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No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America with Darnell L. Moore

  • The Last Bookstore 453 South Spring Street Los Angeles, CA, 90013 United States (map)
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The Last Bookstore is pleased to present Darnell L. Moore and his debut memoir, No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America. Join us as Darnell and his special guests, Janet Mock and Patrisse Cullors, discuss issues of race, sexuality, identity, class, and more.


From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.

When Darnell Moore was fourteen years old, 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 assumed 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 and activist, a leader in the Movement for Black Lives, and a tireless advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he sets out to understand how that scared, bullied teenager not only survived, but found his calling. Moore traces his life from his childhood in Camden, New Jersey, a city scarred by uprisings and repression; to his search for intimacy in the gay neighborhoods of Philadelphia; and, finally, to the movements in Newark, Brooklyn, and Ferguson where he could fight for those who, like him, survive on society’s edges.

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.


Darnell L. Moore is an editor-at-large at CASSIUS (iOne Digital), a columnist at and, and a contributor at Mic, where he hosted their widely viewed digital series The Movement. He writes regularly for Ebony, AdvocateVice, and Guardian. 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.

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