They call him "America's Mayor." But to blacks that title sugarcoats Rudy Giuliani's real reputation as one of the most racially divisive leaders in the nation. Peter Noel's book puts Giuliani's often-ignored record of oppressing the "other New York" front and center in the 2008 presidential race.
Noel was a witness to "Giuliani time" in New York. As the race beat journalist for The Village Voice, he reported exclusively on the police brutality that rained down on blacks, and the denigration of black leadership by Giuliani. In this collection of his expos's, Noel provides stunning insights into the most notorious events of Giuliani's tenure, including the execution-style killing of Amadou Diallo and the sadistic torture of Abner Louima. Both men-like many black victims of Giuliani's stop-and-frisk policing-were innocent of any wrongdoing.
This brutality sparked a new black activist movement. Scores, including Jesse Jackson, were arrested-and Peter Noel was there to cover it. No journalist was more insightful about the rise of Al Sharpton, Khallid Muhammad's "Million Youth March," and Giuliani's demonization of David Dinkins, the city's first black mayor. There are interviews with major political players, inside accounts of the shifting alliances and violent conflicts between ethnic groups, and a stinging critique of the white-dominated media. And then there is Peter Noel's interview with Giuliani, which took the form of a street fight in Harlem.
In these eloquent, often searing pieces, written in an outraged and authentic voice, Peter Noel spoke truth to the power of an "Afriphobic" mayor. In this revealing book, he still does.