Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Linda Sarsour (We’re In This Together)!
Read on to learn more about her, her book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: Linda Sarsour
Linda Sarsour is a Brooklyn-born Palestinian Muslim American community organizer and mother of three. Recognized for her award-winning intersectional work, she served as national cochair of the Women’s March, helping to organize the largest single-day protest in US history. She is the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York and cofounder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPower Change, as well as Until Freedom, a national racial justice organization working with Black and Brown communities across the country.
About the Book: We’re Still In This Together
An inspiring and empowering young readers edition of We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders, the memoir by Women’s March coorganizer and activist Linda Sarsour.
You can count on me, your Palestinian Muslim sister, to keep her voice loud, keep her feet on the streets, and keep my head held high because I am not afraid.
On January 17, 2017, Linda Sarsour stood in the National Mall to deliver a speech that would go down in history. A crowd of over 470,000 people gathered in Washington, DC, to advocate for legislation, policy, and the protection of women’s rights—with Linda, a Muslim American activist from Brooklyn, leading the charge, unapologetic and unafraid.
In this middle grade edition of We Are Not Here to be Bystanders, Linda shares the memories that shaped her into the activist she is today, and how these pivotal moments in her life led her to being an organizer in one of the largest single-day protests in US history. From the Brooklyn bodega her father owned to the streets of Washington, DC, Linda’s story as a daughter of Palestinian immigrants is a moving portrayal of what it means to find your voice in your youth and use it for the good of others as an adult.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER?
I was inspired to write We’re In This Together because I believe that our world is in danger and it can only be saved by our young people. My book is a necessary and timely opportunity to challenge and inspire youth to be the change they want to see. I believe that the stories in my book will resonate, educate and provide practical information and skills.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the book?
The title came first. I thought a lot about how I wanted to write a serious book about issues impacting Black and Brown communities but also be hopeful. The title reaffirms hope and solidarity. It inspired the way I framed the stories I shared so that even through injustice, young people were introduced to solutions, love across differences and moments of hope.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I am most proud of the campaign I helped lead in New York City to incorporate Muslim holidays in to the public school calendar. The description of how we brought people together, our consistency, resiliency even through many obstacles leaves me inspired and motivated. I hope that it will do the same for the young people who read this book.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now
I have learned that anyone can be a writer and storyteller and that we each deserve to share our experiences, triumphs and losses. Over the years, I gained more courage to tell my story, even in a world that often marginalized and demonized my voice. Writing forces you to set aside time, reflect and share some of your most sacred moments. You learn that your story may inspire others and so that becomes your biggest motivation.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love the cover of We’re In This Together so much because to me it shows power, courage and faith. I love how bold the colors are! It makes me feel like a superhero and I hope that little Muslim girls and girls of color get excited and encouraged when they see it. I hope the message they take from the cover is that they are powerful too.
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
The most recent book I read is State of Emergency by Tamika D. Mallory. This book is powerful and resonates with me as it goes into depth on the current issues impacting Black communities today and connecting them to American history. Tamika is a bold and brave Black woman activist from New York and this book is written through her eyes. It is enraging yet also inspiring and gives us a vision of equity and justice for the future.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
In addition to We Are Not Here To Be Bystanders, my adult memoir, We’re In This Together, my young reader edition, I also have a picture book coming later next year. I am excited to continue expanding on the generations I am reaching through my stories. I also have my own radio show every Wednesday morning on WBAI.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate in WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER?
Losing my mentor and friend, Basemah Atweh in a devastating car crash was very difficult for me. I knew that this story about death and dying would be hard for young readers but I felt it was necessary. This story shaped who I am and helped define my path forward as a full time activist and organizer. This story demonstrated love, loyalty and legacy. I hope that it inspires youth who may have lost someone they love, that they can move on without ever forgetting the one they lost, that they could do good for the world in their memory and honor.
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER?
My main message in We’re In This Together is solidarity. I want young readers to walk away believing that we are all intertwined and that when one of us is not free, none of us are free. I hope they are inspired to help others regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, etc.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
My superpower is courage. I am not afraid. I am brave and can stand up against very powerful people and forces who choose to oppress marginalized people.
Title: We’re In This Together
Author: Linda Sarsour
Release Date: November 29, 2022
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Salaam Reads
Ages: 8-12, Grades 3-7
~ Giveaway Details ~
Three (3) winners will receive a copy of We’re In This Together (Linda Sarsour)! ~US ONLY (No P.O Boxes)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*