cover image Wake Up America: Black Women on the Future of Democracy

Wake Up America: Black Women on the Future of Democracy

Edited by Keisha N. Blain. Norton, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-324-06560-9

Twenty-two notable progressive Black women weigh in on the question of how to build an inclusive, multiracial American democracy in these practical and inspiring essays gathered by historian Blain (Four Hundred Souls). Organized around the themes of claiming rights, building power, and combating hate, the short entries each address a single topic (reproductive rights, educational equity) from the perspective of someone who has worked to address the issue. Contributors including Black Lives Matter cofounder Alicia Garza and EMILY’s List president Laphonza Butler offer practical proposals and concrete action plans, many of which the authors are already involved in trying to implement, such as contributor Sheila Jackson Lee’s reintroduction of reparations bill H.R. 40 to Congress in 2021. The overall vision is one of equal rights via democratic participation for all, and the approaches presented lean toward such mainstream progressive platforms as improved voter access and participation, more diverse political representation, coalition building, and legislative solutions to discrimination—though some more radical ideas, including police abolition, make an appearance. Liberal readers will relish the easy access to an array of cohesive big-picture thinking. (Feb.)