Student Success

  • When They Call You A Terrorist book cover

    The 2021 Common Read

Current Year

To the Entering Freshman Class of Fall 2021

Welcome to Cal State Northridge! CSUN's Freshman Common Reading for 2021-2022 is When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele.

As a new freshman, you are invited to read this book and to discuss it as part of a campus-wide community of readers. If you are enrolled in UNIV 100, you will have the opportunity to read When They Call You A Terrorist as part of the course. But even if you're not taking UNIV 100, reading and talking about the book will remind you that shared intellectual engagement is at the very center of the academic community that you are about to join. The Freshman Common Reading Program invites everyone on campus to think, talk, and learn together across and beyond the boundaries of the classroom by using the book as a starting point.

Read this book; talk about it with other students; discuss it with faculty, with staff, with administrators, with friends, and even--who knows?--with your family.

About the book

Raised by a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood in Los Angeles, Patrisse Khan-Cullors experienced firsthand the prejudice and persecution Black Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement. For Patrisse, the most vulnerable people in the country are Black people. Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system serving a white privilege agenda, Black people are subjected to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin’s killer went free, Patrisse’s outrage led her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.

Condemned as terrorists and as a threat to America, these loving women founded a hashtag that birthed the movement to demand accountability from the authorities who continually turn a blind eye to the injustices inflicted upon people of Black and Brown skin.

Championing human rights in the face of violent racism, Patrisse is a survivor. She transformed her personal pain into political power, giving voice to a people suffering inequality and a movement fueled by her strength and love to tell the country—and the world—that Black Lives Matter.

When They Call You a Terrorist is Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele’s reflection on humanity. It is an empowering account of survival, strength and resilience and a call to action to change the culture that declares innocent Black life expendable. (from the publisher's website)

Assignment ideas for faculty and staff interested in discussing When They Call You A Terrorist

Discussion topics and classroom assignments faculty and staff can use with When They Call You A Terrorist are posted on the faculty-staff resource page. If you have a new idea to add to this collection, please email it to Susanna Eng-Ziskin, University Library.