A valuable addition to the history of African American resistance.

FREEDOM! THE STORY OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY

An account of the young activists who banded together to form the Black Panther Party and push for change.

This detailed, thoroughly researched account covers the Black Panther Party’s origins until the final office closed in the early 1980s. The party had its beginnings in the contentious relationship between the police and Black people in Oakland, California. However, founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale were also influenced by their families’ experiences with Jim Crow, the agitation of the civil rights era, and the developing Black Power movement. Nonviolence held no appeal, but the words of Malcolm X resonated, and the 1966 establishment of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense represented a new approach. As Eldridge Cleaver, Tarika Lewis, Elendar Barnes, and others joined, the party expanded its reach and mission, seeking to improve education, health, and criminal justice systems and speaking out against the Vietnam War. Law enforcement, including the FBI, viewed its members as threats and began to actively seek to undermine the party and destroy its leadership. Debut author Martin is joined by scholars Bloom and Martin Jr., who co-authored an award-winning history of the Panthers. Their insights into personalities and relationships give an intimate look, set against the background of U.S. history, at their struggles and determination to end the oppression of their people. Many photographs from the period enhance the text.

A valuable addition to the history of African American resistance. (Black Panther Party’s Ten-Point Program, authors’ note, timeline, glossary, photo credits, endnotes, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64614-093-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Levine Querido

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.

CONTINUUM

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Deaf, trans artist Man meditates on his journey and identity in this brief memoir.

Growing up in conservative central Pennsylvania was tough for the 21-year-old Deaf, genderqueer, pansexual, and biracial (Chinese/White Jewish) author. He describes his gender and sexual identity, his experiences of racism and ableism, and his desire to use his visibility as a YouTube personality, model, and actor to help other young people like him. He is open and vulnerable throughout, even choosing to reveal his birth name. Man shares his experiences of becoming deaf as a small child and at times feeling ostracized from the Deaf community but not how he arrived at his current Deaf identity. His description of his gender-identity development occasionally slips into a well-worn pink-and-blue binary. The text is accompanied and transcended by the author’s own intriguing, expressionistic line drawings. However, Man ultimately falls short of truly insightful reflection or analysis, offering a mostly surface-level account of his life that will likely not be compelling to readers who are not already fans. While his visibility and success as someone whose life represents multiple marginalized identities are valuable in themselves, this heartfelt personal chronicle would have benefited from deeper introspection.

Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author. (Memoir. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-22348-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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