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From the coeditor of the best-selling Four Hundred Souls, a galvanizing anthology for those seeking to build an inclusive democracy.

In 1968, civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer called for Americans to “wake up” if they wanted to “make democracy a reality.” Today, as Black communities continue to face challenges built on centuries of discrimination, her plea is increasingly urgent. In this exhilarating anthology of original essays, Keisha N. Blain brings together the voices of major progressive Black women politicians, grassroots activists, and intellectuals to offer critical insights on how we can create a more equitable political future.

These women draw on their diverse experiences and expertise to speak to three core themes: claiming civil and human rights, building political and economic power, and combating all forms of hate. We hear from Black Lives Matter cofounder Alicia Garza, who argues that Black communities must organize to wield increased political power; EMILYs List president Laphonza Butler, who spells out ways to fight for women’s reproductive rights; and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who delineates practical, thorough steps toward tangible reparations. Additional incisive essays include those by former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner; prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba; disability rights activist Andraéa LaVant; Boston’s first woman and first Black mayor, Kim Michelle Janey; and others at the forefront of the ongoing fight for social justice.

In addressing our most pressing issues and providing key takeaways, Wake Up America serves as a blueprint for the steps we can take right now and in the years to come.

Blain, K | Wake Up America

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