Money Rock: A Family’s Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South
Original Air Date: January 9, 2019
A former reporter for the Charlotte Observer, Pam Kelley has won honors from the National Press Club and the Society for Features Journalism. She contributed to a subprime mortgage exposé that was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She is the author of Money Rock: A Family’s Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South (The New Press). Meet Money Rock. He’s young. He’s charismatic. He’s generous, often to a fault. He’s one of Charlotte’s most successful cocaine dealers, and that’s what first prompted veteran reporter Pam Kelley to craft this riveting social history—by turns action-packed, uplifting, and tragic—of a striving African American family, swept up and transformed by the 1980s cocaine epidemic. This gripping tale, populated with characters both big-hearted and flawed, shows how social forces and public policies—racism, segregation, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration—help shape individual destinies. Money Rock is a deeply American story, one that will leave readers reflecting on the near impossibility of making lasting change, in our lives and as a society, until we reckon with the sins of our past.