“You find wisdom on the way to finding freedom”

Kicking Out the Jams to Raise the Funds to Save Revolution Books

| revcom.us


On December 3, 25-30 people gathered at Revolution Books to hear from Andy Zee about the very particular role that Revolution Books plays in society and to confront the reality that without the active involvement of many more people, problem solving and working together to save Revolution Books, we could in fact lose this precious resource for humanity. The presentation had at its core this letter from Andy Zee to the Revolution Books community, An Appeal to Save REVOLUTION BOOKS—A Beacon in Dangerous Times.

For all of us, those more familiar with and supportive of Revolution Books for a few years, as well as the newer volunteers and donors, it was important to be reminded of the experiences you have at this store that could be lost—you got a visceral sense of what it means to have a store about the world, and for a radically different world. Andy talked about how this is the fourth anniversary of Revolution Books in Harlem, and how the bookstore has been enriched by the diversity and cultural legacy of Harlem, and he pulled the lens back to all of humanity and the world: this bookstore is about dreaming and fighting for what may seem impossible, but is in fact the only realistic option: the emancipation of all of humanity. A bookstore volunteer read out a quote from a recent visitor: “Revolution Books is like a stop on the underground railroad. You come in, you can rest a little bit, and you find wisdom on the way to finding freedom. It's a godsend."

This opened up a lot of ideas and initiative—how can we introduce Revolution Books to new networks of readers, and people who love books, like Harlem reading circles, sororities and other groups of people who join together to raise money for good causes but don't have an idea about something truly meaningful they could be contributing to? How can the children and youth from the beautiful historic brownstones to the crushing projects just blocks away from Revolution Books come in and engage a different morality and ethos in opposition to the culture of getting mine or getting crushed. We broke up into groups to get concrete with some of these plans to meet the great challenges ahead of us, bringing in the people and raising the $50,000 to get Revolution Books on a more sustainable and viable basis. Andy Zee emphasized that we had to kick out the jams to spread the word—raising funds and raising the people to save RB. This means getting out to a lot of people straight up with why Revolution Books is so precious and to bring them into the fight to save this bookstore, financially and by becoming part of the Revolution Books community; by spreading the word all over Harlem and the city about Revolution Books, encouraging many, many people to visit and buy their loved ones books and gifts that matter for this holiday season.

This December and January we aim to have a fuller schedule of programs, films, and discussions, so everyone should keep tuned to the Revolution Books website for upcoming events. The centerpieces, which everyone should put on their calendars now, are the RB Holiday Open House & Fund-raising Party on December 15 and “A Conversation between Dread Scott and Andy Zee” on Dread’s recent public art performance Slave Rebellion Reenactment on January 17.

So read Andy Zee’s letter here and donate generously to raise the $50,000.




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