Patrisse Cullors Has Gone From BLM Leader to Author and TV Producer

Learn about Patrisse Cullors’ net worth and the scrutiny over the former Black Lives Matter leader’s finances and real estate purchases.

Dan Clarendon - Author

Apr. 5 2022, Updated 1:57 p.m. ET

Patrisse Cullors
Source: Getty Images

Scrutiny over Patrisse Cullors’ net worth and finances preceded her decision to step down as executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF). The New York Post claimed that she had a “million-dollar real estate buying binge.”

Later, The Los Angeles Times clarified that Cullors bought houses not with BLMGNF money but with her other income. “It wasn’t just a character assassination campaign,” she told the Times, “but a campaign to actually get me assassinated.” However, a more recent New York Magazine exposé alleges the organization used donation funds for the cash purchase of a $6 million home in Southern California to essentially function as an "influencer house."

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Patrisse Cullors

Activist, author, co-founder of Black Lives Matter

Net worth: $2 million (reported)

Patrisse Cullors is an activist who co-founded the Black Lives Matter movement and wrote the bestselling book When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir with Asha Bandele.

Birthdate: 1984

Birthplace: Los Angeles, Calif.

Spouse: Janaya Khan (m. 2016)

However, Cullors and BLMGNF are under the microscope again, with New York Magazine reporting on the “confusion about how money is collected and spent” at the organization.

Here’s what we know about Cullors’ income sources.

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Patrisse Cullors is a published author.

Patrisse Cullors
Source: Getty Images

In 2017, St. Martin’s Press paid a high-six-figure amount to acquire When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, a book Cullors co-wrote with journalist Asha Bandele, according to Publisher’s Weekly. The book came out in 2018 and became an instant bestseller.

Last month, Cullors released another book, An Abolitionist’s Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World, again through St. Martin’s Press. “What Patrisse’s book is so powerful for is that it’s really investigating how we shift our relationships to each other,” BLM co-founder Alicia Garza told The Hollywood Reporter. “How we shift the way that we treat each other, the way we support leadership, and people who take on leadership roles in our communities.”

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Patrisse Cullors has an overall deal with Warner Bros. Television Group.

In October 2020, Cullors announced that she had signed an overall deal with Warner Bros. Television Group. Through the deal, she would develop and producer projects for broadcast, cable, and streaming television, as Variety reported at the time.

In an interview on Democracy Now! last month, Cullors said that she’s interested in developing projects about Black women who are organizers and artists.

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“I’m also very interested in aestheticizing abolition,” she added. “White supremacy and patriarchy has aestheticized itself. It’s become a cultural project, not just a political project. So I want to do the same with abolition. I want to show people that abolition is not just a theory inside a book, but it’s something that we can practice, and it’s something that is culturally relevant for this time.”

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Cullors also has a YouTube deal.

As The Los Angeles Times reports, Cullors’ TV and literary work are just the start of her professional pursuits. She also has a YouTube deal, takes public speaking gigs, teaches at Prescott College (a liberal-arts college in Arizona), and runs an art gallery in South Los Angeles. Online reports estimate Cullors’ net worth to be in the range of $2 million.

“I’m a multi-hyphenate,” Cullors told The Hollywood Reporter last month, reflecting on her choice to hand over her involvement in BLMGNF. “And so I really love starting projects and investing in them, developing them, and then seeing them grow … There are so many projects that I’ve started, that I’m no longer at the helm of. And I actually think that’s very good leadership. Nothing gets to evolve if you stay in it, and you don’t get to evolve.”


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