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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
    photo Kamau Amen Ra 

    Foreword: Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, New and Selected Poems by Marvin X

    By Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

    I have known Marvin X for decades. We go back to “In the Name of Love”( a poetic drama, Laney College Theatre, 1981) when he taught theatre at Laney, and we go forward in the name of love. He is my teacher. A teacher expands a student’s world, offers them a foundation to grow on or to push against. It is the duty of a student to learn, to comprehend and overstand the journey of the teacher.

    A teacher can open doors, mentor and launch you into the world of creativity to carve your own path. It is an artist's dream to be a part of the inner-circle of those whose work you admire most.  I find myself at the table with my betters because Marvin X cleared a place for me. Through Marvin I have met some of the greatest North American African creators  of this or any other time. I have sat with him exchanging ideas with Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Ed Bullins, Eugene Redmond, Ishmael Reed, Askia Toure and other artistic intellectuals and freedom fighters.  For that I am eternally grateful and indebted to pay it forward and hold high the banner of BAM that gave movement to the world as my standard.

    It is my great honor to offer this foreword to his latest collection of poetry, Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice. The book is delicious, the work superior, and the writer at the top of his poetic form. Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice is raw, beautiful, painful, low-down, funky and uplifting: like hearing Nat Turner has risen.

    Marvin X is the West Coast (actually bi-coastal) Black Arts Movement Impresario. He is credited with being the father of Muslim American Literature. He is an icon of the Black Arts Movement, whose ever growing body of work, belies the end of the most prolific era in American Literature. X is one of our living depository on the history of the Black Arts Movement. He should be recognized as one of the most accessible public intellectuals, noted for his Plato like open air class rooms called Academy of da Corner at 14th and Broadway, Lakeshore Avenue,Oakland, and the ASHBY Flea Market, Berkeley. But he sets up his Academy of da Corner coast to coast. A young brother from Oakland was shocked to see the poet on the streets of Philadelphia. Before setting up shop in Brooklyn, he got permission from the numbers runners on the corner.

    The style may be reminiscent of Plato, but as Ishmael Reed notes in his review The Sayings of Plato Negro, there is distinct Yoruba flavor to X’s work. He has been called the Rumi of the USA, compared to Hafiz and Saadi,  but at the end of the day he is himself, a collection of fine points, bright light and wisdom gleaned from a full life.   His philosophy of love, truth and funk, has made its way into the world view of many travelers looking for signs of life, proof of humanity, and a reason to carry on in times that try the soul.

    I am John Coltrane, a soaring manifesto and a fitting frame for the sublimity of what follows. Christian Terrorist, an example of the low down dirty truth promised here; it, like other poems, scrapes you bare, leaving only the essential right and wrong to deal with.

    Marvin X is lover, assassin, terrorist and shaman, shining in his divinity and profoundly common, he is with his genius, and his genius is awake and slaying what you thought poetry could do. This is poetry for the struggle of finding your humanity, poetry to go to war with, poetry to love by. Marvin is a poet who writes with his own blood, shares his dark truth and spiritual enlightenment.

    Often he is the Master teaching what he himself needs to overstand, sometimes he is the pilgrim dragging us where we have not quite dared to venture, mostly he is a humanist in deep reflection on the experience of being human. Don’t read these poems if you don’t want to be saved because you might catch the holy ghost by accident. The poet has often said if he were a Christian, he would be a member of the Church of God in Christ or COGIC. He married and/or partnered  spirit filled women, some from COGIC. There are ample love poems to and about these women in Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice.
    His favorite song is Nature Boy, "The greatest thing you will ever learn is to love and be loved in return...."

    Don’t read these poems for comfort because some of them will terrify you. Read these poems if your soul is hungry and you need sustenance. Read these poems if you are terrified of the dark, for they will comfort you with their black heartened illumination of real life with its funk and glory behind ‘the black wall’.

    Read these poems if you are black and bruised; this is a love song for you.  If you don’t know, I will tell you, Marvin X loves Nigguhs. That comes across in his work: a love song for his Nigguhs, my Niggas, them niggers, and the Negroes among us. It is a conversation for us, about us, but I don’t think he cares if others listen.  His mother, may she rest in peace, tried to release him of the burden of loving Black folks, but to our great benefit he ignored her. He writes about that conversation in The Negro Knows Everything, "Marvin, leave dem Nigguh's alone!..." She also told him, "You don't need dem Nigguhs, Marvin, dem Nigguhs need you. They just using you! Use the mind God gave you and leave dem Nigguhs alone!"  That’s a Marvin thing, if you manage to get his attention and you tell him something, it may well end up in a book. Nothing is safe, nothing is too sacred, and nothing too profane for Marvin’s pen. Dr. Julia Hare said, "He writes with venom in his pen. If there was ink in his pen, one could recover, but you cannot recover from the venom!" She also said, "When he calls you to do something or jump, you can only say how high? It's like God calling!"

    Marvin has poured himself into Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice and distilled it into a love song for his people. Marvin is in love with love and I am in love with Sweet Tea/ Dirty Rice. It is a collection of the best of X spanning earlier collections and riveting new work. Marvin has been declared the finest of modern revolutionary writers by the most revolutionary writer, scholar/poet of our time, Amiri Baraka.

    I call him my teacher, mentor, Baba. He watered me when life was a desert and the gift of my art could have turned to chafe. He gave me the gift of choosing to become a North American African, a divining rod under which I have come to understand us, a new tribe here in the belly of the beast, with a mishmash of customs gleaned from throughout the Diaspora, made whole cloth in the wilderness of North America, forming the foundation on which we stand.

    Marvin stands on that foundation and urges us to see clearly, love as if our existence depended upon it, and reach towards the firmament of American Africanness to organize the stars in the black space above and around us. That is a call for expanded consciousness to those who can hear and follow – space is the place.  He, following Sun Ra, transcends some of the shackles that bind us collectively.  He often tells me he is bored to tears here and awaits a bigger adventure. I am grateful he is still here and that his gift is as sharp as an old school Harlem hustler’s double edge razor, the kind that cuts both ways. His work cuts both ways extolling us to a higher self by addressing our ignorance.   He has been instructive in both his positive contribution of his best mind, in his unparalleled honesty about his own dark spaces, the embodiment of his flaws, and his unending reach for his higher self amid the funk of this life.

    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


    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 
    Those of you who appreciate the work of Marvin X, especially those who have been enjoying his writings and productions for a half century, we urge you to pre-order his book for $15.00. Send to Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702. We have the Square: for credit card orders, call 510-200-4164.
    Marvin X
    photo Pendarvis Harshaw 

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    Gordon Parks - <b>Black</b> Muslim <b>Protest</b> | African <b>Americans</b> - The journ… 

    It appears to me most of our activity is in reaction to our social environment. We wonder when will we become proactive rather than reactionary, such as protests against the police. After 50 years of dealing with police murder under the color of law, we seem to not understand the police are the front line in the war against North American Africans. In war, there shall be soldiers who fall on the battlefield, martyrs whom we must honor and praise, but the war shall continue until victory. We are not qualified for a frontal attack on the police, for we don't have the arms or the reinforcements they can bring to the battlefield. The only way we can deal with the police is with a secret society.

    Here in Oakland, after the 1979 killing of 15 year old Melvin Black by the OPD, a police review board was established, but to no avail. The killings under the color of law by the OPD have continued, so the review board will not suffice, and most certainly will not give justice. The courts cannot give justice because the DA and the police are one. Again, as per revenge or retaliation, this is the job of the secret society. After the 1979 killing of Melvin Black, we rallied five thousand people at the Oakland Auditorium, but we were mocked by one of our elders who said retaliation should have been immediate and to hell with a rally and protest, even though the rally included Minister Farrakhan, Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver, Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour (Donald Warden) et al.

    FYI, after the rally the police killing did stop but was soon followed by the introduction of UZIs, drive by killings and Crack, perhaps in the reverse order. Of course, through the years police murder under the color of law has resumed down to the present moment, in Oakland and coast to coast.

    Again, I ask why are we reactionary if we truly understand this is war, perhaps, low intensity, but war none the less. Surely the strategy and tactics of war must go beyond protest. I've written elsewhere about working with the mothers who lost sons in drive by killings and police murder under the color of law. I have told how my own son lost his life by walking into a train due to mental illness. But, alas, we know that many of the homicides in our community are, in fact, suicides because often the person doesn't have the will to commit suicide so he/she puts themselves in a position so someone else can kill them. So the net effect is the same as my son walking into a train. Of course it is pure homicide in too many cases, especially with encounters with the police, and even Black on Black homicide, often due to sexual improprieties, gambling and petty turf battles. If you own turf, why do you run when popo comes?

    The police are often simply as Minister Farrakhan called them, "Brute beasts in blue uniforms." If we read the text messages of the San Francisco Police officers that were recently released, we know these officers are indeed  brute beasts in blue uniforms who operate and  kill under the color of law because of their pervasive addiction to white supremacy (see my manual How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2007).

    Nevertheless, we cannot isolate police from the society they represent--surely they do not represent us. They represent the ruling class and we should know they do not treat the ruling class neighborhoods as they treat us in the hood or down here on the ground. Some of us would be totally shocked to learn the different treatment accorded middle and upper class neighborhoods.

    For sure, we must get it in our thick skulls that we are in war and the police are the occupying army of the oppressor. And we must also battle with the enemy within that is often in collaboration with the police. I'm speaking here of drug gangs who often operate with the permission and coordination of the police and other government agencies. We found this out during the Crack era when it was revealed government agencies supplied Crack to drug gangs, along with guns. Even merchants were part of the conspiracy because they allowed drug dealers to operate outside or inside their businesses.

    And even the church plays a critical role because it accepts tithes from the mothers of drug dealing children. Often the preachers know if they talk against drugs, they will have no tithes from the many mothers of drug dealing children. After all, the drug dealer is the number one employer of our youth. As per preachers, I recall them  in Reno, Nevada, 1979. When I taught English at the University of Nevada, Reno, preachers, including Black preachers, did not talk against gambling or prostitution for the same reason as preachers in Oakland and elsewhere do not preach against drug dealing.

    So as we learn to make the very necessary move from reaction to action, we must be cognizant of all the forces allied against us. And we cannot make war unless and until we are prepared to make war. Study the Art of War by Sun Tzu.

    Most importantly, we should understand our children and adults shall suffer causalities  on the battlefield. Again, we must honor the martyrs, honor the families of soldiers who paid the ultimate price on the battlefield, especially the innocent unaware of the battlefield. But we must have the necessary strategy and tactics for a continuation of a centuries old war for our liberation. It will not end in our lifetime, but we must do all we can to advance the struggle, then pass the baton to the next generation and make sure they do not need to reinvent the wheel of freedom.We applaud Black Lives Matter Movement.

    Finally, as per the politics of 2016, we must get a consensus on our agenda that may be entirely different from the American agenda, whether Democratic or Republican. What do we want, even better, what do we need? We must put forth our plan for the next 50 to 100 years, for sure, they have their plan and it transcends the Democratic and Republican parties which are one. America is in a critical moment, especially after Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have exposed contradictions in the ruling class.

    I don't understand why we are protesting Donald Trump. He's a white nationalist trying to save his people. You should and must be a Black Nationalist trying to save your people. If you are trying to save your people, why and how did you get time to protest what white people are doing? Again, as I said at the outset, you are a programed reactionary and have little or no desire to be proactive. Why are you concerned about Latino immigration? FYI, Latinos/Latinas have taken over this land or shall do so very soon. If you think they haven't, take a ride from Sacramento to Los Angeles through the Central Valley and see who has political power. Who had the power to issue driver's license to illegal aliens. Who had the power to make sure everyone can have health care, including so called illegal persons?

    I suggest North American Africans be concerned about your own black asses and have a proactive agenda rather than a reactionary one centered on protest rallies and marches. I suggest you do like many Latino/Latina communities have done throughout the Central Valley: they have taken over the city halls, police departments, school boards, planning commissions. They are proactive and the immigration issue is a false flag because they have achieved de facto political power. As per North American Africans, study the regime of Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka. If you are grounded in revolutionary ideology, you can indeed seize political power without selling out as many if not most Black elected politicians have done, causing us to wallow in the present morass of madness and dread.

    It doesn't matter that your first Black President has sent two million persons back across the border. There are more than enough still here to establish La Raza, La Raza, La Raza.

    As per your President, his situation put North American Africans in a quagmire  quite similar to the stress we endured during  the O.J. Simpson trial. A friend said OJ stressed out the entire nation of North American Africans. We have indeed been under similar mental stress by the pure, unadulterated hatred and venom  that has been directed on the persona of President Obama day after day for eight years. As an agent of Globalism, he often deserved the criticism from those addicted to white supremacy as well as from those of us North American Africans who were forced to remove our rose colored glasses and admit he was merely a puppet of global white supremacy. And now we shall face the wrath and reaction of the white supremacy forces as they reclaim the White House and attempt to put the Niggers back in their place!

    Yes, we need the United Front of all progressive people and ethnic groups because the Globalists care nothing about ethnic groups or national groups, and most certainly not gender groups. The globalists are about divide and conquer, so while we must unite with our fellow brothers and sisters suffering  oppression, we must come to the table with our own agenda as others will do. We, as they shall do, must come with an action plan, not a reactionary agenda in response to a battlefield incident, of which there shall be many more until victory is won. What did Malcolm X tell you, the only bloodless revolution is the Negro revolution; the only landless revolution is the Negro revolution!

    I say, be proactive not reactionary. Plan for the next 50 to 100 years, but get a consensus on the plan so that we need not reinvent the wheel of freedom and we can pass the baton to our children without shame and guilt.
    --Marvin X

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     Jah Amiel Douglas, performs theme from Star Wars at U.C. Berkeley's Morrison Hall. He is the
    son of Attorney Amira Jackmon; grandson of poet Marvin X. When he was two years old, he told his  grandfather, "You can't save the world but I can!"

     piano and voice students at recital, UC Berkeley, May 1, 2016

     piano and voice students at recital, UC Berkeley, May 1, 2016

    Jah Amiel and fellow students

    His piano teacher Phoebe Abramowitz and Jah Amiel

     Left to right, Naima Joy and brother, Jah Amiel. Left to right, their mother, Attorney Amira Jackmon and sister Muhammida El Muhajir, visiting from Accra, Ghana.

     Jah Amiel, Cal Bear, Naima Joy

     Jah Amiel, the one who has come to save the world, according to himself. After all, his birthday is May 31, two days after his grandfather's, May 29. Does he have an ego like his grandfather's or what?

     Aunt Muhammida and Jah Amiel

     Jah Amiel and Naima Joy

     Amira, Muhammida and aunt Debra Jackmon

    From the Jah Amiel Archives
    FYI, his grandfather's archives are in the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
    Left to Right: Marvin X, grandson Jah Amiel, director Stanley Nelson, MX's daughter Attorney Amira Jackmon and her daughter Naimah Joy at Shattuck Cinema, Berkeley showing of Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution, directed by Stanley Nelson; Marvin X is in the film.  He and Stanley Nelson participated in the Q and A. Jah Amiel  said, "It was too much shooting!"

    Left of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is Naima Joy and her aunt Nefertiti, on right is Jah Amiel. Mayor issued proclamation to Marvin X on the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement of which he is one of the founders. On right of Marvin X is Dr. Elnora T. Webb, Laney College President. Seated in Dr. Nathan Hare, father of Black and Ethnic Studies.
    photo Ken Johnson

    Left to Right: Paul Cobb, Dr. Leslee Stradford, Rt. Col. Conway Jones, Jr., Marvin X, granddaughter Naima Joy, grandson Jah Amiel, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Dr. Elnora T. Webb, President of Laney College, Dr. Nathan Hare, Lynette McElhaney, President of the Oakland City Council.
    photo Ken Johnson

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    Tupac Shakur’s Mother, Afeni Shakur Davis, Dies at 69

    Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation Honors The 10th Anniversary Of Tupac's Death
    Afeni Shakur-Davis, mother of the late Tupac Shakur, watches the African drum ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of his death September 9, 2006 in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

    She was the inspiration for the rapper's hit "Dear Mama"

    Afeni Shakur Davis, the mother of late rapper Tupac Shakur and subject of his hit “Dear Mama,” died late Monday night, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. She was 69.

    Police responded to reports of a possible cardiac arrest at Davis’ home around 9:30. She was taken to the hospital, and died at 10:28 p.m. The Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office announced on Twitter that they plan to investigate the exact cause of death.

    Earlier in her life, Davis joined the Black Panther movement in New York City. Police arrested her and other party members in 1969 and charged them with conspiracy to bomb multiple city landmarks. She was acquitted in May 1971 and gave birth to Tupac Shakur a month later.

    Shakur dropped “Dear Mama” in 1995, in which he rapped about his childhood struggles and his love for his mother. “There’s no way I can pay you back/But the plan is to show you that I understand / You are appreciated,” he rapped.

    Tupac was killed in a drive by shooting in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996 at the age of 25. He spent six days in the hospital before he died. Police never caught the shooter.

    After Tupac’s death, Davis took over his estate, which reportedly earns $900,00 per year. Tupac’s producers put out six albums after his death, two more than he produced when he was alive. Davis also founded the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and the record company Amaru Entertainment in Atlanta, for which she served as CEO.


    Play "Dear Mama"
    "Dear Mama"

    You are appreciated

    [Verse One: 2Pac]

    When I was young me and my mama had beef
    Seventeen years old kicked out on the streets
    Though back at the time, I never thought I'd see her face
    Ain't a woman alive that could take my mama's place
    Suspended from school; and scared to go home, I was a fool
    with the big boys, breakin all the rules
    I shed tears with my baby sister
    Over the years we was poorer than the other little kids
    And even though we had different daddy's, the same drama
    When things went wrong we'd blame mama
    I reminisce on the stress I caused, it was hell
    Huggin on my mama from a jail cell
    And who'd think in elementary?
    Heeey! I see the penitentiary, one day
    And runnin from the police, that's right
    Mama catch me, put a whoopin to my backside
    And even as a crack fiend, mama
    You always was a black queen, mama
    I finally understand
    for a woman it ain't easy tryin to raise a man
    You always was committed
    A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it
    There's no way I can pay you back
    But the plan is to show you that I understand
    You are appreciated

    [Chorus: Reggie Green & "Sweet Franklin" w/ 2Pac]

    Don't cha know we love ya? Sweet lady
    Dear mama
    Place no one above ya, sweet lady
    You are appreciated
    Don't cha know we love ya?

    [second and third chorus, "And dear mama" instead of "Dear mama"]

    [Verse Two: 2Pac]

    Now ain't nobody tell us it was fair
    No love from my daddy cause the coward wasn't there
    He passed away and I didn't cry, cause my anger
    wouldn't let me feel for a stranger
    They say I'm wrong and I'm heartless, but all along
    I was lookin for a father he was gone
    I hung around with the Thugs, and even though they sold drugs
    They showed a young brother love
    I moved out and started really hangin
    I needed money of my own so I started slangin
    I ain't guilty cause, even though I sell rocks
    It feels good puttin money in your mailbox
    I love payin rent when the rent's due
    I hope ya got the diamond necklace that I sent to you
    Cause when I was low you was there for me
    And never left me alone because you cared for me
    And I could see you comin home after work late
    You're in the kitchen tryin to fix us a hot plate
    Ya just workin with the scraps you was given
    And mama made miracles every Thanksgivin
    But now the road got rough, you're alone
    You're tryin to raise two bad kids on your own
    And there's no way I can pay you back
    But my plan is to show you that I understand
    You are appreciated


    [Verse Three: 2Pac]

    Pour out some liquor and I reminisce, cause through the drama
    I can always depend on my mama
    And when it seems that I'm hopeless
    You say the words that can get me back in focus
    When I was sick as a little kid
    To keep me happy there's no limit to the things you did
    And all my childhood memories
    Are full of all the sweet things you did for me
    And even though I act craaazy
    I gotta thank the Lord that you made me
    There are no words that can express how I feel
    You never kept a secret, always stayed real
    And I appreciate, how you raised me
    And all the extra love that you gave me
    I wish I could take the pain away
    If you can make it through the night there's a brighter day
    Everything will be alright if ya hold on
    It's a struggle everyday, gotta roll on
    And there's no way I can pay you back
    But my plan is to show you that I understand
    You are appreciated


    Sweet lady
    And dear mama

    Dear mama
    Lady [3X]

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  • 05/03/16--08:37: 2Pac - Dear Mama

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    Mayor Ras J. Baraka
    Dear Friends:
    On behalf of the entire City, it is a pleasure to welcome everyone attending the 21st Century State of the Black World Conference IV to Newark!
    Newark has empowered the transformation of African-American life over the past 45 years, with leaders like Kenneth A. Gibson and my father, Amiri Baraka, challenging the chronic and acute crises and injustices that have faced our community for centuries, striving to create a truly equal nation for all.
    Decades ago, at the height of the Civil Rights Era, the battle was being fought for equal accommodations, equal justice, access to the ballot, and to break the chains of poverty that cripple so many African-Americans.
    Today, the battlefield’s dimensions have changed, but the issues remain the same – efforts to restrict voting rights…police brutality…an unequal economy that disenfranchises millions of African-Americans and keeps them in a loop of poverty.
    That is why the theme of this conference “It’s Nation Time…Again,” reminds us that we must unite again to achieve the transformation we want to see in our City, state, nation, and world. Today’s conference will enable its diverse attendees to bring their many ideas to the table to share issues and concerns, propose agendas and initiatives, and unite to seek solutions. I am proud to host this conference and humbled that it will honor my father.
    All the best for a memorable conference!
    Mayor Ras J. Baraka
    Ras J. Baraka Mayor

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    Tupac Shakur with his mother, Afeni Shakur, in an undated photo.
    (CNN) Afeni Shakur Davis, the mother of one of hip-hop's most seminal and iconic figures, has died at age 69, the Marin County, California, sheriff's office said Tuesday.
    Though she is best known as Tupac Shakur's mom, she was also a Black Panther as a young adult and an activist and philanthropist in her later years.
    Deputies responded to a call reporting "a possible cardiac arrest" at her Sausalito home around 9:34 p.m. Monday, the Marin County Sheriff's Office said.

    Shakur Davis was taken to the hospital where she died at 10:28 p.m., the office said.

    "Sheriff's Coroners Office will lead investigation to determine exact cause & manner of Afeni Shakur's death," the office said in a tweet.

    Information is still being gathered, and the sheriff's department will answer questions regarding her death later Tuesday morning, it said.

    From drugs to arts

    In a 2005 interview ahead of the opening of the now-shuttered Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Shakur Davis recalled how her life was almost derailed by drugs and how her son got it back on track.

    Her drug use made her so oblivious to what was happening in her life that when someone told her in 1990 that her son -- then on the precipice of becoming the biggest name in hip-hop -- was going to be on "The Arsenio Hall Show," she thought the person was lying, she said.

    In the mid-1980s, she was homeless in New York City and "messing around with cocaine," she said. Despite the drug use, she was still coherent enough to realize that Tupac would become a product of the streets if she didn't make different choices.

    "I was running around with militants, trying to be badder than I was, trying to stay up later than I should," she said in the 2005 interview.

    She decided to enroll Tupac in the 127th Street Ensemble, a Harlem theater group, something she called "the best thing I could've done in my insanity." They later moved to Maryland, where she enrolled him in the Baltimore School for the Arts, and then to a small town outside Sausalito.

    It was there that Tupac confronted her about her cocaine use.

    "He asked me if I could handle it, and I said yeah because I'd been dipping and dabbing all my life," she said during the interview. "What pissed him off is that I lied to him."

    'Pac told the local drug dealers not to sell to her, she said, and he told his mother to get clean or to forget about being involved in his life.

    'Arts can save children'

    She got clean in 1991, she said, and when her son was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996, she resisted the urges to delve back into her old bad habits. She instead founded Amaru Entertainment to keep her son's music alive.

    Later, she realized that her life -- mistake-ridden as it may have been -- might serve as a lesson to others.

    "Arts can save children, no matter what's going on in their homes," she said. "I wasn't available to do the right things for my son. If not for the arts, my child would've been lost."

    She provided the majority of the money to begin the $4 million first phase of the arts center, while her Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation hosted poetry and theater camps for youngsters in the Atlanta area.

    "I learned that I can't save the world, but I can help a child at a time," she said, pointing out that her new life of philanthropy wouldn't have been possible without the influence of her legendary son. "God created a miracle with his spirit. I'm all right with that."

    And as much as she credited Tupac with inspiring her to help others, the tribulations she endured in raising him weren't lost on the multiplatinum artist. He regularly invoked her in his music, perhaps never as directly as in his chart-topping song, "Dear Mama."

    In it, he rapped, "And even as a crack fiend, mama, you always was a black queen, mama/I finally understand, for a woman it ain't easy trying to raise a man/You always was committed, a poor single mother on welfare, tell me how you did it/There's no way I can pay you back, but the plan is to show you that I understand."

    Shakur Davis is survived by daughter Sekyiwa Shakur.

    CNN's Jeffrey Acevedo contributed to this report.

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    Marvin X is the author of 30 books, including poetry, essays, autobiography, memoir. He has taught at Fresno State University, University of California, Berkeley and San Diego, San Francisco State University, Mills College, University of Nevada, Reno, Laney College, Merritt College.

     His writings appear in Ishmael Reed's The Complete Muhammad Ali

     His poetry appears in Black Gold Poetry Anthology

     This is his 13 Step manual to recover from the addiction to white supremacy
    foreword by Dr. Nathan Hare

     Writers at memorial for Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka, New York University

     The Marvin X Fan Club

     The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra, University of California, Merced, 2014

     Marvin X participated in the Sun Ra Conference, University of Chicago, 2015
    Marvin X and Sun Ra worked together in Harlem, 1968, and at UC Berkeley, 1971-72

     Marvin and Oakland CA Mayor Libby Schaaf, a supporter of the Black Arts Movement

     Marvin X in conversation with Amiri Baraka, Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, New Mexico

     His writings appear in the BAM Reader, also in the BAM Classic Black Fire
    Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing - Walmart.comf
     Marvin X appeared in Stanley Nelson's film

    Director Stanley Nelson, Marvin X, Fred Hampton, Jr.

    "Marvelous Marvin X!"--Dr. Cornel West

    Marvin X and daughter Nefertiti at Laney College BAM 50th Celebration. In this inter-generational 
    panel discussion, she urged her father to pass the baton!

    Panel Discussion: Women and the Black Arts Movement, Laney College BAM 50th Celebration, 2014. Left to Right: Elaine Brown, Dr. Halifu Osumare, Judy Juanita, Portia Anderson, Kujichagulia, Aries Jordan. Marvin X, producer.

     Marvin X  National  Tour 2016
    East Coast/West Coast/Dirty South

    February 24, Black History, Oakland City Hall

    flyer-obhmr-potp-2016-700-full size

     Marvin X and Oakland City Council President, Lynette McElhaney
    Oakland City Hall Black History Celebration
    photo Adam Turner

    April 23, Memorial for Hugo "Yogi" Panell, San Quentin Six member, African American Cultural Center, San Francisco


    Hugo "Yogi" Panell, San Quentin Six

    9780883783535: Black Hollywood Unchained - Ishmael Reed (Editor)

    May 15, 2016  New York City reading of contributors to anthology,  Black Hollywood unchained, edited by Ishmael Reed, Third World Press, Chicago.

    A scene from Marvin X's BAM classic Flowers for the Trashman, produced by Kim McMillon's theatre students at University of California, Merced. 

    Marvin X and students at the University of California, Merced ...
    Students and Marvin X in Kim McMillon's class on theatre and social activism. "My students love Marvin X!" says Professor McMillon.

    May 25, University of California, Merced, Marvin X speaks in Professor Kim McMillon's theatre class on his role in the Black Arts Movement as artistic freedom fighter and playwright, author of the BAM classic Flowers for the Trashman. 

    May 29, Marvin X celebrates his 72nd birthday. Travels to outter space.

    June 18, San Francisco Juneteenth, in the Fillmore. Marvin X and Fillmore Slim will perform together. 

    Marvin X and Fillmore Slim

    June 19, Berkeley Juneteenth, Marvin X, autographs books, exhibits archives. 

     Marvin X at Berkeley Juneteenth, 2015
    photo Harrison Chastain

    June (West Oakland Juneteenth) TBA

    9780883783535: Black Hollywood Unchained - Ishmael Reed (Editor)

    July 3, San Francisco Public Library, reading of Black Hollywood unchained contributors

    September, 9-11 Black Arts Movement South 51st Anniversary Celebration, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA

     Marvin X in previous appearance at University of Houston TX
    September, University of Houston, Texas, Africana Studies, Texas Southern University and elsewhere in the Big H. TBA

    September, Black Book Store, Seattle Wa, hosted by Hakim, TBA

    September 30/August 1, Laney College Theatre, Oakland, Marvin X opens for Donald Lacy's Color Struck.
    October, 20-23 Black Panther Party 50th Anniversary at Oakland Museum of California. Marvin X speaks/reads.
    *   *   *   *   *
    Marvin X, poet, playwright, essayist, dramatist, producer, director, actor, organizer, educator
    photo Pendarvis Harshaw

    To book Marvin X:

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     Marvin X
    photo Gene Hazzard

    Dear Mothers and all women,

    I wish you happy Mother's Day! I have been honored to have had a most precious, loving Grandmother, Mother, mother's of my children and women partners, friends and comrades in revolutionary struggle. Aside from writing, being in the presence of beautiful, intelligent, spiritually conscious, politically aware women puts me in heaven on earth.

    My father abandoned my mother and I did the same to my wives and children. I have tried my best to reconcile with my former wives and children, and for the most part, I have been successful. For sure, no matter what age, your children need parents for emotional and spiritual support. Many women are single mothers, including my daughters, so they need all the support men can give them, especially fathers. I urge all men to support their daughters whether they are mothers or not.

    In this racist society, it is a wonder our women (as well as ourselves) don't go stark raving mad as James Baldwin said in our 1968 interview. It is a miracle mothers are able to take care of children 24/7,  for they cannot blink their eyes for a moment while caring for them, especially their male children who are ever in danger of homicide by their brothers or by the police under the color of law.  Mothers in the hood are ever fearful when their sons go out the house they may not return because of minefields on the path of their daily round. We pray Mothers will find Mama Time and supportive appreciation for the daunting task they endure. Thank God/Allah/Ancestors, this day is for Dear Mama!

    Peace and Love,
    Marvin X

    Panel Discussion: Women and the Black Arts Movement, Laney College BAM 50th Celebration, 2014. Left to Right: Elaine Brown, Dr. Halifu Osumare, Judy Juanita, Portia Anderson, Kujichagulia, Aries Jordan. Marvin X, producer.
    photo Ken Johnson

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    Black Bird Press News & Review: The Education of Jah Amiel: piano recital at University of California, Berkeley, May 1, 2016

    Oh, Jah Amiel, we love you so much. We look at you and cannot help seeing your uncle,  my son Darrel Jackmon, aka Abdul EL Muhajir, who made his transition from this life at 39 years old, after graduating from UC Berkeley in Near Eastern Studies and Arabic, also studying at American University Egypt, University of Damascus, Syria and Harvard University. We pray you will be in the tradition. Let us surround you with love so that you may fulfill your mission.

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  • 05/08/16--20:11: Miles Davis - So What

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