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When They Call You a Terrorist

A Black Lives Matter Memoir

Patrisse Khan-Cullors, asha bandele; foreword by Angela Davis

St. Martin's Griffin

When They Call You a Terrorist Download image

ISBN10: 1250306906
ISBN13: 9781250306906

Trade Paperback

288 Pages



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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.


Praise for When They Call You a Terrorist

"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

“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

"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, The New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow

“This book tells why we all share the responsibility to move those three words from an aspiration into a new reality.”—Jeff Chang, American Book Award Winner

"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)


Read an Excerpt



We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be … black, but by getting the public to associate the … blacks with heroin … and then criminalizing [them] heavily, we could disrupt [their]...

About the author

Patrisse Khan-Cullors, asha bandele; foreword by Angela Davis

Patrisse Khan-Cullors is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. Cofounder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network and Founder of the Los Angeles-based grassroots organization Dignity and Power Now, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, popular public speaker, and a Sydney Peace Prize recipient. For 20 years, Patrisse has been on the frontlines of criminal justice reform and is currently leading Reform L.A. Jails, a ballot initiative that will be voted on in March 2020. Patrisse is currently the Faculty Director of Arizona’s Prescott College new Social and Environmental Arts Practice MFA program, which she developed nesting a curriculum focused on the intersection of art, social justice and community organizing that is first of its kind in the nation.

asha bandele is the award-winning author of The Prisoner’s Wife and 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.

Together, Patrisse and asha are the authors of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.

Giovanni Solis
Delphine Fawandu

asha bandele

Official Links

Read Author Interview at TeenVogue