On this May evening, Orca is proud to host several authors, performers and activists marking the release of David Gilbert's new memoir, Love and Struggle: My SDS, the Weather Underground, and Beyond.
Award winning author Terry Bisson is the editor of Love and Struggle. He published his first novel in 1981, and has been a working science fiction writer ever since. Politically he was part of the New Left, working with the John Brown Anti-Klan Ctte and the May19 Communist Organization.
Hip hop emcee and community organizer Mic Crenshaw co-founded Global Fam, a non-profit which has helped setup a computer center for disadvantaged youth in Burundi, Central Africa. In 2009 he was intimately involved with the establishment of the first contemporary music-focused high school within the Portland Public School system. Crenshaw currently teaches, and regularly speaks and performs in high schools and universities, continuing the fight for justice and equality in these crucial times.
Walidah Imarisha is a poet, activist, educator and independent journalist. Walidah has taught at Portland State University in the Black Studies Department. She is the bad half of the poetry duo Good Sista/Bad Sista. Her poetic, political and academic work centers around prisons, creating community based alternatives and institutions and the intersection of oppression.
From PM Press, Gilbert's publisher:
A nice Jewish boy from suburban Boston -- hell, an Eagle Scout! -- David Gilbert arrived at Columbia University just in time for the explosive Sixties.
From the early anti-Vietnam War protests to the founding of SDS, from the Columbia Strike to the tragedy of the Townhouse, Gilbert was on the scene: as organizer, theoretician, and above all, activist. He was among the first militants who went underground to build the clandestine resistance to war and racism known as "Weatherman." And he was among the last to emerge, in captivity, after the disaster of the 1981 Brink's robbery, an attempted expropriation that resulted in four deaths and long prison terms.
In this extraordinary memoir, written from a maximum-security prison where he has lived for almost thirty years, David Gilbert tells the intensely personal story of his own Long March from liberal to radical to revolutionary.
Today a beloved and admired mentor to a new generation of activists, he assesses with rare humor, with an understanding stripped of illusions, and with uncommon candor the erros and advances, terrors and triumphs of the Sixties and beyond, as seen from underground by a foot soldier who never lost faith in the dream of a just society.
It's a battle that was far from won, but is still not lost: the struggle to build a new world, and the love that drives that effort. A cautionary tale and how-to as well, Love and Struggle is a book as uncompromising and as humane as its author.
Come talk about this important new memoir, and explore how the 1960s relate to current social movements like Occupy.