• The Purpose of Power

  • How We Come Together When We Fall Apart
  • By: Alicia Garza
  • Narrated by: Alicia Garza
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (279 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An essential guide to building transformative movements to address the challenges of our time, from one of the country’s leading organizers and a co-creator of Black Lives Matter 

“Excellent and provocative ... a gateway [to] urgent debates.” (Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker)

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Time Marie Claire Kirkus Reviews

In 2013, Alicia Garza wrote what she called “a love letter to Black people” on Facebook, in the aftermath of the acquittal of the man who murdered seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. Garza wrote: 

Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter. 

With the speed and networking capacities of social media, #BlackLivesMatter became the hashtag heard ’round the world. But Garza knew even then that hashtags don’t start movements - people do. 

Long before #BlackLivesMatter became a rallying cry for this generation, Garza had spent the better part of two decades learning and unlearning some hard lessons about organizing. The lessons she offers are different from the “rules for radicals” that animated earlier generations of activists, and diverge from the charismatic, patriarchal model of the American civil rights movement. She reflects instead on how making room amongst the woke for those who are still awakening can inspire and activate more people to fight for the world we all deserve. 

This is the story of one woman’s lessons through years of bringing people together to create change. Most of all, it is a new paradigm for change for a new generation of changemakers, from the mind and heart behind one of the most important movements of our time.

©2020 Alicia Garza (P)2020 Random House Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

The Purpose of Power is a must-read. Anyone interested in turning the page of our contemptible past toward a brighter future should put this book on their reading list." (Congresswoman Barbara Lee)

“‘Black lives matter’ was Alicia Garza’s love letter read around the world. The Purpose of Power is another love letter that should be read around the world. It speaks to all that molded Garza, all that molds organizers, all that molds movements.” (Ibram X. Kendi, author of number-one New York Times best seller How to Be an Antiracist)

“I can think of no greater guide to the difficult work of building movements than Alicia Garza and no greater tome of wisdom for this age than The Purpose of Power, a precious offering to a nation navigating unprecedented crises, for whom movements remain our only saving grace.” (Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and author of The Age of Dignity)

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Black Lives Matter is not about rioting: read this

"No one is free until all are free". Alicia has an interesting perspective. If you are someone who can look around America today and still think racial injustice isn't happening or is being overstated ...this book may not be for you and that's a damn shame. I have wept for us as country from Rodney King to now. We really need to stand up for each other as human being in the land of the free and hold ourselves accountable for and live up to the self evident truths

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Required

Tears. Tears. This book is beautiful. It should be required reading in colleges & universities. Literally going to talk to my school about it 💅

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Stories, wisdom, and power

This was everything my mind, heart, body, and spirit needed fam. There are personal stories, community stories, movements stories, and they are all shared with an authenticity + realness + commitment to lift their unique wisdom. Alicia reads/narrates/performs this audiobook with a voice and pace that makes you feel like you’ve known each other for lifetimes & you are sharing an intimate living room healing + learning + visioning session. Highest recommendation. Endlessly grateful for you Alicia.

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Great read with real stuff between the pages.

Loved it a book for our time. women are a powerful force in the seachange in the black landscape in America.

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Brilliant!

The history of turn rise of the neo liberal right wing was my favorite part, great information and context- thank you for all your brilliant work! 🙏🏽

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The right book at the right moment in history

I highly recommend this book by the brilliant and visionary Alicia Garza. She has a uniquely inspiring approach to social change based on decades of experience and study. I’m grateful to her for sharing her extremely practical wisdom with us when we need it most. A blessing.

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Organizations!

Keep mutual respect in your heart and think with openness, yes both at the same time.

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A second read...

... my first read was filter through my own identity and whatever residual-isms lurk within... and that’s how I wanted to respond throughout... there is a fine line between critique and bashing/blaming and an even greater danger of alienation when you paint w too broad a brush.... so bc of that - I need to read again and try to remove some of my masks so I can hear what the sister is saying in an effort to understand and not simply respond.

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My favorite book in sometime

Alicia Garza writes a very clear humble and honest memoir. It breaks down complex issues related to race gender class and orientation. For anyone who seeks true understanding about liberation movements today I highly recommend this book. It will be the book I give out to many this Christmas.

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So much knowledge

I now have an understanding, meaning and explanations of these many phrases, ideology and processes in our society.

2 people found this helpful