Safe Passage

By Tony Medina, author of I Am Alfonso Jones

G. Neri and David Brame’s dynamically symbiotic Safe Passage captures those aspects of the human experience too often one-dimensionally plastered across the front pages or incessantly beamed through our screens, negating the actual lives of those ensnared in the moral maelstrom between societal deprivation and familial love and affirmation. What is wonderful here is that these two ingenious creatives get us deep into the human heart and human mind of young people caught in the trap. Each word and impressionistic fine line and expressive stroke prove that the characters depicted are not just throwaway statistics and future fleeting hashtags but flesh and blood Black children—full of pain, longing, desperate dreams, intelligence and good humor, navigating and negotiating their naivete and instincts, along with the survival rules learned from fearful parents, to get through the chaotic landscape of mean streets as precarious as their precious lives. Safe Passage is just that: a safe way for us to pass through a narrative that at its root is an empathetic way into our hearts and minds.