Moonrise Over New Jessup (Compact Disc)
January 2023 Indie Next List
“An absolutely breathtaking debut that celebrates Blackness in all of its triumphs. Both an in-depth exploration of all-Black towns and a love story all the same, Jamila Minnicks has written a stunning and poignant modern classic.”
— Mary Louise Callaghan, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC
A provocative and enchanting debut about a Black woman doing whatever it takes to protect all she loves at the beginning of the Civil Rights movement in Alabama.
It's 1957, and after leaving the only home she has ever known, Alice Young steps off the bus into the all-Black town of New Jessup, Alabama, where residents have largely rejected integration as the means for Black social advancement. Instead, they seek to maintain, and fortify, the community they cherish on their "side of the woods."
In this place, Alice falls in love with Raymond Campbell, whose clandestine organizing activities challenge New Jessup's longstanding status quo and could lead to the young couple's expulsion--or worse--from the home they both hold dear. But Raymond continues to push alternatives for enhancing New Jessup's political power. So Alice must find a way to balance her undying support for his underground work with her desire to protect New Jessup from the rising pressure of upheaval from inside, and outside, their side of town.
This novel is both a celebration of Black joy and a timely examination of the opposing viewpoints that attended desegregation in America. Readers of Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half and Robert Jones, Jr.'s The Prophets will love Moonrise Over New Jessup.