The evening of April 12,1979 was clear and warm. Unaware of the danger lurking on the periphery of the French Quarter, Drs. Ronald Banks and John Hakola made a tragic decision – to walk the few blocks from the historic district to the Hyatt Regency. Inches from the safety of their hotel entrance they were accosted by two young men – a scuffle ensued, a shot fired, Dr. Banks lay dead on the sidewalk. Fighting Time tells the story of what happened next - hours, days, weeks and years after those horrible seconds. Isaac Knapper, a sixteen-year-old boy from a nearby housing project was wrongfully convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola. As the time passed, Amy, Dr. Banks’s middle daughter and now a psychiatrist and trauma specialist, realized it was time to unpack her own family trauma. When Isaac was exonerated and released from prison, Amy traveled to New Orleans to meet the man wrongfully convicted of killing their father. FIGHTING TIME is the powerful true story of two families whose lives became entangled in a moment of trauma and is told with empathy, vulnerability, and grace.
Amy Banks, MD, was an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a founding scholar of the International Center for Growth in Connection. Her clinical practice specializes in relational psychopharmacology and therapy for people who suffer from chronic disconnection. Dr. Banks recently published Fighting Time (2021), a remarkable accounting of her family’s progression through almost four decades of dealing with the double-barreled trauma of her father’s murder and their realization that the 16-year-old black boy who was wrongfully convicted of the murder needed their help to find justice and freedom.
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