Kirby's Reviews > Life Out of Context

Life Out of Context by Walter Mosley
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's review
Sep 26, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: nina (immediately), activists, inactivists
Read in September, 2007

My only familiarity with Walter Mosley was the screen adaptation of Devil in a Blue Dress (which is when I officially began to love Don Cheadle, who incidentally deserves better roles than sideshow explosives expert with a British accent in a large ensemble cast). Apparently, Mosley has been writing nonfiction for a while and I just haven't been paying attention.

This very, very short book is a vehicle for his frustration with the state of the world (the Iraq war, the nonexistence of universal health care, the effects of globalization) and results in Mosley advocating for the creation of an African-American political party. (The full title of the book is: Life Out of Context Which Includes a Proposal for the Non-violent Takeover of the House of Representatives.) He, like a lot of concerned folks, seeks the next unified rallying point for oppressed peoples. And his answer is easy to express, but hard to do, as he acknowledges: to speak truth even when not convenient, to show up even when not invited, and to start creating a new context (narrative, if you will) that will survive cycles of half-truths and outright lies.

Mosley doesn't put forth any new ideas, but I was glad to read something that seemed to capture the tenor and extent of my frustration on the larger issue -- how to create a sustained movement for change that empowers people, not just leaders in the public eye, and that lives beyond dramatic moments.
See, e.g.,

It's a hard question. Thoughts?

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