Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse
Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse is a radical infoshop located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and run by a worker-owner collective. Named for anarchist firebrand Emma Goldman, Red Emma's opened in November 2004. It features a fair trade coffee bar, free computer access and wireless internet, vegetarian and vegan foods, an extensive stock of books, and a variety of socially aware and radical events including film screenings, political teach-ins, and community events.
Red Emma's was formed and revitalized from a previous infoshop named Black Planet Books formerly located on the Fells Point Broadway, then 1621 Fleet Street. While maintaining Black Planet Books' stringent academic tradition, it provides a public face on causes throughout America's history, and offers a look at how capitalism can be changed. Through June 2013, the store operated from 800 St. Paul Street in Baltimore. It reopened in the Fall of 2013 in a much larger space at 30 W. North Avenue.
Since before the official opening in 2004, all decisions regarding the operations of the space have been made by consensus. The collective of worker-owners has ranged in size from 10 to 20 over the 7 years the shop has been open, usually hovering around 15. Collective meetings are open to the public every Sunday (except the first of the month) at 7pm at the store.
The Red Emma's Collective is a closed shop, organized with the Industrial Workers of the World. That means that all collective members are also members of IU 660—the "One Big Union".
Past events have included ex-Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn, presentations by the Beehive Collective, and numerous small concerts, including many by members of the Riot Folk Collective, and Charming Hostess. Imprisoned Black Panther Marshall "Eddie" Conway has done call-in readings and talks from jail, and Red Emma's often hosts talks by local activist organizations such as the Baltimore Algebra Project and the Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. The Bookstore is also a venue for touring authors.
Red Emma's accolades include "Best Coffeehouse" by the student body of Johns Hopkins University in 2005, and the Baltimore City Paper's Best of Baltimore awards in 2005 for "Best Wireless Hotspot" and in 2006 for "Best Non-Bar Hangout."
In March 2007, Red Emma's joined with St. John's United Methodist to form 2640, a "a noncommercial, cooperatively managed space for radical politics and grassroots culture." The organization centers around management of the Charles Village church located at 2640 Saint Paul Street. In addition to Sunday services, the facility is used as a community space.
The Baltimore Free School
In September 2009, classes began at 1323 N. Calvert St., in Baltimore, MD, at the Baltimore Free School. Subjects have included "History of the Middle East", "Small Passive Solar Design", "To Be Tobacco-Free", "Revolutionary Hip Hop", "Terror, Genocide and Human Rights in the 20th Century" and "Stitch n Bitch". The classes are taught along the principles of "horizontal organizing, collaborative learning and participatory education", and it's guaranteed that the teachers are not "y'know, fascists". The Free School is volunteer run and any person is invited to teach a class or series of classes with no certification required. In 2012, the school was located at 512-516 W. Franklin St., but has since moved into a classroom in the Red Emma's Coffeestore Bookhouse at 30 W. North Ave.
- DiGiondomenico, Amanda (September 14, 2009). "Coffeeshop collective inspires creative conversations". The Retriever Weekly. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- "Red Emma's Announces Move to Station North". City Paper, 6 December 2013.
- Corey Reidy, "Red Emma's is Moving!: An Interview", Indyreader, 29 April 2013.
- What is 2640?
- "Church, anarchists come to each other's rescue". Baltimore Sun (November 27, 2007)
- "A Beginning: The Baltimore Free School" (13). Winter 2009–2010.
- "The Baltimore Free School". Retrieved December 8, 2012.
- "The Baltimore Free School". Retrieved August 23, 2014.
- Redemmas.org, Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse official website
- 2640, a collectively run events venue at redemmas.org
- Baltimore Free School at redemmas.org
- Cassie, Ron (October 2009). "Radical Success". Baltimore Magazine. Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
- Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse on Google Street View