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They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore,…
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They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's… (edition 2016)

by Wesley Lowery (Author)

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231885,001 (3.77)4
A behind-the-scenes account of the #blacklivesmatter movement shares insights into the young men and women behind it, citing the racially charged controversies that have motivated members and the economic, political, and personal histories that inform its purpose. "A deeply reported book that brings alive the quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it. Conducting hundreds of interviews over the course of more than one year of reporting on the ground, Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery traveled from Ferguson, Missouri, to Cleveland, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; and Baltimore, Maryland, and then back to Ferguson to uncover life inside the most heavily policed, if otherwise neglected, corners of America today. In an effort to grasp the magnitude of the response to Michael Brown's death and understand the scale of the problem police violence represents, Lowery speaks to Brown's family and the families of other victims as well as local activists. By posing the question "What does the loss of any one life mean to the rest of the nation?" Lowery examines the cumulative effect of decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with failing schools, crumbling infrastructure, and too few jobs. Studded with moments of joy, and tragedy, They Can't Kill us All offers a historically informed look at the standoff between the police and those they are sworn to protect, showing that civil unrest is just one tool of resistance in the broader struggle for justice. As Lowery brings vividly to life, the protests against police killings are also about the black community's long history on the receiving end of perceived and actual acts of injustice and discrimination. They Can't Kill us All grapples with a persistent if largely unexamined aspect of the otherwise transformative presidency of Barack Obama: the failure to deliver tangible security and opportunity to those Americans most in need of both."--Jacket.… (more)
Member:shabay3
Title:They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement
Authors:Wesley Lowery (Author)
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2016), 256 pages
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They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This account of the revitalization of the protest movement gets four stars, mainly for its great introductions to the key players, such as Bree Newsome, DeRay McKesson, and Brittany Packnett. However, Lowery's narrative is all over the place. His content and writing quality is good, but the book lacked a cohesive through line in which to track the events. Lowery popped back and forth, often mentioning something that happened (for example, Ferguson October), only to drop it and bring it back up later as if it was never mentioned before. It felt cobbled together. Despite this, They Can't Kill Us All was moving, sad, and most of all informative. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
A good read that puts recent events in context. 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. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
I think this works more as a memoir where I was really looking for a cultural study. I think the author made some great points and had a lot of information, I just would have liked a lot more references. ( )
  SadieRuin | Sep 27, 2017 |
They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery is an audible book I got from the library. I live in a few counties away from St. Louis and the reputation of the police dept racist actions have always been known to everyone in all the surrounding counties. All the major family activities are in St. Louis such as museums, zoos, and such so everyone, white or black are careful. But if you are of color or different: wear dreadlocks, different clothes, ... you are a mark. So when the Ferguson riots happened, no one was surprised at uproar. No one was surprised that the cop was not convicted.
This book tells of this reporter's story and of others as he comes to Ferguson, is arrested after only two days while sitting in McDonalds with other journalist as they are taking notes and getting coffee, blocks away from the action. He goes on to describe what he sees, what it was like, what his fellow journalist encounter, the mood, the history, and so much more. A very good, well thought out book. He worked at the Washington Post at the time. He was young, black and a target just for being in Ferguson. ( )
  MontzaleeW | Aug 6, 2017 |
Some of the names we need to remember: Oscar Grant (2009), Trayvon Martin (2012), Jordan Davis (2012), Eric Garner (2014), John Crawford (2014), Michael Brown (2014), Tamir Rice (2014), Walter Scott (2015), Freddie Gray (2015), Sandra Bland (2015), Sam DuBose (2015). In his book, Wesley Lowery, the excellent investigative journalist for the Washington Post, gives us the necessary detail behind these names and tragedies, and reminds us of the need for ongoing vigilance and activism. He gives us an important behind-the-scenes history of the Black Lives Matter ideology and movement (Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi) and activists that followed (DeRay Mckesson, Netta Elzie, Brittney Packnett, Justin Hansford), as well as an informed depiction of the role that the new social media played in creating/curating content for a counter narrative to the traditional media. (Brian)
  ShawIslandLibrary | Jul 31, 2017 |
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A behind-the-scenes account of the #blacklivesmatter movement shares insights into the young men and women behind it, citing the racially charged controversies that have motivated members and the economic, political, and personal histories that inform its purpose. "A deeply reported book that brings alive the quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it. Conducting hundreds of interviews over the course of more than one year of reporting on the ground, Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery traveled from Ferguson, Missouri, to Cleveland, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; and Baltimore, Maryland, and then back to Ferguson to uncover life inside the most heavily policed, if otherwise neglected, corners of America today. In an effort to grasp the magnitude of the response to Michael Brown's death and understand the scale of the problem police violence represents, Lowery speaks to Brown's family and the families of other victims as well as local activists. By posing the question "What does the loss of any one life mean to the rest of the nation?" Lowery examines the cumulative effect of decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with failing schools, crumbling infrastructure, and too few jobs. Studded with moments of joy, and tragedy, They Can't Kill us All offers a historically informed look at the standoff between the police and those they are sworn to protect, showing that civil unrest is just one tool of resistance in the broader struggle for justice. As Lowery brings vividly to life, the protests against police killings are also about the black community's long history on the receiving end of perceived and actual acts of injustice and discrimination. They Can't Kill us All grapples with a persistent if largely unexamined aspect of the otherwise transformative presidency of Barack Obama: the failure to deliver tangible security and opportunity to those Americans most in need of both."--Jacket.

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