Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? Review

“This collection of short meditations, written from a prison cell, captures the past two decades of police violence that gave rise to Black Lives Matter while digging deeply into the history of the United States. This is the book we need right now to find our bearings in the chaos."--Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

“[Mumia’s] writings are a wake-up call. He is a voice from our prophetic tradition, speaking to us here, now, lovingly, urgently.”—Cornel West

“He allows us to reflect upon the fact that transformational possibilities often emerge where we least expect them.”—Angela Y. Davis

In December 1981, Mumia Abu Jamal was shot and beaten into unconsciousness by Philadelphia police. He awoke to find himself shackled to a hospital bed, accused of killing a cop. He was convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty International has denounced as failing to meet the minimum standards of judicial fairness.

In Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?, Mumia gives voice to the many people of color who have fallen to police bullets or racist abuse, and offers the post-Ferguson generation advice on how to address police abuse in the United States. This collection of his radio commentaries on the topic features an in-depth essay written especially for this book to examine the history of policing in America, with its origins in the white slave patrols of the antebellum South and an explicit mission to terrorize the country’s black population. Applying a personal, historical, and political lens, Mumia provides a righteously angry and calmly principled radical black perspective on how racist violence is tearing our country apart and what must be done to turn things around.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is author of many books, including Death Blossoms, Live from Death Row, All Things Censored, and Writing on the Wall.

Title:Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?

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    Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? Reviews

  • Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 4 STARS2017; City Lights Publishers/Consortium Book Sales & Distribution(Review Not on Blog)While racism has always existed, the 2016 election of Trump has definitely put more of a spotlight o...

  • Andre

    Well the title of the book is the question that is being presented to readers and after reading through this collection of short essays, ruminations and meditations all dealing with the results of pol...

  • Logan

    To say this is a review is a bit of a half-truth. I am reviewing this book, but I also want to take the time to express my own thoughts on injustices in America. I’m speaking on these issues as a wh...

  • Kusaimamekirai

    A collection of essays written from the late ’90’s to the present, Abu-Jamal catalogues and tries to give faces to the long list of Black men and women who have died at the hands of police brutal...

  • Courtney

    4.5 stars. The addendum at the end pulled the entire book together. Obviously since it is a book compiled of letters written over the years, it gets redundant towards the last third of the book. Howev...

  • Annie Windholz

    Mumia Abu-Jamal is an American journalist and former Black Panther Party member currently serving a life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison. In 1982 Abu-Jamal was sentenced to prison for the death of a...

  • Randall Wallace

    “In South Carolina, “the entire white male population was compelled to support institutional white supremacy over blacks, and faced enlistment.” Lest we think this was only a Southern thing, “...

  • Eric

    A damning portrayal of police brutality in America over the last half century. Every once in awhile something hits me over the head and I wonder why I never made that connection before, and in the fi...

  • Hillary

    Abu-Jamal's arguments all but make themselves. That's why it's frustrating when he presents those arguments in such a simplistic, one-sided way. It's not necessary, nor would I imagine it convinces a ...

  • David Lucander

    At 200 small pages (much less because of typesetting) this is a nice fast read that is great for busy people. I really preferred "When they Call You a Terrorist" as a BLM book, but Mumia is always a s...