When They Call You a Terrorist

by

Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele

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Carla is a friend Patrisse made during her sophomore year at Cleveland High School. She was loud, energetic, and queer, and Patrisse was immediately drawn to her. They ended up developing a deep friendship that has lasted into adulthood. Carla is one of the friends who started writing to Monte the first time he was in prison and went to pick him up with Patrisse when he was released. When Carla was kicked out of her home during their junior year, Patrisse also moved out of her family’s one-bedroom apartment and, for over a year, they alternated between sleeping in Carla’s car and staying with friends. When their teacher Donna Hill invited them to live with her after graduation, they lived with her together for years. Carla was part of Monte’s re-entry team when he was released from prison the second time and also Patrisse’s go-to for support when she was pregnant and JT didn’t show up to take her to her doctor’s appointments. Carla is a member of the chosen family that Patrisse has built around her.

Carla Quotes in When They Call You a Terrorist

The When They Call You a Terrorist quotes below are all either spoken by Carla or refer to Carla. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the St. Martin's Griffin edition of When They Call You a Terrorist published in 2020.
Chapter 6 Quotes

She is the first adult who doesn’t think who we are, how we live and love, needs anything but support, some architecture. She understands our, Carla’s and mine, emerging idea of building intentional family, a concept that I suppose will later become the basis of our theory of change.

To outsiders—in many cases outsiders being our families—our relationships may have seemed complex or odd or even dangerous. But to us they made sense. To us they were oxygen and still are.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Donna Hill, Carla
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:
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Carla Character Timeline in When They Call You a Terrorist

The timeline below shows where the character Carla appears in When They Call You a Terrorist. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Magnitude and Bond
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
...Cleveland High School. In 10th grade, they befriend Cheyenne—whom Patrisse will become very close to—and Carla, who is bold, loud, and queer. Patrisse tells them about Monte and they start writing... (full context)
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
Monte is released from prison in 2003, two years after Patrisse graduates from high school. Carla drives Patrisse to pick him up from the bus station. Monte is unwell—swollen from all... (full context)
Chapter 6: Out in the World
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
Carla is kicked out of her home during their junior year, and Patrisse is sick of... (full context)
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
...One day in high school, Patrisse helps him with a photography project about masculinity, and Carla takes a photo of them together, fists raised and hands held, looking out toward their... (full context)
Chapter 7: All the Bones We Could Find
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
...prison. (He will never go back.) Patrisse has built a small family around her with Carla and Mark Anthony (who is now her partner), and they pay for Gabriel’s flight home.... (full context)
Chapter 15: Black Futures
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
...when he is supposed to drive Patrisse to her first doctor’s appointment, so she calls Carla. After learning the baby is healthy, Patrisse feels that she can do this and that... (full context)