What My Left Hand Was Doing
Lessons from a Grassroots Activist
by Joann Castle
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 15 May 2018 | Archive Date 21 Jun 2018
Against the Tide Books, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
In 1967, race riots burned across America, fueled by white blindness and black rage. In Detroit, the fire burned hottest and brightest. Faced with this unforgettable devastation, grassroots activists rose from the ashes to advance a radical social vision: blacks and whites working together toward a just society.
In What My Left Hand Was Doing, Joann Castle takes us into the heart of the movement, tracing her transformation from a naive, white working-class Irish Catholic mother of six young children in segregated post-war Detroit into a passionate foot soldier in the radical Catholic, civil rights, and black self-determination movements.
A priceless activist history lesson, What My Left Hand Was Doing chronicles the more common, less discussed reality of the day-to-day efforts, interactions, triumphs, and failures that reflect every movement. Castle explores a wide range of experiences, including the inevitable push-forward and push-back ignited by the civil rights and black power crusades, the challenging dynamics of white privilege, and why genuine political coalitions between blacks and whites have often been stalled by whites’ unwillingness to become allies and defenders of non-whites’ push for self-determination.
As a new wave of activists from Black Lives Matter to the Trump resistance respond to the latest tide of repression, misogyny, and racism, today’s activists are becoming the next link in a long line of American social justice movements. Looking to strengthen this historical bond, Castle turns to her deep experiences for lessons learned that speak to universal social and political issues, which resonate today.
What My Left Hand Was Doing’s exclusive “Activist’s Survival Guide” offers a relevant, critical bridge between generations of world changers fighting for a better tomorrow.
I am holding distribution until 5/15/18 to promote the book and create interest. I have purchased reviews from NetGalley and Kirkus Media. I have purchased the IBPA Publishers Weekly Front Cover Package. I have contacted a journalist at the Detroit Free Press and a magazine editor in New York. I have three book signings scheduled in late April and May. Two of these are at local bookstores and one at a restaurant on the Detroit River. I have been asked to speak at a library in a small town west of the city and at two bookstores in Ann Arbor, MI. I have applied to be a vendor at the 2018 Detroit Book Fair. I am seeking other opportunities. It is my hope to make a connection with the Feminist Press for International distribution.