The Legacy of Howard Zinn: David Barsamian & Marx in Soho

We are pleased to announce two special events celebrating the legacy of Howard Zinn and the shared project of the People’s History. We will be joined by David Barsamian, a friend of Howard’s and legendary journalist, author and activist in his own right. Also, our local activists the I Renounce War Project will host a participatory reading of Zinn’s play Marx in Soho. Check back for exact times.

zinn_dbDavid Barsamian is the award-winning founder and director of Alternative Radio, the independent weekly audio series based in Boulder, Colorado. One of America’s most wide-ranging and respected independent journalists, David Barsamian has altered the media landscape with his radio programs and books with Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Howard Zinn, Edward Said, Arundhati Roy, and others. His most recent books are Power Systems with Noam Chomsky and Occupy the Economy with Richard Wolff. He is winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation, and the 2014 Peacemaker of the Year Award from the Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes.

TesT thReE (1)Marx in Soho San Francisco’s I Renounce War Project invites you to  join in an informal shared reading aloud of lines from Howard Zinn’s Marx in Soho. The premise of this witty and insightful “play on history” is that Karl Marx has agitated with the authorities of the afterlife for a chance to clear his name. Through a bureaucratic error, though, Marx is sent to Soho in New York, rather than his old stomping ground in London, to make his case.

Panel: Adjunct Action!

(Over the past year, adjunct faculity at several Bay Area colleges have organized to fight against poverty level wages. The Howard Zinn Book Fair welcomes these organizers who are opening up a fascinating new front in the fight for economic justice. They are also accomplished poets on their own.)

EgpEURMWA0cWX19SXktDDwQ“Adjunct Action | Poets in Action” will be a panel co-sponsored by The Poetry Center, the Labor Archives & Research Center (both at San Francisco State University) and Service Employees International Union Local 1021. We will feature four local poet-writer-activists in conversation, all who work as adjunct faculty in at least one of the four Bay Area private colleges where adjuncts have recently voted to be represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in contract negotiations with administration. Adjunct Action is a national drive for “contingent” faculty workers, who across the U.S. teach 70% of the courses at colleges and universities. Part-time workers for the most, adjunct faculty get compensated in salary, benefits, and worker protections at levels far below tenure-track or tenured faculty, and many until now have not had recourse to collective bargaining and union representation. This is changing, with Mills College, San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, and St. Mary’s College adjunct workers voting for SEIU affiliation, and working at various stages to replace administrative policy with negotiated worker contracts and protections.

Moderated by Jessica Lawless, Organizer Adjunct Action, SEIU Local 1021. Featured panelists all work as adjunct faculty and are engaged in the unionization process at SF Art Institute, Mills College, or CCA. Jessica Beard is a literary scholar working in experimental writing, with her dissertation focused on the chaotic archive of Emily Dickinson; Hugh Behm-Steinberg’s work includes The Opposite of Work and Shy Green Fields.David Buuck is the founder of BARGE, Bay Area Research Group in Enviro-aesthetics, co-founder/editor of Tripwire, ;Stephanie Young’s books of poetry include Telling the Future Off, Picture Palace, and Ursula or University, and she coedited (also with Juliana Spahr) the book A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers.

Resistance Where Some Least Expect It

The Howard Zinn Book Fair is pleased to announce two great readings proving that organizing and resistance also happen far outside the great liberal cities.

DBDDixie Be Damned 300 Years of Revolt in the American South written by Neal Shirley and Saralee Stafford engages seven “hidden” insurrectionary episodes in Southern history to demonstrate the region’s long arc of revolt. Countering images of the South as pacified and conservative, this adventurous retelling presents history in the rough. Not the image of the South many expect, this is the South of maroon rebellion, wildcat strikes, and Robert F. Williams’s book Negroes with Guns, a South where the dispossessed refuse to quietly suffer their fate. This is people’s history at its best: slave revolts, multiracial banditry, labor battles, prison uprisings, urban riots, and more.

MAModesto Anarcho: Anarchist Community Organizing in the Central Valley Doug Gilbert (author of I Saw Fire: Reflections on Riots, Revolt and the Black Bloc) will discuss the failures and successes of Modesto Anarcho, which existed from 2006 to 2013. The group was involved in various organizing efforts including around police brutality, housing, gentrification, education, and much more. The group also put out a publication Modesto Anarcho: The Valley’s Insurrectionary Journal of Class Struggle and ran the community space, Firehouse 51. Modesto Anarcho existed in a rural setting, in often a very conservative climate and in an area without a large or active Left – yet still managed to organize and have an impact beyond its numbers.

More Reading & Event Announcements

(More to come, please check back soon!)

imgres-1Panel Discussion: Remembering ACT-UP The panelists–members of the original ACT UP/San Francisco–will discuss the planning behind the actions during the 6th International AIDS Conference in San Francisco, and the impact that they had on that conference and future conferences. ACT UP employed direct action as a strategy to change public policy and public opinion about the HIV/AIDS epidemic. ACT UP/San Francisco focused on the connections between the HIV/AIDS fight and those about health care access, reproductive justice, institutional racism, homophobia, immigration, and more. They will also talk about the impact of ACT UP on the HIV/AIDS response and on activist movements since the 1990s Panelsts TBA, including Laura Thomas, co-chair of Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club.


imgresRadical Storytelling: Writing Activism Into Fiction 
Behind the marathon meetings, the hours of diligent preparation, and the methodical  work involved in making social change,  heartbreaking, hair raising, life affirming stories lie hidden. Too often these stories remain invisible or are co-opted by the corporate media in sensationalistic ways to serve the status quo.  How do we as activists transform our lived experiences into page-turning, imaginative fiction that can move both activist readers and people who have never participated in a social movement? How do we move beyond the sound bytes and rhetoric that sometimes limit activism to portray characters and situations that have psychological and political depth, and tell radical stories that are compelling to a broad variety of readers?  Discussion and reading with debut novelists Diana Block (Clandestine Occupations: An Imaginary History), Steve Masover (Consequence) and Kate Raphael (Murder Under The Bridge).

51BcUKlxY7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist: David Hartsough David Hartsough knows how to get in the way. He has used his body to block Navy ships headed for Vietnam and trains loaded with munitions on their way to El Salvador and Nicaragua. He has crossed borders to meet “the enemy” in East Berlin, Castro’s Cuba, and present-day Iran. He has marched with mothers confronting a violent regime in Guatemala and stood with refugees threatened by death squads in the Philippines. Hartsough’s stories inspire, educate, and encourage readers to find ways to work for a more just and peaceful world. Inspired by the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Hartsough has spent his life experimenting with the power of active nonviolence. Engaging stories on every page provide a peace activist’s eyewitness account of many of the major historical events of the past 60 years, including the Civil Rights and anti–Vietnam War movements in the United States as well as the little-known but equally significant nonviolent efforts in the Soviet Union, Kosovo, Palestine, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. Waging Peace is a testament to the difference one person can make; however, it is more than one man’s memoir: it shows how this struggle is waged all over the world by ordinary people committed to ending the spiral of violence and war.

41Aj64fEePL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I Belong Only to Myself: The Life of Leda Rafanelli Author Andrea Pakieser in conversation with Laura Roberto (Berkeley Community College) Leda Rafanelli (1880–1971) was one of the most prolific propagandists in early twentieth century Italy. She began working as a typesetter in her teens, and went on to found and run several publishing houses. Her own body of work included scores of novels, pamphlets, short stories, children’s books, essays, and poems. A comrade of Benito Mussolini before he was a fascist, she converted to both anarchism and Islam at the age of twenty, a combination characteristic of her iconoclastic approach to life and politics. Rafanelli developed her own uniquely social form of individualist anarchism, which shunned the egoist trappings of the times, and practiced a deeply personal form of Islam even as she denounced religion. She countered both patriarchy and bourgeois feminism with “feminility,” a concept that predates some similar tenets of radical feminism by many decades. As some anarchists fell in with Marinetti and futurism’s often reactionary bravado, Rafanelli boldly declared herself a “Passist.” Weaving excerpts from Rafanelli’s novels, poems, and essays (presented here for the first time in English translation) with extensive biographical research, Andrea Pakieser traces a biographical path through the waves of strikes and insurrections that accompanied the shaky foundation of the Italian nation.

2_ETR0247Shock and Awe-Ethan Rafal A twelve-year, autobiographical project examining the relationship between protracted war and homeland decay, Shock and Awe is a meticulously crafted image, text, and found object journal that blurs the line between author and subject, and personal and authoritative histories. Completed over countless years traveling the United States, the project pulls from the traditions of documentary photography and writing set on the American road.

Keynote Conversation: Dr. Clayborn Carson & Alicia Garza: 12:30 Main Auditorium

Carson_Clayborne_credit_to_Michael_Collopyscaled

Black Lives Matter: Past, Present & Future. A conversation with Dr. Clayborne Carson & Alicia Garza. Two of the movement’s best thinkers take the stage to talk about the importance of Black organizing, connecting the Civil Rights era to today’s struggles against racial injustice.

Dr. Carson has authored or edited over two dozen books on the history Black freedom movements including the seminal In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening and The Black Panthers Speak. He is the Centenial Professor of History at Stanford University and the Chair of the King Institute.

imgresAs one of the co-founders of the #blacklivesmatter movement, Alicia Garza is one of today’s most important organizers. Channeling Ella J. Baker through her “low ego, high impact” style, her work has been pivotal in sustaining the contemporary freedom movement. She is the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the former Director of People Organized Winning Employment Rights.

The pair will be introduced by Dr. Nicholas Baham III, Professor of Ethnic Studies at California State University East Bay. Dr. Baham is the author of the recently released The Coltrane Church: Apostles of Sound, Agents of Social Justice.

The Early Slice: First Reading Announcements for 2015!

The Howard Zinn Book Fair is happy to announce just a few of the exciting events for November 15th, 2015. We are actively accepting submissions until August 1, 2015.

2346_regReading: Darrel Wanzer-Serrano, The New York Young Lords and the Struggle For Liberation.

The Young Lords was a multi-ethnic, though primarily Nuyorican, liberation organization that formed in El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) in July of 1969. Responding to oppressive approaches to the health, educational, and political needs of the Puerto Rican community, the movement’s revolutionary activism included organized protests and sit-ins targeting such concerns as trash pickups and lead paint hazards. The Young Lords advanced a thirteen-point political program that demanded community control of their institutions and land and challenged the exercise of power by the state and outsider-run institutions.

In The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation, Darrel Wanzer-Serrano details the numerous community initiatives that advanced decolonial sensibilities in El Barrio and beyond. Using archival research and interviews, he crafts an engaging account of the Young Lords’ discourse and activism. He rescues the organization from historical obscurity and makes an argument for its continued relevance, enriching and informing contemporary discussions about Latino/a politics.

9781933149912Multimedia: Rachel Cassandra and Lauren Gucik, Women Street Artists of Latin America

In this groundbreaking, in-depth look at a rarely explored perspective of street art, more than twenty female artists from seven nations in Latin America discuss themes of social justice, artist process, community, visibility, feminism, and more. A bilingual edition packed with full-color photographs and interviews, this revealing exploration of contemporary street art includes work from Colombia, Peru, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico. Viva!

Beyond Recognition WEBScreening: Beyond Recognition

After decades struggling to protect her ancestors’ burial places, now engulfed by San Francisco’s sprawl, a Native woman from a non-federally recognized Ohlone tribe and her allies occupy a sacred site to prevent its desecration. When this life-altering event fails to stop the development, they vow to follow a new path- to establish the first women-led urban Indigenous land trust. Beyond Recognition explores the quest to preserve one’s culture and homeland in a society bent on erasing them.

Shattering stereotypes, this half hour film tells the inspiring story of women creating opportunities amid a system that fractures Native communities across the nation. Through cinéma vérité, interviews, and stunning footage of the land, Beyond Recognition introduces Corrina Gould, Johnella LaRose, and Indian People Organizing for Change as they embark on an incredible journey to transform the way we see cities. The film invites viewers to examine their own relationship to place, revealing histories that have been buried by shifting landscapes. Beyond Recognition points to the intersection of human rights, women’s rights, and environmental protection, spotlighting a California story that has national and worldwide resonance.

image_miniReading: Dennis Childs: Slaves of the State: Black Incarceration From the Chain Gang to the Penitentary

Dennis Childs argues that the incarceration of black people and other historically repressed groups in chain gangs, peon camps, prison plantations, and penitentiaries represents a ghostly perpetuation of chattel slavery. He exposes how the Thirteenth Amendment’s exception clause—allowing for enslavement as “punishment for a crime”—has inaugurated forms of racial capitalist misogynist incarceration that serve as haunting returns of conditions Africans endured in the barracoons and slave ship holds of the Middle Passage, on plantations, and in chattel slavery.

Childs seeks out the historically muted voices of those entombed within terrorizing spaces such as the chain gang rolling cage and the modern solitary confinement cell, engaging the writings of Toni Morrison and Chester Himes as well as a broad range of archival materials, including landmark court cases, prison songs, and testimonies, reaching back to the birth of modern slave plantations such as Louisiana’s “Angola” penitentiary. Slaves of the State paves the way for a new understanding of chattel slavery as a continuing social reality of U.S. empire—one resting at the very foundation of today’s prison industrial complex that now holds more than 2.3 million people within the country’s jails, prisons, and immigrant detention centers.

87286100228580MMultimedia: Miriam Klein Stahl and Kate Schatz: Rad American Women A-Z.

Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet—but instead of “A is for Apple”, A is for Angela—as in Angela Davis, the iconic political activist. B is forBillie Jean King, who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett, who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker, who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King and helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.

And the list of great women continues, spanning several centuries, multiple professions, and 26 diverse individuals. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds.  American history was made by countless rad—and often radical—women. By offering a fresh and diverse array of female role models, we can remind readers that there are many places to find inspiration, and that being smart and strong and brave is rad. Rad American Women A to Z will be appreciated by various age groups. It is Common Core aligned for students grades 3 – 8. Pre-school and young children will be captured by the bright visuals and easily modified texts, while the subject matter will stimulate and inspire high-schoolers and beyond.

thScreenplay reading: Terry Bisson and actors: Kansas Brown: John Brown in Kansas

Legendary author Terry BissonsStaged 50 minute screenplay KANSAS BROWN film script covering Battles of Osawatomie, Black Jack and Lawrence, plus the massacre in the Swamp of the Swan. Historically accurate picture of the great abolitionist inspiring and leading the free-state forces and preventing Kansas from entering the Union as a slave state. Precursor to the Civil War (1859).

Two New HZB 2015 Academic Sponsors

We are excited to welcome two new academic sponsors of the Howard Zinn Book Fair 2015! Both the Labor and Community Studies Department of City College of San Francisco and the Anthropology and Social Change Department of the California Institute for Integral Studies contribute everyday to the building and understanding of People’s History.

The Labor and Community Studies Department of City  of San Francisco provides members of San Francisco labor unions and community organizations and other interested  with a comprehensive introduction to the role and contributions of organized labor and communities to American society.

Anthropology and Social Change Department of the California Institute for Integral Studies  is unique among graduate programs in the United States due to its focus on activist anthropology.We believe that anthropologists should analyze, discuss, and explore the possible; that they should research alternative institutions; that they need to collectively reflect and debate the dilemmas of other possible worlds. This collective effort of understanding “real utopias” takes the form of analytic and ethnographic study of existing alternatives in the present.