A Syllabus of Resistance
Selected by Tongo Eisen-Martin, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a movement worker and educator, originally from San Francisco, who has organized against mass incarceration and extra-judicial killing of Black people throughout the United States. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His book of poems titled, Someone’s Dead Already was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book Heaven Is All Goodbyes was published by the City Lights Pocket Poets series.
As empire continues to jog past rationality deeper into an unremarkable oblivion, the line between artist, revolutionary, and human being becomes inconsequential. I chose these books as food for people who embrace (now or inevitably) that reality. Although there are definitely revolutionary tendencies and reappearing themes of resistance (both historical and prescriptive), stripped of their respective disciplines, these are works by people whose minds attract an extraordinary energy of ideas and modes of human liberation. Also, when stripped of department, what you have is investigations of craftwork—craftwork that is parallel to your own. I hope that these books help you on your path as you form the insights that my life and others will depend on.
In love and solidarity.
The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America • Gerald Horne
Unity & Struggle: Selected Speeches and Writings • Amilcar Cabral
The Fire and the Word: A History of the Zapatista Movement • Gloria Muñoz Ramirez
Say You’re One of Them • Uwem Akpan
The Collected Poems • Audre Lorde
We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement • Akinyele Omowale Umoja
The Last Speeches • Malcolm X
The Way of the Bodhisattva • Shantideva
whose really blues • q.r. hand jr.
Thelonius Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original • Robin D.G. Kelley
The Sacred Path of the Warrior • Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up • Liao Yiwu
The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe • Stephon Alexander
The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985 • James Baldwin