By Michael Datcher
(Riverhead Trade, Paperback, 9781573223300, 288pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 2002
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In the inner-city African American community in which Michael Datcher grew up, he and the boys he hung with all lacked fathers or father figures. And yet, he argues, despite what the media might say about black men, the dream he and his male friends nurtured was the same dream as that of most Americans: to have a family, a house, love, stability. He calls it their picket-fence dream. Raising Fences is Datcher's story of his own experience of being black and longing for stability and family. But it's also the story of other young black men and how they turn their reality -- instability, violence, and a lack of male role models -- into that picket-fence dream.