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Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom

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Description

Author: Purnell Derecka

Color: Black

Package Dimensions: 0x229x567

Number Of Pages: 288

Release Date: 05-10-2021

Details: Product Description

“An informed, provocative, astute consideration of salvific alternatives to contemporary policing and imprisonment.” — Starred Review, Kirkus”Part memoir, part political and social commentary, the St. Louis native’s genre-bending book demonstrates her road to adopting abolitionist politics and makes the argument for why the new abolitionism — the push to end prisons and policing in the United States — ought to be the future of the country.”— Kovie Biakolo, Essence

For more than a century, activists in the United States have tried to reform the police. From community policing initiatives to increasing diversity, none of it has stopped the police from killing about three people a day. Millions of people continue to protest police violence because these “solutions” do not match the problem: the police cannot be reformed.
 
In
Becoming Abolitionists, Purnell draws from her experiences as a lawyer, writer, and organizer initially skeptical about police abolition. She saw too much sexual violence and buried too many friends to consider getting rid of police in her hometown of St. Louis, let alone the nation. But the police were a placebo. Calling them felt like
something, and something feels like everything when the other option seems like nothing.

Purnell details how multi-racial social movements rooted in rebellion, risk-taking, and revolutionary love pushed her and a generation of activists toward abolition. The book travels across geography and time, and offers lessons that activists have learned from Ferguson to South Africa, from Reconstruction to contemporary protests against police shootings.
 
Here, Purnell argues that police can not be reformed and invites readers to envision new systems that work to address the root causes of violence.
Becoming Abolitionists shows that abolition is not solely about getting rid of police, but a commitment to create and support different answers to the problem of harm in society, and, most excitingly, an opportunity to reduce and eliminate harm in the first place. 

Review

“An informed, provocative, astute consideration of salvific alternatives to contemporary policing and imprisonment.” 

— Starred Review, Kirkus

“Through deft historical research, political analysis, and gutting prose, the book uses a variety of approaches to map Purnell’s complex and fulfilling political evolution.”

The Cut
“Part memoir, part political and social commentary, the St. Louis native’s genre-bending book demonstrates her road to adopting abolitionist politics and makes the argument for why the new abolitionism — the push to end prisons and policing in the United States — ought to be the future of the country.”

— Kovie Biakolo, Essence

“Bold and utopian, yet grounded in Purnell’s experiences and copious evidence of how reform efforts have fallen short, this is an inspiring introduction to a hot-button topic.”

— Publishers Weekly”Packed with glimmering moments of poetic clarity and power. Purnell has gifted us a book that is engaging, textually rich, clear in voice, driven, even paced, astutely researched, necessary and damn good. A must read.”

— Darnell Moore, author of No Ashes in the Fire

“[For Derecka], abolition isn’t just about taking away the institutions that give people an illusion that everyone is being kept safe when they’re actually not – it’s about building new structures that remove the need for these violent and oppressive systems to begin with.”

— Tayo Bero, The Guardian

Becoming Abolitionists received a starred Kirkus review for its insight into the problematic nature of policing, including constitutional policing—that which upholds the U.S. Constitution and individual civil rights. Purnell highlights her evolution from cop-caller to abolitionist and dissects the violence in policing culture.” 

— Nia Norris, Kirkus Reviews
“While her narrative is densely fact-packed throughout, Purnell is able to deftly lead the reader through the ins and outs of the abolit

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