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Activist and educator DeRay McKesson ’07 publishes book

September 7, 2018

On Tuesday, Viking Books released “On the Other Side of Hope: The Case for Freedom,” a collection of essays written by educator and civil rights activist DeRay McKesson ’07. The Baltimore native’s debut presents his experiences and memories alongside his suggestions for addressing a range of social problems.

In a press release, Viking called the book “a meditation on resistance, justice and freedom and an intimate portrait of the Black Lives Matter movement from the front lines.”

McKesson rose to prominence in 2014 after participating in protests regarding the police shooting of Mike Brown in St. Louis, Mo.

One essay in his new book includes a short anecdote about falling into the water during a whitewater rafting trip during his time at Bowdoin.

“I can swim, but if you’ve ever been caught in the current, you know that it’s hard for even the best swimmers to escape its wrath,” he wrote. McKesson concluded, “I realized that this is what being in proximity to trauma sometimes does to us—it traps us in the current, in the present.”


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