In an effort to grasp the scale of the response to Michael Brown's death and understand the magnitude of the problem police violence represents, Lowery conducted hundreds of interviews with the families of victims of police brutality, as well as with local activists working to stop it. Lowery investigates the cumulative effect of decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with constant discrimination, failing schools, crumbling infrastructure and too few jobs.
Offering a historically informed look at the standoff between the police and those they are sworn to protect, They Can't Kill Us All demonstrates that civil unrest is just one tool of resistance in the broader struggle for justice. And at the end of President Obama's tenure, it grapples with a worrying and largely unexamined aspect of his legacy: the failure to deliver tangible security and opportunity to the marginalised Americans most in need of it.
-- Goodreads.com description --
I received an arc from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
2017 is the year I started reading non-fiction for the first time. They Can't Kill Us All is the third non-fiction book I read this year. As I live in Europe, I am not as educated in the Black Lives Matter movement, which is why I decided to read this book. I did see news reports on the shocking police shootings and the following protests.
They Can't Kill Us All is written by a journalist, Wesley Lowery. It partly feels like his memoir of sorts and partly as an overview on the Black Lives Matter movement and the key events which led to it's conception. Lowery spends a lot of time relating how he reported a story and such, which I did not expect to read about in advance. He would first relay his experiences and then suddenly start writing about a key figure in the events as if they had written that part themselves. This at times confused me. I would either have omitted myself entirely or used a different form of writing for the accounts of those people. I hope this still makes sense?
This book gave me vital insight in the Black Lives Matter movement and the events surrounding it, which is why I wanted to read the book in the first place. However, I feel there is at times too much background information which can make it a really dense read. For example, the names of certain lawyers and other namedropping did not hold my attention for long as it took me away from the main focus of the book, or else, I did not get the main focus after all. It did give this book more authenticity which was probably the intention of the author.
If you are new to non-fiction books, I believe there are better books you can start with to get acquainted to the genre. However, I thought this book was very instructive and I'm really glad I read it. I gave this book 4 stars and would highly recommend it if you want to know more about the brutal police shootings in the U.S.
Have you read this book or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!