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When They Call You a Terrorist

A Black Lives Matter Memoir
Narrated by: Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The emotional and powerful story of one of the cofounders of Black Lives Matter and how the movement was born. When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele is the essential audiobook for every conscientious American.

From one of the cofounders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic audiobook memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors' story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful.

In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.

This program is read by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and includes a bonus conversation.

©2018 Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

"Steeped in humanity and powerful prose.... This is an eye-opening and eloquent coming-of-age story from one of the leaders in the new generation of social activists." (Publishers Weekly)

"With great candor about her complex personal life, Khan-Cullors has created a memoir as compelling as a page-turning novel." (Booklist)

"This remarkable book reveals what inspired Patrisse's visionary and courageous activism and forces us to face the consequence of the choices our nation made when we criminalized a generation. This book is a must-read for all of us." (Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow)

"Narrating her own work, Patrisse Khan-Cullors shares the salient moments of her life that led her to become a founder of Black Lives Matter...pain, frustration, and joy [emblazon] each word she utters." (AudioFile Magazine)

"When They Call You a Terrorist...help[s] readers understand what it means to be a black woman in the United States today." — New York Times Book Review  

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This book is a must-read! #Audible1

I'm so glad this book is available in audio, and I'm so glad and grateful to the author for reading it themself! It's a wonderfully courageous, honest telling with sharp, astute political analysis. But also an analysis that links the personal and the political. And it's a deeply engaging listen! I couldn't turn it off, and listened to the whole thing in one night. Khan-Cullors is a great story-teller, and the stories they select to tell are both highly personable and get their point across like an arrow to the heart! So, as said above, this book is a must-read/listen for anyone seeking a deeper engagement with the politics of race and class. Though, I would also recommend it for those new to those areas, as Khan-Cullors writes in a very clear, highly accessible, down-to-Earth way. Definitely a book to keep coming back to!

#Audible1

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Very educational

Memoirs of one of the three women who founded #BlackLivesMatter, with a focus on growing up in what was essentially a police occupied part of LA during the War on Drugs. She spent a lot of time talking about police interaction with her and her family, especially her brother who had mental health problems and was in and out of jail most of his life instead of getting treatment. The second part was more about her highschool years, and her growing activism as a community organiser and then as one of the founders of BLM, with a lot of attention to the facts, statistics and theory behind her political views.

It's a pretty solid piece of polemic in that regard, that starts out with a quote by Assata Shakur and an intro by Angela Davis, in case you're wondering what political ground on which we've landed. A lot of it felt very tied in with the history of the Black Panther Party that I read last year, and this seemed to me a guns-free continuation of the work they were trying to do.

What probably interested me a little more was the way that Khan-Cullors works at integrating her political beliefs into her family life, and the way she's struggled to understand how her family (especially the repeated incarceration and deaths of her male relatives) has been shaped by politics. She talks a lot about the difficulty of maintaining relationships when struggling with family problems and the pressure of being an activist, she talks about how to raise a kid in this world, she talks about being queer and dating men, and what marriage means. Honestly, she seems really smart, and really cool, and the kind of person you'd want to hang out with.

Would highly recommend for contemporary history. I was definitely pretty fuzzy on the details when it came to the origins of BLM, and this lays it out nicely.

#Audible1

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  • Mary J. Bunker
  • 2018-01-26

Everyone should listen!

Would you listen to When They Call You a Terrorist again? Why?

Yes, as a white person, it has given me a much better understanding and therefore more empathy of the reality in which black people live. Some of the scenes reminded me of what it might be like to live in a country with war on our soil; our fellow Americans live in constant fear. It is a piece of art, beautifully written.

What did you like best about this story?

A deeper understanding of America's history, present and future.

Have you listened to any of Patrisse Khan-Cullors’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I have not.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Cry and laugh.

Any additional comments?

Listen to this book. You will not regret it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Carrie McElwee
  • 2018-01-25

Full and Satisfied

I LOVED "When They Call You a Terrorist", this book is a definite must read. I mean I could feel my soul crying out, needing more, and at the end completely satisfied and full. Thank you for sharing what some many have also experienced.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Erica A. Hanna
  • 2018-01-20

Must Read

This is a must read book. Patrisse tells a story much like my own in the wake of childhood trauma, but seeing the differences in how we were both treated was incredibly eye-opening. This is the book you need to begin your journey as an ally seeking to help end white supremacy. Read it. Read it again. And again. Listen. And help.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-14

Powerful She-roe!

This book puts everything into perspective. It is an important education on the world today and how things are interpreted and especially how we’re made to believe what is not real. I applaud Patrisse for her courage and foresight. This should be a must read in every class (History) in America! This is not a book for only people of color but for anyone that cares to understand the system we live in and how things get done. Highly recommended.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2019-06-15

AWESOME

Loved this book! The struggle is REAL. The struggle is scary. But the fight for life is NECESSARY. This book answers those questions for ANYONE that had them and was curious enough to want to find out. Thank you. For writing, for expressing, for being.

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  • Samantha Averett
  • 2019-05-24

I've never been in a terrorist's shoes

This book was by far one of the most telling and purposeful stories I have ever read in relation to black stories. I am purposefully trying to surround myself with stories from POC and I came accross Patrisse. Her voice is not only engaging while listening to her story, but I felt as if I was able to step into her shoes for only a brief moment. I, as a white woman, will never experience the aggressions Patrisse, and many other POC do; however, I felt very compelled to get involved in this movement. I truly learned what BLM is and how important it is for so many black lives. My title says "I've never been in a terrorist's shoes". However, this book allowed me to understand what it's like to have empathy for those who experience such hatred and disregard for their life. I know that BLM is NOT a terrorist organization. But Patrisse paints a picture in this book that allows others to understand the ugliness, terror, and unjust nature that comes with being called a terrorist. Being saught out as such for most of her life. Her story includes heartbreak, courage, struggles, and much more. I highly reccomend listening to her tell her story with such stregnth. I admire the hell out of her! Thank you!

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  • Feliciano
  • 2019-04-12

When Black Lives Truly Matter ...

Only then Will the Statement that All Lives Matter become Truth.
This is a beautiful book about the making of an activist NOT a terrorist.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-03-20

Outstanding.

Great perspective from an originator. Very informative, I would challenge anyone who thinks they know what is up, to read this immediately. A blessing.

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  • Melissa
  • 2019-02-26

incredibly powerful

a must read for everyone. even if you already know black lives matter. beautifully written

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • LuAnn Knight
  • 2019-02-25

Powerful

A book that will make you examine beliefs and the way you view events and the media's coverage of those events.