Former Minneapolis police officer Charles Adams, who served during the protests and riots after George Floyd's murder, and is the championship-winning football coach at an inner city North Minneapolis high school, explores the tensions between the various facets of his identity as a Black community leader in the neighborhood where he grew up.
Charles Adams is a product of the Minneapolis’s North Side, the city’s poorest neighborhood, and of North High, the state’s poorest school. After graduation he joined the Minneapolis Police Department, overcoming racial prejudice within its ranks to become his alma mater’s resource officer. North High was in rapid decline, a building designed for 1,700 students serving fewer than 200. Once the centerpiece of the community, the school was on the verge of folding. Then something magical happened.
Adams stepped in as football coach, and transformed a winless team into state champions. With that success came renewed pride in the school and neighborhood both. As North High began to thrive, Adams was hailed as a model of what a Black man from a Black neighborhood might be. That lasted until Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, which brought a rain of chaos upon Minneapolis. Working to maintain order in a riotous city, Adams feared for his life on more than one occasion, his relationship to his community forever changed.
Twin Cities is the memoir of a divided life: a Black football coach during a time of racial reckoning, and a Black police officer in Minneapolis during the time of George Floyd. It is the story of the space between reality and perception, between law and justice. It is the story of what can happen when a man gives everything to his city in an effort to help kids envision a better future, only to have his city turn on him in response.