The Last Thing She Thought by Laurie Feldman
Rachel Chambers is a white, single mother who has spent the last 18 years focused on only one thing – raising her biracial son, Eli. At eighteen, he is killed during a police encounter leaving Rachel unmoored and barely able to function. After receiving Eli’s battered cell phone from the pathologist, she discovers he had a secret girlfriend, Jamira. Developing a relationship with her gives Rachel the opportunity to learn more about her son, and feels like a meaningful way to keep him alive, in her heart and in her mind. Jamira introduces Rachel to the Black Lives Matter movement and pushes her to insist on a fair investigation. Though Rachel struggles with acceptance into the group, eventually her new allies help her to engage with the police commission to hold her son’s killer accountable. She begins a romantic relationship with a BLM member, allowing her to envision a fulfilling future, until she is reminded that justice is elusive. Rachel is then faced with a cruel choice: abandon her quest and invest in a life without Eli or go outside the system to hold law enforcement responsible. She decides she must sacrifice her own life in order to the hold the policemen responsible for her son’s death to account. Rachel’s solution is to detonate a suicide vest at the police station with Eli’s killers in the room.
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