Stayed on Freedom: The Long History of Black Power Through One Family’s Journey

Basic. Jan. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781541675360. $32. HIST
Berger (comparative ethnic studies, Univ. of Washington-Bothell; Captive Nation) combines the most compelling aspects of social and oral history to invite readers to reconsider what Black Power really means in the fight for global freedom The author examines the progress of civil rights and global justice through the lens of one Black family—Zoharah and Michael Simmons and their daughter, Aisha. Their work took them from the South in the United States at the height of the civil rights movement, to the Middle East in support of women’s rights, to newly independent Eastern European countries as the Soviet Union collapsed, and back to the States in the MeToo era. Their story—beautiful, inspiring, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and thought-provoking—humanizes these movements, demonstrating how seemingly small, local mobilization is what it takes to change the world and how doing this work often comes with physical and emotional costs. Engaging, in-depth interviews are woven seamlessly with analyses that provide broader context to individual narratives.
VERDICT Highly recommended to those interested in civil rights, global justice, or Black Power movements, feminism, critical race theory, modern history, and biographies and memoirs.
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