Emerald Garner

Finding My Voice

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In this unforgetable memoir, Emerald Garner recounts her father’s cruel and unjust murder, the immense pain that followed, the pressures of an exploitative media, and her difficult yet determined journey as an activist against police violence.

She begins with the morning of July 17, 2014—a rare day off from work, one she had hoped to enjoy with rest and family, that quickly turned her world inside out. What follows is a personal account of the suffering Emerald and her family endured: unsympathetic camera lenses, the stares and whispers of strangers, and the inability to mourn in private.

In addition to these vulnerable, personal essays, Finding My Voice includes conversations in which Emerald found inspiration, empathy, and community: politicians, athletes, and activists like Brian Benjamin and Etan Thomas; others who had survived similarly unfathomable grief like Lora Dene King, Angelique Kearse, and Pamela Brooks; and Emerald’s own family, Mrs. Esaw Garner and Eric Garner Jr. The book ends with a powerful call-to-action by author and daughter of Malcolm X, Ilyasah Shabazz. With growing calls for radical transformation and accountability, Emerald Garner’s memoir is a story of family and community, and the strength it takes to survive, to stand, to speak.”