After being killed by an off-duty police officer, Alfonso Jones wakes up in the afterlife on a train guided by other victims of police shootings. Meanwhile, his family struggles with their grief and seeks justice in the streets.
Tony Medina’s I Am Alfonso Jones is a heartfelt look at the tragedy of young black men dying at the hands of the Police. Alfonso, a trumpet player at Henry Dumas Academy of the Arts has normal teenage worries and dreams. He wants to be cast in the school play as Hamlet. Does his friend Danetta feel the same way about him? The last thing he thought would happen while suit shopping at the mall is that he would be gunned down by an off duty police officer who mistakes a hanger in his hand for a gun. In the afterlife, Alfonso rides a ghost train filled with other victims of police violence. They ride the train, share their stories and seek justice. Alfonso walks among the living and sees that his death is a call to arms around the world. He sees how his death affects his family, the man who shot him and the world at large. Stacey Robinson’s and John Jennings’ illustrations add movement to the story and make the graphic novel accessible to younger readers just beginning to understand the Black Lives Matter movement. I recommend this title to younger and older readers alike.