Opal Tometi

Author of
  • When The Water Is Safer Than The Land
    Amistad/HarperCollins, 2019

Opal Tometi is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and the Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI). Tometi has appeared on CNN, NPR, MSNBC, and BET, and her words have been published in Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and Time Magazine. She graces the cover of Essence’s May 2017 issue (attached) alongside respected leading women from various initiatives. Her human rights work has led to her being named “A New Civil Rights Leader” by CNN, the Los Angeles Times and Essence. In 2016, Tometi, alongside her fellow BLM co-founders, received an honorary doctorate, the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year Award, BET’s Black Girls Rock Community Change Agent Award, and recognition by Fortune, Politico and Marie Claire for being among the world’s fifty greatest leaders. A sought-after speaker, Tometi has addressed the United Nations General Assembly (a privilege accorded only a very few Black US leaders), in addition to appearing at the University of Arizona’s commencement ceremony, the Atlantic Washington Ideas Forum, and Harvard and Yale, among other universities nationwide. She lives in Brooklyn.

Books by Opal

When The Water Is Safer Than The Land

Opal’s contributions and ideas–starting with her having been the one to spark the movement on social media and across the internet in the wake of the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer– have been recognized as among the most significant in the Black Lives Matter movement. Her journey to becoming an activist is also unique: the daughter of Nigerian immigrants raised in the Arizona desert, as an 8th grader Opal lived through her parents’ deportation trial, a deeply traumatic experience that informs the way she thinks about the ongoing violence against Black people and the nature of activism. Her work as the head of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) for the last seven years allows her to connect the struggles of African-Americans in America to those of Black people and immigrants around the world. In this book, Opal will write about the plight of immigrants and the issue of immigration from a perspective only she can.

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