Cover Image: We Are Meant to Rise

We Are Meant to Rise

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Member Reviews

This collection of essays are so emotional driven but provide so much context of the situation in Minneapolis surrounding George Floyds murder. I hope people read this book and continue to become antiracist.
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I received an advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review. 

We Are Meant to Rise is an inspiring collection of essays contributed by people of color with ties to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The essays cover many of the challenges faced by the US in 2020, including police brutality and protests that occurred following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, as well as the disparities and heartbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

The essays give us a glimpse of where we’re at as a nation, where we’re letting one another down, and where there are opportunities for growth, community, and solidarity. Until we learn about one another’s experiences and attempt to fully recognize our common struggles as well as differential treatment and opportunity, we will be unable to chart a course away from white supremacy and toward a fair and just society. 

I recommend this book as one source of perspectives and experiences that can be used for personal growth and applied to community building and social justice work.
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The murder of George Floyd was an awakening and a reckoning for so many in the US and across the world. The writers who contributed their words to this book are no different. All of them were affected not just by Mr. Floyd’s death, but also by their experiences living in a racist America. Their words hold the pain of being an immigrant, an Other, different. They describe histories of oppressed people all touched by the violence of white supremacy: physical, emotional, mental and financial. Lives lost or not fully lived because they are not white, straight and/or rich. 

This book of essays is another reminder of how sick to death we all are of racism and white supremacy and also how hopeful that one day we won’t have to deal with either of them ever again.
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It's not just in Minnesota. It's not just about being Black in America. It's not just about being Indigenous in America. It's also about being LGBTQIA in America, being a refugee in America, and about the personal difficulties of the isolation due to the pandemic. It is a collection of essays written by individuals who have been objectified and have suffered because of a mass mindset that rejected their value. And each and every one of us needs to read it.
I requested and received a free ebook copy from University of Minnesota Press via NetGalley. Thank you!
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<p>Review copy provided by the publisher.</p>
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<p>This is a book of poems and essays written by a very diverse selection of Twin Cities-connected people in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder. In less technical terms: this is my neighbors. This is what happens when my neighbors cry out in pain, for justice.</p>
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<p>The editors of this volume have done what I would call an outstanding job at getting a truly great cross-section of Twin Cities life. In a world where too many journalists report something as a trend when their next-door neighbor says it and their cousin agrees--where too many editors go back over and over again to their immediate circle of friends to fill a table of contents--this book is something different.</p>
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<p>The writers are all ages. All stages of writing experience. Some of them are Native, some immigrants, some in that status in between that describes many to most Americans. Some want to talk about their personal past, some about larger history--some about the present and future. And these editors have given them the space and the freedom to do so. This book is a snapshot of a very particular moment but also has extension into past and future. This is a gift from a greater Minnesota.</p>
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This book was very well done and heart wrenchingly beautiful in the best and worst way. Indigenous Communities were one of the biggest minority groups impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic but we don't hear about their experiences in the news or read about their stories on social media because they are often talked over by other minority groups. This book contained stories and poems written off of first hand encounters with the pandemic and how they were effected but were overlooked and / or not offered help. As someone who comes from a Native American Tribe these stories broke me because it is heartbreaking that these voices are not heard and they deserve to be heard because they do matter. I urge and recommend everyone to read this.
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If looking for a book that includes essays on racial justice with some focus on the events from following the death of George Floyd from current and former Minneapolis residents, then this is the book for you. For me, it turned out it was a bit too much. 

Besides an intro and conclusion, there was no narrative thread connecting the essays so each could really be read separately. They were not grouped in any specific fashion. I think it might have been helpful if they were grouped in a way to just process the information better. Perhaps by essay style or focus? Some  stories focused on the past. Some focused on the present, and there were some that tried to look to the future. Some preached taking action. Other's were more reflective. Some were served with a helping of irony.

I want to commend contributors of this collection, as each POV had a unique personal insight delivered with honesty, and that was the greatest value, as a reader, I gleaned from it. That was a value that only those contributors could give, and I deeply appreciate that gift on a basic level. If I were not reading this with a commitment to give a review, I would have taken much longer to get through it. However, this is not much of a review, but the best I can do for the moment. Perhaps I will revisit at some future time. This collection of essays is exactly what it claims to be, which does not make it an easy read but worthwhile if you have a mind to read it.

<i>Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a chance to read and review this book. Views are my own.
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Required reading for any Minneapolitan. The viseral literary reaction to the murder of George Floyd.
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This book explored a lot of deep topics in a variety of essays written by different authors. While it was refreshing having many different authors present, multiple essays were very similar in topic and made some of them a drag to get through.
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