[Freedom archives news] Two Weeks at the Freedom Archives

Freedom Archives Events freedomarchivesnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Feb 5 18:34:53 EST 2018


  Two Weeks at the Freedom Archives

February 5, 2018
Hello everyone,

My name is Addy, and I just wrapped up a brief but incredible two weeks 
interning at the Archives. During my time here, I dabbled in various 
aspects of archival work, from cataloguing mysterious boxes of print 
materials to learning to use reel-to-reel audio. A highlight of my 
experience was helping to develop a new collection of print materials 
about the Cultural Workers Movement 
a 1970s movement of artists and other cultural workers to build a 
committed revolutionary and anti-imperialist cultural front. As an 
artist myself, this history was personally inspiring and thought-provoking!

My experience at the Archives certainly gave me a window into what 
archival work looks like. But for me, equally important was seeing in 
action the vital community and types of relationships necessary for the 
Archives’ radical and social justice work. Claude, Nathaniel, and all 
the other members of the Archives community were inspirational not just 
in the work they do, but how they do it. I felt welcomed with open arms. 
Their warmth, knowledge and commitment to local and global communities 
prompt me to reflect on my own role in my communities, in current 
struggles for justice, in the every-day work that these struggles call 
for. I am leaving the Archives with a renewed commitment to educate 
myself, and to constantly find ways, big and small, to aid in the 
struggles for justice and solidarity that are all around me.

These two weeks have flown by. I can say, without a doubt, that 
exploring the Archives collections was as much—or even better—an 
education than any I’ve received in a classroom. There is a profound 
power in hearing, reading, and seeing these marginalized histories and 
narratives directly. It wasn’t hard to get lost down the rabbit hole 
that is the Archives, that’s for sure. I felt privileged and humbled to 
actually hear the voices of resistance fighters, read through meeting 
notes on the work of artists to compact imperialism, view art and 
posters of resistance and justice. It makes me imagine a parallel 
universe: what if a core part of our public education system was to just 
let all students loose in archives like these? What would happen? How 
would students become more curious, more critical? How would minds be 
liberated? What movements would form, what fights, how would the future 
of our country and world be transformed? These typically erased 
histories, legacies, knowledge—they are vital. I hope that, like me, 
more people will find their way here to the Archives, making that 
parallel universe a little bit more of a reality.

In solidarity,

P.S. Featured: “One of my favorite finds while exploring the Archives: a 
signed vinyl by Elaine Brown, former Black Panther chairwoman and 
activist, writer, and singer.”

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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