Ten Lives, Ten Demands: Life and Death Stories, and a Black Activist's Blueprint for Racial Justice

Solomon Jones

Beacon , 2021

Agent: Jill Marr

Told through his perspective as an activist, acclaimed commentator Solomon Jones tells the stories of real people whose lives and deaths pushed the Black Lives Matter movement forward. He explains how each act of violence was incited by specific instances of structural racism, and details concrete and actionable strategies to address crimes committed by our “justice” system.

These stories and strategies are a critical resource for social justice activists looking to further their anti-racist education. These 10 demands form an actionable plan that is necessary to repair our racist past, change the racist present, and bring justice to the future—assuring that these victims did not suffer or die in vain:

George Floyd: Pay financial reparations to Black communities that have been damaged by legalized racism. Michael Brown: Use consent decrees to reform police departments that demonstrate a “pattern or practice” of racism and police brutality. Hassan Bennett: Offer compensation for all those who are wrongfully imprisoned. Breonna Taylor: Require functioning body cameras & ban no-knock warrants. Eric Garner: All police disciplinary and dismissal records must be made public. Alton Sterling: Changing federal law to allow prosecution of flagrant law-breakers within police departments. Tamir Rice: Use independent prosecutors to eliminate prosecutorial conflicts of interest. Trayvon Martin: Eliminate stand your ground laws. Deborah Danner: Defund the police, and move funds to trained social workers, mental health professionals and conflict resolution specialists. Sandra Bland: End racial profiling.

“Jones is a naturally compelling writer . . . A persuasive, neatly packaged Black Lives Matter primer.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A brisk and impassioned call for America to ‘right the wrongs of a past that is littered with laws meant to subjugate African Americans.’ This cri de coeur rings loud and true.” —Publishers Weekly