Tag Archives: Wood Shoe Books

Swimming Lessons and the Red Scare, Press Release


In 1953, at the height of the McCarthy Era, 9 leaders of the American Communist Party were arrested in Philadelphia in violation of the Smith Act and tried for conspiracy to overthrow the United States government. Over 50 years later, Adrienne Skye Roberts, current artist-in-residence at the Philadelphia Art Hotel and granddaughter of Joseph Roberts (one of the 9 Smith Act defendants) retraces her lineage to Philadelphia and this legacy of dissent and radicalism. Through archival research, interviews, letter-writing and visits to locations that were significant to her grandfather, Roberts’ constructs an incomplete narrative of a political and familial history that remains largely unseen. In addition to presenting a history of socialism in Philadelphia, Swimming Lessons and the Red Scare raises questions about family inheritance; what is passed down through generations and migrations and what is not and place; how we are taught in which spaces we belong. Swimming Lessons and the Red Scare takes the form of a performative lecture and accompanying publication based on The Daily Worker, the former Communist Party newspaper. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011 @ 7PM
Coral Street Arts House
2446 Coral Street at East Hagerty Street

Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 9PM
Boggsville Boatel and Boat-In Theater
Marina 59
5914 Beach Channel Drive
Far Rockaway, Queens, NY

Monday, September 19, 2011 @ 7PM
Wooden Shoe Books
704 South Street
with Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood

(Design by Kris Holbrook)