No Ashes in the Fire

Diversity Book Review
Reviewer: Kevin Reed, Director, Sales Administration
Title: No Ashes in the Fire
Author: Darnell L. Moore

Recently, I went to a book reading and signing that was the buzz of my neighborhood. There was a local writer and social activist who was presenting excerpts from his first memoir titled “No Ashes in the Fire”.

The author, Darnell L. Moore, grew up in great poverty in Camden, New Jersey. In the age of AIDS, he was born to a mother, 16, and a father, 15, both on welfare and struggling to make ends meet. As a young black queer man, he encountered many struggles growing up in this environment. Those struggles included bullying, violence and discrimination. The title of the book stems from an event in which three boys from the neighborhood doused him with gasoline and lit a match to burn him alive. If not for the windy breeze of the day and an aunt close by, he would not have survived this near-death experience. It wouldn’t be the last time he faced a near death experience.

Darnell was able to escape from his troubled background by attending an elite high school in the neighboring town. He then became the first person in his family to attend and graduate from college where he found his voice and his calling. Later, he would become one of the leading voices for the Black Lives Matter movement. He has written for numerous major publications.

“No Ashes in the Fire” is the story of how one young man was able to push through the pain of past hurt caused by family, sexuality and spirituality. In my signed copy by Darnell he wrote: “remember some of us survive the fires”.

This book review reflects the opinions of the reviewer and does not reflect the opinions of Horizon BCBSNJ.