Activist DeRay Mckesson will publish his first book in September

DeRay Mckesson
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

DeRay Mckesson, the civil rights activist who gained national attention after his participation in the protests against police violence in Ferguson, Mo., will release his first book this year.

Viking will publish “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope” on Sept. 4, the publisher said in a news release.

Mckesson, a former school administrator, first rose to national prominence in 2014 when he used social media to document the unrest in Ferguson. There, protestors took to the streets over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a young African American man, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.


A grand jury declined to indict Wilson months after Brown’s slaying, which resulted in further protests in the St. Louis suburb. Police and protestors clashed. The protests led to national recognition of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which began in 2013.

Mckesson continued his activism in the years after the Ferguson protests and ran for mayor of Baltimore in 2016, finishing sixth in the Democratic primary. He is currently the host of the podcast Pod Save the People.

Viking said that Mckesson’s book will dissect “how deliberate oppression persists, how racial injustice strips our lives of promise, and how technology has added a new dimension to mass action and social change.”

“In the past three years I’ve seen unrest sweep America, first in the streets in Ferguson and then all over the country,” McKesson said in a statement. “I have seen people claim their power, knowing that this country has not yet delivered on its promise of equity and justice. In this book, I explore the causes of the current inequity and offer a vision for how we get beyond it, to a place of freedom.”