Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

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."

older | 1 | .... | 135 | 136 | (Page 137) | 138 | 139 | .... | 167 | newer

    0 0


    0 0


    0 0


    0 0


    0 0

    Art & Design

    Why Spend $110 Million on a Basquiat? ‘I Decided to Go for It,’ Japanese Billionaire Expl

    “Untitled,” Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 painting of a skull bought by Yusaku Maezawa for $110.5 million at Sotheby’s contemporary art auction in New York.

    The Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa in his Tokyo home.
    JEREMIE SOUTEYRAT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
    By MOTOKO RICH and ROBIN POGREBIN
    MAY 26, 2017
    TOKYO — As Sotheby’s contemporary art auction heated up in New York last week, the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa sat on the floor of his living room here, streaming the auction live on his laptop and relaying bids for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 skull painting on his iPhone to a Sotheby’s specialist. After the price sailed past the $60 million guaranteed minimum, Mr. Maezawa — who hadn’t gone into the sale with his own limit in mind — felt that the competitive bidding reinforced the work’s enormous value.
    “I decided to go for it,” Mr. Maezawa said in an interview at his home on Friday.
    As Mr. Maezawa was bidding, Basquiat’s sister Jeanine Basquiat was about 7,000 miles away in New Jersey, hoping the auction would turn out well. When she heard that Mr. Maezawa had paid $110.5 million — the record price for an American artist at auction — she called her older sister, Lisane Basquiat, in California. “There wasn’t a lot to say,” Lisane said in a rare telephone interview. “We were speechless.”
    If members of the Basquiat family are keepers of the Basquiat flame, Mr. Maezawa has now ensured it will continue burning, at least in the near future — in no small part because he posted about his purchase on Instagram and Twitter right after the auction.
    “Vast numbers of people are aware of Jean-Michel Basquiat all over the world,” said the dealer Jeffrey Deitch, a longtime Basquiat expert, “and that is really only because of the immense price.”
    Whether or not this month’s sale recalibrates the market for this Brooklyn-born artist, who died of a heroin overdose at 27, remains to be seen. While collectors are likely to consign their works by him in an effort to ride this wave, few top paintings are expected to come up for sale anytime soon. And auction prices don’t necessarily translate into intrinsic value.
    Still, most agree that the Basquiat sale has cemented his place in the revenue pantheon with Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon; confirming that he is not some passing trend; and forcing major museums to acknowledge that, by not having the artist in their collections, they passed over a crucial figure in art history.
    “It’s an artist who we missed,” said Ann Temkin, the chief curator of paintings and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, which does not own a single Basquiat work. “We didn’t bring his paintings into the collection during his life or thereafter.”
    In part, Mr. Maezawa’s purchase may help correct this omission, given that he plans to open a museum to showcase his collection in Chiba, his hometown. “I want to show beautiful things and share them with everyone,” he said, adding that he plans to lend pieces to museums around the world. “It would be a waste just to keep it all to myself.”
    Technically, however, his Basquiats are in private hands rather than public institutions, as are the other examples widely considered the artist’s best work — generally paintings made from 1981 to 1983. Given Basquiat’s short career (1980-87), there are simply not a lot of great Basquiats out there. (Peter Brant, Eli Broad and Philip Niarchos are among the collectors who have them.)
    “You’re talking about a handful of masterpieces, which are distributed among a few collectors who are not sellers,” said the art dealer Brett Gorvy, a former Christie’s chairman. “You’re going to have to wait a long time if you are a major collector to see another extraordinary painting like this.”
    Even the Basquiat estate does not have many leading pieces left, art experts say; the two it sold at Phillips this season, for example, each went for under $4 million.
    The Basquiat sisters, in a joint telephone interview, said they didn’t need the price to tell them their brother’s work belonged in the history books. But it was still nice to have Jean-Michel’s auction value enter the stratosphere. “It’s humbling and satisfying to see this happen 30 years after he passed away,” Lisane said. “We have been walking on Cloud 9.”
    The sisters had never seen this particular painting before, so Sotheby’s invited them to New York to view it in advance; Lisane called it “breathtaking.”
    Mr. Maezawa, too, got a private pre-sale viewing. “He’s a very serious collector,” said Amy Cappellazzo a Sotheby’s chairwoman, “hugely engaged.”
    The sisters of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeanine, left, and Lisane, posing next to his artwork “Man From Naples” at the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum in 2015.
    2017 THE ESTATE OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT / ADAGP, PARIS / ARS; PHOTOGRAPH BY ANDER GILLENEA / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, VIA GETTY IMAGES
    While he “didn’t expect the price to go that high,” Mr. Maezawa said his love for Basquiat runs deep — he paid the previous high price for the artist last year ($57.3 million). And he saw that others felt the same, including one other buyer willing to go the distance (later revealed to be the casino magnate Frank J. Fertitta III), since the two wound up in a bidding war.
    “I learned that so many people wanted to have this piece of art so much,” Mr. Maezawa said. “I was sure that my eye was certain.”
    Mr. Maezawa said he started collecting about 10 years ago, and the apartment he rents in Tokyo is testament to his passions for art — Richard Prince’s “Runaway Nurse” ($9.6 million at Christie’s last year) in the stairwell; a Roy Lichtenstein in the dining room; a large Christopher Wool ($13.9 million) in the living room, along with two Calder mobiles.
    Mr. Maezawa is also seen as ushering in a new chapter of collecting in Japan, a country previously known for the Impressionist art bubble of the ’80s. He is a collector “who became a businessman, and not a businessman who became an art collector,” said Aki Ishizaka, the former head of Sotheby’s in Japan and now an art adviser.
    Curled up in a scarlet red armchair designed by the French designer Jean Royère, Mr. Maezawa — who does not work with an art adviser — said he was driven entirely by his love of art and not financial investment. “I just follow my instinct,” he said. “When I think it’s good, I buy it.”
    Having forgone college to form an indie rock band — he was the drummer — Mr. Maezawa started his company in 1998, now the large Japanese online fashion mall, Zozotown. His net worth of about $3.5 billion makes him the 14th richest person in Japan.
    Given a culture here in which people are typically reluctant to flaunt their wealth — buyers at last year’s Tokyo Art Fair said they did not even want their wives to know about their purchases — Mr. Maezawa is considered something of a renegade.
    A 1982 Basquiat self-portrait as a horned devil from 1982.
    2017 THE ESTATE OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT / ADAGP, PARIS / ARS; VIA CHRISTIE'S
    He is also a flashy presence on social media, posting photos of his purchased artworks on Instagram— along with pictures of his Bombardier Global 6000 private jet and collection of watches by Patek Philippe and Richard Mille.
    He has become friendly with celebrities like the actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and he attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala with his girlfriend, the model Saeko Dokyu — although he said the flashiness “was a little too much for me.”
    By contrast, the Basquiat sisters say they guard their privacy, having taken over management of the estate — along with their stepmother Nora — from their father, Gerard, who died in 2013.
    “Jeanine and I have been Basquiats since the day we were born,” Lisane said. Although they take pride in their brother, she added, “we also have our own lives.”
    The sisters said Jean-Michel’s “genius” was evident early on. “He was creative, and that’s what fed him — he absorbed everything,” Jeanine said. “He saw himself as someone who was going to be big.”
    Lisane added: “He always had a pen in hand and something to draw on or write on. He got into the zone, and it was a beautiful thing to watch.”
    When the hammer came down on the Basquiat this month, Mr. Maezawa said he felt overwhelmed and relieved, “like an athlete who wins a gold medal and cries.”

    Asked whether he aimed to buy another major Basquiat in the future, Mr. Maezawa said with a puckish smile, “Don’t you think two is enough?”

    ​black art matters: 

    jean michel basquiat

    Uncovering the cultural legacy of the iconic 80s

     painter as a 

    new retrospective of his work opens at 

    Bilbao’s 

    Guggenheim Museum.

    Image result for image jean michel basquiat

    Walking into the Bilbao Guggenheim's galleries to see their Basquiat retrospective, you can hear Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech booming out of the speakers. By the exhibition's end Charlie Parker's Now's The Time has replaced it as the soundtrack. Together they sum up two very different aspects of Basquiat; part Harlem Renaissance, part child of the civil rights era. His art turned these influences into something strikingly of its time, and as the exhibitions reveals, reverberates still today.
    It's hard sometimes to see Basquiat the artist from the baggage of Basquiat the cultural icon. It's easy to overlook just how talented he was, his skill with composition and colour, density and structure; because Basquiat's life clouds his paintings. As Glenn O'Brien, writer of the Basquiat-starring Downtown 81, says, "Basquiat's got fans like Bob Marley's got fans." So it's odd to consider that he's not had a major museum retrospective in Europe until now, seeing as he's one of the few artists whose cultural place transcends beyond the worlds of art. He should be selling out blockbuster exhibitions at the Tate and Pompidou, but has been relegated to small, niche institutions outside of Europe's major public galleries. 
    Jean-Michel Basquiat Loin, 1982 © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York
    When he died, aged just 27, of a heroin overdose, he left a legacy of over 1000 paintings and 3000 drawings. A life's work compiled in just 12 years. He'd gone from the streets to the elite of the art world, and most importantly, took the streets with him.
    Basquiat's place in the world has always existed uneasily between extremes. He was a downtown punk and an uptown b-boy; he easily slipped between high culture and low culture, between Madonna and Andy Warhol. He came from the counter-cultural immediacy and language of graffiti, but his work tackles the serious legacy of Cy Twombly, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon. He's invoked by Jay Z as a status symbol and by Killer Mike as a social campaigner. He listened to Ravel's Bolero whilst painting, relaxed to Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, and performed in an experimental punk band called Gray. In a minimalist age he created incredibly complex work yet was still seen as a savant; as art's primal, wild man. The immediacy of his image making defies the complex arrangements that go into them, their casual beauty a cipher for an incredibly detailed visual language that he created, and he made these complex and difficult things look easy. He was the First Black Art Star, took black expression into the New York's white gallery scene, and became a genuine celebrity.
    Jean Michel Basquiat The Ring, 1981. Private Collection, Courtesy Acquavella Galleries © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York
    "So what do we do," the poet Christian Campbell asks "with the cult mythologies about Basquiat, in which criticism on his art amounts to a TMZ report (Who did he fuck? How did he die? What was he on? How was his hair?)" The Guggenheim show's answer, refreshingly, is to ignore it and focus on the art.
    The early paintings, made largely on reclaimed materials, pieces of boards, abandoned doors, bear the influences of Basquiat's time on the streets as a graffiti artist, his childhood dream of being a cartoonist, and his obsession with art history.
    He also found black heroes missing in art, so figured them into his own work, and so turned modern black life into art. He saw the nobility and tradition of black life and culture as absent and venerated it. Early paintings like Famous Negro Athletes, that feature a scratched back face, a baseball, his signature crown; or King of Baseball, a blue figure, crown, and baseball. These are simple and forceful images, using single lines and few colours, and that minimalism reinforces their political point.
    Jean Michel Basquiat Self-Portrait, 1984. Yoav Harlap Collection © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York
    Soon though, his paintings were becoming incredibly complex as he developed his unique visual language. His recurring motifs of black heads, crowns, copyright symbols, baseball players, boxers, text, text scratched out, bodies and the fascination with disembodiment; these motifs spread across his entire work, they crop up again and again, forming a visual link between his works.
    In sportspeople, the boxers and baseball players, he saw African American heroes, he saw struggle, resistance, victory and strength. He often talked of having a boxing match with Julian Schnabel. His exhibition of collaborative paintings with Andy Warhol featuring a poster of both of them wearing boxing gloves. It was art as competition, and Basquiat sought to prove himself, as a black man in a white world.
    Seeing so many of Basquiat's painting in once place, it becomes clearer and clearer that Basquiat's work's major theme is an unending questioning of America's racial politics and social hypocrisies. A critique of a world where he could sell work to collectors for incredible amounts of money and yet not be able to get a taxi home; where his friend and fellow graffiti writer, Michael Stewart, could be arrested and beaten to death by police; by his place as a lauded black artist showing his paintings on white walls, to white people, and by the way people belittled him, saw him as a novelty and treated him as primitive.
    Jean-Michel Basquiat Man from Naples, 1982. Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York
    His painting, Defacement, was a memorial to the his friend Michael Stewart, features two cartoonish, brightly coloured police officers, armed with batons, beating a black silhouette, under the word defacement. Who's being vandalised, who's defaced? The subway car that Michael Stewart was painting when the police attacked him? Or Michael himself. Basquiat paints Michael's body as a silhouette because it's not just a one off, not just Michael, it's any number of black men targeted by police, and it's not gone away.
    Michael's death was a watershed moment for Basquiat and his political consciousness. The works up until that point had been content to simply place the black body within art's history, and reclaim it as a form of representation. After his death, they become more implicitly political, less cartoonish, and much angrier. Irony Of Negro Policeman, for example, is a grotesque caricature of the hypocrisy of oppressor joining the oppressed, his face a mask, his body caged in with lines of paint, daubed with the word 'pawn' in the corner.
    When Basquiat started to work and become friends with Andy Warhol, in 83/84, he was himself seen as the pawn, Andy's pet, used to keep Andy relevant as his critical acclaim flagged. But Basquiat managed to draw Andy back to painting, in a series of collaborative works exhibited by Tony Shafrazi in 85, as well as a series derived from the The Last Supper, exhibited in Milan. The critics hated them, described Basquiat as an "art world mascot" and an "all too willing accessory"in the New York Times. They fell out, and after Andy's death, Basquiat became inconsolable, and turned to heroin in greater quantities.
    Jean Michel Basquiat. Irony of a Negro Policeman, 1981. Private Collection © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York
    His final works, exhibited for one night only at Baghoomian's gallery at the Cable Building in SoHo, New York, in 1988, just six months before death, show t=his grief, his work is stripped back, stripped of colour, pulsing with the intensity of language. He had become obsessed with listening to Beethoven's Eroica, and specifically, for differences between different versions and interpretations of the symphony. It could act as a metaphor for Basquiat's work as a whole, this revision, sampling, and language of symbols, that runs through his work.
    The show is titled Now's The Time, a reference to Charlie Parker, but more obliquely, to Basquiat himself. Now's the time to revisit his work, to give him the museum retrospective his work deserves, but also because it's still the time to evaluate racism and stereotyping, by seeing it again through Basquiat's eyes, it's clear how little has changed in the last 27 years. How many Michael Stewart's have their been this year alone?
    Jean-Michel Basquiat Eroica, 1987. Private Collection © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York
    But also, what Basquiat's career makes clear is how few black artists there've been since, how white the art world remains, and how patronising its attitudes can be. Basquiat might've painted black heroes into art, but he remains one of a few black heroes to make it and prove that black art matters. 

    0 0
  • 05/27/17--09:35: the necropolis


  • in the city of the dead
    necros run amok
    climbing light poles
    searching for living souls
    necros=negros
    c=k=g interchangeable
    grimm's law of necromancy
    necros dance to death
    dead to themselves others


    dance with me
    say the zombie
    come to my parlor
    come drink water
    smoke sherm
    shoot smoke sniff meth
    the zombie test
    no zombie love
    we fuck friends
    to the end
    necros dance naked in the street
    drink blood eat meat of living souls
    on way to grave
    necros wave to friends members in  the club
    again the dance of death
    stepping high saying bye.


    --marvin x
    5/27/17

    0 0

    Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra Rock Oakland’s Malcolm X Jazz Festival

     
     
     
     
     
     
    1 Vote

    posted by Robert J. Carmack    a   re-post from Black Bird Press News
    This past weekend I missed what I used to make every year when I lived in East Bay-Oakland area. The Malcom X Jazz Festival in San Antonio Park, Oakland California. this event is always produced by the Eastbay Arts Alliance  Celebrating Malcom X birthday.
    Marvin X Poet & Bin Hassan-original Last Poets
    Marvin X Poet & Bin Hassan-original Last Poets

    The performances of Marvin X and the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir & Arkestra  Featuring
    Don Murray &
    Marvin X poet & living legend Don Murray saxes
    Marvin X poet & living legend Don Murray saxes
    Mechelle La'Chaux
    L-R Tarika Lewis Violin & Mechelle La’chaux vocals
    This was hardly a one man show. Other performers included Choreographer Linda Johnson and her dancers–Linda opened the show and stole the show with the beauty of her movement. There was harpist and vocalist Destiny Muhammad; violinist Tarika Lewis with her young students (awesome); vocalist Mechelle LaChaux, actress/poet Ayodele Nzinga; poets Genny Lim, Toreada Mikell, Paradise Jah Love, Kalamu Chache’, Aries Jordan, and actor Geoffery Grier, percussionist Tacuma King, drummer Val Serrant, Zena Allen on the Kora, singer Rashidah Sabreen, et al.
    sister beautiful sistersisyetr  Muslims   malcom x festival  2014X and Tacuma King and girl with african instrument






    african Dance students

    Just some Brothers enjoying the Jazz on Malcom X day
    Just some Brothers enjoying the Jazz on Malcom X day

    0 0

    Tentative schedule of venues where the Wild Crazy Ride of the Marvin X Experience will perform and/or autographs books.

























    Battlerap #3, June 3,  1pm, Featured Speaker, an Elder dialogues with young Black men,  Black Repertory Theatre, 3201 Adeline, Berk 

    2nd Annual Passion Africa Fashion Show, June 9, 7:30PM, Berkeley Technology Academy, 2701 MLK, Jr. Way

    Berkeley World Music Festival, Friday, June 9, La Pena's, 8pm
    Saturday,June 10,MLK Jr. Civic Center Park, noon --6pm
    Sunday, June 11, People's Park, 1-6pm

    Lola's African Night and fashion Show, June 17, 9pm., Miliki Restaurant, Oakland

    Berkeley Juneteenth, Sunday, June 18, 11AM-7PM, Alcatraz and Adeline, Berkeley

    for more information: www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com 




    0 0
  • 05/29/17--12:48: Marvin X at 73, May 29, 1944


  • What a wonderful journey
    wonderful life
    running from the devil
    running away wives
    most wonderful children
    some strange like me
    but never had to shout
    never had to beat
    praise mothers
    step fathers
    those grandchildren
    all generals bossy bossy
    where they get that from
    worst friends in the world mama said
    baraka sun ra eldridge huey bobby
    mama didn't understand
    they had wild imaginations
    like her son
    wanted freedom
    freedom or death
    we on't give a fuck
    exile jail prison underground
    overground
    black listed white listed
    unlisted
    colleges universities showed me the door
    a bit much for most
    overwhelming
    youth say he's very blunt
    white folks say they can read between his lines
    love his creativity
    hate his personality
    Printer say man, you don't like nobody
    that's what I got out yo book
    no, I just question everybody
    whose shit don't stink
    don't give a damn whacha say bout me
    I'm free
    James Sweeney say I'm the most free nigguh
    in non-free Amerikkka
    wrote my books
    said what I want to say
    so what if I shoot myself in the foot
    it's my foot fuck it
    what a wonderful journey
    what a wonderful life
    what a wonderful world
    even without a wife
    what wife could endure me
    too much creative energy
    call it insanity
    I'm just me
    work hard party hard
    with my ten friends
    you never see
    gotta feed them
    my eternal company.
    what a wonderful world
    wonderful time to be alive
    see the devil on the run
    death angels on his ass
    I just laugh
    my name is Jess
    I ain't in this mess
    Sun Ra said you didn't let me enjoy yo gladness
    I don't wanna enjoy yo sadness
    sing a happy song
    how long has this been goin on
    thank you ancestors for yr blood
    you make me do the good I do
    I would be deaf dumb and blind
    if not for you
    thank you mama and daddy
    thank you granny with yr loving hands
    thank you great grandfather Ephraim Murrill
    20 years a slave saw lincoln
    died in Madera
    gotta go see his grave
    what a wonderful journey
    what a wonderful world
    --Marvin X

    0 0

    RaceandHistory.com

    The Psycho-linguistic Crisis of the North American African by Marvin X

    West Oakland's North American Africans at Bobby Hutton Park


    Psycho-linguistic Update, 2017: We understand the so-called Negroes are no longer African Americans. This term now refers to Africans in America from the Diaspora, another reason I coined the term North American Africans. Our identity crisis is prolonged by our own tribal or national lack of consensus, thus we are at the whim of the global cultural imperialists who try to negate our national identity at every turn, even Pan-Africanists are guilty of this, although I am not against Pan-Africanism. I am just a narrow minded revolutionary Black Nationalist. I say North American Africans first. Elijah said Self First! Elijah put his Pan Africanism after his mission to liberate the so-called Negro, aka, North American Africans . 


    How can you be for everyone except yourself.You do this with Africans and in the multi-cultural arena, thus ending up on the lowest rung of the multi-cultural ladder.  Perhaps it is your psychotic desire to get in where you fit in, even though you are the reason for the season. 


    Recently, I told a young man who wanted me to speak to young men, "Bro, this is my message to Dante: Dante, you are the reason for the season. Hip Hop culture is ruling global youth culture. If you fart, global youth culture farts. When you wear your pants below your ass, global youth culture does the same. When your basic language is three words: bitch, ho and motherfucker, the basic language of global youth culture is bitch, ho and motherfucker. Young Black man, you rule the world, this is why they want to take you out at every turn!


    Dante, as per your elder, how can they be for the African revolution but not for the North American African revolution? Look at Africa, one of the highest GNP's in the world. Africa gonna be all right. As my home boy from Oakland, Paul Cobb said, "The last thing Africa needs is another crazy negro from America!"


    There was a plethora of NAA in Ghana during the Nkrumah regime, please don't let me name them. You don't even wanna know. My bro from West Oakland, Ted Pontiflet has written a novel about them in Ghana. Some say NAA were the reason Nkrumah was overthrown.  Of course we know the imperialists were at work, yes, even through their colonial elite NAA. 


    What did ex-Africans in the American slave system (Ed Howard term) do in Liberia? They became colonialists and dominated and exploited the native Africans. We cannot help Africa until we de-colonize ourselves. This is why I write on the psycho-linguistic crisis.Again, I cannot be anti-African because African blood is in my family. My first cousin married a Liberian and had several children by him. She went to Liberia when he became an officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, after graduating from Fresno State University. She went to Liberia but said she could not enjoy jungle life. Just note I have several cousins with Liberian blood, just as my family has a plethora of cousins with European blood. They don't know what to do with me but I accept them since it is a blood thang. We heard blood is thicker than water! I accepted a white man one of my six sisters married, even though he referred to her as his nigger bitch. Even though I wanted to, I could not hit him in the mouth since my six sisters referred to themselves as bitches, and I must say behaved as such. Don't think I did not/do not love my six sisters,but  if you have not lived in the house with six sisters, a mother and a niece, you cannot comprehend bitchism, especially at a certain time of the month! 


    The great Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thion'go deals with the subject in his works on the African psycho-linguistic revolution, i.e., demanding Africans write in their Mother-tongues and discard colonial languages. 


    You fought for African liberation and they got it. Where yo liberation, so called Negro, North American African. Black lives matter? We've been fighting police terror half a century, even longer if you include the precursor slave catchers.


    What about the terror we inflict on ourselves, socalled black on black crime, esp. homicide? We don't excuse the terrorist white man or the terrorist black man. 


    You want reparations? We want reparations from Africa as well. In business, there are buyers and sellers. We can't blame the buyers and give the sellers a pass! 


    Finally, on the 50th Anniversary of Roots, we ask how can we get Toby back to Kunta or reverse psychology that may involve extreme measures? Elijah said, "We must force Black Unity!"


    If the white man used the whip to transform us from Kunta to Toby, we may need to employ the whip to get us back to Kunta. 


    This may take us to Pan Africanism, but for sure, we will need to gain the consciousness that we are North American Africans, yes, of the Negus tribe or Nation, aka Tribe of Shabazz, i.e., the Aboriginal Asiatic Black Man of the planet earth, god of the universe.


    P.S. My blood is in Africa. One of my daughters lives in Accra and has no plans of returning to America. She has begged me to come to Africa, at least for a visit. She says, "Dad, they may not have electricity 24/7 but they don't have white supremacy 24/7. It's here, but not 24/7. I can go to expensive hotels, restaurants, stores and not be followed around like I'm a thief!"

    --Marvin X, Negus for life!


    4/16/98 (c) 1998
    By Marvin X
    www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com

    www.bambd.org





    Related News ¤ Race & History Board 
    ¤ Online Forums 
    ¤ RaceandHistory.com 
    ¤ HowComYouCo m.com 
    I have long wanted to discuss language problems relating to the psychology of the oppressed. Let's begin with the notion that the oppressed is a disoriented person suffering symptoms of amnesia :he is not quite sure who he is, where he is, where he came from or where he is going.

    We know to a great extent he was stripped of his cultural trappings and forced to don the apparel of the so-called negro, for American slavery would not allow him to retain knowledge of his African self--it was a danger to the slave master's plan of eternal servitude. So the proud African was beaten down from Kunta Kinte to Toby, perhaps the first level in his psycho-linguistic crisis: who am I, what is my name? Once in the Americas, he was no longer Yoruba, Hausa, Ibo, Congo, Ashante but Negro, and according to Grimm's law (the consonants C,K, and G being interchangeable) he was a dead, from the Greek Necro, something dead, lifeless, without motion and spirit. Of course, he retained some of his African consciousness in the deep structure of his mind, in the bowels of his soul and he expressed it in his dance, his love life, his work habits, his songs and shouts, but basically he was a trumatized victim of kidnapping, rape and mass murder--genocide, for after all, when it was all said and done, between 50 and 100 million of his brothers and sisters were lost in the Middle Passage, the voyage between Africa and the Americas, thrown to the sharks that trailing slave ships, one of which was named Jesus, perhaps the same one whose captain had the miraculous conversion and wrote the song Amazing Grace! But changing the African into Negro was a primary problem in terms of identity which persists until today, even as we speak a new generation is now in crisis trying to decide whether they shall be called by Christian, Muslim or traditional African names, trying to decide whether they are Americans, Afro-Americans, African-Americans, Bilalians, Khemites, Sudanese, or North American Africans.

    With this term I've tried to emphasize our cultural roots by making Africa the noun rather than the adjective. Also, I wanted to identify us geo-politically: we are Africans on the continent of North America, as opposed to Africans in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia or the Motherland. As such, we are unique and have created an original African Culture in North America, imitated throughout the world.

    The whole world wants to talk like us, dance like us, sing like us, dress like us: we have the highest standard of living of any Africans in the world and are thus in the position of leadership even though we lack any degree of National sovereignty, are yet a defacto Nation, albeit captive and colonized, exploited 24/7 by any pimp fearless enough to enter the ghetto, and there are many from around the world, including Asians, Arabs, Jews, Africans, West Indians, and Latins. I refuse to be sympathetic to anyone exploiting North American Africans--call me anti Pan African, anti Third World, whatever, but don't pimp my people and expect me to accept it because you're from Africa or Jamaica. I wouldn't go to Jamaica and exploit Jamaicans, then have the nerve to refer to them as "you people." I would be nice and diplomatic on their turf--then talk about them when I got home.

    We are often derided by our African and Caribbean brothers, sometimes called "black Americans" but often simply "Americans," said in the most derogatory manner, as if we're dirt or feces, meanwhile they are in America enjoying the benefits of our struggle with the white man. If everything is so cool in Jamaica, why did they leave their Island in the sun?

    With the last statement, we enter the Pan African psycholinguistic crisis, transcending the borders of North America, and perhaps the crisis of the North American African cannot be understood except in terms of the international Pan African struggle for liberation from neo-colonialism, the last stage of imperialism. The colonized man--wherever he is, wherever he's from--is a sick man, mentally ill. And as Franz Fanon pointed out, the only way the colonized man can regain his mental health is through the act and process of revolution. Dr. Nathan Hare tells us in his introduction to my autobiography SOMETHIN' PROPER, that neither messianic religiosity nor chemical dependency will free us. We must grab the bull by the horns or slay the dragon.

    I referred to an African as black brother recently. He responded, "Why do you call me that?""What do you want me to call you," I asked. He said, "Call me gentleman." And the beat goes on. Here was a man blacker than night, ashamed of himself, preferring to be called a gentle man rather than Black man, once proud, but now whipped into gentleness, or servility, expressing clearly the mark of oppression, the mark of the beast.

    The recent discussion of Ebonics was most certainly an example of the psycholinguistic crisis of North American Africans. Of course we are bilingual, with one pattern of speech used in the "slave huts" and one for the "big house." Technically, if we were able to deconstruct the language of the "slave huts" we would be in a position to deconstruct the "big house" language as well. And why shouldn't deconstruction of the Mother Tongue be the point of departure for acquiring language skills? Let's start with the child's primary language and build; teach the child that even his so-called slang, dialect or African speech patterns can be examined and explained according to the rules of grammar, the universal rules of grammar, i.e., the science of linguistics. Is there any sound, any speech pattern in any language that cannot be explained and thus respected on a scientific level?

    We know that no matter what language Africans speak, whether English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, we speak it from an African speech pattern, from an African grammatical structure. Is there a genetic basis for this phenomenon, I'm not sure, but its existence appears universal throughout Pan Africa.

    Nigger or Nigguh has caused the most severe psycholinguistic crisis among North American Africans. Earlier we traced its etymology to the Greek Necro, something dead, which is more befitting and functional than the Spanish Negro (black), or Niger, from the river. We became dead beings in the transformation from Africa to America, so quiet as its kept, Negro is very appropriate to call us. Of course the Honorable Eliajah Muhammad said we were so-called Negroes and therefore not truly Negroes, but temporarily under the spell of white magic--white power--which caused us to be deaf, dumb and blind to the knowledge of self and others, therefore dead. We had become the living dead, dispised and rejected around the world, even today, although the vailent struggle of the 60s put us in a more favorable light in the eyes of the world. The dead socalled Negro awakened and shook off the chains on his brain and let the world know he was no longer dead, no longer a tool and fool of the white man. He rejected being called Negro and Nigger and became Black man, the Aboriginal Asiatic Black man, ruler of the planet earth, god of the universe. For a moment, it appeared he truly believed this mythology, which was as valid as any other mythology, at least it was original and Afrocentric. But with the destruction of the black liberation movement, we can say the Negro returned, as per plan of the U.S.A.'s counter intelligence program, Cointelpro: kill the black man and bring back the Negro or shall we say the Nigger that the Master used to know, and to make sure he remains dead, introduce CRACK to make him a first class zombie, the corpse of a man.

    Imagine, for the first time in history, the black women lost her ass behind crack, meanwhile the white woman was at Gold's gym working on acquiring an ass, which I must admit, she has obtained. But this point takes us off course into psychosomatics. Let's stay with psycholinguistics.

    In the 70s, 80s and 90s, the so-called Negro has been fighting to erase the N word from our vocabulary, particularly brothers in prison who have been the most negroid in their death dealing criminality. Perhaps in their guilt, they have been trying to purify their behavior and speech to gain self respect and dignity--if caught using the N word, they will require the user to do any number of pushups. This is very noble, but the reality is that the N word has now transcended the North American African community and is in wide use by Asian, Latin and white youth who call each other nigguh as a badge of honor. We no longer have a monopoly on our language, and this is another reason for the present crisis: our culture is forever eluding our control, consequently making us the most insecure people on earth. We have lost everything on the good ship America--for three centuries we lost complete and total control over the fruits of our labor, the primary source of security. How else does one secure the family, the women and children?

    Not long ago, I heard rappers discussing their tour of Italy. Upon arriving at the airport, the first thing they heard Italian youth discussing was how many "Bitches" they had, obviously influenced by hip hop culture or shall we say specifically gansta rap--yeah, ganstas who when caught are ignorant of a preliminary hearing. But let us deconstruct the controversial term BITCH. Besides Nigger or Nigguh, no other term has caused more controversy of late, no other term has created a crisis situation among North American Africa, prompting the Million Man Marchers to vow never to use the term again. They claimed it demeaned the black woman, the mother of civilization. My personal view is that crack culture demeaned the black man and women to the extent that the term "bitch" has taken on new meaning and now refers to both male and female, and a discussion of the term cannot be limited to the feminine gender. Youth in the dope culture will quickly address a tweeking, fumbing OG as "punk bitch." For example, to a male they will say, "Punk-bitch, you better take this dope and get the fuck up outta here wit da quickness." This sentence is most indicative of the pyscholinguistic crisis because it reveals the utter destruction of filial piety (respect or duty of children to elders) in the North American African community. When adults began buying crack from children, children saw the utter weakness in the older generation and lost total respect which was expressed in verbal denunciations such as "punk bitch." In my recovery drama ONE DAY IN THE LIFE, a youth confronts the late Huey Newton and myself with the following words as we sat in a West Oakland crack house: "Yeah, you nigguhs is dope fiends, you ain't no revolutionaries, so don't say shit to me bout no program. How you gon buy dope from me and my podnas--I mean, I'm in recovery now but when I was a dealer, you couldn't come to me and tell me you some revolutionaries--you some punk-bitch nigguhs. When you get your shit together we'll have some respect fa ya, but until then, don't talk to us bout no revolution, O.G., cause if I saw ya comin on my turf, I'd make a movie out that ass, podna. Don't be no walkin contradiction ma nigguhs."

    My associate, J.B. Saunders, asked me to include a word-picture of male "bitch behavior" as expressed in the crack ritual. An example of this comes from the obserevation of monkeys when the female is ready to present herself to the male. She will go to a corner of a cage or by a tree and exposed her rear end to the male, letting hm know he can come and get her or know her as the Bible says. In the crack house, the male bitch will expose his posterior in his ritual of crawling on all fours around the room, supposedly looking for crack, but mainly picking up lint and other particles, even chips of dry wall. The ultimately expression of male bitch behavior is the so-called straight guy who under desperation, i,e. , when the tweeking ritual is exhausted, will present his posterior to the dope dealer--accompanied with the words "I'll do anything for another hit," and perform homosexual acts to obtain more crack, but in his psycho-linguistic crisis he adamantly denies he is gay, all the while swallowing the dope dealer's penis and cum. The worse bitch in the world is the bitch in denial! And even that bitch will--in a moment of scandalous activity declare, "I know I'm a bitch." But why bitch? My views on the matter are prejudiced by the fact that I grew up in a house with six sisters who referred to themselves as bitches--and I must say, many times acted like bitches, if we mean behavior unbecoming a woman--such behavior being acceptable only during PMS or pregnancy! But is it demeaning to say, "That's a fine bitch!" We know words only have the power we give them, i.e., we define words. Bourgeoisie culture cannot define mass culture or the culture of the grass roots. A rich man cannot tell a poor man what to say. If a rich man comes to the poor man's community, he better talk like a poor man or he may be a dead man! Those who want to criminalize black language are in many cases people who are in the business of criminalizing black people for the benefit of the real criminals, the Masters of the Realm. Not only do you not like the way I talk, but you don't like my dress, my eating habits, my choice of drugs, they way I pray and the loud manner of my worship, how I earn a living--my hair or non-hair--actually, you don't like anything about me, in fact, you wish I were dead, if fact, you do everything you can to kill me, in fact, you have now made a new industry of confining me for life without the possibility of parole.

    From a writer's perspective, a poet, much of endgame in the psycholinguistic crisis is censorship, pure and simple, a violation of First Amendment rights and human rights. I have a right to say what I want to say the way I want to say it. This is an old tired discussion we encountered thirty years ago in the Black Arts/Black Culture revolution of the 60s: shall we define ourselves or the shall the masters and their pitiful bourgeoisie imps impose their definitions, their hypocritical, perverted moral standards. If a bitch is bitch call her a bitch. If yo mama is a bitch call her a bitch. If your wife is a bitch call it, your daughters call it. The worse bitch in the world is the bitch in denial. And as I've said, men are known to be bitches too!

    There was a time when we were kings and queens, in Africa and during the 60s in America, but this was B.C., before crack. With the coming of crack, we reduced ourselves beyond slavery. We returned to the auction block of the crack house, and indeed, in fact, became bitches and hoes. With crack, the sexual etiquette of North American Africans has been forever altered and whether we will again reach the level of kings and queens depends more on the success of our total liberation than our correct grammatical structure, after all, we see Asians, Arabs, Latins, come to America and get rich while speaking no English, yet we are being deluded by our leaders into believing we must speak the Kings English in order to be successful. If nothing else, the rappers have shown us they can make millions for themselves and billions for the white man utilizing three words: bitch, hoe and motherfucker. The tragic reality is that the black bourgeoisie failed to teach inner city youth proper English or anything proper for that matter, so the upper class must reap with rewards of neglect, in the form of their children as well, enraptured by rap and thus incomprehensible to the middle-class parents--as my daughter has said, "You might not like rap, but if you want to understand me, you better try to understand rap." To paraphrase Eryka Badu, the psycholinguistic crisis goes on and on......on and on.....

    0 0


    "marvin x was my teacher. many of our comrades came through his black arts theatre: bobby seale, eldridge cleaver, emory douglas, samuel napier."
    --dr. huey p. newton, co-founder bpp

    angela davis, marvin x and sonia sanchez


    stanley nelson, director of the film, black panthers: vanguard of revolution, marvin x and fred hamption, jr,, son of chicago black panther leader, assassinated by chicago police.

    amiri baraka, bobby seale, ayodele nzinga, ahi baraka, marvin x



    elaine brown, former chair of the bpp, halifu osumare, judy juanita, former editor of the bpp newspaper, portia anderson, phavia kujichagulia, aries jordan, marvin x

    cover art by emory douglas, bpp minister of culture

    bobby seale, bpp co-founder and marvin

    marvin x, emory douglas, donald lacey, att. john burris

    dr. wade nobles, elaine brown, marvin

    marvin x and tarika lewis, first female member of the bpp
    eldridge cleaver, former minister of information bpp and marvin

    marvin, grandson jahmeel, director stanley nelson, att. amira jackmon, daughter naeema

    marvin and fred hampton,jr.

    Friday, March 27, 2009

    Part Nine: My Friend the Devil

    Marvin X

    The next time I see Cleaver is in Mount Morris Park, renamed Marcus Garvey Park, in Harlem. I was now a resident of Harlem, or at least a worker in Harlem, while living in the Bronx with playwright Ed Bullins, after slipping into Harlem from Chicago after the assassination of MLK, Jr. Yes, I came up out of the subway at eight avenue, that subway made so famous by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in their tune Take The A Train. I came up into a sweltering Harlem summer of heat, sweat and funk, a love funk so beautiful that I never imagined such a happening after seeing so many beautiful black people--Chicago was great and there is nothing like Chicago, especially the South side, but Harlem, the capital of Black America, the ground that Malcolm X walked upon, and Duke, Billie, Bassie, Parker, Apollo Theatre, awesome power of my people, the East coast version of what I'd experienced in Oakland on Seventh Street, Harlem of the West. Seventh Street was a small version of what was before my eyes, a sea, a wonderland of Black people from over the world, Africa. Nigeria, Lagos,Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Malawi, Kenya, the Caribbean, Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, all there swimming in blackness.

    And I among them now, a negro from Cali swimming in the sea of my people, loving every moment, under the guidance of Askia Toure, my elder and teacher, telling me about the Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, telling me more about the Sufi teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Rumi, Ghazali and others, about the MuKhadimah of Ibn Khaldun and other Sufi and Islamic masters. And then there was Sun Ra, the master of all masters, my teacher, mentor, friend and guide, who taught me all that one ever needed to know about theatre, the master teacher of BAM, who told us about traveling the space ways, and Milford Graves, master drummer who was so powerful he was banned from downtown, too aggressive, too arrogant, too too too, Milford, my main man, and the Last Poets coming together to take us to the next level into Rap, Abiodun, Ben Hasan, Gylen Kayne, David and Filipe, Barbara Ann Teer and the New Lafayette Theatre, Ed Bullins and Robert Macbeth and crew,the Yoruba king, Baba Serjiman, who moved to Sheldon, South Carolina, Olatunji, master drummer of Nigeria, all there in the Harlem madness and joy, Amiri Baraka, gone home to Newark but slipping back into Harlem to continue his light with Larry Neal, Askia and crew, sane and insane, enjoying the madness of Harlem summer 68, Nikki, Sonia, Haki, June Jordan, Pharaoh Sanders, Archie Shepp and the Ayler brothers, and more, more, Farrakhan at Mosque #7, Akbar Muhammad and Donald Cunningham at the book store, the book store of the world at 125th and 7th Aveneue, Mr. what was his name, the master book seller? Harlem, 1969, a dream come true for a Cali Negro, swimming in the sea of his people.

    Fuck Vietnam and Fuck America. And there was Cleaver in Mount Morris Park saying he would kiss the pussy of Fannie Lou Hamer as I stood and watched. And Bobby Seale was at 125th and 7th Avenue, reciting my poem Burn, Baby, Burn, and James Foreman trying to lecture to the people on Franz Fanon, and on and on and on. And Dr. Ben and John Henry Clarke rapping on history and consciousness and beyond, etc.,etc.,etc.

    0 0

    phavia kujichagulia, senior writer, the movement newspaper www.bambd.org

    We've been white-washed, white-balled, white-listed, and white-mailed for so long we think of ourselves as the white sheep of the family. We can't wait to give our oppressors all of our time, thoughts, as well as our earnings and would never think of supporting/financing our cultural legacy and destiny. Worst of all, the popular entertainers who condemn us to racist sambo/pimp/wimp/ho stereotypes get rich doing so while real artists and edutainers working for cultural liberation,social justice, and spiritual freedom from racism, white supremacy, sexism, capitalism, etc. go underappreciated, underpaid (if ever), and underestimated. Mainstream society knows our real power. So it keeps us under control or hidden from the masses unless we buy into their racist, sexist, materialistic, white-insecurity pop bullshit.


    For example, during the MC Hammer hay days, I was approached by a major record label. I was offered a recording contract if I did the following:
    • Change my name to something ridiculously "ludicrous/racist/sexist/ignorant/canine-like" 
    • Press/perm/straighten my hair
    • Dye/DIE my hair from black to blonde 
    • Bleach my skin
    • Show some T&A (tits and ass)

    Needless to say, I said NO to all of the above. So the music industry finally gave me one last option - ultimatum:
    "Okay, this is the dealbreaker. All you have to do is say the words "bitch, nigger, motherfucker" at least once in every recording." 

    I refused. They replied, "Don't you know you could be rich and famous tomorrow if you just say these three simple words just once per album?"
    Thus, to this day I remain economically-challenged and few human beings have ever heard of me. Meanwhile a plethora of superficial, shallow, materialistic, self-hating, stupid rappers make bank degrading our culture by promoting white supremacy/insecurity, sexism, and capitalism.

    Yes, we need to liberate our minds of euro-centric terrorism, linguistic defamation, and capitalistic insanity ASAP! 

    If truth and justice were quantified we'd be super rich!

    Forward Ever!




    0 0


    Hal Lindsey, Born Again prophet

    Eldridge Cleaver transcended the left/right paradigm. He experienced every ideology on the spectrum. Marvin X traveled with him.  It was an educational experience for Marvin X. See his book Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality and his memoir of Eldridge Cleaver My Friend the Devil. And most especially his drama One Day in the Life, including the scene of his last meeting with Huey P. Newton in a West Oakland Crack House.



     Debbie and Pat Boone
     Charles Colson said the prisons would produce Muslim terrorists. I wonder why? Amiri Baraka said, "In the end, the Negro will be the terrorist!"

     On the right, Rev. Robert Schuller at his Crystal Cathedral. Marvin X went there with Eldridge twice.

     
    Jim and Tammy Baker. Eldridge gave his testimony twice at their PTL Club in Charlotte, North Carolin, accompanied by Marvin X. Marvin was shocked when a white chauffeur picked them up at the airport. He was shocked again when he saw the Christian women in long dresses and the men hugged him on both cheeks in Muslim style. 

     Marvin X says, you never know how people are until you live with them. I experienced the love between Eldridge and Kathleen from the beginning of their relationship, and later when we all lived together with their children in Atherton. Their children asked Eldridge, "If you a Christian, why you beat Mama?"

    Eldridge and Marvin outside the house where Eldridge and Lil' Bobby Hutton had their shoot out with the Oakland Police. Bobby was murdered in cold blood.
    photo Muhammad Kareem

    Maestro Marvin X at Laney College Theatre (his former classroom, 1981), reading from his play One Day in the life, his scene of his last meeting with Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, in a West Oakland Crack House.

    Life is not about the left and right on the political spectrum, life is about right and wrong, i.e., one can be right but wrong and left but wrong. Sun Ra said, "Marvin you so right, you wrong!" I will say, "You so left you wrong!" Supposedly, politics is about power to the people, yet we often become so dogmatic in our ideological leanings, we say to hell with people power, we must stand our ground in our strident political stance, even to the point of ignoring the suffering of our people.

    Yes, there are North American Africans so loyal to the Democratic party that they will ignore our misery to maintain their membership in the Democratic party. I am horrified when I see our people living in tent cities throughout the Bay Area, especially here in Oakland, yet Democratic necros will do nothing to assuage their wretched condition, especially if relief must come from reaching out to the Republican administration to demand low-income housing funds.

    We were recently invited to meet with Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs, but the Democratic necros refused to even consider meeting with him to maintain their loyalty to their Democratic massas. The Christian necro ministers declined to seek low income housing funds from the Trump Administration even though gentrification is depleting their congregations.  As their members make their way to tent cities and migrate to central valley towns from Sacramento to Fresno and beyond, apparently the necro ministers sermonize that Jesus will find a way!

    We have learned Wall Street investors now own 40% of single housing units in Oakland, another reason for Oakland's rapidly depleting available units, especially after the investors made mass purchases during the subprime loan scams that tricked North American Africans and many other Americans of their basic wealth.

    We heard a lecture by Van Jones who bemoaned that Oakland used to be a majority Black city but has become the bedroom of Silicon Valley. He joked that Oakland should build a wall to keep Silicon Valley out!

    In the midst of gentrification, the idea of a Black Arts Movement Business District is becoming a joke, not to mention a Black cultural district for deep East Oakland. Where are we going to be, in museums along the route, with guided tours of Where We Used to Be? And this is true for Berkeley and most certainly for San Francisco.

    The Fillmore has been long gone and Hunters Point is on the way. Shall we mention our beloved Harlem with whites walking around like they own the place--alas, they do! Brooklyn is not escaping the ethnic cleansing of America's cities. Some necros are happy that gentrification is upgrading their neighborhoods from the wretchedness of rats, roaches, drugs and endless crime in the street. Of course they are not concerned about crime in the suites!

    Where are those necro leaders, those sycophants of the Democratic party, many of whom were on the Redevelopment boards that began necro removal decades ago. At least former San Francisco Mayor Joe Alioto publically apologized for destroying the cultural and economic vitality of the Fillmore. We've heard no apology from the necro removal necros.

    Of course nobody wants to hear Trump claim we are victims of the Democratic party. Supposedly, North American Africans should join the reactionary parade for his downfall and champion the second resurrection of the Clinton crime family, even though we think Trump won fair and square, after all, he appealed to the long suffering white nationalist sentiments in Euro-Americans. Being a black nationalist, I have no fear of white nationalists. I don't give a damn if they fly the Confederate flag, I want to see us fly the Red, Black and Green.

    I must say I've had experience with the white left and right, especially after assisting my controversial friend Eldridge Cleaver when he returned from exile as a right winger because he told me the left wing sent an emissary to Paris with the message he was not wanted back in America because of the hell he caused in the left. He was told to learn French and of course Cleaver would have none of this, he wanted to come home by any means necessary. He concocted a fantastic story of seeing Jesus in the moon and sold it to the right wing Born Again Christians.

    Traveling with him was a great learning experience for me, allowing me great insight of white, conservative Christian America. I can say with surety, I know the white Christian mentality. I know how they feel about Black Christian preachers and believers. If Black preachers didn't graduate from Fuller Theological Seminary or a reasonable facsimile, they were not respected. About they found Jesus one Tuesday night, didn't wash, at least not until at a white Born Again dinner after Cleaver gave his testimony, they turned to me with the question, "Marvin, when did you find the Lord?" Being an actor from the Black Arts Theatre, I quickly replied, "One Tuesday night!" The dinner guests were satisfied and turned to other matters.

    As Cleaver's chief aide, my first assignment was to fire all the Jews controlling him, e.g., his booking agent, publicist, secretary, etc. Of course, in doing so I discovered the tight knit Jewish family from coast to coast. As soon as I fired a Jew in San Francisco, the news hit New York the next second.

    More importantly, I learned the Christians blamed the Jews for killing Jesus but feigned deep love for Israel, yet they hated the Jews for getting their savior assassinated or crucified. They would give up their pseudo love for Israel in a heartbeat or let's say for a barrel of oil!

    The word went out that the Black Muslims had taken over Cleaver's ministry although the white Christians were still in control. Traveling as Cleaver's secretary, driver, bodyguard, photographer and ultimately organizer of his ministry The Eldridge Cleaver Crusades, I did indeed hire Black Muslims to assist him since Christian Blacks were mortally afraid that white man was going to kill him for lying about seeing Jesus in the moon on his balcony one night in Southern France.

    He fronted me and my Muslim recruits off as his heathen converts and this cooled out the Christians since they were bankrolling his ministry. I met or was in communication with all the Born Again superstars: Charles Colson of Watergate fame or infamy, Pat and Debbie Boone, Jim and Tammy Baker, Jerry Falwell, Hal Lindsey, Billy Graham, Rev. Robert Schuller at his Hour of Power, et al.

    I wouldn't close my eyes praying with these devils! One reason Cleaver hired me was to stop the white Christians from robbing him. After giving his testimony on Jerry Falwell's Old Time Gospel Hour in Lynchburg, VA, they claimed $37,000.00 in donations were received but they wanted Cleaver to give them the power of attorney so they could cash the checks, thus depriving Cleaver of addresses so he could appeal to those who donated and thus begin to establish his own ministry which was his desire after he realized they had their agenda for him which was not his agenda. We had to send a man to Lynchburg to get the money.

    Now the white Christians didn't know what to do with me. Although he was twice my size at the time, they wanted to know if I was his bodyguard. I claimed I was his assistant and photographer, which I was, although he pimped my brain on many matters. When he asked me to be his photographer, I told him I wanted the Rolls Royce of cameras, Leicaflex, and he immediately went to a camera shop and bought what I wanted. But when the white Christians saw me with the Leicaflex, they became so jealous and envious I put masking tape over the name!

    Now I was his bodyguard too: he gave me a 45 automatic pistol I carried in my camera bag. The Christians didn't trust him, nor did he trust them. Leaving Canada, the USA authorities searched us, then again when we arrived at Seattle airport, and again when we arrived in San Francisco. Truth is that Cleaver probably had more guns as a Born Again Christian than when he was a Black Panther. The USA didn't  know if he was still a Communist and didn't want to take any chances. They usually had a white Christian accompany us as he toured the Born Again circuit. Cleaver began to be disillusioned when he saw they had more secret meetings than Communists, especially when he was the subject!

    My assignment became to establish his independent ministry, which I began to do. I had long wanted him to give his testimony at Black churches but he refused. We worked seven days a week, sometimes never seeing Black people.

    When he demanded I live with the family so we could communicate better, I moved with them to Atherton, a rich white suburb near Stanford University. His wife Kathleen said to me, "Marvin, the girls used to call for you, but they don't call anymore!" No woman wants a man working seven days a week. I didn't have time to cash my check or get my clothes out the cleaners. Cleaver was a hard working Virgo and I was a Gemini with moon in Virgo, plus the son of a workaholic mother who never took a vacation in her life, while raising nine children and two grandchildren by herself as a real estate broker and lay disciple of Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science.

    I pressed him to give his testimony at a Black church. Finally, after much persistence from Bishop  Ernestine Reems of Oakland, I got him to give his "moon shot" or "Golden Shower" at her church in East Oakland. When we arrived for a preview of her venue, she immediately showed us the ceiling with gunshots from the previous occupants, the Nation of Islam, who departed in disgust after failure to pay rent.

    His sojourn in the Black churches were not a happy affair. There is simply no comparison of the Black and White Church. In 1976, the Black churches were





    no match for the opulent White churches, like the Jim and Tammy Baker plantation in Charlotte, North Carolina, or Rev. Schuller's Crystal Cathedral. It was like going from the massa's house to the slave hut! In the hut, they worked Cleaver from can't see to can't see, then when I went to count the money with the preacher, it was funny money. The slave hut had no air conditioning. On one occasion in a gym in Chico, CA., Cleaver almost fainted because of the heat.

    After seven months, I departed from Cleaver and his Christian ministry. Again, it was an educational experience no college or seminary could have taught me. And I knew well conservative Christian America's thinking. Their white supremacy mentality has made them sick and us as well, unless, of course, we understand Rev. Cone's narrative of the Cross and the Lynching Tree!

    Firstly, we should have no fear of the White Christian, right wing nationalists. We should engage them for mutual benefit, as Van Jones said recently. We endured the Crack epidemic, now they need us to help them recover from their addiction to opiates, religion included. As Rev. Cone taught us, "They can never understand Christianity until they come to terms with the cross and the lynching tree!"

    We can meet with them for mutual good. Neither political party, Democratic or Republican gives a damn about the National Agenda of North Americans, be sure about this and don't drink the Kool Aide of either party. No matter whose in power, stick to our agenda, our national aspirations, and don't be moved!

    I appreciate Van Jones for his conversations with Newt Gingrich, a genius of the right. Either we talk with our enemies or we kill them or they kill us. Ralph Nader has a book on the need to transcend the left/right paradigm. I have not read it, but I get the gist!

    The best thing I've heard President Trump say is to use common sense. Only thing, Dr. Julia Hare said, "Common sense is not too common these days!" At least Donald Trump is a businessman with whom we might be able to do business. Yes, let's make a deal! My Mother was a business woman. When a girlfriend came by my house on the way to high school and wanted to used my mother's phone, Mama asked her if it was a business call because Mom was a business woman and my girl couldn't use the phone if her call wasn't about business. In the spirit of my mother, if it ain't bout business, get off the goddamn phone talkin' bout where you at? It's not about are you left or right, rather, are you on the side of truth, righteousness, freedom, justice and equality!
    --Marvin X
    5/31/17


    0 0
  • 06/02/17--22:45: Part One: Games Nigguhs Play
  • Games Nigguhs Play


    Parents of Marvin X, Owendell and Marian Murrill Jackmon; he was 40, she was 20 when they married.

    Mama told me to leave nigguhs alone, you don't need them nigguhs Marvin, them nigguhs need you. They just using you  Marvin. Don't let them use you, use the mind God gave you, Boy! And Daddy said, "Boy, you so smart you outsmarted yourself! You should be a billionaire, but you fucked up. I told you, whatever you wanna be, be the best. You was a dope fiend, but you wasn't even a good dope fiend. If you gonna be a dope fiend, be the best dope fiend in the world. You let that shit control you, you didn't control it. I never let nothing control me! (Dad was lying here because he had a gambling habit that controlled him. And Mama, she was addicted to nigguhs too, she helped nigguhs until her dying days, and the worst nigguhs were her own ungrateful bastard children, Marvin X included, even though he was her Star child, and all his siblings knew it except him! He had no idea how much his mother loved him and respected him and knew he was going to do great things in the world. But his siblings knew, especially his sister Donna, the greatest storyteller in the family. Her "lies" would put Marvin X to shame!


    She  told her boss, "Sir, I can't come into work today because my brother is in his private plane flying to Seattle and we have lost track of him somewhere around Lake Tahoe." RIP Big D!

    Poor son, his Mom knew far more about him than he would ever know about himself. She told him he didn't need a wife: according to her, he needed a maid, secretary and Mistress, but not a wife. As a man, she would never consider him for a husband. She saw her son was lost in his imagination and sexuality, especially when he lived on her 2 and 1/2 acre property that included three houses, including a studio apartment where he came to write when taking refuge from the wicked city, and from which he would go into the big house to cry on his mother's knees after abusing his wives. She told him he would never have any good luck as long as he abused women, especially the mother's of his children.

    She told him, "Son, please don't have those women hollering and screaming in the night because I can hear them! Tell them to not make all that noise."

    Mama wondered why her son came home from being with a woman for several days, and came into her house starving to death. He told her, "Mama, we just didn't eat, Mama, we just made love!"
    Mama just shook her head. After all, her son may have gotten his passion from her. She had nine children and raised them as a single mother, and raised two grandchildren as her own. They thought she was their mother and my six sisters were their sisters.

    We grew up in the projects of West Fresno until Mom became a successful real estate broker, the first black woman real estate broker in town. During the 40s, she and my father had a successful real estate business, plus they published a Black Newspaper, The Fresno Voice, until my father violated his fiduciary relationship by gambling with the people's money and lost his real estate license, and this when my parents moved to Oakland and became florists on 7th Street in Harlem of the West. But mom and dad separated and she returned to Fresno to open up her real estate business on her own.

    Most Blacks, old and young, will tell you they bought their first house from my parents, especially after the war when we suffered redlining and my parents were able to help them acquire housing.

    Mom and Dad were Race Man and Woman, i.e., conscious and dedicated to our people. Dad told me he saw Marcus Garvey in Los Angeles. I am sure he was addicted to the Garvey movement, especially after my childhood friend Paul Cobb told me my dad was in meetings with his grandfather and father who were Garveyites in West Oakland. Paul says he is a Garveyite and I am too! Africa for the Africans, those and home and those abroad! One God, One Aim, One Destiny!


    The "People" have requested Marvin X write and perform a play about Marcus Garvey.



     In New York, actor Ganno Grills performed the role of Marvin X in Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam. Amiri Baraka's play The Toilet  was part of the New Federal Theatre's production by Woody King.

     Nefertiti, Marvin's oldest daughter, demanded dad pass the baton to her. She is now the Executive Director of Six Square, the Austin, Texas Black Arts and Cultural District, also Associate Publisher of her dad's newspaper, The Movement, Voice of the Black Arts Movement International.

     Marvin X in a poetic moment with Oakland's Mayor Libby Schaaf



    Professor Marvin X with students at the University of California, Merced, Professor Kim Macmillan's class on theatre. Students invited him to hear them read his play Flowers for the Trashman, a classic of the Black Arts Movement.

    0 0

    Image may contain: 4 people, people standing
    Bay Area hip hop organizers, promoters and producers share a joyful moment with Marvin X, godfather of conscious hip hop, at the Berkeley Black Repertory Theatre. Marvin has agreed to work with the conscious hip hop community to revolutionize hip hop poetry and pass the baton to the next generation of artistic freedom fighters!
    Stay tuned for battlerap#4

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

    As we move toward implementing the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour suggested by Ancestor Amiri Baraka and being organized by BAM co-founder Marvin X, it is crystal clear we are passing the baton to the next generation of North American African artistic and cultural workers, or in the words of Ancestor Paul Robeson, "Artistic freedom fighters!" The Black Arts Movement and the Black Liberation Movement are indivisible, inseparable, thus unconquerable, a mighty fist in the face of oppression by global and American white supremacy, which are one!




    Fidel Castro has told us, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness!" The mission of the BAM 27 City Tour is to spread consciousness throughout this land and beyond, to revolutionize North American African youth culture, transcending the toxicity of reactionary rap promoted by the white supremacy propaganda machine to destroy the minds, hearts and souls of North American Africans and all those youth around the world who identify with our art and culture, which is the vanguard of global youth culture. If North American African youth fart, global youth culture farts! If we shit, global youth culture has a bowel movement!

    As elders, our job is to infuse the present generation of North American African youth artists and cultural workers with the necessary knowledge to rekindle the flame of revolution and radical art and culture, so they will not settle for the reactionary, toxic art and culture promoted by the white supremacy propaganda machine vie record companies, promoters and agents of their industry of menticide.

    Thus, the BAM 27 City Tour will include a critical component of conscious hip hop artists, educators and cultural workers, qualified to spread the message that revolution is, in the words of Ancestor John Henrik Clarke, not a sprint but a long distance run.


    Eldridge Cleaver and the US delegation in North Vietnam, meeting with General Giap who defeated the US in Vietnam.


    Most importantly, we must advance the notion that we are all leaders, we are all the central command, as the socalled Viet Cong announced when the Americans said they were going into Cambodia to destroy the Viet Cong central command. For every youth the American death machine destroys, maims, paralyzes, traumatizes, neutralizes, punkanizes, imprisonizes, druganizes, we shall present a new leadership of cold, sober youth to continue our liberation movement until victory!

    --Marvin X
    6/3/17


     BAM co-founders Ancestor Amiri Baraka and Elder Marvin X


     BAM co-founders Askia Toure' and Marvin X


     The West Oakland Crew at Lil' Bobby Hutton Park, West Oakland

     Angela Davis, Marvin X and Sonia Sanchez

     Harlem, NY reception for Marvin X at the home of Rashida Ismaili


     Mrs. Amina Baraka

    Amiri Baraka and Maya Angelou dancing their way to Black Arts Movement Heaven!

     
     Marvin X, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and poet Prosperity Carter. Mayor Schaaf said she will use her influence with US Mayors to promote the BAM 27 City Tour.

     Panel on Black Arts Movement and Women at Laney College

     Marvin X and Nefertiti, oldest daughter who demanded her dad pass the baton.

     Amina and Amiri Baraka. We think the babe in Amina's arms is Ras Baraka, now Mayor of Newark, New Jersey.
     BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra at the University of California, Merced, BAM 50th Anniversary Conference.

     Bruce George of Def Poetry Jam, the next generation of BAM

     Master Teacher Marvin X and his student, multi-talented poet, writer Prosperity Carter

     Dr. Cornel West supports the BAM 27 City Tour. 






    Marvin X and Fred Hampton, Jr. Black Panther Cub, who was in his mother's womb when the Chicago police assassinated his father in bed with his pregnant mother.

    Phavia Kujichagulia, proud mother of daugthter, Taiwo. "Yes, I brainwashed my daughter to cleanse her mind of all white supremacy bullshit!"


    Marvin X trying to save the babies as Marvin Gaye sang about. 



    0 0



    Blue Jeans in High Places
    “The Coming Makeover of American Politics”
    by Mike McCabe
     A review by Fritz Pointer 6/4/17

        Dear friends suggested this book to me, Drs. Ralph and Nancy Knudson, retired MD’s, from La Crosse, Wisconsin. Last week, in Madison, Wisconsin, on a trip to “Unveil” my wife’s father’s tombstone, Prof. Daniel Kunene, a customary South African tradition that must be fulfilled no later than one year after the passing of a relative or loved one, Ralph told me that Mike McCabe will possibly be running for Governor of Wisconsin and he and Nancy may support him.

        For the past 15 years, Mike McCabe, Director and founder of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, has followed the money in American politics.  He believes that the inheritance of American democracy has been squandered, “largely because we have allowed bribery to become legal again.”  Of course old-fashioned bribery remains a crime, but “Today’s legal bribes aren’t called bribes.  Now they’re called campaign contributions.” So, what is bribery sounds charitable, philanthropic.  
    And, with the 2010 Supreme Court promulgating Citizens United, one of the dumbest rulings ever concocted, standing democracy on its head, by allowing corporations and other powerful groups to spend unlimited sums on elections with the simplistic logic: if people could be property, then property can be people, McCabe finds appalling, and accelerating America’s plunge into the abyss of oligarchy.

     Indicative of this is the 2012 election when, according to McCabe: “32 donors of Super PACs matched all of the money raised from small donors by President Obama and his rival Mitt Romney combined. Yep…the top 32 Super PAC donors – giving nearly $10 million apiece – contributed a total of $313 million to finance election advertising by these special interest committees.”  Oh, yes, we have “freedom of speech,” but If money is speech, then who is being heard? 
        McCabe asks us to question why and how “in the span of a single generation, Wisconsin (like many other states) has gone from a place where it was possible to run successfully for statewide office for $145 (Bill Proxmire, 1982) to one that has seen $81 million spent to decide who sits in the governor’s office.”   He reminds us that in 1897 and again in 1905 Wisconsin took a stand “banning corporate campaign contributions and election spending,” and (the nation) should do this again. 
        “Where are the voices” McCabe asks, “saying it’s time to extend the promise of free public education beyond high school?  Where are the voices saying higher education and advanced vocational training needs to be as accessible and affordable in the twenty-first century as elementary and secondary education were made in the twentieth?”  They are not saying it, he says, because they are not being paid to say it.  Instead, not a single new state university campus has been created in Wisconsin since 1968.  But since 1994, eight new prisons have been built and a ninth purchased.

        Like “Fighting Bob” La Follette, who called himself a “Progressive Republican” McCabe believes: “the business of government is not business, but service to the common people”…. and, that “the will of the people is the law of the land.” And, with that, he recognizes that, “More and more every day, our country is becoming less white, less male-dominated, less Christian, less ‘traditional’,” hence, Citizens United.

    So, Mike McCabe reminds us that The Founders wanted a wall between not only church and state, but also between business and state.

    Whether we realize it or not he says, “the political spectrum has been turned on its head.  It is vertical, not horizontal.  The definitive question in today’s politics is not whether you are standing with those on the left, right or middle; it is whether you are with those on the top or bottom or somewhere in between.”  Who are the Democrats and Republicans standing with?  Who are they working for: Those on the top or those on the bottom?

         “One party is scary and the other is scared” McCabe repeats, and we know what he’s talking about.  “Both parties belong at or near the top because both are catering to wealthy special interests and neither major party is listening to ordinary people or reliably acting on their behalf… The horizontal spectrum continues to foster the illusion of two parties with separate and distinct masters.” Rather, we might want to begin to talk about “royals” and “commoners.”

        McCabe makes clear, “I am not talking about creating a third party.  I am talking about having at least one that truly owes its allegiance to the people.”  We need, he believes, a new political identity, thinking, vocabulary and new symbols.  Liberal and Conservative, for example boxes us into horizontal thinking.  We refer to politicians as leaders, yet “With a few impressive exceptions, politicians are  consummate followers.  They don’t move a muscle without getting marching orders from their key supporters.”  The current symbols for the Democratic and Republican parties are the donkey and the elephant. When giving lectures, McCabe begins by asking: “How many of you own a donkey?”  No hands go up.  Then he asks, “How many of you own an elephant?” Of course no hands go up.  Then he asks, “How many of you own a pair of blue jeans?”  And, every hand goes up.  So, “what would better represent people, an elephant or donkey or pair of blue jeans?” 

        What would better distinguish us from the suits on Wall Street or on K Street where all the lobbyists hang out or the suits on Capitol Hill whose pockets are lined?  “What” he asks, “could better symbolize the political identity of the masses than blue jeans? “  Overall, the book is as refreshing as Mike’s speeches.  He leaves us with  hope: “We face nothing today that hasn’t been faced – and defeated – before.  Right on this soil.”  He gives us strategies, things we can do, starting locally and thinking globally.  





    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has analyzed the health care bill pushed by President Trump and passed by House Republicans, and it's not a pretty picture. What passes for a debate on Capitol Hill over the future of health care in America shows how very far we have to travel to reach the destination of civilized medicine in this country. There is an elephant in the room that few on Capitol Hill are even acknowledging much less doing anything about. That being the case, answers need to come from outside Washington.


    There is a reason why most Americans believe our kids will be worse off than their parents. The U.S. is hurtling toward an increasingly jobless economy and everyone can see it coming. Even the politicians can see it but don't want to deal with what is plainly visible on the horizon. Instead, they look for scapegoats, telling frightened workers that immigrants are stealing their jobs. Or they offer empty promises that closed factories can be reopened and lost assembly line jobs will somehow magically reappear. This is the cruelest kind of hoax.
    If our society is going to hold together as the 21st Century economy continues to evolve, we are going to have to renegotiate the social contract.


    Among the many cool things that have been growing out of the ideas behind Blue Jean Nation, the latest is the Commoners Caucus. It started in Waupaca County and now has spread to Waushara County. Where next?

    transcending the left/right paradigm 
    marvin x

    Maestro Marvin X at Laney College Theatre (his former classroom, 1981), reading from his play One Day in the life, his scene of his last meeting with Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, in a West Oakland Crack House.

    Life is not about the left and right on the political spectrum, life is about right and wrong, i.e., one can be right but wrong and left but wrong. Sun Ra said, "Marvin you so right, you wrong!" I will say, "You so left you wrong!" Supposedly, politics is about power to the people, yet we often become so dogmatic in our ideological leanings, we say to hell with people power, we must stand our ground in our strident political stance, even to the point of ignoring the suffering of our people.

    Yes, there are North American Africans so loyal to the Democratic party that they will ignore our misery to maintain their membership in the Democratic party. I am horrified when I see our people living in tent cities throughout the Bay Area, especially here in Oakland, yet Democratic necros will do nothing to assuage their wretched condition, especially if relief must come from reaching out to the Republican administration to demand low-income housing funds.

    We were recently invited to meet with Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs, but the Democratic necros refused to even consider meeting with him to maintain their loyalty to their Democratic massas. The Christian necro ministers declined to seek low income housing funds from the Trump Administration even though gentrification is depleting their congregations.  As their members make their way to tent cities and migrate to central valley towns from Sacramento to Fresno and beyond, apparently the necro ministers sermonize that Jesus will find a way!

    We have learned Wall Street investors now own 40% of single housing units in Oakland, another reason for Oakland's rapidly depleting available units, especially after the investors made mass purchases during the subprime loan scams that tricked North American Africans and many other Americans of their basic wealth.

    We heard a lecture by Van Jones who bemoaned that Oakland used to be a majority Black city but has become the bedroom of Silicon Valley. He joked that Oakland should build a wall to keep Silicon Valley out!

    In the midst of gentrification, the idea of a Black Arts Movement Business District is becoming a joke, not to mention a Black cultural district for deep East Oakland. Where are we going to be, in museums along the route, with guided tours of Where We Used to Be? And this is true for Berkeley and most certainly for San Francisco.

    The Fillmore has been long gone and Hunters Point is on the way. Shall we mention our beloved Harlem with whites walking around like they own the place--alas, they do! Brooklyn is not escaping the ethnic cleansing of America's cities. Some necros are happy that gentrification is upgrading their neighborhoods from the wretchedness of rats, roaches, drugs and endless crime in the street. Of course they are not concerned about crime in the suites!

    Where are those necro leaders, those sycophants of the Democratic party, many of whom were on the Redevelopment boards that began necro removal decades ago. At least former San Francisco Mayor Joe Alioto publically apologized for destroying the cultural and economic vitality of the Fillmore. We've heard no apology from the necro removal necros.

    Of course nobody wants to hear Trump claim we are victims of the Democratic party. Supposedly, North American Africans should join the reactionary parade for his downfall and champion the second resurrection of the Clinton crime family, even though we think Trump won fair and square, after all, he appealed to the long suffering white nationalist sentiments in Euro-Americans. Being a black nationalist, I have no fear of white nationalists. I don't give a damn if they fly the Confederate flag, I want to see us fly the Red, Black and Green.

    I must say I've had experience with the white left and right, especially after assisting my controversial friend Eldridge Cleaver when he returned from exile as a right winger because he told me the left wing sent an emissary to Paris with the message he was not wanted back in America because of the hell he caused in the left. He was told to learn French and of course Cleaver would have none of this, he wanted to come home by any means necessary. He concocted a fantastic story of seeing Jesus in the moon and sold it to the right wing Born Again Christians.

    Traveling with him was a great learning experience for me, allowing me great insight of white, conservative Christian America. I can say with surety, I know the white Christian mentality. I know how they feel about Black Christian preachers and believers. If Black preachers didn't graduate from Fuller Theological Seminary or a reasonable facsimile, they were not respected. About they found Jesus one Tuesday night, didn't wash, at least not until at a white Born Again dinner after Cleaver gave his testimony, they turned to me with the question, "Marvin, when did you find the Lord?" Being an actor from the Black Arts Theatre, I quickly replied, "One Tuesday night!" The dinner guests were satisfied and turned to other matters.

    As Cleaver's chief aide, my first assignment was to fire all the Jews controlling him, e.g., his booking agent, publicist, secretary, etc. Of course, in doing so I discovered the tight knit Jewish family from coast to coast. As soon as I fired a Jew in San Francisco, the news hit New York the next second.

    More importantly, I learned the Christians blamed the Jews for killing Jesus but feigned deep love for Israel, yet they hated the Jews for getting their savior assassinated or crucified. They would give up their pseudo love for Israel in a heartbeat or let's say for a barrel of oil!

    The word went out that the Black Muslims had taken over Cleaver's ministry although the white Christians were still in control. Traveling as Cleaver's secretary, driver, bodyguard, photographer and ultimately organizer of his ministry The Eldridge Cleaver Crusades, I did indeed hire Black Muslims to assist him since Christian Blacks were mortally afraid that white man was going to kill him for lying about seeing Jesus in the moon on his balcony one night in Southern France.

    He fronted me and my Muslim recruits off as his heathen converts and this cooled out the Christians since they were bankrolling his ministry. I met or was in communication with all the Born Again superstars: Charles Colson of Watergate fame or infamy, Pat and Debbie Boone, Jim and Tammy Baker, Jerry Falwell, Hal Lindsey, Billy Graham, Rev. Robert Schuller at his Hour of Power, et al.

    I wouldn't close my eyes praying with these devils! One reason Cleaver hired me was to stop the white Christians from robbing him. After giving his testimony on Jerry Falwell's Old Time Gospel Hour in Lynchburg, VA, they claimed $37,000.00 in donations were received but they wanted Cleaver to give them the power of attorney so they could cash the checks, thus depriving Cleaver of addresses so he could appeal to those who donated and thus begin to establish his own ministry which was his desire after he realized they had their agenda for him which was not his agenda. We had to send a man to Lynchburg to get the money.

    Now the white Christians didn't know what to do with me. Although he was twice my size at the time, they wanted to know if I was his bodyguard. I claimed I was his assistant and photographer, which I was, although he pimped my brain on many matters. When he asked me to be his photographer, I told him I wanted the Rolls Royce of cameras, Leicaflex, and he immediately went to a camera shop and bought what I wanted. But when the white Christians saw me with the Leicaflex, they became so jealous and envious I put masking tape over the name!

    Now I was his bodyguard too: he gave me a 45 automatic pistol I carried in my camera bag. The Christians didn't trust him, nor did he trust them. Leaving Canada, the USA authorities searched us, then again when we arrived at Seattle airport, and again when we arrived in San Francisco. Truth is that Cleaver probably had more guns as a Born Again Christian than when he was a Black Panther. The USA didn't  know if he was still a Communist and didn't want to take any chances. They usually had a white Christian accompany us as he toured the Born Again circuit. Cleaver began to be disillusioned when he saw they had more secret meetings than Communists, especially when he was the subject!

    My assignment became to establish his independent ministry, which I began to do. I had long wanted him to give his testimony at Black churches but he refused. We worked seven days a week, sometimes never seeing Black people.

    When he demanded I live with the family so we could communicate better, I moved with them to Atherton, a rich white suburb near Stanford University. His wife Kathleen said to me, "Marvin, the girls used to call for you, but they don't call anymore!" No woman wants a man working seven days a week. I didn't have time to cash my check or get my clothes out the cleaners. Cleaver was a hard working Virgo and I was a Gemini with moon in Virgo, plus the son of a workaholic mother who never took a vacation in her life, while raising nine children and two grandchildren by herself as a real estate broker and lay disciple of Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science.

    I pressed him to give his testimony at a Black church. Finally, after much persistence from Bishop  Ernestine Reems of Oakland, I got him to give his "moon shot" or "Golden Shower" at her church in East Oakland. When we arrived for a preview of her venue, she immediately showed us the ceiling with gunshots from the previous occupants, the Nation of Islam, who departed in disgust after failure to pay rent.

    His sojourn in the Black churches were not a happy affair. There is simply no comparison of the Black and White Church. In 1976, the Black churches were





    no match for the opulent White churches, like the Jim and Tammy Baker plantation in Charlotte, North Carolina, or Rev. Schuller's Crystal Cathedral. It was like going from the massa's house to the slave hut! In the hut, they worked Cleaver from can't see to can't see, then when I went to count the money with the preacher, it was funny money. The slave hut had no air conditioning. On one occasion in a gym in Chico, CA., Cleaver almost fainted because of the heat.

    After seven months, I departed from Cleaver and his Christian ministry. Again, it was an educational experience no college or seminary could have taught me. And I knew well conservative Christian America's thinking. Their white supremacy mentality has made them sick and us as well, unless, of course, we understand Rev. Cone's narrative of the Cross and the Lynching Tree!

    Firstly, we should have no fear of the White Christian, right wing nationalists. We should engage them for mutual benefit, as Van Jones said recently. We endured the Crack epidemic, now they need us to help them recover from their addiction to opiates, religion included. As Rev. Cone taught us, "They can never understand Christianity until they come to terms with the cross and the lynching tree!"

    We can meet with them for mutual good. Neither political party, Democratic or Republican gives a damn about the National Agenda of North Americans, be sure about this and don't drink the Kool Aide of either party. No matter whose in power, stick to our agenda, our national aspirations, and don't be moved!

    I appreciate Van Jones for his conversations with Newt Gingrich, a genius of the right. Either we talk with our enemies or we kill them or they kill us. Ralph Nader has a book on the need to transcend the left/right paradigm. I have not read it, but I get the gist!

    The best thing I've heard President Trump say is to use common sense. Only thing, Dr. Julia Hare said, "Common sense is not too common these days!" At least Donald Trump is a businessman with whom we might be able to do business. Yes, let's make a deal! My Mother was a business woman. When a girlfriend came by my house on the way to high school and wanted to used my mother's phone, Mama asked her if it was a business call because Mom was a business woman and my girl couldn't use the phone if her call wasn't about business. In the spirit of my mother, if it ain't bout business, get off the goddamn phone talkin' bout where you at? It's not about are you left or right, rather, are you on the side of truth, righteousness, freedom, justice and equality!
    --Marvin X
    5/31/17

    0 0

    Obama: a Hollow Man Filled With Ruling Class Ideas
    June 2, 2017- counterpunch.org
    A “Hollow” Man Who Was “Unwilling to Fight the Good Fight”
    What on Earth motivated the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and law professor David J. Garrow to write an incredibly detailed 1078-page (1460 pages with endnotes and index included) biography of Barack Obama from conception through election to the White House? Not any great personal affinity for Obama on Garrow’s part, that’s for sure. Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama is no hagiography. On the last page of this remarkable tome, Garrow describes Obama at the end of his distinctly non-transformative and “failed presidency” as a man who had long ago had become a “vessel [that] was hollow at its core.”
    alt
    Near the conclusion, Garrow notes how disappointed and betrayed many of Obama’s former friends felt by a president who “doesn’t feel indebted to people” (in the words of a former close assistant) and who spent inordinate time on the golf course and “celebrity hobnobbing” (1067). Garrow quotes one of Obama’s “long-time Hyde Park [Chicago] friend[s],” who offered a stark judgement: “Barack is a tragic figure: so much potential, such critical times, but such a failure to perform…like he is an empty shell…Maybe the flaw is hubris, deep and abiding hubris….” (1065). Garrow quotes the onetime and short-lived Obama backer Dr. Cornel West on how Obama “posed as a progressive and turned out to be a counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a national security presidency…a brown-faced Clinton: another opportunist.”
    The subject of Garrow’s meticulous history is a single-minded climber ready to toss others (including family members, lovers, and close friends) aside in service to an all-consuming quest for political power fueled by a belief in his own special “destiny.” (It is clear from Rising Star that Obama was set on a run for the presidency by age twenty-five.) Dozens of former Obama associates interviewed by Garrow report having been impressed, even blown away by the future president as a young man. But many others were put off by Obama’s sense of superiority and arrogance (“full of himself” by the recollection of one Harvard Law classmate [p. 337]) and by his often lecturing, professorial “know it all” presentation – and by his transparent hyper-ambition.
    During his time at Harvard Law, fellow students invented “the Obamanometer” – a numerical measure of how long Obama would spend taking up class time with long-winded dialogue with the professor, often while claiming to speak on behalf of his fellow students.
    Obama struck many on his way up as far too impressed with his own awesomeness. As one of his fellow black Illinois state senators commented to another veteran legislator as Obama began his eight-year career in the Illinois Senate in 1996, “Can you believe this guy’s some thirty years old [and] he’s already written a book about himself?” (p.600)
    Progressives lobbyists found Obama “a disappointing legislator” during his time in the Illinois Senate.  According to Al Sharp, executive director of Protestants for the Common Good, state senator Obama was “so very pragmatic” that “he,” in Garrow’s words, “was unwilling to fight to the good fight.” By Garrow’s account. “Legal aid veteran Linda Mills recalled that [state senator] Barack ‘sponsored a number of bills I wrote,’ but ‘I stopped seeking him out as a chief sponsor early on’ because Barack was ‘disengaged’ rather than actively pushing the bills. ‘He was never involved in the legislation,’ and on many days Barack was simply ‘unavailable. Golfing, playing basketball.  He was just out to lunch so often’” (p.731)
    An Ugly Offer: Money for Silence
    I find a different story related in Rising Star just as disturbing. It comes from April of 2008, when then presidential candidate Obama was being compelled by the Hillary Clinton campaign to throw his onetime South Side Chicago “spiritual mentor”

    Reverend Jeremiah Wright under the bus because Obama’s association with the fiery Black and left-leaning pulpit master was costing him too many white votes. On April 12, 2008, Obama visited Wright, asking him not to do “any more public speaking until after the November election.” Wright refused. “Barack left empty-handed but before long Wright received an e-mail from Barack’s close friend Eric Whitaker, also a Trinity [church] member, offering Wright $150,000 ‘not to preach at all’ in the months ahead.” (p.1044). Wright refused.
    How was that for progressive hope and change?
    “A Work of Historical Fiction”

    Young Obama tried to beat historians to the punch by writing a deceptive, self-serving account of his own first three and half decades gracing the planet with his “special qualities.” Garrow, to his credit, doesn’t fall for it. Rising Star takes the future president’s 1995 book Dreams From My FatherDreams and some of Obama’s later autobiographical reflections to task for: inventing a deep racial identity drama that never occurred during Obama’s early years in Hawaii, Indonesia, and Occidental College; incorrectly portraying Obama as a “difference-maker” on his high school basketball team; deceptively claiming that Obama had been an angry “thug” during high school; deleting the Community Party background of the Black “old poet” (“Frank,” as in longtime Communist Party activist Frank Davis) who gave Obama advice as a teenager in Honolulu; inaccurately claiming that Obama have received a “full scholarship” to Occidental; misrepresenting himself as a leader in the movement against South African apartheid at Occidental; exaggerating Obama’s involvement in anti-apartheid activism at Columbia University; covering up  evidence of Obama’s enrollment in a Columbia course taught by a Marxist academic; absurdly mispresenting the nature of Obama’s work for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) at the City University of New York; concocting a mythical and supposedly life-changing dialogue with a  “black security guard” on Obama’s first trip from New York City to begin community organizing work on the far South Side of Chicago;  falsely claiming that Obama  converted to Christianity during his early years in Chicago; largely writing Obama’s white mother out of his autobiography, which spilled far more ink on a father (Barack Obama. Sr.) who played little role in his life; painting a “decidedly uncharitable portrait” of Obama’s loving white maternal grandfather (Stanley Dunham) who did so much to raise him; suggesting that Obama’s maternal white grandmother was a racist; unduly downplaying Obama’s supreme enjoyment of his years at Harvard Law School; and coldly condensing his three top pre-marital girlfriends (more on them below) “into a single woman whose appearance in the book was fleeting indeed.” Garrow judges Dreams“a work of historical fiction,” not a serious autobiography or memoir.
    The Revenge of Sheila Jager: “His Deep-Seated Need to be Loved and Admired”

    Rising Star might almost deserve the sub-title “The Revenge of Sheila Jager.” Like Garrow’s giant and classic 1986 biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rising Star gets very, very personal. Garrow reports the complaints of Obama’s three former girlfriends – Alex McNair, Genevieve Cook, and Sheila Jager. Each one recalls an Obama that was ultimately inaccessible and hopelessly self-involved.  Ms. Jager, a partly white Asian-American University of Chicago anthropology graduate student when she met Obama, garners singular attention. She fell into a prolonged and ardent affair with then community organizer Obama during the late 1980s. But her long and tumultuous relationship with him was doomed by the color of her skin. Obama shared the passion but decided he could not marry her because his political ambitions in Chicago required a Black spouse.
    Garrow recounts an ugly scene in the summer of 1987. A loud and long dispute developed one day at the Wisconsin summer home of a friend. From the morning onwards, a witness recalled, “they were back and forth, having sex, screaming yelling, having sex, screaming yelling.… That whole afternoon, they went back and forth between having sex and fighting,” with Jager yelling: “That’s wrong! That’s wrong! That’s not a reason.”
    Near the end of his colossal volume, Garrow says that “no one alive brought deeper insight into the tragedy of Barack Obama than Sheila Jager.” He reproduces numerous quotations from Jager, now an Oberlin College anthropology professor.  As a young woman, she was frustrated by young Obama’s lack of “courage.” Writing to Garrow in August of 2013, Jager saw that cowardice in his excessively “pragmatic,” disengaged, and “compromising” presidency:
    “the seeds of his future failings were always present in Chicago.  He made a series of calculated decisions when he began to map out his political life at the time and they involved some deep compromises.  There is a familiar echo in the language he uses now to talk about the compromises he’s always forced to make and the way he explained his future to me back then, saying in effect I ‘wish’ I could do this, but ‘pragmatism and the reality of the world has forced me to do that.’  From the bailout out to NSA to Egypt, it is always the same. The problem is that ‘pragmatism’ can very much look like what works best for the moment.  Hence, the constant criticism that there is no strategic vision behind his decisions. Perhaps this pragmatism and need to just ‘get along in the world’ (by accepting the world as it is instead of trying to change it) stems from his deep-seated need to be loved and admired which has ultimately led him on the path to conformism and not down the path of greatness which I had hoped for him.” (1065)
    The italics are Garrow’s.  He added emphasis to the entire passage.
    Or Maybe He Really Believed All that “Vacuous to Repressive Neoliberal” and “Pragmatism” Stuff
    Garrow’s mammoth biography is a tour de force when it comes to personal critique, professional appraisal, and epic research and documentation. His mastery of the smallest details in Obama’s life and career and his ability to place those facts within a narrative that keeps the reader’s attention (no small feat at 1078 pages!) is remarkable.  Rising Star falls short, however, on ideological appraisal. In early 1996, the brilliant left Black political scientist Adolph Reed, Jr. captured the stark moral and political limits of what would become the state and then national Obama phenomenon and indeed the Obama presidency.  Writing of an unnamed Obama, Reed observed that:
    “In Chicago…we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program – the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance.”
    Garrow very incompletely quotes Reed’s reflection only to dismiss it as “an academic’s way of calling Barack an Uncle Tom.”  That is an unfortunate judgement. Reed’s assessment was richly born-out by Obama’s subsequent political career.  Like his politcio-ideological soul-brothers Bill Clinton and Tony Blair (and perhaps now Emmanuel Macron), Obama’s public life has been a wretched monument to the dark power of the neoliberal corporate-financial and imperial agendas behind the progressive pretense of façade of telegenic and silver-tongued professional class politicos.
    Reed’s prescient verdict more than 12 years before Obama became president brings more insight to the Obama tragedy than Jager’s reflection five years into Obama’s presidency. Obama’s nauseating taste for supposedly (and deceptively) non-ideological “get things done” “pragmatism,” “compromise,” and “playing it safe” – for “accepting the world as it is instead of trying to change it” (Jager) – was not simply or merely a personality quirk or psychological flaw. It was also and far more significantly a longstanding way for “liberal” Democratic presidents and other politicos to appear “tough-minded” and stoutly determined to “getting things done” while they subordinate the fake-populist and progressive-sounding values they mouth to get elected to the harsh “deep state” facts of U.S. ruling class, imperial, and “national security” power. A “pragmatic,” supposedly non-ideological concern for policy effectiveness – “what can be accomplished in the real world” – has long given “liberal” presidents a manly way to justify governing in accord with the wishes of the nation’s ruling class and power elite.
    Garrow and Jager might want to look at a forgotten political science classic, Bruce Miroff’s  Pragmatic Illusions: The Presidential Politics of John F. Kennedy [1976].) After detailing the supposedly progressive Kennedy’s cool-headed, Harvard-minted, and “best and brightest” service to the nation’s reigning corporate, imperial, and racial hierarchies, Miroff explained that:
    “Most modern presidents have claimed the title of ‘pragmatist’ for themselves.  Richard Nixon was just as concerned as John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to announce that he was not wedded to dogma, and that his administration would follow a realistic and flexible course. It has chiefly been the liberal presidents, however, who have captured the pragmatic label…For liberal presidents – and for those who have advised them – the essential mark of pragmatism is its ‘tough-mindedness.’ Pragmatism is equated with strength and intellectual and moral strength that can accept a world stripped of illusions and can take the facts unadorned.  Committed to liberal objectives, yet free from liberal sentimentality, the pragmatic liberal sees himself as grappling with brute and unpleasant facts of political reality in order to humanize and soften those facts…The great enemy for pragmatic liberals is ideology…An illusory objectivity is one of the pillars of pragmatic ‘tough-mindedness.’ The second pillar is readiness for power.  Pragmatists are interested in what works; their prime criterion of value is success…[and] as a believer in concrete results, the pragmatist is ineluctably drawn to power.  For it is power that gets things done most easily, that makes things work most successfully.” (Pragmatic Illusions, 283-84, emphasis added).
    The classic neoliberal Bill Clinton embraced the pragmatic and non-ideological “get things done” façade for state capitalist and imperialist policy. So did the pioneering neoliberal Jimmy Carter and the great corporate liberals Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kenney and Franklin Roosevelt. Was this really or mainly because they were psychologically wounded?  The deeper and more relevant reality is that they functioned atop a Superpower nation-state rule by unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money, empire, and white supremacism. They were educated, socialized, seduced and indoctrinated – to understand in their bones that those de facto dictatorships must remain intact (Roosevelt boasted of having saved the profits system) and that liberal “reform” must always bend to the will of reigning institutions and doctrines of concentrated wealth, class, race, and power. Some or all of them may well have to believe and internalize the purportedly non-ideological ideology of wealth- and power-serving pragmatism. And Obama was either a true believer or one who cynically chose to impersonate one as the ticket to power quite early on.
    A Fully Minted Neoliberal Early On

    The irony here is that one can consult Rising Star to determine the basic underlying accuracy of Reed’s acerbic description. My foremost revelation from Rising Star is that Obama was fully formed as a fake-progressive neoliberal-capitalist actor well before he ever received his first big money campaign contribution.  He’s headed down the same ideological path as the Clintons even before Bill Clinton walks into the Oval Office.  Obama’s years in the corporate-funded foundation world, the great ruling and professional class finishing schools Columbia University Harvard Law, and the great neoliberal University of Chicago’s elite Law School were more than sufficient to mint him as a brilliant if “vacuous to repressive neoliberal.”
    During his years at Harvard Law, Garrow notes, Obama took said the following at a Turner Broadcasting African American Summit for the 1990s:
    “Whenever we blame society for everything, or blame white racism for everything, then inevitably we’re giving away our own power…if we can get start getting beyond some of these old divisions [of race, place, and class] and look at the possibilities of crafting pragmatic, practical strategies that are going to focus on what’s  going to make it work and less about whether it fits into one ideological mold or another.”
    These were classic neoliberal and ruling class themes.
    Along with a healthy dose of market economics, this was the heavily ideological if nominally anti-ideological essence of much of Obama’s intellectual work at Harvard Law, where he and his good friend the former economist Rob Fisher were drawn to the courses of a libertarian professor and wrote oxymoronically about the progressive and democratic potential of “market forces.”  Like other ruling class and professional class educational and ideological institutions of “higher education,” Harvard Law was and remains a great schoolhouse of precisely the kind of “pragmatism” which knows that no policies and visions can work that don’t bow to the holy power of the finance-led corporate and imperial state, ruling in the name of the market among other things.
    Again, and again across Garrow’s many hundreds of pages on Obama’s community organizing and legislative career one hears about the future president’s classically neoliberal efforts to address poverty and joblessness by increasing the market value of poor and jobless folks’ “human capital” and “skill sets.”  Never does one learn of any serious call on his part for the radical and democratic redistribution of wealth and power and the advance of a people’s political economy based on solidarity and the common good, not the profits of the investor class.
    The main things Obama needed to add on to fulfill his “destiny” after Harvard Law were a political career in elected office, a great moment of national celebrity (his spectacular Keynote Address to the Democratic National Convention in August of 2004), elite financial sponsorship (including record-setting Wall Street backing in 2007 and 2008), and proper appreciation and articulation of U.S.-imperial Council on Foreign Relations ideology.  All of this and more, including no small good fortune (including the awfulness of the George W. Bush administration and the 2007-08 Hillary Clinton campaign), followed and brought us to the great neoliberal “disappointment” that was the Obama presidency.
    Curious Deletions: MacFaquhar, Marxists, and the Ruling Class Sponsors

    There are some interesting deletions in Rising Star. It is odd that the meticulous Garrow never quotes a remarkable essay published by The New Yorker in the spring of 2007. In early May of that year, six months after Obama had declared his candidacy for the White House, the New Yorker’s  Larissa MacFarquhar penned a memorable portrait of Obama titled “The Conciliator: Where is Barack Obama Coming From?” “In his view of history, in his respect for tradition, in his skepticism that the world can be changed any way but very, very slowly,” MacFarquhar wrote after extensive interviews with the candidate, “Obama is deeply conservative. There are moments when he sounds almost Burkean…It’s not just that he thinks revolutions are unlikely: he values continuity and stability for their own sake, sometimes even more than he values change for the good” (emphasis added).
    MacFarquhar cited as an example of this reactionary sentiment Obama’s reluctance to embrace single-payer health insurance on the Canadian model, which he told her would “so disruptive that people feel like suddenly what they’ve known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside.” Obama told MacFarquhar that “we’ve got all these legacy systems in place, and managing the transition, as well as adjusting the culture to a different system, would be difficult to pull off. So we may need a system that’s not so disruptive that people feel like suddenly what they’ve known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside.”
    So what if large popular majorities in the U.S. had long favored the single-payer model? So what if single payer would let people keep the doctors of their choice, only throwing away the protection pay off to the private insurance mafia? So what if “the legacy systems” Obama defended included corporate insurance and pharmaceutical oligopolies that regularly threw millions of American lives by the wayside of market calculation, causing enormous disruptive harm and death for the populace?
    Was this personal weakness and cowardice? The deeper reality is that Obama’s “deeply conservative” beliefs reflected an either calculated or heartfelt allegiance to neoliberal “free market” ideals and related pragmatic and “realistic” ruling- and elite professional-class values inculcated and absorbed at Harvard Law, in the corporate-captive foundation world, and through his many contacts in the elite business sector and the foreign policy establishment as he rose in the American System. Along with a bottomless commitment to the long American imperial project, those power-serving beliefs were written all over Obama’s conservative late 2006 campaign book The Audacity of Hope (Obama’s second book and his second book mainly about himself – see my critical review of it on Black Agenda Report in early 2007  here), whose right-wing and imperial content Garrow ignores.  They also raised their head in the famous 2004 Democratic Convention Keynote Address (see my critical reflection on that oration at the time here) that did so much to make Obama an overnight national and even global celebrity – another document whose right-leaning ideological nature escapes Garrow’s attention.
    Like Obama’s neoliberal and imperial ideology, the many left activists and writers (this reviewer included) who saw through Obama’s progressive pretense and warned others about it early on are basically missing in Rising Star.  The list of Left commentators left out is long.  It includes Bruce Dixon, Glen Ford, John Pilger, Noam Chomsky. Alexander Cockburn, Margaret Kimberly, Jeffrey St. Clair, Roger Hodge, Pam Martens, Ajamu Baraka, Doug Henwood, Juan Santos, Marc Lamont Hill, John R. MacArthur, and a host of others (Please see the sub-section titled “Insistent Left Warnings” on pages 176-177 in the sixth chapter, titled “We Were Warned,” of my 2010 book The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power [Paradigm, 2014], my second carefully researched Obama book not to make it into Garrow’s endnotes or bibliography).
    Also largely missing – the other side of the coin of omission, so to speak – in Garrow’s sprawling acount is the elite corporate and financial class that made record-setting contributions to Obama’s rise with an understanding that Obama was very much on their side. How write a 1000-page plus account of Obama’s rise to power without at least once mentioning that august and unparalleled ruling class figure Robert Rubin, whose nod of approval was critical to Obama’s ascendancy? As Greg Palast noted, Rubin “opened the doors to finance industry vaults for Obama. Extraordinarily for a Democrat, Obama in 2008 raised three times as much from bankers as his Republican opponent.”
    Rubin would also serve as a top informal Obama adviser and placed a number of his protégés in high-ranking positions in the Obama administration. Rubin’s Obama appointees included Timothy Geithner (Obama’s first treasury secretary), Peter Orszag (Obama’s first Office of Management and Budget director), and Larry Summers (first chief economic adviser).
    Just as odd as his ignoring of MacFarquhar’s May 2007 essay is Garrow’s inattention to a remarkable report from Ken Silverstein’s six months before. “It’s not always clear what Obama’s financial backers want,” the progressive journalist Ken Silverstein noted in a Harpers’ Magazine report titled “Obama, Inc.” in November of 2006, “but it seems safe to conclude that his campaign contributors are not interested merely in clean government and political reform…On condition of anonymity,” Silverstein added, “one Washington lobbyist I spoke with was willing to point out the obvious: that big donors would not be helping out Obama if they didn’t see him as a ‘player.’ The lobbyist added: ‘What’s the dollar value of a starry-eyed idealist?’” Obama’s allegiance to the American business elite was evident from the get go. It was well understood by the K Street insiders that Silverstein interviewed in the fall of 2006.
    His “dollar value” to Wall Street would become abundantly clear in early 2009, when he told a frightened group of Wall Street executives that “I’m not here to go after you. I’m protecting you…I’m going to shield you from congressional and public anger.” For the banking elite, who had destroyed untold millions of jobs, there was, as Garrow’s fellow Pulitzer Prize-winner Ron Sukind wrote, “Nothing to worry about. Whereas [President Franklin Delano] Roosevelt had [during the Great Depression] pushed for tough, viciously opposed reforms of Wall Street and famously said ‘I welcome their hate,’ Obama was saying ‘How can I help?’” As one leading banker told Suskind, “The sense of everyone after the meeting was relief. The president had us at a moment of real vulnerability. At that point, he could have ordered us to do just about anything and we would have rolled over. But he didn’t – he mostly wanted to help us out, to quell the mob.”
    On Love and Admiration
    As noted above, professor Jager told Garrow that the limits of Obama’s presidency stemmed from his longstanding “need to be loved and admired.” But surely that need would have been met to no small degree had Obama (like Roosevelt in 1935 and 1936) governed in at least partial accord with the progressive-sounding rhetoric he campaigned on in 2007 and 2008. Beyond the social, democratic, security and environmental benefits that would have been experienced by millions of Americans and world citizens under an actually progressive Obama presidency, such policy would have been good politics for both Obama and the Democratic Party. It might well have pre-empted the Tea Party rebellion and kept the orange-haired beast Donald Trump – a dodgy neo-fascistic legacy of Obama and the Clintons’ ruling- and professional-class Ivy League elitism – out of the White House.  The bigger problem here was Obama’s love and admiration for the nation’s reigning wealth and power elite – or, perhaps, his reasonable calculation that the powers that be held a monopoly on the means of bestowing public love and admiration. Non-conformism to the ruling class carries no small cost in a media and politics culture owned by that class.
    The Biggest Omission: Empire

    The most glaring thing missing in Rising Star is any understanding of U.S, Senator and presidential candidate Obama’s imperial world view. His brazenly “American exceptionalist” and imperial mindset, straight out of the Council on Foreign Relations, was written all over Obama’s foreign policy speeches and writings (including large sections of The Audacity of Hope) in 2006, 2007, and 2008. I wrote about this at length in the fourth chapter (titled “How Antiwar? Obama, Iraq, and the Audacity of Empire”) in my 2008 book Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics.
    This significant omission but it is unsurprising given Garrow’s own apparent enmeshment in the American imperial mindset.  Rising Star’s long epilogue includes John McCain-like criticisms of Obama for failing to launch military strikes on Syria and for being too allergic to “the use, or even the threat of force” in global affairs. Garrow even offers a lengthy critical quote on the need for “the next president” to be more “resolute” from the former leading imperialist defense secretary Robert Gates, who Garrow strangely describes as “the weightiest and most widely respected voice of all.”
    “Problems Out There with the Situation of African-Americans in Society”
    Obama first became something of a celebrity when he became the first Black editor of the Harvard Law Review in February of 1990.  “I wouldn’t want people to see my election,” Obama told the Associated Press, “as a symbol that there aren’t problems out there with the situation of African-Americans in society” (Garrow, Rising Star, p. 392). Note the carefully calibrated nature of Obama’s public commentary already at the age of 28: “problems out there with the situation of African-Americans in society” could just as easily refer to alleged Black personal and cultural failure (a persistent white-pleasing theme in the rising star’s political rhetoric) as it could to cultural and/or institutional and societal racism.  Note also that while Obama’s election and re-election to the U.S. presidency brought few if any tangible material and policy gains to Black America (whose already terrible economic situation deteriorated significantly during his time in office), it functioned as something like the last nail in the coffin of many whites’ stark reluctance to acknowledge that the nation’s still deeply embedded racism any longer poses real barriers to Black advancement and equality in the U.S. “Are you kidding me?” I’ve heard countless whites say, “we elected a Black president! Stop talking about racism!” Never mind the persistence of deeply embedded racial inequality and oppression at the heart of the nation’s labor and housing markets, credit and investment systems, legal and criminal justice systems, its military and police state, and its educational and media systems – and the dogged tenacity of personal and cultural race prejudice among a considerable part of the white populace.  In that and other ways, the tragedy of the Obama years has been greatest of all for those at the bottom of the nation’s steep social and economic wells.
    King v. Obama
    If I could ask Garrow one question beyond the personal matter of why my own heavily researched and annotated study of (and Left warning on) “rising star” Obama (Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics [Paradigm-Routledge, 2008]) is so egregiously missing in his bibliography and endnotes, it is this: what does Garrow think his previous epic biography subject Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. (who politely refused progressives’ effort to enlist him as a presidential candidate and whose bust sat behind Obama in the Oval Office), would have thought of the career of Garrow’s new epic biography subject, Barack Obama?
    As Garrow knows, King in his final years inveighed eloquently against what he called “the triple evils that are interrelated,” essentially capitalism, racism, and militarism-imperialism. King came to the end of his martyred life with the belief that the real faults in American life lay not so much in “men” as in the oppressive institutions and social structures that reigned over them.  He wrote that“the radical reconstruction of society itself” was “the real issue to be faced” beyond “superficial” matters. He had no interest, of course, in running for the White House of all things.
    Obama took a very different path, one that enlisted him in service both to narcissistic self and to each of the very triple evils (and other ones as well) that King dedicated his life to resisting.
    The Obama-King contrast continues into Obama’s post-presidential years.  As Garrow showed in Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King. Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (William Morrow, 1986), the great Civil Rights leader and democratic socialist Dr. King sternly refused to cash in on his fame.  Now that he out of the White House, Obama, by contrast, is cashing in. He’s raking in millions from the publishing industry and Wall Street and he’s back to his old “hobnobbing” ways with the rich and famous.
    The reverend would be 88 years old if he had been blessed with longevity.  My guess is that he would be less than pleased at the life and career of the nation’s first technically Black president.

    0 0

    Sister Tchaiko Kwayana: An Original Educator of the African World

    by Dr. Matthew Quest

    Educator and popular historian Sister Tchaiko R. Kwayana (1937-2017) taught in Africa, South America and the US. A forerunner of the Black Power and Black studies movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s, she also challenged post-civil rights, post-colonial independence black-led regimes where they emerged as authoritarian and oppressive, betraying the goals of national liberation and Black autonomy.

    Sister Tchaiko Kwayana: An Original Educator of the African World

    by Matthew Quest

    Kwayana was born Annie Florence Elizabeth Cook in 1937. She was raised in the small town of Buena Vista, Georgia. As a year old baby in her father’s arms, she was introduced to Jim Crow white supremacy at the point of a gun and was disturbed by degrading threats, as her father wished to get her water from a local restaurant.
    She grew up experiencing segregation at restaurants, movie theaters, denial of access to public swimming pools, the ever-present danger of being swindled out of one’s land.  She didn't learn to ride a bicycle or swim for fear by her parents of foul play. They protected her in a Southern culture where mutilated black bodies could be found lynched, at the bottom of wells, or in gutters. But she was also raised in an African American community that prided itself on self-reliance.
    Her father, Rev. James John Cook, was a Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) minister, and her mother Mrs. Dorthula Theresa Coan Cook, cut wood in her South Carolina sharecropping home, and worked as a live-in maid in New York to send her brothers and sisters and herself to college.
    Her father taught by example that the proper measure of respect with white people was not simply whether they called you by your first or last name, or treated you professionally in a customer service setting while in reality keeping you in your subordinate place. Key for Rev. Cook was whether white people respected you enough to listen to you, discuss philosophy, worldviews, and lend each other books. Those whites whom wished to keep black people in their place did not acknowledge that people of color had something to teach them about culture, or their own self-government, in an exchange of equals.
    Tchaiko’s mother taught her about work ethic and believed, at first, that the children should join work gangs, most often led by white men, so they knew how to pick peaches and cotton. Her father agreed these skills should be learned and preserved in their children, but this educational experience of engaging the land should be found among black families in their own community.
    Her mothers’s and father’s approach to education complemented each other. Her mother taught in a one-room schoolhouse and watched over young girls, even those who became pregnant and were cast out of church communities. She made sure they got their education. She taught Tchaiko to read at four.
    Tchaiko recalled that while she changed her name in search of her own identity, (“Tchaiko” in Shona means “one who seeks truth,” and “Ruramai,” her maiden name, means “take a clear path to a given goal,”) she did not anticipate how this would make her mother feel. Her mother, Dorthula, always wanted to live near a historically black college and felt “founder’s day” and graduation ceremonies, marking the overcoming of obstacles to an education, were of communal significance.
    Tchaiko studied at Paine College, an HBCU in Augusta, Georgia and later at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. Around the age of 20, Tchaiko became a grade school teacher in Augusta, Georgia, having graduated high school early at the age of 16. Soon by railroad, she would migrate to teach Mexican American farm workers in Texas, work in a child care center for African American migrant farmers in Sherbourne, New York and more affluent students in an education workshop at Fresno State College. When she taught at a Boys High School in Lagos Nigeria, the only female on the staff, she beat all the students and faculty in the 100 yard dash.
    From 1960 to 1968, Tchaiko helped form the Donald Warden led Afro-American Association (AAA) in the San Francisco Bay Area, which eventually gave birth in 1966, to Huey Newton’s and Bobby Seale’s Black Panther Party, Maulana Karenga’s US (“us versus them”) cultural nationalist movement known best for founding the Kwanzaa holiday, and the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) that manifested aspects of class struggle and cultural nationalist ideas. As James Smethhurst, a scholar of the Black Arts Movement, has put it: at the same time as Maulana Karenga, Tchaiko pioneered the study of precolonial and ancient African civilizations and projected new philosophies of culture, but without the subordination of women.
    The AAA recognized that the vote, formal education, and civil rights didn’t necessarily translate to empowerment, and it was wrong to blindly worship constitutional forms. What was needed was education rooted in African history and culture for the development of autonomous community institutions – the desire to be only Americans and not Afro-Americans made this more difficult because it papered over the history of empire and slavery that made blacks fall outside classical notions of ethnic and immigrant social mobility. Civil rights paved the way for middle and professional classes to thrive but not the marginal working class, unemployed, or street force.
    Despite the BPP and US’s later deadly conflict in 1969, their basic principles were not irreconcilable. Maulana Karenga was insightful that meditations on African languages and history could produce new philosophical and epistemic breakthroughs. If Huey Newton’s initial criticism of RAM was unnecessarily harsh, Newton was also correct that the AAA had an insufficient critique of capitalism, and confrontation with police brutality was needed. But Newton was part of those who originated these radical breakthroughs after a period of intellectual development. Many were mentored toward deeper conclusions through critical dialogues as young college students by the AAA as personified by Warden, Kwayana, and others who were a few years older. This was before or concurrent with historical moments such as Malcolm X breaking with the Nation of Islam (1963-1964), Malcolm’s death in February 1965, and the Black Power and Black Studies rebellions of 1966-1971. Tchaiko was innovating and organizing before these became mass movements.
    In the period Tchaiko taught in Nigeria (1962-1964), she became inspired by those who participated in Wole Soyinka’s 1960 Black Masks group. They heightened her awareness of pidgin or creole English, as a phenomenon that like Gullah/Geechee heritage in South Carolina and Georgia, contained African cultural retentions and knowledge systems, but also was a gateway to better understanding the thought of Black toilers. She spent her holidays in Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana where a large African American community had settled led by Maya Angelou before Nkrumah’s overthrow in 1966. Soon Tchaiko would develop lifelong friendships with the artists Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence, and until his death, a close friendship with Langston Hughes when she had her apartment in Harlem. Tchaiko also became close with Toni Cade Bambara, Toni Morrison, and Amiri Baraka.
    In 1968 Tchaiko (still as Ann Cook) published her first major article, “Black Pride: Some Contradictions?,” that became serialized in the popular journals of the period through 1970 such as Hoyt Fuller’s Negro Digest (soon to be renamed Black World), and Jitu Weusi’s Black News. Her article was also in conversation with debate about the need for independent Black media and communications in Soulbook, a unique theoretical journal that brought together activists of the Revolutionary Action Movement and the Republic of New Africa but also activists of Guyana, South Africa, and Ghana to discuss the emerging conflicting tendencies in the black liberation movement.
    Her essay also had a subtle chiding of Kenya’s Tom Mboya for referring to African Americans as “cousins.” Mboya in his Challenges of Nationhood, a collection of essays and speeches, approached African American cultural nationalism with some reasonable critiques but also a tone of smug contempt. Tchaiko reminded that African Americans were “brothers” not “cousins,” and anticipated the contemporary concern that some Africans, more recently from the continent, don’t like the descendants of the enslaved or find them inauthentic. She contested nobody could disinherit Black people from the African heritage if they searched for it, and worked hard to claim and affirm it. It was not a given, as Tchaiko showed, that Africans on the continent had overcome their own internalized racism and colonialism.
    “Black Pride” was published in Toni Cade Bambara’s edited volume The Black Woman (1970) that included contributions from Patricia Robinson, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, and Grace Lee Boggs. What did Tchaiko have to say that made this a classic of Black political thought?
    “Black Pride” explored how in the period of 1968-1970, where “Black revolution” was widely discussed, the search for African identities became a fashion, co-opted by corporate media and consumer culture. “African” fashion shows were adapted to Western conceptions of gender and sexuality. It wasn’t simply “black” culture was being appropriated by white chauvinists. African Americans were carelessly engaging African symbolism and substance as well. Deeper color complexes within the community, as represented by blow out Afros and skin bleaching, Tchaiko explained, was covering up an inability to deal with the presence within the black community of anti-black racism.
    Tchaiko critiqued what we now know as Afrocentric interpretations of history for its monumentalism and high modernism, its search for Egyptian pyramids to approximate Western skyscrapers in technology and architecture, and Mali’s Timbuctoo to prove that Africans could write. Affirming Blacks were “the first” or “equal to” Western civilization’s standards and achievements sometimes fell short of unveiling the autonomous thought of the African heritage. African American Islam, while encouraging a culture of modesty and discipline Tchaiko could support, was obscuring deeper questions about Islam’s role in facilitating racism and slavery on the African continent. While African American’s anti-racist initiative to switch from unquestioned loyalty to Christianity (as a result of its silences on slavery) to openness to Islam was a sign of critical thinking, not enough questions about “monotheism” as Westerners had assimilated it was happening.
    Tchaiko argued that besides the study of an African language, blacks would better relate to Africa if they did not visit as tourists in air conditional hotels, and related not to the African urban but rural agrarian life found also in the American South. Farming, herding chickens and cattle, shucking peanuts; being aware of Yoruba cosmologies, keeping in mind that most Africans were peasants who lived by oral history (though precolonial writing systems were present and she would disseminate information about these) would bring Blacks closer to the African heritage.
    She also explained that traveling in Latin America with the proper mindset could illuminate African cultural retentions just as well as visiting West Africa. Her discussions of her visit with the Djuka of Suriname, a Maroon community hostile to the ways of assimilated middle classes, revealed to Tchaiko their collective memory of African cosmologies and how this informed their sense of independence, defending their own family forms, but also their own sense they were part of an African world.
    In her 1968 sojourn to South America she also met Abdas Do Nascimento in Brazil. His T.E.N., the black experimental theatre group, was teaching against anti-black racism within Brazil’s national culture, revealing how colonial legacies, in this case the Portuguese, could promote genocidal thoughts as internalized racism.
    Tchaiko brought her independent initiative, in search of African survivals and rejecting white supremacist epistemic burdens to Guyana in 1968, where she met her future husband of 46 years, the Pan African and independent socialist Eusi Kwayana, now 92 years old.
    Tchaiko Kwayana with her essay on black pride in many ways wrote her husband into African Diaspora History and African World History. Eusi, then Sidney King, had been a minister in the government and co-leader of the Cheddi Jagan’s People’s Progressive Party in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He was a political prisoner when Anglo-American imperialism overthrow their democratically elected government in 1953-1954. Had this not occurred the Cuban Revolution would not have been the first socialist government in the region.
    In the late 1950s to the early 1960s, King transitioned from a critical supporter of Jagan, to a critical supporter of Forbes Burnham’s People’s National Congress (PNC). King advised Burnham’s PNC in various ways through official independence for Guyana in 1966. King gave Burnham the idea of a cooperative republic or cooperative socialism as the philosophical foundation for the post-independence government. From 1968-1971, when Ann Cook first met Sidney King, he had built an organization called ASCRIA (African Society for Cultural Relations with Independent Africa). In between her travels, in this same period as Ann F. Cook, she was the director of SEEK at City College in Harlem, a program for those who were said to be disadvantaged or underprivileged. Out of these students came the rebellions for Black Studies and open admissions. It was a time when City College, though a campus in Harlem, was still overwhelmingly white.
    ASCRIA was first a cultural front around the PNC government, teaching a cultural revolution, very similar to Tchaiko’s thoughts on “black pride.” The contradictions of Black Nationalism and pseudo-socialism of Burnham’s regime unfolded from 1971-1975. Wildcat strikes of landless sugar workers, bauxite workers, and independent cooperatives were coordinated by or supported by ASCRIA in a manner that presented African (and Indian) labor’s self-emancipation as the embodiment of national liberation against Burnham’s increasing populist authoritarian regime. ASCRIA struggled, and was successful, to discard the idea that black power was people of color holding the same elite posts and coveted positions as whites.
    Great international controversy was fomented as to the split between Eusi Kwayana and Forbes Burnham in 1973-1974. This was a result of Tchaiko Kwayana being instrumental in linking up Guyana with the Black Power movement that was increasingly turning toward Pan Africanism in the early 1970s and critiques of post-civil rights, post-colonial independence regimes.
    The movement for the Sixth Pan African Congress in Tanzania up to 1973 saw Burnham as a sponsor of a Pan African secretariat, led by Bro. Zolili, a science teacher from California. Burnham’s regime was a friend to African American political prisoners. RAM’s Herman Ferguson (underground as Paul Adams) and the African American children’s book author, Tom Feelings, were now employed by the Guyana government. But other RAM members, Mamadou Lumumba and Shango Umoja, became dissidents against Burnham, siding with ASCRIA, and were cast out of the country in 1973. Amiri Baraka and Jitu Weusi for a time did not know whose side to take. Nevertheless, this revealed the conflicting tendencies within the Black Power and Pan African movements. CLR James soon led a boycott of the Sixth Pan African Congress in Tanzania that shortly before James had traveled the world organizing.
    During this time, Burnham singled out Tchaiko specifically for her dynamic community organizing with ASCRIA -- and smeared her as a meddling outsider. This was recorded in the publications ASCRIA Bulletin and ASCRIA Drums. Burnham’s Pan African façade of his increasingly dictatorial regime was starting to evaporate.
    Tchaiko also remembers these times for how she learned more about popular educational methods from observing Eusi who was teacher and principal at County High School in Buxton, Guyana. He taught his young students to be confident reading Shakespeare, participate in theatrical productions, and to take down oral histories from community elders to be aware of the African heritage and survivals in their community. At the same time he linked a return to the land, the hinterland of Guyana, with respect for Amerindians as they affirmed African culture. The Kwayanas were part of the social revival of African drumming, and showed those that practiced Comfa, and the Jordanites of Guyana, on their own authority had been initiating the search for African survivals before ASCRIA. He embraced all in the Guyana, including Indians and Amerindians, who sincerely searched for their heritage but did not use their self-determination to undermine others.
    In 1973 Tchaiko with Eusi Kwayana published Scars of Bondage: a first study of the slave colonial experience of Africans in Guyana. It stood out for its descriptions of the self-emancipating African personality under adversity and for its documentation of African cultural survivals underscoring the enslaved brought with them their own history and identity despite the barbarism of the Middle Passage and the destructive environment Africans found imposed on them by those who strived to master them.
    In 1974-1975, Tchaiko Kwayana was part of the merger of ASCRIA with Indian Political Revolutionary Associations, the Ratoon group, and the Working People’s Vanguard Party that became the Walter Rodney led Working People’s Alliance (WPA). The Kwayanas worked with Rupert Roopnarine, CY Thomas, Josh Ramsammy, Bonita Harris, Tacuma Ogunseye, Karen de Souza, Jai Parsam, Omawale, Ohene Koama, and Andaiye (whose Red Thread collective later projected the need to count women’s caring work). In 1979-1980, in the confrontation with Forbes Burnham’s PNC government’s violent repression, the historian Walter Rodney was assassinated. Tchaiko with the Women Against Terror group received a beating in the Bourda Green area of Georgetown in a 1983 protest. She had struck police with her umbrella who were injuring youth. Tchaiko was present in the struggle for “people’s power and no dictator.”
    Tchaiko went to live in Atlanta in the mid-1980s to raise the Kwayana children but also to organize Helping Uplift Guyanese (HUG), coordinating global aid and solidarity with the Guyanese working people.
    With John Henrik Clarke, Yosef Ben-Jochannan, Ivan Van Sertima, Jan Carew, Joyce Gleason Carew, and Runoko Rashidi, Tchaiko Kwayana was part of the circle around the Journal of African Civilizations that established contributions of Africans to science and technology, and African women’s contributions, from antiquity to precolonial times. This was a bold endeavor that not only discussed Egypt, Nubia and the Nile Valley but Latin America, Amerindians, and China from an African world perspective. Tchaiko was also among the early scholars who wished to recognize the women’s initiatives of the Marcus Garvey movement before this became a trend in university life.
    So how are we to assess Tchaiko Kwayana, “the English Teacher”? Whether instructing in creative writing, crafting autobiographies, teaching how to write open letters to government officials, or interpreting comparative literature, she received awards and recognition from government certification authorities but also met controversy among administrators above her.
    Tchaiko with her “identity papers” and “writing our hope” projects tried to get grade school children and their parents to practice their writing as they recorded their own history. She taught also at the college level and in upward bound programs.
    One of her Atlanta grade school students wrote an open letter to the Atlanta Daily World. Reagan and Gorbachev, it was argued, were mistaken as individuals to discuss nuclear weapons and the potential destruction of the world. They did not best represent the nations for which they spoke and that a selection of ordinary people could resolve matters best. Many years later, a San Diego student, an Asian American, wrote a historical treatment of white supremacy that found its way on to the internet as a polished pamphlet. Tchaiko Kwayana teaching methods equally captivated those of African, Asian, Latin American, Native America, and European descent.
    Tchaiko marshaled Wordsworth’s reflections on Tinturn Abbey to remind “that [from] gleams of half extinguished thought… the pictures of the mind revives again” and Shakespeare’s As You Like It, to suggest that one could “find tongues in trees, books in running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.” These came together with a quotation from Runoko Rashidi: “among the greatest crimes is to teach a people that their history began with invasion, colonization, and enslavement.”
    Tchaiko, like Wole Soyinka, could frame the Western canon, as reconcilable with an African cosmology where the dead, the living, and the unborn of the natural world were in conversation and where ideas and images inscribed in stone (whether in Ancient Egypt or Olmec Mexico) could revive a consciousness of history. She could find herself in trouble when she found, especially with American literature, as represented by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, that the treatment of the historical background of the novel in public schools often emphasized Europeans, and left out the intellectual and political experience of the African world and the colonized. She became heralded for teaching American literature by underscoring antiquity and precolonial origins not European settler-colonialism.
    Tchaiko became a master-teacher of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, where both the historical background of precolonial and ancient African civilizations, and the colonial experience of Native Americans, could not be ignored. Was Tchaiko at the end of her radical life teaching “history” in her “English” classes with some controversy?
    Tchaiko Kwayana was reminding students not to be a social statistic, not simply in a racially degraded way, but in a manner that “achieves” very little but uncritical assimilation. She was preparing scholar-citizens and self-directed learners, not those who merely pursue credits to graduate or who simply react to misinformation. Tchaiko was doing more than teaching students to identify with diversity, equality, and tolerance. For behind these words narrow conceptions exist. Tchaiko was not looking for greater inclusion or representation in this world. She was trying to establish, defend, and design her own world, and she gave so many the strength for this endeavor.
    Matthew Quest has taught History and Africana Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. A scholar of CLR James, see his essay on James and the Haitian Revolution in The Black Jacobins Reader . 

    0 0
  • 06/06/17--23:53: what the muslims want
  • What The Muslims Want


    THIS IS THE QUESTION ASKED MOST FREQUENTLY BY BOTH THE WHITES AND THE BLACKS.
    THE ANSWERS TO THIS QUESTION I SHALL STATE AS SIMPLY AS POSSIBLE.
    The Honorable Elijah Muhammad
    1. We want freedom. We want a full and complete freedom.
    2. We want justice. Equal justice under the law. We want justice applied equally to all, regardless of creed or class or color.
    3. We want equality of opportunity. We want equal membership in society with the best in civilized society.
    4. We want our people in America whose parents or grandparents were descendants from slaves, to be allowed to establish a separate state or territory of their own–either on this continent or elsewhere. We believe that our former slave masters are obligated to provide such land and that the area must be fertile and minerally rich. We believe that our former slave masters are obligated to maintain and supply our needs in this separate territory for the next 20 to 25 years–until we are able to produce and supply our own needs.
    Since we cannot get along with them in peace and equality, after giving them 400 years of our sweat and blood and receiving in return some of the worst treatment human beings have ever experienced, we believe our contributions to this land and the suffering forced upon us by white America, justifies our demand for complete separation in a state or territory of our own.
    5. We want freedom for all Believers of Islam now held in federal prisons. We want freedom for all black men and women now under death sentence in innumerable prisons in the North as well as the South. We want every black man and woman to have the freedom to accept or reject being separated from the slave master’s children and establish a land of their own.
    We know that the above plan for the solution of the black and white conflict is the best and only answer to the problem between two people.
    6. We want an immediate end to the police brutality and mob attacks against the so-called Negro throughout the United States. We believe that the Federal government should intercede to see that black men and women tried in white courts receive justice in accordance with the laws of the land–or allow us to build a new nation for ourselves, dedicated to justice, freedom and liberty.
    7. As long as we are not allowed to establish a state or territory of our own, we demand not only equal justice under the laws of the United States, but equal employment opportunities–NOW!
    We do not believe that after 400 years of free or nearly free labor, sweat and blood, which has helped America become rich and powerful, so many thousands of black people should have to subsist on relief or charity or live in poor houses.
    8. We want the government of the United States to exempt our people from ALL taxation as long as we are deprived of equal justice under the laws of the land.
    9. We want equal education–but separate schools up to 16 for boys and 18 for girls on the condition that the girls be sent to women’s colleges and universities. We want all black children educated, taught and trained by their own teachers. Under such schooling system we believe we will make a better nation of people. The United States government should provide, free, all necessary text books and equipment, schools and college buildings. The Muslim teachers shall be left free to teach and train their people in the way of righteousness, decency and self respect.
    10. We believe that intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited. We want the religion of Islam taught without hindrance or suppression.

    What The Muslims Believe

    1. WE BELIEVE In the One God whose proper Name is Allah.
    2. WE BELIEVE in the Holy Qur’an and in the Scriptures of all the Prophets of God.
    3. WE BELIEVE in the truth of the Bible, but we believe that it has been tampered with and must be reinterpreted so that mankind will not be snared by the falsehoods that have been added to it.
    4. WE BELIEVE in Allah’s Prophets and the Scriptures they brought to the people.
    5. WE BELIEVE in the the resurrection of the dead–not in physical resurrection–but in mental resurrection. We believe that the so-called Negroes are most in need of mental resurrection; therefore they will be resurrected first. Furthermore, we believe we are the people of God’s choice, as it has been written, that God would choose the rejected and the despised. We can find no other persons fitting this description in these last days more that the so-called Negroes in America. We believe in the resurrection of the righteous.
    6. WE BELIEVE in the judgment; we believe this first judgment will take place as God revealed, in America…
    7. WE BELIEVE this is the time in history for the separation of the so-called Negroes and the so-called white Americans. We believe the black man should be freed in name as well as in fact. By this we mean that he should be freed from the names imposed upon him by his former slave masters. Names which identified him as being the slave master’s slave. We believe that if we are free indeed, we should go in our own people’s names–the black people of the Earth.
    8. WE BELIEVE in justice for all, whether in God or not; we believe as others, that we are due equal justice as human beings. We believe in equality–as a nation–of equals. We do not believe that we are equal with our slave masters in the status of “freed slaves.”
    We recognize and respect American citizens as independent peoples and we respect their laws which govern this nation.
    9. WE BELIEVE that the offer of integration is hypocritical and is made by those who are trying to deceive the black peoples into believing that their 400-year-old open enemies of freedom, justice and equality are, all of a sudden, their “friends.” Furthermore, we believe that such deception is intended to prevent black people from realizing that the time in history has arrived for the separation from the whites of this nation.
    If the white people are truthful about their professed friendship toward the so-called Negro, they can prove it by dividing up America with their slaves. We do not believe that America will ever be able to furnish enough jobs for her own millions of unemployed, in addition to jobs for the 20,000,000 black people as well.
    10. WE BELIEVE that we who declare ourselves to be righteous Muslims, should not participate in wars which take the lives of humans. We do not believe this nation should force us to take part in such wars, for we have nothing to gain from it unless America agrees to give us the necessary territory wherein we may have something to fight for.
    11. WE BELIEVE our women should be respected and protected as the women of other nationalities are respected and protected.
    12. WE BELIEVE that Allah (God) appeared in the Person of Master W. Fard Muhammad, July, 1930; the long-awaited “Messiah” of the Christians and the “Mahdi” of the Muslims.
    We believe further and lastly that Allah is God and besides HIM there is no god and He will bring about a universal government of peace wherein we all can live in peace together.

    0 0

    Black Bird Press News & Review: US interference in elections around the world in 45 countries
    russians russians russians?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????/

older | 1 | .... | 135 | 136 | (Page 137) | 138 | 139 | .... | 167 | newer