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    Endangered: A Novel

    By: Jean Love Cush

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    Janae Williams's worst fear has come true. Her 15-year-old son, Malik, is accused of a murder he has not committed. Like any good mother, she tries to protect him the best way she knows how. She drills into him that if the police ever stop him to "raise your hands high, keep your mouth shut and do whatever they say." But when a wave of murders hits Philadelphia and Malik is arrested, she questions herself: Would he be in jail now if he'd just run like the others? Unable to see her son or pay for legal fees, Janae reluctantly makes a deal with white human rights attorney Roger Whitford. In exchange for free legal representation, Roger can use Malik's case as a catalyst to upend the entire criminal justice system. Janae simply wants her son free but Roger is determined to expose the system for what it really is-a hostile environment that is threatening the very existence of black boys. He argues that just like other threatened "animals," black boys require protection under a broadened Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to unjust treatment in the justice system. He seeks the help of Calvin Moore, an ambitious young private attorney unimpressed by Roger personally, but unable to stay away from the case. Armed with Janae's unwavering support and two decades of research, Roger and Calvin take over the criminal case, file an ESA claim and start a media blitz that results in a firestorm of debate on race, prison and politics in America. And like a horrific highway accident that you just can't help but gawk at, every major news network, radio talk show and millions of listeners and viewers do just that. As Malik's case develops, so does Janae. At first, she is full of fear, completely aware of her inadequacies as a mother and a woman who has done nothing more with her life than hold down a cafeteria job. But as she fights for her son, she discovers that she is also fighting for who she wants to be. A raw and exhilarating courtroom thriller, Endangered is a gripping novel about one woman's determination to save her son and the racist system still governing us today.

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