Jun 16, 2021

My Brother Moochie by Issac J. Bailey

A photo of the book My Brother Moochie with splatter overlay that reads "Cult of Personality Book Review"This is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read, and I can’t believe I forgot to tell you about it back in 2018 (when I actually read it), and I don’t understand why it’s not on every to-read list or Best Books list.

Issac J. Bailey is a journalist & author who lives in South Carolina. When he was a kid, his older brother was involved in a murder and sentenced to life in prison. This book tells that story, but it also tells the story of growing up Black in the South, of generational trauma and Jim Crow, of grappling with PTSD pre- and post-diagnosis, of the industrial prison complex, of internalized anti-Blackness, shame, rage, injustice, fury—and trying to explain all of this to well-meaning wh*te people.

The writing is painfully good. This is such a difficult, complex, nuanced story & history. It’s exceedingly difficult to translate both pain AND liberation onto the page, without watering either of them down. Bailey takes his experiences and compresses them into very few words. He heats them up until they’re dense and sharp and undeniable. He is crystal clear; he cuts like a knife.

10/10 would recommend.

Samantha Pollack

About Sam

Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work. 

She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.

Emails for cult thought leaders.

(Personality included.)

Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?

I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.

(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)

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*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.

Interested in working together?