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The Black and the Blue

Narrated by: Matthew Horace
Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

CNN contributor offers a searing indictment of America's law enforcement.

"This is a must-read.... Telling this story demonstrates nothing but raw courage for a black police officer who wants the truth to prevail." (John Lewis)

"[T]his [is a] hard-hitting, convincing indictment of the biases in today's law enforcement.... A must-read for anyone interested in understanding and solving these problems." (Booklist, starred review)

Matthew Horace was an officer at the federal, state, and local level for 28 years working in every state in the country. Yet it was after seven years of service when Horace found himself face-down on the ground with a gun pointed at his head by a white fellow officer, that he fully understood the racism seething within America's police departments. 

Using gut-wrenching reportage, on-the-ground research, and personal accounts garnered by interviews with police and government officials around the country, Horace presents an insider's examination of police tactics, which he concludes is an "archaic system" built on "toxic brotherhood". Horace dissects some of the nation's most highly publicized police shootings and communities highlighted in the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond to explain how these systems and tactics have had detrimental outcomes to the people they serve. Horace provides fresh analysis on communities experiencing the high killing and imprisonment rates due to racist policing such as Ferguson, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Chicago from a law enforcement point of view and uncovers what has sown the seeds of violence.

Timely and provocative, The Black and The Blue sheds light on what truly goes on behind the blue line.

©2018 Matthew Horace and Ron Harris (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The heated debates surrounding the relationship between police and African Americans have tended to overlook one crucial part of the story: people who belong to both communities. Matthew Horace is a keen observer of the racial dynamics of policing, the often shameful history that contextualizes it and the implications for our current circumstances. A great deal has been said on this subject but very little of it [is as] perceptive and profound as The Black and the Blue." (Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker)

"The hidden dysfunctions in American policing are laid bare in this searching exposé.... Horace and coauthor Harris write sympathetically of the dilemmas of policing, but are uncompromising in their indictment of abuses. Horace's street cred and hard-won insights make this one of the best treatments yet of police misconduct." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"Horace has done an excellent job of weaving together his personal experiences as a law enforcement officer [and] the experiences of African Americans with the police.... This book should be read by police officers and used in criminal justice courses." (Elsie L. Scott, PhD, Director of the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center, Howard University)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Changes your perception of law enforcement

What I learned listening to this book: we didn't get even half the facts about Ferguson MO from the media; systematic and potentially deadly targeting of Black people (especially Black men) by law enforcement is still a thing in America; if you stop at cursing at individual racist cops you will never reach an understanding of the people who make the policies that enable them.

Hard-hitting, well-narrated by the author. Sometimes I had to turn it off and think because what Horace is saying is difficult to process.

If you really want to know some important truths about being Black in American (even being a Black Cop in America), then this book is for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not for the faint of heart!

Powerful! Painfully honest! I was intrigued to read this book when I saw it recommended in the Sheriff Departments quarterly newsletter in Boston. This book gives a well researched documentation of what is happening in America today by a Cop! A black cop! A man who has dedicated his life to protecting us all; black and white. He has regrets, and has learned from his mistakes. I imagine that he is well respected in his field, but clearly is pained by the truth and reality of what was and is historical institutional racism today. He’s trying to make a difference. This book definitely is making a difference. If he does nothing else, this is his legacy. I stopped reading around chapter 11 because it’s so painful and I needed a break. I found the author, Matthew Horace on LinkedIn and wrote
Him telling how I felt. He wrote back encouraging me to push forward and after a couple of weeks, I did just that. Glad I did Horace! Thank you for educating me and giving me another lens through which to see good and decent police officers.

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Clairvoyancy is present!

After listening to Matthew Horace's interview on Karen Hunter show SiriusXM Urban View Ch126, I quickly put this on my audible list. Boy did it not disappoint! while listening along I felt like this should be placed in new recruit handbook in all police departments nationally. Being able to understand how the police department works for everyone in it and all the nuances in it is very enlightening. For those 19-21 yr old first adult job rookies in the force can definitely use this to help mold a new culture and civilians should listen to help break down the barriers and together a newer level of trust can begin to move. But it takes work and effort on both sides to do so.

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Outstanding

Must read for 2018. If people have information about policing in America, then real conversation and change can happen.

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A responsible summation of law enforcement’s harsh and complex truths

This book was thoughtfully written. It provides a well rounded perspective on injustices, corruption, and challenges faced within law enforcement. It aims to offer truth and resolution. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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Offensive and ignorant!

as a current police officer in America I find this book extremely offencive and biased by the author at hand. As a white officer in this country I frequently find myself in position to administer Law & Justice unbiasedly across all ethnicities. I find that his viewpoints and observations are those of a culture who have become absolutely focused on news media and sensationalism. I purchased this book with the hope of educational material and something that could help me grow as an individual. After making it part way through the first chapter I return this book because I felt as a personal attack on my person as an individual and a white officer. I find this unfortunate and unnecessary.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Pointless!!

Simply a cop bragging about how they disgracefully treat Black Americans. Nothing redemptive offered; the author actually lowered to the point of what about black on black crime. For the record the rate of crime against another person of the same race is the same across all groups.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Excellent book

Excellent book that should be read by anyone that calls themselves an officer and wants to do the job of an officer

0 of 1 people found this review helpful