Tuesday, March 16, 2010

DOUBLE BOOK LAUNCH March 19th in Montreal: Two Books about the Black Revolution

When: Friday, March 19th 2010; 6pm
Where: Concordia Co-op Bookstore, 2150 Bishop St. • metro Guy-Concordia
Tel-: 514-848-7445

Montreal - The Certain Days Calendar Committee and Kersplebedeb Publishing are holding a Black Revolution Double Book Launch on March 19th 2010, starting at 6pm. The book launch will be co-sponsored and hosted by the Concordia Co-op Bookstore - 2150 Bishop Street, Guy-Concordia Metro. The books being launched are Safiya Buhkari’s The War Before, and James Yaki Sayles' Meditations on Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth. Following readings from each book, there will be a discussion of local efforts around U.S. political prisoners and prisoners of war.  Erica Meiners, Associate Professor of Education and Women's Studies at Northeastern Illinois University and a longterm anti-prison activist, will speak on the ongoing ravages of the prison-industrial complex, and its relevance in Canada. Light refreshments will be served.


The decades after the Second World War witnessed successful revolutions against colonial rule around the world. Struggles against national oppression took place on every continent – including within the borders of the United States, in what Che Guevara described as “belly of the beast.” Millions of people worked in a variety of ways against the ongoing destruction of their communities and societies by a racist and colonialist white power structure.

It was within this context that the Black Freedom Struggle engaged in its definitive 20th century confrontation with racialized capitalism in the U.S.A. Hidden from popular histories of the Sixties and the Civil Rights movement, the reality on the ground was that there was a war. Hundreds upon hundreds were killed, tens of thousands spent time in prison – and some still languish behind those bars. More than that, communities were destroyed, entire cities emptied, as white America and its government set about murdering the Black Liberation Movement.

Safiya Bukhari and James Yaki Sayles were two revolutionaries who participated in those fateful clashes, who found their calling in the struggle, and who would devote the rest of their lives to the liberation of their people – and of all people. After decades of struggle, Safiya Bukhari died in 2003 at the age of 53. James Yaki Sayles spent almost his entire adult life in prison; he had just been released a few years earlier when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died in 2008 at the age of 59.

In February, two posthumous volumes were published, making the words of these fallen freedom fighters available for the first time to a wide audience. Safiya Bukhari’s The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther Keeping the Faith in Prison, Fighting for Those Left Behind, was published by The Feminist Press at CUNY and James Yaki Sayles’ Meditations on Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth: New Afrikan Revolutionary Writings was co-published by Spear and Shield Publications and Kersplebedeb Publishing.

At a time when we are instructed to keep our eye on the man in the White House and others who have “made it” and been integrated into the “American Dream,” Bukhari and Sayles’ words speak for and to those for whom the world’s only superpower remains an “American Nightmare.” In an age where there are more Black men in U.S. prisons than in U.S. colleges, where years after Katrina New Orleans has been rebuilt as a tourist attraction for the middle classes, and the U.S. continues to wage war on peoples around the world, these are two volumes to detox your mind, to help you keep your eye on the prize.

- BIOS -

James Yaki Sayles spent almost his entire adult life in prison. In the 1970s he was a leading figure in the New Afrikan Prisoners Organization, he would serve as Minister of Information for the Republic of New Afrika, and also worked in other, less public, groups. He was also an important theoretician of the continuing need for New Afrikan Revolution and the realities of New Afrikan Nationhood, writing under a variety on names, including Owusu Yaki Yakubu and Atiba Shanna. He died of lung cancer in 2008.

Safiya Bukhari joined the Black Panther Party in 1969. Imprisoned for nine years, for charges related to the Black Liberation Army, Bukhari was released in 1983 and went on to co-found the New York Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition and other organizations advocating for the release of political prisoners. She died in 2003 at the age of 53 years of age.

For more information about The War Before, please visit http://safiyabukhari.com.
For more information about Meditations on Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth, please visit http://www.kersplebedeb.com/meditations
For more information about the Certain Days Calendar Committee, please visit http://www.certaindays.org/
For more information about the Concordia Co-op Bookstore, please visit http://www.co-opbookstore.ca/

When: Friday, March 19th 2010; 6pm
Where: Concordia Co-op Bookstore, 2150 Bishop St. • metro Guy-Concordia
Tel-: 514-848-7445

For more information regarding the event, please email info@kersplebedeb.com or visit http://www.kersplebedeb.com/meditations/march19.php
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