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When They Call You a Terrorist (Young Adult Edition): A Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World
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When They Call You a Terrorist (Young Adult Edition): A Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Patrisse Khan-Cullors' and asha bandele's instant New York Times bestseller, When They Call You a Terrorist is now adapted for the YA audience with photos and journal entries!

A movement that started with a hashtag--#BlackLivesMatter--on Twitter spread across the nation and then across the world.

From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poet
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Wednesday Books
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Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
With every racial justice book I read, I usually state how incredibly important the book is. WHEN THEY CALL YOU A TERRORIST is no exception. Could it be the single most important book I have read in the fight to save Black lives? Quite possibly. Patrisse Khan-Cullors, one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, tells you her story and how BLM began. From being raised by her mother, a Jehovah’s Witness, to meeting her birth father for the first time, to defining her sexual identity ...more
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow. Just wow. They say some books are mirrors and some are windows. This memoir is certainly a window for me as I have little to no shared experiences with Patrisse Kahn-Cullors.

Patrisse Kahn-Cullors bears it all as she tells her life story and the ultimate creation of #BlackLivesMatter. Single parent childhood, living in poverty, a jailhouse father, witnessing arrests of siblings and friends, a brother with mental health issues, sexual identity...all this and much more is shared in great detai
Melissa Kapadia
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
such a good and important book! if you have a loved one experiencing mental illness and/or incarceration, just be aware -- this is one of the most accurate descriptions of how traumatizing and awful that experience is. the way the author describes how helpless and silenced and violated we all feel is so spot-on, and it will break your heart all over again. but i am still very thankful to have read this book. and i hope it will make people more empathetic about what we and our loved ones endure.
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was so beautiful. Patrisse Khan-Cullors is an amazing storyteller, and she lays out her life story in such an engaging, vulnerable, and emotional way. She connects the case for #BlackLivesMatter to her own life so lovingly; she focuses it on healing, community, collective action, and love while explicitly and expertly calling out the unfair and unjust police practices and legal systems in our country. I wish everyone would read this book, and I think the young adult adaptation was so well d ...more
Ms. Mester
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, nonfic
6 stars. The addition of pictures, interspersed personal notes, and discussion questions after each chapter are so additive to the YA version. Her perspective and framing of her own story, making it present tense and always talking about structural issues, is so vital. Bought a book set, hoping to work with teachers and students for lit circles and book groups with this!
Alida Hanson
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read. Read it.
Nicole Elizabeth
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING book!!! I can already think of a list of students I’d like to buy this book for.
Brenda Kahn
Riveting, provocative and informative. Finished listening on election night, hopeful but worried about our democracy.
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
For the content alone, I would give this book five stars. Khan-Cullors describes a number of incidents throughout her childhood, teen years, and adulthood that led to her activist work and co-founding Black Lives Matter. This content includes experiencing her father and brother go to prison multiple times; religion, especially her mother's religion and her own thoughts about it; being Queer; her relationships; and more. The recollection of her brother Monte's experience in prison particularly st ...more
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Incredibly powerful and moving, and makes me feel even more proud to support BLM. Patrisse had an incredibly rough upbringing that wouldn’t have been nearly as rough without the systemic racism her family encountered at every step of the way. I love how she seamlessly ties her personal story in with statistics that support the reasons she fights for equality today. When she discusses her father and brother in jail, it is not only to lift up their stories but is tied to the stories of thousands o ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Belletrist YA Pick for #WhyNotYA November.

“We, the people.
We are not terrorists.
I am not a terrorist.
I am Patrisse Marie Khan-Cullors Brignac.
I am a survivor.
I am stardust.”

When They Call You a Terrorist is a moving memoir on how discriminated the black community has always been. Eventhough in America segregration has been long gone, racism is still something that exists and happens to POC especially black people on a daily. To read Patrisse’s story as a kid to how she co-founded an empowering m
I absolutely love this book. It's incredibly moving and I cried more than once. I had the opportunity to listen to an audiobook ARC from so I highly, highly recommend the audiobook version. For perhaps the first time ever, I listened to an audiobook in one sitting. I just could not press stop. This is the audio equivalent of being unable to put a book down.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors is so very conscientious of tone in her work. She writes with compassion and grace whether she is angry, sad,
Mary Jo
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 21-01-tbr
I found this book so moving! Cullers is poignant in her observations, and provides so much insight into what it is like to be a black, queer woman in America in the 21st century. The story of her brother's mental health struggles and incarceration was maddening and I was engrossed with her storytelling ability. My only real complaint(s) are 1.) I thought this book would be MORE about the BLM movement, however I do acknowledge that it is a memoir and that starting BLM wasn't Cullers whole life, i ...more
Suzanne Artis
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Patrisse Khan Cullors, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, shares intimately about her life experiences, the personal catalysts which drove her to action, as well as her early grassroots organizing. She gives insight into the experiences of the men in her life (particularly one brother with mental illness) and their destructive experiences with the legal system.

I was especially moved by the way Khan-Cullors deftly weaves together her personal experiences and the need for sys
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a powerful memoir that gives voice to the origins of Black Lives Matter, not just the movement, but the commitment to activism of Patrisse Khan-Cullors, one of its founders. She grew up with an all-to0-familiar close in view of police harassment of people of color and the lack of support infrastructure for the mentally ill and their families. The men in her life--her brother, her father, her stepfather--come and go, their connection severed by addiction, unemployment, schizophrenia, ...more
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook of the young readers edition, and it was powerful and eye-opening and tragic and inspiring. I didn’t know much of the history of the BLM movement, and while I was aware of many of the horrific instances of police brutality she mentioned, many of them were new to me. It’s unconscionable that this movement has been politicized, unforgivable that police officers continue to commit unjustified brutal acts without being held accountable, and despicable that so many people ...more
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read the young adult version of this sometimes horrifying and for me thought and action provoking book about the founding of the Black Lives Matter movement. It gave me the sad realization that our culture has not allowed people of color in our country to live their lives in a way that helped them instead of harmed them. The BLM movement was born to help protect and elevate black lives through outreach, education, and activism. I love this quote from the book " and despite it being part of the ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! Beautifully written - Khan-Cullors is honest and open and clear about just how terribly the US (and other countries) treats its most marginalized populations - especially Black people, Queer people, and/or immigrants - AND how much is lost to all of us because of that. Amidst her stories that demonstrate just how fundamentally racist the structures of our country are to their very core, are glimpses into how things could be better. How wonderful it would be if all people were valued and ...more
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a powerful memoir. Cullors speaks on mass incarceration, poverty, police brutality, neglected mental health and other moments from her childhood that has shaped the activist that she is today. She chose not to give up in the struggle which ultimately lead to the #BlackLivesMatter formation. Many times throughout the book I experienced heartbreak and angry when reading about the constant injustices faced by her, her community and Black & brown communities all over the U.S. We must continu ...more
Kelli Cody
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My goal as a person and an educator is to continue to learn and understand the world through other perspectives. This book is a peek into how cruel, how inequitable the world is for some. The listener questions and the quotes at the end/start of each chapter help the reader relate to the ongoing foundation of hate and fear perpetuated by the system.

The journey is still not over, there is still work to do to end hate crimes, support women in poverty, end mass incarceration, or the rebirth of the
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Easy to read, in depth and thought provoking autobiography. Even if your opinion is against BLM, you should still read this book to understand what "growing up black" meant for the author. I wasn't bored reading this nor does the author get "preachy" or push any opinions, she tells her life story and the facts as they happened. ...more
Maisie Iven
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Powerful and remarkably written. This book, which has been adapted for young readers, uses memoir elements to guide young readers to think, to learned to question. A perfect read for anyone interested in activism, in the Black Lives Matter movement, in engaging with a larger world that may or may not reflect their own experiences. The next read to hand to someone who read Stamped.
Krissy Ronan
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Loved this version of this book. Khan-Cullors words are beautiful and powerful. I especially appreciated the addition of the reflective questions geared towards the reader. Would recommend for teens, though maybe not for all middle grade teens. I’d point adults to the adult version.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio and for the audio copy!
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Important read! Thank you Patrisse for sharing your experiences. This book touches on so many topics, poverty, bussing to privileged schools, extreme policing and terrorist policing in low-income neighborhoods and school, terrorist policing of african american men with mental illness, jails failing, queer and religion. I encourage everyone to read this book.
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A compelling memoir about one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. Patrisse's story explains her experiences with discrimination, mental health, and racism, and the development of her activism. ...more
Kelsey Matthews
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incredible. I like how it tackles and breaks down issues that can be harder to understand for people. I also liked that this edition has a reflection question at the end of each chapter. Recommend to anyone who wants to know more about why Black Lives Matter.
Ami Pendley
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I came away from this exceptional memoir with a deep and profound respect for the author and a fuller understanding of the history of and necessity for the Black Lives Matter movement. It is inspiring and hopeful. A must read.
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So grateful to Patrisse for being so vulnerable and sharing so much of her personal life, made public by her service in the BLM movement. This was powerful and inspirational and the biggest message I received was to reach out to your people, to your networks. They will keep you strong and secure.
Kelley Wood
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Everyone’s experience is not your experience. It’s so important to hear each other’s stories. Cullor’s shares her life story of growing up during the war on drugs and how it shaped her. I knew very little about the foundation of Black Lives Matter before reading this. Highly recommend.
Glenn DeVoogd
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a really good book to understand where the phrase,“ black lives matter.“ Patrice has endured so much with her family and it’s easy to see how our society doesn’t care for Black men especially.
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Patrisse Cullors is a artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. Cofounder of Black Lives Matter, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, popular public speaker, and an NAACP History Maker. She’s received many awards for activism and movement building, including being named by the Los Angeles Times as a Civil Rights Leader for the 21st Century and a Glamour 2016 Woma ...more

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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