A few weeks ago, I saw someone asking the following question on LinkedIn: “What is your favorite book of 2018?”.
The question seemed a bit premature since there are still several months left in the year.
But I figured I’d go ahead and participate.
So I pulled out my Kindle and looked through all the books that I’ve read in 2018.
Which is a lot of books, about 40 or 50.
But none of them jumped out at me.
I’ve read a lot of interesting books this year but not a single one that I felt was worth telling other people about.
So I decided not to participate.
Then, about a week ago, I started a new book.
And it quickly became clear that THIS was going to be my favorite book of 2018.
The book is by Patrisse Kahn-Cullors and asha bandele and is called When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matters Memoir.
The book is the life story of Patrisse Kahn-Cullors, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matters movement in the United States.
It’s a story of love, survival, forgiveness, strength, resiliency, and finding your voice.
Most importantly though it’s a raw and honest look at what it’s like to grow up poor and black in the United States.
In the authors own words:
I grew up in a neighborhood that was impoverished and in pain and bore all the modern-day outcomes of communities left without resources and yet supplied with tools of violence. But when someone in my neighborhood committed a crime, let alone murder, all of us were held accountable, my God. Metal detectors, searchlights and constant police presence, full-scale sweeps of kids just walking home from school—all justified by politicians and others who said they represent our needs.
It’s also the story of the beginnings of a critical and essential social movement in the United States that demands that we recognize the inherent value of black lives.
If you already support the Black Lives Matters movement, then this book will undoubtedly reinforce your support for the movement.
If you’re not a current supporter, then I hope that reading this book will change your mind and help you see why the Black Lives Matter movement is critically important. (and if it doesn’t, then I really have no idea what to say to you).
Here’s what a few others say about this book.
“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
“What stands out most about this memoir, however, is its heralding of love – a deep, accountable and unconditional love for the most vulnerable. PopSugar
“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] meditative, meaningful work … Cullors beautifully expresses empathy, honesty and hope” ―Shelf Awareness
I’m going to end this with two final notes.
First of all, if you’re looking for your purpose in life, then take a look at how Patrisse Kahn-Cullors found hers.
She paid attention to her pain and the pain of people that she loves and then took massive action against it.
I wrote about this way of finding your life purpose in this post here.
Secondly, while When They Call You a Terrorist is my favorite book of 2018, I honestly wish the book didn’t exist.
The existence of this book is a sad testament to the ongoing problem of racism in the United States.
I don’t know how to change that anymore than anyone else does.
All I know is that we need to keep fighting.
Day after day after day after day….