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.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
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I don’t like to rate memoirs! How do you put a star rating on people’s life experiences? Just know that this is a powerful novel. Patrisse Khan-Cullors created Black Lives Matter. She took her life experiences and the death of Trayvon Martin, and knowing something more needed to be done, she has made it her life-long mission to make a difference.
Throughout her life, she has struggled with law enforcement and being seen as an equal to whites. Raids and being stopped on the street by cops were common. Her childhood was not easy. Fathers (while very loving) were in and out of their lives and her mother needed to work from sunup to sundown to be able to provide for her kids. The oldest brother raised her and her siblings. She did not have such luxuries as a family car, or a ride to school each day. She took public transportation or walked. Poverty and homelessness were strewn throughout her life. While gifted at school, she was not given the same opportunities as white people.
The book covers a lot of Patrisse’s personal life along with BLM. Her relationships with men and with women were discussed and learning to find herself. The black queer community were a saving grace and helped her along the way. Her brother suffers from Schizo-affective disorder and she speaks about his trials and how being black exasperated the ability to get him good care. Most of the men in her life ended up in jail at one point or another.
Those who created BLM, have been called terrorists and a threat to America. In truth, they are women searching for equality and love for those they love. It is a strong request for peace in a place where there are not seen. A story is always more powerful when the author is the narrator on the audio, and this did not disappoint.
Content included language (20+ F words), relationships with men and women, talk of masturbation, many atrocities such as physical aggression, drugs and more.
Thank you to Macmillan Audio and Wednesday books for the gifted ALC in exchange for an honest review.
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