Ghetto Plainsman Third and Final Edition April 2014
Listen to Jarid Manos read from his book, Ghetto Plainsman
“Every movement has its book.”
Gritty, raw and spiritual, Ghetto Plainsman chronicles one man’s triumph over humiliation, self-defeat, anger and violence by taking us on a chaotic journey between urban survival and the life-or-death struggles of the ravaged American Great Plains. As a modern-day parable for our crashing Earth, this gripping story reveals how someone on the cut, hustling, drug dealing and trying to beat back despair transforms himself into someone working to save great stretches of the American West that prove to be even more violent and devastated than the inner city.
Jarid Manos finds comfort on a curb or in the shadows of a deserted street. He sees the world as a constant war zone filled with hatred and ugliness. He burns with backlash resentment. To complicate matters, he is tormented by a self-loathing denial of his sexuality and wants to kill it out of him. From coastal Texas to an 80s–early 90s New York City under siege by drugs and AIDS, to a xenophobic L.A. wasteland divided by race and class, all the way out into the stricken Great Plains, Manos can barely see the door that Earth has always held open for us to heal, until… at his last gasp –
It is inside the eye of this storm that Manos finally hears the inner voice: Where are you right now? His personal healing transformation is a model for the new Ecological Health Movement.
Beautifully written, infused with a raw realism, hope, and an epilogue of practical solutions, Ghetto Plainsman is the searing journey of one of the Green Movement’s most original voices at a time when the world is in crisis and heading into ecological collapse.
Praise for Ghetto Plainsman
“Heartbreaking and beautifully written with a dignity rarely seen in books today.” — E. Lynn Harris, 10-time New York Times best-selling author
“Like a modern-day John the Baptist emerging from the wilderness, he came, imploring us to repent of our sins against the land… The book is a sensitive, gritty, graphic and triumphant chronicle of one man’s remarkable journey from the depths of desperation, through the dark corridors of self-deprecation and denial to the majestic plateaus of self-assurance” discovered partly in the wide-open western plains where he has always found solace and refuge… An insightful look into the life, the heart and the soul of a man who cares about the Earth and humanity… a poetic lyricism that rivals the world’s greatest writers.” — Bob Ray Sanders, Vice President, Associate Editor, and Columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; award-winning member/National Association of Black Journalists
“This book shook me to the core. Manos’ voice is compelling and irresistible. The integrity of the land and our most important stories have always been inseparable, and Manos expands this storytelling tradition to our current era in which both are under unimaginable duress. Ghetto Plainsman beautifully forges a path forward despite voices of the apocalypse clamoring everywhere, and as such is a crucial element of my personal toolbox of hope against senseless destruction.” — Elizabeth Merrick, author-editor of the acclaimed anthology This Is Not Chick Lit
“Just as intense as any good hip-hop album… The nimble, brutal language that Manos uses to describe the hustlers and lost souls of New York and Los Angeles works equally well in capturing the delicate beauty of a yucca plant, a sunset along an impossible horizon or the mysterious animal life that populates his adopted home. Not since Edward Abbey have I seen such an improbable writer so hopelessly in love with nature, and so gifted in describing its bounty.” — Paul Constant, Whole Life Times
“This is a personal story about activism and [Manos’] road home is a long and tortuous one. Idealistic young men and women should take heed of the price one must pay to live according to high principles. Manos’ writing style is poetic and flowing, especially when he writes about plains animals and their landscape. Although the language of the street often makes its way into his prose, there’s no denying his writing glows when he writes about the environment. The reader may come away filled with a certain sadness that the author suffered from bad decisions and even worse behavior. But an abiding love for a special part of the world has helped him rise above his flaws and become a better man. This is a story not often told.” — Yvonne Marcotte, Epoch Times, New York staff
“In his fascinating new book, Ghetto Plainsman, Jarid Manos fashions peace, beauty and hope from the unlikely raw materials of his own personal biography and his observations of the grave dangers facing our shared environment. Part detailed memoir, part sophisticated manifesto and call to action, Ghetto Plainsman is one jolting, shocking read, but a ride well worth taking.” — Bill Nevins, FIVE Magazine
“Wonderful, brutal… Hugely important.” — Melanie Lambert, Summerlee Foundation
“A true artistic talent.” — Washington Blade
“If you haven’t joined the movement after reading the book, then you haven’t read Ghetto Plainsman!” — Judge Maryellen Hicks, and host of KKDA Speakout
“GHETTO PLAINSMAN reads as the soliloquy of a loner who, after descending into the deepest of hells, comes to relinquish his anguish in order to make pact with the land and its inhabitants – whether buffalo or bird, homeless derelict or drug-dazed passerby. This deal is a promise to self as well as to them. A promise to strive towards wholeness, recovery, reclamation, and a resurrection of sorts.” — Tammy Gomez, contributing author to HECHO IN TEJAS
“An intense journey from darkness to redemption… and a manifesto that exhorts us, in passages of sophisticated and sublime beauty, to honor and protect the land we love. I am reminded of a modern day Walt Whitman or Jack Kerouac. His is a voice, like theirs, of urgency and hope, of yearning and celebration.” — Paul John Roach, senior minister, Unity Church of Fort Worth
“Through his work with the Great Plains Restoration Council, Jarid Manos’ words become actions, actions that illustrate the impact of his deeply compelling story.” — Tamara Warren, pop culture writer for Rolling Stone, Vibe, XXL and Men’s Journal
“Don’t be dismayed by the title. This is more than urban street fiction… This is a true story of heartache and self-discovery and empowerment that every young person and anyone of any age, gay or straight, black or white, male or female, who has ever felt they wanted to belong but didn’t know exactly how or where … should read.” — Jeff Rivera, bestselling author
Jarid Manos is currently writing Her Blue Watered Streets: An American Novel.