Bob Avakian is a '60's radical who became the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. He speaks of his Armenian-American upbringing in the San Francisco Bay Area in his memoir, FROM IKE TO MAO AND BEYOND: MY JOURNEY FROM MAINSTREAM AMERICA TO REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNIST, published by Insight Press (www.insight-press.com, which has a short biographical note about Bob Avakian). In addition to his many other books, many of his writings are published in REVOLUTION newspaper (www.revcom.us), and some of his talks are available at www.bobavakian.net.
Excerpt from FROM IKE TO MAO AND BEYOND - My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist:
- While my parents were from different backgrounds, neither of their families resisted their marriage. Despite a lot of insularity among the Armenian relatives, my father's parents felt the important thing was what kind of person you marry, not whether they were an Armenian.
- My mother was pretty readily accepted both because of the attitude of my father's parents, but also because she was a very likeable person.
- And my mother learned how to cook some of the Armenian foods, and picked up some of the other cultural things. Beyond that, my father would not have put up with any crap! So the combination of all that meant that she got accepted pretty quickly. I'm not aware of friction from my mother's parents toward my dad. They were nice people generally, although they too were pretty conservative in a lot of ways, and also, to be honest, my father, having graduated from law school, was someone who had a certain amount of stature when my parents got married.