events at red emma's
Tuesday October 1, 7:00PM
With a special acoustic set by Rwanda's The Good Ones!
Popular culture has woven itself into the social fabric of our lives, penetrating people’s homes and haunting their psyches through images and earworm hooks. Justice, at most levels, is something the average citizen may have little influence upon, leaving us feeling helpless and complacent. But pop music is a neglected arena where concrete change can occur—by exercising active and thoughtful choices to reject the low-hanging, omnipresent corporate fruit, we begin to rebalance the world, one engaged listener at a time.
Silenced by Sound: The Music Meritocracy Myth is a powerful exploration of the challenges facing art, music, and media in the digital era. With his fifth book, producer, activist, and author Ian Brennan delves deep into his personal story to address the inequity of distribution in the arts globally. Brennan challenges music industry tycoons by skillfully demonstrating that there are millions of talented people around the world far more gifted than the superstars for whom billions of dollars are spent to promote the delusion that they have been blessed with unique genius.
We are invited to accompany the author on his travels, finding and recording music from some of the world’s most marginalized peoples. In the breathtaking range of this book, our preconceived notions of art are challenged by musicians from South Sudan to Kosovo, as Brennan lucidly details his experiences recording music by the Tanzania Albinism Collective, the Zomba Prison Project, a “witch camp” in Ghana, the Vietnamese war veterans of Hanoi Masters, the Malawi Mouse Boys, the Canary Island whistlers, genocide survivors in both Cambodia and Rwanda, and more.
Silenced by Sound is defined by muscular, terse, and poetic verse, and a nonlinear format rife with how-to tips and anecdotes. The narrative is driven and made corporeal via the author’s ongoing field-recording chronicles, his memoir-like reveries, and the striking photographs that accompany these projects.
After reading it, you’ll never hear quite the same again.
Thursday October 3, 7:00PM
With Reverend Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr. of Union Baptist Church!
In A Brotherhood of Liberty, Dennis Patrick Halpin shifts the focus of the black freedom struggle from the Deep South to argue that Baltimore is key to understanding the trajectory of civil rights in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the 1870s and early 1880s, a dynamic group of black political leaders migrated to Baltimore from rural Virginia and Maryland. These activists, mostly former slaves who subsequently trained in the ministry, pushed Baltimore to fulfill Reconstruction's promise of racial equality. In doing so, they were part of a larger effort among African Americans to create new forms of black politics by founding churches, starting businesses, establishing community centers, and creating newspapers. Black Baltimoreans successfully challenged Jim Crow regulations on public transit, in the courts, in the voting booth, and on the streets of residential neighborhoods. They formed some of the nation's earliest civil rights organizations, including the United Mutual Brotherhood of Liberty, to define their own freedom in the period after the Civil War.
Halpin shows how black Baltimoreans' successes prompted segregationists to reformulate their tactics. He examines how segregationists countered activists' victories by using Progressive Era concerns over urban order and corruption to criminalize and disenfranchise African Americans. Indeed, he argues the Progressive Era was crucial in establishing the racialized carceral state of the twentieth-century United States. Tracing the civil rights victories scored by black Baltimoreans that inspired activists throughout the nation and subsequent generations, A Brotherhood of Liberty highlights the strategies that can continue to be useful today, as well as the challenges that may be faced.
Tuesday October 8, 7:00PM
Wednesday October 9, 7:00PM
Saturday October 12, 7:00PM
Communities throughout America are under attack, on a number of fronts. The state, media, and ordinary people are complicit in the criminalization of people of color, across intersections and in a variety of absurdly cruel ways. An out of control carceral complex and a police-surveillance state unprecedented in history continues to create a punished class of people that grows with each passing year.
There is no disputing that we need a new way forward to combat this extensive apparatus–and the mindset that underpins it–that we witness locking children up, separating families, inciting violence, and destroying lives.
On October 12th at 7pm, Red Emma’s hosts Until We’re All Free: A Conversation on the Criminalization of Communities of Color. The evening’s panel discussion, facilitated by immigration and reproductive justice activist Alejandra Pablos, will focus on the notion of disposability, and on the dehumanization of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities that has facilitated atrocities past and present. The speakers will discuss their work, and how they and others have been impacted by criminalization, and what can be done to fight it.
This event is free, with a suggested donation of $5 to support Alejandra’ #KeepAleFree campaign.
Tuesday October 15, 7:00PM
Have you or your group been working on a radical or progressive project in the Baltimore area? Are you also short on funds?
We’ll be reviewing the Research Associates Grant application question by question so we can answer anything that comes up! A limited number of copies will be provided.
Wednesday October 16, 7:00PM
Join us as we welcome Josh MacPhee, founding member of both the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and Interference Archive, for a presentation of his new book An Encyclopedia of Political Record Labels, a collection of information about political music and radical cultural production. Focusing on vinyl records, and the labels that produced them, this groundbreaking book traces the parallel rise of social movements in the second half of the twentieth century and the vinyl record as the dominant form of music distribution. Josh will be spinning selected cuts from labels included in the book as part of the talk!
Thursday October 17, 7:00PM
From the Cold War through today, the U.S. has quietly assisted dozens of regimes around the world in suppressing civil unrest and securing the conditions for the smooth operation of capitalism. Casting a new light on American empire, Badges Without Borders shows, for the first time, that the very same people charged with global counterinsurgency also militarized American policing at home.
In this groundbreaking exposé, Stuart Schrader shows how the United States projected imperial power overseas through police training and technical assistance—and how this effort reverberated to shape the policing of city streets at home. Examining diverse records, from recently declassified national security and intelligence materials to police textbooks and professional magazines, Schrader reveals how U.S. police leaders envisioned the beat to be as wide as the globe and worked to put everyday policing at the core of the Cold War project of counterinsurgency. A “smoking gun” book, Badges without Borders offers a new account of the War on Crime, “law and order” politics, and global counterinsurgency, revealing the connections between foreign and domestic racial control.
Wednesday October 23, 7:00PM
How community-centered, peer-to-peer, youth knowledge exchanges are evolving into a strong economic and political foundation on which to build radical public education.
Following in the rich traditions in African American cooperative economic and educational thought, teacher-organizer Jay Gillen describes the Baltimore Algebra Project (BAP) as a youth-run cooperative enterprise in which young people direct their peers’ and their own learning for a wage. BAP and similar enterprises are creating an educational network of empowered, employed students.
Gillen argues that this is a proactive political, economic, and educational structure that builds relationships among and between students and their communities. It’s a structure that meets communal needs—material and social, economic and political—both now and in the future. Through the story of the Baltimore Algebra Project, readers will learn why youth employment is a priority, how to develop democratic norms and cultures, how to foster positive community roles for 20–30 year-olds, and how to implement educational accountability from below.
Thursday October 24, 7:00PM
An evening to feel and discuss the power of poetry!
“Dynamic duo” is a term usually reserved for the likes of comic book heroes, but if it were to apply to Spoken Word poetry, Writing4mylife would be it! Comprised of super poets Archie the Messenger and Lyrical the Lyricist, Writing4MyLife redefines the art of storytelling through spoken word, comedy, and improvisation. They have performed together for 15 years and in that time have created a two-man spoken word play that toured to six cities and an ongoing showcase, “Awesome,” which features the nation’s best spoken word artists. Between them they have published four books.
Just Enough For The City, the latest book from Lyrical the Lyricist, is an art experience of handwritten poetry that paints the American city reality into a dazzling mural of 16 poems. The collection is an ode to the city.
Archie the Messenger’s Crown of Thorns is a vivid look at life from a young prince out of Buffalo, NY traveling to Baltimore. Beautiful imagery, power, and passion come to life throughout the pages.
Come see, hear and feel how Writing 4 My Life brings poetry to life in an experience like none other! Even long-time fans will welcome this opportunity to hear Archie and Lyrical not only perform their poetry but discuss and answer questions about it as well.
Tuesday October 29, 7:00PM
Cosponsored by Hinenu Baltimore!
Discussion with author Nathaniel Flakin on the fascinating true story of a German Jew who risked his life among Nazi soldiers
‘Highly readable and admirably informed, a beautiful portrait’ – Enzo Traverso, author of The End of Jewish Modernity
Europe, 1943: the continent is on a knife edge. The Soviets are destroying the Germans at Stalingrad. The tide is finally beginning to turn against Hitler. Enter Martin Monath, whose short life needs little embellishment. His identity shrouded in mystery, the events of his life read like a detective novel.
Escaping from Berlin, he arrives in Paris in 1943 and befriends a number of occupying German soldiers – young men who barely remember anything before fascism. In clandestine meetings, the group begin to question the ideals that they’ve been brought up with. With a borrowed printing press, Monath and his comrades in the resistance secretly distribute their own propaganda in an effort to turn German soldiers against their commanders and be part of a revolution to overthrow Nazi rule.
Drawing on letters and forgotten documents, this is an extraordinary tale of immense bravery, espionage and betrayal.
Nathaniel Flakin is a freelance journalist and historian based in New York and Berlin. He is Editor of the news sites 'Klasse Gegen Klasse' and 'Left Voice'.
Wednesday October 30, 7:00PM
What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them?
Nicole Chung was born severely premature in the United States, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up—facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from—she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth.
With the same warmth, candor, and startling insight that has made
her a beloved voice, Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up,
which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a
profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions
of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever
struggled to figure out where they belong.
“This book moved me to my very core. As in all her writing, Nicole Chung speaks eloquently and honestly about her own personal story, then widens her aperture to illuminate all of us. All You Can Ever Know is full of insights on race, motherhood, and family of all kinds, but what sets it apart is the compassion Chung brings to every facet of her search for identity and every person portrayed in these pages. This book should be required reading for anyone who has ever had, wanted, or found a family―which is to say, everyone.” ―Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere
"Chung’s memoir is more than a thoughtful consideration of race and heritage in America. It is the story of sisters finding each other, overcoming bureaucracy, abuse, separation, and time." ―The New Yorker
Friday November 1, 6:00PM
Following the U.S. Congress’s initial efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, Amelia Bonow’s unapologetic abortion disclosure catalyzed a viral outpouring of abortion stories on social media via the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion. Bonow developed Shout Your Abortion (SYA) into a nationwide movement working to create places for people to discuss their abortions, online, in art and media, and in real life events all over the country. Bonow serves on the Board of Directors of the Abortion Care Network and her writing has appeared in BUST, the Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, Salon, and the Stranger. Her recent book is Shout Your Abortion (PM Press) which she coedited with Emily Nokes and Lindy West.
Friday November 1, 7:00PM
In Baldwin Sent Me, the authors, two Black men who love Black men, explore their own Black experience and artfully document the conversations, challenges, ideas, and resistance that exist in today's anti-Black America.
About the Author:
Terrance “Duke the Root” Porter (Duke) is a Baltimore native and “artivist.” He is a three time winner of the DC Black Pride Mary Bowman Poetry Slam and 2018 Southern Fried Slam Champion. As the Coordinator of Eastern Region Projects and Affairs for Black Men’s Xchange, Duke is responsible for leading trainings, workshops, and organizing cultural events that promote the excellence and wellness of Black people across the gender and sexuality spectrum. His passion for building and uniting Black people has allowed him to be a voice for his community nationally.