We hope you can join us for what is sure to be a provocative and stimulating evening to discuss “Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.,” moderated by the memoir’s author, Danielle Allen. Allen, a Harvard professor renowned for her work on justice and citizenship, mourns the loss of her baby cousin while providing a fierce critique of the American prison system.
Cuz means both “cousin” and “because.” Allen seeks answers to why her cousin, a precocious young man who dreamed of being a firefighter and a writer, languished in prison and ultimately died in gang violence. Michael Allen was tried at age 15 as an adult for an attempted carjacking. Danielle Allen visited Michael throughout his 11 years in the Los Angeles prison system and corresponded with him regularly. After his release, Danielle supported Michael’s fresh start in the role of "cousin on duty,” while juggling the demands of her own academic career. Tragically, she couldn’t save Michael from the corrosive entanglements of South Central’s gang warfare.
Danielle Allen is Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University. She is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought, including Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (2014).
To buy a book in advance, check out these local bookstores:Porter Sq Bookstore, Cambridge
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner