Friday, October 15, 2010

super movements and the ascent into adulthood

i've been thinking a lot about growing up lately. last night i hosted an event at the wooden shoe with billy upski wimsatt, author of bomb the suburbs and no more prisons. he's currently on tour with his newest book, please don't bomb the suburbs which is both a manifesto towards building a "super movement" and a self-reflective exploration--a decade and a half after writing his first book at the ripe age of 21.

during the event, billy challenged each of us to imagine the most powerful position we could envision ourselves being in, 5 or 10 years down the road, while still servicing the movement. it generated a really important and honest conversation about how indivuals can meaningfully affect social change, confronting and balancing the inevitable compromises of being part of the system we all live in, and thinking big.

as things started winding down, billy's friend adam mansbach walked in. an accomplished hip hop intellectual and author himself, i met adam 5 years ago in madison, wisconsin during an event on his book tour that i tabled at for rainbow bookstore cooperative. he lives in philly now and teaches at rutgers-camden. i told him that i have a friend visiting from madison this weekend who i haven't seen in 3 years. everything is connected.

looking back at that period of my life, which i can now delineate as my "mid-20's," helps me put into perspective where i've been and where i'm heading now as i approach my third decade of being alive. i had this idea last week about asking all my friends who are my age, almost 30, to write about this moment in their lives, how they feel about where they're at, and about their greatest dreams as they ascend into what our society defines as adulthood. from there, i want to take what they write and publish it as a zine. then i will throw a release party on my 30th birthday in april. right now it's just an idea, but we'll see!