At a time in their life when many kids are focused on having fun or getting into the best colleges, Garfield High School senior Azure Savage has written and self-published a book. That level of concentration and motivation in any young person is admirable; my teen years, at least, were packed full of unfinished novels that I worked on for a few hours before quitting in disgust.
But Savage has not just written a book; they've written and published a memoir that doubles as a work of journalism. Even more impressive, the book is highly critical of Savage's own public school experience. You Failed Us: Students of Color Talk Seattle Schools features Savage's own story alongside dozens of other Seattle Public School students. It's a scathing indictment of our public school system.
Savage recounts their own experiences in Seattle Public Schools, starting with a kindergarten teacher who lumped children of color together in a group of "bad" kids and the white kids as "good" kids. You Failed Us recounts personal stories of institutional racism and sexism and ableism that many students have endured.
Savage has been reading around town this fall, but this Thursday is kind of a big deal: they'll be presenting the book at Elliott Bay Book Company in conversation with Seattle journalist Marcus Harrison Green, who founded the South Seattle Emerald and is a columnist at Crosscut. It's another remarkable milestone in a remarkable year for a remarkable young Seattleite. Let's give them our attention and try to do better.
Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, http://elliottbaybook.com, 7 pm, free.