My name is Thandisizwe Chimurenga. I am the author of "No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant and this
project is to independently publish and internationally market/distribute the book. Oscar Grant was murdered for
the first time on Jan. 1, 2009; he would be murdered again by the
media, and then by the courts, soon thereafter. From June to July of
2010, I covered the criminal trial of Johannes Mehserle, the murderer
of Oscar Grant. This book contains actual trial testimony in
addition to my observations, recollections, and analyses of that
event. It is both a documenting of the trial and my voice as well.
thinker bell hooks has often described the United States as being a
"white supremacist patriarchal state." Although Black women
are by no means spared from state-sanctioned (government) violence, bell hooks'
analysis speaks to the reason why that violence is most often
directed against Black male bodies. As a witness to the
state-sanctioned violence that was done to Oscar Grant before
and during the trial of his
murderer, it is as important to me that my
voice be preserved as a Black
woman as it is that the story of Oscar Grant's multiple
murders be told.
The issue of state sanctioned violence against Black bodies is not new however, with the election of the first African-American as President of the United States of America - a state founded in and dripping with white supremacy - the issue has an urgency now that is reminiscent of this country at the turn of the century.
B. Wells-Barnett took on the project of documenting numerous
instances of state-sanctioned violence and aggressively organizing
against it - nationally and internationally - through her writings, oratory and coalition work. My hope
is that this book, No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant, will stand
as both testament to that work and as an extension of it here in the
I am self-publishing this book, as Ida B. Wells-Barnett did in her
day, to preserve the independence and uniqueness of my own voice and I am appealing to the national and international justice-loving community to see this
work as something worthy of investing in - a symbol of its
We Need & What You Get
My hope is to raise $10,000 to have both print and eBook versions of "No Doubt" available to the public by Jan. 1, 2014 - the fifth anniversary of the first murder of Oscar Grant. Even though we are now in the digital age, actual printed books still have their place historically, politically and aesthetically. The bulk of this budget will go towards that - $5580
The remainder of the budget will go to the numerous doulas and midwives who have helped birth this project:
publicity/outreach - $2000
book cover design/eBook conversion - $400copy editors/proofreaders - $250
web designers - $120
video editing - $100
transportation/distribution/shipping/tax/other miscellany - $1550
perks, in addition to signed copies of the physical book, include
artwork by renowned and gifted Bay Area artist Refa1, and copies of
Operation Small Axe, a gripping film looking specifically at the
issue of police terrorism in Oakland, CA through the lens of
grassroots journalist/activist JR Valrey and the Block Report Radio Show..
Other Ways You Can Help
Please purchase a copy of the book for yourself, a loved one, or an imprisoned member of the community!
Please spread the word about the book and the issues it raises!
Join an organization that seeks to put a final stop to state-sanctioned violence!
Social Media is also a form of activism – use it!
About Thandisizwe Chimurenga
I am an award-winning, grassroots, community journalist based in Los Angeles, CA. I have been a community activist for more than 20 years; I came to journalism through activism, and I see my writing as a form of activism.
I am the founder of the Ida B. Wells Institute, which seeks to utilize old and new forms of media to Advocate Educate and Mobilize. The Institute was a co-founder of the Women of Color Media Justice Initiative, a partnership with Mother's Day Radio and the Womens' Leadership Project in Los Angeles, CA.
As part of my media/activism, I am a founder of Some of Us Are Brave - A Black Womens' Radio Program which aired on Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles; Voices from Behind the Walls,a cable-access show in Atlanta,GA; and Assata: The Black Students' Newspaper at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
I have received awards from New America Media for “Outstanding Reporting on Health and Health Care" (2013 Ethnic Media Awards), the All African Women's Revolutionary Union as a “Grassroots Media Advocate” (2010 Mawina Kouyate Daughters of Africa Award), and I am recognized by the African Community Centers for Unity and Self-Determination as a "Pioneer for African Unity and Victory" (Atlanta, 2009 )