If We Must Die is a narrative and compilation of commentaries by African American leaders, intellectuals, and average citizens on wars fought by the United States. The book uses the rich material of political and social commentary as it seeks to articulate the concerns, mood, and memory of African Americans in the context of global political realities. Organized chronologically, by America's major wars, If We Must Die offers an impressively wide array of viewpoints from such diverse figures as Molly Pitcher, Phyllis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells, Paul Robeson, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Barack Obama, and more.
Karin L. Stanford is associate professor of pan African studies and African American politics at California State University, Northridge.