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The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart
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An essential guide to building transformative movements to address the challenges of our time, from one of the country’s leading organizers and a co-creator of Black Lives Matter  “Excellent and provocative . . . a gateway to . . . urgent debates.” —Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The New YorkerNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY Time Marie Claire Kirkus ReviewsIn 2013, Alicia Garza wrote what she called “a love letter to Black people” on Facebook, in the aftermath of the acquittal of the man who murdered seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. Garza wrote:  Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.  With the speed and networking capacities of social media, #BlackLivesMatter became the hashtag heard ’round the world. But Garza knew even then that hashtags don’t start movements—people do.  Long before #BlackLivesMatter became a rallying cry for this generation, Garza had spent the better part of two decades learning and unlearning some hard lessons about organizing. The lessons she offers are different from the “rules for radicals” that animated earlier generations of activists, and diverge from the charismatic, patriarchal model of the American civil rights movement. She reflects instead on how making room amongst the woke for those who are still awakening can inspire and activate more people to fight for the world we all deserve.  This is the story of one woman’s lessons through years of bringing people together to create change. Most of all, it is a new paradigm for change for a new generation of changemakers, from the mind and heart behind one of the most important movements of our time.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/20/2020
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780525509691
ASIN:
B088QN4H8N
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APA Citation (style guide)

Alicia Garza. (2020). The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Alicia Garza. 2020. The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart. Random House Publishing Group.

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Alicia Garza, The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart. Random House Publishing Group, 2020.

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Alicia Garza. The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart. Random House Publishing Group, 2020. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Alicia Garza is an organizer, political strategist, and cheeseburger enthusiast. She is the principal at the Black Futures Lab and the Black to the Future Action Fund, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, director of strategy and partnerships at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and host of the podcast Lady Don't Take No.
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imprint
One World/Ballantine
publishDate
2020-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
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title
The Purpose of Power
fullDescription
An essential guide to building transformative movements to address the challenges of our time, from one of the country’s leading organizers and a co-creator of Black Lives Matter 
 
“Excellent and provocative . . . a gateway to . . . urgent debates.” —Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY Time Marie Claire Kirkus Reviews
In 2013, Alicia Garza wrote what she called “a love letter to Black people” on Facebook, in the aftermath of the acquittal of the man who murdered seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. Garza wrote: 
 
Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter. 
 
With the speed and networking capacities of social media, #BlackLivesMatter became the hashtag heard ’round the world. But Garza knew even then that hashtags don’t start movements—people do. 
 
Long before #BlackLivesMatter became a rallying cry for this generation, Garza had spent the better part of two decades learning and unlearning some hard lessons about organizing. The lessons she offers are different from the “rules for radicals” that animated earlier generations of activists, and diverge from the charismatic, patriarchal model of the American civil rights movement. She reflects instead on how making room amongst the woke for those who are still awakening can inspire and activate more people to fight for the world we all deserve. 
 
This is the story of one woman’s lessons through years of bringing people together to create change. Most of all, it is a new paradigm for change for a new generation of changemakers, from the mind and heart behind one of the most important movements of our time.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        September 7, 2020
        Black Lives Matter cofounder Garcia debuts with an informative and inspirational history of the movement and her own evolution as an activist. Raised by her African-American mother and Jewish stepfather, Garza was one of only 10 Black students in her Tiburon, Calif., middle school in the 1990s, where her wealthy, white peers “emulated what they believed was the stylishly nihilistic lifestyle of impoverished Black people.” She draws on her decade spent organizing in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco to share lessons on “the messy work of bringing people together,” and describes the trajectory of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter from a 2013 Facebook post decrying the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer to the group behind the 2015 Freedom Ride to Ferguson, Mo., in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s killing by a white police officer. Garza also details her recent efforts “to make Black people more powerful in politics” following the 2016 election, and critically assesses the elevation of “charismatic male figures” to positions of Black leadership. Drawing on feminist theory, political and economic history, and the principles of organizing, Garza makes a spirited and persuasive case for rethinking community activism in the era of social media. Progressive policy makers, activists, and voters will be galvanized.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from October 1, 2020

        Garza (cocreator, Black Lives Matter) explores power dynamics in community organizing, as she believes that power enables social movements to impact conditions of people's lives. In the first half of the book, she relates her own experiences organizing social movements, while providing background on the political climate of the 1980s and 1990s in order to orient readers and to emphasize the importance of organizing work. She elaborates on the circumstances that drove her to cocreate Black Lives Matter with Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi after the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin the year before. In the second half of the book, Garza interrogates social movements, using her own experiences as an example. She provides a vision of successful movements, elaborates on the challenges of organizing, and explores biases and blind spots that can befall movements. She is critical of exclusionary practices and movements which equate success with social media followers. Garza ends with an explanation of Black Futures Lab, which aims to organize the Black community for political power. VERDICT An important look into community organizing that is honest about its pitfalls and promises that will engage all interested in leading and growing social movements.--Rebekah Kati, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from October 1, 2020
        Garza, one of the three founders of Black Lives Matter, offers a moving and impassioned account of her in-the-trenches experience as a social justice warrior. From her childhood during the repressive Reagan era to her high-school years witnessing the War on Drugs and the intersectional assault on Anita Hill, Garza quickly developed a keen awareness of how the political process and traditional civil rights organizing fails Black people. Her despair and outrage over the murders of Kenneth Harding, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown provoked her rejection of respectability politics and formation of the framework for Black Lives Matter. Garza outlines the basics of movement work, emphasizing that the key to organizing is building relationships over time, and she has plenty to say about the failures of white-led efforts with inauthentic relationships with the communities they claimed to help. While most of her examples are drawn from her work with BLM, Garza's advice is broadly relevant: build true solidarity by centering others' issues, not just your own; use an intersectional analysis that doesn't sideline LGBTQ folks or those with disablities as outsiders; and build strong, decentralized leader-ful, not leaderless organizations by distributing and sharing power. A book that could not be more timely.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from October 1, 2020
        A prominent civil rights activist offers a primer for change. For much of her life, Garza, who grew up in a wealthy White community in Northern California, has been involved in grassroots organizing in groups such as San Francisco Women Against Rape, People Organized To Win Employment Rights, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and the Black Lives Matter Global Network and the Black Futures Lab, both of which she co-founded. Based on experiences with a variety of constituencies and co-workers, Garza brings a cleareyed view of what is involved in creating social change--not merely hashtags that will go viral, but viable, ongoing movements that engage people "in a consistent and deep way around issues." As she notes, "the mission and purpose of organizing is to build power" and "to transform grief and despair and rage into the love that we need to push us forward." Her work has taught her countless hard lessons: that Blacks, often disillusioned with politics, have not been a huge force in progressive communities and that "not all Black people want the best for Black people" but instead "will knowingly harm Black people for their own benefit, everyone else be damned." In some organizations she has backed away from "factional power plays," internal rivalries, and the kind of "respectable" protests advocated by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. As a queer Black woman, she is especially sensitive to the exclusion of women in leadership positions: "I am used to environments where women, usually women of color, are carrying the lion's share of the work but are only a minuscule part of the visible leadership." Creating effective leadership through focused training is part of the work of organizing, she notes, and she describes Black Lives Matter, with its many chapters, as "a leader-full organization. That means that there isn't one leader but many." A pragmatic, impassioned guide to vital current affairs.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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shortDescription
An essential guide to building transformative movements to address the challenges of our time, from one of the country’s leading organizers and a co-creator of Black Lives Matter 
 
“In a year when a long overdue reckoning with racism is once again in the spotlight, Garza’s call to action . . . is urgent and critically necessary.”—Time 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND MARIE CLAIRE
In 2013, Alicia Garza wrote what she called “a love letter to Black people” on Facebook, in the aftermath of the acquittal of the man who murdered seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. Garza wrote: 
 
Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter. 
 
With the speed and networking capacities of social media, #BlackLivesMatter...
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