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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Elder Activist-Poet Releases Free Book of Police Murder Poems

United States Struggle by Gerald Lenoir

Nationwide — Gerald Lenoir, a self-described activist-writer-poet, has released a book of poetry entitled United States of Struggle: Police Murder in America. The volume, published by Magnum Opus Publications, contains eleven poems, most of which were written in the aftermath of the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Each poem is accompanied by a full-color graphic image.

“My anger at Mr. Floyd’s wanton murder and my exhilaration at the response of millions of people in the streets inspired me to write eight of the poems in the book,” Mr. Lenoir said. “I wrote two of the poems in the 1980s in response to the police murder of Black people in Seattle and one in 1992 about the Rodney King verdict.”

The poems in United States of Struggle: Police Murder in America include “Once Again,” dedicated to George Floyd and first published in the Los Angeles Sentinel; Ode to Oscar dedicated to Oscar Grant whose murder in 2009 in Oakland, California was the subject of the critically acclaimed movie, Fruitvale Station; Ultimatum, a passionate poem that delivers a searing challenge to institutional racism; and The Days of Black Lives, which Mr. Lenoir describes as “A vision for my people”.

At 72, Mr. Lenoir has been involved in many of the major social causes of the past six decades, including the Black Student Movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s, as well as the movement against South African apartheid from 1977 to 1994. In the 1980s, he was a community organizer against police brutality and gentrification and for affirmative action. In the 2000s, he was active in the Black Lives Matter movement. Mr. Lenoir is also the former executive director of the San Francisco Black Coalition on AIDS (1989-1995) and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (2006-2014). He is currently a strategy analyst at the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, a social justice research institute.

A free PDF or eBook of United States of Struggle can be downloaded at: www.amrcngrxxd.com/united-states-of-struggle, along with a dynamic video of Mr. Lenoir reading his poem, “Ultimatum”. In lieu of payment, the author is requesting that donations be made to the Anti-Police Terror Project in Oakland, California at AntiPoliceTerrorProject.org. A hard cover, full color 8½” by 11” edition of the book is also for sale at MagnumOpusPublications.com.

Mr. Lenoir’s first book of poetry, Amandla! Poems of Love and Struggle was published by Magnum Opus Publications in 2017. Magnum Opus Publications is a Black-owned, family-owned business in Berkeley, California. For inquiries, contact info@magnumopuspublications.com.