Review: From #BlackLivesMatter To Black Liberation

From #BlackLivesMatter To Black Liberation From #BlackLivesMatter To Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Taylor lays down a nuanced, powerful, and important critique to understanding African-American political and civil movements of the last hundred years. One of her first goals is to contextualize and explain the rise of the Black establishment, Black leaders from post-Civil-War to the present who have bought into the white power structure and while at times, advocate for equity and equality, are just as likely to throw people of color under the bus. Included in this critique is Barack Obama for his often tepid and delay responses to the tragic killings of too many Black lives to list and his disdain for rioters while proclaiming to follow the process (that has repeatedly failed people of color). She uses the construct of the Black establishment to then discuss the rise of a new black radicalism that is consciously intersectional and critique of being absorbed into the Black establishment. Namely, she explores the different strategies, attitudes, and philosophical differences in approach by those involved in the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Overall, I really liked Taylor's means of unpacking what is a very layered and complex dynamic. She's teasing out different threads within something that white culture as a whole (and I as a white male have been equally guilty of doing) has largely viewed as monolithic. The one concern I have with this--and it is certainly not Taylor's to account for--is how such a critique can be used to further undermine the struggle. Taylor's critique does not mess words and in the context of what she's speaking about, they make entire sense. It just worries me how such can then be used by those outside to create or perpetuate increasing division. Regardless, the book is a must-read for anyone trying to further understand the struggles of politically active people of color as they deal with internal and external challenges.

View all my reviews

Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around and check out some of my other posts!. You might also want to keep up to date with my blog by signing up for them via email.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.