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Powell's Books Presents Richard Brown in Conversation With Brian Benson
This Is Not for You (Oregon State University) tells the story of activist and photographer Richard Brown, a Black Portlander who has spent decades working to bridge the divide between police and the Black community. Brown’s memoir (written with Brian Benson) brings readers with him into the streets with fellow activists, into squad cars with the rank-and-file, and to regular meetings with mayors and police chiefs. There are very few people doing the kind of work Brown has done. And that, as he sees it, is a big problem. This Is Not for You finds Brown approaching his 80th birthday and reflecting on his life. As he recalls his childhood in 1940s Harlem, his radicalization in the newly desegregated Air Force, and his decades of activism in one of America’s whitest cities, he questions how much longer he’ll do this work, and he wonders who, if anyone, will take his place. This is a book about how and why to become an engaged, activist citizen, and how activists can stay grounded, no matter how deeply they immerse themselves in the work. It also offers an intimate, firsthand look at policing: what policing is and could be, how civilians can have a say, and how police can and should be responsive to and inclusive of civilian voices. This Is Not for You speaks on every page about being Black in America: about Black pride; Black history, art, and culture; and the experience of resisting white supremacy. It also stands as a much-needed counternarrative to “Portlandia,” telling a different story about the city and who has shaped it. Brown will be joined in conversation by coauthor Brian Benson. This event will be moderated by Sienna Rose Kaske, transformative justice practitioner, organizer, and writer.

Mar 5, 2021 06:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Richard Brown
Richard Brown is a community activist and photographer. He works tirelessly to empower Black people and to bridge the gap between the police and the Black community. This is his first book.
Brian Benson
Brian Benson is the author of Going Somewhere. Originally from Wisconsin, Brian now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches at the Attic Institute.
Sienna Rose Kaske
Sienna Rose Kaske is a graduating senior at Oregon State University, where she majors in ethnic studies and writing while working as the George P. Griffis Publishing Intern at OSU Press. She is a transformative justice practitioner, organizer, and writer. Her current work is focused on building anti-racist curriculum university-wide and advocating and developing resources for undocumented students, DACA-recipients, and students with mixed-status families at OSU.