Student holding the current book - When They Call You a Terrorist

Current Book

"When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir" was written by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele. Khan-Cullors is the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement. Her bestselling memoir tells the story of her life and development as an artist and activist. It's a moving account of survival and a powerful call to action to confront racism and social injustice.

The book's title acknowledges that the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists and a threat to America. This poetic memoir instead shows them to be motivated by love, as it describes the experiences that led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful.


"This book is a must-read for all of us."

-Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of "The New Jim Crow"

"This powerful book by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors reminds us American racism is pervasive; the mission of Khan-Cullors and her fellow activists has never been more important - or more urgent."

-The Guardian

"This is a story of perseverance from a woman who found her voice in a world that often tried to shut her out..It's a call to action for readers to change a culture that allows for violence against people of color."

-Time Magazine


  • Mental health
  • Poverty
  • Race
  • Criminal justice system inequities
  • Activism
  • Social economic status
  • Addiction
  • Food insecurity
  • Gender identity issues
  • Religion/spirituality
  • Oppression
  • Intersectionality
  • Educational access and barriers
  • Relationships and blended families
  • Transgender and women's issues
  • Immigration issues

Get the Book

The book is available in print, e-book and audiobook editions. You have several options for purchasing or borrowing a copy.

The book costs approximately $11 to $22, depending on the edition you buy and where you purchase it. You can buy a copy from:

Options for borrowing the book include:

Give the Book

After you read the book, consider donating it to an incoming student. Feel free to include a welcoming note.

Here's how to donate your copy:

  • Bring it to First- and Second-Year Experience in Altgeld Hall Room 100.
  • Send it to First- and Second-Year Experience through campus mail.

Contact Us

Common Reading Experience

Orientation and First Year Programs
Altgeld Hall 100

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