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'Fist Stick Knife Gun' as a graphic novel

Geoffrey Canada's memoir adapted by artist Jamar Nicholas.
By Christopher L. Walton
Winter 2010 11.1.10

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frightened boy hiding on stairwell (Jamar Nicholas/Beacon Press)

Detail, page 82 of Fist Stick Knife Gun illustrated by Jamar Nicholas. (Jamar Nicholas/Beacon Press)

Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence. By Geoffrey Canada. Illus. by Jamar Nicholas. Beacon Press, 2010; $14.

Geoffrey Canada is well-known for his work with the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City, which works to increase graduation rates in Harlem. He has been featured this year in the film Waiting for “Superman,” on Oprah, and in an American Express TV ad. The UUA’s Beacon Press published his memoir, Fist Stick Knife Gun, about growing up in the inner city, in 1995. Beacon has now published its first graphic novel, an adaptation of Canada’s memoir by cartoonist Jamar Nicholas, which should bring his story to a new generation.

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