This isn't a new story, but it was the first time I've read it. And... wow...
Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for her profile of Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white supremicist who murdered eight churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015. The piece ran in the August 2017 edition of GQ.
It is not just a profile of a deeply evil young man. Nor is it simply a story about the lives of the murdered. Rather, it really gets into the systems of the South, the institutional racism that plagues our society and how these processes influenced Roof.
Yes, it delves into the gun debate, but it isn't framed in it. It discusses mental illness, but it is not a story that lets Roof off the hook. It is tinged with politics, but it painted in humanity.
This is a long, beautifully-crafted read, but well worth the time.
In an attempt to post more regularly here, I have decided to post a synopsis and link to the best article(s), book or piece of journalism I read each week this year.
So, kicking off the week before Spring 2019 semester begins, I give you a phenomenal sports profile from Sports Illustrated's Mike Rosenberg about former quarterback phenom Todd Marinovich.
People my age remember Marinovich as a cautionary tale. We remember that he never ate fast food as a child. His father groomed him to be a quarterback from before he was even born. Marinovich thrived as a prodigy, ascending to the starting position at USC, a first-round draft pick (ahead of Brett Favre!) in 1991... then, he collapsed into a life of drug addiction and the crime that so often comes with it.
It seems as if every few years a Marinovich profile comes along. (Google him... you'll see!) But, Rosenberg's feature sizzles unlike any of the others. It burns with truth, disappointment, fury and sadness. Quite simply, it is beautiful.
2019 FIFA Women's World Cup: Media, Fandom, and Soccer's Biggest Stage is available online from Palgrave Macmillan. (Hardback available in September 2021.)
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.