read charles johnson. he wrote a book called Middle Passage which grace lee boggs put my attention onto.
the book is a fantastical political poetic novel about a black scoundrel who catches a ride on a slaver out of new orleans to avoid his debt and a forced marriage. the slaves his bosses pick up are magicians and spirits who rebel – and whose essential belief system is that we are all one. the ultimate failure, to them, is to be set in opposition, or any kind of separation, from another.
a few of the now underlined sentences in the novel:
“The problem was how to win without defeating the other person.”
“A man’s soul was an alchemical cauldron where material events were fashioned from the stuff of feelings & ideas.”
“What came out of us, not what went in, made us clean or unclean.”
“It was Captain Falcon’s belief that slave insurrections could be prevented if, for every ten prisoners, one was selected to oversee the others and keep them in line…”The best way to control a rebellious nigger” “, said he, “is to give him some responsibility.”" [How often does THAT happen in our political organizing??]
“If you are born on the bottom – in bondage – there are only two ways you can go: outright sedition, or plodding reform.”
the book is a must read, particularly for organizers in the black community.
also, if you are coming the allied media conference, read or re-read octavia butler. i am hosting a session to develop a strategic reader of her works! particularly looking for readers of the patternist and parables series.
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.