This project is to independently publish and internationally market/distribute the book No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant. Oscar Grant was murdered for the first time on Jan. 1, 2009; he would be murdered again by the media, and then by the courts, soon thereafter. From June to July of 2010, I covered the criminal trial of Johannes Mehserle, the murderer of Oscar Grant. This book contains actual trial testimony in addition to my observations, recollections, and analyses of that event. It is both a documenting of the trial and my voice as well.
Feminist thinker bell hooks has often described the United States as being a "white supremacist patriarchal state." Although Black women are by no means spared from state-sanctioned (government) violence, bell hooks' analysis speaks to the reason why that violence is most often directed against Black male bodies. As a witness to the state-sanctioned violence that was done to Oscar Grant before and during the trial of his murderer, it is as important to me that my voice be preserved as a Black woman as it is that the story of Oscar Grant's multiple murders be told.
The issue of state sanctioned violence against Black bodies is not new however, with the election of the first African-American as President of the United States of America - a state founded in and dripping with white supremacy - the issue has an urgency now that is reminiscent of this country at the turn of the century.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett took on the project of documenting numerous instances of state-sanctioned violence and aggressively organizing against it - nationally and internationally - through her writings, oratory and coalition work. My hope is that this book, No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant, will stand as both testament to that work and as an extension of it here in the 21st Century.
I am self-publishing this book, as Ida B. Wells-Barnett did in her day, to preserve the independence and uniqueness of my own voice and I am appealing to the national and international justice-loving community to see this work as something worthy of investing in - a symbol of its importance.
What We Need & What You Get
My hope is to raise $10,000 to have both print and eBook versions of "No Doubt" available to the public by Jan. 1, 2014 - the fifth anniversary of the first murder of Oscar Grant. Even though we are now in the digital age, actual printed books still have their place historically, politically and aesthetically. The bulk of this budget will go towards that - $5580
The remainder of the budget will go to the numerous doulas and midwives who have helped birth this project:
publicity/outreach - $2000
book cover design/eBook conversion - $400
copy editors/proofreaders - $250
web designers - $120
video editing - $100
transportation/distribution/shipping/tax/other miscellany - $1550
Material perks, in addition to signed copies of the physical book, include artwork by renowned and gifted Bay Area artist Refa1, and copies of Operation Small Axe, a gripping film looking specifically at the issue of police terrorism in Oakland, CA through the lens of grassroots journalist/activist JR Valrey and the Block Report Radio Show..
Other Ways You Can Help
Please purchase a copy of the book for yourself, a loved one, or an imprisoned member of the community!
Please spread the word about the book and the issues it raises!
Join an organization that seeks to put a final stop to state-sanctioned violence!
Social Media is also a form of activism – use it!
I am an award-winning, grassroots, community journalist based in Los Angeles, CA. I have been a community activist for more than 20 years; I came to journalism through activism, and I see my writing as a form of activism.
I am the founder of the Ida B. Wells Institute, which seeks to utilize old and new forms of media to Advocate Educate and Mobilize. The Institute was a co-founder of the Women of Color Media Justice Initiative, a partnership with Mother's Day Radio and the Womens' Leadership Project in Los Angeles, CA.
As part of my media/activism, I am a founder of Some of Us Are Brave - A Black Womens' Radio Program which aired on Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles; Voices from Behind the Walls,a cable-access show in Atlanta,GA; and Assata: The Black Students' Newspaper at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
I have received awards from New America Media for “Outstanding Reporting on Health and Health Care" (2013 Ethnic Media Awards), the All African Women's Revolutionary Union as a “Grassroots Media Advocate” (2010 Mawina Kouyate Daughters of Africa Award), and I am recognized by the African Community Centers for Unity and Self-Determination as a "Pioneer for African Unity and Victory" (Atlanta, 2009 )