An ‘Electric’ Look at America’s Racial Justice Movement

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In his new book, “They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement,” Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery describes traveling from shooting to shooting during 2014 and 2015. He’d see the same reporters in each city, and about this cohort he says: “We’d become a morbid fraternal order,” says the New York Times in a review. The newspaper calls Lowery’s book “electric, because it is so well reported, so plainly told and so evidently the work of a man who has not grown a callus on his heart.” Lowery was arrested in Ferguson in 2014 when he didn’t quickly leave a McDonald’s after being ordered by police to clear out.

Lowery has a lot to say about social media and the way it has been put to use by the activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. Sites like Facebook and Twitter, he writes, together function as “a hybrid newsfeed, broadcasting platform and ongoing group therapy space.” The movement’s opponents, he finds, use it in much the same way. “The headlines of the Obama years often seemed a yearbook of black death,” he writes, “raising a morbid and depressing quandary for black men and women: Why had the promise and potential of such a transformative presidency not yet reached down to the lives of those who elected him?” Lowery is open about his reporting process; he tells us about his mistakes, and he issues mea culpas, says reviewer Dwight Garner. Lowery introduces readers to a new generation of black activists and reporters.

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