I was curious about the book as the title intrigued me. There are a lot of misconceptions about what "Black Lives Matter" means and while I've read a few other books that deal with the genesis of the movement I thought this would be a good text to read.
As the summary says it's an "intellectual history" of how we got here. While Black Lives Matter may be a relatively new concept in terms of how it appears as a hashtag, its movement on social media, the offline work activists do and where it goes from here, author Lebron looks at the historical origins of the movement, looking at history and intellectuals that would eventually give rise to the movement.
I suppose what should give it away is that it's an "intellectual history", which is a phrase taken right from the book flap and summaries of the book. Thinkers such as James Baldwin, Frederick Douglss, Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others are discussed.
I feel a little bad because I'm not sure how to review this. I don't disagree with his framing or arguments but was this text ever boring. It's quite academic while at the same time I wish it wasn't so concise. I'm not sure how long the text could be to fully address this but I found it very difficult to get into. He addresses events out of chronological order (contrasting current events like the death of Trayvon Martin with the lives of historical thinkers) which in itself wasn't bad in my point of view but it felt jarring to move back and forth and sometimes I wasn't quite sure what point he was trying to make.
What really throws it off for me is that this is really more about the history of BLM. The founders of Black Lives Matter (Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi) are barely mentioned and I suppose part of it is that I thought thought more about the actual event of how Black Lives Matter came to be (hence the title). I understand that this might not have been the author's aim so maybe my expectations and the actuality were a mismatch.
I certainly don't discourage people from reading it but it may or may not match what you think the book is about. I guess I had thought (since I make it a point not to read too many reviews or marketing material so as not to frame a book) that this book would be more like Wesley Lowrey's 'They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement', which is a more contemporary look based on Lowery's on the ground reporting.
Borrowed from the library. It's a relatively slim book so it might be best to borrow first and see if you want it for your own collection.