On the Other Side of Freedom by DeRay Mckesson

On the Other Side of Freedom

"On the Other Side of Freedom reveals the mind and motivations of a young man who has risen to the fore of millennial activism through study, discipline, and conviction. His belief in a world that can be made better, one act at a time, powers his narratives and opens up a view on the costs, consequences, and rewards of leading a movement."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr.From the internationally recognized civil rights activist/organizer and host of the p...

Details On the Other Side of Freedom

TitleOn the Other Side of Freedom
Release DateSep 4th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Social Movements, Social Justice, Autobiography, Memoir, Politics, Race

Reviews On the Other Side of Freedom

  • chantel nouseforaname
    You have to appreciate what DeRay has contributed to the culture. An idea that he discusses is that sometimes, a lot of the time, people just need someone to point their "founder" label at to make sense of shit that happens in the world. They need to label someone "founder of a movement" to either point their hate at or point their love at and he's been, a lot of the time, the focal point of that sort of attention; whether or not he wanted it. Th...
  • Susan
    This book is part memoir and part discussion of racial issues that affect the US. DeRay McKesson relates life experiences while also making you think how society is set up. This book is a must read.I was provided a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Joshunda Sanders
    How can you not know about Deray and his everpresent blue vest? This beautiful memoir has some lovely additional details about it, of course, but what is most resonant is additional information about his connection to his family, how he came to be engaged in Ferguson and the larger Movement for Black Lives and his uniquely graceful, eloquent description of moving from being quiet about his sexuality to speaking up, along with the heart-tugging be...
  • Nadine
    On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope is a meditation on resistance, justice, freedom, and a call to arms because standing idly by doesn’t cut it anymore. Making your voice heard among the voices that wish to silence you is as important as ever because everything that’s been fought for and won is now under attack. McKesson started a podcast awhile back with a monologue that resonated with me about protecting the win. It’s no longe...
  • Caroline
    Once in awhile I want to give a book six stars, this is one of them. DeRay Mckesson writes beautifully and intelligently about his life, about St Louis, about the structure of America's police forces, and about politics. I am sad that this young man did not get elected mayor of our city! I remember reading or hearing somewhere in the run-up to the primary that he was the candidate with the most clearly articulated and thought out platform, and th...
  • Gina
    This is a really beautiful and personal book. I especially appreciated the inclusion and naming of people who could easily be forgotten, generally for some reason that makes them easy to marginalize: gay, a woman, a pregnant teenager. Those constraints put on acceptance constrain the fight for freedom.One of those was Marcus Anthony Hunter, who first used #blacklivesmatter in the context of "black migration and movement is the defining characteri...
  • Kent Winward
    Nothing bad here, but not a lot that stands out. Nothing quite like Ta nehisi Coates or Cornell West.
  • Emmanuel
    So much power in these pages, but can I also say that this is the single greatest opening line of an essay?: "It wasn't that I didn't believe in god, but that I believed in Storm from the X-Men more."
  • Susie Dumond
    DeRay Mckesson is a powerful advocate who has become one of the most visible leaders of the #blacklivesmatter movement. This book is part essay collection and part memoir, and delves into his beginnings as a protester, experiences in activism, and advice for fighting against white supremacy and police violence. Mckesson does a great job of making the personal political and using his own memories as a mirror for society. I feel like it took a whil...
  • Margaret
    A memoir and call for action, in On the Other Side of Freedom Mckesson tells his story of the Ferguson protests, his research into police brutality, his life as a gay black man, and his decision to join politics. I love the content of this book. I would think it would be hard for anyone to refute his evidence about the need for new police guidelines and a rethinking of how we handle crime and deviance in the US, but what I've learned about most o...
  • Ellen
    DeRay's Pod Save the People is appointment-listening for me. I always always get amazing information and news and inspiration from the news team on this weekly podcast. This book really is a longer version of the inspiration pieces that DeRay always starts the pod with. This is in no way a history of the Black Lives Matter movement or even the Ferguson protests. It begins there, but does not dwell on the specific events. Instead, it's more a rumi...
  • Christina
    DeRay!!! I love him and was so excited to finally read this. It's short, but gives you a good look at what he stands for and how to fight against injustice as well as some personal stories so you understand his background. He's inspiring!
  • Jess
    🤯 Read it now 🤯
  • Bonni
    A breathtaking book. DeRay is able to "zoom in" to stories from his own life and masterfully "zoom out" to present compelling data regarding mass incarceration, gun violence, racial inequality, and more. The last chapter (Letter to an Activist) is worth the price of admission alone. He stresses the importance of African Americans needing to insist that others be able to hold their anger and not expect them to "perform" as if they are happy. He al...
  • Hayley
    I found this to be an inspiring read, though one that I didn't walk away from with a lot of concrete quotes. A good, solid read. I look forward to what else Mckesson has to say.
  • Max Wright
    DeRay Mckesson's highly anticipated memoir takes readers behind the curtain into how he came to hold his beliefs, how he became involved in the Fergusson protests back in 2014, and his reflections on identity. The book's structure (really a collection of essays, not a personal narrative) gives the impression that Mckesson is not fully ready to open himself to the world and be vulnerable. Perhaps Mckesson doesn't want to claim ownership of the Fer...
  • Brad McKenna
    This book has more stats (https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/) and theory than intimate stories (though there are some of those) than book by other modern activists I’ve read like Patrisse Khan and Darnell Moore. But like Baldwin and Coates, Mr. Mckesson includes a letter to young relatives. He just puts it at the end. I found it a slower read than some POC books. Still, there’s no scarcity of quotes. For instance:Too often lies outlive the tr...
  • Mary
    Definitely worth going back to as I think about how I can contribute to movements for social justice. Mckesson thoughtfully examines how liberation movements can be effective in the age of social media, and lays out a vision for moving society forward. It’s an expansive, embracing view that seeks justice, not revenge, and which recognizes that we can play a variety of roles according to our experiences and passions. Highly recommended for its s...
  • Jordan Smith
    It was a good book, I really enjoyed hearing DeRay McKesson’s story and his experiences. I think he has so much to off and strives so hard to better our society. The world is better because of DeRay. I gave 4 Stars because I felt like it got hard to follow at times. Sometimes the sources were blog articles and not necessarily empirical research. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about being an activist/doing...
  • Randall
    If you are curious who Deray Mckesson is, where he came from, what has influenced his thinking, and what he's working on, this is a good primer. That being said, his writing in this book has a more academic feel than his podcast, Pod Save the People, where he and his panelists are more accessible. While Deray does give some tangible examples to explain his thinking, it is still often rather abstract and could use some more fleshing out. That bein...
  • Liesel Reichart
    DeRay Mckesson is poetry in motion. I saw him on this book tour, and he is perhaps the most eloquent, heartfelt, well-reasoned truth-teller out there. If you are bogged down in the gruesome minutiae of our current political situation, Mckesson will galvanize you to keep your eyes on the bigger picture: It is the work of white people to undo white privilege. It begins with white people unpacking and acknowledging the system is designed for and ben...
  • Jean
    DeRay Mckesson's book is both a call to action and hope for the world as it could be. Using his own experiences as an activist, organizer, educator, and public official, Mckessen speaks to all of us about how we can work to make the world better. He writes that we all can and must work to make the system better, because that is the only way it can be done. There are some hard truths in this book, but they're important truths, that remind us to al...
  • Elizabeth Kissling
    I've admired DeRay McKesson for years and was excited to read On the Other Side of Freedom. He has described his new book as a collection of essays, but they work together coherently. The book is an engaging and smart synthesis of accessible philosophy, practical guide, and memoir. It would have been a great addition to the seminar I taught on activism a year ago; I'm confident students would enjoy it and find it personally meaningful.
  • Karen Adkins
    I've been listening to Mckesson's Pod Save the People for a while now, and really appreciated the way he talks about justice issues for people of color. This combination memoir/reflection on justice is in the same ballpark; it's reflective, realistic without being cynical, motivating, and pragmatic (I particularly appreciated his observations about working with people when he had substantive disagreements with them). He also happens to be a reall...
  • Brooke
    Read this book. If you are someone who understands the racial and social injustices in the US, read this book. If you think you understand, but haven't directly been impacted by these injustices, read this book. If you are completely clueless, I'm guessing you don't want to read this book, but read this book. DeRay McKesson gives an extremely (at times gut-wrenching) personal first-person account of his experiences not just in Ferguson, but of hi...
  • Brandy O'Rourke
    This is yet another book I’ve read this year that has earned its space on the shelf of required reading for the current day. Mckesson using anecdote and data to immerse the listener in the life of the activist including both the harsh realities of fighting injustice and as well as a message of self care, acceptance, and hope. I found his voice and message inspiring as well as a call to action, accompliceship, love.
  • Sharron
    This book was so enjoyable I didn't even mind that it wasn't linear. The chapter on religion was so close to my own feelings and I've never heard that before. Would have liked more details in how he came to be so involved with organizing in Ferguson after just deciding to drive down and show up!
  • Mary
    I loved the essays in this book. DeRay Mckesson is a gifted writer and tackles tough issues with clarity and grace. The impacts of racism, homophobia and our inhumane justice system are treated as they need to be - as human built systems that can and must be rebuilt. A book worth reading for the national conversation we need to be having.
  • D’Anna Lerma
    On the Other Side of Freedom was such an insightful and inspiring read. I only wish DeRay would have delved even deeper into the subject of black men and homosexuality as well as the relationship with his mother. For such personal topics, I felt they were thrown in and somewhat glossed over. Overall, this was an informative, powerful, much-needed call for action.
  • Bonnie
    I never understood why Barack Obama titled one of his books The Audacity of Hope, but I get it now. This is packed full of wisdom, insight, and hope. I love Pod Save the People, and DeRay shines in this written collection of his experience in trying to better the world for others. I felt like I was in church.