When They Call You a Terrorist Review

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When They Call You a Terrorist a Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele had me hooked from the foreword...I thought the book would have been written from a place of anger, just the title alone would make you think this, but as you read further into this memoir authors Patrisse and Asha "rip your heart out " in this book. They give you the horrifying truth and heartbreaking reality of how we people of color are treated in America.

Split into two parts we start off with Patrisse’s childhood in Los Angeles. She provides a view of what it was like to grow up impoverished, black, consistently bullied by law enforcement, and being a latchkey kid. With a mother working multiple jobs just to get by and a father who became unreliable when he lost his job, Patrisse looked up to her older brothers for guidance. At an early age, Patrisse became aware of how black people were targeted by police, treated differently in court, and how even the school system treated black children like potential criminals. Though she tackles different topics, everything in her background leads into how she became an activist at a young age and the various movements that she participated in before she and two other women founded the Black Lives Matter movement.

The second part of the book dives deep into how and why Patrisse Khan-Cullors , Alicia Garza and Opal Tomet started the Black Lives Matter movement which was a women's movement founded by women, led by women, with male participants and over 40 chapters across the globe. Patrisse expressed her frustration that the press has overlooked the fact that BLM is a women's movement and in addition to the attempt to bring awareness to the fact that black people are treated differently by our justice system, Patrisse talked about other efforts some of which were experiencing some measurable success before the recent election of our 45th president. 

This is an inspiring memoir, and a great insight into one of the most important civil rights movements of our time. One could compare BLM with the Black Panther Party who considered themselves ‘vanguards’ of our people. This book is thought-provoking, passionate and poetic. I cannot give this book enough praise. I highly, highly recommend! 

Celeta TilleryComment