RONALD MARSHALL, author
A suspenseful political, thriller envisaging Louisiana's Capitol of Incarceration as a remodel of slavery, its elected-officials as members of a secret Society of Slave Masters, and oppressed African-Americans as embodying the spirits of rebellious slaves. The action, dialogue and narrative weaved between the pages of Ronald Marshall's ‘August Rebellion’ fits easily and convincingly in the genre of speculative "What if this is really happening?" fiction. In Marshall's book, a red-Louisiana follows tradition and engages in a government-sponsored conspiracy to employ the criminal justice system to mass incarcerate African-Americans. The plot bucks the status quo, leaving readers to speculate the truth of it and could likely transform the view of Americans in astounding ways, like books and films on slavery and the civil rights era, galvanizing a nation of millions. Set in contemporary Louisiana, slavery and rebellion of the past become a transported reality in the era of Black Lives Matter. All the rules of a segregated South apply: blatant racism, inaccessible, unaccountable legislation to Blacks, White privilege, normalized corruption, and anti-Black violence. The legacy of slavery that corrupted the people and produced the slave codes, Black codes resurrects in August Rebellion. If slavery was the first wave, and civil rights-the second wave, then Marshall's book captures the third wave of systematic racism and oppression against Black people in the era of mass incarceration. August Rebellion recasts the violent history of America in drama, suspense, thrills and relevancy. At one-hundred years old, Gramma Tubman and her husband, Poppa George aren't the average African-American elderly couple, living a simple and leisurely life, playing bingo. As surviving members of the Spirits in the Shadows, an organization formed 200 years ago, by their rebellious ancestors to resist the ills of slavery, they command a small and effective army of grandkids who has received specific duties: Sheba and Nzingha are responsible for extracting members of the Society of Slave masters, the White supremacist organization that controlled the institution of slavery and now controls enormous stocks in the prison-for-profit industry. Justice is responsible for entering the prison system as an inmate and radicalizing fellow inmates. Darius is responsible for infiltrating New Orleans' Police Department. Their collective responsibilities are geared toward neutralizing their historically, pledged enemy, the Society of Slave Masters. History teaches that every thirty years, the Spirits in the Shadows unleash acts of violence to discourage the growth of slavery. Following tradition, Gramma Tubman and her contemporary Spirits unleash radical violence against the Society to force legislative changes and criminal justice reform in the era of Black Lives Matter. When members of the Society disappear and coincidences seem unreasonable for the disappearance, Senator Claiborne, a dedicated and ranking member, seeks to persuade the majority of the Society that the Spirits were responsible. But majority members reject the Senator's conclusion as paranoia and disillusion until he offers convincing proof that they have returned to complete the thirty year cycle. While the Spirits and the Society compete for dominance, several subplots emerge: Jermaine 'Hammer' Black, an FBI Agent returns to New Orleans in search of his parents and family whom he has never met and discovers secrets about his biological bloodline that causes him to question his loyalty to the badge. Medusa, a heroin Queen, attempts to kill Justice, Sheba and Nzingha for killing her twin sons. But she halts her attempts when she discovers information about her past life. In the end, ‘August Rebellion’ tells readers, we need to be mindful whom we elect to represent our political interest and we need to change the system before something awful like this grips us in real life. It's a fictive world that touches to close to our real criminal justice system.