An Open Call to Share!
Sunday, July 16th marks the 70th birthday of Assata!
TJ Whitaker and i are hosting an intergenerational bday celebration at the REFAL CTR in Newark @ 4:30pm under the rubric of the NJ Black Panther Party Commemorative Committee.
This is more than a drum call to come.
This is a call to explore seizing the moment to create some time enduring tools that can also help move the work!
For instance, and this is especially so for those of you who can not physically participate that day, we would like to create something that can on the one hand be packaged to her and sent to her as a collective gift, and on the other, we would like to create something that has political education value that can help continue to move the work long after her bday.
With that said, we have two things in mind.
Artists each creating original creative gifts that can not only be sent to her, but that can also be reproduced and or exhibited here in meaningful, educational settings. Ben Jones' fan series are now apart his legend and they are literally handfans, very portable and very reproduceable.
The second is getting a bunch of us on tape...audio and video...giving memories, giving testimony, linking issues, giving love and solidarity in a way that can ultimately be packaged as a mini doc and or a cd...What Dequi did for Sekou with the cd...Performers of all ages and commentary from comrades like Dhoruba all turned into a bangin cd that we all still use to lift eyes and open ears!
I believe within this collection of us still around and on the ground
we can do something special.
I hope this email starts churning ideas in each of yr minds.
As for July16th itself, the program is very open at this point. We are calling it simply For The Love Of Freedom: Assata Is Always Welcome Here!...
What TJ and i envisioned was an intergenerational gathering that appeals to young people...that affirms our love for Assata, our call to free Sundiata, Kamau, Jalil and all her comrades still in prison, to build on the recent NY gathering to honor Zayd and to build solidarity with Cuba...To affirm our right to sel-fdetermination and self-defense.(TJ's teenage daughter Kendi did a dance to Strange Fruit that is a killah for her high school that started a fire! She is the only one confirmed for the day so far)...We have some specific ideas that are too long for this email that we will follow up on rt after this.
Whoever can and is able to participate on the 16th and whoever has related ideas, yall holla at us rt away.
This is no pressure on anyone. We are all under fire It just us tryin to seize the time.