After returning from the California book tour, I had scant time to reflect and blog about it given the work on the ground in St. Louis and prepping for the Atlanta tour. I do need to give some shout-outs to those who made the Cally events happen and to the people who turned out.
I already wrote about the beautiful staff at World Beat Center in San Diego. That was the first leg of the trip and founder Makeda “Dread” Cheatom did it up right. The event was co-sponsored by Activist San Diego, with Martin Eder as the point person. I participated in a protest in downtown San Diego denouncing the racist and corrupt tactics of prosecutor Bonnie Dumanis.
Next stop was a signing event hosted by the Philipino Workers Center in Los Angeles. Much appreciation to the workers and staff. That event was videotaped so as soon as I get a link, I”ll share it with you.
I went on to the U of CA at Riverside where I spoke to classes of Ellen Reese. Students shared their insights, hopes and anxieties about the race in the U.S.
Last stop was Oakland on Monday, Feb 8 but it really turned out to be a Bay Area event. We made a decision to cancel the San Francisco book event originally scheduled for Sunday. Organizers thought I could compete with the Super Bowl–NOT! Mucho gracias to LeftRoots, Eastside Arts Alliance Collective, Matt Nelson & Freedom Road Socialist Org for making it happen. Young people opened up the program: a sister doing a poem on gentrification accompanied by a young brother on flute. Powerful and appropriate since the Center is building a Black Cultural Zone in the face of white gentrification. I’m truly sorry that we ran out of books but you can still get them at Walden Pond Books (went by and autographed the books) and Solespace–yes, that’s a shoe store!
I am inspired by what’s going on at Eastside Arts and World Beat Centers where young people are being mentored/nurtured in a host of ways. These Centers, and others like them, need our continued financial and political support. Much love to Makeda at World Beat and Greg Morozumi and Elena Sereno at Eastside Arts.
I loved connecting with all my social justice companeros and meeting new friends, like “Uncle Bobby” who is the unc of Oscar Grant, murdered by Oakland BART cops. I’m so excited about the archive project for the League of Revolutionary Struggle and its untold contributions to the student, nationalities, labor and international movements.
Please share any photos you have of the Cally tour on the Facebook album.