Join Dave Eberhardt (author of For All the Saints: A Protest Primer) and Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham of Viva House (and authors of The Long Loneliness in Baltimore) for an evening celebrating the intersections of faith and resistance.
About the books:
From the Loch Raven Review:
"On a cool October day fifty years ago, Baltimore poet Eberhardt along with peace activists Father Phil Berrigan, artist Tom Lewis and Father Jim Mengel walked into the ornate, turn of the century Custom House on South Gay Street in Baltimore. David Eberhardt’s book For All the Saints: A Protest Primer tells how this small passionate group took it upon themselves to express the convictions of many to pour blood over the Selective Service files housed in that innocent looking building. Eberhardt and the others made a gruesome statement to the country, if not to the world, by pouring blood on the bureaucratic paperwork containing the names of potential Vietnam inductees, potential victims of a mad war. I’m glad for the many specific details Eberhardt provides—for example, that the blood, human and animal, was funneled into empty Mr. Clean bottles, an ironic gesture. These details relate how the protest was as much visceral as abstract. The protest was a performance combining guerilla theatre and the visual creativity of surrealism. The blood pouring was an act of outcry, an act of compassion, and statement of non-violent, anti-war determination. For those who have no memory of the Vietnam War, or who were lucky enough never to have been concerned about that horror show, the blood pouring was an historic revolutionary act. My memories of the Vietnam War are still vivid. Every night in living rooms across the nation, families were treated to a visual monstrous show devoid of meaning or delineated purpose. The expression “domino effect”—U’S. leaders claiming that if the communists conquered Vietnam, Japan or the Philippines would be next—still lingers in the mind. Even looking back at it from an historical distance, the memories still cause pain.
David Eberhardt’s book, which is as much personal memoir as national history, describes how he felt as a 26 year old searching for the meaning of life in those tense times. He relates how his father suggested he might make a great monk. Neither Eberhardt nor the others in his group joined a monastic order. The Berrigan brothers were Roman Catholic priests but very much in the world. They lived their Christian ideals in deed as well as words. David Eberhardt was very much infused with that contagious idealism. Adherence to idealism often exacts a price in everyday life. For All the Saints details the consequences of his heroic act. There is a vivid recounting of “life in the slammer.” Standing up to the American military establishment and damaging Selective Service documents cost him his freedom. He spent the next two years in the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. The inmates, as he relates, lovingly referred to it as “The Wall.” Even if prison literature holds no attraction for you, his personal notes are fascinating reading."
The Long Loneliness in Baltimore by Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham is a compilation of essays, stories, poems, parables, and art. It depicts 50 years of experiences in Southwest Baltimore (Sowebo.) Through the establishment of Viva House, Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham are able to restore hope to the hopeless. Viva House, the temporary home and soup kitchen for those living in Sowebo, provides love and community to many. This eye-opening book gives insight into what it is really like to be one of the “powerless” constantly oppressed by the “powerful.” Coming out in a turbulent time for Baltimore City, this book exposes social injustices while promoting the message that hope will prevail.