Notes from the Field

A quick note to praise Notes from the Field:

Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., says, "Policies are the investments we make." The incomparable Anna Deavere Smith's Notes from the Field, which is comprised of verbatim interviews Smith conducted with teachers, students, parents, elected officials, and others, crystallizes the ways in which so many of the issues facing us are inextricably linked. The particular focus here is mass incarceration (the disproportionate incarceration of minorities, especially black men, to be particular) and the role of education (or lack thereof) in said challenge. Through Smith's interviews, we learn that education isn't just about reading, writing, and arithmetic; it's also about learning behavior, and how to respond to various situations, about teaching young people they have options. Another home run from Anna Deavere Smith.

(Notes from the Field also includes original music composed and performed (on stage) by Marcus Shelby.)