When They Call You a Terrorist is not so much a memoir of being in the movement or even really about creating the movement, but about the systems of oppression and white supremacy experienced at an intimate and personal level which made creating the Black Lives Matter Movement urgent and necessary. It is a reminder that, while intentionally decentralized, #BLM is Queer, Trans, and Woman led. It is a call out to all of the organizers who came before and after, that helped to create and sustain a space to say Black Lives Matter. This book is painful to read, but also beautifully written and full of determination and promise. When They Call You a Terrorist should be mandatory reading.— Heather
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER.
New York Times Editor’s Pick.
Library Journal Best Books of 2019.
TIME Magazine's "Best Memoirs of 2018 So Far."
O, Oprah’s Magazine’s “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.”
Politics & Current Events 2018 O.W.L. Book Awards Winner
The Root Best of 2018
"This remarkable book reveals what inspired Patrisse's visionary and courageous activism and forces us to face the consequence of the choices our nation made when we criminalized a generation. This book is a must-read for all of us." - Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow
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 inequality 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.
About the Author
PATRISSE CULLORS is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, popular public speaker, and an NAACP History Maker.
asha bandele is the award-winning author of The Prisoner’s Wife and several other works. Honored for her work in journalism and activism, asha is a mother, a former senior editor at Essence and a senior director at the Drug Policy Alliance.
Entertainment Weekly’s “13 Books to Read in January,” Cassius’ “Black Books to Add to Your Reading List,” Vogue’s “The Most Anticipated Books of January 2018,” Paste’s “10 of the Best Books of January 2018,” Bitch Magazine’s “Bitch Reads: 13 Books Feminists Should Read in January,” ELLE’s “19 of the Best Books to Read This Winter.”
"Strikingly beautiful… Patrisse Cullors' story is a moral example to the nation."--Michael Eric Dyson, New York Times bestselling author of Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America
“This book is a must-read for all of us.”—Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow
"This is a story of perseverance from a woman who found her voice in a world that often tried to shut her out. When They Call You a Terrorist is more than just a reflection on the American criminal justice system. It’s a call to action for readers to change a culture that allows for violence against people of color." – TIME Magazine, named one of the Best Memoirs of 2018 So Far
“Impassioned, direct, inspiring and unsparing.” – Entertainment Weekly
“This powerful book by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors reminds us American racism is pervasive…the mission of Khan-Cullors and her fellow activists has never been more important – or more urgent.” The Guardian
"[A] fierce, intimate memoir." - O Magazine
"A thoroughly modern, frequently poetic take on the black-freedom-struggle narrative."- Ms. Mag
"With great candor about her complex personal life, Khan-Cullors has created a memoir as compelling as a page-turning novel." - Booklist Starred Review
"This searing, timely look into a contemporary movement from one of its crucial leading voices belongs in all collections." - Library Journal Starred Review
An eye-opening and eloquent coming-of-age story from one of the leaders in the new generation of social activists.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"An important account of coming of age within today's explosive racial dynamic.” - Kirkus Reviews
"When They Call You a Terrorist deals with the incarceration and disenfranchisement of black men like her father, but it also explores facets of Cullors’ personal identity — black womanhood and sexuality,
as well as spirituality."—TIME
"One of 2018’s most important nonfiction books." - The Root
"[A] meditative, meaningful work … Cullors beautifully expresses empathy, honesty and hope” —Shelf Awareness
"Responsible, awakening and powerful."– Nick Cannon
“It was when I read your book, ‘When They Call You A Terrorist’—when Trump was elected—that I realized that white supremacy is closer to the surface than I had ever realized, and I thought, ‘Man, I better understand this more.’” – Jane Fonda
“Patrisse Khan-Cullors is a leading visionary and activist, feminist, and civil rights leader who has literally changed the trajectory of politics and resistance in America.” —Eve Ensler, bestselling author
“This book tells why we all share the responsibility to move those three words from an aspiration into a new reality.” – American Book Award Winner Jeff Chang
"With grace and vulnerability, she recounts in When They Call You a Terrorist an upbringing plagued by interlocking oppressions and generational trauma, and illustrates the gut-wrenching power of her movement’s message: Black lives must be recognized as worthy in this world." - Teaching Tolerance Magazine