Synopses & Reviews
2018 New York Times Notable Book of the Year
From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.
When Darnell Moore was 14, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn’t the last time he would face death.
Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer, a leading Black Lives Matter activist, and an advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he shares the journey taken by that scared, bullied teenager who not only survived, but found his calling. Moore’s transcendence over the myriad forces of repression that faced him is a testament to the grace and care of the people who loved him, and to his hometown, Camden, NJ, scarred and ignored but brimming with life. Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society’s edges can thrive.
No Ashes in the Fire is a story of beauty and hope-and an honest reckoning with family, with place, and with what it means to be free.
"...Moore struggles against a crush of bullying, bigotry, and self-loathing. He chronicles his odyssey in this piercingly vulnerable memoir, ultimately finding his way to LGBTQ activism and 'black joy' through faith and family." O Magazine
"...offers readers a deep understanding of a gay black male coming of age who open-heartedly claims his identity, and who embraces redemptive suffering. Ultimately, he reaches out to everyone with an inclusive love." bell hooks
"...Moore grapples with the complexities of his growing faith and burgeoning sexuality and his own self-loathing and self-acceptance in his journey to becoming an activist and outstanding voice in the Black Lives Matter movement." Harper's Bazaar
About the Author
Darnell L. Moore is the head of Strategy and Programs at BreakthroughUS. He is also a columnist at LogoTV.com and NewNowNext.com, and a former editor at large at CASSIUS and senior editor at Mic, where he hosted their widely viewed digital series The Movement. He writings have been published in Ebony, Advocate, Vice, The Guardian, and MSNBC. Moore is a writer-in-residence at the Center of African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice at Columbia University, has taught at NYU, Rutgers, Fordham, and Vassar, and was trained at Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2016, he was named one of The Root 100, and in 2015 he was named one of Ebony magazine’s Power 100 and Planned Parenthood’s 99 Dream Keepers. He divides his time between Brooklyn and Atlanta.