events at red emma's

Baltimore can’t afford another four years of Hogan. 

But can we align and mobilize to support a candidate ready to fight for economic and racial justice, so that the winner of the Democratic primary in June is not yet another establishment hack but someone we’re genuinely excited about? Ben Jealous could be that candidate—what would it take for Baltimore’s grassroots movements to support his run for Governor?


On Wednesday May 2nd at 7:30PM, join a panel of Baltimore activists for a discussion about what’s important for our movements and why the governor’s office matters. 

For more than a century, the city of Atlanta has been associated with black achievement in education, business, politics, media, and music, earning it the nickname “the black Mecca.” Atlanta’s long tradition of black education dates back to Reconstruction, and produced an elite that flourished in spite of Jim Crow, rose to leadership during the civil rights movement, and then took power in the 1970s by building a coalition between white progressives, business interests, and black Atlantans. But as Maurice Hobson demonstrates, Atlanta’s political leadership--from the election of Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first black mayor, through the city’s hosting of the 1996 Olympic Games--has consistently mishandled the black poor. Drawn from vivid primary sources and unnerving oral histories of working-class city-dwellers and hip hop artists from Atlanta’s underbelly, Hobson argues that Atlanta’s political leadership has governed by bargaining with white business interests to the detriment ordinary black Atlantans.

In telling this history through the prism of the Black New South and Atlanta politics, policy, and pop culture, Hobson portrays a striking schism between the black political elite and poor city-dwellers, complicating the long-held view of Atlanta as a Mecca for black people.

We're in crisis—and collective action is needed in all areas, including poetically! Join us for an open mic of justice, conscious thought, spirituality, fam, real life—whatever advances the village! In the tradition of Emma Goldman’s “Mother Earth” magazine, come drop some rad “fiyah” on us, or contribute just with your presence and energy! [By the way: it’s a non-erotic venue; rather than a love/erotica evening, we focus this night on justice and other matters of life. And, almost needless to say, leave the misogyny, homophobia and other unnecessary ish outside!]

@ Red Emma's

The sixties were a time when radical movements learned to embrace twentieth-century Marxism; in 1968, protests against capitalism, racism, and imperialism erupted around the world. Fifty years later, Max Elbaum, author of Revolution in the Air, discusses what the resistance of today can learn from the legacies of Lenin, Mao and Che.

Taking issue with the idea of a division between an early “good sixties” and a later “bad sixties,” Max Elbaum is particularly concerned to reclaim the lessons of the new communist movement for today’s activists who, like their sixties’ predecessors, are coming of age at a time when the Left lacks mass support and is fragmented along racial lines.

@ Red Emma's

Why, at given historical moments, do rebellions seem to erupt synchronously around the globe? In the new edited collection Spontaneous Combustion, authors draw upon  George Katsiaficas' notion of "the eros effect" to make sense of this phenomenon. Through case studies, analytic elaborations, and critical rejoinders, Spontaneous Combustion unearths the erotic dimensions of global revolt.


@ Red Emma's

Join the authors of the new book Police: A Field Guide for a wide-ranging conversation on the language of policing, the limits of police reform, and ideas for changing how we talk about policing and eventually be free from police brutality and the institution itself.


Police: A Field Guide is an illustrated handbook to the methods, mythologies, and history that animate today’s police. It is a survival manual for encounters with cops and police logic, whether it arrives in the shape of officer friendly, Tasers, curfews, non-compliance, or reformist discourses about so-called bad apples. In a series of short chapters, each focusing on a single term, such as the beat, order, badge, throw-down weapon, and much more, authors David Correia and Tyler Wall present a guide that reinvents and demystifies the language of policing in order to better prepare activists—and anyone with an open mind—on one of the key issues of our time: police brutality. In doing so, they begin to chart a future free of this violence—and of police.


@ Red Emma's

Red Emma’s is excited to welcome Alex Vitale to discuss his book The End of Policing! Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression—most dramatically in Ferguson, Missouri, where longheld grievances erupted in violent demonstrations following the police killing of Michael Brown. Among activists, journalists, and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself. “Broken windows” practices, the militarization of law enforcement, and the dramatic expansion of the police’s role over the last forty years have created a mandate for officers that must be rolled back.


This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.


In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing.


Heart X-rays is a twenty-first-century beat epic poem that ranges across landscapes and voices, with appearances by Banksy, Pussy Riot, hip-hop, the down and out, the up and coming, heartbreak and joybreak, while exploring the mystery we call the human heart. If indeed poetry can offer an RX, a prescription to the bloody joyful teary-eyed American paradox, it is one that calls forth all the voices that have not yet been heard, that harbors an innocence that reaches into the very heart of our own excellence. A collaborative work between two poets and working-class activists, Heart X-rays is a poetic memory of today written in the alphabet of a future.

@ Red Emma's

Join us as M. Earl Smith Presents, Stars Over Latin America, a children’s book based on the nonfictional account of Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Alberto Granado and their 1952 motorcycle trip through several Latin American countries. Stars Over Latin America explores this revolutionary history, presenting it in a relatable format making this timeless tale easily accessible for future generations.

Cosponsored by Not Without Black Women!


In 1932, Mittie Maude Lena Gordon spoke to a crowd of black Chicagoans at the old Jack Johnson boxing ring, rallying their support for emigration to West Africa. In 1937, Celia Jane Allen traveled to Jim Crow Mississippi to organize rural black workers around black nationalist causes. In the late 1940s, from her home in Kingston, Jamaica, Amy Jacques Garvey launched an extensive letter-writing campaign to defend the Greater Liberia Bill, which would relocate 13 million black Americans to West Africa.


Gordon, Allen, and Jacques Garvey—as well as Maymie De Mena, Ethel Collins, Amy Ashwood, and Ethel Waddell—are part of an overlooked and understudied group of black women who take center stage in Set the World on Fire, the first book to examine how black nationalist women engaged in national and global politics from the early twentieth century to the 1960s. Historians of the era generally portray the period between the Garvey movement of the 1920s and the Black Power movement of the 1960s as an era of declining black nationalist activism, but Keisha N. Blain reframes the Great Depression, World War II, and the early Cold War as significant eras of black nationalist—and particularly, black nationalist women's—ferment.

In Chicago, Harlem, and the Mississippi Delta, from Britain to Jamaica, these women built alliances with people of color around the globe, agitating for the rights and liberation of black people in the United States and across the African diaspora. As pragmatic activists, they employed multiple protest strategies and tactics, combined numerous religious and political ideologies, and forged unlikely alliances in their struggles for freedom. Drawing on a variety of previously untapped sources, including newspapers, government records, songs, and poetry, Set the World on Fire highlights the flexibility, adaptability, and experimentation of black women leaders who demanded equal recognition and participation in global civil society.

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