Books for changing the world

Assata Taught Me: State Violence, Racial Capitalism, and the Movement for Black Lives

Drawing its title from one of America's foremost revolutionaries, this collection of thought-provoking essays by award-winning Black Panther Party scholar Donna Murch explores how social protest is challenging our current system of state violence and mass incarceration.

“Donna Murch is one of the sharpest, most incisive, and elegant writers on racism, radicalism, and struggle today. In this collection of essays assessing the current contours of the contemporary movement against racism in the United States, Murch combines a historian’s rigor with a cultural critic’s insights and the passionate expression of someone deeply engaged with the politics, debates, and key questions confronting activists and organizers today. This is a smart and sophisticated book that should be read and studied by everyone in search of answers to the profound crises that continue to confront this country.” —Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.


Donna Murch is an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and is the president of the New Brunswick chapter of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT. She is the author of Assata Taught Me: State Violence, Racial Capitalism, and the Movement for Black Lives, and Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California.

Barbara Ransby is a widely acclaimed historian of the Black Freedom Movement, award-winning author, and longtime activist. She is the John D. MacArthur Chair and Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Black Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also directs the Social Justice Initiative, which promotes connections between academics and community organizers working on social justice. A founding member of Scholars for Social Justice, she works closely with activists in the Movement for Black Lives and The Rising Majority. She is an elected fellow in the Society of American Historians, as well as a recipient of the Angela Y. Davis Prize for public scholarship from the American Studies Association. Ransby is the author of multiple books, including the award-winning Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century and Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson.

  • Assata Taught Me

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