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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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    Black Pussy Matters
    Our pussies, Black pussies, have been on the front line for a very long time.

    Actress, Lifestyle Expert 
    Jenny Matthews via Getty Images 
    My pussy did not wake up last Saturday morning, put on a pointy pink pussy hat, jump on a train to downtown, to march in the Women’s March. My pussy was fucking scared. Scared that some crazy, redneck motherfucka might-could-more easily pick my Afro-power pussy out of the crowd and clearly know that I was not a Trumper. I was scared that if I took my daughter along, she would be hurt. So I let my pink pussy sisters vet that rally before I exposed me and my baby to some shit I couldn’t handle. Am I proud of that? I’m not sure. But that’s reason #1.
    Reason #2, My pussy isn’t pink. All the recent hype about “pussy power” I see... y’all there is a vast difference between White girl pussy and Black woman pussy... and n’er the twain shall meet. I am a little irritated by the new flaunting of White girl pussy power. This is not about bearing the Brazilian-waxed, vaginally enhanced, “wouldn’t-you-just-love-to-fuck-me?”, man manipulating, douched and dipped, Victoria-revealing-all-her-damn-secrets pussy power on parade. My pussy is not pink! It does not wear a pink hat! And while the power of my pussy does emanate from between my ears, it is anything but a pink fad.
    The other thing my pussy can do is sniff out pussy that’s passin’. Faking the funk, as it were. Don’t get me wrong. I love that we women are seemingly joining forces. Focusing our pussy power for the greater good of this nation, of this planet. But as a Black woman, I have a hard time identifying with this new trend. What is this new found “pussy power” based on? Because I gotta tell ya, there is not greater power in the universe than pussy power. There is no life without pussy. We slide out at birth and belly crawl back into her at death. Pussy is God. So yes, pussy power can heal and kill and love and roar. Pussy power can stop global warming and AIDS and feed the hungry and stop wars.
    But pussy power is not new to Black women! Our pussies have not had the luxury of sitting pretty on a pedestal for all to worship and admire. Homage has not been paid to our pussies. We have not spent inordinate amounts of time plucking and plumping and pruning and polishing up our pussies as the ultimate prize to be rewarded to the victor. No. Black pussies have been under siege. Our pussies have worked and slaved and pulled and hauled. Black pussy has birthed and bled and begged and buried our children. Our pussies have loved and lifted and held and hid our men so deep they are still groping in the dark, trying to find their way out. No, our pussies have not been revered. They’ve been too busy humping and grinding to keep our families, our people alive.
    So when I look on at the throngs of women in pink hats, fighting for their rights and talking about pussy power, many of whom have only just recently come into their pussy power, I have a hard time identifying with them. Black women’s pussies have been fighting for our lives. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful and proud that my White sisters are feeling the power of the pussy, ‘cause that shit is goooood!  But this is not a passing fad. To own and hold and harness and direct true pussy power is not for the faint of heart. It’s gonna take Amazon warrior pussy to bring about change.
    I hope this new movement will not make blind assumptions that all pussies are alike and therefore united. Because our pussies, Black pussies, have been on the front line for a very long time. And we have not been flaunting her or wearing hats on her, or hashtagging her, or hanging slogans out of her. We have quietly and powerfully been honing and harnessing our pussy power to do the work. Unlike the Suffragette Movement which was created to insure the rights of white women, this political  climate requires conscious inclusion.  It will not survive the hubris, entitlement, and ignorance still prevalent in  the dominant culture. It would behoove this new “women’s movement” to consciously expand its awareness to consult and include black women. The Power of the Pussy is in our DNA. Black Pussy Matters.
    More from Lorraine on

    Marvin X 

    Warning: Contains explicit language
    And youth who otherwise don't read, do read this book and even squabble over ownership, as if it were black gold!—Paradise
    We are fortunate to witness such openness and honesty, though it makes the smug uncomfortable in their fake comforts…—Lil Joe
    Mythology of Pussy and Dick is a compilation of everything Marvin X has written over the past 40 years on psychosocial sexuality in America and the world. There are those who will miss this opportunity to receive wisdom from our brother because of the language he uses to describe the male and female anatomy, his perceived objectification of women and men….—Delores Nochi
    By Marvin X

    After a life of failed relationships, I am now an authority on how to fuck shit up. But I also learned how to keep peace in the house by speaking the language of love and receiving it from my beloved. Call it the tone test, if you will, but the language of love will go a long way toward healthy male/female relations or any human relations. 

    My mother told me I didn’t need a wife but a maid, secretary, and mistress. In the fourth quarter of my life, I must admit and confess I think Mom was right. After someone read my essay "Creativity and Sexuality," they said we must keep a balance.

    And this is true except for those like myself who manifest the addictive personality that consistently borders on the extreme, somehow missing that balance that provides the stability we need to survive and thrive in this turbulent world, now racing toward The End!

    I am much like James Baldwin who said, “I had to live recklessly in order to live at all.” And it seems I am also like the Barakas who live with high drama. It is doubtful I would be able to live a life without drama, being the dramatist I am, although these days I try to stay in the no stress zone, yet drama finds me at every turn. I am fascinated with lesbians because interacting with them is so dramatic.

    There is a natural dramatic tension when one desires what he can’t have! It’s a challenge, even greater than seeking a heterosexual woman, although she is fine with me, especially if she has mastered the language of love and doesn’t talk in a provocative language, i.e., don’t tell me to do shit. I don’t have to do a motherfucking thang!

    As the Maid, the Ho, the Cook (see story inside) taught me, if you ask me right, in the right tone, I will do anything and everything, but if you come at me in a dictatorial manner that expresses domination, you can’t get nothing here! Matter of fact, I’ll do the opposite, as in kiss my ass.

    Today, relationships are fragile at best because people are under great stress generally: will we have a job tomorrow, a house, a mate, sanity? So we can only take things one day at a time. There is great insecurity among the people, thus relationships are enduring major stress.
    Yet, we cannot get out of these human relationships because love is all there is, even living in the imagination will not suffice, ultimately, we must leave our dream state to encounter reality, and the reality is that we often connect with people with whom we know and don’t know, whom we love and don’t love, yet must love. It takes the same energy to love as to hate, same energy. My favorite song says, “The greatest thing you will ever learn is to love and be loved in return.”
    *   *   *   *   *

    Sexuality is determined by biology and social psychology. In the socialization of humans, mythology plays a critical role in manhood and womanhood training rites. Mythology lies in the deep structure of the mental process, yet mythical notions, stories, tales, ideas, values are clearly present in the surface structure of human behavior. Ritual behavior is simply the enactment of mythology, the stories of the tribe, the values, mores, manners, morals. Myths prescribe the acceptable and the forbidden, the sacred and the profane.

    Of course the Shaman often transcends tribal mythology to extend the narrative, take it to a higher level, much like a Coltrane solo, or a Miles Davis tune, connected to the past but very much into the present and future, the unknown, into the space of fear and dread, and yet it is beautiful, if we go there with Trane, Miles, Dolphy. So mythology must be fluid, dynamic. There comes a time when old myths must be discarded, thrown into the dustbin of history. And so it is with the patriarchy or myth of male domination.

    In the patriarchal or male dominated society, men are taught they own women, that women are their personal property or chattel real, as opposed to real estate, i.e., land, buildings. Isn't it ironic that a people who are descendants of chattel slaves would continue in the tradition upon liberation, that they would perpetuate relationship slavery, i.e., marriage, girlfriend, boyfriend?

    I don't want to own nobody and surely don't want anyone to own me. Imagine, the other day a brother said, "My pussy is at home!" We tried to tell him, first of all, he doesn't have a pussy, his woman has a pussy, so his pussy ain't at home. And imagine when he arrives home and "his pussy" is gone. When he locates "his pussy" will he be happy, sad, angry, violent, for why wasn't his pussy at home, why did it leave, or does it have the right to leave? Maybe the sister was with her friends, telling them, "Damn, ya'll, I got to go home to give that nigguh some pussy." They reply, "Girl, you ain't gotta do that, that's yo pussy, girl!"

    In this atmosphere, women can be verbally, emotionally, and physically abused. They can be beaten and killed for violating the man's so-called ownership of their bodies, minds, and souls.

    Clearly, there is absolutely no difference in a woman stoned to death in a Muslim society and shot to death in a Christian society because of her supposed adultery and/or infidelity. Of course, these days women are shooting the men to death for their freedom of expression or so-called sexual transgressions.

    The man is more often than not afforded hero status in Muslim and Christian society for executing "honor killings" because he was disrespected by "his" woman. These days women are exercising their right to retaliate on the man for his indiscretions since marriage myths and rites suggest ownership by both parties, though man has the ultimate authority in the patriarchal society.

    Women are now attending court mandated anger management classes and receiving convictions for assault and or homicide in the killing of their mates, all in the name of love. Tina asked what does love have to do with it? I ask, what kind of love is thisand if this is love I don't want it!

    If we are to move toward healthy psychosocial sexuality, we must examine the myths we live by. We may discover these myths are toxic, reactionary, and detrimental to our psychosocial health. We may need to transform and radicalize these myths/rituals in the light of modernity and post modernity or the new millennium.

    In the present era of spiritual consciousness, we cannot behave as cave men and women. We cannot continue rearing little cave children whose behavior befits the Stone Age, bereft of compassion, willing to kill at the drop of a hat because someone dissed them, especially their girlfriend who gave up "her pussy" to a friend or stranger.

    We must jump out of the box of ignorance, jealousy, envy, religiosity, narrow mindedness, insecurity and the world of make believe. We do not own other human beings. This is called slavery by any word. Partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, must dispel and discard mythical notions of ownership and domination.

    Our bodies are the temple of God, not the property of another. No attachments but to God! We are slaves or servants of God, Abdullah (we are all Abdullah, the servant of God). This is the attitude of radical spiritual consciousness. No one owns us but God. Our life and death are for God. We are thus free to do as we will since we exist in God and God exists in us. We are indivisible from God, thus we are God, we are Divine. Man is divine, woman is divine. We are equal beings in the temple of God and the temple of God is the universe, and all in creation is of God, by God and for God.

    If you desire to surrender yourself to your beloved, this is your rite/right. In love, it is indeed all for the beloved, love is the annihilation of self for the beloved. Yes, we lose our "self" in the beloved. In my play One Day in the Life, Karima says, "I sacrificed everything for you, but you blew it buddy, I'm through with you!"

    We pray you shall do the will of God in your relationships. If you don't, no one can judge you but God, especially the God in you or the self accusing spirit! Certainly, no one has the right to beat or kill you, stone you to death, shoot you in the head. Nor does anyone have the right to verbally or emotionally abuse you because of your behavior that may, from time to time, cross the line of propriety. And as per sexual transgressions, pussy and dick ain't nothing but a muscle, so why are you tripping over flesh, a muscle?

    Your pussy belongs to you, your dick belongs to you and you alone. It is attached to you, not your boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, husband, wife, lover, trick! Human beings are subject to do anything during the course of a day, and you are free to do so. Vows of fidelity must be thrown into the dustbin of history, along with Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the return of a dead man after two thousand years.

    If you persist in your wretchedness, ignorance and world of make believe that you own someone's pussy and dick, your mental health shall suffer along with the general condition of society that is rapidly heading to the precipice as we write. The mental hospitals, prisons and jails shall remain full of those partner abusers guilty of assault and/or homicide.

    We urge you to free yourself from the prison of your mind based on primitive mythological notions of ownership and domination. Indeed, love the one ya wit, but you don't own them. You can't force them to do anything.

    Why can't we just get along, Rodney King asked? Why can we love and be loved in return? Why must we be ugly to each other, especially in the name of love? Why can't we love without the negativity? Why must we hurt the one we love, and yet, as Dr. Nathan Hare says, there can be no master without one willing to be the slave. Just as I cannot love you unless you allow me to love you, I cannot hurt you unless you allow me to hurt you.

    Love begins with self love. If and when you don't love yourself, you cannot love someone else. You can fake the funk for a time. But if you don't know yourself, you cannot know your partner and mate. You can be with them twenty, thirty and forty years, but you don't know them. This is why couples break up after ten, twenty, thirty years together. They never knew each other, they were faking the funk, but the funk caught up with them. Yes, there was abuse because in their ignorance they first abused themselves, then abused their mate or partner simply because they never followed their own bliss or purpose as Joseph Campbell taught us. Nancy Wilson said, "I Never Been To Me!"

    Indeed, life is about getting to the real you, your mission and purpose. When you cannot achieve this, in your frustration, you are bound to oppress and dominate your mate and those you love. Sadly, you have been programmed by the American or Western mythology of Christianity and Capitalism. You are thus the man and woman in the box. You may deny you are in the box, yet your very existence , and clearly your behavior with your mate is evidence you are inside the box of Christianity and Capitalism. In short, you are a slave, albeit a free slave, but a slave none the less. In turn, you desire to enslave your mate and children—Capitalism has programmed you to desire cheap trinkets, things and more things, conspicuous consumption, materialism, the world of make believe.

    Yet with all your materialism, you have not followed your bliss, you are totally devoid of spiritual consciousness. You may be religious, yet your practice of religion is a desire for prosperity that would be alien to Mary's baby! You do not desire to liberate the captives, help the poor, the broken hearted, the hungry, the homeless. You are arrogant and wicked wearing your rocks, animal skins and plastic clothes. Yet you are not happy, nor is your mate. Even your children are little assholes, ungrateful bastards!

    You hide the pain by medicating yourself with drugs, sex, video and internet games, religiosity and other escapism from your life of nothingness and dread.

    We pray one day you shall awaken and throw off the chains on your brain, throw off the oppressive mythology of Christianity and Capitalism, or any other oppressive religion, including Islam, or any ideology that promotes pie in the sky or other worldism, escapism from facing reality with a radical agenda that is about seizing power from the blood suckers of the poor, the global bandits who promote the world of make believe.

    How can you be at peace with yourself and your mate while you enjoy the benefits of a society that spends a trillion dollars per year to commit mass murder around the world to perpetuate a world of make believe, to keep people deaf, dumb and blind, consuming trinkets that send them directly to Yacoub's workers: the doctor, nurse and undertaker.

    It is this mythological psychosocial order that has you drunk with thinking you must own and oppress somebody, especially those you supposedly love and cherish. Jump out of the box—free yourself, your mate and your children. Strive toward a radical spirituality that oppresses no one, but frees everyone. Love should not be slavery. Free your mind, free your mate, free humanity.
    9 September 2010
    *   *   *   *   *
    By Delores Nochi Cooper

    Mythology of Pussy and Dick is a compilation of everything Marvin X has written on  sexuality in America and the world. There are those who will miss this opportunity to receive wisdom from our brother because of the language he uses to describe the male and female anatomy, and his perceived objectification of women and men, and this is a tragedy because this information is crucial for men and women who are suffering from a psycho-linguistic crisis and inflicting actual violence upon lovers  in their male/female and partner relations including, same gender loving person relationships, and these dysfunctional interactions are witnessed by children who are the next generation of couples. They will emulate what they see elders enact. 

    The same people who dare judge his choice of words, his linguistic dexterity, are guilty of lingering in the comfort of their bedrooms watching shows on big screen TVs that depict graphic details of violence perpetrated against others, especially women, yet they call it entertainment. If children learn more from what they see than what we tell them, how will they process and act upon the continued sexual chaos that is manifested in our families and society? 

    The author has proven himself to be a leader and a teacher who has the best interest of the community at heart. He speaks truth with language that can be understood by the least of us and the best of us. His credentials includes brief tenure at the finest institutions in America : Fresno State University , 1969, University of California , Berkeley , 1972, Mills College , 1972, San Francisco State University , 1974, University of California , San Diego , 1975, University of Nevada , Reno , 1979.

    He embraced the system and defied the system! Oriented in the Muslim tradition of polygamy or plural marriage (see his play In the Name of Love, Laney College Theater production 1981); he has conquered his own demons and  held his own with  associated intellectuals and psychopaths. In the words of James Sweeney “…Courageous and outrageous, he walked through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal.”

    We all have war stories about relationships gone bad. The difference between Marvin X and the rest of us is that Marvin X has lived what he is writing  about, survived it and is willing to talk about it, and holds nothing back, narrated in language that will grab your attention and cause you an epileptic  seizure!. 

    Each story is rich with commentary which speaks to society’s attitudes about male and female relationships: rape, athletes, toxic love, crack house sex, women without men, language of love, religious persecution of women (a woman stoned); gay and lesbian youth, same sex marriage, and much more…

    His parables are commentary about events in real time is ingenious. If you are a follower of his blog, then you know with each daily entry he not only provides us with happenings locally and nationally, but walks us through events from a historical and global perspective.

    Marvin X has chosen to sensitize our society by using words like pussy and dick. Language is fluid and if its primary use is communication, and if through words one fails to hit the target, then what is the point? It may be that the author is before his time, and in future generations, pussy and dick will become words of endearment, not relegated to the present negative connotations. Perhaps it will become a mantra chanted over and over as a pre-sex ritual. Why not? Lord knows we could use some more effective ways to get beyond reckless abandonment.

    In his essay,  "The Maid, the Ho, the Cook," Marvin X demonstrates his tender side. Lil Joe describes this story as “One of the most beautiful pieces about real love I’ve ever read. The image of "crack-heads" as scandalous and without human dignity is destroyed by Marvin’s recollection of this sister with whom he fell in love. Because the object of MX’s affection is for  a whore, but there are those, and you know who you are, who will lose the essence of this story which addresses real feelings and real interactions between a man and a woman. Perhaps, you have only loved when it was safe to do so. But all of us who have loved surely know that passion and feelings can at times be both spontaneous and unsolicited.
    Is Marvin X the only courageous one among us who dares to “tell the truth and shame the devil”?

       *   *   *   *
    To get your copy of
    Mythology of Pussy and Dick

    Marvin X is putting the finishing touches on the expanded version of his Mythology of Pussy and Dick: Toward Healthy Psychosocial Sexuality. In its pamphlet form, this is the most stolen book in history! We urge you to buy two copies, one to hide and one for your coffee table so your friends can easily steal it! Approximately 400 pages, $49.95.
    Black Bird Press 
    339 Lester Ave., Suite 10
    Oakland CA 94606
    credit card orders
    *   *   *   *   *

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    COUNTERPOINTS: Breaking The Stalemate Over Oakland's Black Arts Movement Business District

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    What is Love by Marvin X


    What is Love

    What is love
    only kisses hugs
    what is love
    only meetings of minds
    what about times
    when minds
    do not meet

    is love
    not present
    in the air
    in the blood
    of loving souls
    too ignorant
    to know the test
    of love
    the many ways
    it strives to be and not be
    is always and forever
    not always tender
    rough and sharp
    like a razor
    cutting to the heart

    love is pain
    we take to grow
    be strong again
    tears in the night
    alone again
    we find ourselves
    wondering if love
    was even real
    yet it was
    if we see
    if we look
    beyond romantic notions
    of everything is cool
    always with love
    but we know
    the blues of love
    when we miss the words
    from lips so tender with truth
    but we miss them
    in haste to be the authority on love
    yet love has been around
    since eternity
    and will stay
    when lovers have gone away
    it will stay
    in spite of all the tears
    verbal bouts
    come backs
    gimme my keys
    why don't you call
    don't you still care
    why did you go
    do you really love her
    or really love him
    after all the time we shared
    how could you do this to me
    after all I did for you in the night
    what is love
    sometimes we must enjoy the hurt pain
    to grow
    be wise again
    do it better next time
    correct mistakes
    try again this time
    with God
    in the center of things
    but try
    for love is precious
    time is short
    life must be lived
    with joy
    through it all
    let joy arise
    take control of love.
    --Marvin X
     from Land of My Daughters, poems, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 2005

    <b>Julia</b> Reed <b>Hare</b> | The HistoryMakers

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    Feb 16 , 2017
    George Edward Tait
    (For Viola Plummer on the Octogenerian Occasion of Her Eightieth Birthday)
    Hewn from the hem of Harriet’s garment
    Adorned with the apparel and arsenal of Asantewaa
    Girded within the Nubian garrison of Granny Nanny
    A weusi woman warrior with a D-12 dossier
    Documenting decades of dedication and devotion
    Documenting decades of discussion and debate
    Documenting decades of discourse and diplomacy
    Documenting decades of determination and decisiveness
    Documenting decades of dispatch and deployment
    Documenting decades of daring and discipline
    Definitive dates on the calendar of combat
    Doyenne to the twelfth power
    Dynamics of a D dominant 12th chord in a Coltrane composition
    A December detail with 12 disciples
    A diurnal declaration to the 12th of Forever
    Building a bustling Brooklyn base into a pan-Afrikan place.
    Viva La Viola! – weariness-proof and weather-proof
    Armed with the aura of Abubadika
    Enveloped within the erudition of Elombe
    Motivated by the might of Mugabe and the magnificence of Malcolm -
    In the trenches, in the courts; on the tarmacs, at the ports
    On the sidewalk, in the street: a movement of melanin fists and marching feet.
    Viva La Viola!! – with grassroots grace and global grasp
    Asante Sana Afrikan soldier – Freedom ferocity and frontline fearlessness;
    Asante Sana Afrikan sage – visceral voice and veracious values.
    Viva La Viola!!!  An anointed anthem always sung
    An everlasting epic, Eighty Years Young – Happy Birthday!

    © 2017 by George Edward Tait

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  • 02/22/17--16:21: Muhammida El Muhajir

  • Muhammida El Muhajir of Philly: Marketing Guru, Filmmaker, and Tech Connoisseur

    Known around the world for producing the first historical global documentary on Hip Hop music and culture, Muhammida El Muhajir hails from Philadelphia as a natural born, generational entrepreneur. She sheds light on what for her has so far been a vivacious, illustrious, and multifaceted career.
    AC: Afrocipha
    M: Muhammida
    AC: Muhammida, what does it mean to be raised with the spirit of an entrepreneur without fear of the world?
    M:  I was taught to believe if you have an idea it can be manifested. That is hard for a lot of people. I am a fifth generation entrepreneur.  My paternal grandparents had their own newspaper in Fresno, California. My grandfather, a floral shop. My grandmother was one of the only black realtors in Fresno. On my maternal side, my great, great grandfather came to California, to the Bay Area–Pittsburg to be exact.  So my great great grandfather came to the Bay and owned a number of businesses — hotels and bars. Coming from this lineage, this is a part of who I am. You are really trained to be an independent and critical thinker. My mother was an entrepreneur. She never said you should have a business but I knew how to start and sustain a business. I never went to business school. I never took a marketing class in my life.
    AC: In 2014 you were chosen to become a marketing and communications fellow in Ghana, at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology. What have you/did you find most inspirational and most instructional about being a Fellow in Ghana?
    M: I was most interested in the Fellowship because I wanted to immerse myself in the tech space and learn as much as I could about the eco-system, change-makers, power players, startups, media, etc. I also wanted to better understand how my consumer brand marketing, branding and communications skills would translate in the tech world. I found that ultimately being a creative marketer has nothing to do with the product itself but the innovation in strategy is what’s most important whether a sneaker, a soda or startup e-commerce company. Working with Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) gave me the opportunity to work in Africa with some of the continent’s most brilliant minds and entrepreneurs while also being connected to Silicon Valley (where Meltwater corporate is based) and the global tech community. I stay up to date on African tech trends and personalities by editing two blogs, Women in Tech on and the Tech page for
    I also felt that incorporating a knowledge and understanding of technology would greatly impact my marketing and communications. Gaining an understanding of how PR can affect SEO and Google analytics has already impacted my media strategies.
    AC: As someone finely in tune with Hip Hop culture, both locally and globally, how would you describe the impact and landscape of it in Ghana and West Africa? How does it compare to Philly and the U.S.?
    M: I learned many years ago, producing the documentary, Hip Hop: The New World Order, ( the power and impact of Hip Hop. Hip Hop and Hip Life is the leading force in music in Ghana. Artists such as Sarkodie, Shotta Wale and Stone Bwoy (Afro-reggae) and Manifest are at the forefront while legends such as Reggie Rockstone are still making hits and continuing to build musical and cultural bridges with international artists. (Check his recent collaboration Selfie Remix with actor Idris Elba).
    The Hip Hop style in terms of fashion and attitude is still very much influenced by US Hip Hop. And the scene is very much up to date on Hip Hop music and trends from the US. In the year I have been in Ghana, I am current on all of the new music and artists including the ratchet music, which is quite popular in the clubs. At hotspots such as Django and Yacht Club there are segments dedicated to Ghanaian music, Hip Life and Hip Hop.
    The major difference between the Ghana scene and US scene is that as much as they know about US Hip Hop, in Ghana they also are huge fans of their own home grown talent as well as continental Hip Hop stars from Nigeria and South Africa, whereas in the States we only know about US artists and sometimes only the mainstream artists played in heavy rotation on the radio.
    The similarity between Philly and Ghana scene would be that they are both relatively small markets very near to the major market (Philly to New York and Accra to Lagos) but still holding it’s own and keeping it’s own Hip Hop cultural identity.
    AC: What were the challenges in connecting with the Hip Hop, Hip Life, and High Life communities in Ghana?
    M: Although I have primarily been working in the tech space while in Ghana, I haven’t had any challenges with these communities in Ghana. I have connected with artists such as D Black, Panji Anoff, Wiyaala, artist manager and entrepreneur Zilla Limann, and Jimmy Davis manager for songstress Efya. As a matter of fact I have looked to build bridges and incorporate my relationships within the music industry with the tech industry. I am in the process of finalizing a partnership with Reggie Rockstone and a Ghanaian photo-sharing tech start-up called Suba, ( I have outreach with Nigerian artist/producer elDee who is also very involved in the tech space.
    Through my Africa Love Party series, I have been able to really connect with key artists, media and personalities in Accra and will be traveling with the party to other major African cities later this year.

    AC: Do the artists you come across make a distinction between Hip Hop and the growing Afrobeats movement? What is the dynamic around this like?
    M: I haven’t noticed any major distinctions. As far as I can tell, artists consider themselves Hip Hop even if they perform Hip Life music, which is basically lyrics in Pidgin/Twi (or other traditional dialect) and sometimes High life inspired beats. 
    AC: How is technology enabling Hip Hop and Popular Culture in West Africa to flourish?
    M: Technology is a major aspect of youth culture, pop culture and Hip Hop culture. Many artists here just as in the west engage their international fan base on social media as well as sharing photos, videos, music, news, and trends. Some of the very popular Nigerian artists have millions of followers on Twitter and millions of views of their videos on Youtube. Mobile phones also play a significant role because many people may not own a personal computer so the phone serves as the major connector. Unfortunately it is still very difficult for even the most popular artists in West Africa to realize revenue from their music sales. There are African versions of iTunes/Spotify but adoption of online payments is still slow especially in a market like Ghana compared to Nigeria.
    AC: What roles do you see technology playing in the future of the music industry, and what kind of career opportunities does it create for people like the students and young entrepreneurs you spend a lot of time advising?
    M: Solving problems and creating solutions to everyday problems with technology and innovation for Africans as well as the people around the globe is a huge opportunity for young entrepreneurs. The ideas are here but the investment, training and promotion/publicity are finally getting here to support Africa’s contribution to technology. What’s happening with US entertainers using their star power to align themselves and resources to invest in tech ideas, startups and entrepreneurs will fast track some of the more consumer based ideas as well as offer potential revenues for both parties.
    I would strongly advise any young person to learn as much as they can about technology and consider a career in tech. There are many opportunities both career wise and entrepreneurial that exists in technology. I work with young entrepreneurs who complete a 1-2 year intensive training program that provide them with the tech and business skills necessary for launching a successful tech company. They are proving on a daily basis that stellar ideas can come from any place on earth. These entrepreneurs inspire me on a daily basis and I am even developing my own tech startup, so stay tuned!
    Back in the late 1990’s Muhammida made a brave power move that is now paying off in more ways than one, especially with increased developments in new technology. She had neither a corporate sponsor nor a stack of 401Ks. What she did have was keen intelligence, a love for Hip Hop culture and that fearless and confident Philly style. Muhammida was a Philly Girl in search of the marvelous. She embarked on an international film tour to Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, France, England, Japan and Germany to document Hip Hop Globally; and it’d be featured in her film, “Hip Hop: The New World Order,” which is now available for video streaming and downloading. Muhammida shared some words on how her Film production came together, and what it was like – before that time – doing entertainment marketing for Nike and the William Morris Agency.

    S: Spady
    M: Muhammida
    S: Did you know any Global Hip Hop cultural beings from Africa or the African Diaspora while a student at Howard University?
    M:  I mean, there may have been but none that I had contact with. They listened to what was on the radio. But I didn’t know any international people during the Howard days who were interested in the business side or anything like that.
    S: When you saw Japanese Hip Hop Headz in New York clubs did you approach them to learn more about their interest in Hip Hop?
    M:  I didn’t approach any of them. I just observed. I knew it was very big over there because I saw so many Japanese in Hip Hop clubs in New York. I also saw Hip Hop artists from here going to Japan. So when I went to New York I was on an exploratory trip.. Most places I went, to be honest with you, had only one or two phone numbers. It was not this researched and planned out kinda thing. In some of these countries where I went in search of Hip Hop, I was there for one day and the person with me would be like, ‘What are you going to find in one day?’ I’m like, ‘just drive me where I need to go and translate.’ [Muhammida laughs knowingly]. Don’t ask me questions because the whole concept just sounds ludicrous. I mean, here I am, I am not traveling with a budget. I got my first camera when I was already in Japan. I got a mini-tv camera. Now, what I shot on Global Hip Hop is so rare!  Honestly, when I was doing my film it felt like I was on a Hip Hop Underground Railroad!
    S: Why do you say that?
    M: Because when you were on the Underground Railroad you would just know one person and you would look for these signs on the doors or on the coats in the window or whatever it was and that is how it was when I was traveling around the world doing my film on Hip Hop. I’m serious, I would have one or two people who I would approach and I’d be searching for Hip Hop like I’m searching for freedom in the 1800’s. And Hip Hop was every place I went.  It turned into a domino effect.  I would go somewhere and they would say, ‘Oh, she’s here looking for Hip Hop, working on this Hip Hop Film Project.’ And they’d be like, ‘You need to meet this person,’ and I would end up covering the theme, who is who in each country I visited…… When I was in Japan the first time I didn’t get to the radio stations. I’ve been to Japan two or three times. The second time I went there I did another event. And the third time I wasn’t filming at all.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 10.30.30 PM
    S: Were you already working at Nike at this time or was that later on?
    M: I got hired at Nike when I was in France. I got hired while I was shooting in Europe.
    S:  What did you do at Nike?
    M:  At Nike I did Entertainment Marketing. So I worked in the music division. I oversaw all of our music relationships and labels; anything that had to do with the music.
    S:  Who were the artists you handled while at the William Morris Agency?  Wasn’t that before you joined Nike?
    M: Yes, I worked at the William Morris Agency. I worked in the music-booking department. I knew some of the American artists with William Morris even before I began working with them.  But when I embarked on my Global Hip Hop Film Project, it wasn’t like I had this list of contacts. Who would have given it to me? Interest was just starting. Most of it, I would literally land down and try to figure this whole thing out.
    S: What is the longest period of time you spent in any single country while doing the film?
    M: I was in Japan for two months.  I was in Cuba for three weeks. But there, I was filming as I was figuring out Hip Hop communities. Remember, when I first got to Japan I didn’t even have a camera. I was in South Africa for six days. I was in Brazil for two weeks.
    S: In the film you appeared much more passionate about Hip Hop in Cuba than any place else you visited. How did the situation differ?
    M: You have to remember I was in Cuba for a longer period of time. I was there for weeks and every day they were like, ‘Come here.’ I spent a longer period of time with people in the Hip Hop community there. It was not like we went where it was fast-paced.  These artists are not ‘signed.’ You know what I mean?  So the access is completely different and it was a different vibe.
    To purchase El Muhajir’s Hip Hop: the New World Order Documentary, the first historical documentary film on Global Hip Hop, visit: 
    And while you’re at it, check out Suba, the highly acclaimed photo-sharing mobile app. Download it from the iOS or Google Play store.
     Copyright James G. Spady and Akinyemi Bajulaiye 2015

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    Dr Boyce Watkins: How the black scholar’s voice is suffocated by racism in academia

    by Dr Boyce Watkins

    I was thinking the other day about my days teaching at Syracuse University.  I thought about the days when I started off as a naive young scholar, believing that I could change the world behind the walls of the Ivory Tower.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that the same rules of racism and white supremacy not only apply in academia, they are actually magnified.You see, many scholars and academic departments run a little like the United States prison system and the NCAA, two other organizations that exist without much governmental oversight.  In all three venues, racism often runs unchecked, and there isn’t much recourse for those who are consistently marginalized by institutional culture that is inherently built on an undeniable belief in black inferiority.

    Rather than being embraced for having new ideas and objectives, young black scholars are treated like uninvited guests into someone else’s home or like intellectual orphans who should be happy to be given a place to live. When I was in the business school at Syracuse University, they hadn’t, at that time, given tenure to one single African American in over 100 years of operating history. The Ku Klux Klan could not have had a worse hiring record.

    The problem for us as black folks is that we REALLY NEED our scholars.  We need them solving critical problems in our communities.  We need them speaking out on important issues.  we need them writing about topics that matter, instead of suffocating under the reign of intellectual babysitters who’ve imperialized their agenda.   When our scholars disappear, the black community loses.  The fact is that about 98% of our PhDs are nowhere to be seen when it comes to dealing with things that actually matter to their people.
    I made this video to describe my experience with white supremacy in academia with the hope that it helps someone else.  The truth is that the chains of Blackademia won’t disappear unless you cut them off.  Sometimes, you may also have to cut off your own foot in the process.

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    Honoring Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate, Queen Mother of Kwanzaa, who brought Black Studies to the East Bay

    February 23, 2017
    "When I hit Merritt College in 1962, I encountered many people who determined my destiny as a revolutionary Black nationalist, among  them Richard Thorne, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Ernie Allen, Isaac Moore, Ann Williams, Ken and Carol Freeman, Ellendar Barnes, Judy Juanita, et al. I also met some elder women steeped in the revolutionary black nationalist tradition, e.g., Mother Ruth Hagwood and Mother Kakinya, later the legendary grand diva of Bay Area politics, Edith Austin, who used to say my name three times, "Marvin, Marvin, Marvin!" But Mother Makinya survived Mother Hagwood and Edith Austin. She spread Kwanzaa consciousness throughout the Bay Area and throughout Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. 
    It was a joyful celebration of her joining the ancestors at Oakland's  Evergreen Cemetary Chapel today. The African American last rites was officiated by Minister Imhotep Alkebulan. The Black National Anthem was delivered by Darinoso Oyamaseia with the Leon Williams Ensemble, followed with "Breath" by the Stones of Fire. My favorite "preacher lady poet" Tureeda Mikell delivered a poem for our Queen Mother. BlackArts Movement poet Avotcja delivered a love poem in honor of Mother, informing the audience revolution is an act of love and Queen Makinya was the living embodiment of love through persistent service to her people.
    Two of my favorite musicians accompanied Avotcja, then performed themselves, Joan Tarika Lewis on violin and Destiny Muhammad on harp. My favorite percussionist Tacuma King performed as well. 

    The repast was in the Ruth Beckford Room at Geoffery's Inner Circle. The meal included greens, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, chicken and fish. A larger community memorial is planned. 
    --Marvin X
    Publisher, The Movement, Voice of the Black Arts Movement International
    February 22, 2017

    Wanda Sabir on Sister Makinya, Queen Mother of Kwanzaa

    by Wanda Sabir

    Renaissance woman Sister Makinya is responsible for the establishment of Kwanzaa as a seven-day ritual ceremony for African people beginning in December 1967. Here she celebrates her 80th birthday. – Photo: Wanda Sabir

    Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate (July 1, 1926-Feb. 4, 2017), née Harriett Smith, was born to Turner Smith and Willette Edythe Parker Smith in San Leandro, California, on July 1, 1926, her parents’ only child. She attended kindergarten at Cole School in Oakland, then moved to South Berkeley, where she attended Berkeley Public Schools, among them, Longfellow Elementary School.

    Fourth generation of a pioneering African-American family, descendants from Madagascar and Tanzania – her more recent ancestors were freed from Virginian slavery and migrated to California before the Civil War. Her maternal grandfather, Theodore Parker, was a leader in the early African-American labor union movement, her great-grandfather, Edward West Parker Sr., was a member of the National Colored Convention Movement that led the fight for African-American rights in the late 19th century, and her other great-grandfather, Capt. William Henry Galt, was an officer in the Sacramento Zouaves, an African-American militia unit that worked in the successful effort to keep California out of the Confederacy before and during the Civil War years.

    Sister Makinya followed proudly in the tradition of her freedom-fighting ancestors.
    Her great-grandmother started the Daughters of Coelanth, a companion organization to the Masonic Order founded by her husband, Edward West Parker Sr. She was the first Black woman to enroll and graduate from an all-girls college in Vancouver, British Columbia. This same descendent also founded St. Augustine Church in West Oakland at 27th and West Streets in the late 19th Century. “The founder’s name has been conveniently deleted from church records,” Sister Makinya would always state.

    As chairwoman of the YWCA, Western States, Sister Makinya attended the National Convention on its 100th anniversary. She was honored in Berkeley by the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women as a “Global Community Visionary.” Sister Makinya taught piano at age 13 and also performed with a 24 Grand Piano Ensemble for the 1939-1940 World’s Fair at Treasure Island. At 16, having studied aerodynamics, she enlisted in World War II, “bringing airplanes in on a beam.” She was one of the first air traffic controllers, stationed in Alameda.

    Geri Abrams, Carol Afua and Wanda Sabir (far right) join Queen of Kwanzaa Sister Makinya (next to Wanda) to celebrate Umoja, the first day of Kwanzaa, at Youth Uprising on Dec. 26, 2008.

    In 1946 at 19, she married her first husband, whom she called “the best man in the world.” The two were avid golfers. When he passed, she married again. In the 1950s, under the tutelage of Barney Hillburn, first Black director of HUD, she later became the first woman manager of a 527-unit housing project.
    She was a social reporter for California Voice, the oldest Black newspaper in California. In the early 1950s, she completed San Francisco Teachers Normal College, which later became San Francisco State. She graduated with honors and a teaching credential. She also continued to teach piano.
    In 1965, she attended Merritt College, where she studied business administration and real estate. As the first Black student body president in the Peralta Community College District, she helped develop the first Black Studies Department in 1966.
    It was as president of the student body that she and 10 members went to a Black student conference at UCLA, where Maulana Karenga attended. He gave Sister Makinya a mimeographed sheet of paper with ideas on a new Black holiday called Kwanza (her spelling). When the students returned to Oakland, Sister Makinya hosted one of the first Bay Area Kwanzas in her home.

    When she graduated with honors from Merritt College she began taking Kwanza around the world. Sister Makinya traveled to 36 American states and 13 African nations to share her knowledge. She became widely recognized as an individual who was instrumental in spreading traditional community Kwanza celebrations throughout Northern California, the United States, Europe, Africa and Mexico.

    Paradise treated Sister Makinya to dinner at the Kingston 11 Jamaican Restaurant, he presented her with the first Black Elders Fund Award, on Feb. 24, 2016.

    The educator taught students in every grade from nursery school to post-graduate from 1985-2005. From 1985-1995, the radio show host had an interview program on KPFA, 94.1 FM, called Face the Day.
    A lover of the arts, Sister Makinya, from 1998-2016, danced for the ancestors with the International Japanese Buddhist Obon Odari Festivals of Joy in 12 California cities. She also attended the Amachi Ashram in San Ramon. She was an award-winning poet.

    Sister Makinya was made Queen Mother of Kwanza in December 2015, and posthumously by Harambee Connection Media Network in February 2017.

    Although Sister Makinya was the last survivor in her direct family line and she left no direct descendants, she leaves behind a multitude of friends, acquaintances and extended family who considered her their beloved and treasured sister.

    There will be a small ceremony at Evergreen Mortuary in the chapel this Thursday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m. This is also where she will be interned: 6450 Camden St. in Oakland. The repast follows immediately at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, 410 14th St. There will be a larger community celebration of Sister Makinya’s life at a later date to be announced. It will be posted on Facebook.

    Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir can be reached at Visit her website at throughout the month for updates to Wanda’s Picks, her blog, photos and Wanda’s Picks Radio. Her shows are streamed live Wednesdays at 7 a.m. and Fridays at 8 a.m., can be heard by phone at 347-237-4610 and are archived at

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  • 02/24/17--08:34: 99 Names of Allah
  • Names of God in Islam

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    (Redirected from 99 Names of God)
    The 99 Names of God (Arabic: أسماء الله الحسنى‎, translit: ʾasmāʾu llāhi lḥusnā) also known as The 99 attributes of Allah, according to Islamic tradition, are the names of God revealed by the Creator(God) in the Qur'an.
    The 99 Names of God (Allah) according to the tradition of Islam are:
    Name-English Name: Arabic
    1. Ar Rahman (الرحمن) The All Merciful
    2. Ar Rahim (الرحيم) The Most Merciful
    3. Al Malik (الملك) The King, The Sovereign
    4. Al Quddus (القدوس) The Most Holy
    5. As Salam (السلام) Peace and Blessing
    6. Al Mu'min (المؤمن) The Guarantor
    7. Al Muhaymin (المهيمن) The Guardian, the Preserver
    8. Al Aziz (العزيز) The Almighty, the Self Sufficient
    9. Al Jabbaar (الجبار) The Powerful, the Irresistible
    10. Al Mutakabbir (المتكبر) The Tremendous
    11. Al Khaaliq (الخالق) The Creator
    12. Al Baari (البارئ) The Maker
    13. Al Musawwir (المصور) The Fashioner of Forms
    14. Al Ghaffaar (الغفار) The Ever Forgiving
    15. Al Qahhaar (القهار) The All Compelling Subduer
    16. Al Wahhaab(الوهاب) The Bestower
    17. Ar Razzaaq (الرزاق) The Ever Providing
    18. Al Fattaah(الفتاح) The Opener, the Victory Giver
    19. Al Alim (العليم) The All Knowing, the Omniscient
    20. Al Qaabid (القابض) The Restrainer, the Straightener
    21. Al Baasit (الباسط) The Expander, the Munificent
    22. Al Khaafid (الخافض) The Abaser
    23. Ar Raafi' (الرافع) The Exalter
    24. Al Mu'izz (المعز) The Giver of Honor
    25. Al Muzil (المذل) The Giver of Dishonor
    26. Al Sami' (السميع) The All Hearing
    27. Al Basir (البصير) The All Seeing
    28. Al Hakam (الحكم) The Judge, the Arbitrator
    29. Al 'Adl (العدل) The Utterly Just
    30. Al Latif (اللطيف) The Subtly Kind
    31. Al Khabir (الخبير) The All Aware
    32. Al Halim (الحليم) The Forbearing, the Indulgent
    33. Al 'Azim (العظيم) The Magnificent, the Infinite
    34. Al Ghafur (الغفور) The All Forgiving
    35. Ash Shakur (الشكور) The Grateful
    36. Al Ali (العلي) The Sublimely Exalted
    37. Al Kabir (الكبير) The Great
    38. Al Hafiz (الحفيظ) The Preserver
    39. Al Muqit (المقيت) The Nourisher
    40. Al Hasib (الحسيب) The Reckoner
    41. Al Jalil (الجليل) The Majestic
    42. Al Karim (الكريم) The Bountiful, the Generous
    43. Ar Raqib (الرقيب) The Watchful
    44. Al Mujib (المجيب) The Responsive, the Answerer
    45. Al Wasi' (الواسع) The Vast, the All Encompassing
    46. Al Hakim (الحكيم) The Wise
    47. Al Wadud (الودود) The Loving, the Kind One
    48. Al Majid (المجيد) The All Glorious
    49. Al Ba'ith (الباعث) The Raiser of the Dead
    50. Ash Shahid (الشهيد) The Witness
    51. Al Haqq (الحق) The Truth, the Real
    52. Al Wakil (الوكيل) The Trustee, the Dependable
    53. Al Qawiyy (القوي) The Strong
    54. Al Matin (المتين) The Firm, the Steadfast
    55. Al Wali (الولي) The Protecting Friend, Patron, and Helper
    56. Al Hamid (الحميد) The All Praiseworthy
    57. Al Muhsi (المحصي) The Accounter, the Numberer of All
    58. Al Mubdi (المبدئ) The Producer, Originator, and Initiator of all
    59. Al Mu'id (المعيد) The Reinstater Who Brings Back All
    60. Al Muhyi (المحيي) The Giver of Life
    61. Al Mumit (المميت) The Bringer of Death, the Destroyer
    62. Al Hayy (الحي) The Ever Living
    63. Al Qayyum (القيوم) The Self Subsisting Sustainer of All
    64. Al Waajid (الواجد) The Perceiver, the Finder, the Unfailing
    65. Al Maajid (الماجد) The Illustrious, the Magnificent
    66. Al Waahid (الواحد) The One, the All Inclusive, the Indivisible
    67. Al Ahad (الاحد) The Unity, The indivisible
    68. As Samad (الصمد) The Long, the Impregnable, the Everlasting
    69. Al Qaadir (القادر) The All Able
    70. Al Muqtadir (المقتدر) The All Determiner, the Dominant
    71. Al Muqaddim (المقدم) The Expediter, He who brings forward
    72. Al Mu'akhkhir (المؤخر) The Delayer, He who puts far away
    73. Al Awwal (الأول) The First
    74. Al Aakhir (الآخر) The Last
    75. Az Zaahir (الظاهر) The Manifest; the All Victorious
    76. Al Baatin (الباطن) The Hidden; the All Encompassing
    77. Al Waali (الوالي) The Patron
    78. Al Muta'al (المتعالي) The Self Exalted
    79. Al Barr (البر) The Most Kind and Righteous
    80. At Tawwaab (التواب) The Ever Returning, Ever Relenting
    81. Al Muntaqim (المنتقم) The Avenger
    82. Al 'Afuww (العفو) The Pardoner, the Effacer of Sins
    83. Ar Ra'uf (الرؤوف) The Compassionate, the All Pitying
    84. Malik al Mulk (مالك الملك) The Owner of All Sovereignty
    85. Dhu al Jalal wa al Ikram (ذو الجلال و الإكرام) The Lord of Majesty and Generosity
    86. Al Muqsit (المقسط) The Equitable, the Requiter
    87. Al Jaami' (الجامع) The Gatherer, the Unifier
    88. Al Ghani (الغني) The All Rich, the Independent
    89. Al Mughni (المغني) The Enricher, the Emancipator
    90. Al Mani' (المانع) The Withholder, the Shielder, the Defender
    91. Ad Dharr (الضآر) The Distresser
    92. An Nafi' (النافع) The Propitious, the Benefactor
    93. An Nur (النور) The Light
    94. Al Hadi (الهادي) The Guide
    95. Al Badi (البديع) Incomparable, the Originator
    96. Al Baaqi (الباقي) The Ever Enduring and Immutable
    97. Al Waarith (الوارث) The Heir, the Inheritor of All
    98. Ar Rashid (الرشيد) The Guide, Infallible Teacher, and Knower
    99. As Sabur (الصبور) The Patient, the Timeless
    Allah is the personal name of God and Muslims worship God mostly by this name. The names refer to "characteristics" and "attributes" of God (Allah).
    The English translation of names may have a slightly different meaning than the original Arabic word due to the words available in each language.

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    Museums Celebrate The Black Women Artists History Has Overlooked

    See their work. Know their names. Learn their stories.

    National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of the artist; c. Lois Jones Mailou
    Lois Mailou Jones, “Ode to Kinshasa,” 1972, mixed media on canvas, 48 x 36 in.
    On the first day of Black History Month, the good people at Google blessed the internet with a doodle honoring Edmonia Lewis, the first woman of African-American and Native American descent to earn global recognition as a fine arts sculptor.
    Lewis, who grew up while slavery was still legal in the United States, became known for her hand-carved, marble sculptures of influential abolitionists and mythological figures. In part because Lewis made all of her sculptures by hand, few originals or duplicates remain intact today. She died in relative obscurity in 1907, and, to this day, remains lesser known than many of her white, male contemporaries.
    This well-deserved tribute to Lewis got us thinking about the other black women artists whose contributions to the history of art have been similarly overlooked or undervalued. So we reached out to museums across the country, asking which artists past and present deserve our attention, too. Below are nine of those artists: 

    1. Pat Ward Williams (b. 1948)

    Whitney Museum of American Art / Purchased with funds from The Audrey Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation
    Pat Ward Williams, “Accused/Blowtorch/Padlock,” 1986, wood, tar paper, gelatin silver prints, film positive, paper, pastel, and metal, overall: 61 13/16 × 108 1/4 × 3 in. (157 × 275 × 7.6 cm)
    Pat Ward Williams is a Los Angeles-based contemporary photographer whose work explores the personal and political lives of African-Americans. Initially, the artist set out to disrupt the homogenous way black life was captured on camera. “We always looked so pitiful, like victims,” she told the LA Times. “I knew I was a happy person. There were aspects of the black community that weren’t being shown.”
    Attempting to break past photography’s tendency to linger on surfaces, Williams incorporates other media and methodology into her process, yielding mixed media collages that collapse past and present, history and imagination.
    Her most famed work, featured above, features a photo of a bound black man chained to a tree, pulled from a 1937 issue of Life magazine. “Who took this picture?” Williams writes in the margins of the photo. “How can this photograph exist?”
    Jamillah James, a curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, wrote to The Huffington Post: “Pat Ward Williams’ prescient, complex meditations on race, history, and representation, such as her landmark “Accused/Blowtorch/Padlock” (1986), resonate with a particular urgency and relevance in today’s cultural climate. Her combination of photography, found materials, and text engages viewers in a perceptual tug of war between what they see, their own associations, the artist’s voice, and the weight of history.” 
    Shared courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

    2. Loïs Mailou Jones (1905–1998)

    Smithsonian American Art Museum
    Loïs Mailou Jones, “Initiation, Liberia,” 1983, acrylic on canvas, 35 1/4 x 23 1/4 in. (89.6 x 59.1 cm
    Loïs Mailou Jones was a Boston-born painter whose plentiful, 70-year art career spanned North America, Europe and Africa. Her eclectic style shifted over time, taking inspiration from African masks, French impressionist landscapes and bright Haitian patterns. An active member of the Harlem Renaissance, she used vibrant visuals to heighten the urgency of her politically charged works, which addressed the joys and challenges of black life.
    Mine is a quiet exploration,” the artist famously said, “a quest for new meanings in color, texture and design. Even though I sometimes portray scenes of poor and struggling people, it is a great joy to paint.”
    Throughout her career, Jones experienced discrimination as a black artist. For example, when she first began showing her artwork, she reportedly asked white friends to deliver her works to exhibitions in an effort to hide her black identity. She did so with reason ― according to The New York Times, she’d had an award rescinded when the granter learned she was black.
    After teaching at an African-American art school in segregated North Carolina, Jones eventually took a position at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she taught for 47 years. Upon retiring, she continued to paint and exhibit her work until she died at 93 years old. Despite not being a household name to some, her art lives on in esteemed institutions like the National Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Art in Boston.
    Shared courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

    3. Alma Thomas (1891–1978)

    Smithsonian American Art Museum / Bequest of the artist
    Alma Thomas, “Antares,” 1972, acrylic on canvas, 65 3/4 x 56 1/2 in. (167.0 x 143.5 cm)
    Alma Thomas, born in Columbus, Georgia, moved to Washington, D.C., with her family as a child to avoid the racial violence in the American South. Interested in art from a young age, Thomas was the first student to graduate from Howard University with a degree in fine art. There, she studied under Loïs Mailou Jones while adopting an aesthetic of her own. 
    Thomas’ style pulls elements from Abstract Expressionism and the Washington Color School, drawing from the splendor of nature to create nonrepresentational canvases that sing with soft vitality. Famously, Thomas was most inspired by her garden and would watch with fascination as the scenery changed around her. 
    I got some watercolors and some crayons, and I began dabbling,” she said. “Little dabs of color that spread out very free ... that’s how it all began. And every morning since then, the wind has given me new colors through the windowpanes.”
    Jones taught at a junior high school for most of her life, making work on the side. She had her first exhibition at 75 years old, later becoming the first woman to have a solo exhibition at The Whitney. 
    Shared courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

    4. Laura Wheeler Waring (1877–1948)

    Smithsonian American Art Museum/ Gift of the Harmon Foundation
    Laura Wheeler Waring, “Anna Washington Derry,” 1927, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.5 cm)
    Laura Wheeler Waring, raised by a pastor and teacher in Hartford, Connecticut, was interested in art as a child. In 1914, she travelled to Europe, where she studied the old masters at the Louvre and specifically the works of Claude Monet. When she returned to the United States, due to the encroachment of World War I, Waring went on to teach and lead the departments of art and music at the Cheyney Training School for Teachers. 
    Although Waring worked in landscapes and still lifes, she is most celebrated for her paintings, which depicted accomplished black Americans with dignity and strength. Her most well-known series is the 1944 “Portraits of Outstanding American Citizens of Negro Origin,” which featured depictions of individuals including W.E.B. Du Bois, Marian Anderson and James Weldon Johnson.
    During the Harlem Renaissance, Waring also contributed pen and ink to the NAACP magazine The Crisis, working alongside activists to address probing political issues. An exhibition of Waring’s work showed a year after her death at the Howard University Gallery of Art.
    Shared courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

    5. Barbara Chase-Riboud (b. 1939)

    The Studio Museum in Harlem / Gift of the Lannan Foundation
    Barbara Chase-Riboud, “Le Manteau (The Cape),” 1973, cronze, hemp rope, copper.
    Born in Philadelphia, Barbara Chase-Riboud began taking art classes at a young age. As a student at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, she sold a woodcut to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. By the time she graduated from Yale with an MFA, she had a sculpture on view at the Carnegie Mellon Institute.
    The artist is known for her larger-than-life sculptures made from cast metal and shrouded in skeins of silk and wool, the strange lovechildren of a suit of armor and a ballgown skirt. At once strong and fluid and feminine and mechanical and natural, the stunning works became a symbols for feminine strength, as well as a visual manifestation of transformation and integration. 
    I love silk, and it’s one of the strongest materials in the world and lasts as long as the bronze,” the artist said. “It’s not a weak material vs. a strong material [...] the transformation that happens in the steles is not between two unequal things but two equal things that interact and transform each other.”
    Chase-Riboud, who currently lives between Paris and Rome, is also an award-winning poet and novelist, known for her 1979 historical novel Sally Hemings, about the non-consensual relationship between former President Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings.
    Shared courtesy of theThe Studio Museum in Harlem.

    6. Nancy Elizabeth Prophet (1890–1960)

    Brooklyn Museum Fund for African American Art in honor of Saundra Williams-Cornwell
    Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, “Untitled (Head),” ca. 1930, wood, head without base: 12 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 7 in. (31.8 x 16.5 x 17.8 cm).
    Nancy Elizabeth Prophet was raised in Rhode Island by an African-American mother and a Narragansett-Pequod father. She attended the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design where she studied painting and drawing, notably portraiture, and worked as a housekeeper to pay tuition. She graduated amidst the burgeoning Harlem Renaissance. 
    In 1922, Prophet moved to Paris, in part frustrated by the racism rampant in the American art scene. Despite being broke and exhausted, she was creatively invigorated by the change of scenery and began creating sculptural portraits from materials including wood, marble, bronze, plaster and clay. Of the works, art historian James Porter wrote (quoted in Notable Black American Women): ”The pride of race that this sculptor feels resolves itself into an intimation of noble conflict marking the features of each carved head.”
    Despite the fact that her sculptures were exhibited at high-society salons, Prophet herself remained impoverished abroad, eventually forcing her to move back to the States. There she continued to submit her sculptures to galleries and competitions, while also teaching art at both Atlanta University and Spelman College. (She was rumored to bring a live rooster to class for her students to sketch.)
    Eventually, Prophet moved back to Rhode Island ― in part, again, to escape segregation ― at which point her career slowed down dramatically. Although few of her sculptures are accounted for today, one is housed in the permanent collection of The Whitney in New York City.
    Shared courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.

    7. Maren Hassinger (b. 1947)

    Hammer Museum, Los Angeles / Gift of the artist
    Maren Hassinger, “A Place for Nature,” 2011, wire rope, dimensions variable
    Born and raised in Los Angeles, Maren Hassinger began dancing at the age of 5. She intended to continue studying dance as a student at Bennington College, but ended up switching to sculpture. In 1973, she graduated from UCLA with a master’s degree in fiber art. 
    In her work, Hassinger combines elements of sculpture, performance, video and dance to investigate the relationship between the natural and industrial worlds. Her commonly used materials include wire, rope, garbage, leaves, cardboard boxes and old newspapers, often arranged to encourage movement, as if the sculptures themselves are engaged in a dance. 
    Hassinger’s work explores personal, political and environmental questions in an abstract language that allows viewers to come to their own conclusions. “All the pieces with boxes are about our gross need to consume, and where it leads us,” she once told BOMB. “Where is the bleeding heart in all of this? I don’t think my work has so much to do with ecology, but focuses on elements, or even problems we all share, and in which we all have a stake.”
    Since 1997, Hassinger has served as the director of the Rinehart School of Sculpture at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. 
    Shared courtesy of the Hammer Museum.

    8. Nellie Mae Rowe (1900–1982)

    Gift of Judith Alexander / Photo by Gavin Ashworth
    Nellie Mae Rowe, “Untitled (Two Figures and Animal,” Vinings, Georgia, 1979–1980, crayon, felt-tip marker, and oil pastel on paper, 15 × 11”
    Nellie Mae Rowe was born in rural Georgia, one of nine daughters. Her father, a former slave, worked as a blacksmith and basket weaver; her mother made quilts and clothes. She married at 16 and, when her husband passed away, married another widower at 36. When he died, Rowe was 48 years old and began a new life as an independent woman and an artist. 
    Rowe referred to her blossoming interest in art as a chance to re-experience childhood. She began to adorn the exterior of her house, which called the “playhouse,” with stuffed animals, life-sized dolls, animal-shaped hedges and sculptures made of chewing gum. 
    Along with her installations, Rowe created vibrant and flat drawings from humble materials like crayon, cardboard and felt-tip markers. Her images normally consisted of humans and animals swallowed by colorful, abstract designs and often referenced personal struggles in her own life. When she was diagnosed with cancer in 1981, Rowe channeled her emotions into her work, grappling with her changing body and attitudes towards death through bold, symbolic imagery. 
    I feel great being an artist,” Rowe famously said. “I didn’t even know that I would ever become one. It is just surprising to me.”
    Shared courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum.

    9. Senga Nengudi (b. 1943)

    Hammer Museum / Photo by Robert Wedemeyer
    Senga Nengudi “Revery - R,” 2011, nylon mesh, metal springs, sand, 22 1/2 x 15 x 6 in. (57.2 x 38.1 x 15.2 cm) 
    Senga Nengudi was born in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Los Angeles, California, soon after. She studied art and dance at California State University, where she received her BA and MFA. In between degrees, she spent a year studying in Tokyo, where she was inspired by Japanese minimalist tradition as well as the Guttai performance art groups. 
    In the 1960s and ‘70s, Nengudi was an elemental force in New York’s and Los Angeles’ radical, avant-garde black art scenes, though her acclaim never quite spread to the mainstream. Along with artists David Hammons and Maren Hassinger, she formed Studio Z, an artist collective that shared a love for abandoned materials and overlooked spaces. The collective often wore costumes and carried instruments to improvise performances at unlikely locales like freeway underpasses or abandoned schools. 
    Nengudi’s most iconic sculptural performance project, called “R.S.V.P.,” featured pantyhose as a central material. Exploring the everyday object’s relationship to skin, constriction, elasticity and femininity, Nengudi stretched and warped the sheer undergarments so they resembled sagging body parts and abstract diagrams. She’d often recruit collaborator Hassinger to activate the sculptures by dancing through them, privileging improvisation as the mode of ritual. 
    When we were kicked off the boat, improvisation was the survival tool: to act in the moment, to figure something out that hadn’t been done before; to live,” Nengudi told Hyperallergic. “And the tradition goes through Jazz. Jazz is the perfect manifestation of constant improvisation. It has to be in place at all times. Constant adjustment in a hostile environment, you have to figure something out right away.”
    Shared courtesy of the Hammer Museum.
    CLARIFICATION: This article has been updated to reiterate that the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings was non-consensual.

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    BAM Baby Prosperity Carter will speak and perform her poetry at the Tampa, Florida Black Expo this weekend. She will read from her forthcoming book How to Get Off the Shelf Collecting Dust! This is a semi-autobiographical narrative of  growing up as a sexual trauma and parental violence victim and later a partner violence survivor.  The book is not sad but motivational and inspirational. Originally from Queens, New York, she is presently a student at a Tampa community college. She has received a scholarship to spend 30 days at the University of Ghana, West Africa. Ms Carter is associate editor of the Black Arts Movement newspaper, The Movement, published by her mentor, BAM co-founder Marvin X. While in Ghana, she will contribute stories to The Movement as well as the Post News Group in Oakland, California.
    She will be hosted by Muhammida El Muhajir, the Movement's Pan Africa Editor, who lives in Accra, Ghana.

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    The Reactionary Negro
    By Marvin X

    "I'm about action, not reaction, construction, not destruction! I do not fear the devil: I fear no one and nothing except Allah!"--Marvin X

    Why does the so-called Negro react to everything in the world? Why cannot he/she learn how to be proactive, to originate an agenda and stay on focus no matter what else goes on around him? Remember that old civil rites song, "I Shall Not Be Moved." And the other tune, "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round." These are songs of the warrior, not the supplicant, and until we don the persona of the warrior we shall continue chasing fires, from coast to coast, like chickens with our heads cut off. What about a general action plan for the next one hundred years—our enemy has one for us, to keep us oppressed for eternity, but what is our plan, for then it doesn't matter what is his plan. 

    But if we have no plan, then we shall surely follow his, whether it is expending our energy on a white woman for president or a white Negro—this has nothing to do with the ultimate national aspirations of forty million people. It is about submission to the national agenda of white supremacists and their collaborators. The Democrats and Republicans are both white supremacists who will ultimately attempt to maintain white privilege and power around the world, utilizing the power of North American Africans when it suits the agenda of white supremacy—forget about the dream of democracy for it only has relevance when it can be used as a subterfuge for maintaining and extending white supremacy at home and around the world. One need only take a photo of the US Congress and Supreme Court to understand this is a white man’s land, no matter what the demographics say or suggest for the future.

    We are caught in a class war where color makes no difference. There shall be blacks as dangerous to our national health as whites, yet they shall be presented as our saviors and we shall go for the sham liberators just as we would go for fried ice cream or be duped into purchasing the Brooklyn Bridge. 

    Wake up, North American Africans and get a healing. Your slothful thinking has you going backward into neo-slavery. You are being attacked by white supremacy from Jena, LA to West Virginia to Yuba City, CA, mainly because you have been lulled to sleep with nursery rhymes of rappers and pseudo prosperity sermons from preachers with more dramatic techniques than Shakespeare. 

    You claim to be mature adults and elders with wisdom, yet you appear to suffer arrested development, for your pants sag on your behinds just like your children, adult women have tattoos above the crack of their behinds just as their daughters. Adult men drive cars and SUVs with wheels spinning backwards as do their children and the cars of adults play rap songs unfit for adults with mature minds we would expect to be listening to Miles, Coltrane and Charlie Parker. Thus, you are part of the problem rather than the solution.
    So we wonder from who might a solution derive since naturally and traditionally adults are expected to rule their communities. But adults and elders in the North American African communities are terrified of their children, refuse to speak with them or intervene while they practice mayhem and behavior fit for animals. We refuse to hug a thug even when the thug is our own sons and daughters, nephews, nieces and neighbors.

    Even when they go to jail, the sons of most men are left to the tender love of their mothers, for the men abandon their sons to the criminal justice system or are themselves victims as well.

    And again, reaction is the order of the day, for thinking is confined to the box of Americana, thus the adults in the hood rarely consider taking total and absolute authority over their community, excluding the police, politicians and religious leaders who are mainly agents of pharaoh, Masonic neophytes duty bound to let the blind stay blind.  

    But no matter how long it takes, no matter how long the adults linger in passivity and Hamletic indecision, the ultimate solution is for elders to step to the front of the line and represent, take total control over the social life of their community. They must form elder councils of radical men and women who are proactive with ideas fit for the new millennium, integrated with the new technology and wisdom from progressive elements of the global community. 

    Ideas such as entrepreneurship and micro credit must be presented to our youth so they can envision solutions to their economic woes other than drugs, pimping, prostitution and murder.

    *   *   *   *   *
    Ours is a sad household. My cousin arrested summer 2006 for the death of his stepson received 35 years this week, no parole. They used his whole life against him. His white wife along with her girls testified against him and she got off rather scot-free. For evidence against him, there were only photos of the dead boy’s body that were of any consequence. No direct evidence of his guilt, that is, there was no real evidence as far as the boy’s death that could be levied against my cousin. In jail without bail for over a year, he was railroaded.

    His family hired a $10,000 black lawyer, who we know now did less than the court-appointed lawyer. Worse, the black lawyer talked my cousin into a "plea bargain" that was not a plea (8 years rather than 50 years), but the "plea" was just a court pressured admission of guilt, 2nd-degree murder, without jury trial, urged on by the $10,000 black lawyer. . . . One wonders how often the poor are railroaded into such plea-verdict trials and end up spending the rest of their lives in jail for crimes never committed.
    Here indeed was a "reactionary Negro" in the guise of a hustling black lawyer taking advantage of the ignorance of a defendant and his Christ miracle-believing family. There’s a predatory spirit afoot in this country and you can't tell'em by the color of the skin.

    I am afraid, Marvin, we are already a defeated generation. We are hemmed in from all sides. We can scream. But few will respond. Injustice in the land is so deeply manifold. One knows not which way to turn. As far as I know there are no "radical elders" ready to speak to or do anything about the insidious criminalization of our children, which has been going on for decades and may indeed be the main issue before us. As far as I know, there are no "radical" leaders willing to go beyond the status quo, whether in urban, suburban, or rural centers. 

    As far as I can see the present agenda is getting a Democrat in the White House, whatever stripe, with no demands on them for relief. 

    According to Bill Fletcher (recent Black Commentatorissue) the Congress, including Hillary (Obama didn't vote on the issue) has declared the Iranian government (Revolutionary Guards) a terrorist organization. So though we have an American people who want a withdrawal from Iraq, leading Congressmen/women have signed up for a territorial extension of the war. Security (police) forces are now being used to stymie all protest. With a state of perpetual war, we all became captives of war-making sentiment in Washington and military like forces across the globe.

    But none of the facts before us will cause the 10,000 black elected officials in the USA to do anything more than urge the black voting masses to go to the polls and pull the lever for a Hillary, an Obama, or an Edwards. We have been out-maneuvered; beat down by a post-civil rights generation of corporate bought elected leaders.

    The only radical action I can see now available is a boycott of the polls, a no-confidence vote. But "radical elders" will find that thought unthinkable. So as far as I can see nothing will stop the great boulder of repression from continuing to roll down hill. 

    Calling the 10,000 elected reactionaries at this stage may let off some steam but it will not get us much beyond crying into the more horrid whirlwind yet to come—Rudy,

     *   *   *   *   *
    Perhaps the children will step to the front of the line and lead us to freedom. Although presently in a wretched state, we know they are the answer since we are on the way out, but if we can break into their brains with truth then there is hope for the race of the Race.

    At my outdoor classroom an older youth cornered younger youth and brought them to my table. He made them ask me questions. A few weeks ago a 16 year old came to my table, saw the book Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality  and said he knew everything about the topicand he did. He had been mentored and was very well read on Afro-centric topics. Yes, he was one in a million, but there are others like him and like the young man did, we must corner them and hold their attention for their heads are like sponges, dry ones at that, ready to absorb the water of truth. peace and love, Marvin

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    Poet/author Prosperity Carter with customer holding her poetry collection Beyond Fame

    At the Tampa, Florida Black Expo, poet/author Prosperity Carter dusts off  a customer checking out her forthcoming book How to Get Off the Shelf Collecting Dust. She will be featured in the March issue of The Movement Newspaper, Voice of the Black Arts Movement International, of which she is Associate
    Editor. In May, Prosperity will study at the University of Ghana, West Africa. While in Ghana, she will be hosted by The Movement's Pan Africa Editor, Hip Hop diva Muhammida El Muhajir, now residing in Accra. While in Africa she will be on assignment for the Oakland Post News Group.

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    Visioning the BAMBD: Marvin X talks with architect Fred Smith

    Poet/planner Marvin X and architect Fred Smith
    photo Standing Rock

    After weeks of delays  for one reason or another--you know North America Africans are the most busy people in the world! But alas, most are busy doing absolutely nothing, to paraphrase ancestor James Brown, talking loud but doing nothing.

    Anyway, today, February 27, 2017, we finally met with architect Fred Smith to render our vision for him to consider design plans for Oakland's Black Arts Movement Business District along the 14th Street corridor, from the lower bottom to Lake Merritt.

    He requested a meeting with members of the BAMBD community planning team before designing his idea for the BAMBD. When I initially asked him to give us his concepts, he stated that it should not be my idea but a communal effort.

    Today he reiterated his initial point, stating we need a meeting of community minds because the BAMBD is a massive project that includes one hundred blocks and we must consider an almost block by block design plan. He informed me that although I am one of the chief visionaries, it will and must take a communal vision. We must allow community input for those hundred blocks. What do the people see, what do they want? The BAMBD is bigger than any one mind can conceive. And, he noted, as it is part of the City of Oakland's Downtown Plan for the next twenty-five to fifty years, we need ideas from the generation who will be here when we are gone, i.e., the young people.

    Adam Turner, designer of the BAM/BAMBD newspaper, The Movement, was elated to be privy to the conversation as his interests are in design, especially as a child of the computer design era. The architect informed him that some ideas of his era are not always sound and will not pass the test of planning and  construction. Fred noted the first priority of design is safety. Will the building withstand the plethora of earthquakes the Bay Area is known to experience? He said bricks will not suffice in this area. Although I said nothing on this point, my mind raced to the 1989 earthquake that caught me at 2nd and Mission, escaping bricks that rained down from buildings across the street from where I took shelter.

    But the priority item of our discussion was the architectural design for the Black Arts Movement  Business District. From the architectural design viewpoint, how would it look? Firstly, Fred noted, we must understand the architectural design history of America. Who designed  it, who built it? Of course, North American Africans! Thus, he said we need not  reinvent the wheel since many of our Afro-centric designs are already in place coast to coast in building construction from the White House to the Oakland Container Port, created by Thomas Berkely. Since he attended the funeral last week of Queen Mother Makinya, I reminded him of  the comment someone made, maybe Tarika Lewis, a relative, who said look around this chapel (Evergreen Cemetery), Queen Mother is here doing her thing. Look at the Egyptian architecture.

    Fred noted so-called Spanish architecture is Moorish, i.e. African, Arab. Greek and Roman architecture is Kemetic or Egyptian, i.e., African. I asked him what would be considered Afro-centric architecture in the modern era. Well, be clear that we need not reinvent the wheel since so much African design is already here, we just need to build on it. I tourned Adam, "Adam, you know my screen door has the Sankofa symbols in  the wrought iron, which Fred noted was traditional African metal work. Further, I told Adam, if recall the picture of my daughter Muhammida and poet Samantha, standing by a fence in Accra, the Sankofa symbol is in the wrough iron fence.

     Fred said it  would be nice if BAMBD had the money to send me to Africa to study modern African building design. Then my friend, former Merritt College study body president and gun toting Black Panther Party member, hit me with a knock out punch. "Marvin, in all my years as an architect, I have never had the discussion we are having now about Afro-centric design! For sure it's not taught in the schools. But no one has ever asked me to design an Afro-centric structure. I designed a house for one brother but he wanted Tudor architecture so I went to England to check out their designs. Had a great time, but never has anyone come to me as you have today.

    I told when I was exiled in Mexico City as a draft resister to the imperialist war in Vietnam, I checked out the building designs and noted they reflected Mexican culture in colors and structure. So what would be the African tradition in design? He said it would be colors, arches, columns, pyramid motifs. He said, "Marvin, I've seen your plays and they reflect an African architectural design." He lost me here but the artist often has no idea what critical minds see in their work. But I do know my concept of ritual theatre is African and aboriginal in structure. For example, there is no separation between actors and audience, alas, they are one!

    Again, Fred noted designing a district is a massive undertaking that must be communal with a vision of the future. Afro-futurists, step to the front of the line and represent. We pass the baton to you!

    In closing, Fred noted that young North American African architects should be given internships with developers so they can enter the field because they are most often excluded and once the developers make deals with white supremacy unions and get pass the planning commission, they sail home to continue white supremacy development, aka, gentrification or ethnic cleansing in design, construction and occupation when the project is completed.

    We must note that Carmel has a North American African heading their construction of a 600 unit apartment complex in the BAMBD at 14th and Franklin. But only ten per cent or 60 of the 600 units are below market rate. BAMBD is working on a benefits package with Carmel but it is for below market retail space. In a meeting with Carmel to have them consider BAMBD, my daughter, Attorney Amira Jackmon, a bonds attorney who deals with billion dollar bonds on a daily basis, noted the Carmel that they should up the percentage of below market rate units to 20%. The BAMBD benefits team has incorporated Attorney Jackmon's investment partnership proposal in its benefits package, so we shall see.

    Architect Fred Smith noted that we should not have an adversarial relationship with developers because they are going to build what they want, especially once they get pass the planning commission. Of course, I say we need to have our own people on the planning commissions of all cities where we reside, otherwise, the planning commission will acquiesce to developers, lobbyists and slimy, slothful politicians. I wish somebody would give me an Amen. I wish somebody would say Ache!
    --Marvin X, poet/planner

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    Pierre Scott as Pappy, Stanley Hunt III as Son
    photo Standing Rock

     Pappy and sons Kriss and Son

     Cat Brookas as Mama, Pierre Scott as Pappy
    photo Standing Rock

    Cat Brooks as Mama
    photo Standing Rock

    Ayodele Nzinga's play Mama at Twilight, Death by Love is a powerful family drama dealing with love, faith, belief, dreams and death. She has a cast of seasoned actors in our beloved social activist Cat Brooks as Mama, and seasoned actors Pierre Scott (Dad) and Stanley Hunt as Son. We also had excellent supporting actors in Noelle Guess as Tonya as and Julian Green as Kris.

     Cat Brooks as Mama and Julian Green as son Kris
    photo Standing Rock

    We must note the music of Sade as a liet motif or recurring musical comment on the theme. Sade's Soldier of a Love became a character and/or choral comment on the main action, constantly reinforcing the central theme of love. Nzinga grapples with love that approaches blindness and denial when the wife contracts HIV but never will admit she may have contracted it from her dope dealing, womanizing, convict husband. Her faith in him is so solid that she won't allow him to be tested. It is the daughter Tanya who finally confronts her dad with the possibility he may have contracted HIV from his frequent visits to prison. In this most poignant scene, son Chris acknowledges his gay identity and departs the household only to return after the transition of his mother. His return ends the play on a note of family unity, as in Shakespeare's All's Well that Ends Well! Or shall we go to Cheikh Anta Diop's theory of African tragi-comedy as the primary theme of African drama as opposed to tragedy as the major theme of Northern Cradle or European dramatic tradition. In the end, family love and unity puts Mama at Tw theilight, Death by Love in the African dramatic tradition.

    As we know from her real life role as social activist against police terror, actress Cat Brooks has a powerful voice and her role as Mama revealed she can be sensitive and soft as the daughter Tanya described the feminine gender in her metaphoric delineation of male and female fruits, such as mangoes, pears, oranges, etc.

    We have watched Pierre Scott perfect his acting skills in the ten-cycle plays of August Wilson that Dr. Ayodele Nzinga's Lower Bottom Playaz produced in chronological order. Alas, the Lower Bottom  Playaz is the only theatre group in the world to do Wilson's plays in chronological order. He is a seasoned actor whose every move is measured and timed to reveal character.

    Now actor Stanley Hunt was born into the theatre of his Mother, Dr. Nzinga, thus he has been in theatre since childhood and knows how to measure his language, verbal and body language to reveal character.

    We find it most interesting that the three children are artists: Chris, writer, Son, photographer, and Tonya,dancer. Thus, this play deals with artistic love as well. Son wins a photography grant, though his sister Tonya scolds him for focusing his camera on the breasts and behinds of her fellow dancers.  Tanya gives up her dancing to aid her mother. Kris reveals his writing and sexual identity transcends his family love until he returns home after the transition of his mother.

    The set was dominated by Christian symbolism in sync with the Mama's Christian dominated religiosity that did indeed reach the pathological in her denial of her husband's possible infidelity that was challenged by Tonya as we noted above.

    Noelle Guess as Tonya
    photo Standing Rocki

    Ayodele has written a powerful drama of North American African family life. I don't know how anyone in the Bay Area can avoid attending this drama at the Flight Deck Theatre, 1540 Broadway, downtown Oakland. The play runs from January 12 through 29, 2017.

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  • 03/05/17--13:13: Article 0
  • BAMBD calls  for community support of the Berkeley Flea Market

    Remember the time when the Berkeley Flea Market was the chief market place of North American Africans and Africans from the Diaspora? Remember when it was the crossroads of  Pan African culture in the Bay?
    Well, if vendors and shoppers don't rush to keep it alive, it is in serious danger of closing down. The non-profit corporation which operates the Flea Market at the ASHBY BART Station are threatening to close the market on Sundays because they cannot afford the expense of Sundays due to the low turnout of vendors and customers. A petition was circulated demanded it remain open on Sundays but it is a business and no business can remain operating in the red! This is an economic reality.

    Of course we know gentrification or ethnic cleansing has decimated the North American population in Berkeley, the Bay Area and throughout the US. Thus it is not surprising the ASHBY Flea Market is in dire straights. But we think it can be resuscitated with Pan African Unity, otherwise it will join the dustbin of history of other cultural/economic districts such as West Oakland and the Fillmore in San Francisco.

    ASHBY Flea Market organizers have called upon Oakland poet/playwright/organizer/planner  Marvin X and the  Black Arts Movement Cultural and Business District (BAMBD)  planners to assist in a revival of the Berkeley Flea Market. The BAMBD planners have agreed to help in the resuscitation of the market so vital to Berkeley's Pan African identity, even though BAMBD planners realize the ASHBY Flea Market may suffer a fate similar to the BAMBD unless there are investment partnership agreements with Berkeley developers who eye the flea market space as ideal for expanding the long planned Berkeley corridor from downtown Berkeley through the Lorin District to downtown Oakland which will erase the traditional North American African presence in South Berkeley. Alas, this is why the cause is lost unless North American Africans and those of the Diaspora unite in Pan African unity to push back those reactionary pseudo liberal whites who have no qualms about further displacement of North American Africans in Berkeley. For a clearer perspective on how North American Africans view their situation, we suggest they check in with Berkeley NAACP president Al Mansour who has described the fight for space and place as ethnic cleansing, to the utter dismay of Berkeley's pseudo liberal whites. Alas, shall we quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, "I'd rather deal with the KKK than pseudo white liberals.!"

    The BAMB will do all we can to keep the ASHBY Flea Market alive as a symbol and reality of North American African cultural and economic identity and independence. But your help is needed as vendors, cultural workers, artists and customers. We are begging you to vend at the ASHBY Flea Market; we are begging you to shop at the market in the name of self-determination and cooperative economics. Let's bring this cultural and economic entity back to it's former glory as the cross-roads of Bay Area cultural livelihood!

    At present, other ethnic groups benefit from our consumerism as per spending with other than our own kind, even at the ASHBY Flea Market. There are a plethora of ethnic groups who sell to us but will never buy from us. This has got to stop. I talk about this in my Parable of the Donkey. North American Africans are the donkey of the world: any ethnic group can set up shop in our community and prosper, send money back to their home countries while we go down down down.

    I was elated this morning at the ASHBY Flea Market when I purchased coffee and peace cobbler from a sister and she gave me change with bills marked with red, black and green, the colors of  the Pan African nation. She said her mother had told her to mark bills in this manner. I informed her I shall mark all my bills the same way.

    • Marvin X and Vendor Nur Jehan       

    The Berkeley Flea Market and the Juneteenth Committee have tentatively agreed to unite for the success of both entities. We should expect the 2017 Juneteenth to include the Berkeley Flea Market. Stay tuned as we seek to give new life to the Berkeley Flea Market, crossroads of North American African culture and African Diaspora culture, as well as culture and economic activity of global ethnic groups.

    As per North American Africans, this Saturday, there were North American African visitors from Brooklyn, New York, Alabama and elsewhere. One brother from Brooklyn who works at Medgar Evers College, recognized Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner booth and asked when he was coming back to Brooklyn. Marvin responded, "When you invite me!"
    --Marvin X

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    • 03/22/17--13:15: Prosperity Carter Intro

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      How To Get Off The Shelf

      My name is Prosperity Carter. I have started this campaign seeking your support for my forthcoming project, a book and CD of my music. Your contribution will help toward publishing and promotional costs, including design, editing and printing.

      How To Get Off The Shelf Collecting Dust is a reflective, inspirational book on how I went from a static to a dynamic position in my life after recovering from parental violence, sexual and partner abuse.

      This book is an easy read demonstrating principles on how to recover from the above issues . My life's calling is to help others with their issues and motivate them to express their challenges in a creative form.  Recovery is a process which requires support from many people.  You can support me by making a generous donation toward the cost of this project.

      This book will help persons suffering abuse in any form, including self abuse leading to  depression and apathy. How to Get off the shelf collecting Dust will inspire action leading to a dynamic, joyful, healthy, holistic and love filled life. At this time, I am proud to say I am truly happy for the first time in my life. Praise be to God!

      Excerpt From Manuscript: Draft #1

      Stop wasting time doing nothing! Your dreams must be a priority! Do not look at them as unimportant. You must decide not to waste one second, minute or hour of your time sitting on the shelf collecting dust. You can transform yourself into something beautiful and I know you may not feel beautiful but life shows us beauty everyday minus the negativity but we must look into the mirror. The fact that you are breathing and reading my book shows that you have taken the first step toward change. You may be in a cocoon right now but you can transform into a beautiful butterfly gliding and soaring. I know you want change badly and the route that you are taking may be a challenge but just know that you can achieve your purpose if you never give up and cut off fear and doubt, the great enemies of yourself. You have to start making better choices and start visioning yourself already successful even though you cannot see the unseen. This is where faith is highly important to grasp.

      How badly do you want success this year? There are many people out there who don’t want anything out of life. They are ok with just being normal and settling to remain in the bumpkin patch waiting to be picked for Halloween. Are you that person who is content with nothing? When you settle for nothing, it eventually catches up with you. Then, you become ungrateful, resentful, hateful, and blame others because you refuse to blame yourself. It is your fault because you became too comfortable on the shelf!

      How are you going to utilize your talents to contribute to the world? Are you going to withhold your talents from yourself and the world because of fear and doubt? Here are some guidelines that I came up with that has helped remove me off the shelf and may help you. To begin with, you must love yourself. I used to hate myself but now I love myself. I do not care what other people think about me and have learned to gain control of my feelings as I recovered my mental equilibrium. It is not about what people think about you. It is about what you are chanting in your head about yourself. If you truly loved yourself, you would not allow yourself to collect dust. Loving myself did not happen overnight but looking in that mirror and realizing I am beautiful helped transform my thinking. Likewise, you must shift your mindset and convince yourself that you have the energy, desire and faith to become successful. 

      You must let go of your past completely! Let it go! Cut it off! Curse the devil! “Get behind me Satan!” I know some things you will try to hold onto until the bitter end or until the end of the world. Don’t be a Diehard battery. Forgive, move on and most of all grow from your mistakes. While I was trying to move forward, reflections of my past, guilt and shame kept coming up to haunt me. I hear voices in my head saying, "Oh, you can't do this and you can't do that, or how about you do it like this and do it like that." Rarely did I hear, “Oh wow that was great, I would love to support your work etc.” I was so used to criticism that it became hard to distinguish who was being real versus who was not. I thought everyone was trying to down me until I learned how to take constructive criticism.

       I know that we can get caught up in people’s opinions and always seek validation. Start seeking validation from yourself! I know it is a challenge but you can do it! I realized success does not happen overnight. Too often we get so immersed in social media and other people’s success not knowing what went on behind closed doors, or in the deep structure of their success.

      Often I get exhausted trying to convince people they can be successful. It takes a lot of time and energy and it is very draining on my psyche. Nobody should have to beg you to be successful. Common sense should make you want a better future for yourself, children and generations to come. Think about the possibilities of your life off the shelf. How long will you continue allowing yourself to sit on that shelf collecting dust? Don’t you see that dust piling up on you, covering years of doubt, fear, insecurities, shame, guilt and low self-esteem? There’s so much dust on you we cannot see you anymore, where did you go? We think it is time to buy a new duster and begin again to clean yourself. Can you feel it? Can you see the dust falling off your body? Can you see it falling off your brain? Now you have your confidence back so hold your head up! You are off the shelf. Now run for your life! It is an emergency.

      Excerpt #2: Human Tsunami Hits Tampa Black Expo

      "Prosperity Carter, thank you for your powerful voice and spirit. You revitalized the hearts and minds of many during the Black Heritage Community Expo."

      -Chantelle Daniels
      Director of Black Expo

      It is February 25, 2017 and today was the first day of the Black Expo. I was curious to see what the audience would look like and where my table was located. I was told to choose a table and check in and then started unloading my products. I placed two books on the table and did not finish setting up before people started picking up my book. I said, "Wow they are very interested to see what I have." So I told them please allow me to set up and come back.

      After I set up people returned to my table. I showed them our Movement newspaper and told them that I was fundraising money for the Black Arts Movement 27 city tour and showed them my products. Before I read them my "On The Shelf" poem I dusted them off. Some people laughed and thought it was funny and others just looked at me with a weird expression. There expression said, "What the hell is she doing?"  I said, "You will see after I read my poem why I dusted you." I got positive responses and the people were touched by the poem. Some people bought the book on the spot and some gave me a donation.

      There was an open mic session, and when it was my turn on the mic I recited my poem On The Shelf:

      Left myself on the shelf to collect dustThree years had gone byTime had flown by
      Was not feeding my talents

      Felt like I was going to die
      Just didn't know why
      Fear and doubt
      Had me in a choke hold
      Still struggling with the same things
      Want to break free so bad
      See the things I've never had
      How can I do that?
      When constantly in the box
      Dark hole with nowhere to go
      Afraid to express deep inner self
      Worried about the next comment
      It don't matter
      The Lord knows my heart
      Gave me my talents
      Parts of me started to shed
      At the same time
      There was still a little fear
      Know I'm almost there
      Can feel it
      Right in front of my eyes
      So blind to my dream
      In time
      Will break free of this chain
      Break free of this mentality
      That dreams are not to exist
      Will continue to work on changing my actions
      Doing things different
      Take initiative
      Go beyond the unthinkable
      Allow my spirit to get uncomfortable
      See myself like never before
      Being free from it all
      No more talking
      More actions
      More receiving blessings
      As of 2015 I declare that
      I will no longer be on the shelf
      Collecting dust

      Before I recited the poem I went out into the audience and dusted them and then dusted myself. After I finished speaking people cheered and clapped for me while as I exited the stage. I made my way back to my table and started to pack . Then one more person purchased my book. I had a very successful day and anxiously awaited the second day of the Expo.

      On day two of the Black Expo I checked in and set up at a prime location. Once I got set up people started coming. As I autographed my book more customers came. I was making a transaction with one person and then two other customers crowed around my table trying to get my attention curious about my books. It was a bit overwhelming but it felt great. I was very excited so I called my mentor El and shared my news. I was elated that every time I got on the phone a new customer would arrive. So I had to hang up and call my mentor back. I met an older lady who shared some of her life story with me. She said, "I just want to be free and I have a habit of every time when I want to move forward in life I always tend to move backwards. I lost custody of my kids and I'm trying to get them back."

      I said to her, "You have a story to tell." Then I read her my poem,

      The Enemy Is A Liar

      Doesn't want me to be successful
      Told me plenty of times
      Would be forgetful
      Don't exist
      Drenched my flesh
      Tried it's best
      To keep me from being blessed
      Wants me mad
      Day and night
      Don't want me to fight
      For what is right
      Can't feel whole
      Attacks me soul
      Loves when I look in the mirror
      At my errors
      Has a party
      When I give in to those who judge me
      Constantly calls me ugly
      Reminds me of my past
      Wants it to last
      The pain
      Flooding my brain
      Puts suicidal thoughts in my head
      Telling me again and again
      How my life could end
      Wants me dead
      Dwell in negativity
      Suffocate in self-pity
      Just doesn't want to release me
      From the box called misery literally
      All of these years the enemy
      Had my soul trapped in fear
      Afraid of who I am
      You want to know something enemy
      I have been created differently
      With a divine purpose
      Treasure my years
      Not just the moment
      Keep on moving through it

      Peeling apart what has been ruined
      Shall no longer live in fear
      For I trust in the lord
      Who is always near
      Filled with love and joy

      I told the woman to repeat after me:

      I love me
      I am free
      I can be all that I can be
      No matter what no one thinks of me
      I believe in me
      You no longer have power over me
      Goodbye enemy

      She felt so inspired and said to me, "I promise that your words and inspiration will not go in vain." I said, "Thank you so much." Then she departed my table. Another woman arrived to share her story. She said, "I had an accident and went through the wind shield of my car." I was speechless because I had a fender bender but could not relate to her going through the wind shield. After I gave her some words of encouragement and she purchased my book. I thanked her for her purchase. I was filled with joy at being able to inspire her. She said, "I have been writing for years and I just have those books tucked away on the shelf." I said, "You have a story to tell and the time is now to tell your story." I gave her a hug and then thanked her again. It felt so good to give hope to these people.
      When I was called to speak, I read an excerpt from my book. I heard people cheering me on as I was doing my reading and then I got the audience involved. I said, "If you can hear me say I!" Then they said I! Then I said, "I want you to repeat after me, "As of 2017 I declare that I will no longer be on the shelf collecting dust!" I said, "I can't hear you folks upstairs in the food court, I shouted!" The people upstairs responded loudly. Within seconds it felt like I had the entire mall's attention. I closed out my speech and said, "Thank you and God bless you all. Back at my table I gave out free books including the Black Agenda by Drs. Nathan and Julia Hare. As I packed, people came by my table to thank me and purchased my book. This event made me realize that all it took was for me to be confident in myself and take the right action. My dreams are an emergency and when you look at you dreams in that perspective that is when you will reap your harvest.

      PERKSFor a $20 Donation:
      You will receive an autographed copy of How To Get Off The Shelf Collecting Dust

      For a $50 Donation:
      You will receive an autographed copy of How To Get Off The Shelf Collecting Dust & an autographed duster

      For a $100 Donation:
      You will receive an autographed copy of How To Get Off The Shelf Collecting Dust, an autographed duster and CD

      For a $1000 Donation:
      You will receive an autographed copy of How To Get Off The Shelf Collecting Dust, an autographed duster, CD and T-shirt

      Please click on the links below to view the full range of Prosperity Carter's many talents:

      Budget For Estimated Project ExpensesPrinting
      2,000 books @ $5 per unit = $10,000

      Editing Layout & Design

      Advertising (newspaper, radio, posters, cards, mailing & handling, T-shirts, & bumper stickers)

      2,000 autographed dusters @ $1 per unit = $2,000

      Book Tour
      (Travel, lodging, car rental, food, & venue)

      (Studio recording time, post production, & duplication)

      Legal Fees


      Total Estimated Expenses For Project$35,000

      Prosperity Carter is a poet, author, rapper, dancer, vocalist and associate editor of The Movement Newspaper. She grew up in Queens, New York and attended William Cullen Bryant High School. In 2011 she published a book of poetry I'm Already Famous. Her work appeared in the anthology Stand Our Ground: Poems For Trayvon Martin & Marrissa Alexander, Ed. Ewuare X. Osayande. At nineteen Ms. Carter was given her own column in the Oakland Post News Group. She performed throughout the Bay Area and Northern California with the living legend, Black Arts Movement co-founder, Marvin X. In May 2017 Ms. Carter will study at the University Of Ghana. While in Africa she will be on assignment for the Oakland Post News Group and The Movement Newspaper.

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