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A journal dedicated to truth, freedom of speech and radical spiritual consciousness. Our mission is the liberation of men and women from oppression, violence and abuse of any kind, interpersonal, political, religious, economic, psychosexual. We believe as Fidel Castro said, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness."

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    Marvin X on Hard Knock Radio – January 11, 2016

    KPFA 94.1 www.kpfa.org

    Davey D (KPFA FM Hardknock Radio) interviews Marvin X on Oakland's Black Arts Movement Business District, today, 4pm. Check it out.

    Tomorrow, Feb. 12, Tuesday, 1:30PM, the BAM District planning committee meets at Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 3. Be there or be square! President of Oakland City Council, Lynette McElhaney will present BAM Business District proposal to City Council committee.

    Council President Lynette McElhaney, Marvin X, Duane Deterville; Middle row: Gerry Garzon (Oakland Public Library), Tureeda Mikell, Jaenal Peterson, Aries Jordan, David McKelvey, Eric Murphy (Joyce Gordon Gallery); Back row: Eric Arnold, Kwesi Wilkerson, Charles Johnson, Alicia Parker (Oakland Planning Department), Shomari Carter (Supervisor Keith Carson's Office). Far right: Elder Paul Cobb, Publisher, Oakland Post News Group.

    For more information on the Black Arts Movement Business District, stay tuned to www.blackbirdperessnews.blogspot.com 

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  • 01/11/16--17:22: Article 0

  • Hard Knock Radio – January 11, 2016


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    We are happy to announce that today, January 12, 2016,  a committee of Oakland City Council members passed the resolution designating the 14th Street corridor as the Black Arts Movement Business District. The resolution was introduced by Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney. For their vote to officially establish the name Black Arts Movement Business District, they receive the BAM Gold Fist Award for Excellence:



    Council President Lynette McElhaney, Marvin X, Duane Deterville; Middle row: Gerry Garzon (Oakland Public Library), Tureeda Mikell, Jaenal Peterson, Aries Jordan, David McKelvey, Eric Murphy (Joyce Gordon Gallery); Back row: Eric Arnold, Kwesi Wilkerson, Charles Johnson, Alicia Parker (Oakland Planning Department), Shomari Carter (Supervisor Keith Carson's Office). Far right: Elder Paul Cobb, Publisher, Oakland Post News Group.
    For more information on the Black Arts Movement Business District, stay tuned to www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com 

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    Let's do the BAM Thang! City of Oakland approved The Black Arts Movement Business District along the 14th Street corridor, downtown Oakland. We expect to see the BAM flag flying immediately along with vendors on the street and the African Women's Market on Saturdays. We seek to establish a BAM Billion Dollar Trust Fund to secure the BAM Business District.


     





    1. Black Arts Movement Districts established nationwide in each city with large populations of North American Africans. BAM chief architect, Amiri Baraka (RIP), called for the BAM tour to include 27 cities with large populations of North American Africans.


    2. A community/corporate sponsorship of the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour. Government agencies should support BAM as well, with the understanding that we are and shall remain artistic freedom fighters!



    A Poetic Moment, Marvin X and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf at Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Celebration, Feb. 7, 2015.




     Mrs. Gay Plair Cobb, Marvin X, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Laney College President Elnora T. Webb, Dr. Nathan Hare, Paul Cobb
    photo South Park Kenny Johnson

    3. A BAM Endowment Fund  for veteran BAM artistic freedom fighters without basic survival funds. FYI, BAM/Black Power activists were patriots who believed in the values of American democracy. We believed in the American revolution. We quoted the US Constitution in our raps and principles. We believed in the consent of the governed, yet we suffered taxation without representation. We suffered a military defeat by the US Government. We hereby call upon all veterans of the US military to connect and support the BAM/Black Power veterans, especially those in need. We call on Black military veterans to reach out and touch the soldiers in America's domestic war against the freedom and independence of North American Africans, e.g., Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, Socialists, Communists, Liberation theologists and others. Now there are some who completely missed the 60s. They are like the girl who said Wake up to what? Poor girl doesn't even know she's sleeping. But US military veterans, reach out and touch your brothers in the war for freedom in America.

    4. A BAM House in every North American African city. A separate house for men, women and youth in the BAM tradition. House can serve as a recovery center for those artists suffering from the addiction to white supremacy. BAM housing should be owned by a Land Trust. As per elder housing, they should be given the Life Estate to the space they inhabit, wherein they hold title to the property for natural life. Upon their transition to the ancestors, the title reverts to the Land Trust. On the general societal level, we think the Life Estate can end homelessness overnight in America. Of course, case management of many residents may be in order since many suffer traumatic slave syndrome, unresolved grief and communal amnesia, although Dr. Nathan Hare says it is not amnesia because they never knew, therefore they cannot suffer amnesia. Domestic colonialism severed the umbilical cord except for deep structure DNA residue. We know the ritual but not the myth, we beat the drum but don't know the rhythms as divine movement. How many of us recall the musical culture of Mali as origin of the Blues, especially in the Mississippi Delta. The Malian musician Ali Farka played with BB King and the Rolling Stones but he said he was not playing Blues. His music is from a ten thousand year old mythology, aboriginal and Islamic. Sorry we diverted from the housing issue but we must also address the dire mental apparatus that must be restored so the oppressed can regain their mental equilibrium as Dr. Hare notes. One project we have is the How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy mental health peer group facilitated by Dr. Nathan Hare and Suzzette Celeste, MPA, MSW. They recently conducted a session at the Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Celebration on Feb. 7, 2015, Laney College, Oakland.



    5. A BAM Union of Artists, modeled on the National Writers Union. Union will offer health and life insurance for all members. Please comment on the NWU model. Do you suggest we reinvent the wheel?

    6. A general fund.

    Want to help? Contact: Marvin X, BAM 27 City Tour, 510-200-4164, jmarvinx@yahoo.com
    Please send a generous donation to the BAM 27 City Tour, 339 Lester Ave. #10, Oakland CA. 94606. Your donation can be tax deductible. BAM 27 City Tour co-planner, Paul Cobb, Publisher of the Post News Group in Oakland, suggests 100 people donate $100.00 in each city. This would go a long way to making the BAM 27 City Tour happen in your city. Set up a planning committee in your city, secure donations, grants. I will help you plan the BAM 27 City Tour for your city. Each city must have the participation of local artists, after all, BAM was local as well as national. Each city had their little Black theatres, some funded but mostly unfunded but were able to do productions as they were able. This was certainly true for Black Arts West Theatre, San Francisco. We got no grants. The Bay Area Black bourgeoisie did not support BAM until we established Black House with Eldridge Cleaver. They supported Black House because we had a celebrity in da house. Eldridge released his best-seller Soul on Ice while at Black House.  Today, we again call upon the progressive Black bourgeoisie to support the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour.


    collage by Adam Turner of the BAM Poet's Choir and Arkestra performing at the Malcolm X Jazz/art fest, Oakland, 2014

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  • 01/13/16--19:13: It's Nation Time...Again!


  • It’s Nation Time… Again
    STATE OF THE BLACK WORLD CONFERENCE IV
    November 16-20, 2016, Newark, NJ.

    Amiri Baraka

    Dedicated to the Memory of Amiri Baraka
    The First Call
    In 2012 the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) convened State of the Black World Conference III (SOBWC III) at Howard University in Washington, D.C.,focused on the Theme – State of Emergency in Black America: Time to Heal Black Families and Communities. SOBWC III was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Ronald Walters, Black America’s leading Political Scientist. November 16–20, 2016, after the U.S. presidential elections, IBW will convene State of the Black World Conference IV in Newark, N.J., dedicated to the memory of the brilliant poet, playwright and political activist Amiri Baraka. This time the Theme of this major domestic and global gathering of people of African descent will be – It’s Nation Time… Again. The State of Emergency still persists in Black America and indeed in the Pan African world, but there have also been dramatic changes over the past four years which will serve as the context for what will be one of the great gatherings of Black people in the 21st century.
    For years IBW has been crying out that there is a State of Emergency in Black America characterized by persistent joblessness, poverty, economic underdevelopment, inferior education, health disparities, crime, violence, murders/fratricide, police occupation and repression, racially-biased criminal justice policies, mass incarceration of Black people and gentrification. These crises are most severe in America’s “dark ghettos,” marginalized urban and suburban communities where Black working class and poor people struggle to subsist and strive against great odds to achieve a glimpse of the “the American dream.”
    The root causes of the State of Emergency in America’s dark ghettos are not hard to discern. The “White backlash” against the “progress” of the civil rights and social justice movements of the 60s, decades of blatant neglect,calculated defunding of social programs, massive disinvestment in urban America and deindustrialization have wreaked havoc on Black poor and working people confined to communities that have been marginalized. Rather than fulfill the vision of the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. King was articulating at the end of his life, the “promissory note” he spoke of at the March on Washington has continued to come back marked “insufficient funds.”
    Rather than finish the unfinished civil rights/human rights agenda, demagogic, right wing politicians fueled and played on White fears and resentment of “Black progress” to eliminate or drastically cut social programs perceived to be of benefit to Blacks. President Nixon declared a “War on Drugs” that was waged almost exclusively in Black communities. President Reagan went even further by launching a not so subtle assault on policies and programs helpful to Black people. He charged that remedies for racial injustice like affirmative action constituted“reverse discrimination” or “Back racism” and shamelessly branded Black people as “welfare queens” and “food stamp cheats.” Reagan also associated crime with Black people and used this imagery to dramatically escalate the “War on Drugs.”This while continuing to dismantle social programs he claimed were a “burden on the backs of taxpayers.” Democrats were not immune from riding a racist conservative tide primarily aimed at rolling back Black progress to appease disgruntled Whites. Hence, William Jefferson Clinton, lauded by some Black people as “America’s first Black President,” pushed for an “end of welfare as we know it” and sponsored one of the most draconian crime bills ever; a bill which contributed significantly to the mass incarceration of Black people and the explosive growth of the prison-jail industrial complex.
    Rather than finish the unfinished civil rights/human rights agenda, demagogic politicians abandoned urban policy, ramped up the War on Drugs with all of its intrusive, oppressive, demeaning and damaging racially biased policing and criminal justice policies and practices. In a real sense, Ferguson and Baltimore, cities that have recently erupted in rebellion, epitomize the myriad crises that afflict America’s “dark ghettos.” The State of Emergency in Black America is a direct consequence of the calculated neglect and overt assault on Black people by actors functioning within a Capitalist system infected with white supremacy; a system in which Black lives do not matter!
    Though resistance to this system has been ever present throughout our history on these hostile shores, in recent years IBW has lamented what we perceive as a State of Emergency without a sense of urgency in Black America. For far too long it appeared as if Africans in America were suffering from what Malcolm might have called the “Novocain syndrome;”enduring the afflictions of the State of Emergency but so traumatized or anesthetized to the pain that for the most part we have been suffering peacefully. This is not to say that there has an absence of resistance. There have been numerous protests, marches and movements around specific incidents of injustice, but they have largely been episodic, fragmented and insufficient to match the magnitude of the crises marginalizing and decimating Black families and communities.
    However, in the past 24 months there has been an amazing awakening in Black America and the Pan African world. It is as if the eloquent and powerful words of Frederick Douglass have penetrated the consciousness of a slumbering people: “power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows or both.” Or perhaps it was the voice of Harriet Tubman urging a semi-conscious Black people to wake-up and recognize our status as 21st century quasi-slaves who urgently need to fight for freedom from an oppressive system. A weary and defiant Fannie Lou Hamer might have been heard again declaring that “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,” challenging her people to move from apathy to action. The rhythmic, pulsating, universal exhortations of the lyrics of Bob Marley might have reverberated anew to African people, “stand up for your rights.” Or maybe Malcolm had to remind us that despite the fact that some of us can now hang out in the “big house, “it must be freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody!”
    Whatever the impetus for this awakening the Moral Monday Movement, lifting up the legacy of Martin, burst upon the scene galvanizing a broad array of forces to proclaim: Forward Together, Not One Step Back” — demanding an end to voter suppression; discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation; and, advocating for social and economic programs to improve the quality of life for poor and working people. The Movement to End the War on Drugs and Mass Incarceration gained huge momentum as decades of patient multifaceted advocacy and organizing began to yield stunning victories. The decision of Heads of State in the Caribbean via CARICOM to demand reparations from the former European colonialists for Native Genocide and the African enslavement served to fire-up and intensify the Global Reparations Movement, fortifying the conviction that reparatory justice for people of African descent is possible in the 21st Century!
    And, then there was the emergence of a new generation of visionary, brilliant and courageous freedom fighters, springing up from the “river” of the African experience in this nation, proudly standing on the shoulders of their forebears, confronting and facing down the death-dealing killers of Black men and women to emphatically, relentlessly and uncompromisingly declare to America and the world that “all Black Lives Matter!” The Black Lives Matter Movement has permeated the consciousness of Africans in America and the Pan African world from every walk of life portending the potential for galvanizing a critical mass to usher in an era of transformational change! The passionate, poetic and revolutionary words ofAmiri Baraka are reverberating throughout the land,“It’s Nation Time!
    In the era of the 60s the notion of “nation” conveyed the sentiment and possibilities that Black people could unite to become a formidable force, harnessing our human and material resources to confront white supremacy and to overcome oppression and exploitation. Baraka’s powerful poetic oration It’s Nation Timechallenged Black people from all walks of life to get up and get busy to cultivate the consciousness and commitment to come together to build Black institutions, mobilize and organize movements and fight for our liberation “by any means necessary.” It was an “all Black hands on deck” call to action for Black people to join the Black Freedom Struggle and to use whatever we had to achieve victory!
    At this remarkable moment in our history, the Institute of the Black World 21st Century declares that It’s Nation Time… Again, time to gather ourselves to create spaces to heal Black families and communities from the past and present traumas of enslavement, cultural aggression, racial violence, economic exploitation, internalized racism, fratricide and self-destruction; time to reaffirm our Africaness/Blackness, to re-embrace the cultural and spiritual values and principles that have enabled our people to resist, survive and thrive in the face of horrendous oppression and genocide; It’s Nation Time… Again, time to redouble our efforts to build and strengthen Black institutions as a foundation to sustain wholesome and healthy families, communities and nations; It’s Nation Time… Again, time to strengthen bonds of principled unity, cooperation and collaboration to utilize righteous Black Powerto protect and promote the interests and aspirations of Black people; It’s Nation Time… Again, time for a Pan African Renaissance that will propel Black people to our rightful place at the forefront of transformational change in the U.S. and the World!
    It’s Nation Time… Again, time for a convergence of some of the most visionary and powerful movements, scholar-activists, organizers, institution-builders, opinion-makers, a new generation of freedom fighters, conscious and concerned Black people, African people from the U.S. and the Pan African world to network, share information, love and learn from each other to forge a more unified and formidable movement to fight for a new future for our people!
    And, so in that spirit and for this purpose, the Institute of the Black World 21st Century calls upon people of African descent/Black people to gather in Newark, New Jersey, November 16-20, 2016 for State of the Black World IV. It’s Nation Time… Again. In the name of our ancestors, let the organizing/mobilizing begin!


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    <b>Marcus</b> <b>Garvey</b> Riding In Car in U.N.I.A. <b>Parade</b>
     The Honorable Marcus Garvey

    We think North American Africans in Oakland should celebrate the BAM Business District with a Marcus Garvey style parade down 14th from MLK, Jr. Way to Lake Merritt for a rally and festival. Brother Theo of the Malonga Center should lead the people with his dancers doing the BAM BAM  (suggested by Dr. Nathan Hare). Videographer Kenny Johnson said, "We gonna be doin da BAM Thang everywhere."


    <b>Marcus</b> <b>Garvey</b> and members in a U.N.I.A. <b>Parade</b>

     ... of the Universal Negro Improvement Association march on <b>parade</b>
    Universal Negro Improvement Association soldiers. Did you know
    there is a Marcus Garvey UNIA Hall in Oakland?

    Black Cross Nurses, in the 1922 UNIA <b>Parade</b> (Corbis)
     The UNIA Black Cross Nurses. We call upon the Bay Area Black Nurses Association to participate in the BAM Business District Unity parade.



    ... Clip From Documentary 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution

    On the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, we call upon the BPP veterans to participate in the BAM Business District Unity parade.

    Little Known Stories of Blacks and the Civil War
    The 200,000 North American African troops were critical to the US winning the Civil War. We call upon Black Veterans to march in the BAM Business District Unity parade.

    On parade, the 41st Engineers at Ft. Bragg, NC in colorguard ...

     BAM Wish List #3. 

    A BAM Endowment Fund  for veteran BAM artistic freedom fighters without basic survival funds. FYI, BAM/Black Power activists were patriots who believed in the values of American democracy. We believed in the American revolution. We quoted the US Constitution in our raps and principles. We believed in the consent of the governed, yet we suffered taxation without representation. We suffered a military defeat by the US Government. We hereby call upon all veterans of the US military to connect and support the BAM/Black Power veterans, especially those in need. We call on Black military veterans to reach out and touch the soldiers in America's domestic war against the freedom and independence of North American Africans, e.g., Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, Socialists, Communists, Liberation theologists and others. Now there are some who completely missed the 60s. They are like the girl who said Wake up to what? Poor girl doesn't even know she's asleep. But US military veterans, reach out and touch your brothers in the war for freedom in America.

    Uniformed men in the uniform of the Fruit of Islam, a subset of the Nation of Islam, stand at attention during the Saviour's Day celebrations at General Richard Jones Armory, Chicago, Illinois, February 26, 1967.
     We call upon the Nation of Islam to join the BAM Business District Unity Parade.

    Recent Photos The Commons 20under20 Galleries World Map App Garden ...
    BAM poets Amiri Baraka and Maya Angelou doing the BAM BAM!

    We suggest the Marcus Garvey Unity Parade in honor of the man who taught us Black Unity.
    "Up you mighty people, you can accomplish what you will!" He gave us the Red, Black and Green after hearing a racist song, "Everybody got a flag cept a Coon!"


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    A live dog is better than a dead lion!--Holy Bible

    Marvin X is now available for readings/speaking coast to coast.

    In 2015 Marvin X rocked America coast to coast!

     Marvin X accepts life-time achievement award from PEN Oakland. Right: Al Young, MC, poet, novelist, California Poet Laureate emeritus 
    photo Wanda Sabir

    Poet/playwright  Marvin X with fellow poet/playwrights  Opal Palmer Adisa and Ishmael Reed

     Ishmael Reed and Marvin X. Ishmael Reed says, "Marvin X is Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland." Marvin X appears in two of the latest books by Ishamel Reed: The Complete Muhammad Ali and Black Hollywood unChained


     Marvin X
    photo Wanda Sabir

     Marvin X, MCs Jack Foley and Al Young
    photo Wanda Sabir


    Marvin X at the mike. The mike is often snatched from him by the PC Culture Police, not this time.
    photo Wanda Sabir

    Marvin X is now available for readings/speaking engagements coast to coast. Send letter of invitation to jmarvinx@yahoo.com. Call 510-200 4164.

    "If you want motivation and inspiration, don't spend all that money going to workshops and seminars, just go stand at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, and watch Marvin X at work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland."--Ishmael Reed
    At his Academy of da Corner, Marvin X mentors many Hip Hop youth who question him about their addiction to the plethora of isms and schisms, especially the Youtube "scholars".  They ask him who is God? He answers God is you, look in the mirror! You are in God/God is in you! He refers them to his mentors Elijah Muhammad and His Holiness Guru Bawa. If you ain't ready for the reality of God, don't ask me shit!

    Fans of Marvin X

    BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra at University of California, Merced, 2014


     The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra

    Marvin and BAM comrade Danny Glover
    photo Kenny Johnson

    Marvin X in "Nigguh Heaven" (In the presence of intelligent/beautiful revolutionary Black women)
    BAM 50th Anniversary Celebration, Laney College, Oakland, 2015

    Left to Right: Black Panther Party Chairwoman Elaine Brown, BAM dancer/choreographer Halifu Osumare, BAM/BPP member Judy Juanita, writer Portia Anderson, BAM Bay Area multitalented Kujichagulia, BAM Baby Aries Jordan
    photo Kenny Johnson
     To invite Marvin X to your venue,
    send letter of invitation to
    Marvin X
    jmarvinx@yahoo.com
    call
    510-200-4164







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    Paul Cobb, Publisher of the Oakland Post News Group, and Black Arts Movement co-founder, Marvin X, are calling all Oakland and Bay Area Black artists to gather for a group photo prior to the full City Council vote on the Black Arts Movement Business District, Tuesday, January 19, 4pm. Please gather in front of Oakland City Hall for this historic group photo similar to the famous photo of Harlem NY artists. All North American African musicians, singers, painters, writers, poets, rappers, dancers, are invited. Please spread the word! THE CITY COUNCIL MEETS AT 5:30PM. photo shoot 4pm.
    For more information, call 510-200-4164. jmarvinx@yahoo.com or goodnewspc@aol.com


    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IbPgV-svcag/TXl9pm4hRHI/AAAAAAAAEEw/pGRsMN6bL4I/s1600/Chauncy%2BBailey%2Bphoto%2Bshoot%2Bat%2BJoyce%2BGordon.jpg
     Bay Area artists/activists gathered to honor slain journalist Chauncey Bailey.

    Uplift: Support - UPTOWN Magazine

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    Marvin X has called for a BAM Billion Dollar trust fund for the BAM Business District  so it can create cultural facilities, businesses, artist space and housing for North American Africans, especially those being displaced by gentrification. Since it is not only Silicon Valley but Globalists who are causing displacement of poor ethnic groups, we think the rich Persian Gulf sheikhs  might be willing to help us as they are helping Palestinians. A billion is like a penny to some of those oil sheikhs.

     

    Qatar provides 1,000 new homes for Gazans displaced by war

    Reuters
    Posters depicting Qatar's former Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani are seen on a building as Palestinian man holding his son waves during the opening ceremony of "Hamad City", in the southern Gaza Strip
    .
    View gallery
    Posters depicting Qatar's former Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (R) and Emir of Qatar Tamim …
    By Nidal al-Mughrabi
    GAZA (Reuters) - Qatari-funded construction projects have provided 1,000 new dwellings for Palestinians left homeless by the 2014 Gaza war with Israel, and a similar number for low-income families in the territory, officials said on Saturday.
    The Gulf state's contribution is the sole significant sign of rebuilding in the Gaza Strip, where some 100,000 people remain displaced 18 months after the fighting, with economic growth stifled by Israeli and Egyptian blockades.
    The Qatari donations have buoyed Gaza's de facto Islamist Hamas rulers, irking Israel and the U.S.-backed Palestinian administration based in the occupied West Bank. Past efforts by Qatar to mediate between Hamas and Israel yielded little.
    After the 2014 war, Qatar pledged $1 billion for building projects in Gaza, of which $50 million was paid to owners of destroyed houses to fund the rebuilding of shelters. Qatar envoy Mohammed Al-Amadi said 1,000 new homes had been completed since.
    "Qatar exerts every effort to help the people of Gaza in the fields of electricity, agriculture, infrastructure and housing, including the rebuilding of completely destroyed houses," Amadi told Reuters.
    Gaza economist Maher Al-Tabbaa said reconstruction efforts were being hampered by difficulties in bringing raw materials to Gaza.
    Israel bars the import of products it suspects Hamas might use to rearm or build fortifications, although it began easing restrictions in October under a mechanism overseen by the United Nations.
    "Only 400,000 tonnes of cement have entered Gaza since October 2014, or the equivalent of Gaza's need of cement in two months only," said Tabbaa, who is also in charge of public relations at Gaza's Chamber of Commerce.
    Officials said on Saturday that Qatari funding had provided another 1,060 new homes in the Gaza town of Khan Younis for low-income families.
    An Indonesian-funded hospital opened in Gaza last month, the first new medical centre in the territory in a decade.
    (Writing by Nidal Almughrabi; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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    If my memory is correct, the Black Panthers were at the Black House, San Francisco, when the first issue of the Black Panther Newspaper hit the press. Eldridge Cleaver and I had founded the Black House as a political/cultural center on Broderick Street, 1967,  and after I introduced him to Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, co-founders of the BPP and he became Minister of Information, the Black House morphed into the San Francisco Headquarters of the BPP. The Black House as a cultural center collapsed from ideological differences so the artists eased on down the road, including playwright Ed Bullins, Ethna Wyatt and myself. Ed Bullins fled to New York as did many artists, especially musicians, whom I discovered, especially when I hit Harlem myself, were more politically astute than the so called politicos, especially the Panthers who did not recover from their anti-art or war against "cultural nationalists" stance until they attended the Pan African Cultural Festival in Algeria.

    But before I departed Black House, I saw the BPP newspaper being laid out in Cleaver's room adjacent to mine. The BPP trip to Sacramento was  planned at Black House. I could hear their planning session from my bedroom that Mrs. Amina Baraka described as Spartan compared to Eldridge's that was "high tech", i.e., he had a speaker phone! She was pregnant with the Baraka's first child, Obalaji, while at the Black House that was visited by such artists and politicos as Sonia Sanchez, Askia Toure, Sarah Webster Fabio, Avotcja, Emory Douglas, Samuel Napier, Judy Juanita, Chicago Art Ensemble, Reginald Lockett, Ellendar Barnes, George Murray,  and a host of others too numerous to remember, including Alprentice Bunchy Carter, Cleaver's close associate from Soledad  Prison.
     Eldridge Cleaver and his lieutenant in the prison movement and later ...Bunchy Carter was a story I've never forgotten. Do your math if you ...

    Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter(born 1943; died January 17, 1969, Los ...

    Alprentice Bunchy Carter

    Carter was one of most handsome Black men
    in the BLM, a former leader of the seven thousand member
    Los Angeles Slauson Street gang, poet
    and Cleaver's co-chair of the Soledad Prison
    Black Culture Club that was the beginning
    of the American Prison Movement.

    edit-of-blk-dialog-grp-foto2

    The Black Dialogue Magazine brothers who visited the Soledad Prison
    Black Culture Club, chaired by Eldridge Cleaver and Bunchy Carter, 1966.

    Left to Right: Aubrey LaBrie, Marvin X, Abdul Sabrey, Al Young, Arthur
    Sheridan (founding editor of Black Dialogue) and Duke Williams. Most of
    us were students at San Francisco State College/University when we visited
    Soledad Prison. There was thus a unity in the Black Liberation Movement between students, prison inmates, Black intellectuals, artists and activists. There can be no revolution until all sectors of the
    community unite and become one fist, i.e., youth, students, workers, intellectuals,
    artists, women, progressive bourgeoisie and the spiritual leaders.

    The staff of Black Dialogue Magazine visited the club
    at Cleaver's invitation that we received from
    his lawyer/lover Attorney Beverley Axelrod,
    to whom he dedicated Soul on Ice and promised
    to marry upon his release.  She smuggled his manuscript
    out of Soledad in her legal papers. She won a percentage of
    royalties by default after Cleaver went into exile from America.
    Ironically, a few days before I performed his memorial service
    in Oakland, her Pacifica house slid down the hill in a mudslide.
    I didn't know she was at the memorial until years later when I
    viewed the video of the memorial.

    Bunchy was killed in the BSU meeting room on the campus of UCLA, along
    with BPP member John Huggins, supposedly by members
    of Ron Karenga's US organization, although Geronimo Pratt
    absolves US of this twin murder. For sure, it was a Cointelpro affair,
    have no doubt about this. See Senator Church's hearings on Cointelpro
    and the Black Movement, including the Civil Rights Movement.

    John Huggins - Email, Address, Phone numbers, everything! www ...
    Comrade John Huggins

    INVADERS
    Black Panthers in Sacramento

    The climax in my relationship with Cleaver and the Panthers occurred when I got into a confrontation with Lil' Bobby Hutton over the youth club in the basement. True, the youth were out of control and Hutton told me,"The Supreme Commander, i.e. Huey Newton, said close it down because it could be an excuse for the pigs to raid Black House." Of course Lil' Bobby and the BPP were correct, I was being emotional. We had received information from some progressive Black bourgeoisie sisters that the Black House was indeed going to be raided as they had information the police knew the youth were taking liberties with women or young girls, playing hookie from school and partying in the basement. Years later though, I met those youth who were grown and quite conscious culturally, and they thanked me for their Black House experience.

    Bobby Hutton and Bobby Seale inside the Sacramento Capitol building ...

    <b>bobby</b> <b>hutton</b> | Tumblr

    I identified with the youth and was their mentor, so I told Hutton, "Fuck the Supreme Commander! I'm not closing down shit!" I could see in his eyes, Hutton wanted to get me that instant but restrained himself, saying, "We'll deal with you later, dude!" That night all I heard was the click of 45 automatics outside my door. I wasn't intimidated and didn't give a fuck. I knew I was just as crazy as Huey, Bobby and Eldridge, but shortly after the incident,  Eldridge evicted Ed Bullins, Ethna and myself. Ethna and I joined the Nation of Islam. After dropping out of San Francisco State College/now University, I was drafted but under Panther and Nation of Islam influence, I fled to Toronto, Canada, later Mexico City and Belize, from which I was deported and spent five months in jail and Federal prison at Terminal Island. The Panthers said, "We must not only resist the draft but resist arrest as well! Actually, no matter where I was, whether in exile or prison, the task was the same, i.e., to teach the deaf, dumb and blind the reality of our condition. So I did so in Toronto, Mexico City and Belize, Central America. And for doing so, one can be killed, exiled or jailed.
    Somehow God saved me to tell this story. Years later, San Francisco County Jail Sheriff Charles Smith (who threw Muhammad Speaks newspaper in my cell during the three months I spent in jail at 350 Bryant Street) told me he attended a Interpol Conference in Belize at which they discussed my presence in Central America.

    The killing of Denzil Dowell in Richmond was the first case of pigs killing North American Africans the BPP tackled. Fifty years later, where are we and the police? It seems another Denzil Dowell is murdered by the pigs every day coast to coast. Fifty years ago the Panthers took up arms to defend the community. Before them were brothers in the South such as the Deacons for Defense and Robert Williams in North Carolina (Negroes With Guns).

    Since the BPP took up arms, many pigs were killed and many many Black Panther Party members were murdered by the pigs. When Eldridge Cleaver returned from exile as a Born Again Christian, I traveled with him throughout the Western hemisphere, America, Canada, Jamaica. After giving his testimony about finding Jesus Christ in the moon, the white Christians would embrace him and confessed they used to hate him and Blacks in general but since they were Born Again, they no longer hated him nor Blacks. On one occasion the police confessed they had murder squads who killed Panthers in particular and Blacks in general.  The pigs and Cleaver embraced, both exclaiming, "Praise the Lord!"

    Because the Born Again pigs and Cleaver confessed their new found love for each other, do not think they trusted him one iota. Before he had me organize his ministry independent of the whites, there were white Born Again Christians who traveled with us to maintain their surveillance of him. After all, he was the Black superstar on the white Born Again Christian circuit. Charles Colson of Watergate was the other, along with Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Bone, Jim and Tammy Baker, et al. I met most of them on more than one occasion. Since Black Christians were mortally afraid to work with Eldridge, as his chief of staff, I hired a crew of fearless Black Muslims that he fronted off as "heathens" he'd converted to Christianity. After giving his testimony, we'd usually have dinner with the white Christians (for a long time, he didn't deal with Black Christians), and they would ultimately turn to me with the question, "Marvin, when did you find the Lord?" And being an actor from Black Arts Movement Theatre, answered, "One Tuesday night!" The Christians would also ease up to me with the question, "Marvin, is Cleaver for real, did he really see Jesus Christ in the moon?" Of course I said yes. They also wanted to know if I was his bodyguard, even though he was twice my size at the time. I told them I was his just his travel companion and photographer, although he did provide me with a 45 automatic I carried in my camera bag.

    When he went to Vancouver, Canada for a speaking engagement, they shook us down at the airport returning to the US and shook us down a second time when we arrived at San Francisco airport. They weren't sure Cleaver was truly Born Again and might still be a Communist dedicated to destroying America.

    But it was a different feeling having the police greet us in a friendly manner when we arrived at the airport of various cities and accompany us to his engagements. I recently had a positive experience with the police while in Newark, New Jersey for the funeral of Amiri Baraka and also when I returned for the inauguration of his son, Ras Baraka, as Mayor of Newark NJ.

    During the funeral, the police were all over the Baraka house as friends and security. Even before becoming Mayor, Ras had told me, "Marvin, we got brothers with legal guns on our side!" Indeed, many Black police supported the Baraka family, the "first family" of Newark, NJ.

    Mrs. Amina Baraka told me that since her son became Mayor, the killing of Blacks by the police has stopped. Now it is only Blacks killing Blacks. During the time I was in Newark, I called California to tell friends there was a more positive relationship between the people and the police. They said I was crazy, this was unimaginable. I was tripping, they said. But it was true none the less, the antagonistic relationship between the people and the police in Newark was subsiding.

    In Oakland, I recently asked my childhood friend, Paul Cobb, one of the elders in Oakland politics, are there any Black police on our side? He was not able to answer the question. In my mind, there must be some Black officers on the side of the people. They can't all be pigs, devils, beasts in blue uniforms. We know some of them can be won over to the cause of the people. We saw this in Egypt during the short lived Arab Spring. For a moment, the police and people became one.

    As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party, we need to think about how we can come to a more civilized relationship with the police, even if it is symbiotic, it need not be totally negative. But the police cannot be allowed to continue their murder of Black people and other minorities under the color of law. Every human being in American has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And every human being has the right to self defense. Must we conclude the police are constitutionally unable to restrain themselves from killing us? Or is it possible for them to reach a higher level of understanding than the beast plane? If they can do it in Newark, they can do it in Oakland and Ferguson. Isaiah said let us reason together.

    We know we cannot outgun the police. We saw in the 60s and we see now, the police have plenty back up, i.e., National Guard, Army, Air Force, Navy, FBI, Homeland Security, CIA, snitches and agent provocateurs. Yes, the Panthers in particular and the Black community in general suffered a military defeat during the 60s and 70s. Guns weren't the only weapon: there was disinformation, chemical (drugs)  and germ warfare(HIV/STDs), toxic food and water.

    Isn't it time to do something that works? Shall we continue doing the same thing but expect different results, the mark of insanity?

    Fifty years later, it is almost impossible for me to attend rallies against the police for murdering our young men and women. I applaud  people like Oakland's Cat Brooks,Chepus Johnson and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Thank God they have the energy. After fifty years, I'm emotionally and mentally drained, especially after losing my own son to suicide. Imagine, on psycho drugs, he walked into a train, a brilliant young man who graduated from UC Berkeley, attended Harvard and studied in Syria at the University of Damascus. Dr. Nathan Hare says suicide and homicide are but different sides of the same coin, often situational disorders caused oppression. Often homicides are suicides because the person didn't have the never to kill himself so he made someone else do the job. Franz Fanon said the only way the oppressed can regain their mental health is by engaging in revolution to end oppression. Revolution is seizing power. Ras Baraka has demonstrated this in Newark, NJ. And he was blessed with revolutionary parents, so he is well trained for his mission to transform Newark, NJ, a city much like Oakland.



    Newark, NJ Mayor Ras Baraka and Marvin X

    For sure, we are at war with the oppressor and the police are his first line of defense. Many of us are in denial we are at war until one of our children are killed. The tragedy is that there is no Black family in America that has not been impacted by police actions under the color of law, not to mention incarceration.

    We know for a fact police behavior is quite different in the white community than in our community.
    I've lived among white people in Castro Valley and they don't even treat Black people the same as they treat us a few miles away in Oakland. The son of a rich friend of mine was repeatedly stopped for speeding and driving without a license in Castro Valley. Did the police kill the boy? No. Did they give him a ticket? No. They called his father to come get the car and his son. Yes, they knew the father was a rich Black man so they treated him with respect. Once the youth had a party that got loud so neighbors called the police. Of course the youth were drinking and smoking. When the police came, they only wanted to know if there was an adult at the house. When I came to the door, the police said, "Are you the adult here, Sir?" I said, "Yes, Sir." The police said, "Good night, Sir."

    Now we know money ain't gonna save you all the time, ask Harvard's Skip Gates! But we know if those armed white men in Oregon were Black, they would have surrendered or they'd be dead by now. Still we must make a way out of no way. We cannot continue going to funerals of our children from police homicide under the color of law or Black on Black homicide due to our addiction to white supremacy. We must arise from this morass of savagery. We must regain our self respect and demand others respect us.


    I have called for the Red, Black and Green flag to fly up and down the Black Arts Movement Business District along the 14th Street corridor, downtown Oakland. Saluting the flag should help us regain our mental equilibrium and make others, including police, recognize we are a nation of people and must be respected as such. I often give the example of the gay/lesbian flag that flies down Market Street in San Francisco as one goes toward the gay/lesbian community. By the time one gets to the  community, one gets the feeling that we must have respect for this community and not engage in homophobic language and behavior. It should and must be the same in the BAM Business District. This must be a sacred space that we must respect. And this vibration must spread throughout our community. I suggest the Red, Black and Green fly throughout our community to let ourselves and the world know we are a people with cultural consciousness, who originated from the womb of civilization. It will help us understand when we kill our brothers and sisters, we kill ourselves. When others kill us, they kill themselves as well. James Baldwin said, "The murder of my child will not make your child safe!"
    --Marvin X
    1/17/16

    Marvin X is a poet, playwright, essayist, organizer, one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement. He attended Oakland's Merritt College along with Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. He introduced Eldridge Cleaver to the Black Panthers. He was a member of the Negro Student Association/Black Student Union at San Francisco State University, 1964. Marvin co-founded Black Arts West Theatre, San Francisco, 1966, Black House, San Francisco, 1967, and was a member of Harlem's New Lafayette Theatre, 1968. He taught at Fresno State University, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, San Francisco State University, Mills College, Laney and Merritt Colleges, Oakland; University of Nevada, Reno. He lectures at colleges and universities coast to coast. Marvin is prolific: he's written 30 books. His current project is the Black Arts Movement Business District, downtown Oakland.  He is in the Black Panther film Vanguard of the Revolution directed by Stanley Nelson. See his memoir of Eldridge Cleaver: My friend the Devil, Black Bird Press, 2009, Berkeley CA.

    Hip-Hop N’ Politics: Black Panther Party: Commemorating Power To The ...

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    Dr. Greg Carr, everybody's favorite professor at Howard University. No one can attend Howard without taking one of his classes. I've lectured in his class and listened to him lecture. He is the James Brown of Black Studies. With Dr. Carr, we know his generation has caught the baton and is passing on Aboriginal consciousness.

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    Mayor Libby Schaaf issued a proclamation on last year's 50th anniversary of the Black Arts Movement. The celebration was at Laney College. L to R: Mrs. Gay Plair Cobb, Marvin X, Mayor Schaaf, Laney College President Dr. Elnora T. Webb, Dr. Nathan Hare, father of Black and Ethnic Studies in America; Post News Group Publisher, Paul Cobb.
    photo Ken Johnson

    Oakland City Hall
    January 19, 2016

    After BAM workers Val Serrant, Duane Deterville and Marvin X spoke before the full City Council meeting tonight, Marvin departed the chamber. As he exited the building, he ran into Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. They embraced. She said, "Oh, Marvin, Black Arts Movement Business District! I'm so excited!" Marvin replied, "Mayor, let's talk soon!" 

    BAM co-founder Marvin X and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf at 2015 BAM 50th anniversary  celebration at Laney College. 

    On January 19, 2016, Marvin X says, "We appreciate the Mayor for supporting the BAM Business District, but we want her to understand BAM is on the side of Black Lives Matter Movement as per justice for those citizens suffering from  police abuse under the color of law. We love you Mayor Schaaf, but you must get on the side of justice! The Black Lives Matter people are only trying to achieve justice for those families suffering trauma and unresolved grief--in fact, the entire community is suffering, alas, the entire nation of North American Africans here in the wilderness of North America want justice. Nobody wants more than justice, nobody wants less!"
    photo Jahahara
    Oakland Black Artists: Left to Right: front row, Khalid Wajid; second row: Hasain Rasheed, Duane Deterville, Tureada Mikell, Marvin X, Jahaninh Omi Bahari, Jahneah Taylor, Crsna Cox; Next row: Ptah Allah El, Chanfil Brown, Blystk Kmba, Eric Arnold, Jaenal Peterson, DeMar-con Gibson, Amir Aziz

    Prior to the City Council meeting, Oakland Black artists did a photo shoot outside City Hall. BAM co-founder Marvin X was excited to see so many young artists show up for the photo shoot. He stressed to them that elder artists are passing the baton. Indeed, the City of Oakland's downtown plan is for the next fifty to one hundred years, so elders have no illusion it is time to pass the baton to the next generation of artistic freedom fighters. 


    BAM Queen Sonia Sanchez 

    Earlier in the day, Marvin had a phone conversation with BAM Queen Sonia Sanchez. She congratulated him and the people of Oakland for establishing the BAM Business District. She said,"This is so nice! I don't know of anywhere in America where there is a Black Arts Movement Business District. This is great, Marvin!" 

    Sonia expects to be in the Bay Area for the screening of her BAM flim BAAAAAD. He told her he'd heard Sister Bernice of Sweet Honey in the Rock discuss Sonia's poem Letter to Martin Luther King, Jr. Sonia said she's never seen the video so he told her to go to Youtube, Letter to Martin Luther King, Jr, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Townhall. Sweet Honey in the Rock did a most beautiful dramatization of Sonia's poem. "I'm overcome when I think about how beautifully Sweet Honey did her poem, " says poet/dramatist/organizer Marvin X. 

    FYI, the Oakland City Council has included Marvin's Academy of da Corner at 14th and Broadway as part of the BAM Business District. He has taught there for the last ten years when in Oakland. In association with his comrades Drs. Julia and Nathan Hare, he gives out free books to the poor. The most touching moment was when he gave a free book to a brother and he took a couple of steps then stopped. Marvin asked the brother, "What's the problem?" The brother said, "I don't know what to do, no one has given me nothing in my life before!" He broke down in tears.



    Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway. Ishmael Reed says, "If you want motivation and inspiration, don't spend all that money going to workshops and seminars, just go stand at 14th and Broadway and watch Marvin X at work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland."
     
    BAM Elders at City Hall today: Tureada Mikell, Val Serrant and Tarika Lewis



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    Oakland Black Artists support the Black Arts Movement Business District. This pic was taken shortly before the full City Council voted to establish the BAM Business District. 1/19/16

    photo Adam Turner


    Hello all:

    I want to appreciate all of the culture keepers for supporting this effort and expanding upon this concept.  I cannot tell you how gratified I am that what I once believed to be a personal idea was actually me tapping into the wellspring of passion and love for this concept that long predates my arrival on the council.  I am humbled.  Spirit is all-knowing and all-wise and I am truly honored to be in a position to help fulfill - or at least facilitate - the fulfillment of this community desire.

    While I appreciate everyone's contributions, I want to extend a very special note of thanks to Joyce Gordon (an absolute gem), Duane Deterville (whose cogent presentation helped me see the importance and power of linking this effort to historic and global movements), Paul Cobb (whose deep knowledge of people and place fully expanded my appreciation of the corridor) and Marvin X, who, without doubt, has been the most vocal proponent for the celebration of the Black Arts movement and the claiming of a space to honor the contributions of Black artists.  I also want to thank the business owners Craig, Geoffrey, Oscar, Corey and Veronica and city staff for their insight and support.

    This is just the first step.  We have a lot more work to do.  Looking forward to expanding the team and finding ways to fund the vision.

    With deep Oakland-love, Lynette


    We are happy to announce that today, January 12, 2016,  a committee of Oakland City Council members passed the resolution designating the 14th Street corridor as the Black Arts Movement Business District. The resolution was introduced by Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney. For their vote to officially establish the name Black Arts Movement Business District, they receive the BAM Gold Fist Award for Excellence:



    Council President Lynette McElhaney, Marvin X, Duane Deterville; Middle row: Gerry Garzon (Oakland Public Library), Tureeda Mikell, Jaenal Peterson, Aries Jordan, David McKelvey, Eric Murphy (Joyce Gordon Gallery); Back row: Eric Arnold, Kwesi Wilkerson, Charles Johnson, Alicia Parker (Oakland Planning Department), Shomari Carter (Supervisor Keith Carson's Office). Far right: Elder Paul Cobb, Publisher, Oakland Post News Group.
     
    For more information on the Black Arts Movement Business District, stay tuned to www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com

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    On Tuesday, January 19, the full Oakland City Council voted approval of the Black Arts Movement Business District along the 14th Street corridor, downtown Oakland. Lynette McElhaney, President of the Council, pushed the legislation after weeks of meetings with artists and business persons. After the vote, she thanked everyone. "I appreciate all of the culture keepers for supporting this effort and expanding upon this concept.... While I appreciate everyone's contributions, I want to extend a very special note of thanks to Joyce Gordon (an absolute gem), Duane Deterville (whose cogent presentation helped me see the importance and power of linking this effort to historic and global movements), Paul Cobb (whose deep knowledge of people and place fully expanded my appreciation of the corridor) and Marvin X, who, without doubt, has been the most vocal proponent for the celebration of the Black Arts movement and the claiming of a space to honor the contributions of Black artists.  I also want to thank the business owners Craig, Geoffrey, Oscar, Corey and Veronica and city staff for their insight and support."


    Oakland Black Artists: Left to Right: front row, Khalid Waajid; second row: Hasain Rasheed, Duane Deterville, Tureada Mikell, Marvin X, Jahaninh Omi Bahari, Jahneah Taylor, Crsna Cox; Next row: Ptah Allah El, Ron Lindsey, Chanfil Brown, Blystk Kmba, Eric Arnold, Jaenal Peterson, DeMar-con Gibson, Amir Aziz
     photo Adam Turner




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     Last year's 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Black Arts Movement at Laney College. Left to right: unidentified person, Dr. Nathan Hare, father of Black & Ethnic Studies; Nefertiti Jackmon, Naima Joy, Mayor Libby Schaaf, Jah Amiel; next row: Earl Davis, Val Serrant, Michelle LaChaux, Renaldo Ricketts, Aquella Lewis, James Gayles, Marvin X, Paradise Jah Love, Aries Jordan, Laney College President, Elnora T. Webb, Samantha Akwei
    photo Ken Johnson


    1/20/16

    Dear Libby,

    Please forgive me for accusing you of supporting police abuse under the color of law. My charge has no basis in fact, yet it is clearly the community perception that you are more aligned with the police than with the people. The Black Lives Matter people clearly feel this way. My focus is on the Black Arts Movement Business District. As per the police, I would like you to read about my fifty year relationship with the police beginning with the Black Panther Party's response to the Richmond police killing of DenzilDowell that was featured in the first issue of the Black Panther Newspaper.
    Aside from my focus on BAM, and I hope to have your continued support, lately I've tried to think about how we can reach a more positive if yet symbiotic relationship with them. In my essay My Life in the Global Village--Notes of an Artistic Freedom Fighter, Part Two (see below), I use the example of Newark's Mayor RasBaraka: since taking office the police killing has stopped, although the black on black killing has continued. But I would like you to seriously consider having Mayor Baraka visit Oakland to help us understand what he has done in Newark that we can use to improve police/community relations. Also, it would be good for our young people to hear from a young man of the hip hop generation who has become politically involved. I would definitely like to see more young people involved in Oakland's politics beyond protest. I agree with President McElhaney when she said sometimes we exclude ourselves. Please let me know about the possibility of you inviting Mayor Baraka.

     I'd love to hear him speak on our Black Arts Movement Business District as well as police/community relations. Again, forgive me for charging you with supporting police abuse under the color of law. For sure, though, it is the community's perception that you show more sympathy for the OPD than their safety. And we need to see the OPD officers express a radical change of attitude since they work for us, we don't work for them. I would like to see more Black officers in the downtown area but not with the arrogance of the past. We need them to mix with the people and show a positive attitude. I know you are Mayor of all the people, but you must care about the least of us. Lastly, I saw video footage of parolees evicting the homeless and disposing their property during the rain. We think a more appropriate time could and should be considered, especially when we know there is probably not enough shelters to accommodate them.
    Peace and Love,
    Marvin
     
    Newark NJ Mayor RasBaraka and Marvin X

    Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf responds to Marvin X Letter of 1/20/16
    Dear Marvin,
    Thank you for sharing all this. I was particularly sad to read about your son's suicide. I was also sad to read the Black Lives Matter press release as it contained so many factual inaccuracies. I recognize we have much work to do to recover from our shameful past. Please read this article about how Oakland is being recognized nationally - including by the White House - for its reforms to rebuild community trust. http://m.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Obama-official-says-Oakland-s-police-department-6483838.php . I recognize national accolades doesn't matter as much as the sentiment from our own community and I will work even harder on earning that trust. I look forward to continuing the conversation.
    Best,
    Libby


    Marvin X: Part Two: My life in the Global Village--Notes of an Artistic Freedom Fighter


    If my memory is correct, the Black Panthers were at the Black House, San Francisco, when the first issue of the Black Panther Newspaper hit the press. Eldridge Cleaver and I had founded the Black House as a political/cultural center on Broderick Street, 1967,  and after I introduced him to Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, co-founders of the BPP and he became Minister of Information, the Black House morphed into the San Francisco Headquarters of the BPP. The Black House as a cultural center collapsed from ideological differences so the artists eased on down the road, including playwright Ed Bullins, Ethna Wyatt and myself. Ed Bullins fled to New York as did many artists, especially musicians, whom I discovered, especially when I hit Harlem myself, were more politically astute than the so called politicos, especially the Panthers who did not recover from their anti-art or war against "cultural nationalists" stance until they attended the Pan African Cultural Festival in Algeria.

    But before I departed Black House, I saw the BPP newspaper being laid out in Cleaver's room adjacent to mine. The BPP trip to Sacramento was  planned at Black House. I could hear their planning session from my bedroom that Mrs. Amina Baraka described as Spartan compared to Eldridge's that was "high tech", i.e., he had a speaker phone! She was pregnant with the Baraka's first child, Obalaji, while at the Black House that was visited by such artists and politicos as Sonia Sanchez, Askia Toure, Sarah Webster Fabio, Avotcja, Emory Douglas, Samuel Napier, Judy Juanita, Chicago Art Ensemble, Reginald Lockett, Ellendar Barnes, George Murray,  and a host of others too numerous to remember, including Alprentice Bunchy Carter, Cleaver's close associate from Soledad  Prison.
     Eldridge Cleaver and his lieutenant in the prison movement and later ...Bunchy Carter was a story I've never forgotten. Do your math if you ...

    Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter(born 1943; died January 17, 1969, Los ...

    Alprentice Bunchy Carter

    Carter was one of most handsome Black men
    in the BLM, a former leader of the seven thousand member
    Los Angeles Slauson Street gang, poet
    and Cleaver's co-chair of the Soledad Prison
    Black Culture Club that was the beginning
    of the American Prison Movement.

    edit-of-blk-dialog-grp-foto2

    The Black Dialogue Magazine brothers who visited the Soledad Prison
    Black Culture Club, chaired by Eldridge Cleaver and Bunchy Carter, 1966.

    Left to Right: Aubrey LaBrie, Marvin X, Abdul Sabrey, Al Young, Arthur
    Sheridan (founding editor of Black Dialogue) and Duke Williams. Most of
    us were students at San Francisco State College/University when we visited
    Soledad Prison. There was thus a unity in the Black Liberation Movement between students, prison inmates, Black intellectuals, artists and activists. There can be no revolution until all sectors of the
    community unite and become one fist, i.e., youth, students, workers, intellectuals,
    artists, women, progressive bourgeoisie and the spiritual leaders.

    The staff of Black Dialogue Magazine visited the club
    at Cleaver's invitation that we received from
    his lawyer/lover Attorney Beverley Axelrod,
    to whom he dedicated Soul on Ice and promised
    to marry upon his release.  She smuggled his manuscript
    out of Soledad in her legal papers. She won a percentage of
    royalties by default after Cleaver went into exile from America.
    Ironically, a few days before I performed his memorial service
    in Oakland, her Pacifica house slid down the hill in a mudslide.
    I didn't know she was at the memorial until years later when I
    viewed the video of the memorial.

    Bunchy was killed in the BSU meeting room on the campus of UCLA, along
    with BPP member John Huggins, supposedly by members
    of Ron Karenga's US organization, although Geronimo Pratt
    absolves US of this twin murder. For sure, it was a Cointelpro affair,
    have no doubt about this. See Senator Church's hearings on Cointelpro
    and the Black Movement, including the Civil Rights Movement.

    John Huggins - Email, Address, Phone numbers, everything! www ...
    Comrade John Huggins

    INVADERS
    Black Panthers in Sacramento

    The climax in my relationship with Cleaver and the Panthers occurred when I got into a confrontation with Lil' Bobby Hutton over the youth club in the basement. True, the youth were out of control and Hutton told me,"The Supreme Commander, i.e. Huey Newton, said close it down because it could be an excuse for the pigs to raid Black House." Of course Lil' Bobby and the BPP were correct, I was being emotional. We had received information from some progressive Black bourgeoisie sisters that the Black House was indeed going to be raided as they had information the police knew the youth were taking liberties with women or young girls, playing hookie from school and partying in the basement. Years later though, I met those youth who were grown and quite conscious culturally, and they thanked me for their Black House experience.

    Bobby Hutton and Bobby Seale inside the Sacramento Capitol building ...

    <b>bobby</b> <b>hutton</b> | Tumblr

    I identified with the youth and was their mentor, so I told Hutton, "Fuck the Supreme Commander! I'm not closing down shit!" I could see in his eyes, Hutton wanted to get me that instant but restrained himself, saying, "We'll deal with you later, dude!" That night all I heard was the click of 45 automatics outside my door. I wasn't intimidated and didn't give a fuck. I knew I was just as crazy as Huey, Bobby and Eldridge, but shortly after the incident,  Eldridge evicted Ed Bullins, Ethna and myself. Ethna and I joined the Nation of Islam. After dropping out of San Francisco State College/now University, I was drafted but under Panther and Nation of Islam influence, I fled to Toronto, Canada, later Mexico City and Belize, from which I was deported and spent five months in jail and Federal prison at Terminal Island. The Panthers said, "We must not only resist the draft but resist arrest as well! Actually, no matter where I was, whether in exile or prison, the task was the same, i.e., to teach the deaf, dumb and blind the reality of our condition. So I did so in Toronto, Mexico City and Belize, Central America. And for doing so, one can be killed, exiled or jailed.
    Somehow God saved me to tell this story. Years later, San Francisco County Jail Sheriff Charles Smith (who threw Muhammad Speaks newspaper in my cell during the three months I spent in jail at 350 Bryant Street--my BAM co-worker Ethna (Hurriyah) brought them on her visits) told me he attended an Interpol Conference in Belize at which they discussed my presence in Central America.

    The killing of Denzil Dowell in Richmond was the first case of pigs killing North American Africans the BPP tackled. Fifty years later, where are we and the police? It seems another Denzil Dowell is murdered by the pigs every day coast to coast. Fifty years ago the Panthers took up arms to defend the community. Before them were brothers in the South such as the Deacons for Defense and Robert Williams in North Carolina (Negroes With Guns).

    Since the BPP took up arms, many pigs were killed and many many Black Panther Party members were murdered by the pigs. When Eldridge Cleaver returned from exile as a Born Again Christian, I traveled with him throughout the Western hemisphere, America, Canada, Jamaica. After giving his testimony about finding Jesus Christ in the moon, the white Christians would embrace him and confessed they used to hate him and Blacks in general but since they were Born Again, they no longer hated him nor Blacks. On one occasion the police confessed they had murder squads who killed Panthers in particular and Blacks in general.  The pigs and Cleaver embraced, both exclaiming, "Praise the Lord!"

    Because the Born Again pigs and Cleaver confessed their new found love for each other, do not think they trusted him one iota. Before he had me organize his ministry independent of the whites, there were white Born Again Christians who traveled with us to maintain their surveillance of him. After all, he was the Black superstar on the white Born Again Christian circuit. Charles Colson of Watergate was the other, along with Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Bone, Jim and Tammy Baker, et al. I met most of them on more than one occasion. Since Black Christians were mortally afraid to work with Eldridge, as his chief of staff, I hired a crew of fearless Black Muslims that he fronted off as "heathens" he'd converted to Christianity. After giving his testimony, we'd usually have dinner with the white Christians (for a long time, he didn't deal with Black Christians), and they would ultimately turn to me with the question, "Marvin, when did you find the Lord?" And being an actor from Black Arts Movement Theatre, I answered, "One Tuesday night!" The Christians would also ease up to me with the question, "Marvin, is Cleaver for real, did he really see Jesus Christ in the moon?" Of course I said yes. They also wanted to know if I was his bodyguard, even though he was twice my size at the time. I told them I his travel companion and photographer, although he did provide me with a 45 automatic I carried in my camera bag.

    When he went to Vancouver, Canada for a speaking engagement, they shook us down at the airport returning to the US and shook us down a second time when we arrived at San Francisco airport. They weren't sure Cleaver was truly Born Again and might still be a Communist dedicated to destroying America.

    But it was a different feeling having the police greet us in a friendly manner when we arrived at the airport of various cities and accompany us to his engagements. I recently had a positive experience with the police while in Newark, New Jersey for the funeral of Amiri Baraka and also when I returned for the inauguration of his son, Ras Baraka, as Mayor of Newark NJ.

    During the funeral, the police were all over the Baraka house as friends and security. Even before becoming Mayor, Ras had told me, "Marvin, we got brothers with legal guns on our side!" Indeed, many Black police supported the Baraka family, the "first family" of Newark, NJ.

    Mrs. Amina Baraka told me that since her son became Mayor, the killing of Blacks by the police has stopped. Now it is only Blacks killing Blacks. During the time I was in Newark, I called California to tell friends there was a more positive relationship between the people and the police. They said I was crazy, this was unimaginable. I was tripping, they said. But it was true none the less, the antagonistic relationship between the people and the police in Newark was subsiding.

    In Oakland, I recently asked my childhood friend, Paul Cobb, one of the elders in Oakland politics, are there any Black police on our side? He was not able to answer the question. In my mind, there must be some Black officers on the side of the people. They can't all be pigs, devils, beasts in blue uniforms. We know some of them can be won over to the cause of the people. We saw this in Egypt during the short lived Arab Spring. For a moment, the police and people became one.

    As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party, we need to think about how we can come to a more civilized relationship with the police, even if it is symbiotic, it need not be totally negative. But the police cannot be allowed to continue their murder of Black people and other minorities under the color of law. Every human being in American has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And every human being has the right to self defense. Must we conclude the police are constitutionally unable to restrain themselves from killing us? Or is it possible for them to reach a higher level of understanding than the beast plane? If they can do it in Newark, they can do it in Oakland and Ferguson. Isaiah said let us reason together.

    We know we cannot outgun the police. We saw in the 60s and we see now, the police have plenty back up, i.e., National Guard, Army, Air Force, Navy, FBI, Homeland Security, CIA, snitches and agent provocateurs. Yes, the Panthers in particular and the Black community in general suffered a military defeat during the 60s and 70s. Guns weren't the only weapon: there was disinformation, chemical (drugs)  and germ warfare(HIV/STDs), toxic food and water.

    Isn't it time to do something that works? Shall we continue doing the same thing but expect different results, the mark of insanity?

    Fifty years later, it is almost impossible for me to attend rallies against the police for murdering our young men and women. I applaud  people like Oakland's Cat Brooks,Chepus Johnson and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Thank God they have the energy. After fifty years, I'm emotionally and mentally drained, especially after losing my own son to suicide. Imagine, on psycho drugs, he walked into a train, a brilliant young man who graduated from UC Berkeley, attended Harvard and studied in Syria at the University of Damascus. Dr. Nathan Hare says suicide and homicide are but different sides of the same coin, often situational disorders caused oppression. Often homicides are suicides because the person didn't have the never to kill himself so he made someone else do the job. Franz Fanon said the only way the oppressed can regain their mental health is by engaging in revolution to end oppression. Revolution is seizing power. Ras Baraka has demonstrated this in Newark, NJ. And he was blessed with revolutionary parents, so he is well trained for his mission to transform Newark, NJ, a city much like Oakland.



    Newark, NJ Mayor Ras Baraka and Marvin X

    For sure, we are at war with the oppressor and the police are his first line of defense. Many of us are in denial we are at war until one of our children are killed. The tragedy is that there is no Black family in America that has not been impacted by police actions under the color of law, not to mention incarceration.

    We know for a fact police behavior is quite different in the white community than in our community.
    I've lived among white people in Castro Valley and they don't even treat Black people the same as they treat us a few miles away in Oakland. The son of a rich friend of mine was repeatedly stopped for speeding and driving without a license in Castro Valley. Did the police kill the boy? No. Did they give him a ticket? No. They called his father to come get the car and his son. Yes, they knew the father was a rich Black man so they treated him with respect. Once the youth had a party that got loud so neighbors called the police. Of course the youth were drinking and smoking. When the police came, they only wanted to know if there was an adult at the house. When I came to the door, the police said, "Are you the adult here, Sir?" I said, "Yes, Sir." The police said, "Good night, Sir."

    Now we know money ain't gonna save you all the time, ask Harvard's Skip Gates! But we know if those armed white men in Oregon were Black, they would have surrendered or they'd be dead by now. Still we must make a way out of no way. We cannot continue going to funerals of our children from police homicide under the color of law or Black on Black homicide due to our addiction to white supremacy. We must arise from this morass of savagery. We must regain our self respect and demand others respect us.


    I have called for the Red, Black and Green flag to fly up and down the Black Arts Movement Business District along the 14th Street corridor, downtown Oakland. Saluting the flag should help us regain our mental equilibrium and make others, including police, recognize we are a nation of people and must be respected as such. I often give the example of the gay/lesbian flag that flies down Market Street in San Francisco as one goes toward the gay/lesbian community. By the time one gets to the  community, one gets the feeling that we must have respect for this community and not engage in homophobic language and behavior. It should and must be the same in the BAM Business District. This must be a sacred space that we must respect. And this vibration must spread throughout our community. I suggest the Red, Black and Green fly throughout our community to let ourselves and the world know we are a people with cultural consciousness, who originated from the womb of civilization. It will help us understand when we kill our brothers and sisters, we kill ourselves. When others kill us, they kill themselves as well. James Baldwin said, "The murder of my child will not make your child safe!"
    --Marvin X
    1/17/16


    Marvin X is a poet, playwright, essayist, organizer, one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement. He attended Oakland's Merritt College along with Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. He introduced Eldridge Cleaver to the Black Panthers. He was a member of the Negro Student Association/Black Student Union at San Francisco State University, 1964. Marvin co-founded Black Arts West Theatre, San Francisco, 1966, Black House, San Francisco, 1967, and was a member of Harlem's New Lafayette Theatre, 1968. He taught at Fresno State University, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, San Francisco State University, Mills College, Laney and Merritt Colleges, Oakland; University of Nevada, Reno. He lectures at colleges and universities coast to coast. Marvin is prolific: he's written 30 books. His current project is the Black Arts Movement Business District, downtown Oakland.  He is in the Black Panther film Vanguard of the Revolution directed by Stanley Nelson. See his memoir of Eldridge Cleaver: My friend the Devil, Black Bird Press, 2009, Berkeley CA.


     Press Release from Black Lives Matter

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact: Chinyere Tutashinda 510-698-3800 x409 October 29, 2015
    Mayor Schaaf Needs Better Plan for Oakland’s Black Residents

    Black Lives Matter Bay Area Responds to 2015 State of the City Address

    Oakland, CA. — Mayor Libby Schaaf delivered her first State of the City address yesterday, laying out four priorities for Oakland: community safety, equitable jobs and housing, responsible infrastructure, and responsive and transparent government. Despite use of terms like “safety,” “equitable,” “responsible” and “transparent,” Mayor Schaaf’s policies have not lived up to these values and won’t make Black lives matter.

    Instead of fostering community safety, Schaaf has overseen the oversized and brutal policing of Oakland’s Black residents and other people of color. This summer alone, six Black men were killed by police officers in Oakland. While Schaaf indicated that citizen complaints against OPD have been declining, she failed to acknowledge why. Residents of Oakland have lost faith in the review process, and have repeatedly demanded a community review process with real enforcement power. Schaaf’s solution is to hire more officers, which will not, and has not ever, increased safety for residents.

    Instead of developing equitable jobs and housing, Mayor Schaaf’s proposal to build 15,000 new housing units includes only 1,000 (fewer than 7 percent) affordable housing units. In the face of skyrocketing rents, building more expensive homes will not alleviate the health and wealth disparities that disproportionately disadvantage Black residents of Oakland. Black residents have long demanded rent control with clear definitions of low income, a moratorium on foreclosures, community benefits agreements for all new development, and a Black business and arts district in East and West Oakland.
    Instead of investing in responsible infrastructure, Mayor Schaaf has legitimized the Bay Area Rapid Transit Board’s continuous pursuit of charges against the Black Friday 14, a team of Black Lives Matter activists in Oakland that participated in a nationwide direct action to call attention to the unchecked murders of Black people by law enforcement officers. This is not only a gross miscarriage of justice, but also shifts accountability from BART officials who allow their armed officers to kill and brutalize Black bodies with impunity. Mayor Schaaf and the District Attorney’s office must drop the charges, now.

    Instead of promoting responsive and transparent government, in response to community protests against police violence toward Black women and girls, Mayor Libby Schaaf passed a rule, without public process or proper notification, forbidding protest after dark. As a result, hundreds of Black women and girls were repeatedly attacked, teargassed and jailed by the OPD. The ban stopped being enforced after large numbers of Oakland residents refused to adhere to it, but remains on the books.
    Despite the dramatic inclusion of a large slide bearing the words Black Lives Matter during her address—Schaaf failed, just as dramatically, to deliver real solutions to the health, wealth and safety disparities that disproportionately disadvantage Black residents of Oakland. In short, Schaaf’s plan will hurt Black lives, not improve them.

    Instead of a plan that would improve the lives of Black Oakland residents, Schaaf focused on turning Oakland into a “kinder, more inclusive tech hub” through “tech-quity.” This catch phrase is being used to sell Oakland to the highest bidder, while maintaining its brand. But Oakland’s record of social activism, our history of Blackness, and our cultural infrastructure is not a brand and is not for sale.
    In a letter to Uber executives, Schaaf defined tech-quity as providing “equitable access to top-notch training and jobs for our residents and fostering our local technology sector’s growth so it leads to shared prosperity.” For Black residents of Oakland, there is no equity or prosperity in plans that use policing and racial profiling, rising housing costs and other environmental factors to force the migration of one set of poorer residents to make room for another, wealthier, mostly whiter, set. We need a plan for all of us.
    ###
    Launched by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors in 2012, ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ is a unique contribution to oppose the extra-judicial killings of Black people and win basic rights and dignity for all Black people, everywhere. Black Lives Matter Bay Area is one of over 20 chapters in and outside of the United States.







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