Cleveland Premiere on March 23

April 14, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


About 40 people of different ages and nationalities came out to see BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! at Cleveland State University, sponsored by the Black Studies Program and Revolution Books. As people came up to get packets, some felt that they were coming to something new and arising while others were curious. Most of the people had just recently heard of BA, so it was eye opening and new to them. There were 25% Black people: college students, a family member of someone killed by the police, people from a hot meal center. There were 50% college students from 2 colleges in the city, including international students from Asia and the Middle East. There were some high school students as well as high school and college teachers. During the showing there was some talk back like when BA spoke about the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal), a college teacher spoke out approvingly. As people were leaving about half filled out the “Get Connected” sheets, many checking off that they wanted to know more about BA and building the movement for revolution, and some wanted to help raise funds.

Although most of the people did not stay for the entire film, people said they want to get the film out far and wide, to homeless shelters, to classes and in the community. People wrote some important comments about their experience with the film. One older Black man said, ”I found the presentation emotionally moving, a gut wrenching message needed to be heard by all of the oppressed masses. This presentation should be seen by all ages. It should be shown in schools, churches, men and women’s shelters. Where there are people the presentation should be seen. This is true, raw education at its best. We need to get the film on PBS so thousands can see it. Three cheers for BA!”

A Black woman college students said, “The movie speaks on issues I thought about but haven’t thought deeply on. It makes me want to help and speak my own words about the revolution.”

A middle aged Black man said, “It informed me about the corrupt structure of power in the system we use in this country (enslavement of people) I really enjoyed it!!!”

A political activist in the immigrant struggle said, “BA points out how we as a people are seduced by the superficial glamor and false security of the ruling class. I like BA’s analysis of moving, evolving characteristics of human nature.”

An inner city teacher wrote, “…His delivery reflects the heartfelt connectedness he feels with the masses worldwide, especially the most exploited and oppressed. His profound understanding of the oppression of women and the deepening attacks in all their forms should be a wakeup call to all those who see compromise with the other side as desirable. I loved his riff on ‘I could be Black but then I wouldn’t be...’ It was a great way to get at identity politics.”

After the program a few of us went and got pizza, talking about what struck people about the film. One person said based on his own experience that people are too selfish to make a revolution. Another man said, “We got to get to the youth. They’re blamed, targeted by the police, locked up.” A man whose niece was recently murdered by the police said how BA speaks the truth about white cops always harassing Black and Latino people and blaming the people for things they didn’t do. He also said he didn’t think there will ever be a point in which racism will be ended. That opened up lots of discussion which ended with the understanding that racism can’t be buried for good until humanity reaches communism. We discussed that the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) concretely lays out how to get there.

At the end of the evening there was feeling that BA’s message should be out there in a big way and people there want to be part of that happening.

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