More than parallel stories, Beyond the Bricks is a conversation about life in New Orleans as the city’s major public housing projects are torn down. With childhoods spent in the Calliope and St. Bernard projects, Daron and Pernell document what these communities meant, the new struggles of living outside the projects, and their families’ new footholds in the city. The book describes the many cultures of teenage New Orleans, showing the strengths and tensions of the different scenes the authors call home. Daron and Pernell, both aspiring artists, write about discovering their passions. Daron learns to rap from his uncle, who helps him pen his first lyrics. For Pernell, a love of dance comes from watching other dancers on the floor of a local club. In Beyond the Bricks, Daron and Pernell examine both where they have been and where they intend their talents to take them.
"In Beyond the Bricks, Daron Crawford and Pernell Roberts, from Uptown and Downtown, embrace the world of artistic aspirations, the talents they hope will carry them beyond this city." —Susan Larson, The Times-Picayune
Daron Crawford graduated from John McDonogh Senior High School in 2011.
Pernell Russell graduated from John McDonogh Senior High School in 2012. He is working as a chef.