A new book from the late writer and political activist David DeWaitt, “Mandala: A New American Dream” (Doubleday, $26.95), will be the New Yorker’s bestseller.
In the book, DeWaitta tells the story of how he grew up as a poor kid in a predominantly black neighborhood of Baltimore, and then became a member of a political group, the Black Panthers, that fought for civil rights and won some major victories.
DeWait writes that his story has influenced him as he explores what it means to be a human being, the history of race, and how we can continue to shape our futures.
The book, which DeWaita co-authored with the Rev. William Barber, was adapted from the 2012 best-selling memoir “Mandolin in the House,” by African American writer, activist and activist Cornel West.
It was published by Crown Publishing.
In an interview with NPR last month, DeWits told the network that he had never read West before writing “Mandola,” but had been inspired by West’s words and actions.
“I was inspired by the Black Panther Party,” DeWaits said.
“The Panthers were the first group to say we have to be nonviolent, and they were the only group that said we have no weapons, and we have the right to defend ourselves with the kind of weapons that we have.”
The book is DeWaitted’s first book to make it onto the best-seller list.
“Mandela,” which he co-wrote with the poet, activist, and educator Maya Angelou, is set in the late 1960s and focuses on DeWaitto’s time in Baltimore, as a member and activist for the Black Power Movement, and as a youth activist.
He wrote the book after graduating high school, and is the son of former Baltimore mayor, Martin Luther King Jr. DeWitte also said that he is not necessarily endorsing West in any way.
“I think he has a lot of flaws and a lot that he has done, and I think we all need to work with him,” DeWit said.
But he does say that he hopes “Mandalas” will resonate with people, and that it will inspire people to fight for social justice and racial equality.
“It was the most powerful book I ever read,” De Waitt said.
He also said the book is the culmination of a life spent working on a political cause.
“We fought for the right of blacks in the South to vote and for the rights of the unborn, but we were fighting for the wrong things.
It’s time to stop fighting for what we have against each other and start fighting for each other.”