Ex-Prisoner on the Dialogue and the Dinner:

“Everyone was Feeling It”—People Need to See This

February 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

I sat down with a former prisoner who attended the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, “REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: the Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.” We watched the beginning of the footage of the Dialogue online, through the speeches by both BA and Cornel West. I want to share three of his many important observations.

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1. "That story about Clyde Young was so good. Everybody needed to hear that. That's about the hope. People the system says are the worst of the worst can change and be part of this. If you don't get that part you are missing a big part of what BA's speech is about." Later he commented on what it would mean for it to be heard when the movie of the film comes out.

2. He spoke about how the Dialogue brought home how no one is doing what BA is doing, offering the real analysis of the problem and the solution of real revolution.

3. On November 15 this brother was sitting in a section of Riverside Church with a lot of people from the oppressed neighborhoods in Harlem and elsewhere. He described how people responded to different parts of both speeches: Cornel West, too but mainly BA, He talked about the enthusiasm and excitement, around how BA went after the murderous history of this country and the oppression of Black people and others, How he spoke about how those on the bottom are treated and he talked about the environment, what the U.S. did in Indonesia, and how he challenged all of them, including him. He spoke about how people cheered, spoke back "that's right" and also how there was uneasiness at times around "the truth" around religion and Obama, but intense listening and going with BA through this and being with him in real ways.

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Then he said, "When BA talked about how the world could be different in the 'What If...' part of the speech almost everybody in that section was in tears, including me. People were feeling it." He went on to cite several of the "What ifs...": any woman being able to walk down the street and look any man in the eye without fear; no borders, no more people considered “immigrants” … in this overall thing that was going on among that part of the audience, something even more moving and powerful came from both women and men. Some people came to their feet applauding and shouting  "Yes!" – breaking into smiles and laughter. 

This brother went on to think out loud about what it meant that people were moved so profoundly and the impact the release of the professional film of the Dialogue needs to have—millions seeing this across the country and among all sections of people. He is struggling for his partner and others from the projects to come to the Dinner this Sunday—so people can see the advance clips of the new film and get involved in spreading this everywhere this spring.

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