In an effort to grasp the scale of the response to Michael Brown’s death & understand the magnitude of the problem police violence represents, Lowery conducted hundreds of interviews with the families of victims of police brutality, as well as with local activists working to stop it. Lowery investigates the cumulative effect of decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with constant discrimination, failing schools, crumbling infrastructure & too few jobs. Offering a historically informed look at the standoff between the police & those they are sworn to protect, They Can’t Kill Us All demonstrates that civil unrest is just one tool of resistance in the broader struggle for justice.

And at the end of President Obama’s tenure, it grapples with a worrying and largely unexamined aspect of his legacy: … More

Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 80s when punks & Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness & the National Front, Benjamin’s poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations & on the dance floor.

His mission was to take poetry everywhere, and to popularise it by reaching people who didn’t read books. His poetry … More

Born OTD in 1925, American Muslim minister & human rights activist who was a popular figure during the civil rights movement, Malcolm Little, AKA Malcolm X. His remarkable autobiography, completed just before his murder in 1965, ranges from Omaha & Michigan to Harlem & Mecca, & tells of a young, disenfranchised man whose descent into drug addition, robbery & prison was only reversed by his belief in the rights struggle for black America, & his conversion to the Nation of Islam. Celebrated & vilified the world over for his courageous but bitter fight to gain for millions of black men & women the equality & respect denied them by their white neighbours, Malcolm X inspired as many people in the United States as he caused to fear him.

They called him the ‘angriest black man in America’ . . . Not only is this an enormously important record … More

Born OTD in 1928, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou’s seven volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents & resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement and celebration.

In this first volume of her six books of autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in … More

Born OTD in 1922, American novelist and poet, Jack Kerouac. Kerouac is recognized for his method of spontaneous prose. Thematically, his work covers topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. “A young innocent, joins his hero Dean Moriarty, a traveller and mystic, the living epitome of Beat, on a breathless, exuberant ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom, a test of the limits of the American dream..”

A brilliant blend of fiction and autobiography, Jack Kerouac’s exhilarating novel swings to the rhythms of 1950s underground America, racing … More

Born OTD in 1942, revolutionary African-American political activist who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party, Huey P. Newton. Eloquently tracing the birth of a revolutionary, Huey P. Newton’s famous & oft-quoted autobiography is as much a manifesto as a portrait of the inner circle of America’s Black Panther Party. From Newton’s impoverished childhood to his adolescence & struggles with the system, from his role in the Black Panthers to his solitary confinement in the Alameda County Jail, Revolutionary Suicide is smart, unrepentant & thought-provoking in its portrayal of inspired radicalism.

In October 1967, one year after the founding of the Black Panther Party, Huey Newton was involved in a shooting … More

Born OTD in 1969, Iranian-French graphic novelist, cartoonist, illustrator, film director, and children’s book author, Marjane Satrapi. Persepolis is a graphic autobiography by Marjane Satrapi that depicts her childhood up to her early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution. Persepolis reminds readers of the “precarity of survival” in political and social situations.

The intelligent and outspoken child of radical Marxists, and the great-grandaughter of Iran’s last emperor, Satrapi bears witness to a … More

“I’ve been told that no one sings the word ‘hunger’ like I do. Or the word ‘love’.”Lady Sings the Blues is the inimitable autobiography of one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century. Born to a single mother in 1915 Baltimore, Billie Holiday had her first run-in with the law at aged 13. But Billie Holiday is no victim. Her memoir tells the story of her life spent in jazz, smoky Harlem clubs and packed-out concert halls, her love affairs, her wildly creative friends, her struggles with addiction and her adventures in love. Billie Holiday is a wise and aphoristic guide to the story of her unforgettable life.

Available in store and online.

Happy Birthday Kenney Jones, born OTD in 1948. As drummer with the Small Faces, Faces and later The Who, Kenney Jones’ unique sense of rhythm was the heartbeat that powered three of the most influential rock bands of all time. Beginning in London’s post-war East End, Kenney’s story takes us through the birth of the Mod revolution, the mind-bending days of the late-60s and the raucous excesses of the ’70s and ’80s. In a career spanning six decades, Kenney was at the epicentre of many of the most exciting moments in music history and has experienced everything the industry has to offer.

He jointly created some of the world’s most-loved records, hung out with the Stones, Beatles, David Bowie, Keith Moon and … More

Born OTD in 1961, British musician and artist, best known as the lead singer, lyricist, and guitar player for the anarcho-punk band Rudimentary Peni, Nick Blinko. A Gothic Horror novel about severe mental distress and punk rock. The novel is written in the form of a diary kept by a psychiatrist, Dr. Rodney H. Dweller, concerning his patient, Nathaniel Snoxell, brought to him in 1979 because of several attempted suicides. Snoxell gets involved in the nascent UK anarcho-punk scene, recording EPs and playing gigs in squatted Anarchy Centers. In 1985, the good doctor himself “goes insane” and disappears…

This semi-autobiographical novel from Rudimentary Peni singer, guitarist, lyricist, and illustrator Nick Blinko, plunges into the worlds of madness, suicide, … More