DeRay Mckesson Scores a Book Deal: 'An Opportunity to Share Stories About Resistance, Blackness'

The civil rights activist will explore how Americans can get to "a place of freedom" by exploring "current inequity."

DeRay McKesson
Image via Getty/Joe Kohen
DeRay McKesson

DeRay Mckesson, the civil rights activist who first became famous after protesting for weeks in Ferguson and is a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement, has landed a book deal with Viking publishers. On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope will be published in September and can currently be pre-ordered.

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In a press release, Viking  said that in the book, “Mckesson lays out the intellectual, pragmatic political framework for a new liberation movement.” On the Other Side of Freedom will explore issues of “activism, resistance and justice” while embracing “our nation’s complex history” and dissecting “how deliberate oppression persists, how racial injustice strips our lives of promise, and how technology has added a new dimension to mass action and social change.”

Mckesson has risen as a major voice in the arena of progressive activism and social justice, and he has subsequently used this platform to launch many projects to further the conversation on this subject. He's even run for mayor of Baltimore as a way to spread his message. As BuzzFeed reports, Mckesson stepped down from his position as head of human resources for Baltimore’s public schools last summer to become a full-time activist, and has since begun hosting a Crooked Media podcast called Pod Save the People alongside organizers Samuel Sinyangwe and Brittany Packnett as well as Harvard PhD candidate Clint Smith III.


BuzzFeed further reports that Mckesson's book will include discussions of meetings with President Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton. Mckesson also told the outlet that he would write about meetings with Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch as well as conversations with activists from the civil rights movement. "I love Twitter and have used the platform to process and reflect, and to challenge power over the past three years," he said. "The book is an opportunity to share a host of ideas and stories about resistance, blackness and a pathway to freedom in a fully developed way."

BuzzFeed also reports that the book was “highly competitive” and that there were at least 17 bidders competing for the rights of the book.

“In the past three years I’ve seen unrest sweep America, first in the streets in Ferguson and then all over the country,” Mckesson said in his statement. “I have seen people claim their power, knowing that this country has not yet delivered on its promise of equity and justice. In this book, I explore the causes of the current inequity and offer a vision for how we get beyond it, to a place of freedom. I’m excited to work with Viking and am excited to write my first book. I believe that we will win.”

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