Canongate signs memoir of Black Lives Matter co-founder

Canongate signs memoir of Black Lives Matter co-founder

Canongate is to publish a "poetic and powerful" memoir by the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, written alongside author and journalist asha bandele.

Hannah Knowles, Canongate senior commissioning editor, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, from Kerry Nordling, rights director at St Martin’s Press.

Hardback publication is scheduled for January 2018 with the foreword to be written by political activist and author Angela Davis.

When They Call You a Terrorist is the "emotional and powerful memoir" of one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement and how it came about. Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, three women – Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Khan-Cullors – came together to form an active response to the systemic racism causing the deaths of so many African-Americans. "They simply said: Black Lives Matter, and for that, they were labelled terrorists", said the publisher. "Like the era-defining movement Cullors helped create, this rallying cry demands you do not look away."

Knowles said: "When They Call You a Terrorist is an astonishing piece of writing. Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele have used Cullors’ story to highlight the ongoing systemic racism perpetuated by the institutions supposed to keep all citizens safe, but which in truth routinely destroy the lives of Black people in the United States, and the world over. This is a poetic, powerful cri de coeur, which it is truly an honour to be publishing on the Canongate list."

Khan-Cullors is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar,and popular public speaker. asha bandele, author of memoir, The Prisoner’s Wife (S&S), has been honoured for her work in journalism, fiction, poetry, and activism. Former senior editor at Essence magazine, bandele serves as a senior director at the Drug Policy Alliance.

bandele said: "I am deeply honored to be part of telling the story of how one the most important organizers for human rights was born and created herself despite a society that would have disappeared her.  Patrisse is a role model and standard bearer for her generation and generations to come."