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Sat, Jan 27


Sankofa Video & Books

Tip of the Spear Book Discussion with author Orisanmi Burton ft. Joshua Myers

Join us for a discussion of Orisanmi Burton's recently released, Tip of the Spear Black Radicalism, Prison Repression, and the Long Attica Revolt. Described as "A radical reinterpretation of "Attica," the revolutionary 1970s uprising that galvanized abolitionist movements and transformed prisons."

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Tip of the Spear Book Discussion with author Orisanmi Burton ft. Joshua Myers
Tip of the Spear Book Discussion with author Orisanmi Burton ft. Joshua Myers

Time & Location

Jan 27, 2024, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Sankofa Video & Books, 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA


About The Event

About the Book:

Tip of the Spear boldly and compellingly argues that prisons are a  domain of hidden warfare within US borders. With this book, Orisanmi  Burton explores what he terms the Long Attica Revolt, a criminalized  tradition of Black radicalism that propelled rebellions in New York  prisons during the 1970s. The reaction to this revolt illuminates what  Burton calls prison pacification: the coordinated tactics of violence,  isolation, sexual terror, propaganda, reform, and white supremacist  science and technology that state actors use to eliminate Black  resistance within and beyond prison walls. Burton goes beyond  the state records that other histories have relied on for the story of  Attica and expands that archive, drawing on oral history and applying  Black radical theory in ways that center the intellectual and political  goals of the incarcerated people who led the struggle. Packed with  little-known insights from the prison movement, the Black Panther Party,  and the Black Liberation Army, Tip of the Spear promises to  transform our understanding of prisons—not only as sites of race war and  class war, of counterinsurgency and genocide, but also as sources of  defiant Black life, revolutionary consciousness, and abolitionist  possibility.

About the Author: 

Orisanmi Burton is an assistant professor of  anthropology at American University. His research employs ethnographic  and archival methods to examine historical collisions between Black  radical organizations and  state repression in the United States. Dr. Burton’s work has been published in North American Dialogue, The Black Scholar,  Radical History Review, American Anthropologist, among other outlets and  has received support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Radcliffe  Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and The Margarite  Casey Foundation, which selected him as a 2021 Freedom Scholar. Dr.  Burton’s first book, entitled Tip of the Spear: Black Radicalism, Prison  Repression, and the Long Attica Revolt was published  by the University of California Press on October 31, 2023.

About Joshua Myers:

Joshua Myers is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Howard University. He is the author of We Are Worth Fighting For: A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989 and the editor of A Gathering Together: Literary Journal. Cedric Robinson: The Time of the Black Radical Tradition is his second book.

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