African American Museum in Boston

African American Museum in Boston
The Museum of Afro-American History in Boston, Massachusetts (2014)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A new anthology, Talking Back: Voices of Color (Red Letter Press, 2015), presents an unusually diverse group of writers speaking out on issues affecting communities of color. Contributors share tales of survival, explore little-known history, and offer insightful cultural reviews.

Nellie Wong, a widely published Bay Area poet and social justice activist, is the book's editor and author of the introduction, a striking meditation on the importance of "talking back" in asserting identity and power on an individual and collective level. Like Wong, the book's contributors are involved in community organizing. Based in a number of locations, their identities include Black, Asian/Pacific American, indigenous North American and Aboriginal Australian, Latino, Palestinian, current and former prisoners, immigrants, feminists, youth, elders, LGBTQ, students, unionists, and more.

Make no mistake about it, many of the writers are out-front radicals. Their aim is to communicate and mobilize. Speaking from and to the grassroots, their offerings are readable, persuasive, free from academic jargon, and rich with personal experience. Some highlights include: Nestora Salgado, an indigenous Mexican activist and U.S. citizen, who vows to resist from the maximum security Mexican prison cell where she has been held since August 2013. Mark Cook, a political prisoner for 24 years, describes the slave-labor conditions in U.S. prisons. Black Panther leader Eddie Conway speaks out in a prison interview prior to his release in 2014. Ralph Poynter describes how his wife, human rights attorney Lynne Stewart, became a political prisoner and calls for the release of all political prisoners. Former prisoner and aboriginal leader Lex Wotton describes racism and police violence Down Under. Palestinian exile Farouk Abdel-Muhti's gives a harrowing description of being held in U.S. prisons without charges for nearly two years following 9/11.

 Talking Back: Voices of Color is available from,,, and other booksellers.
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Talking Back: Voices of Color Edited and with an introduction by Nellie Wong Red Letter Press, 2015 $15.00, 240 pages, paperback, 5.5" x 8.5", index
 Print version: ISBN 978-0-932323-32-3
Ebook: ISBN 978-0-932323-33-0

Media information: Online press kit:

Review by Acquanda Stanford -

For more information, to obtain a review copy or arrange an interview or reading, contact Red Letter Press. • Facebook: Red Letter Press Books Red Letter Press 4710 University Way NE #100, Seattle, WA 98105 - (206)985-4621

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a great book especially as it is "free of academic jargon" and is defined as "readable."


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