In Bus Riders Union, Campaigns, Fundraising, Strategy & Soul

Help us Build the Strategy and Soul Bookstore by purchasing

Forty Great Books

For the Revolutionary Organizer

Dear Friends and Comrades,

The Strategy and Soul Bookstore in South Central Los Angeles is a unique bookstore with a limited number of titles, all focusing on the theory and practice of revolutionary movement-building and organizing.

As we present our list of The Forty Top Books for the Revolutionary Organizer we urge you to:

Please choose one Title from the list below, contribute $250, and we will order 10 copies of that book for the bookstore and recognize your support on our walls.

The Labor/Community Strategy Center and our National Leadership School for Strategic Organizing are in the traditions of SNCC Freedom Schools, the Toilers of the East Leadership School in the Soviet Union, and the Revolutionary Education Center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We operate a Strategy and Soul Movement Center in South Central Los Angeles where we lead popular struggles—the Bus Riders Union stop MTA attacks on Black passengers campaign and Our No Police in the Schools/Black Student Achievement Campaign.

In our organizing work we are influenced by Eric Mann’s formulation that we need to build “Consciousness, Leadership, and Organization.” We operate the beautiful Strategy and Soul Bookstore as well as the Revolutionary Organizers Film and Book Club with our state-of-the-art film theater right next door—at the historic corner of M.L. King and Crenshaw Blvds. in South Central Los Angeles.

For several years we have been working on our choices of the 10, 20, and now 40 essential books for a revolutionary organizer to read in a lifetime—starting now. The relentless U.S. imperialist/fascist hegemony threatening our movements today demands an anti-imperialist counter-hegemonic ideology and organizational plan. One element is to build a national and international community of organizers unified by common practice, and a common reading list—to generate the highest level of strategic discussion.

Your contribution will build up the Strategy and Soul selections and inventories, That will allow South Central and L.A. high school, college, and community residents, as well as L.A.-wide organizers to browse, think, read, and see history through walking through the bookstore. Organizers all over the U.S. can order these books directly from us and visit when they are in town. We also want to rebuild the tradition of reading books among organizers.

We know there are no perfect lists of 40 or 100 books—with so many classics not mentioned in this compilation— but we do plan to keep expanding our inventory.  The Forty Revolutionary Books Project is an experiment in creating a revolutionary tapestry of Third World revolutionary movements, Black and Third World women’s revolutionary thought and leadership, Black anti-imperialist movements, revolutionary workers organizing, anti-imperialist climate strategies, and the art and science of organizations and organizing. We focus on visionary voices, heroic lives, and leaders of actual revolutions that the system suppresses. Those voices include W.E.B. Du Bois, William L. Patterson, Paul Robeson, Maria Mies, Claudia Jones, Audrey Lorde, Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, V.I. Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, and Kwame Nkrumah. All Forty Books can help shape the struggle for a New Revolutionary Consciousness.

Please give generously to help us bring revolutionary ideas into the mass movements and expand an institutional center of revolutionary resistance.  Enjoy the list, and make your choice!!!

Eric Mann, Barbara Lott-Holland, Channing Martinez, Tammy Cardona-Zambeis, Akunna Uka, and the Strategy Center and Bus Riders Union team