When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir: Patrisse Khan-Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, is in conversation with Gary Younge on Monday 12 March 2018.

Canongate cover - When They Call You A Terrorist

This blog provides links to background material for this event.

Reviews of When They Call You a Terrorist

Salon: “When They Call You a Terrorist”: Black Lives Matter memoir is rooted in radical love – Erin Keen 20 January 2018

What’s remarkable about her story is that for all of her earned anger against the systems and institutions that perpetuate racial inequality — too often to fatal ends —Khan-Cullors’ narrative is brimming with love. The book overflows with it, in both word and action, for her community, for her family, for people with disabilities and addictions and those who are incarcerated, for queer and transgender youth and adults, for the families and communities devastated by the school-to-prison pipeline and police brutality, and for struggling workers like her mother, “who worked from can’t see in the morning until can’t see at night.”

New York Times: Black Lives Matter and the Intrepid Lives That Preceded It – Jennifer Szalai 24 January 2018

As a black, queer woman, Khan-Cullors is the kind of activist conservative politicians get panicky about, though they ostensibly share with her an overlapping area of concern. While they extol the importance of family and community (in word if not always in policy), Khan-Cullors sees the cultivation of family and community as central to what she does, too.

The Guardian: When They Call You a Terrorist review: Black Lives Matter memoir convinces – Charles Kaiser 28 January 2018

On the first anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump, the first president of modern times to use the White House to blatantly fan the flames of racism, the mission of Khan-Cullors and her fellow activists has never been more important – or more urgent.

The Guardian: ‘We’ve ignited a new generation’: Patrisse Khan-Cullors on the resurgence of black activism – Jamiles Lartey  28 January 2018

… the memoir hints at many of the broader ways black lives ought to matter – not just when a police officer or vigilante kills an unarmed black teen, but in the broadest sense: to matter every day.

New Statesman: When They Call You a Terrorist: the extraordinary memoir by a Black Lives Matter founder – Musa Okwonga 24 February 2018

One of the most striking things about this book is that by the time Black Lives Matter is first discussed at length, we are already halfway through the text. The effect is that the reader then sees Khan-Cullors’s activism as a logical response to the policies, most notably the prison-industrial complex, that have hounded black communities for much of her early life.

Interviews with Patrisse Khan-Cullors

NBC: ‘When they call you a terrorist’: Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors talks memoir – Erica Ayisi 16 January 2018

I do think we’re in the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. How can we not be? But we are different because it’s a different time, a different generation. We have different technology. What is true about this generation is that we have social media as a tool to massify our movement. What’s also true is that we really and truly have seen a leadership of black women which is very different from the Civil Rights movement. It’s not that black women weren’t at the leadership; it’s that black women weren’t given leadership. This movement challenges that we need a charismatic leader.

Democracy Now: “When They Call You a Terrorist”: The Life of Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors – asha bandale, Juan González and Amy Goodman 16 January 2018

…. because of the war on gangs, because of gang injunctions, the boys, specifically, in my neighborhood, were labeled as gang members. And my brother will tell the story, which is, they never considered themselves a gang, until the police called them a gang, that that’s not how they related to themselves. They were a bunch of boys hanging out. And those—and at 9 years old, bearing witness to that type of humiliation has an impact on you.

Democracy Now: We Are Not the Terrorists: Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Speaks Out About Attacks on Movement – asha bandale, Juan González and Amy Goodman 16 January 2018

I deeply believe in black institutions. I think we need to invest in them. I think we need to create them. And we need black institutions that are willing to challenge and fight back in this—specifically this current moment, against an administration that is completely undermining and decimating the communities most marginalized.