Parks attempts an objective, both-sides-equally-matter approach to a social movement that has been built on the overwhelming ruins of this approach to American history.
Although the title suggests an introduction to the Black Lives Matter movement, it is instead a journalistic history of it in the context of recent police-brutality incidents. It attempts to condense a generational call to action rooted in 13 future-forward principles into a linear-progress narrative that culminates in how police departments and the U.S. government have made liminal changes in what amounts to historic legacies of deadly oppression. Quoting heavily from media coverage of the movement, the author herself takes a standoffish approach to the fact of racism in the United States, hesitating to fully step into the representative voice of the movement that gives the book its title. Concluding with the power of community-policing initiatives and the hope of new technological equipment is far from the aims of the structural transformation that the Black Lives Matter founders hope to achieve, instead reinforcing the idea that activists and government entities can work together to restore a semblance of order and symbolic illusions of safety.
This fails to live up to the vibrancy, rootedness, and vision of the Black Lives Matter movement, quelling the flames for young readers instead of inviting them on an unfinished road to freedom. (source notes, further research, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)