April 11—A Time to Celebrate
The host committee for the April 11 event, still in formation, includes
Aladdin, actor and playwright; Herb Boyd, journalist and author; Elaine Brower, National Steering Committee of World Can't Wait* and anti-war military mom; Carl Dix, founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party; Nicholas Heyward, Sr., father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr. (murdered by the NYPD in 1994), Russ Jennings, theatre producer and writer; Erin Aubry Kaplan, journalist and author; Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, St. Mary's Church, Harlem*; Mike Ladd, mc and poet; Philip Maysles, visual artist, co-director, Maysles Cinema*; Matthew Shipp, musician; Cornel West, Professor of Religion, Princeton University* and David Zeiger, film maker.
(* for identification purposes only)
Unleash the Potential
- Go to www.revolutionbooksnyc.org for PDFs of promo cards to print out and distribute all over, and to email around as well.
- A lot of money needs to be raised to both publish the book and put this event on. (Go to www.revolutionbooksnyc.org for more information.) Make a generous donation yourself, and go to others to do the same. Take up the BAsics fundraising challenge. (See issue Revolution #224, February 6, 2011.)
But take up other ideas as well, and make this a question for people very broadly—in fact, fundraising should be a major way that people get to know about this. In one area, some people who work with the "revcoms" came up with the idea of a day when they would make and sell pre-ordered dinners for people as both a fundraiser and a way to publicize the upcoming book and the event. There are all kinds of creative and communal ways that people can raise money for this.
- Buzz and anticipation need to be created for the celebration. Wherever you live: make this known about among artistic and intellectual circles. Invite people to travel to be part of the night itself, to send video messages, to join the host committee, to strategize with us about who to reach out to. Let's not be bound by geography!
And let's also build this very big in the communities into which this paper reaches. Let's work with people in those communities to raise money to send delegations from around the country to this event and where a whole lot more people are able to be there in spirit, even if they can't travel all the way to NY. Statements from these delegations on why they are coming can be a major part of the buzz that is needed.
- Key neighborhoods and campuses need to be blanketed with posters, palm cards and other promotional materials. Clubs, cafes and other gathering spots need to have stacks of cards promoting this event.
It is also very important to make real efforts, starting now, to reach out to teachers and talk with them about this book and about this celebration. See what their ideas might be on how to promote this...on how to link this up with the young people they teach...and what they see as the potential here.
- This event and the book need to get way out there in the media and online. Print and electronic media outlets, large and small, need to be covering this—addressing the fact that a celebration like this is being held and noting the new and surprising artists and others who are getting involved in it. The word needs to be spread through Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and e-lists. It needs to be blogged about and taken up in other ways. Advertisements in key media need to be lined up.
- People need to be gotten into the house on April 11. This can require more than just letting everybody know it's happening. Tickets have to be sold in advance. In some cases, people should be organized to gather and come to Harlem together on that night. And again—if you're not in NY, you can organize people to raise the funds to send a delegation to the celebration and to bring the reverberations from the event back to your area.
- In all this work, familiarize people with Bob Avakian himself. In other words, don't just tell them about Avakian—make sure that they have a chance to watch the Revolution talk DVD (also available at revolutiontalk.net), or to get into the memoir, or to read the recent statement on Egypt, for example. One very good and important tool: Avakian's recent spoken word piece "All Played Out," available for downloading online atsoundcloud.com/allplayedout/all-played-out-by-bob-avakian. Playing this in classes or with individuals who may not have even heard of BA until now is an excellent introduction.
A Call To Prisoners—Celebrate the BAsics!
Let us hear from you your thinking on the publication of BAsics, and on celebrating revolution and the vision of a new world, as contributions to the April 11 event called for above.
And be sure to spread the word to ties on the outside about this event, this book, and this leader.