Here is the ninth publication in our series of Pandemic Books: Sowing for Others to Reap by Carrie Williams Clifford. This started as a something that I could do in the studio for a few hours every week, namely to make a very short run of a public domain, open copyright, or publicly owned work that we haven’t made before and probably won’t make again. It has also been an adventure in reading and research, using available troves of digitized books to find lesser-known works and writers that are somehow relevant to the present moment.
Sowing for Others to Reap was edited by activist and poet Carrie Williams Clifford, in her role as the state president of the Ohio Federation of Coloured Women’s Clubs in 1900. The essays in this small collection show a sort of optimism that organizing and persistence will reap rewards for Black Americans. It also contains hints of arguments within 19th century feminism that seem odd to a contemporary reader. The title itself implies that organizing (and writing about it) benefits others, even if somehow the organizers don’t immediately see the benefits themselves.
Last week we stopped doing direct sales and shipping of these books. Instead, we are making them available for local pick-up in Vancouver, and will not accept payment for them. Instead of payment, we ask that you let us know that you have made a minimum $10 donation to the Hogan’s Alley Society. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to get your copy. There are ten of them this week, and once they are gone, that’s it.
Softcover, 5×7.75″, 50 pages.
After skipping a week, Pandemic Books is back with a very short run of the life story of Sojourner Truth. She is probably best known to many people for her speech on feminism, usually titled “Ain’t I a Woman?” However, she was a lifelong activist for freedom and equality, with many accomplishments. Born into slavery around 1797 in New York, she escaped from bondage in 1826, later saying “I did not run off, for I thought that wicked, but I walked off, believing that to be all right.” Her lawsuit to recover her son from a slaver in Alabama was the first of many battles following her self-emancipation.
This week, we’re going to start doing things differently with these books. Instead of collecting money and shipping out books and then making a donation to a local organization, we would like people who are interested in a copy of this book to donate a minimum of $10 directly to the Hogan’s Alley Society. The first six people who can write to us at email@example.com showing that they have made a donation can pick up a copy of this book. Sadly, this means no more out-of-town shipping for now.
Softcover, 5.5×7.5″, 320 pages.
For the seventh week of Pandemic Books, we’re making copies of Black American anarchist Lucy Parsons’s book The Life of Albert R. Parsons, with Brief History of the Labor Movement in America. Albert Parsons, her husband, was a newspaper editor, and was arrested following the Haymarket riot in Chicago, and sentenced to death along with five others for the bombing of a police station, even though witnesses said that none of the “conspirators” were responsible for the bombing. Lucy Parsons was one of the founders of the IWW in 1905, and continued to edit, publish, and write for radical journals throughout her life.
If this is your first encounter with our Pandemic Books project, here’s the run-down: for reasons I won’t go in to, we can only use our studio for short stretches right now, so we’re making a very short run each week of a public domain, open-copyright, or orphaned work that we haven’t made before and probably won’t again. The books are always sold for $10 plus shipping, and once the run is sold out, that’s it. Any money left over after we have paid materials costs and shipping goes to a local Vancouver ;organization that is doing useful work for vulnerable people; this allows us to convert our artistic labour into something that hopefully makes a small difference.
Some of the books from previous weeks may still be available. Scroll through our posts here, if it isn’t marked “sold out”, it’s still available to order.
Softcover, 5.125×8″, 322 pages, grey cover with red page edge, $10 + shipping.