When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir

Khan-Cullors, Patrisse & . 5 CDs. 6:28 hrs. Macmillan Audio. Jan. 2018. ISBN 9781427294722. $29.99. digital download. memoir
As the Black Lives Matter movement marks its five-year anniversary, community organizer Khan-Cullors and Bandele (The Prisoner's Wife) tell the story of how it all began. Khan-Cullors cofounded the movement with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in 2013. The memoir isn't a manifesto for the movement but instead a heartfelt narrative about Khan-Cullors's experiences with police, prisons, poverty, and the lack of community resources that marginalize black (and brown) people. The memoir brings to life the terror black people face, but it also highlights the spirit of today's civil rights leaders. Black Lives Matter may have been born at a time of anger, but it's a movement rooted in love. That's the undercurrent flowing through Khan-Cullors's stories: her mother working day and night to provide for her family, her father showing that her black life mattered, her friends supporting her through life's challenges, her father's unexpected death, and her brother's struggles with his mental illness. Khan-Cullors narrates, the sincerity in her voice drawing listeners in so they see through her eyes and hear through her own words what it's like to grow up black and poor in America. Listeners gain an intimate understanding of who she is and what inspired her role in the movement.
VERDICT A relevant memoir in today's times; recommended for all library collections. ["Khan-Cullors's prose is dynamic; a rhythmic call to action that deftly illustrates the impact of living in a place that systematically demeans black personhood through neglect and aggressively racist state policy…. [A] searing, timely look into a contemporary movement from one of its crucial leading voices": LJ 12/17 starred review of the St. Martin's hc.]

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