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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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    Apology to My Higher Self

    Oh, Higher Self

    I apologize to you

    Greater Self

    Holy Self

    Righteous Self

    I  seek to harm no one

    but to glorify You always and forever

    Have mercy on me

    have mercy on myself

    Oh, Higher Self

    pleae forgive me for allowing my lower self to rule

    Please have mercy on me Higher Self, Divine Self

    If I will only flow in the flow of You

    pick me up Higher Self

    when my lower self comes to call

    the whispering devil whispers into the hearts of men

    and women and children

    to take us all  down under

    to the thrashing floor

    the road where wise men fear to tread

    down in the dungeon

    rat hole

    I become the rat

    associating with the rats

    dwelling in the dungeon

    of my mind

    Lift me up Highter Power

    let me dwell with You forever

    in the Upper Room

    surely I know truth from lies

    surely I know fire from water

    yet I walk into the fire

    I am burned again again again

    easy to lead in the wrong direction

    hard to lead in the right direction,

    the Elijah lesson teach  us

    And why do we love the devil

    because he gives us nothing!

    Take me Higher Power

    into your loving hands

    save me from the fire

    whose fuel is men and stones,


    let not the weakness of my lower self

    ontrol me

    let me cast away illusions

    a donkey is not a stalion

    Oh Higher Power

    catch me if I fall

    take me forward faster

    time after time

    time after time.

    --Marvin X


    from Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, New and Selected Poems, 2016, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, Berkeley CA, unpublished.

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  • 04/23/16--19:28: Miles Davis - So What

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    photo Kamau Amen Ra

    Marvin X as Plato
    By Marvin X

    After stopping by  Marvin X's outdoor classroom at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, Ishmael Reed told the students gathered around Marvin X, "He's the modern day Plato, teaching his students on the street." Marvin told the people gathered in front on DeLauer's bookstore, "Ishmael Reed is my elder. He's always been supportive of my projects and I deeply appreciate him for this." 

    Ishmael had come to the bookstore /24/7 new stand to get a copy of the Sunday Los Angeles Times which carried a review of his latest book. He said the review cut him up as usual. He said people cut him up for his views on Alice Walker and other feminists, but according to Ishmael the most critical review of Walker's Color Purple was by Toni Morrison.

    The people who stop at the open air classroom include a cross section of Oakland's humanity, including whites, blacks, youth and elders. David Glover, director of OCCUR, stopped through to advise Marvin to be a part of the cultural committee for the Ron Dellums administration soon to take the reins of Oakland.

    A young sister stopped to say she was in pain because her friends are being killed on the streets for no reason. She has vowed not to be a victim but she is traumatized at the loss of some many friends. She is 19.

    The police officer who works the beat that includes 14th and Broadway, comes through picking up litter. Seems a waste of time for the officer to pick up litter when there are so many unsolved homicides. The officer is known to post up at 12 o'clock to listen to Plato talk with his variety of students. 

    A brother came by to challenge Plato, telling him he didn't know anything, especially since he wasn't from the south, New Orleans in particular. Plato told him New Orleans was as much a killing floor as Oakland, look at the recent deployment of National Guard to stop the murders.

    Another brother came through and invited Marvin to speak with youth at a West Oakland school. He agreed, telling the brother, "I recently spoke with children at the Black Repertory Group's summer camp. I was deeply impressed with their intelligence. They asked serious questions, as serious as any I've received from college and university students across the country."

    On Sunday, July 30, Plato was given a book party in Richmond, another Bay Area killing floor. But the party, hosted by Sister Shukuru, was probably the most powerful gathering of black consciousness people in Richmond history. The party was attended by movement elders and organizers, including Alona Cliffton, Phil Hutchins of SNCC, Margo Dashiel, Dr. James Garrett, Dr. J. Vern Cromartie, Jim Lacey, Ann Lynch, Suzzette Celeste, Richmond poet President Davis representing conscious hip hop.
    Poet Opal Palmer Adisa gave a reading of her work that was as spicy and hot as a two dollar pistol in South Philly.

    The audience was enraptured by the musical accompaniment of Elliott Bey Savoy, who backed Marvin's reading and the audience discussion. A brother showed a video of himself reading Marvin X's poem The Origin of Blackness in Venezuela. He read in Spanish, then English. The poem was originally written in English/Arabic. Marvin then read an updated version on the theme of the poem, Black History is World History. Much thanks to Sister Shukuru, a great organizer, formerly with Brooklyn's East.
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    photo Pendarvis Harshaw

    posted 3 August 2006 /

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  • 04/23/16--19:55: John Coltrane - Blue train

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    50 years on, Black Panthers honored
    Steve McCutchen, left, who joined the party in 1968; Timothy Thompson, who joined in 1970; Elaine Brown, former chair; Melvin Dickson, who joined in 1969; 
    Bobby McCall, who joined in 1970; and Malik Edwards.

    As a high school senior in Sacramento, James Mott cut class to watch the Black Panthers march into the state Capitol in their leather jackets and berets, carrying shotguns.

    Mott couldn't resist falling in behind them, and now he is at the front of the line as the Black Panther Party cranks up to mark its 50th anniversary celebration, beginning with an all-day symposium Saturday at Laney College. "

    The Black Panthers were the single greatest effort by blacks in the United States for freedom and self-determination," he said, as keynote speaker for a news conference Friday at the Oakland Museum of California. The museum will be the site of a three-day conference on the Panthers that will take over the entire 7.5-acre museum compound for three days, Oct. 20-23. The symposium will coincide with the museum exhibit "All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50," which will include original Panther berets and rarely seen photographs of day-to-day life among the Panthers, taken by party members. The marquee item, borrowed from Stanford, will be the original draft of the Panther "10 Point Platform and Program" written by hand by party co-founder Bobby Seale. Seale noticeably absent

    Seale, who has written a screenplay about his life in the Panthers, was noticeably absent from Friday's event. That's because he is putting on his own 50th anniversary events on behalf of the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party, which he says will draw more than 200 Panthers to the Bay Area in October. Also absent was David Hilliard, founding member and chief of staff of the Panthers. He was on the schedule but called in sick. This left it to several later members, led by Mott, who now goes by the name Saturu Ned, 67, and Elaine Brown, 73-year-old former chairwoman of the Black Panther Party. Brown, an activist and one-time presidential candidate, arrived with her right arm in a sling, the result of a much-publicized dustup with Oakland City Councilwoman Desley Brooks, in an Oakland soul food joint. Brown has filed suit against the city and Brooks for $7 million, claiming injuries that required surgery.

    Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was on hand for the news conference to claim her own link to the Panthers. This is based on the fact that Schaaf is also 50 and is the 50th mayor of Oakland. "Growing up in Oakland with the Black Panther Party gave me a skeptical eye," Schaaf began her remarks, later concluding them by declaring October to be Black Panther History Month in the city of Oakland.

    There was no specific event that launched the Black Panther Party, but the generally agreed-upon date is Oct. 15, 1966. The one person who does not agree on that date is Seale, who was reached by phone Friday, as his plane landed after a speech at the University of Oregon. Seale said the founding date was Oct. 22, 1966, which was his 30th birthday and the day he and the late Huey Newton finished the "10 Point Platform and Program" for the Black Panther Party for Self Defense (as it was originally called). 

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  • 04/24/16--19:54: A MAN'S WORLD James Brown

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  • 04/24/16--19:56: Sade-Pearls

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    A scene from Marvin X's BAM classic Flowers for the Trashman, produced by Kim McMillon's theatre students at University of California, Merced. On May 25, 2016, Marvin X will dialogue with her students on art and social activism.

    Jose Caballero, 20, far right, a UC Merced management major, leads a group of actors in a call and response Monday for the rehearsal of the Voices of the Revolutionary Theatre Collective. The group will perform two free shows, which feature a number of scenes from plays written during the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s.

    Read more here:

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    Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice

     New and Selected Poems  

    Marvin X


    Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice is raw, beautiful, painful, low-down and funky, uplifting like hearing Nat Turner has risen.--from the introduction, Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, BAM Oakland, founder, Lower Bottom Playaz

    He has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the founders and innovators of the revolutionary school of African writing.

    --Amiri Baraka   

    Marvin X is the USA’s Rumi...X’s poems vibrate, whip, love in the most meta- and physical ways imaginable and un-. He’s got the humor of Pietri, the politics of Baraka, and the spiritual Muslim grounding that is totally new in English –- the ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi.  

    --Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club, New York City

    His love poems will resound as long and as deeply as any love poems ever written by anyone: Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonia Sanchez, Maya Angelou.

    --Fahizah Alim

    ...This is more than poetry--it is singing/song, it is meditation, it is spirit/flowing/flying, it is blackness celebrated, it is prophecy, it is life, it is all of these things and more, beyond articulation....

    --Johari Amini (Jewel C. Lattimore)

    With respect to Marvin X, I wonder why I am just now hearing about him-I read Malcolm when I was 12, I read Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez and others from the BAM in college and graduate school-why is attention not given to his work in the same places I encountered these other authors? Declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because recontextualizing it will add another layer of attention to his incredibly rich body of work.He deserves to be WAY better known than he is among Muslim Americans and generally, in the world of writing and the world at large. By we who are younger Muslim American poets, in particular, Marvin should be honored as our elder, one who is still kickin, still true to the word!

    --Dr. Mohja Kahf, Professor of English and Islamic Literature, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

    When you listen to Tupac Shakur, E-40, Too Short, Master P or any other rappers out of the Bay Area of Cali, think of Marvin X. He laid the foundation and gave us the language to express Black male urban experiences in a lyrical way.

    --James G. Spady, Philadelphia New Observer Newspaper




    Marvin X
    photo Kamau Amen Ra 


    I Am John Coltrane
    Christian Terrorists
    The Negro Knows Everything
    Little African Woman
    I Am American
    Party of Lincoln Sinking
    To Mexico With Love
    Don't Let My Son Look Like This
    Talkin Ignut
    What is Love
    I Will Go into the City
    For the Women
    I Don't Want to Know Your Name
    I Release You
    Funny thing I Already Knew
    Fly Like a Hawk
    Oh, Mighty Kora
    Poem for Unresolved Grief
    You Don't Know Me
    It is Fine to Dream
    If Only You Knew How Beautiful You Are
    Wish I could fly like hawk
    African Blues Ain't Blue
    Oh, Mighty Kora
    Again the Kora
    Don't ask, don't take

    Something is Goin on up in here
    Post Black Negro
    Remembering Dad
    And We Wonder
    And then there are Angels
    Cyberspace Dead
    Memorial Day
    Dream Time 2
    I Am John Coltrane
    If I Were A Muslim In Good Standing
    Old Warriors
    In the Temple of X
    There Was an Island
    A Street Named Rashidah Muhammad (Dessie X)

    Poem for Clara Muhammad
    Prayer for Young Mothers
    Yes, it’s all there
    When I think about the women in my life
    Letter to dead negroes in cyberspace
    We’re in love but you don’t know me
    Growing up
    In my solitude, for Duke
    A Day we never thought
    Mama’s bones
    Love is for the beloved
    Poem for unresolved grief
    Song for Reginald Madpoet
    Benazir Bhutto
    Dis Ma Hair
    Ancestors II
    Facing Mt. Kenya
    O, Kora, Elegy for John D
    Who are these Jews?
    For Jerri Jackmon
    When Lemmie Died
    And then the end
    How does it feel to be a nigger
    No black fight
    Praise song for Askia Toure
    Bank the Bankers
    Don't dream bout ma man 
    Ah, air so fresh 
    I Am a Revolutionary 
    Do you want to see me tomorrow 
    Can you feel the spirit 
    My people were never slaves 
    Poem #3 for R 
    Poem #2 for R 
    O, Malcolm X
    Fathers sing blues too 
    To Egypt with Love 
    Letter to my grandson, Jahmeel 
    Don't Say Pussy 
    What If 
    Too Funky in Here 
    Same Lover/Different Name 
    Beyond Love 
    Apology to my higher self 
    Let a Million Men March 
    Two Poets in the Park 
    Rain in the Valley 
    Testimony, A Love Song
    Moment in Paradise 
    How to love a thinking woman
    How to love a thinking man or Never Love A Poet
    Ancestors III 
    Remember Shani Baraka
    When Parents Bury Children 
    In the Name of Love

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    Unfinished Business: Freeing Ourselves of Racism Forum at All Souls
    Tim Wise                                             Sam Anderson
    Media Contact: Bernadette Evangelist 646-765-3639

    Unitarian Church on Tuesday, May 17 –

    New York, April 25, 2016 - In these troubled times of mass incarceration, police brutality and
    blatant racism, how can we understand our own racism, examine entitlement, and take a larger
    role in creating a truly just society?
    Anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise; and activist, teacher, writer and founding member of the Black Panther Party, Sam Anderson, will help explore these issues.
    Unfinished Business: Freeing Ourselves of Racism
    7 P.M. Tuesday, May 17,
     the All Souls Unitarian Church
    Lexington Avenue at 80th Street
    New York City

    There will be reports by some who have been affected by systemic racism. Lurie Daniel Favors,
    Esq., General Counsel, Center for Law & Social Justice, Medgar Evers College, will moderate
    the program.

    This extraordinary event is presented by Big Apple Coffee Party, a group of New York City
    grass roots activists, and All Souls Peace & Justice Task Force. It is co-sponsored by New
    York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC), and Occu-Evolve

    For more information, email
    or call 212-252-2619.
    Admission is free
    Refreshments will be served. Donations appreciated.


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    Black Dialogue Magazine editors/contributors, Left to Right: Aubrey LaBrie,
    Marvin X, Abdul Sabry (Gerald LaBrie), Al Young, Arthur Sheridan, Duke Williams

    Black Dialogue, the second of the California little magazines to materialize, emerged from a rivalry its supporters had with the editors of Soulbook. In the fall of 1964, black students at San Francisco State founded their own campus organization and decided that one of its primary objectives would be the creation of a revolutionary little magazine. Many of the students disagreed with some of Bobb Hamilton's and Kenn Freeman's understandings of black journals. Wanting a periodical which could serve a wide variety of opinions, they labeled their own effort "Black Dialogue" in an attempt to provide a forum for open discussion of literary and political questions. 

    They secured the following staff, which released the first issue of Black Dialogue in the spring of 1965: Arthur A. Sheridan as editor; Abdul Karim (Gerald Labrie), as managing editor; Edward S. Spriggs as New York editor; Joseph Seward as African editor; Aubrey Labrie as political editor; Marvin X as fiction editor; and Joe Goncalves as poetry editor.

    Marvin X's Grand Vision for the Bay Area Celebration of the 50th ...
     Abdul Sabry (Gerald LaBrie), a leader of the Bay Area Black Arts Movement

    We received word today that Abdul Sabry (Gerald LaBrie) has joined the ancestors. Surely we are from Allah and to Him we return!

    When we graduated from Oakland's Merritt College and transferred to San Francisco State College/University, 1964, Abdul was a member of the Negro Students Association that soon became the Black Student Union. The founding editor of Black Dialogue Magazine was Arthur Sheridan but he was eventually replaced by Abdul Sabry when Black Nationalism became the magazine ideology.

    Eldridge Cleaver and Alprintice Bunchy Carter, former
    Soledad Prison inmates, co-chairs of the Black Culture
    Club at the prison, upon release joined the Black Panther

    Abdul was part of the Black Dialogue staff that visited Soledad Prison's Black Culture Club, chaired by Eldridge Cleaver and Bunchy Carter. According to prison movement historian or griot Kumasi, the club was the beginning of the American Prison Movement.

    Abdul was an early follower of Imam Warith Din Muhammad when he turned from the teachings of his father, Elijah Muhammad, and became a Sunni Muslim.

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