Herstory Memoir Monday Recommendations

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele

Stars: 5 of 5

As someone who is only part time seen as a woman of color and grew up in a home and neighborhood that is predominantly white, I’m glad I came to this book now, when I could understand it. Though Khan-Cullors does explain the systems of oppression at work in the lives of those around her that led her to form the Black Lives Matter movement, it’d be hard for me to wrap my head around without some of the books that I read before it. Between the World and Me was a pretty great for that and I’d read these two together. There’s a lot more at play in this book than what growing up like this does to a person, but it’s a good place to start. For more details, go to The New Jim Crow.

It’s not necessary to read the rest of these to understand this book, but I know that it can be hard to wrap your head around lives lived so different just down the street. I know that it took several books for me to get many of nuances and I know I’m still missing things.

I’ve wondered, since it all happened and seemed to have quiet down, how the Black Lives Matters movement got it’s start. I’ve wondered how the founders responded to All Lives Matter. I’ve wondered what it took to come to this place where people respond to the world like this, demanding that change be made, that this oppression be seen and eradicated. This book does a beautiful job of explaining the world as it is and has been, the changes along the way to bring us to the moment the movement began and even covers some of the aftermath.

Within the book are explanations of laws and effects, of how it is vice how it should be. Those of us not involved in these systems delude ourselves into thinking they work humanely but I’ve read account after account of things not working out that way in more than just this book. Something has to give. The people of Black Lives Matter continue to work to change the way things are. Goals are to end the killing of Black people by cops, end the militarization of police, end mass incarceration.

Check out this book about the Black Lives Matter movement (add to Goodreads here) and then pick up Eloquent Rage, The New Jim Crow, Between the World and Me, and The Fire This Time.

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