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The Ferguson Report

The Ferguson Report

An Erasure

Nicole Sealey
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A meditation on our times, cast through a reconsideration of the Justice Department's investigation of the Ferguson Police Department

In August 2014, Michael Brown--a young, unarmed Black man--was shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. What followed was a period of protests and turmoil, culminating in an extensive report that was filed by the Department of Justice detailing biased policing and court practices in the city. It is a document that exposes the racist policies and procedures that have become commonplace--from disproportionate arrest rates, to flagrant violence directed at the Black community. It is a report that remains as disheartening as it is damning.
Now, award-winning poet Nicole Sealey revisits the investigation in a book that redacts the report, an act of erasure that reimagines the original text as it strips it away. While the full document is visible in the background--weighing heavily on the language Sealey has preserved--it gives shape and disturbing context to what remains.
Illuminating what it means to live in this frightening age, and what it means to bear witness, The Ferguson Report: An Erasure is an engrossing meditation on one of the most important texts of our time.

Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast, a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and PEN Open Book Award, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named. Her honors include a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a visiting professor at Boston University and teaches in the MFA Writers Workshop in Paris program at New York University.


  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: August 15, 2023
  • Pages: 144
  • Dimensions: 7.1 X 9.2 X 0.8 inches | 0.95 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Hardcover
  • EAN/UPC: 9780593535998
  • BISAC Categories: American - African American, Subjects & Themes - Death, Grief, Loss
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