Your Black Friend and Other Strangers

Ben Passmore. Silver Sprocket, $19.95 (120p) ISBN 978-1-945509-20-9
This contentious volume collects Passmore’s short comic pieces into a powerhouse argument for antiracist action. Passmore attacks not only the overt racism that surfaced during the 2016 presidential election but also the subtler forms of prejudice experienced daily by people of color. Passmore doesn’t disguise his belief that “we all need to be anarchists,” particularly in the multi–award-winning title story. Other graphic essays detail his experience being jailed following a protest, well-meaning political misfires in New Orleans during the controversy surrounding the removal of statues of Confederate soldiers, and the destructive effect of the 2016 election on family relationships, with some dystopian sci-fi and early zine work tucked in for indie fans. He cuts down obvious targets, but also takes to task “establishment lefty groups” for favoring drama over risk, the ACLU for defending hate speech, and Black Lives Matter for choosing respectability over revolution. Passmore’s intimate and funny style buoys his radical argument, that everyone should work to destroy systemic oppression, in this bracing and eye-opening narrative manifesto. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2018
Release date: 02/01/2018
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