When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoirby Published 16 Jan 2018
|When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.pdf|
|Publisher||St. Martin's Press|
A poetic and powerful memoir about what it means to be a Black woman in America—and the co-founding of a movement that demands justice for all in the land of the free.
Raised by a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood in Los Angeles, Patrisse Khan-Cullors experienced firsthand the prejudice and persecution Black Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement. For Patrisse, the most vulnerable people in the country are Black people. Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system serving a white privilege agenda, Black people are subjected to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin’s killer went free, Patrisse’s outrage led her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.
Condemned as terrorists and as a threat to America, these loving women founded a hashtag that birthed the movement to demand accountability from the authorities who continually turn a blind eye to the injustices inflicted upon people of Black and Brown skin.
Championing human rights in the face of violent racism, Patrisse is a survivor. She transformed her personal pain into political power, giving voice to a people suffering in equality and a movement fueled by her strength and love to tell the country—and the world—that Black Lives Matter.
When They Call You a Terrorist is Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele’s reflection on humanity. It is an empowering account of survival, strength and resilience and a call to action to change the culture that declares innocent Black life expendable.
"When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir" Reviews
Oh man, a difficult, but powerful book.
A heartbreaking read. I was expecting the whole book to be about the immediate genesis of #blacklivesmatter, but it is really a true memoir in the sense that it gives Khan-Cullors' life story and how the horrors that befell her family and community led to this work. It opened my eyes, and while I used to consider myself fairly knowledgeable on this topic, this book humbled me and reminded me I do NOT really know. It also taught me just how diverse the movement is, with a large percentage of the founding activists being Queer and non-gender-conforming.
As a white, cis reader, I will not attempt to actually review this work beyond saying that it provided an education I very, very much needed. Required reading for all.
** Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the review copy of this title - all opinions are my own. **
A book that everyone should read because it carries such a strong but equally sad message.
I find it sad that people can be treated differently by some people just because of the colour of their skin.
To me we are all the same and what really matters is the love we have for each other, that's the important thing.
All lives matter but till the day arrives that people realise this I can only live in hope that one day this will become a reality.
When They Call You a Terrorist is a soon to be classic in black literary thought and canon. This is a stunning memoir that poignantly captures the vitality of Patrisse and her family's strong spirit and determination struggling against brutal and relentless injustice. bandele's signature writing style is prevalent and gives Khan-Cullors narrative an almost poetic feel. This memoir packs all of the fire, all the receipts and brings down the full weight of harm perpetuated in the black community. To read more of this review, see some of my pictures from Tampa's MLK Day Parade, and to see a book trailer about this stunning memoir CLICK HERE.
What a powerful memoir, both about a movement and a woman's strength in the face of absolute racism and horror. Patrisse Khan-Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, shares her story about growing up in an impoverished neighborhood in Los Angeles in a poor and loving family. We learn about the intimacies of her childhood, about how her mother worked multiple jobs and still struggled to make a living wage, the development of her queer identity, her brother's unjust and devastating imprisonment, and more. My heart broke for Khan-Cullors when she wrote about how the police terrorized her family. She does an excellent job of connecting the personal with the political, by describing her emotional reactions with raw, vivid language while also holding systems, like white supremacy and the police state, accountable.
The second part of the book delves more into the development of the Black Lives Matter movement. As a non-black person of color, I know I need to interrogate my anti-black racism and the various privileges I had growing up in the United States without black skin, and I must do more to support the BLM movement. I hope that others non-black people of color - and white people, of course - will do this work as well. While Khan-Cullors shows phenomenal resolve in her dedication to justice through the formation of this movement and others, we all should do more to fight for black lives (the movement's website looks like a good place to start.)
Overall, recommended to everyone. My Goodreads friend Gabriella voices some nuanced criticism of the book in her review; I agree with her the points raised in her review generally and recognize she is in more of a position to speak about these critiques than me. I feel grateful for Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele yet heartbroken and angry for what the racism that thety, and black lives collectively, must endure.