Revolution #281, September 23, 2012
In Memory of Adam Shapiro, Host of “Current Events” on WRFG, Atlanta – With Much Love and Respect
From the staff of Revolution Books Atlanta:
Adam Shapiro, a great friend of ours and a friend of the revolution, passed away suddenly last week. He will be sorely missed. Adam was best known as the radio host of “Current Events,” a weekly progressive news and call-in show on community radio station WRFG in Atlanta. You could always count on tuning in Thursdays at noon for an hour of informative and challenging topics, often provoking a wild mix of call-ins from his eclectic audience. He regularly featured guests from a wide variety of progressive political viewpoints including the Revolutionary Communist Party and writers for Revolution newspaper.
Adam was a movement activist through and through. He dedicated his life to changing the world and was involved with many groups, holding leadership positions at WRFG, in the blind community, Georgia Green Party and Democratic Socialists of America. He encouraged and promoted broad resistance and jumped right in at the get-go when groups such as Refuse & Resist!, the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, and World Can't Wait were launched. He was a regular participant in discussions at Revolution Books, providing insightful comments, sharp but friendly criticisms when he disagreed (often), but also welcoming challenges to his own thinking in the process.
He grew up in New York and was greatly influenced by the struggles of the 1960s and the folk music scene. He particularly loved Phil Ochs, whom he emulated by learning to play guitar. Adam and his guitar were a fixture at open mic nights, WRFG benefits and a variety of political events, including several fundraisers for the BA Everywhere campaign. He carefully tailored his song selection to the nature of the event. We therefore enjoyed Phil Ochs-style incisiveness and biting satire through Adam’s performances.
Several words that come to mind when describing Adam are: dedication, struggle, integrity, thoughtfulness, honesty, humor and principle. He withstood no small amount of pressure against his inviting revolutionary communists and followers of Bob Avakian to be frequent guests on his show. Instead of backing down under this pressure, he sought a fuller understanding of the content of Bob Avakian’s vision of revolution and communism (and in the process gained a great deal of respect and admiration for BA), and encouraged others to engage with it as well. In this, he represented and fought for standards and principles within the movements of opposition that are sorely needed in this time.
Adam touched our hearts, made us laugh and taught us much. Perhaps the greatest thing we learned from him was how to work and struggle together with mutual respect, while recognizing our significant political and ideological differences – but never shying away from arguing, debating and discussing those differences, in the interest of seeking the truth and furthering the cause of emancipating humanity.
Adam's signature sign-off was: “Freedom is a constant struggle. Information is power. Speak up while you still can. The hour is getting late.”
Adam Shapiro lived a life worthy of a human being. These words from the Phil Ochs song “Do What I Have to Do” describe his attitude well:
All around the country, trouble in the air
And I hear the voices calling me.
Asking “do you know and do you care?
Do you know and do you care?”
So I’m a-gonna do what I have to do
Say what I have to say.
And I’m gonna be what I have to be
Now won’t you come on along with me?
Won’t you come along with me?
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