by Nkechi Taifa
Black Power, Black Lawyer is a memoir that stitches suspense, calamity, humor and wit into a tapestry of history, politics, law, culture and romance. Both serious and scandalous, Nkechi Taifa's audacious quest for justice is a gripping commentary on life; the perennial nature of human resistance against oppression; and her earnest embrace of what is fair and correct. Sometimes raw, sometimes abrasive, sometimes passionate, Taifa offers her truth, unapologetically and unfiltered, with honesty and authenticity.
Her memoir is the story of a quest rarely told. The search for the resisters and the rebellious; the pursuit of issues on the cutting edge. Although there are memoirs that chronicle iconic leaders striving for justice during the civil rights era, there is scant reminiscence of the transformative journeys for self-realization of ordinary people growing up during the tumultuous Black Power era. Black Power, Black Lawyer offers a uniquely personal glimpse from an insider's perspective into little known or understood parts of this country's history - from juicy stories of the more controversial and militant aspects of the Black liberation struggle, to the craziness of congressional "sausage-making" and the pivotal role of "strange bedfellows."
Navigate this audacious quest with Taifa as she bears witness to ancestors, people and episodes that swayed the shaping of her identity and consciousness. No matter which vantage point she found herself - from sitting on the lap of that fine brother pulling security in the front office of the Black Panther Party; to getting arrested right after graduating from law school; to being accused of being an FBI agent; to representing the lead defendant in the Capitol Bombing case; to being detained at an airport five months pregnant as an alleged enemy of the state; to winning a six-figure settlement for clients in a pivotal employment discrimination suit against a major news media network; or to being a catalyst which sparked the change to the infamous crack cocaine laws -- her quest for justice in society reigned supreme.
Taifa's memoir is sure to awaken, inform, provoke, move and, at its best, fire you up to either join, or continue, "The Struggle!"
"Nkechi Taifa's Black Power, Black Lawyer offers us a breathtaking narrative of a life devoted to Black liberation. From the principled defense of political prisoners to demands for reparations, we witness the critical and often exciting trajectory of a lawyer whose work clearly moves us toward radical futures." Angela Y. Davis
"Nkechi Taifa is a brilliant lawyer and an extraordinary champion for justice, reparations and human rights. Her memoir Black Power, Black Lawyer is a superb stimulus for a new generation of activists and movement lawyers." Danny Glover, Actor, film director, political activist
About the Author:
Nkechi Taifa is President of The Taifa Group LLC, a social enterprise firm whose mission is to advance justice. She convenes the Justice Roundtable, an advocacy coalition advancing progressive justice system transformation. Over the course of her career Taifa has served as Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice at the Open Society Foundations; legislative and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union and Women's Legal Defense Fund; founding director of Howard University School of Law's Equal Justice Program; staff attorney for National Prison Project; Network Organizer for Washington Office on Africa; as a private practitioner representing adult and youth clients; and as a first grade teacher at NationHouse Watoto School. Taifa is past president of the D.C. chapter of the National Conference of Black Lawyers. She is a founding member of N'COBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. She serves as a Commissioner on the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC), and on the governing board of the Corrections Information Council. Nkechi has testified before Congress, United States Sentencing Commission, Council of the District of Columbia, American Bar Association Justice Kennedy Commission, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and U.S. Helsinki Commission. She was special prosecutor delivering the Opening Statements in the People's Tribunal on Mumia Abu-Jamal and the People's Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She served as an appointed Commissioner and Chair of the DC Commission on Human Rights from 2007-2014.