A manifesto from one of America's most influential activists which disrupts political, economic, and social norms by reimagining the Black Radical Tradition.
Drawing on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, Unapologetic challenges all of us engaged in the social justice struggle to make the movement for Black liberation more radical, more queer, and more feminist. This book provides a vision for how social justice movements can become sharper and more effective through principled struggle, healing justice, and leadership development. It also offers a flexible model of what deeply effective organizing can be, anchored in the Chicago model of activism, which features long-term commitment, cultural sensitivity, creative strategizing, and multiple cross-group alliances. And Unapologetic provides a clear framework for activists committed to building transformative power, encouraging young people to see themselves as visionaries and leaders.
This electrifying debut by Carruthers, founding director of Black Youth Project 100, is part testimony and part activist's toolbox with snippets of Carruthers's personal history sprinkled throughout. Carruthers makes an urgent case for organizing movements and reexamining history through a black queer feminist lens to better equip activists in a "principled struggle" to end racism, ableism, homophobia, patriarchy, and ingrained prejudice. She outlines strategies on how to prioritize issues, build strong leaders, and adopt healing justice to bring about radical change. She devotes an entire chapter to the Chicago model of activism, which dates to the antieviction protests of the 1930s when "communist-inspired organizing... is said to have mobilize five thousand people in less than 30 minutes to stop an eviction." Carruthers, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago and remains active in the community, points to the more recent success of the "Reparations now!" campaign, which, in 2016 after decades of work, won $5.5 million in reparations for victims of racist police violence in Chicago. Incantatory without being incendiary, strong but not strident, Carruthers argues for "a world in which everyone is able to live with dignity and in right relationship with the land we inhabit." This handbook for the revolution is a rousing call for collective liberation.