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review 2017-05-06 05:21
They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery
They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement - Wesley Lowery

I will be honest with you. This book is very difficult to read. Especially if you have been paying attention to the Black Lives Matter movement. If you've seen even some of the videos that are referenced in this book, then all those memories of seeing dead bodies on the ground will come flooding back to you in mere seconds. You will be thrown right back to when you saw the videos on your phone or on your computers. You will remember the gruesome acts that were placed upon these people. Because this book is about now. Right now. What's happening in America and the police brutality that's happening mostly to people of color.

 

This book is not easy and it's not meant to be. It's meant to throw you into the pain and suffering that people are facing everyday of their lives because of the color of their skin. It's meant to tear you up whilst also providing facts about the movement and what the family of the victims have gone through, in some cases, are still going through. And it's important. It's important to keep your eyes and ears open. To learn about the world around you, and to realize that not everyone has it easy. Not everyone can just go out and have fun without people racially profiled. And, although this book is written in cold harsh truths, I appreciated every word written down.

 

I am glad for people like Wesley Lowery who are willing to go the extra mile to give us the truth as to what is happening in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston. I'm glad he's constantly working with very little rest to bring some form of justice to these slain Black lives. And I am glad that no matter what he will continue to do so. He writes with an elegance and poise. He doesn't sugarcoat the cruelty that has taken place in these cities and he doesn't just paint one side of the picture. He writes about those who lost their lives and he writes about the police. What both parties are going through during these times of strife. I am glad I read this book because, even though I keep myself politically aware of what's going on in my country and even though I have seen many of these videos and I am aware of the racial injustices in America, I feel I have gained a deeper understanding of what is going on with this country and police brutality.

 

If you want to understand more about the Black Lives Matter movement, if you want to know more about how the police is handling these crimes and their take on it, if you just want to know more about the people involved in these shootings/crimes, if you want to know more about the people who are trying to make a positive difference in this world, then please read this book. You will learn so much from it. Besides, it's important to know these issues so that way we can start making positive changes in better understanding one another. We need to try to help each other now more than ever.

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review 2016-11-24 01:08
A good read that puts recent events in context.
They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement - Wesley Lowery

Wesley Lowery may not be a household name to you but he is the reporter at the Washington Post that unexpectedly became the story during the Ferguson protests, along with Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly. There had been accusations that the national media didn't care until "their own" had been caught up (plus fellow reporters and media people reported this as well) in the net. This arrest along with the other events of Ferguson would take Lowery through a journey looking at the recent deaths of black people due to police brutality, gun violence, etc.

 

The book looks at the events in five different areas: Ferguson, Cleveland, North Charleston, Baltimore, and Charleston. The author looks at the on the ground movements, the activists involved, the police officers and officials, some of his fellow reporters and other media colleagues, etc. If you followed the events (particularly on say Twitter) a lot of this is probably very familiar to you. But it helps with the benefit of time and hindsight and Lowery putting all of it together in one text.

 

That's the book. Much of the material was familiar to me as I had read up on the events as they happened on social media, but it was good to have this within a larger contextual frame.

 

That said, the book is not without its flaws. I couldn't help but wonder if Lowery inserted himself too much into the narrative (admittedly he was brought into this not of his own will and quite suddenly via the arrest and as a black man this is something that would understandably concern him). Your mileage may vary on this. The transparency was helpful to know that he did know some people on the ground or had connections via the media, etc. I also am never a fan of books written by journalists and this isn't much of an exception. I'm not sure if it's because I already had some familiarity with the material, but as usual I wasn't a fan of the writing style.

 

I forgot at what point I began following the author on Twitter but I miss his presence and liked his reporting (both in print and via social media). He talks a bit about this in the book and quite frankly it's completely understandable why he'd step back a bit (aside from the work this book probably took). Still, for me this is one of those situations where someone doesn't quite cross mediums for me. I continue to follow him on Twitter though and would recommend you do the same even if he isn't as active anymore.

 

In the end, the people who *really* should read this book won't. They really should set aside their ridiculous objection(s)to Lowery or don't want to read about black deaths or the origins of the Black Lives Matter movement. It's not a thick book and arguably one could just read the section(s) that pertain to/interest them the most. Really, even if you think he's a reverse racist or he somehow faked his own arrest (I believe that was an accusation at some point), it's worth reading this book and seeing if maybe your original perceptions were wrong. You can always borrow it from the library and I'd recommend that's how you find it.

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