The primary Red Emma's storefront.More info about this location
30 W. North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201
Thursday April 19, 7:30PM
In the tradition of bell hooks, Roxane Gay and Audre Lorde, America’s leading young black feminist celebrates dissent—both personal and public. So what if it’s true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting.
Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Eloquent Rage shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon. Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less.
Thursday April 26, 7:30PM
What if racialized mass incarceration is not a perversion of our criminal justice system’s liberal ideals, but rather a natural conclusion? Adam Malka raises this disturbing possibility through a gripping look at the origins of modern policing in the influential hub of Baltimore during and after slavery’s final decades. He argues that America’s new professional police forces and prisons were developed to expand, not curb, the reach of white vigilantes, and are best understood as a uniformed wing of the gangs that controlled free black people by branding them—and treating them—as criminals. The post–Civil War triumph of liberal ideals thus also marked a triumph of an institutionalized belief in black criminality. Mass incarceration may be a recent phenomenon, but the problems that undergird the “new Jim Crow” are very, very old. As Malka makes clear, a real reckoning with this national calamity requires not easy reforms but a deeper, more radical effort to overcome the racial legacies encoded into the very DNA of our police institutions. Don't miss this important event!
Saturday April 28, 6:30PM
For National Poetry Month, The Baltimore Scene awards a talented adult poet with $700 in cash!
For the last nine years, poets from all over the country have competed to be the winner of the largest and longest running adult slam on the East Coast. The event is curated by Chin-yer, Director of The Baltimore Scene and Director of DewMore Baltimore's Maya Baraka Writer's Institute, and hosted by Word War 8 Champion Kenneth Something.
Word War 9 will also feature performances by Baltimore City's 2018 Youth Poetry Slam Team!
Sunday April 29, 3:00PM
In this comprehensive history, Ashley D. Farmer examines black women’s political, social, and cultural engagement with Black Power ideals and organizations. Complicating the assumption that sexism relegated black women to the margins of the movement, Farmer demonstrates how female activists fought for more inclusive understandings of Black Power and social justice by developing new ideas about black womanhood. This compelling book shows how the new tropes of womanhood that they created--the “Militant Black Domestic,” the “Revolutionary Black Woman,” and the “Third World Woman,” for instance--spurred debate among activists over the importance of women and gender to Black Power organizing, causing many of the era’s organizations and leaders to critique patriarchy and support gender equality.
Saturday May 5, 6:30PM
We're in crisis—and collective action is needed in all areas, including poetically! Join us for an open mic of justice, conscious thought, spirituality, fam, real life—whatever advances the village! In the tradition of Emma Goldman’s “Mother Earth” magazine, come drop some rad “fiyah” on us, or contribute just with your presence and energy! [By the way: it’s a non-erotic venue; rather than a love/erotica evening, we focus this night on justice and other matters of life. And, almost needless to say, leave the misogyny, homophobia and other unnecessary ish outside!]
Thursday May 10, 7:30PM
Why, at given historical moments, do rebellions seem to erupt synchronously around the globe? In the new edited collection Spontaneous Combustion, authors draw upon George Katsiaficas' notion of "the eros effect" to make sense of this phenomenon. Through case studies, analytic elaborations, and critical rejoinders, Spontaneous Combustion unearths the erotic dimensions of global revolt.
Saturday May 12, 6:00PM
Polyamorous people and communities can appear, at first glance, to be very open and welcoming. In many case, they don't take the time to get introspective about why they may come across as unfriendly or inaccessible to people of color. Love's Not Color Blind is a book about what we can do to change that landscape. Join author Kevin Patterson for a workshop on intersectional polyamory and a personally-driven discussion on how race can impact polyamory on both individual and community levels.
Tuesday May 15, 7:30PM
Join the authors of the new book Police: A Field Guide for a wide-ranging conversation on the language of policing, the limits of police reform, and ideas for changing how we talk about policing and eventually be free from police brutality and the institution itself.
Police: A Field Guide is an illustrated handbook to the methods, mythologies, and history that animate today’s police. It is a survival manual for encounters with cops and police logic, whether it arrives in the shape of officer friendly, Tasers, curfews, non-compliance, or reformist discourses about so-called bad apples. In a series of short chapters, each focusing on a single term, such as the beat, order, badge, throw-down weapon, and much more, authors David Correia and Tyler Wall present a guide that reinvents and demystifies the language of policing in order to better prepare activists—and anyone with an open mind—on one of the key issues of our time: police brutality. In doing so, they begin to chart a future free of this violence—and of police.
Thursday May 17, 7:30PM
Red Emma’s is excited to welcome Alex Vitale to discuss his book The End of Policing! Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression—most dramatically in Ferguson, Missouri, where longheld grievances erupted in violent demonstrations following the police killing of Michael Brown. Among activists, journalists, and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself. “Broken windows” practices, the militarization of law enforcement, and the dramatic expansion of the police’s role over the last forty years have created a mandate for officers that must be rolled back.
This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.
In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing.
Sunday May 27, 3:00PM
Cosponsored by Not Without Black Women!
In 1932, Mittie Maude Lena Gordon spoke to a crowd of black Chicagoans at the old Jack Johnson boxing ring, rallying their support for emigration to West Africa. In 1937, Celia Jane Allen traveled to Jim Crow Mississippi to organize rural black workers around black nationalist causes. In the late 1940s, from her home in Kingston, Jamaica, Amy Jacques Garvey launched an extensive letter-writing campaign to defend the Greater Liberia Bill, which would relocate 13 million black Americans to West Africa.
Gordon, Allen, and Jacques Garvey—as well as Maymie De Mena, Ethel Collins, Amy Ashwood, and Ethel Waddell—are part of an overlooked and understudied group of black women who take center stage in Set the World on Fire, the first book to examine how black nationalist women engaged in national and global politics from the early twentieth century to the 1960s. Historians of the era generally portray the period between the Garvey movement of the 1920s and the Black Power movement of the 1960s as an era of declining black nationalist activism, but Keisha N. Blain reframes the Great Depression, World War II, and the early Cold War as significant eras of black nationalist—and particularly, black nationalist women's—ferment.
In Chicago, Harlem, and the Mississippi Delta, from Britain to Jamaica, these women built alliances with people of color around the globe, agitating for the rights and liberation of black people in the United States and across the African diaspora. As pragmatic activists, they employed multiple protest strategies and tactics, combined numerous religious and political ideologies, and forged unlikely alliances in their struggles for freedom. Drawing on a variety of previously untapped sources, including newspapers, government records, songs, and poetry, Set the World on Fire highlights the flexibility, adaptability, and experimentation of black women leaders who demanded equal recognition and participation in global civil society.
Friday June 15, 7:30PM
The story of Christine Jorgensen, America’s first prominent transsexual, famously narrated trans embodiment in the postwar era. Her celebrity, however, has obscured other mid-century trans narratives—ones lived by African Americans such as Lucy Hicks Anderson and James McHarris. Their erasure from trans history masks the profound ways race has figured prominently in the construction and representation of transgender subjects. In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.