
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 02/19/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 31,634
Product dimensions: 5.45(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Darnell L. Moore is the head of Strategy and Programs at BreakthroughUS. He is also a columnist at and, and a former editor at large at CASSIUS and senior editor at Mic, where he hosted their widely viewed digital series The Movement. He writings have been published in Ebony, Advocate, Vice, Guardian and MSNBC. Moore is a writer-in-residence at the Center of African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice at Columbia University, has taught at NYU, Rutgers, Fordham, and Vassar, and was trained at Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2016, he was named one of The Root 100, and in 2015 he was named one of Ebony magazine's Power 100 and Planned Parenthood's 99 Dream Keepers. He divides his time between Brooklyn and Atlanta.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Chapter 1 Passage 13

Chapter 2 Ripples 37

Chapter 3 Magic 67

Chapter 4 Touch 95

Chapter 5 Run 115

Chapter 6 Unbecoming 149

Chapter 7 Return 175

Chapter 8 Lessons 201

Epilogue 227

Acknowledgments 235

Notes 241

Reading Group Guide 243

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No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Tia Smith More than 1 year ago
"But black love is not cheap. We fight each other using the same weapons others have used, and continue to use, to destroy us. It’s hard to resist fighting when you are under constant attack, but my comrades taught me how to resist the lure of disposability in a country, a world, that eats away at the humanity of black people every day” This book allowed me to be vulnerable and open my eyes to some of the difficulties young black people face, especially black men. Growing up in a world where you are put in box, not free to express who you are can be detrimental to the brain. Moore expresses his difficulties coming to know his true identity, he had to learn how to love everything he hated about himself. This book is a hidden gem. This book is amazing!!!! Thank you so much Mr. Darnell L Moore, you truly blessed me.