When They Call You a Terrorist

by

Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele

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Patrisse Khan-Cullors Character Analysis

Patrisse is—along with Alicia and Opal—one the founders of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. She is a self-identified queer Black woman who grew up in Van Nuys, California, during the 1990s, the height of the war on drugs. Along with her three siblings—Paul, Monte, and Jasmine—she was raised by her working-class single mother, Cherice, who was sometimes unable to earn enough money to pay for food. At 12 years old, Patrisse was handcuffed in front of the class for smoking marijuana in the bathroom, even though her wealthy white peers smoke with no consequences. The same year, she found out that her father, Alton, is not her biological father—Gabriel was. She became very close with both Gabriel and Monte and, as she grew up, watched them go in and out of prison for nonviolent, drug-related crimes. As an adult, she was heartbroken when Gabriel passed away from a heart attack and equally heartbroken when Monte was given a harsh prison sentence for a crime he committed while experiencing a severe manic episode (he suffered from schizoaffective disorder). These experiences—along with learning about racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination in a high school program focused on social justice and the arts—led Patrisse to become a community organizer. She also made a performance art piece about the abuses that prisoners faced in the LA County Jail, which then led to her found a nonprofit, Dignity and Power Now. After Trayvon Martin was killed and his killer was acquitted in 2013, Patrisse started the Black Lives Matter movement, putting the next four years of her life into building an international effort to hold people accountable for harming or killing Black people. Patrisse cares about both community organizing and community healing—when Monte was released from prison for the second time, she recruited family and friends to form a re-entry team to help with his transition. After marrying and then divorcing her long-time friend and fellow activist Mark Anthony, she married a genderqueer activist named Future. Just before Donald Trump’s election in 2016, she gave birth to Shine.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors Quotes in When They Call You a Terrorist

The When They Call You a Terrorist quotes below are all either spoken by Patrisse Khan-Cullors or refer to Patrisse Khan-Cullors. 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 1 Quotes

Alton got a series of low-wage jobs that had no insurance, no job security and no way to take care of us, his family, which is why I think, looking back now, he left, and while he visited and was always there, it was never the same again. In the 1980s, when all this was going down, unemployment among Black people, nearly triple that of white people’s, was worse in multiple regions of the United States, including where I lived, than it was during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Alton Cullors
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

Whatever goes through their minds after being half stripped in public and having their childhoods flung to the ground and ground into the concrete, we will never speak of this incident or the ones that will follow as Van Nuys becomes ground zero in the war on drugs and the war on gangs, designations that add even more license to police already empowered to do whatever they want to us.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Monte Cullors, Paul
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

For my brothers, and especially for Monte, learning that they did not matter, that they were expendable, began in the streets, began while they were hanging out with friends, began while they were literally breathing while Black […] For us, law enforcement had nothing to do with protecting and serving, but controlling and containing the movement of children who had been labeled super-predators simply by virtue of who they were born to and where they were born, not because they were actually doing anything predatory.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Monte Cullors
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

I know about crack. Everybody uses it, it seems like. At least in my neighborhood where there are no playgrounds, no parks, no afterschool programs, no hangout spots, no movie theaters, no jobs, no treatment centers or health care for the mentally ill, like my brother Monte, who had begun smoking crack and selling my mom’s things and is already showing signs of what we would much later come to know as schizoaffective disorder.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Gabriel Brignac , Monte Cullors
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

As I grow older I will come to question 12-step programs, see their failures, all the ways they do not reduce the harms of addiction by making their harms accrue to the individual, alone. They do not account for all the external factors that exacerbate chaotic drug use, send people into hell. The person who only has alcohol or crack at their fingertips almost never does as well as the person who has those things but also a range of other supports, including the general sense that their life matters.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Gabriel Brignac
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

In 1986 when I am three years old, Ronald Reagan reenergizes the drug war that was started in 1971 by Richard Nixon by further militarizing the police in our communities, which swells the number of Black and Latinx men who are incarcerated. Between 1982 and 2000, the number of people locked up in the state of California grows by 500 percent. And it will be nearly a quarter of a century before my home state is forced, under consent decree, to reduce the number of people it's locked up, signaling, we hope, the end of what will eventually be called the civil rights crisis of our time.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Gabriel Brignac
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

The groups of kids they first called gangs were really young people who were friends, they were my friends, and they took a defensive posture against what looked and felt like an actual advancing army that came in on foot and came in police cars for which the county had appropriated ever more dollars to patrol us with. And worse than the cars, most frightening of all, were the helicopters overhead. At all hours of day and night they hovered above us, shone lights into the midnight, circling and surveilling, vultures looking for the best next prey.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker)
Related Symbols: Helicopters
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

There are drugs to take when a person is having a psychotic break. Those drugs can bring the person back into a good or total semblance of themselves. This was not what they did to my brother. They drugged Monte to incapacitate him, to incapacitate his humanity. To leave him with no dignity.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Monte Cullors
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Naomi is enrolled in another school, in another town. She is separated from her friends, loses her coach, and is exiled from the community that had loved and supported her since she was ten years old. And we who love Naomi, we who love her and are Queer, whether we are out or not, will learn in the harshest of ways that this is what it means to be young and Queer: You can do nothing wrong whatsoever, you can just be alive and yourself, and that is enough to have the whole of your life smashed to the ground and swept away.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Naomi
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

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:
Chapter 7 Quotes

He says his real addiction is to the fast-paced energy of it all. How else was a man like him ever going to have some money in his pocket, decent clothes, be viewed as someone who mattered? He was invisible before immersing himself in the life, he said. But drugs not only made him feel seen and relevant, the lifestyle itself gave him that sense.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Gabriel Brignac
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:

I try continually to talk to my father about structural realities, policies and decisions as being even more decisive in the outcomes of his life than any choice he personally made. I talk about the politics of personal responsibility, how it’s mostly a lie meant to keep us from challenging real-world legislative decisions that chart people’s paths, that undo people’s lives.

It was easy to understand that when race was a blatant factor, a friend says to me in a political discussion one afternoon. Jim Crow left no questions or confusion. But now that race isn’t written into the law, she says, look for the codes. Look for the coded language everywhere, she says. They rewrote the laws, but they didn’t rewrite white supremacy. They kept that shit intact, she says.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Gabriel Brignac
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

I have never seen him high before but I refuse to turn away. If he matters to me at all then he has to matter to me at every moment. He has to matter to me at this moment. Seeing him like this feels like my soul is being pulled over shards of glass but I do not turn away. His life is not expendable. Our love is not disposable. I will not be to him what the world has been to him. I will not throw him away.

Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

It would be easy to speculate about the impact of years of cocaine use on my father's heart, but I suspect that it will tell us less than if we could measure the cumulative effects of hatred, racism and indignity. What is the impact of years of strip searches, of being bent over, the years before that when you were a child and knew that no dream you had for yourself was taken seriously by anyone, that you were not someone who would be fully invested in by a nation that treated you as expendable?

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Gabriel Brignac
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

We learned quickly that intervention was either us alone and without medical professional support, or it was the police. The brutal memory of Monte's first break, during which we learned that there were no social services or safety nets for my brother, hung over all of our heads like a sword.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Monte Cullors
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:

I will learn later that my brother had been driving and had gotten into a fender bender with another driver, a white woman, who promptly called the police. My brother was in an episode and although he never touched the woman or did anything more than yell, although his mental illness was as clear as the fact that he was Black, he was shot with rubber bullets and tased.

And then he was charged with terrorism.

Literally.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Monte Cullors
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

I am thinking of all the people, like my brother, like my father—who have been the targets of harm, not the harm itself. And yet they are the ones whom society views as disposable […] I am filled with a sense of rage and a call to action at the idea that my brother, my Monte, is considered someone disposable to these people. But to me and my mother and to my sister and my brother, to Chase and to Cynthia, Monte was never disposable.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Monte Cullors, Chase, Cynthia
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

Is this my mother who is gripped, albeit wrongly, with guilt? Is she in this moment wondering what she did or did not do to ensure her baby, her Monte, be kept safe from the nightmare he's been cast into? Is my mother the fallout, the collateral damage in the battle to elevate personal responsibility over everything, over all those decisions that were made about state budget priorities, about wages, about the presence of police, and even about damn grocery stores and access to quality food?

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Cherice, Monte Cullors
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

Consider: In the wake of Katrina, there were two Getty images that Yahoo News ran two days after the storm hit. In the first photo, two white residents waded through the water with food. Beneath their picture, the caption read: “Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, Louisiana.” Right after it, they ran an image of a Black boy also wading through the water with food. The caption read, “A young man walks through chest-deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005.”

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Gabriel Brignac
Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

The sheer number of individuals who were kicked in the testicles, set upon and beaten by several deputies at once, individuals who were tased for no apparent reason other than the entertainment of guards, who had bones broken by guards wielding flashlights and other everyday tools that became instruments of extreme violence in America’s largest jail, is breathtaking enough. But other elements of the torture almost break me as I read the words of a civilian who testified about a wheelchair-bound prisoner whom deputies pulled off his bed, kicked and kneed in his ribs, back and neck and then shot with pepper spray in his face. I begin to hyperventilate and remember my brother on his knees drinking out of the toilet. My God.

I can’t breathe.

We can't breathe.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Monte Cullors
Page Number: 158
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
Chapter 12 Quotes

Police, the literal progeny of slave catchers, meant harm to our community, and the race or class of any one officer, nor the good heart of an officer, could change that. No isolated acts of decency could wholly change an organization that became an institution that was created not to Protect but to catch, control and kill us.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker)
Related Symbols: Helicopters
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:

Immediately, the police surround the three of us, who are not armed and who are dressed like three people who were sitting in their house and planning out their day, which is what we had been doing when we first heard the helicopters.

Ten, maybe a dozen, cops force us at gunpoint […] into the courtyard in front of our cottage while the others swarm past us and enter my home like angry hornets or a sudden airborne plague.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), JT
Related Symbols: Helicopters
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

And then I ask the people there on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to please just stop for a moment, to hold space for Trayvon Martin, to hold space for his parents left in grief and an unspeakable pain. And when I do that it seems like the police are going to pounce; they move in closer and closer and I am scared. But I ask again for a moment of remembrance for Trayvon, and as far as I can tell, every single person within reach of my voice, and all of them white as far as I can see, puts down their champagne glass and their silver fork and stops checking their phone or having their conversation and then every last one of them bows their head.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Trayvon Martin’s Killer
Related Symbols: Trayvon Martin
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

At some point, sisters begin to talk about how unseen they have felt, how the media has focused on men but it has been them, the sisters, who were there. They were there in overwhelming numbers—just as they were during the Civil Rights Movement. Women, all women, Transwomen, are roughly 80 percent of the people who are standing down the face of terror in Ferguson, saying We are the caretakers of this community.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Michael (Mike) Brown
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

Since Black Lives Matter was born in 2013 we have done some incredible work. We have built a decentralized movement that encourages and supports local leaders to name and claim the work that is needed in order to make their communities more just […] But we have more than 20 chapters across the United States, in Canada and the UK, all autonomous but all connected and coordinated. We have centered and amplified the voices of those not only made most vulnerable but most unheard, even as they are on the front lines at every hour and in every space: Black women—all Black women.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker)
Page Number: 249
Explanation and Analysis:
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Patrisse Khan-Cullors Character Timeline in When They Call You a Terrorist

The timeline below shows where the character Patrisse Khan-Cullors 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
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External Forces vs. Personal Responsibility Theme Icon
Patrisse Khan-Cullors remembers how, to offer hope after the elections of 2016, her co-author asha bandele... (full context)
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External Forces vs. Personal Responsibility Theme Icon
Patrisse feels her ancestors are the reason she is alive today, that their resilience gave her... (full context)
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Trayvon Martin’s killer, on the other hand, was not imprisoned. And when Patrisse and others started the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the wake of his acquittal,... (full context)
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Patrisse has lived a life plagued by both poverty and the police, like many others in... (full context)
Chapter 1: Community, Interrupted
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Patrisse is raised by her mother, Cherice, in a broken-down Section 8 apartment in Van Nuys,... (full context)
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...to school, whereas the parents in Van Nuys leave early for work. So, kids like Patrisse take the bus or walk, “our fresh brown faces trying to figure out a world... (full context)
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Patrisse and her siblings look out for one another. Jasmine is the baby and Paul is... (full context)
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...the police find more and more “ways to make us the enemy.” As an adult, Patrisse thinks about this particular incident of police brutality against her brothers after hearing about the... (full context)
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...but there is no place they can go where they know “that their lives matter.” Patrisse, meanwhile, is sent to Millikan, a wealthy white middle school in Sherman Oaks, where she... (full context)
Chapter 2: Twelve
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Patrisse is 12 years old the first time she is arrested. It is the summer after... (full context)
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Someone must have told on Patrisse, because two days later, a police officer handcuffs her in front of her class before... (full context)
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...is a culture shock because of race and class differences, but also because, before then, Patrisse had been seen as gifted. Her fourth-grade teacher gave a book about a Black girl... (full context)
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Patrisse can’t take the bus to Millikan, so her mother borrows a car from Cynthia, their... (full context)
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Patrisse doesn’t fit in with the white kids who smoke marijuana at Millikan or the Black... (full context)
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At Millikan, Patrisse feels unsure of herself for the first time. Her grades drop, and she feels like... (full context)
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...school, while white girls are suspended at a rate of 2 percent. This fits with Patrisse’s experience: white people at Millikan use drugs far more than her friends at her neighborhood... (full context)
Chapter 3: Bloodlines
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The incident that defines Patrisse’s middle school experience is not about school, though it does relate to poverty, policing, and... (full context)
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Between this conversation and when Patrisse meets Gabriel a month later, she and Cherice do not talk about him. In that... (full context)
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...at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant nearby and, as they eat, Alton starts crying. He asks Patrisse if he is still her father, and she says yes, of course. He explains that... (full context)
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When Gabriel comes to pick Patrisse up, she notices how similar they look. He doesn’t have a car, so they take... (full context)
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A week after Patrisse meets Gabriel, Cherice takes her to Gabriel’s graduation from his Salvation Army treatment program. Gabriel’s... (full context)
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...never access middle-class safety again.) Gabriel’s extended family’s world is nothing like Cherice’s world, and Patrisse feels out of place, especially without her siblings. She starts to feel like she is... (full context)
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Patrisse listens to Gabriel’s graduation speech, about his healing and gratitude for his family. She will... (full context)
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Gabriel becomes very present in Patrisse’s life, picking her up every Friday to see their sports-loving extended family at Vina’s house.... (full context)
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Gabriel eventually buys a car and drives Patrisse and her friends around, something Cherice can’t do because of her work schedule. He drives... (full context)
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Patrisse also joins Gabriel at weekend barbecues where he plays baseball with their extended family. When... (full context)
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As an adult, Patrisse will understand the contradiction in the U.S. being founded on addiction (alcohol, tobacco, sugar) and... (full context)
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Patrisse reflects on how prisons are valuable: poor white people in rural communities can find jobs... (full context)
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There are no rulebooks for guiding Patrisse through losing a parent to incarceration, despite the 10 million children going through it in... (full context)
Chapter 4: Magnitude and Bond
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With Gabriel in prison, Patrisse loses touch with his extended family. They only knew each other for four years, after... (full context)
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Monte goes to prison soon after Gabriel. He doesn’t pick Patrisse up from dance class from one day, which doesn’t worry her because he’s generally been... (full context)
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...not have access to schools, well-paying jobs, or the ability to own their own homes. Patrisse sees the struggles in South Africa in 1964 as similar to Los Angeles in 1992—unequal... (full context)
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Patrisse realizes these similarities between South Africa and LA only after she attends Millikan and sees... (full context)
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Patrisse and Tiffany’s father will both realize over the course of her visits there that he... (full context)
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...in Los Angeles.  This is why young people of color looked out for one another. Patrisse’s brother Paul didn’t get caught in the criminal justice system only because he wasn’t allowed... (full context)
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...to visit him at Twin Towers Detention Center, she finds him emaciated, bruised, and drugged. Patrisse only learns years later, after he is in prison, that Monte was having a schizoaffective... (full context)
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...number of mentally ill patients in prison than there are in psychiatric hospitals.) Monte writes Patrisse incoherent letters every week about crying, Jehovah, and more. (full context)
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There are no counselors for Patrisse to talk to, but she has friends. Rosa, a dark-skinned Mexican girl, is her first... (full context)
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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.... (full context)
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Patrisse and Cherice decide there is no other choice and call the police, explaining Monte’s history... (full context)
Chapter 5: Witness
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...more developed than Van Nuys. The magnet school’s humanities program is centered on social justice; Patrisse studies apartheid, communism, Audre Lorde, and more. She learns to challenge racism, sexism, classism, and... (full context)
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The Elders start to say that Satan has gotten Patrisse, which doesn’t bother her since she has lived her whole life as a partial exile... (full context)
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...disavowal, Cherice argues for her reinstatement, and the Elders say yes. She is excited, but Patrisse feels anger and disgust after all the years of being treated as dirty. Gabriel showed... (full context)
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Patrisse wants a liberatory and purposeful spiritual path—she wants to feel connected like she does when... (full context)
Chapter 6: Out in the World
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Patrisse always knew she wasn’t straight; though she acted boy-crazy as a kid, she never felt... (full context)
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Many of Patrisse’s cousins attend Cleveland because they live in the neighborhood, including Naomi. Naomi’s father, James, is... (full context)
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...of making Naomi gay by abusing her and threatens to make Naomi transfer schools. When Patrisse hears about it, she looks for Naomi and finds her crying—she doesn’t want to leave... (full context)
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...happened yet, and kids of color haven’t yet been unjustly punished in its wake. When Patrisse works for the Strategy Center (a nonprofit) as an adult, she will work to end... (full context)
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One day in 10th grade, Patrisse tells Naomi that she is bisexual. Naomi is shocked, telling Patrisse they can’t both be... (full context)
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Patrisse starts to bring Cheyenne back to her home, which is challenging because Patrisse and her... (full context)
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Patrisse and Cheyenne feel protected in the classroom where queer kids hang out at Cleveland, but... (full context)
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Carla is kicked out of her home during their junior year, and Patrisse is sick of sharing a one-bedroom apartment with four people. So, they start staying at... (full context)
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One other important person joins Patrisse’s community in high school: Mark Anthony, the man who will become her first husband. Patrisse... (full context)
Chapter 7: All the Bones We Could Find
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Gabriel comes home from prison when Patrisse is 20 years old and fully immersed in community organizing. After graduation, Donna tells her... (full context)
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The Strategy Center is one of the organizations that presents to the campers, and Patrisse is immediately drawn to them—especially Kikanza Ramsey, their lead organizer. She is a Black woman... (full context)
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At the Center’s annual gala, Patrisse and Gabriel dance the night away while Cherice stays seated, smiling. She is happy just... (full context)
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Gabriel tells Patrisse how he was less addicted to drugs and more addicted to the lifestyle; he was... (full context)
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...but was almost entirely white. What Black people had access to were underground drug markets. Patrisse believes that Gabriel started using drugs while in the army, and that he began selling... (full context)
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...wants to have a grounded life and gets a job as a cement truck driver. Patrisse has lunch with him every day and spends each weekend with him and his extended... (full context)
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Patrisse and Gabriel talk about forgiveness and healing, and about Patrisse’s dream of building a new... (full context)
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Gabriel lets Patrisse in, and he’s not well—he looks inebriated and sunken. As Patrisse cries, he tells her... (full context)
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This is the first time Patrisse has seen Gabriel high, and it hurts her, but she refuses to leave. “If he... (full context)
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Patrisse is 26 when Gabriel comes home from prison. (He will never go back.) Patrisse has... (full context)
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Then Gabriel’s father dies, and he and Patrisse travel to Eunice, Louisiana for the funeral. Eunice is a small town known for Cajun... (full context)
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They leave Eunice—saying goodbye to the “Black people who just love you and openly”—and Patrisse spends the summer watching Gabriel enjoy playing baseball with his family. By now, Patrisse is... (full context)
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Two days later, Gabriel leaves Patrisse a voicemail saying he doesn’t feel well, but she doesn’t get it immediately since she’s... (full context)
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Patrisse sits outside, unable to move, as the medical examiner determines if there was foul play.... (full context)
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...the Pentagon. By this time, they know that Gabriel died of a heart attack, which Patrisse feels is related to having his heart broken by a country that didn’t love him.... (full context)
Chapter 8: Zero Dark Thirty
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Back in 2006, soon after Gabriel is taken to the fire camp prison, Patrisse wakes up to Cherice telling her that Monte has been arrested again. Patrisse is in... (full context)
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...people with schizoaffective disorder, Monte stopped taking his medication and started to behave erratically again. Patrisse and her family tried to convince him to get help, but all of his experiences... (full context)
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Cherice tells Patrisse on the phone that Monte is in the hospital, though she doesn’t know the details.... (full context)
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Patrisse is angry to learn Monte has been charged with terrorism—a charge that can be used... (full context)
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When Patrisse visits Monte for the first time, he again asks for his meds, saying that they... (full context)
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Patrisse and Cherice go to visit Monte several times over the next three weeks but are... (full context)
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Patrisse demands to know why Monte isn’t getting treatment, but the bailiff doesn’t answer. There is... (full context)
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Cherice starts sobbing and says she feels guilty, which confuses Patrisse, since Cherice has done everything to take care of her kids. But she realizes this... (full context)
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A new hearing date is set. Patrisse and Cherice meet with the public defender and fire him after he says, with no... (full context)
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Patrisse has faith they will find a way, the very same faith that led slaves to... (full context)
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The Strategy Center taught Patrisse how to plan and win campaigns. (Just last year, she helped them win a fight... (full context)
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When Patrisse meets with Peter, his law partner tells her that he once prosecuted Patrisse’s uncle, which... (full context)
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Before Monte comes home, Patrisse and Mark Anthony organize a re-entry team for Monte made up of their chosen family.... (full context)
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...way to make up the time they lost. They have a calm night and, before Patrisse leaves, Monte asks if she can help him find a job. Little does he know... (full context)
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Several weeks later, Monte tells Patrisse he’s going to be fired. She calls the ED of the organization, who says Monte... (full context)
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Monte moves to Las Vegas but hates it and returns to LA against Patrisse’s advice, moving in with Cynthia.  Less than a year later, Cherice calls Patrisse to tell... (full context)
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...only water he had access to was a toilet), and he starts drinking out of Patrisse’s. Watching him like this steels Patrisse’s resolve to get him to the hospital. Since Monte... (full context)
Chapter 9: No Ordinary Love
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Back in high school, Mark Anthony and Patrisse first connect over Spike Lee’s film Bamboozled. The film is about a Black man whose... (full context)
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...People start to leave, but Mark Anthony stays, his head in his hands. He and Patrisse have never spoken before, but Patrisse asks if he’s okay. She holds him as he... (full context)
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After this day, Patrisse and Mark Anthony form a deep friendship not based on sex. Patrisse is still dating... (full context)
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Despite all of Patrisse’s structural analysis, she is just a teenager with a broken heart. This feeling is compounded... (full context)
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When Patrisse and Mark Anthony, meet up, Patrisse looks different—she has a shaved head and a new... (full context)
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After this, Patrisse and Mark Anthony start dating, though it is non-sexual and non-monogamous. The other people they... (full context)
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...decent hospitals in Black neighborhoods, racist media, and bogus arrests. In the face of this, Patrisse and Mark Anthony are committed to a different way of life, including being platonic and... (full context)
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Mark Anthony’s abandonment is not as painful as the first time, and Patrisse soon starts dating Starr. They are a stud and a musician, and Patrisse feels at... (full context)
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As a queer woman, Patrisse feels like a fraud—how could she be destined to be with a man? Ifa also... (full context)
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Patrisse and Mark Anthony move into a cabin in Topanga Canyon, the place where she learns... (full context)
Chapter 10: Dignity and Power. Now.
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Monte has always been Patrisse’s closest sibling and was her first best friend. It will take her over a decade... (full context)
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...reason. One wheelchair-bound prisoner was thrown to the floor, beaten, and shot with pepper spray. Patrisse remembers Monte drinking out of the toilet and feels like she can’t breathe. Another inmate... (full context)
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Reading this report helps Patrisse understand more fully what happened to Monte. His story is not included, but he is... (full context)
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Patrisse knows immediately that she wants to make an art piece about the report. She gathers... (full context)
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After the show tours for two years, Patrisse’s friend from the Strategy Center encourages her to do more to make sure this violence... (full context)
Chapter 11: Black Lives Matter
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Patrisse hears about Trayvon Martin in 2012 while going through Facebook. The story is that a... (full context)
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On July 13, 2013—the day of Trayvon’s killer’s trial—Patrisse drives 11 hours with Mark Anthony and a few of their friends to visit Richie,... (full context)
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The programming Patrisse and Mark Anthony ran at Cleveland was about elevating students’ humanity. They sat in circle... (full context)
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...erratic hours, and his rent was due—so, in desperation, he robbed someone. Afterward, he told Patrisse he had his father’s voice in his head: “Men don’t ask for help.” Though he... (full context)
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Patrisse, Mark Anthony, and Richie’s friends sit with Richie in the prison visiting room and talk... (full context)
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The story reminds Patrisse of Emmett Till’s murder in 1955. She also thinks of Monte’s son Chase, who is... (full context)
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Patrisse and Richie’s friends pick up microwavable dinners. Back at the motel, Patrisse checks Facebook and... (full context)
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Patrisse and Richie’s friends all weep together—and then Patrisse gets angry. It makes no sense that... (full context)
Chapter 12: Raid
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Patrisse and Mark Anthony lived for a time in St. Elmo’s, a community started by a... (full context)
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It is summer 2013, and police helicopters are flying above Patrisse’s cottage in St. Elmo’s. Patrisse and Mark Anthony have two cottages there and have used... (full context)
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Patrisse, her friend and fellow BLM activist JT, and his daughter hide in a corner of... (full context)
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Patrisse and her community are the progeny of these freedom fighters, while police are the progeny... (full context)
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Patrisse shares these statistics whenever she is asked to speak somewhere, noting that there aren’t stats... (full context)
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Patrisse will not be shocked when police use tear gas and tanks against people protesting the... (full context)
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Someone bangs on the door, and Patrisse answers to protect JT since he is dark-skinned and large. If Trayvon, Oscar Grant, and... (full context)
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Inside, Patrisse and JT hug and try to breathe. They hear the police talking loudly outside about... (full context)
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The first time police entered St. Elmo’s was in February 2013. Patrisse got home from a late-night comedy show and found Mark Anthony handcuffed outside and in... (full context)
Chapter 13: A Call, a Response
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Back in summer 2013, Patrisse and Alicia are talking regularly and decide to turn #BlackLivesMatter into a movement that raises... (full context)
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In LA, Patrisse prepares for what will be the largest march she’s planned. She brings together a march... (full context)
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Patrisse reaches out to all of the local progressive groups. The team discusses how to get... (full context)
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The group takes their message to the march. Bullhorn in hand, Patrisse tells the people having brunch on Rodeo Drive that it’s time for them to confront... (full context)
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The conversation between Patrisse, Alicia, and Opal continues, mostly with women, many of whom are queer and trans. They... (full context)
Chapter 14: #SayHerName
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Patrisse, Opal, Alicia, and Darnell Moore (a professor who will help build out the BLM network)... (full context)
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Patrisse, Darnell, and friends fly to St. Louis a week early and then drive to Ferguson,... (full context)
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Patrisse, Darnell, and others meet up with organizers at Harris Stowe University (the local HBCU), and... (full context)
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...Many Black trans women risk their lives to travel through the Midwest and, after, tell Patrisse and the other leaders that their presence should have been made more visible. Black trans... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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...men. This will 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... (full context)
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...tweet. Like the 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... (full context)
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...protestors attend. The pastor gives a sermon calling congregants to commit to the movement. After, Patrisse helps pass out flyers in the prosecutor’s neighborhood, asking people to tell him to indict... (full context)
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Patrisse begins to date again—first a trans man who doesn’t agree to nonmonogamy, and then JT,... (full context)
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...while pregnant or had their babies cut out of them. Sandra’s death ignites something in Patrisse, maybe because she’s an activist, or because death inside facilities is so rarely talked about,... (full context)
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Patrisse has some regrets about the action—now, she would tell the full BLM network what they’re... (full context)
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Patrisse and the other BLM members sing “Which side are you on?” and one activist gets... (full context)
Chapter 15: Black Futures
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Patrisse takes the pregnancy test because her period is late, and she feels sick. When she... (full context)
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When Patrisse told Future about her relationship with JT and the potential baby, they were respectful. They... (full context)
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Days later, JT hides when he is supposed to drive Patrisse to her first doctor’s appointment, so she calls Carla. After learning the baby is healthy,... (full context)
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Patrisse moves out of her home with JT and couch surfs for three months, spending some... (full context)
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After leaving the hospital, Patrisse and Future decide to go back to LA early. Patrisse gets through security fine, but... (full context)
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In Patrisse’s ninth month of pregnancy, she and Future get married in Malibu. (After the immigration challenges,... (full context)
Chapter 16: When They Call You a Terrorist
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On November 8, 2016, Patrisse is in LA at an election night gathering with members of the California marijuana-legalization campaign... (full context)
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The group also realizes that Donald Trump—a man Patrisse believes campaigned on white supremacy and misogyny—is going to win the election. They all feel... (full context)
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Patrisse moves from feeling helpless to angry—96 percent of Black women voted against Trump, who Patrisse... (full context)
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Hillary Clinton’s presidency wouldn’t have been perfect, but Patrisse thinks that it wouldn’t have set the progressive agenda so far behind. Instead of pushing... (full context)
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Despite her fear, Patrisse doesn’t want to leave the organizing work that needs to happen in the U.S, and... (full context)
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...response networks for violence and ICE raids, building Black political power, and, most important to Patrisse, creating a new movement culture centered on healing. Because BLM is working with a lot... (full context)
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Patrisse has neglected her own health for years and, in the wake of Trump’s election, begins... (full context)