When They Call You a Terrorist

by

Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on When They Call You a Terrorist can help.
In addition to Patrisse and Alicia, Opal is one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. She runs the Black Alliance for Just Immigration in New York and is also skilled with communications work. After Alicia included Opal in the initial BLM-related conversations she had with Patrisse in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, Opal built the digital portion of their campaign, including their website and social media accounts. Patrisse met Opal in person for the first time over a year later, when they both arrived in Ferguson to protest the police killing of Michael Brown. Like Patrisse, Opal has been called a “terrorist” for her organizing work.

Opal Tometi Quotes in When They Call You a Terrorist

The When They Call You a Terrorist quotes below are all either spoken by Opal Tometi or refer to Opal Tometi. 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 11 Quotes

And then my friend Alicia writes a Facebook post. Alicia, who I’d known for seven years at this point, who I’d met at a political gathering in Rhode Island where at the end of the day our goal was to dance until we couldn’t dance anymore […] she writes these words in the wake of the acquittal:

btw stop saying that we are not surprised. that’s a damn shame in itself. I continue to be surprised at how little Black lives matter. And I will continue that. stop giving up on black life. black people, I will NEVER give up on us. NEVER.

And then I respond. I wrote back with a hashtag:

#BlackLivesMatter

Related Symbols: Trayvon Martin
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire When They Call You a Terrorist LitChart as a printable PDF.
When They Call You a Terrorist PDF

Opal Tometi Character Timeline in When They Call You a Terrorist

The timeline below shows where the character Opal Tometi appears in When They Call You a Terrorist. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Introduction: We Are Stardust
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
...any moment, and it’s not right that she and her BLM co-founders Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi are the ones called terrorists. (full context)
Chapter 11: Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
...comment that simply says “#BlackLivesMatter.” They start to strategize on a campaign together, looping in Opal Tometi, a Black immigration organizer in New York. They create a website and social media... (full context)
Chapter 13: A Call, a Response
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
The conversation between Patrisse, Alicia, and Opal continues, mostly with women, many of whom are queer and trans. They have 11 guiding... (full context)
Chapter 14: #SayHerName
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Patrisse, Opal, Alicia, and Darnell Moore (a professor who will help build out the BLM network) decide... (full context)
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
Everyone arrives at the church on Friday night, and Patrisse meets Opal for the first time—they are happy but also somber because they know there’s work to... (full context)
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
...continue to be true as news outlets cover the growing BLM movement; Patrisse, Alicia, and Opal will not be invited to speak on news programs at first. Patrisse notes, “it is... (full context)
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
...many women who organized, marched, and cooked for the civil rights movement, Patrisse, Alicia, and Opal are being erased. They don’t want to be the center of the movement but they... (full context)
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
In December, Alicia and Opal come to LA to discuss building out the BLM network. The movement is growing: people... (full context)
Chapter 16: When They Call You a Terrorist
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
...next year, three Ferguson organizers are found shot dead in their cars. Patrisse, Alicia, and Opal are also sued for instigating riots and, under Trump, they aren’t sure what will happen. (full context)