Last week, my dad, Gerald Lenoir, released his brand new book of poetry, United States of Struggle: Police Murder in America. Gerald also released a video of one of the poems, “Ultimatum,” that will knock you off your feet (be aware that the evocative imagery and strong language can be triggering especially for victims of state violence).
After attending the book launch event where my dad read many of his poems aloud, I can tell you with conviction that if you love justice and Black people you need this book.
Gerald’s poetry is animated by his lifetime of dedication to building movements for racial and social justice. In the 1960s, he was part of the student uprisings at the University of Madison, WI, that won the Black Studies program. In the 1960s and 70s he was part of the movement against the war in Vietnam. In the 1980s–1990s he was a leader in the international campaign to end apartheid in South Africa. He helped lead campaigns against police brutality, racist violence, gentrification and for affirmative action in the 1970s and 1980s; the Rainbow Coalition and the Jesse Jackson for President campaigns in the 1980s; the HIV/AIDS response in the 1980s and 1990s; and the immigrant rights, Palestine solidarity, peace and Black Lives Matter movements in the 2000s and 2010s. Today, he is working on campaigns against voter suppression.
With “United States of Struggle,” Gerald pours his life’s experience in the struggle into a beautiful container that will surely hydrate and nourish the blossoming of the current phase of the long Black freedom struggle.
The book is available for free download. However, if you purchase the hardcover copy of the book, the proceeds go to the Anti-Police Terror Project in Oakland, California.
I am so proud of my dad. Watch him take on this racist system with the ferocity of spirit required–and then join the struggle yourself.