One of the co-creators of the Black Lives Matter movement offers a look back at her path to social activism, the work she has done seeking justice for people of color, and a guide for building impactful movements that make positive change.
Alicia Garza offers a smart, thoughtful, introspective and unflinchingly self-reflective narrative of how she became a movement organizer and what she has learned along the way ... Garza is quite critical and ambivalent—and insightful—about social media’s use for social change ... Garza is a gifted storyteller. What makes this book sing, however, is not the stories she tells but her admirable clarity of purpose. She employs short aphorisms as thematic frames to great effect ... The third part of the book is in many respects the most intellectually stimulating. I found Garza less compelling when she expounds on theoretical concepts unmoored from her experiences; she is at her best when she uses those experiences to articulate her political philosophy and excavate the challenges and limitations of movement organizing ... an admirable, endearing and genuinely illuminating book. It reflects the lessons that a brilliant Black woman distilled over 20 years in her quest to make the world around her a better place. Garza projects idealism, pragmatism and realism.
Alicia Garza has filled its pages with equal measures of wisdom, comfort and irrefutable facts that intertwine to create a book that belongs in the hands of anyone that feels like a tiny cog in the colossal machine that is racial injustice and white supremacy ... The best thing about her story? There’s nothing particularly remarkable about Garza’s upbringing, no devastating tragedy, no awe inspiring story of overcoming, no hand outs or leg ups from well connected family members. Like many of us her beginnings are humble and her expectations are managed. Her manifesto is simple ... I haven’t scribbled this many notes in the margins of a book since university ... it is just so refreshing to see a black woman owning her power in the political sphere without having to tone it down, reign it in and package it up in a neat, unassuming bow. She doesn’t hold back, and there’s no reason she should.
She provides a vision of successful movements, elaborates on the challenges of organizing, and explores biases and blind spots that can befall movements ... An important look into community organizing that is honest about its pitfalls and promises that will engage all interested in leading and growing social movements.