Even before I knew about his connections with the Weather Underground and Obama, Ayers was one of my heroes. He came to my school during my second year of teaching to talk with the teachers, and I was just riveted. Some years later, I heard him speak at a conference and was inspired as well. I had the opportunity to thank him for those two moments last night when he was in Cleveland for a talk to promote his new book.
Ayers said he was aiming for a pamphlet of old, that he was tired of being known for what he was against and wanted it to be known for what he was for. The manifesto is indeed radical. With everything that he’s seen and experienced, he dares to hope. “We can,” he reminds us, “always do something, and something is where we begin” (199). There’s much I could quote here and a great deal that I underlined in what will, I am sure, be the first of many times I read this book. It’s a quick read, so read it, and “get busy in projects of repair” (197).