On the Road, Singing the Dark Times

April 20, 2018
Sunday, April 29 | 5:00 PM-6:30 PM
Comfort Station | 2579 N Milwaukee Ave

In the dark times, will there also be singing?
Yes, there will be singing.
About the dark times.
~~Bertolt Brecht

In December, 2017 we held the first meeting of a new public discussion group designed to open a space for serious and challenging conversation in these troubling days: Singing in Dark Times.

Singing in Dark Times has met several times at the legendary Seminary Coop/57th Street Bookstores in Hyde Park, Chicago, an important destination bookstore and an expanding public space. Participants have included Eve Ewing, Rachel DeWoskin, Kevin Coval, Lisa Lee, David Stovall, Monica Trinidad, Ethan Viets-VanLear, and Bill Ayers.Scores of people have joined us in dialogue, trying to make sense and make meaning of our lives and our work—to shine a bright beacon of hope and possibility into the gloom.

We invite you to join our first “On the Road Edition” of Singing in Dark Times on April 29th at the Comfort Station. Conversation-starters will be Tara Raghuveer, Christian Diaz, Bill Ayers, and few other local activists, artists, organizers and neighbors. Help us expand the emerging public space; become part of an intentional community-in-the-making; come and pursue an urgent question that drives so many of us today: What is to be done?

As the public is being steadily eroded and eclipsed, and as neoliberalism persists and fascism lurks close by, the goal of those of us who believe in freedom is to take full responsibility to reimagine, revitalize, and create anew a public square, a public presence, and a wide range of participatory public spaces.

An impressive array of wildly diverse artists and grass-roots activists are  on the move and on the rise—resistance is breaking out all over, and a revitalized public square is in-the-making. In Chicago, a cinema guild is running a series of films on authoritarianism followed by wide ranging teach-ins on the political environment we find ourselves in; the Co-op hosted a series of conversation led by U Chicago professors investigating contemporary issues under the banner “Free University of Chicago;” and Women and Children First’s “The Conversation” brings writers, artists, and politicians together to talk about an issue of political, social, or cultural importance. Elsewhere, a chain of restaurants in Detroit calling themselves “Sanctuary Cafes” is offering weekly facilitated  conversations (as well as bail to neighbors caught up in the system); a collection of renowned playwrights has joined forces to dramatize the Bill of Rights; block clubs around the country are hosting monthly pot-luck dinners to allow folks to face one another authentically and think through what the known demands of us now.

Be part of the resistance! Lets rise up together! Lets Build an Inclusive Community.


Loud and Clear

April 17, 2018


April 15, 2018


Maxine PRESENTE! @ AERA on her 100th Birthday.

April 12, 2018

NEW YORK all weekend, and this is one thing:

Dreaming in Greene — Friday Apr 13 – 12:00 – 1:30 PM

Symposium about Maxine Greene and her ideas about social imagination (and activism and the arts) and how they would play out in today’s world.

Beekman room, Hilton 2nd floor – Chair Carole Saltz

· Bill Ayers

· Michelle Fine

· Gloria Ladson-Billings

· Wendy Coley

· Janet Miller

Loud and Clear!

April 10, 2018

Bloody History, Resistance, and Resurrection

April 7, 2018
Our bloody and shameful history, and the good work of recovering the truth of resistance and resilience:
Readers of the May 24, 1796 Pennsylvania Gazette found an advertisementoffering ten dollars to any person who would apprehend Oney Judge, an enslaved woman who had fled from President George Washington’s Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon. The notice described her in detail as a “light mulatto girl, much freckled, with very black eyes and bushy black hair,” as well as her skills at mending clothes, and that she “may attempt to escape by water … it is probable she will attempt to pass as a free woman, and has, it is said, wherewithal to pay her passage.” She did indeed board a ship called the Nancyand made it to New Hampshire, where she later married a free black sailor, although she was herself never freed by the Washingtons and remained a fugitive.
The advertisement is one of thousands that were printed in newspapers during colonial and pre-Civil War slavery in the United States. The Freedom on the Move (FOTM) public database project, now being developed at Cornell University, is the first major digital database to organize together North American fugitive slave ads from regional, state, and other collections.

“You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones” on the road

April 7, 2018

Please come out and find us in the next ten days at 5 terrific book stores:

“You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones” And Other Myths About Teachers, Their Unions and Public Education.

Busboys and Poets
Sunday, April 8th
6:30 pm 
5th and K Streets, Washington, D.C. NW

Red Emma’s
Tuesday, April 10th
7:00 pm
30 W. North Ave., Baltimore, MD

Labyrinth Books
Wednesday, April 11th
6:00 pm
122 Nassau St. Princeton, NJ

Wooden Shoe Books
Thursday, April 12th
7:00 pm
704 South Street • Philadelphia, PA

Barnes and Noble
Tuesday, April 17th
7:00 pm
2289 Broadway, New York, NY