Tag Archives: Community Book Club

The conversations that matter

Dear friends,

When I first put out the call asking for people nation-wide to join me in the I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club, I could not have anticipated the results. I never imagined that 20 inspiring organizations would sign on to partner with the Davis family and me, helping to organize 45 book discussions throughout 20 states.  (See responses to the Community Book Club here!)

But what really blew me away was the enthusiastic participation from the most invisible, marginalized members of our society: those behind bars.  donkeysaddle projectsHaymarket Books and the Campaign to End the Death Penalty partnered to send 50 copies of I Am Troy Davis to prisoners–many on death row, others serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, and responses to the book and to the invitation to participate in the Community Book Club came flooding in.

As Kenneth Foster Jr (formerly on TX death row, now serving a life sentence without parole) wrote, “The dream for every prisoner is to be a part of the conversations that matter.”

And as Emilia Carr, on death row in Florida, added: “Thank you for inviting me…to be able to be a part of things such as this…reminds you that people care that you are a human with a voice.”

In light of the lack of an indictment in the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, these correspondences have taken on a new level of meaning. The “Black Lives Matter” signs that I’ve seen at protests resonate powerfully with the letters I have been receiving from the mostly young, black men whom society and the state has rejected and warehoused.

I hope you will take time to read and reflect on these prisoners’ writings, including a radio spot by Mumia Abu-Jamal.

You can help the conversation continue!
 I Am Troy Davis as a gift to a prisoner this holiday season!

Haymarket Books has set up a special webpage for the purpose of gifting I Am Troy Davis to a prisoner. All you have to do is fill out the billing information, and Haymarket Books will send the book to a prisoner who is waiting to receive one–along with a note, letting him/her know that the book is a holiday gift from an anonymous donor. (Haymarket Books is offering a 40% discount! Just enter the coupon code Holiday40 at checkout!)

(If you would like to gift The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker to a prisoner, let me know! I’m planning to get that book inside many prisons as well!)

You will be hearing more from me in the weeks to come about what donkeysaddle projects accomplished this year and what lies ahead. Please know that none of our work can  happen without your support.  I hope you will consider making a monthly contribution to donkeysaddle projects, or, a one-time donation!

I look forward to being in touch as 2014 draws to a close, and, together, to continuing to foster the conversations that matter most.

In solidarity and in struggle,

Jen Marlowe
donkeysaddle projects
Twitter: @donkeysaddleorg
Blog: View from the donkey’s saddle

Senior seminar on the death penalty at UNC-Wilmington read and discuss “I Am Troy Davis” as part of the Community Book Club.

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Filed under Criminal Justice, Death Penalty, Troy Davis

A torch in the dark: prisoner responses to “I Am Troy Davis”

Dear friends,

As many of you know, dozens of prisoners have been sent copies of I Am Troy Davis (you can gift a book to a prisoner by clicking here) and were invited to participate in the I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club.

One of the suggested discussion questions I sent to the prison book groups was: “Are books like I Am Troy Davis useful for challenging/changing the system? Why or why not?” You can read responses to this question from three men incarcerated in Hughes Unit in Gatesville, TX here.

The same group of men also responded to the question:

How was it for you emotionally to read “I Am Troy Davis”?

Here are their answers below:

From David E. Davis:

From an emotional stand-point, reading I Am Troy Davis was polarizing. At times, I was spilling over with inexplicable joy due to the many triumphs of the two courageous main siblings involved in the story, then, at others, I was overwhelmed with extreme remorse, because of the multiple abuses rained down upon them through an apathetic system by an unempathic state bureaucracy designed to exterminate and discourage designated groups in its environment.

I found myself in retrospect longing to be a part of a family as committed to the best-interest of one another as the Davis’s, because once we’re divided, we’re easily conquered. What many families don’t seem to understand is that to someone being unjustly disposed of, what matters is that those who should stand at their side, stand and not fold over. It’s the fight that counts, not that they’ve won or lost or any level. But the manner in which they’re seemingly defeated! If the family doesn’t care, who should? The Davsis’s are winners, despite how things may seem to the lesser-minded individuals. They maintained their dignity!

A movie that moves me emotionally is Brave Heart, starring Mel Gibson. I’m inspired by the scene at its ending where while being eviscerated before being decapitated and with the state’s executioners urging him to renounce his belief in the struggle, he yells the word, “Freedom!” indicating his desire for the people to continue their struggle to be freed from an unjust ruling class. I was as touched by I Am Troy Davis as I was by this classic movie, because of the similarities: both were fighting against unjust government systems designed to oppress the groups they were a part of, both fought and were eventually executed by the state, and, most importantly, their stories lived on long after they were deceased, effecting change for the better.

Martina is the character in the story that I won’t ever forget. She knew the effects her and Troy’s story would have on its readers’ emotions. She has touched my heart deeply. Martina did not have to give into the innate feelings she carried inside her towards her brother and, thereby, stand at his side for all those years. I have a bio-sister who’s my only sibling and the exact opposite of Martina. The last thing she told me and the first was that she did not put me here! Is she totally blind/unaware that “I did not put me here?” Or that I wasn’t born a criminal?

I am a victim of social genocide, imperialism/capitalism. I Am Troy Davis…long live the Davis family and their unique commitment to struggle, and active love for one-another.

From Kenneth Foster Jr.

[Reading I Am Troy Davis] was dreadfully painful. As a prisoner who spent 10 years on death row and came within 6 hours of my execution (which I protested by refusing to walk to the death house) it was a brutal reminder of the grueling death penalty process.

Author Eduardo Galeano said, “Remembering and forgetting are both political acts.” For example, take the Jewish Holocaust. Many people try to propagate that it never happened. Others try to downplay the numbers. That is an attack. It’s suppression. However, the Jews said “NEVER FORGET!” That is a statement of self-determination and resistance. I take the approach the Jews did to anti-death-penalty activism– “NEVER FORGIVE. NEVER FORGET.”  This is not to trap myself into hate. I can, and will, forgive when the death penalty has been ended and programs are in place to instill justice and healing. I can’t forgive someone for something they continually seek to do.

Right now, my memory is my weapon. My memory will save what is worthwhile. My memory knows more about me than I do. It doesn’t lose what deserves to be saved. That’s why I Am Troy Davis  is so important to people like me and people who do this activism. It doesn’t allow us to forget what needs to be saved.

Emotionally, when I think about that memory, I think about something Albert Camus said:

“Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal’s deed, however calculated, can be compared. For there to be an equivalency, the death penalty would have to punsh a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, has confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life.”

As one who survived death row, reading I Am Troy Davis makes me relive that. I know the author doesn’t seek to instill feelings of pain or depression in the reader, but when we face this reality (the capital punishment one), we face a cold reality of systemic social genocide that targets a certain segment of our society, and throws them into a system that is biased, and that doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why we call it “a modern day legal lynching.”

Because I have been blessed with strength, vision, and passion, I use such books as guidance materials. It’s a torch in the dark. It reminds me when facing off against such a monster that might does not make right. When right is wrong, change is passed due!

From Mr. Charles McKinley

Reading I Am Troy Davis sent me on an emotional roller coaster. The tumultuous riot of anger, sadness, empathy, frustration, bewilderment, and inspiration had me constantly considering the nature of familial bonds, the court system, and human nature. I can’t begin to imagine how it is having a death warrant issued for your life. And at that, repeatedly!

I’m currently serving an aggravated life sentence for vehicular manslaughter. I was involved in an incidental wreck in which a young white woman passed. I empathize with Troy Davis and his situation in light of mine. Yet there are dynamics in his that are hard to grasp. It was enlightening and very inspirational to read of how positive and endearing Troy Davis remained in the face of such injustice and bigotry.

The so-called justice system failed Troy, his Mama, his sisters, his nephew and the myriad of supporters involved. The court system also miserably failed the MacPhail family. Instead of seeking TRUTH & JUSTICE for that family, the law enforcement officials involved provided no true closure. I am truly angered by this trend which has persisted for at least 2 centuries. Perhaps that’s why [Officer MacPhail’s mother] never truly attained the peace she sought.

Of course, I’m bewildered by how the courts could ignore and discard such critical evidence as the recantation affidavits and testimony that went alongside the flimsy crime scene “evidence.” It’s saddening, because it dims the light of hope for people like me. I could relate to so much of the book and the Davis’ struggle. I was constantly teary-eyed. Reading about his death row experience helped build my understanding and expanded my perspective on guys I’m doing time with. I know guys that have fought their way off the row and are now tacking capital life terms or terms of life without parole.


Filed under Criminal Justice, Death Penalty, Troy Davis

Why books like these matter

Dear friends,

Dozens of prisoners have been sent copies of I Am Troy Davis (you can gift a book to a prisoner by clicking here) and were invited to participate in the I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club. The response I have received has been overwhelming, with prison discussion groups of the book happening all over the country, including on death row in Texas, Alabama, and California.

One of the suggested discussion questions I sent to the prison book groups was:

“Are books like I Am Troy Davis useful for challenging/changing the system? Why or why not?”

Here are the responses to that question that I received from a group of readers incarcerated in Hughes unit, in Gatesville, TX:


From Mr. Charles McKinley 

It’s my firm opinion that YES books like this are PARAMOUNT to changing and challenging the system! The reasons being

1) it brings to the forefront facts, feelings and instances that normally may not get a full audience

2) it empowers those most able to effect change through educated challenging which is facilitated by the PEOPLE!

3) it gives you both sides of the coin and tells the full story without injustice to any party.

So many subtle things were explained clearly, concisely, and most importantly, in an easy-to-grasp fashion. I Am Troy Davis got to the meat and potatoes, minus a lot of technical jargon or unnecessarily complex terminology. The reader is found riveted in the most visceral fashion to the text and is not lost for a moment having to google a term or ponder contextual implications. Absolutely wonderful. That’s how you get attention.

To truly ignite the spark of CHANGE you must be able to identify, explain and assess the target; you must be able to formulate a plan of attack and method of execution of such plan; and there must be benchmarks to know if and when progress has been made toward the overarching goal. This book did so beautifully in eloquent and gripping simplicity. Thank you to Mr. Troy Davis and his family of warriors, as well as the authors. I stand at the ready to continue fighting. Saulte and Power to the People!


From David E. Davis

I believe that a by-product of being correctly educated is change; therefore books such as I Am Troy Davis, which highlight the innate injustices within the system being acted out towards certain designated groups in the society where it’s placed into operation, are extremely useful towards challenging/changing the system and its status-quo.

Before receiving the biography I Am Troy Davis I had an un-thorough outline of the actual struggle; although after I was done reading, I felt as if I now have an in-depth detailed description, which I can relate to, of not only what today’s struggles should be about, but also how to wage combat against the system, and how to conduct myself along the way. My consciousness has been totally elevated in many areas of the struggle.

The I Am Troy Davis story gives reference points to all those involved or contemplating involvement with the struggle. This book tempts anyone who’s a decent human being in possession of a conscience to enter the struggle on behalf of their fellow human beings. If we don’t stand for others, there’ll be no one left to stand for us, on the day injustice knocks on our door.

There are a select number of individuals who come to the point where they totally understand the struggle, the system we’re up against, and are able to correctly articulate both. Empowering books such as this bring these individuals out of the closet through allowing them to know there’s a place for them amongst those in opposition to the destructive system in operation throughout the world.

Books such as I Am Troy Davis with intertwining biographies such as Martina’s, written by Jen Marlowe, confirm that the abuses we’ve experienced at the hands of the state bureaucracy designed to preserve the system were not illusions nor us just crying wolf. The pictures painted by these books are mental reinforcement.

I conclude that: YES! Books like the one written by Ms. Marlowe, Martina and Troy Davis are extremely useful towards the dismantling and reformation of the destructive system in operation, to where it meets the needs of the environment and those who live within it.


From Kenneth Foster Jr:

It’s ABSOLUTELY useful due to what Howard Zinn said-

“History can help our struggles, if not conclusively, then at least suggestively.”

We always hear that the victors of war write the history. This is why we must continuously tell OUR OWN story so that what we have gone through is not erased in the sands of time.

Zinn also said that “Rebellion often starts as something cultural.” Rebellion being not just physically, but literary as well, because both are actions  that stand up to an injustice. One may say, “something cultural?” Yes, continuing–

“The death penalty itself is only one manifestation of the violence directed by the state against those whom it considers dispensable, either because they are poor, non-white, or part of a movement that threatens the existing structure of wealth and power.”

The underlined is a “culture” because culture is a collective of values, struggles, sense of survival, wisdom, beliefs, wants, needs, desires, good times and bad, all rolled up into one vehicle called culture.

Part of our culture is writers that stand out and stand up to injustice even when it’s not popular or safe. I’m sure Ms. Jen Marlowe could have made more fame and money writing a suspense-novel. But, she chose to be a part of history by telling a story that is detrimental to all of our lives, because if no person objected to wrongs, then they would last forever. Justice is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence.

Books like this remind us to what is REALLY going on, what we are blind to and what organized activity can do. For as Zinn said-

“A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think. When we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress.”

With us is where it begins, and with us (ie–people like Jen Marlowe, Troy Davis, Martina Davis-Correia, Lawrence Foster Sr, Campaign to End the Death Penalty) is where it (capital punishment) will end!






Filed under Criminal Justice, Death Penalty, Troy Davis

Reviews from the Row (#2)

I Am Troy Davis

Book review by Reggie Clemons, on death row in Missouri

            Reading I Am Troy Davis is an emotional, intellectual journey that should not be ever viewed as a spectacle. Spectacles are like movies and sports events that entertain and distract us, but do not come down to life and death. With every execution by the state, Troy Davis is executed all over again. With every execution of an innocent person, it is as if we are killing all of human kindness and spirit.

In reading I Am Troy Davis as a death row prisoner myself, the question I sought to answer was: is he an innocent man and did the system seek only to find a way to kill him?

Troy Davis comes to life and his bond with his sister Martina solidifies the depth of sorrow, pain, and heart-breaking disappointment these life-and-death decisions bring. There is no such thing as killing one person without affecting a whole family and community throughout the world. It is clear from one page to another that Martina would go to hell and back for Troy. Her fighting back death in the throes of cancer nibbling at her flesh, through pain and mental anguish, her spirit gave evidence that Troy Davis’s life had value, and of the likelihood of his innocence.

I won’t say that the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police and prosecuting attorneys or Attorney General’s Office were more focused on passion than the law. What I will say is that it would not be the first time police and prosecutors tampered with or misrepresented facts to the public or courts. Lawyers’ jobs on both sides are to win and police cannot help but feel passionate about the death of such a young fellow officer, as Officer Mark MacPhail. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to the family of fallen Officer MacPhail for their sacrifice, in offering their flesh and blood to keep society civilized.

It is an unfortunate part of a District Attorney prosecutor’s job and strategy to turn the passions of society against each other, and to make sure that the victim and the victim’s family focuses all their hurt, hate, and sorrow onto the defendant before trial and during appeals. In this way, no matter how innocent or regretful of a crime the defendant might be, the prosecution can secure and execute the harshest possible punishment on the poor and least educated.

The MacPhail family had every right to hurt, feel loss, sadness, hate the inner pain and to find the healing piece of forgiveness as justice rings out the truth.

There is the justice system of man and the universal justice of truth written upon the winds of change. Both the Davis family and the MacPhail family deserved a sincere attempt at truth as the winds of change turn for and against us according to our system of justice for all.

How does the MacPhail family feel about the possibility that Sylvester Red Coles killed Officer Mark and got away with it? Now that Troy Davis has been executed, Red Coles is free and clear of a closed case. After intimidating witnesses into not telling on him, he used the police investigators’ passions to divert attention from himself. It is understandable that Mr. Coles’ survival instincts made him take the path of least resistance, but all good investigative officers know a man’s conscience will reveal the truth of his misdeeds.

That’s the edge which allows all officers to get to the bottom of the truth when emotions are not involved. Here, though, they were misled by a parade of witnesses that lead Troy Davis to his execution in the death chamber. Witnesses tried to right their human mistakes, tried to use the force of breathing the truth into the air, only to find a system hardened and fixed on the finality of justice, a system that wanted to reap a soul for the fallen Officer MacPhail. With hardened hearts and closed ranks, the Fraternal Order of the Police pulled and stretched at the strings of justice, demanding satisfaction for their service.

In any normal process, this case would have received a new trial based upon Benjamin Gordon’s affidavit and testimony. The District Court of Savannah based its denial of Troy Davis on his failure to secure a confession or get Sylvester Red Coles to testify. Now death is riding on the winds of wrongful executions, regardless of how many people speak out for change. Without the confession of Sylvester Red Coles, the system will feel justified and continue to execute those who may be innocent.

While the whole word was watching, the lack of ironclad evidence was not enough to stop an execution. Especially in a case where the smoking gun—the gun that killed Officer Mark MacPhail—was never found. That gun is still out there, and might kill again.

The only mercy I see is that Virginia Davis did not have to bury her own children, that the MacPhail family no longer have to look at the man they have grown to hate, and that Troy Davis’s nephew De’Jaun Davis-Correia has turned out to be an amazing man with a resounding voice.

Jen Marlowe visiting Reggie on MO's death row in Dec 2013

Jen Marlowe visiting Reggie Clemons on MO’s death row in Dec 2013



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Filed under Death Penalty, Troy Davis, Uncategorized

3 years after: Troy Davis’s impact lives on

Dear friends,

Today marks 3 years since the state of Georgia shamefully took the life of innocent death row prisoner Troy Davis.  And, it marks the official launch of the I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club.

As Kim Davis (Troy’s sister) said, “In my family’s final visit with Troy, just hours before he was killed, he told us to continue the fight to end the death penalty, and that is exactly what the I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club is about.”

The police killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent repression of protest in Ferguson, MO has demonstrated more clearly than ever: there are no equal rights and there is no equal justice in the United States. State violence–be it perpetrated by the police, or the criminal justice system–targets communities of color at every level. I am hoping the Community Book Club will stimulate a conversation that connects those dots.

As of today, there are 18 organizational co-sponsors of the Community Book Club, and over 40 book discussions (that we are aware of!) happening in 17 different states–with more signing up each day. Movingly, at least four I Am Troy Davis discussions are taking place on death rows throughout the country.

It is not too late to organize and register a book discussion! We are informally extending the end date of the Community Book Club to Dec 10 (Human Rights Day) in order to give people more time to participate.

Upon being invited to participate in the I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club, Kenneth Foster Jr., a prisoner formerly on Texas’s death row, wrote :

The dream for every prisoner is to be a part of the conversations that matter.

Christa Hillstrom responded in Yes! Magazine, “The conversations that matter here are big: a justice system gone egregiously wrong, and the deep pain of endemic racism that links Troy’s story to those of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and countless others.”

Please take a moment to read her article, which includes an interview with Kimberly Davis, and excerpts of the incredibly moving responses I’ve received from prisoners in response to the book. And, please take another moment to read this review of I Am Troy Davis written by Christopher Young, on death row in Texas.

Finally, let us never forget that the horrifying injustice that has necessitated this ongoing struggle: the execution of Troy Davis three years ago, and our country’s ongoing practice of killing our prisoners.

Kenneth Foster Jr. wrote from prison, “I take Troy’s execution personal as I do to all those who have been murdered by the state.”

And so should we all.

In solidarity and in struggle,

Jen Marlowe
Author, I Am Troy Davis
Twitter: @donkeysaddleorg
Blog: View from the donkey’s saddle

Final resting place of Troy Davis, Martina Davis-Correia and their beloved mother Virginia davis

Final resting place of Troy Davis, Martina Davis-Correia and their beloved mother Virginia davis

Readers in Atlanta celebrate the launch of I AM TROY DAVIS on Sept 21, 2013

The Davis family and supporters in Atlanta celebrate the launch of I AM TROY DAVIS on September 21, 2013

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Filed under Death Penalty, Troy Davis

Reviews from the Row (#1)

With the help of Haymarket Books, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, and a generous donation (from my Mom, if you must know), Kimberly Davis and I were able to send 38 copies of I Am Troy Davis to prisoners, most of whom are on death rows throughout the country. We invited the recipients to respond to the book in writing, and/or to participate in the I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club. The response has literally overwhelmed me. I’ll be writing more about that very soon, but for now, as we approach the 3-year anniversary of Troy’s execution, I want to post the first of what will be a series of I Am Troy Davis Reviews from the Row. These men and women responding to the book are doing so from very personal experience.


I Am Troy Davis Book Review

by Christopher Young on death row in TX

A salute to Troy Davis. It’s been 3 years since his murder and his name lives on. His story is still relevant. His story still mirrors hundreds of individuals across America that have been wronged by the criminal justice system.

I Am Troy Davis is a powerful story highlighting love, commitment, and injustice. One would think, judging the book by its cover, that it’s about the death penalty. Although the death penalty is the foundation at this book, it’s in the background due to Jen Marlowe’s prose in making the reader feel like they are part of the family. The reader feels the love and support that Martina and family had for and gave Troy.

Reading I Am Troy Davis was an emotional experience. Each tear that fell was for something different. The love, the pain, the injustice, and the laughs all created a different feeling inside me.

In the numerous years I’ve been on death row, and through the numerous books I’ve read, very few have touched me the way I Am Troy Davis did.

In time, I Am Troy Davis will be placed alongside classics such as Huey Newton’s Revolutionary Suicide, Sister Helen Prejean’s Dead Man Walking, and Linda Strom’s Karla Faye Tucker SET FREE.

Praise for Jen Marlowe and Sister Martina Davis-Correia for a tremendous work that they’ve brought us. The war cry continues and will never cease. I AM TROY DAVIS!!!

In solidarity,

Christopher A. Young 999508I AM TROY DAVIS


Filed under Death Penalty, Troy Davis

Participate in the Community Book Club!

Dear friends,

Troy Davis's nephew, 20-yo De'Jaun, in solidarity with Mike Brown and Ferguson

Troy Davis’s nephew, 20-yo De’Jaun, in solidarity with Mike Brown and Ferguson

The police killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent repression of protest in Ferguson, MO has demonstrated more clearly than ever: there are no equal rights and there is no equal justice in the United States. State violence–be it perpetrated by the police, or the criminal justice system–targets communities of color at every level.

With this in mind, donkeysaddle projects is calling on you to participate in the

I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club from Sept 21-Oct 10

On September 21 2011, the State of Georgia put Troy Davis to death despite a compelling case of innocence.  Last September, I launched my book I Am Troy Davis, co-authored by Troy’s sister Martina Davis-Correia with Troy’s participation. The late Maya Angelou said about the book, “I Am Troy Davis should be read and cherished.”

3 years after Troy’s unjust execution, donkeysaddle projects invites you to participate in a nation-wide grassroots Community Book Club.

The Community Book Club will take place between September 21 (the 3rd anniversary of Troy’s execution) and October 10 (World Day Against the Death Penalty). Through hundreds of intimate book discussions across the country, Troy’s story and all it exposes about the criminal justice and death penalty systems–and the racism undergirding them–will reach and impact thousands of new people.  We hope this nation-wide Community Book Club action will be a part of the urgent shift we need to make as a nation, so that every life is given equal value, and treated with equal dignity.

Participating in the I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club is easy! You need only:

  • Set a date between September 21 and October 10 to host the book discussion. (Dates are flexible; if you want to participate but are not able to within this time-frame, you can still register)
  • Register your book discussion here.
  • Invite friends/colleagues/family to read the book and attend the discussion!
  • Make sure all the participants (including yourself) know they can get the book directly from Haymarket Books at a 30% discount by using the coupon code TROY30 at checkout!
  • Download the I Am Troy Davis Study and Discussion Guide developed by Equal Justice USA in partnership with the NAACP and Amnesty International USA to help you facilitate the conversation!

I’m thrilled to report that a long list of incredible organizations have signed on to co-sponsor the Community Book Club, including Equal Justice USA, Amnesty International USA, the Innocence Network, Haymarket Books, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Fellowship for Reconciliation, Death Penalty Focus, Teaching for Change, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Ministry Against the Death Penalty, People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, Journey of Hope, with more signing on every day!

We’re looking forward to your participation in the I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club, and to widening the circle of people prepared to challenge a system that treats some lives as valuable, and others as dispensable.

Engrossed reader in Savannah, GA

Engrossed reader in Savannah, GA

In solidarity and in struggle,

Jen Marlowe

Author, I Am Troy Davis
Founder, donkeysaddle projects
Twitter: @donkeysaddleorg
Blog: View from the donkey’s saddle

PS–Click here to read the open letter from the Davis family to Michael Brown’s family and the people of Ferguson, MO.

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Filed under Death Penalty, Troy Davis

Will you take part in the I AM TROY DAVIS Community Book Club?

Dear friends,IATD cover

On September 21, 2011, the State of Georgia put Troy Davis to death despite a compelling case of innocence.

To mark the 3-year anniversary of this travesty of justice, and to deepen and widen the discourse about the human impact of the death penalty system, we invite you to participate in a worldwide Community Book Club between September 21 and October 10, World Day Against the Death Penalty.


We find that people who may be uncertain about their views on the death penalty, and may not come to a rally, vigil or other public event, are more willing to attend a small, private gathering to discuss a book they were asked to read.  Through hundreds of intimate gatherings across the country and the world, Troy’s story will reach and impact thousands of new people.

Will you host an I AM TROY DAVIS Community Book Club discussion?
To host a book club discussion, you need only:

1. Invite a group of friends, family and colleagues to read I Am Troy Davis. These can be death penalty abolition activists, those who are uncertain about their views about the death penalty, those who support the death penalty, or a combination. (If you are already part of a regularly meeting book club, this can be your September/October book. Or, you can invite any of your friends/colleagues for a one-time event.)

2. Invite that same group of friends, family and colleagues to gather any day between September 21 and October 10 to discuss the book. (This can happen as a potluck dinner at your home, in a coffee shop, in connection with an existing book club, at your local independent book store, etc)

Haymarket Books is generously offering a 30% discount for Community Book Club participants!To take advantage of this special offer, participants should purchase the book via Haymarket Books, and enter the Coupon Code TROY30 at checkout.

3. Develop discussion questions to get the conversation going, or use the I Am Troy Davis Discussion Guide developed by Equal Justice USA, in partnership with Amnesty International USA and the NAACP.

4. We want to keep track of all the book discussions happening around the world!
Email me to let me know you’d like to host a discussion, and/or register your event here,

With your participation in the I Am Troy Davis Community Book Club, the impact of Troy and Martina’s legacy will continue to expand, and an evergrowing number of people will be brought into a critical conversation about the death penalty.

The Community Book Club is in partnership with Equal Justice USA, Amnesty International USAthe National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penaltythe Innocence NetworkDeath Penalty FocusCampaign to End the Death PenaltyHaymarket Books and Journey of Hope…with more partners coming on board every day!

Let me know if you’d like to host a Community Book Club discussion–and I’ll be back in touch with more details!

In solidarity,
Jen Marlowe
Author, I Am Troy Davis
Founder, donkeysaddle projects
Twitter: @donkeysaddleorg

I AM TROY DAVIS author Jen Marlowe and Troy's sister Kimberly Davis talk with students at Shorewood High School

I AM TROY DAVIS author Jen Marlowe and Troy’s sister Kimberly Davis talk with students at Shorewood High School

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Filed under Death Penalty, Human Rights, Troy Davis