A Celebration:
Grand Opening of Revolution Books in Harlem

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Revolution Books-New York has announced a celebration of its grand opening featuring the internationally renowned Kenyan writer, post-colonial literary theorist and former political prisoner of conscience, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o.

Ngugi Wa Thiong'oNgũgĩ has said of Revolution Books:
“I think what’s so beautiful and wonderful about Revolution Books is that even when you close your eyes and go to any of the shelves here and pick any one of the books, it is likely that it will contain the kind of dreams that Martin Carter was talking about when he said, ‘And so if you see me looking in your hand, listening when you speak, marching in your ranks, you must know, I do not sleep to dream, but dream to change the world.’”

Two celebratory events are planned on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at the new store at 437 Malcolm X Blvd in Harlem, NYC. At 2 pm, the first program at the new venue will open with a talk by Andy Zee, Revolution Books’ spokesperson. Ngũgĩ will then read and give a talk, followed by discussion. Then, a second, very special event: a benefit dinner will be held the same evening at 6:30 pm to continue raising the urgently needed funds to complete the renovation of the new space and to forge a community of people to support Revolution Books.

The opening of the Revolution Books-NY matters. This is the flagship of the Revolution Books stores around the country. Revolution Books is the place where people from all over the world come to find the books and the engagement about why the world is the way it is and the possibility of a radically different world through revolution. It is the place where people can find, experience, and connect with the movement for revolution guided by the advance in the science and theory of revolution based on the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of Bob Avakian.

The grand opening celebrations are two extraordinary events to open an extraordinary place. This is a do-not-miss event: Students standing up against injustice; people from Harlem—the literary and cultural folks and the people from the streets and projects who raised money and worked on the renovation; critical thinkers and dreamers; downtown and out of town writers and artists—everyone spread the word and plan to be a part of opening the bookstore about the world and for a radically new world.

With these grand opening celebrations Revolution Books is extending a tremendous invitation to everyone to learn about and experience the store. It is a big deal that Ngũgĩ is coming to New York to open the new Revolution Books. And it is a big deal that Revolution Books is opening again, and in Harlem. There has been a huge hole in the radical and revolutionary political and cultural life in New York for the five months that Revolution Books has been closed. Now, there’s the opportunity to put the new store back on the map, starting November 15.

The Grand Opening of Revolution Books will also be an opportunity for people to experience why the store is so needed today and for a future where people the world over could be free. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is an amazing writer of imagination and depth who is consistently on the short list for the Nobel Prize in literature. Imprisoned for his beliefs, he has stood for a liberated Africa. His works were once “arrested” and removed from stores. Ngũgĩ has been a voice for the masses of people of Kenya and the world, and in the face of being beaten for his convictions, he continues to stand firm.

Ngũgĩ coming to New York for the purpose of opening Revolution Books says a lot about what the store means to the people of the world. His grand opening appearance is signal of what is, and what is to come, at Revolution Books.

Revolution Books spokesperson Andy Zee has dialogued with many writers, artists, and activists and co-directed two films featuring Bob Avakian and his work. He will speak on the role of Revolution Books and the fight for the emancipation of humanity.

What will people find at Revolution Books? Books. Films. Talks. Dialogue. An ethos of cooperative relations and community. A movement for revolution and theory that guides it. And, coffee. But more, what makes Revolution Books unique? Nothing less than revolution—and an approach to revolution that lives and breathes with a scientific way to know and change the whole world, an approach that goes hand in hand with a poetic spirit—an appreciation of poetry, literature, and art that inspires the imagination; a critical spirit of inquiry and debate—of going for the truth; the liberating joy of struggle and the seriousness of a movement for an actual revolution that could at long last put an end to all forms of oppression and exploitation throughout the world. How rare, how needed is this today?

Most of all, what people find, and what is the heartbeat and foundation of it all, is the leadership of Bob Avakian, concentrated in the new synthesis of communism. BA has made a qualitative breakthrough in the science of revolution and communism. In a world crying out for fundamental change, and many decades after the previous great socialist revolutions were defeated, this is a game changer for a new stage of revolution and communism. At Revolution Books people have the opportunity to discover, to experience, to engage, and to be a part of a movement for an actual revolution that is guided by this scientific method and approach, and the concrete strategy and vision for a new society.

Humanity is up against horrific and complex problems—from the devastation of the environment; to the raging endless wars in the Middle East, with no liberatory armies in the field today; to the war on women throughout the world; to the unending terrorizing, incarceration, and murder of Black and Latino people in the U.S. To act on and change this world requires revolutionary theory to comprehend this, to find and see the patterns and pathways to change, and most of all to guide an actual revolution. It requires knowing quite a bit about the world. Thus, the mission of Revolution Books. Based on the deepened scientific method and approach of the new synthesis, people can learn from the diversity of experience and imagination in the books, films, and discussions found at Revolution Books to discover and understand the underlying dynamics driving the horrors of today’s world and come to see why it is that revolution for a radically new world is necessary and possible. Revolution Books is a place of revolution with the wide arms and critical spirit and method to embrace the great breadth of human experience, where people from the projects, students from the universities, people from the neighborhoods, artists and intellectuals, people of all nationalities, genders and ages, wrestle with ideas and what it is going to take for humanity to get free. And it is a place where people can connect with the work of Bob Avakian, and have the opportunity to become a part of the movement for revolution.

The next two weeks will be an all-out fight to re-open Revolution Books in Harlem. There is still $35,000 to raise to complete the extensive renovation that was necessary to open the new store. Selling tickets, but more, raising the funds for Revolution Books to complete its renovation, is essential, and a great way to involve people in contributing to something really important. There is still much work to be done for the store to open—volunteers are needed to help stock the shelves and complete the work to renovate. The five-month battle to re-open has been an inspiring struggle, with scores of volunteers helping in different ways, and with many hundreds of people contributing funds to open the store, from world-renowned artists to homeless people on Malcolm X Blvd. This, and the tremendous positive feelings that people have for the history of Revolution Books in New York City, must now be marshaled to re-open the store.

Revolution Books will be open every day after November 15. Capping the first week will be a weekend-long open house November 20-22, with different special conversations and happenings, including a children’s book reading on Saturday morning, and a special performance by Burnt Sugar and friends on Saturday night.

The opening of Revolution Books is cause for celebration—and it will be one hell of a celebration! Everyone who cares about the future of the people of the world and the planet itself, all who value and want to fight for literature and critical thinking that propel history forward, everyone who has dreamed of revolution and those working for revolution today—be a part of making the grand opening of Revolution Books commensurate with the great things that lie ahead for the center of the movement for an actual revolution for a world free from all forms of oppression and exploitation.

The World Needs Revolution.
The Revolution Needs Revolution Books.
Revolution Books Needs You.


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