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Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement

Review

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement

On October 15, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too,’” in response to a New York Times article about the hideous allegations leveled against Harvey Weinstein. Tarana Burke, the founder of Just Be Inc., began using the phrase “me too” in 2006 as a way of inviting survivors of sexual abuse to come forward and share their story. Milano’s tweet went viral, and Tarana’s life changed forever.

"UNBOUND is the #MeToo founder’s debut memoir, and it’s a must-read.... Tarana’s writing is raw and brutally honest, and she does not sugarcoat anything."

UNBOUND is the #MeToo founder’s debut memoir, and it’s a must-read. Tarana grew up in the Bronx with her mother, who raised her as a single parent. Her grandfather had a big influence on her intellectual development, and she learned a lot about Black history from him. At the age of seven she was raped, and for far too long she kept it a secret. Although her teenage years were somewhat wild, it was at this time that she became involved in civil rights activism, which continued as she entered college.

She then moved to Selma, Alabama, where, during her work with adolescent and preteen girls, she discovered how widespread sexual violence was. This stunning realization forced her to deal with her own suppressed rape trauma. The inability of community leaders to protect young girls from sexual harassment and violence caused her to relocate to Philadelphia, bringing her memoir to a close.

Tarana’s writing is raw and brutally honest, and she does not sugarcoat anything. Along with recounting her brutal rape, she describes in detail other violent events from her adolescence. She admits that she has made her fair share of mistakes, but the important thing is that she has learned from them, which is evident throughout the book.

Tarana addresses a number of challenging issues that the US is currently dealing with, and shows how prevalent sexual abuse is in all its forms: indecent exposure, touching, molestation and rape. She exposes how ignorant society can be about it and emphasizes that even those in positions of power who are expected to serve and protect their citizens often turn a blind eye to it.

According to the publisher, UNBOUND “is the story of an inimitable woman’s inner strength and perseverance, all in pursuit of bringing healing to her community and the world around her, but it is also a story of possibility, of empathy, of power and of the leader we all have inside ourselves.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Reviewed by Dunja Bonacci Skenderović on October 15, 2021

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement
by Tarana Burke

  • Publication Date: September 14, 2021
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book
  • ISBN-10: 1250621739
  • ISBN-13: 9781250621733