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

Rating: 4star

Originally posted on Goodreads:

When They Call You a Terrorist takes readers into the mind of someone who was really “in it” in terms of what is considered modern oppression in America. Patrisse Khan-Cullors grew up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in L.A. during the advent of the War on Drugs. She’s witnessed firsthand the government-led and police-enforced oppression that shapes the lives of so many Black Americans today. This book serves as a testament to the brutal reality that the Black Lives Matter movement has been fighting against.

Alongside describing her personal experiences, Khan-Cullors is also an intellectual with a great sense of how social systems work, so her book contains important information about American society as well. The last half of When They Call You a Terrorist is filled with useful terms and descriptions of concepts like the prison-industrial complex, mental health, and police accountability. It also, of course, explains how the Black Lives Matter movement was founded.

Although there are segments of the book that bounce around in chronology (causing minor confusion in some areas), When They Call You a Terrorist is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important.