". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Completed:The American Slave Coast Book Tour

Last night's co-sponsored Harriet Beecher Stowe House Center and Real Art Ways' event was the final travel in a 7 week tour in support of The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry.  The rest of this week and the first 4 days of next week are all media, some local, such as "The Lenny Lopate Show" on WNYC,  noon - 2 PM (we're on the 1:25 PM segment), others done by phone.  Then it's Thanksgiving and we're into the holidays.

El V wanted us to celebrate doing all this -- and (sort of) surviving . We both picked up small colds by the end, and he's doing three events today: a radio interview, doing a music rehearsal and playing some of his music on a local television program.  We should have a glass of champagne to celebrate, he thought, once we got back home. But it was too late.  Everything was closed. Just as well, probably, as for the first time in our many years together, last night on that long journey to and from Hartford we finally seemed to  run out of things to talk about. Recall, we've been together non-stop for 7 whole weeks.  Many hours we've spent sitting next to each other in The Car, talking to no one but each other.  That's going to take a while to fill up again, though el V is convinced it's merely exhaustion and once we've had a few days to sleep-sleep-sleep and not run around, suiting up and putting on game faces, we'll be talking with each other as enthusiastically as we always have.

For me, right now, what matters is that I don't have to pack a suitcase or unpack a suitcase again until December 31, when we fly to Miami, and Havana on January 1st.  I cannot express how glad of this I am -- even though we'll be going out again in February and in the spring in support.  I get 4 weeks of staying home.

Whew!  What a ride this has been.  Every event was special. They were all special in different ways.  There was such a range -- one night we're speaking with people for whom buying a book isn't only budget strainer, but a budget breaker, then the next week we're speaking with some of the most wealthy people on the planet -- not exaggerating here.  We say the same things, and people respond the same way.  These are self-selected groups, whether an African American Studies / American History graduate student/professors/directors or people who congregate at their local Community Bookstore Ctr. in the poorest part of New Orleans.  So that people all understood and reacted so positively shouldn't, perhaps, be surprising.  Racists, white supremacists and right wing extremists aren't going to come out to hear about a book like The American Slave Coast.

We're in a state of exhaustion right now so deep I have lost track of the days.  I thought yesterday was Thursday and today is Friday.  The weather's changed. So have the seasons, and it seems there are these things called Thanksgiving and Chirstmas looming -- what? when did all that happen while we traveled up and down the Atlantic Coast, to the Gulf, to Houston?

Also, I wake up in the night and have no idea where I am.  Last night I couldn't figure out where my bed was in relationship to the bathroom.

I can't wait to get back to my workouts to audio books -- books that aren't mine! That I don't have to talk about!  I don't have to talk at all!

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