3.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · history · non fiction · POC · politics

New Release | We Can’t Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies and the Art of Survival by Jabari Asim



We Can’t Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies and the Art of Survival by Jabari Asim

Published: October 16, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 208

Genres: non fiction, POC, politics, history

Rating: 3.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: African American history, justice

Foodie Vibes: family meals made with love



In We Can’t Breathe, Jabari Asim disrupts what Toni Morrison has exposed as the “Master Narrative” and replaces it with a story of black survival and persistence through art and community in the face of centuries of racism. In eight wide-ranging and penetrating essays, he explores such topics as the twisted legacy of jokes and falsehoods in black life; the importance of black fathers and community; the significance of black writers and stories; and the beauty and pain of the black body. What emerges is a rich portrait of a community and culture that has resisted, survived, and flourished despite centuries of racism, violence, and trauma. These thought-provoking essays present a different side of American history, one that doesn’t depend on a narrative steeped in oppression but rather reveals black voices telling their own stories.



Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Jabari Asim for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

We Can’t Breathe describes the injustices and outright atrocities committed against black lives throughout U.S. history. Spanning from before the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement to current day. 

A great compilation of important historical moments and movements. Some information I knew, some was new to me, and all was put together to form an impactful book. The author combines facts with anecdotes from his life for the biggest impact and understanding.

However, at times some chapters seemed disjointed from the common theme of the book. It was all relevant important information, but those sections took me awhile to make sense of them, in terms of the greater story. Also some chapters captured my attention more than others, but this is common in many non fiction books.

Overall, an important relevant book that many people should educate themselves with.

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