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

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    Barbara Boxer and/or Condi RiceIn Search of My Soul Sister
    By Marvin X

    I urge readers to use my essay to stimulate a dialogue between black men and women. Most often we engage in monologues that end in despair by both genders, in fact, it is often a shouting match with the woman pleading just to be heard, listened to as a human being with a mind that God gave both genders equally. But macho men, like myself, steeped in the patriarchal mythology, even though socialized in a matrifocal household, are so addicted to our patriarchal domination that we are deaf to the woman's repeated plea just to be heard. And more often than not, we are saying the same things, are in total agreement but deaf to each other's words and point of view. As per male/female relations, this is a psycho-linguistic crisis of the highest and most severe degree, alas, it often leads to partner violence. Alas, France passed a law against verbal violence that we know leads most often to physical violence. Didn't the brother tell us who are victims of the English language to practice silence to preserve our love that so often masquerades as hate?  
    --Marvin X
    Black August, 2017

    After a lifetime of fears, doubts, ambivalence and general paranoia (my essential mental state) about the feminine gender, I recently concluded, based on six decades of interaction, that the black woman was, after all is said and done, my friend, and that she has never wanted to be anything other than my friend, helper, lover and mate, really, for eternity, if I could have ever been shackled to her that long. Yes, after thinking about my most wonderful Mother, an even more gracious and loving Grandmother (Oh, Grandma’s hands!), and after reflecting on my six sisters who probably more than anyone else helped form my ambivalence and maybe paranoia too, since I was so traumatized by their constant chatter and feminine intrigues that I would find it a simple matter upon adolescence and adulthood to ignore any words from the feminine gender, especially simple advice or wisdom, which cost me greatly on the road to success, including several failed marriages and a kind of psychic distance from my three lovable and most wonderful daughters.













    If truth be told and certainly it is time to tell the truth at this stage in my life, I must admit that all the women in my life have been absolutely wonderful, not one ever treated me wrongly or without tenderness and unconditional love, yet my response was to dog them to no end, or rather until the end when they departed broken hearted and disgusted.
    This new recognition on my part was made even plainer when my actor/singer J.B. Saunders presented me with a wonderful song “Don’t Bite The Hands That Feed You.”
    J.B., also a dogger of women, perhaps even worse than myself since he had a career of pimping, had also had a revelation that it was time to reconcile with the feminine gender, or least stop the abuse, whether physical, mental or emotional. Perhaps old dogs actually do learn new tricks! J.B.’s lyrics said that our woman was indeed our friend and supporter, not someone to be dogged at every turn, for in the end we become the victim, or as another song told us “the hunter gets captured by the game.”
    Of course, one truth about love is that love is a game of victims, for by its nature, love makes the beloved victim of the lover, for love is that state wherein we willingly accept to be victimized for we submit and declare to all who need to know and to some who don’t need to know that we are helplessly under the power of the beloved.
    Moving from the personal to the political, we now clearly recognize that love for the Black woman had to move from the romantic to the critical in deciding who or what she represented on this stage of life. How is she connected to us and we to her—a question we had to answer about men as well, with the same if not more degree of political acumen because few men allow another man to do to us what we allow women to do, after all, women have the unique skill to get anything from us with a smile, a glance of the eye, a stride. During my brief academic career, my female students knew they could get almost any grade from me, especially if they came at me right, or simply talked right, it wasn’t always about sexual favors. And two of my students convinced me to marry them, so much for the wisdom of the professor.
    But in the politics of love, we matured to the point of understanding a black face, even of the feminine gender, was not sufficient to gain our allegiance and respect. We came to recognize that politics was not about color, contrary to what we “believed” during the 60s, especially with the call for black power. Forty years later, however belatedly and detrimentally, we came to see blackness was about consciousness not color and had much to do about class as well, since class very often determines consciousness, although not always, after all, we know of several instances in our history when “house Negroes” plotted slave revolts, but generally speaking, the house Negro is not to be trusted, since he/she is more determined to preserve the house than the master.
    We are reminded of that scene in the film Amistad where the Africans are being marched into town for mutiny. One African sees a Negro carriage driver and remarks, “He is our brother.” An African replies, “No, he is a white man.”
    And so it is the class nature of things that must be examined with respect to loving or not loving Dr. Condi Rice—to be or not to be our sister—that is the question! Having transcended our gender fears, having made every determination to reach out in sincerity to embrace our sister in struggle, who endured with us all the horror and terror of the centuries, we must sadly reject her and everything for which she stands, for we find her political consciousness an abomination, a betrayal of our racial heritage of resistance in the face of suffering, in short genocide. Clearly, she came from us, but is no longer us, she has graduated from victim to victimizer—while some, perhaps her “classmates” on the right will call this progress and a point of pride for the “race.” Well, I remember Elijah Muhammad describing UN Undersecretary Ralph Bunche as “A Negro we don’t need,” and this most surely applies to Condi, who graduated from oppressed to oppressor. She stands at the pinnacle of imperialism, the most powerful woman in the world, yes, even more powerful than the Queen of England, for Condi literally has the world in her hands. In assuming to Secretary of State, we are humbled at her meteoric rise from the slave pit of Alabama to steering the ship of state.
    Her brother Colin Powell whom she replaces for the simple reason that he was found disagreeable to the imperial throne, perhaps even in his conservatism too uppity with thoughts slightly to the left of Pharaoh, had to be replaced by Condi who shares a more amicable relationship with boss man sah, to the tragic extent that Senator Barbara Boxer voted against confirmation, saying “…Your loyalty to the mission you were given…overwhelmed your respect for the truth.”
    In the darkest days of my gender fears, I never forgot the teachings of my mother’s Christian Science religion with it’s emphasis on the centrality of truth in all matters.Indeed what has gotten me in trouble with women even more than physical and mental abuse is being truthful, especially in regard to my sexual improprieties.
    Condi Rice stands condemned before the world for being a liar and murderer, a person completely and utterly devoid of truth, thus her elevation to Secretary of State must be a great embarrassment to our ancestors, and her reply to Senator Boxer that her credibility and integrity was being impugned is without merit. Boxer pointed out how she contradicted the president and herself with respect to weapons of mass destruction as the cause for war against Iraq. Contrary to Dr. Rice, Saddam was not a threat to his neighbors in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Jordan and Syria. He was contained and therefore not a threat to the “American people,” who, as Nelson Mandela pointed out, are the greatest threat to world peace. There was nothing to fear from Saddam but fear itself, quite similar to my gender fears I harbored for decades when I imagined female friends, mates, lovers were somehow my enemies, and were, in my tortured mind, out to get me, when in reality, I was out to get them.
    Condi’s advice to President Bush has, at this point, caused the death of 1,366 Americans,10,372 wounded, also over 100,000 Iraqi dead. As Boxer noted, this is no light matter but a deception of the most despicable kind that has brought America’s credibility in the world to a new low, yet, like the President, Dr. Rice is totally unapologetic and stoic in maintaining her stance that contravenes reality.
    I cannot in the name of our shared Africanity go there with her, for she long ago crossed the line of propriety. She cannot have my respect and sympathy in her dutiful defense of Pharaoh and his meanderings throughout the world in the name of global capitalism. Imagine, in the midst of the Iraqi quagmire, they are now contemplating an invasion of Iran. This American arrogance has no end except The End.
    As between Senator Barbara Boxer and Condi Rice, if I had to choose my soul sister, I would rise above color in favor of consciousness, thus claim Senator Boxer as my sister.
    This is no time in history to be starry-eyed idealists and continue with romantic notions about blackness. Sadly, we live in a world where what appears to be black is white and what appears white is black. Get over it and march forward into the new millennium. I shall never forget how we banned interracial couples from attending our black nationalist parties in the 60s. Amina Baraka loves to tell the story of when she and her husband were at the Black House cultural/political center in San Francisco in 1967. Amina observed my lady friend Ethna Wyatt (Hurriyah Asar) tell a white woman she couldn’t come in. The lady replied she was part Indian. Hurriyah replied, “Well, the Indian can come in but the white got to go.”
    At another party with revolutionary black nationalists, a brother tried repeatedly to convince us his white woman was in fact black in consciousness, therefore should be admitted. We rejected his pronouncement, but in consciousness his woman was black and should have been admitted, especially since there were sisters at the party who harbored thoughts, if only subconsciously, similar to Condi Rice’s. As a matter of fact, I was recently told of one sister who was at this particular party who is now such a right wing fanatic that her in-laws banned her from their house, even changed their telephone number to avoid her right wing ranting.
    I am not promoting interracial relationships, rather, in the tradition of my Mother, I am promoting truth and honesty which is the least we should expect from human beings with consciousness, no matter their color. But we understand that class has a way of stretching truth beyond reality, where it becomes an exercise in arrogance and sick pride, the stuff of classic tragedy. I am not into hating human beings, especially my distant sister Condi Rice, whom we must allow history and God to judge—may they have mercy on her soul.
    At least Colin Powell was man enough to apologize to the world for his United Nations pseudo lecture justifying the war. Shall we await the day when Condi will admit her sins? Let us hope she is not made to do so before the World Court for crimes against humanity.

    black ain't black
    white ain't white
    beware the day
    beware the night!



    From Wish I Could Tell You the Truth, Marvin X, BBP, 2005. Reprinted in Mythology of Pussy and Dick
    toward Healthy Psychosocial Sexuality, Marvin X, Black Bird Press /1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley Ca 94702
    400 pages, $49.95 / jmarvinx@yahoo.com

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     The Movement Newspaper calls for boycott of white supremacist Oakland Whole Foods Market

     

    The Movement Newspaper calls for an immediate boycott of the white supremacist Oakland Whole Foods Market on Bay Street @ Harrison, until the high priced market makes amends for the security guard's unprovoked pepper-spraying and verbal abuse of our Design Editor, Adam Turner. The Movement Newspaper, Voice of the Black Arts Movement International, has discussed the Boycott with Oakland NAACP officials, associates of the John Burris Law Firm, members of the New Black Panther Party or Raiders, the Revolutionary Communist Party and Greenlining Institute. We hope to meet with Black Lives Matter, Oakland Malcolm X Grassroots, Cat Brooks of the Police Anti-terror Project, and  Uncle Bobby of the Oscar Grant Committee.



    We welcome the support of all social justice organizations.  If necessary, we will boycott Oakland Whole Foods until it is shut down for a pattern of racist behavior as  per North American Africans. Before the Adam Turner incident, July 17, 2017, there was an incident at the same store in which a North American African man was beaten unconscious by the security guard over a food stamp card.
    Walter Riley is the lead attorney on this matter. We appreciate his life long civil rights and human rights work.
      If you and/or your organization would like to support this social justice project to eliminate white supremacy or make donations,  please call 510-200-4164. Power to the People!

    --Marvin X, Publisher/Editor
    The Movement Newspaper
    mxjackmon@gmail.com


     

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    He made us laugh
    supreme joy of humanity laughter
    release of pressure stress
    laugh
    and the world laughs with you
    cry
    cry alone
    laugh dick made us all
    court jester people's comic
    laugh while razor cuts to heart with truth
    laugh
    dick made us when we wanted to cry crocodile tears
    at the truth of his words
    Kathleen Cleaver said only truth can be funny
    Dick Gregory truth so funny
    left dying
    losing elections
    left truth ain't funny
    right wing white supremacist truth funny as hell
    listen to right wing white supremacist truth
    funny as a mother
    rush michael savage alex jones funny with truth
    ain't all lies
    who got the whole truth and nothing but the truth
    even dick didn't have the whole truth
    sun ra didn't have the whole truth
    but he had the low down dirty truth
    told the white man you too evil for hell
    even the devil don't want you, sunny said

    trump most funny
    tweetin twaatin pure stupid bullshit from top of head
    no thought just tweet talk
    he real funny
    you take trump serious you fool
    but dick my man dick funny
    went deep in last days
    conspiracy everywhere
    conspiracy under yr toilet seat
    can't go to sleep
    dick went deep
    knew too much for funny man
    shit so deep you wonder was he da man
    my man dick
    told me at berkeley black rep
    shut the fuck up
    marvin x drunk on  henny at
    the bar
    dick in concert with paul mooney
    paul told me shut the fuck up too
    dick still my man
    made pharaoh laugh
    court jester
    watch out dick
    shot yr ass in watt's riot
    don't stop revolution
    no comic intermission
    grass roots ain't laughing in revolution
    no dick
    you shut the fuck up now
    let the revolution be
    wanna be court jester
    tell pharaoh let my people go
    oh dick
    thought you would go on forever
    pulling off emperor's clothes
    showing his naked ass
    well time must pass
    even on yo black ass dick
    and mine too one day soon
    no matter
    this shit funny to me too
    I laugh everyday
    when the left learn to laugh
    might win some elections
    they shit stink too
    ain't just the right wing
    left wing shit stint too
    just be true
    dick gregory way
    laugh left wing laugh
    you too serious bout stupid shit
    revolution is funny too
    contradictions
    assassinations
    usurpations
    revelations
    occupations
    laugh left laugh
    like dick did
    tell truth on left and right
    will you hide truth
    while you know
    yes,
    Qur'an say
    will you hide truth
    while you know
    laugh on dick
    laugh to the pearly gates
    we see you there
    makin God laugh at the wiles
    of the devil!
    --Marvin X
    Black August, 2017

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    fillmore slim


    rasheedah mwongozi


    piwai

    BLACK REPERTORY GROUP THEATRE, INC.
    3201 adeline st, berkeley
    SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 8PM
    $20.00 AT DOOR
    for more information or ticket reservations p.lease call 510-200-4164
    mxjackmon@gmail.com
    www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com 


    PROCEEDS BENEFIT THE MOVEMENT NEWSPAPER AND THE BLACK REPERTORY GROUP THEATRE, INC

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    Friday, June 24, 2011


    Obama Drama: Scene #1: Speech on Afghanistan







    A fictional speech by President Obama on Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan










    Good evening, my fellow Americans. You some silly motherfuckers. Do you think I'm gonna bring a bunch of troops home from Afghanistan when my generals tell me they can make a few more billion dollars if we keep the troop level up. I'm not gonna do that, hell naw. As long as my name is Barack Hussein Obama. Yes, who sane Obama, but you insane if you think the thirty thousand troops I sent over there to kill those mountain goats are coming home anytime soon.


    Oh, I might bring home two or three thousand, mostly the wounded with their brains shot out, those with no legs, no arms, we'll send them home, but you know it takes 30 thousand to capture or kill 100 to 500 Al Quida, yes, do the math, 30 thousand men at the cost of one million dollars each--now we don't pay them damn fool grunts no million dollars, but the generals get most of it for their retirement and when they come home to set up defense related corporations. You know the drill, don't you? You know politics and capitalism is dirty, filthy and funky like a ghetto ho. Hee hee hee. vote for me, I'll set you free!

    You know we gotta take care of our generals, since they protect us round the world so you dumb somebitches can ride around in your SUVs, playing soccer mom and your husbands can ride through the ghetto at night picking up little black girls for prostitution. Now if you fuck with my little girls, I'm coming after that ass like I did that boy, our boy, Osama bin Laden.

    Yes, I got that motherfucker. Hell, it was close to election time so I had to do something. Shot that motherfucker between the eyes and had my boys fuck his three wives fore we got outta Pakistan.

    Back to Afghanistan. It is ten billion dollars a month to chase them mountain goats up and down them fuckin mountains, some ten thousand feet to twelve thousand feet up. But we makin progress so we can't leave now. Too much money involved and too much dope. Karzai and his brother is dealing too much dope and it's too good to cut and run now, except for a little drawn down fore election time, hee hee hee. Vote for me, I'll set you free, you dumb motherfuckers, especially my nigguhs.

    How ma nigguhs doing in da hood? Ya'll still got yo shirt on, pants? I know you ain't got no job, ain't got no house, but you know I had to help my boys on Wall Street. I ain't stupid now, hell, I'm a Harvard nigguh, my nigguhs. Gotta help my brotherhood of thieves and robbers. If ya'll stop going to prison and come to Harvard, we'll show you how to be real criminals.

    And they lettin all nigguhs and poor people into Harvard for free, what's wrong wit ya nigguhs? Get yo ass out dem prison cells and come to Harvard so you can be trained to be a real criminal. Look, we ain't gonnna keep payin no $200,000 a year to keep you little snotty nose motherfuckers in juvenile hall. We go put you in Harvard. I'll talk to my man Skip Gates bout giving you a little black studies, none of dat radical shit, some miller lite shit, but I want you to major in crime, how to rob motherfuckers in broad daylight, cheat people out da homes, jobs, take everything, don't leave a motherfucker nothing. Take his wife too. Hee hee hee, vote for me, I'll set ya free!

    Back to Afghanistan. I told them mountain goats if they lay down their arms I will pay for them to go to school, get them housing and get them jobs. But them motherfuckers too dumb, can't count to ten. They can fight like hell when they wanna, but they don't want no schoolin, remind me of you nigguhs in da hood. But they worse than you nigguhs, these mountain goats won't even let the women go to school, lease you boyz in da hood ain't dat stupid. Vote fa me, I'll set ya free.

    Now you boyz and girls in da hood might wonder why I don't give you motherfuckers jobs if you lay down yo guns and stop terrorizing you mama, daddy, grandpa and grandma, yo woman and babies, yes, you nigguhs is killing yo babies too--sometimes ya'll bad as them mountain goats bombing everything with they good suicide asses. Talkin bout they go get some virgins in Paradise. Do the women get dicks in Paradise? Hee, hee hee. Vote fa me, I'll set ya free!!!!


    Let me finish this bullshit speech up so I can hit my cigarette, maybe a little one on one too. Mechelle make me go to a special little room she fixed up for me in the White House to do my thang. You know how them bitches is, always wanna fix up some shit fa a man. Bitch, I'm the motherfuckin Prez, bitch! Better leave me the fuck alone and take care of dem guls and yo mama.

    Back to Afghanistan. We go bring home two or three thousand troops and don't fuck with me about it. Matter of fact, kiss my black yellow ass, especially you Republicans and that Cornel West bitch! American people, good night. Prosperity is just around the corner, soon a chicken in every pot. Hee hee hee. Vote for me, I'll set you free!

    --Marvin X
    6/23/11




    fillmore slim


    rasheedah mwongozi


    piwai

    BLACK REPERTORY GROUP THEATRE, INC.
    3201 adeline st, berkeley
    SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 8PM
    $20.00 AT DOOR
    for more information or ticket reservations  call 510-200-4164
    mxjackmon@gmail.com
    www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com 

    PROCEEDS BENEFIT THE MOVEMENT NEWSPAPER AND THE BLACK REPERTORY GROUP THEATRE, INC.

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  • 08/23/17--00:51: bbpn popular posts
  • POPULAR POSTS


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    boycott whole foods!



    The Movement Newspaper calls for an immediate boycott of the white supremacist Oakland Whole Foods Market on Bay Street @ Harrison, until the high priced market makes amends for the security guard's unprovoked pepper-spraying and verbal abuse of our Design Editor, Adam Turner. The Movement Newspaper, Voice of the Black Arts Movement International, has discussed the Boycott with Oakland NAACP officials, associates of the John Burris Law Firm, members of the New Black Panther Party or Raiders, the Revolutionary Communist Party and Greenlining Institute. We hope to meet with Black Lives Matter, Oakland Malcolm X Grassroots, Cat Brooks of the Police Anti-terror Project, and  Uncle Bobby of the Oscar Grant Committee.

    We welcome the support of all social justice organizations.  If necessary, we will boycott Oakland Whole Foods until it is shut down for a pattern of racist behavior as  per North American Africans. Before the Adam Turner incident, July 17, 2017, there was an incident at the same store in which a North American African man was beaten unconscious by the security guard over a food stamp card.
    Walter Riley is the lead attorney on this matter. We appreciate his life long civil rights and human rights work.
      If you and/or your organization would like to support this social justice project to eliminate white supremacy or make donations,  please call 510-200-4164. Power to the People!

    --Marvin X, Publisher/Editor
    The Movement Newspaper
    mxjackmon@gmail.com


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    Davey D Cook
    hardknocks radio, kpfa, berkeley

    Just hearing about yet another racially charged incident at Whole Foods on 27th street in Oakland... The latest involves a paying customer and editor of the Movement newspaper named Adam Turner..
    He was recently eating lunch at WF when he saw a homeless person with mental health challenges in distress outside the store. Turner went over to help him..


    The homeless man was having an episode when Turner saw a security guard and asked for assistance. The guard told him the only help needed was a call to 9-11. When Turner explained calling the police wasn't necessary, the guard cursed at him and told him to F-- Off..


    When Turner told him his response was unprofessional, the guard pepper sprayed him and called him a f....N---..


    This is the 3rd or 4th incident I've heard about over at Whole Foods.. What is going on with that place? Have other folks had similar encounters?? If this place has so much animosity toward patrons, why is it still in biz?

     · 


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    Review: Another ugly facet of racism drives ‘Beyond the Bars’ in Oakland





    Lower Bottom Playaz
    Stanley Hunt plays a young ex-con who’s bitter and resists attempts to seek positive steps 
    forward in “Beyond the Bars: Growing Home.”

    PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 
    Racism has been in the news more than usual lately, as white supremacists organize marches in cities across the country and crowds of counter-protesters show up to oppose them. But there are a whole lot of folks entirely unsurprised at the white supremacist undercurrent in this country, because they’ve had to deal with it all their lives.
    The new play by Oakland’s Lower Bottom Playaz, “Beyond the Bars: Growing Home,” points a spotlight on one longstanding aspect of institutional racism — the high incarceration rates of African-American men in this country. As the play points out, one in three black men becomes involved with the criminal justice system in the United States, and there are more African-American men incarcerated now than there were enslaved in 1850.
    As one character in the play puts it, “The prisons replaced the plantations.” As another says, more forcefully still, “When have we ever been free?”
    “Beyond the Bars” was written by Playaz founding director Ayodele Nzinga (who also directs and performs in the play) in collaboration with the formerly incarcerated, coming out of a series of story circles in which people shared their experiences. The play takes the form of a similar sort of circle — a support group for former prisoners to check in about how they’re doing.
    They hardly ever mention any details about what’s going on in their lives, just generally how they’re feeling today, often using affirmations they seem to have learned to keep them on track. Bronche TaySon plays a gently upbeat moderator who never pushes but simply makes space for people to share.
    In fact, pretty much everyone tries to keep things positive, from a young self-described freedom fighter (amiable Joshua Weary) to an old veteran of the criminal justice system who’s never going back again (smooth and stylishly dressed Edward Jackson Jr.). There’s a sense of camaraderie between all of them — the young man haunted by a revenge killing (open and forthright DeJon Grant), the philosophical old-timer (serene Reginald Wilkins), the diffident young man just trying to keep off drugs (quiet and unassuming Edward Jackson III).
    The play gives you a good sense of where that sense of community comes from. It’s split into four scenes, each of them a different meeting. We watch them all file in together, grab folding chairs and sit in the same places each time, giving a sense of a familiar ritual.
    A couple of new presences shake up the familiar ritual. One is a skeptical new addition to the group (sullen Stanley Hunt), a young man who doesn’t want to be there and thinks it’s all feel-good nonsense that doesn’t reflect the reality on the street. The other is more complicated. Nzinga portrays a researcher who sits in as a guest, solemnly asking provocative, metaphor-heavy questions that shake the group members out of their relentless optimism to face how bleak their prospects really are. Initially she says she wants to help them come home and stay home, but ultimately she seems to be working out some inner demons of her own.
    There are moments when she and others rattle off sobering statistics, and a there couple of poetic monologues between the first few scenes, but for the most part the story stays grounded in the simple repetition of these meetings and this group of people conscientiously trying to get by and stay out of trouble as best they can.
    Nzinga’s effectively no-frills staging is bracketed by two stirring music videos by Oakland hip-hop artist, filling up the blank back wall of the set. An unconventional way to open and close a play, these musical interludes provide a crucial bit of uplift coming out of a thought-provoking look at an intensely vexing topic.
    Contact Sam Hurwitt at shurwitt@gmail.com, and follow him at Twitter.com/shurwitt.

    ‘BEYOND THE BARS: GROWING HOME’

    By Ayodele Nzinga in collaboration with the formerly incarcerated, presented by the Lower Bottom Playaz
    Through: Sep. 3
    Where: The Flight Deck, 1540 Broadway, Oakland
    Running time: 85 minutes, no intermission
    Tickets: $20-$45; www.lowerbottomplayaz.com

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    UN racism committee issues 'warning' over US tensions
    www.yahoo.com
    Supporters of the Ku Klux Klan hold a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8, 2017 to protest the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, who oversaw Confederate forces in the US Civil War (AFP Photo/ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)
    Geneva (AFP) - A UN committee tasked with combatting racism has issued a formal "early warning" over conditions in the United States, a rare move often used to signal the potential of a looming civil conflict.

    The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said it had invoked its "early warning and urgent action procedure" because of the proliferation of racist demonstrations in the US.

    It specifically noted the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a woman was killed after an avowed white supremacist ploughed his car into a group of anti-racism counterprotestors.

    The racism committee, part of the UN human rights office, can issue a formal early warning to help prevent "existing problems from escalating into conflict" or to "prevent a resumption of conflict where it has previously occurred", according to the rights office website.

    President Donald Trump has been widely criticised for his response to the Charlottesville clashes, after he said "both sides" were to blame for the violence.
    The UN committee urged Washington, "as well as high-level politicians and public officials, to unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn racist hate speech", without mentioning Trump by name.

    "We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred," committee head Anastasia Crickley said in a statement.

    The committee monitors compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which the US ratified in 1994.
    The US warning marks the seventh such alert issued in the past decade.
    They mainly concern countries gripped by ethnic and religious strife, including Burundi, Nigeria, Iraq and Ivory Coast.

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    Amazon's Whole Foods Deal Wins Swift U.S. Antitrust Approval
    www.bloomberg.com


    Amazon.com Inc.’s proposed $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc. won quick U.S. antitrust approval, showing that concerns in Washington about the growing power of technology companies weren’t enough to derail the online retailer’s biggest-ever acquisition.
    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved the deal within a 30-day review period without an in-depth investigation after determining the tie-up wouldn’t hurt competition, the agency said Wednesday.
    The deal came together against a backdrop of concerns that technology companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Amazon are becoming too dominant. A Democratic lawmaker had called for a more thorough review of the proposed the merger.
    The FTC approved the deal because Amazon and Whole Foods are not close competitors and shoppers will have plenty of other options to buy groceries, said Norm Armstrong, an antitrust lawyer at King & Spalding LLP in Washington.
    "When you combine the two, the question is whether it will substantially lessen competition or have an anticompetitive effect on the marketplace," said Armstrong, a former deputy director of the FTC bureau that reviews mergers. "The answer is no."
    Amazon closed down less than 1 percent in New York at $958. Whole Foods was little changed at $41.68.

    Trump Tweets

    President Donald Trump heightened the stakes for the merger review after repeatedly criticizing Amazon and its Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos. Bezos owns The Washington Post, whose news and opinion pages have taken a skeptical line on the president. He said in July that Amazon has a "no-tax monopoly" and told Fox News host Sean Hannity last year that Bezos has a "huge antitrust problem."
    While the FTC didn’t pursue an extended investigation of the merger, the companies did give the agency additional time to consider the tie-up when they withdrew and refiled their notification with the agency in July. Whole Foods shareholders approved the takeover Wednesday. The deal requires approval from Canada.
    Amazon said it has achieved multiple steps to get to the close of the deal and everything is on track.
    The review of the deal comes as technology giants like Amazon and Google are drawing greater criticism about their dominance of markets, from e-commerce to online advertising. Democrats are calling for stepped-up antitrust enforcement against mergers, saying in their new economic agenda, "A Better Deal," that big deals that harm consumers are too readily approved.
    The FTC said in its statement that it "always has the ability to investigate anticompetitive conduct should such action be warranted."

    Biggest Acquisition

    Whole Foods would be the biggest acquisition in Amazon’s history, fulfilling a long-held company goal to sell more groceries. The takeover represents a dramatic shift in its business model, from selling items only online to adding a broad brick-and-mortar operation.
    Amazon will gain access to the $800 billion grocery industry with Whole Foods, which has 460 stores and a fresh-food distribution network. Meanwhile, top retail competitor Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is converting its vast store network into grocery distribution hubs where customers can pick up online orders or have them delivered to their homes.
    Whole Foods had just 1.4 percent of the U.S. grocery market in 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and is dwarfed by operators such as Wal-Mart Stores, which has 21 percent of the market and Kroger Co. with 10 percent. Amazon’s share is negligible.
    Even though Amazon lacks a physical store presence of significant market share in groceries, approval of the Whole Foods deal is a missed opportunity for the FTC to push the boundaries of the traditional antitrust framework for reviewing mergers, said Lina Khan, a fellow at New America, a liberal Washington think tank, who has argued that Amazon’s dominance undermines competition.
    The current framework centers on individual product markets and whether the merged company will be able to charge higher prices. But in today’s economy dominated by technology platforms like Amazon and Facebook, that playbook is insufficient for protecting competition, she said.
    "Amazon challenges a lot of the current antitrust orthodoxy and at some point antitrust enforcers are going to have to confront that fact," Khan said.
    — With assistance by Dina Bass




    Davey D Cook
    hardknocks radio, kpfa, berkeley

    Just hearing about yet another racially charged incident at Whole Foods on 27th street in Oakland... The latest involves a paying customer and editor of the Movement newspaper named Adam Turner..
    He was recently eating lunch at WF when he saw a homeless person with mental health challenges in distress outside the store. Turner went over to help him..

    The homeless man was having an episode when Turner saw a security guard and asked for assistance. The guard told him the only help needed was a call to 9-11. When Turner explained calling the police wasn't necessary, the guard cursed at him and told him to F-- Off..

    When Turner told him his response was unprofessional, the guard pepper sprayed him and called him a f....N---..

    This is the 3rd or 4th incident I've heard about over at Whole Foods.. What is going on with that place? Have other folks had similar encounters?? If this place has so much animosity toward patrons, why is it still in biz?
     · 
     The Movement Newspaper calls for boycott of white supremacist Oakland Whole Foods Market



    The Movement Newspaper calls for an immediate boycott of the white supremacist Oakland Whole Foods Market on Bay Street @ Harrison, until the high priced market makes amends for the security guard's unprovoked pepper-spraying and verbal abuse of our Design Editor, Adam Turner. The Movement Newspaper, Voice of the Black Arts Movement International, has discussed the Boycott with Oakland NAACP officials, associates of the John Burris Law Firm, members of the New Black Panther Party or Raiders, the Revolutionary Communist Party and Greenlining Institute. We hope to meet with Black Lives Matter, Oakland Malcolm X Grassroots, Cat Brooks of the Police Anti-terror Project, and  Uncle Bobby of the Oscar Grant Committee.



    We welcome the support of all social justice organizations.  If necessary, we will boycott Oakland Whole Foods until it is shut down for a pattern of racist behavior as  per North American Africans. Before the Adam Turner incident, July 17, 2017, there was an incident at the same store in which a North American African man was beaten unconscious by the security guard over a food stamp card.
    Walter Riley is the lead attorney on this matter. We appreciate his life long civil rights and human rights work.
      If you and/or your organization would like to support this social justice project to eliminate white supremacy or make donations,  please call 510-200-4164. Power to the People!

    --Marvin X, Publisher/Editor
    The Movement Newspaper
    mxjackmon@gmail.com



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    Just hearing about yet another racially charged incident at Whole Foods on 27th street in Oakland... The latest involves a paying customer and editor of the Movement newspaper named Adam Turner..
    He was recently eating lunch at WF when who saw a homeless person with mental health challenges in distress outside the store. Turner went over to help him..
    The homeless man was having an episode when Turner saw a security guard and asked for assistance. The guard told him the only help needed was a call to 9-11. When Turner explained calling the police wasn't necessary, the guard cursed at him and told him to F-- Off..
    When Turner told him his response was unprofessional, the guard pepper sprayed him and called him a N---..
    This is the 3rd or 4th incident I've heard about over at Whole Foods.. What is going on with that place? Have other folks had similar encounters?? If this place has so much animosity toward patrons, why is it still in biz?
    Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling
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    Graal Swartz Lol. I've had run ins with folks at that spot. I've also had some good interactions with some of the managers once I reported some racist shit there. 

    Some guy in customer service came out to address a concern of mine awhile back when I was shopping t
    ...See More
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    Yesterday at 8:32amEdited
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    Desley Brooks The incident where they left the guy unconscious and bleeding was enough for me.... .I purposefully haven't shopped there since then
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    Yesterday at 8:47am
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    Thandisizwe Chimurenga Wasn't there a boycott of WF going on?
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    Yesterday at 8:52am
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    Frank Sosa Over a year ago I was assulted by a white tech bro type in that store in front of my daughter, he literally grabbed me and attempted to toss me for saying something to him for rudely getting in my way. I reported to the manager who spoke to him and let him go without even getting his name.
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    Tasha Anderson I never have problems with security there. People are helpful and go out of their way. Now some cashiers including black ones can be a little dismissive but then I remind myself that drones will soon take their place.
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    Sandra Jacquez Wow. Just curious, what response or statement has HF made if any? Smdh...gentrification sure has made my city change. I sure won't be shopping there.
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    Jessica Scott This fucking guy. Has he been fired and put in jail yet? Needs to happen STAT. Not only fired.
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    Lisa Tiny Gray-Garcia serious anti-poor people -anti -poor mama moves over there -they called CPS on me cuz tibu at 10 years old was sitting in the car in their parking lot and then threatned to call poLICE when i complained -i truly try to avoid that place and agree they shud b outed and kicked out
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    Deborrah Cooper You actually should call 911 in a case like that, but specifically ask for THE CRISIS RESPONSE UNIT. This is important, because trained mental health professionals will be dispatched vs regular ole silly cops. The individuals will usually be taken straight to John George for a 48 hour observation and get them further help if necessary. Hope this helps.
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    CB Smith-Dahl Dear God. Adam is an upstanding guy - with experience at Frick. I wonder if the guard even lives in Oakland - woulda seen Adam at many many events taking photos and video. How would this EVER be acceptable behavior for a security guard at any establishment.
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    Mario Wright I think whole foods is a place where many different worlds collide. Racially and economically... However issues with security would probably get handled faster by talking to the sercurity company where the guards are employed from.
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    Duane Deterville Wow! Just hearing about this. I've met this brotha before too.
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    Dlaniger Sirrom A dude named 7 used to work there but quit because he said yt customers would regularly come in and call employees niggars and he said mgmt wouldnt do nothing about it so he quit
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    Frank Sosa Whole Foods needs to be accountable you can't shrug this off on independent contractor security when this has been an ongoing prob
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    Rashidah Grinage i never shop there.
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    Travis Gavin When did this incident happen?
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    Kimberly Barnes Vanessa Jackson see that Travis..(in my auntie Fee voice)
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    Kristi August Never been never will
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    Burnierose L. Wilson B-O-Y-C-O-T-T.

    When WH-Oakland security beat that Brother down and left him bleeding and unconscious on the pavement in front of the store a couple of years ago and WH corporate said they were changing the security and did not, I stopped shopping at WH. Hit them in the only place they'll feel it: Their wallets. Nothing else will work in Capitalist America.
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    Michelle Mathers FUCK YOU WHOLE FOODS IMMA SHARE THIS IMMA GET MY WHITE BF TO KNOCK THAT WHITE SECURITY GUARDS ASS
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    Nefertina Abrams There is a definite this is "OUR" special place stench at WF... I prefer comeunity owned cooperatives like Mandela Market. Or even Rainbow grocery outlet. Too elitist and self entitled for my taste. 😑
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    Ray Ysaguirre Man f*** Wholefoods you got Trader Joe's you got farmers markets Galore you got Chinatown f*** Whole Foods
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    Caribelinq Omnimedia Because You People keep it in bizness....
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    Vanessa Jackson Do unto others as they have done unto you. Lol
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    Marvin X Jackmon The Movement Newspaper calls for an immediate boycott of the white supremacist Oakland Whole Foods Market on Bay Street @ Harrison, until the high priced market makes amends for the security guard's unprovoked pepper-spraying and verbal abuse of our De...See More
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    Saad Hayes Sodaye i know a good way to address this matter. and who is this guard
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    Susanne Sarley The last incident I know of ended in a man being beaten and bloodied. I didn't go back until i heard theyd gotten a new security company. Now again with this bs? I'm permanently boycotting that store.
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    Duane Deterville https://twitter.com/TheRoot/status/893944714377822208
    “Could Black Harlem disappear because of Whole Foods? https://t.co/RIOC5z1MhN
    TWITTER.COM
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    Gregory Lewis Send the Black Bloc at 'em. They fear that s--t. #SmashySmashy
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    Toure Cevie P. Toure WTF I know Adam Turner was this at the whole food in Oakland, oh HELL NO!
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    George Galvis Fuck Whole Foods! These fools need to be held accountable!
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    Malkia Cyril We need to go over there and have a conversation with management about this trend, and get some demands met. Calling for a boycott is fine, but it only works if you actually organize it. Meaning you have to go door to door, make presentations, get like...See More
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    Zahieb Mwongozi Shut 'em down, NOW! Damn "Whole Wallet". 
    Safeway
    No way
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    Thembisa Mshaka This is not ok. Has WF responded?
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    Cynthia Gómez I'm going to be skeptical here. This hasn't been reported anywhere else, and the kind of interaction described here -- going straight from zero to 60 without any provocation -- is the kind you'd expect to get a lot more coverage.
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    Marvin X Jackmon when does the fake news get the real news? get real, skeptic!

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    THIRD WORLD PRESS FOUNDATION OFFERS CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENT TRUMP IN NEW ANTHOLOGY, NOT OUR PRESIDENT

    Edited by
    HAKI R. MADHUBUTI & LASANA KAZEMBE

    Foreword by
    CORNEL WEST

    Donald J. Trump is the 45th president of the United States. This happened in 2016 and it is not a hallucination. Trump’s political ascendancy, cabinet-level federal appointments, and subtle endorsement of white nationalism, have expedited feelings of fear, loathing, and endless uncertainty among many Americans – in particular, the poor and working-class.
    Not Our President: New Directions from the Pushed Out, the Others, and the Clear Majority in Trump’s Stolen America is a call-to-action for critical thinking, civic engagement, and progressive movement-building among everyday people – the vast majority of whom stand outside of Trump’s vision for America.

    CONTRIBUTORS

    • Molefi K. Asante
    • Bill Ayers
    • Carl C. Bell
    • Herb Boyd
    • Nikky Finney
    • Henry Giroux
    • Edmund W. Gordon
    • Tallib Kweli Greene
    • Gerald Horne
    • Maulana Karenga
    • Mitch Landrieu
    • Haki Madhubuti
    • Julianne Malveaux
    • jessica Care moore
    • Ishmael Reed
    • Michael Simanga
    • David O. Stovall
    • Diane Turner
    • Sandra Turner-Barnes
    • Elizabeth Warren
    • Cornel West
    • and many others!
    Advance Praise for Not Our President
    "Having spent the past six months---since the stunning election of #45 to the presidency of the U.S.--- reading a broad range of analyses concerning "how" and "why," I am certain about the unparalleled truth-telling of this co-edited volume, NOT OUR PRESIDENT. Veteran writer/publisher Haki Madhubuti and poet/professor Lasana Kazembe have assembled a dazzling array of readings by a multiracial, multigenerational group who would likely not have appeared between the same two covers under a different set of circumstances. They are professors, poets, politicians, organizers, activists, historians, journalists, rappers, educators, scholars, elders, nationalists, psychologists, radicals, millennials. They are prolific and award-winning writers...and the sitting major of New Orleans.

    While the dominant theme here is the impact of white supremacy and white nationalism, perhaps the book's most important contribution to our understanding of the 2016 Presidential election is the painstaking analyses of the political terrain that produced #45, including the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980, and of course the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. Especially brilliant in this regard is Professor Gerald Horne's "The Reckoning" and Professor Michael Simanga's "African American, The Compromise of 2008, and Donald J. Trump." Throughout and in many different ways, we are reminded of the in-your-face persistence of institutionalized racism. In the words of Professor Aminifu Harvey, we now have "a cabinet that is 86% white, 82%male, and 77% white males. It is the least diverse cabinet since Ronald Reagan."

    NOT OUR PRESIDENT will likely be disturbing to a broad swathe of U.S. audiences. Taking no prisoners, metaphorically speaking, its riveting critiques are hard-hitting, passionate, and unrelenting. Targets include the Alt-Right, mainstream media, the Republican right wing, evangelical Christians, neo-liberals, and yes, the Democratic Party, the U.S. Left, and neo-liberalism.

    There is also robust discourse about how, across divergent political locations, we can resist, forge sustaining solidarities, rekindle old ones, and perhaps imagine new possibilities in perhaps the most debilitating national moment in recent U.S. history."


    Beverly Guy-Sheftall is the Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies at Spelman College and edited WORDS OF FIRE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMINIST THOUGHT
    THIRD WORLD PRESS FOUNDATION
    P.O. Box 19730
    Chicago, IL 60619

    To order copies of
    Not Our President:

    or
    call 773-651-0700
    THIRD WORLD PRESS FOUNDATION
    Publishing Black Writers Fearlessly for Fifty Years!
    (1967-2017)

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     JUSTICE INITIATIVE
    Heather Heyer's Cousin:  
    Racism Will Get Worse Unless We Stop It Now

    This last week has been surreal for my family. We lost one of our own in one of the most public ways possible. A man in a car ran down my cousin, Heather Heyer, because she decided to join her fellow Charlottesville residents against the neo-Nazis and white supremacists on their streets.
    Diana Ratcliff
    CNN 
    Portside
    August 20, 2017 

    Heather Heyer was killed by a speeding car, as it plummeted through the crowd of those protesting the white nationalists, a car driven by Neo-Nazi enthusiast James Alex Fields Jr.
     
     
    My family -- we are not the kind of family that is targeted by hate crimes. We come from a white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant background with Appalachian heritage. We have never had to be afraid that someone would target us or lynch us because of the color of our skin. 
     
    We never had to worry someone wouldn't hire us because of the way we look. We never have to worry that our children might become victims of someone else's prejudice. We've never been told we can't live in a certain neighborhood or attend a certain school because of the color of our skin. Until last week, we had no idea what it feels like to lose someone to hate.
     
    After the news of Heather's death, I attended a Charlottesville solidarity vigil in my hometown. I sat anonymously in the middle of the crowd, silent tears streaming down my face, as speaker after speaker took the stage. People held up pictures of Heather and signs called her a hero. But the moment that will forever be burnt in my memory was when a speaker asked the uncomfortable question. While she hailed Heather's courage, she asked something to this effect: "Why does a white woman have to get killed for you all to become outraged?" All I could think was, "Heather is sitting in heaven right now, shaking her head in agreement."
     
    Why have we been turning our heads the other way?
     
    Why is it that the death of a white woman at the hands of a white supremacist group has finally gotten the attention of white folk? Why have we been turning our heads the other way for so long? How many black families, Latino families, Asian families, Native-American families before us have been left broken from this ugly vein of hatred in our country? Too many. And to my non-white brothers and sisters, I am so sorry that many of us weren't paying attention before Charlottesville. 
     
    We need to stop referring to what happened in Charlottesville as a clash between the "alt-left" and the "alt-right." The majority of the counterprotesters were concerned residents of Charlottesville, not a fringe political group. The so-called "alt-right," or the white nationalists, have no place in America, and they don't deserve a place on our political spectrum. 
     
    There is no space at the political table for them. There is no common ground, and there is no compromise. America has fought and won two wars against fascism and white supremacy already. White nationalists are the KKK rebranded, and they lost their right to free speech the minute they tried to use it to intimidate and incite violence. Which, by the way, was back in 1865. So, stop giving them a voice. There is nothing in our Constitution protecting hate speech. 
     
    If anyone other than white people had been marching the streets of Charlottesville wielding tiki torches, carrying semi-automatic rifles, chanting racist chants, engendering fear at a house of prayer [1], and menacing its residents, we'd call them terrorists. 
     
    Less than a week later, a van rammed through a crowded tourist area in Barcelona, Spain [2], killing 13 and wounding many others. We had no problem quickly calling that terrorism. Yet, when I say my cousin was killed in the terrorist attack on Charlottesville, I see people visibly get uncomfortable. They'll call it murder. They may call it a hate crime, but they struggle to call it terrorism. That man was fulfilling a call-to-action from white nationalists. He was committing an act of terror. 
     
    White nationalists are intimidating and threatening the safety and lives of our friends, colleagues and neighbors. They are not a political party that we need to compromise with. It's time for the rest of us to stand up and say, "No, not on our watch."
     
    Yesterday, my son asked me, "Mommy, what do terrorists look like?" I answered him, "Baby, they can look and sound like you or me, they can be like any one of us here." And that is the reality. White nationalists aren't some uneducated backwater clowns that are going to disappear. They're loan officers, they're service providers, they're professionals, they're public servants, they're college students, they're everyday people. Racism isn't dying out with an aging population. It's found new life, and it's going to get worse if we don't put a stop to it now.
     
    In shock
     
    We're all in shock, the whole world is. How did America go from a black President to white supremacist neo-Nazis marching in the street? That is the question we need to be asking ourselves. And if we take a long hard look at ourselves, we'll find out that it's because we went into denial. We elected a black person, we made friends with some minorities, and we patted ourselves on our backs, saying, "Well done self, we have eliminated racism." Clearly, we have not. It's been lurking in the shadows, waiting in the spaces of the words we say and the words we don't say. The actions we take and the actions we don't take.
     
    For example, when someone says, "All lives matter," what they think they're saying is, "All lives are equally as important." However, they're failing to acknowledge that racism is still a real problem in America. "Black lives matter" isn't saying that police lives don't matter. No one is saying that white lives don't matter. Black folks are simply saying they are tired of being treated like their lives don't matter. 
     
    If there is one positive I have taken away from the loss of Heather, it is that it isn't the length of your life that is important, it's what you do with your life that matters. If you truly believe all lives are equally important, then make your life matter.
     
    [Editor's Note: Diana Ratcliff is a cousin of Heather Heyer. A political science graduate of the University of Michigan, she interned in the US Senate and worked on Al Gore's presidential campaign staff. She is now studying nursing. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.
     

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     JUSTICE INITIATIVE
    How About Erecting Monuments to the
    Heroes of Reconstruction?
    August 23, 2017 
    Americans should build this pivotal post-Civil War era into the new politics of historical memory.
     
    From left to right, Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi, Representatives Benjamin Turner of Alabama, Robert DeLarge of South Carolina, Josiah Walls of Florida, Jefferson Long of Georgia, Joseph Rainey and Robert B. Elliot of South Carolina  
    (Public Domain Image - Library of Congress

    Honoring our Leaders!!!
    There is an obvious place to start: Congress and the 16 (yes, 16) African American members from that era who served in both the House and Senate. Not a single bust of any one of them can be found in the U.S. Capitol. That should change. They were literally the world's first black parliamentarians. It is a disgrace that the world's most powerful legislature has ignored their service.
    Another possibility is for the Supreme Court of South Carolina to memorialize its first African American justice, Jonathan Jasper Wright, who wrote some 90 opinions during his seven-year tenure on that court. At the time, the South Carolina Supreme Court was the only state supreme court to have an African American member.
    Given the sheer number of Confederate memorials, there is bound to be another shocking flashpoint of the kind that rocked Charlottesville and the nation. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee have vanished from Baltimore and New Orleans. Chief Justice Roger Taney, who authored the truly infamous part of the 
    Dred Scott decision, is gone from Annapolis. So many have come down-or are up for possible removal-that The New York Times posted an interactive map to chart them all. 
    But there is an alternative politics of memory that Americans can also practice, and it might help to keep fascists out of public squares and do something concrete, literally at the same time: honor Reconstruction. Remembering Reconstruction ought not to shunt aside the politics of Confederate memorials. Yet remembering this pivotal era certainly deserves to be built into the new national politics of memory.
    The sesquicentennial of Reconstruction is September 1, 2017. Under the First Military Reconstruction Act of March 1867, a Republican-controlled Congress, having become justifiably concerned about profound legal and extra-legal threats to the statutory civil rights of black Southerners, gave the U.S. Army an administrative deadline of September 1 to directly register all black and white adult males in 10 of the 11 ex-Confederate states (Tennessee, the 11th, already had a biracial electorate.) Echoing the Freedom Summer of the civil rights movement, University of Chicago historian Julie Saville has called the summer of 1867 "Registration Summer." 
    These elections set in motion deliberations in 1868 about the proper design and structure of new state governments that were designed to be radically more democratic than any of the South's previous incarnations.
    In the fall of 1867, this new biracial electorate elected delegates to state constitutional conventions. These elections set in motion deliberations in 1868 about the proper design and structure of new state governments that were designed to be radically more democratic than any of the South's previous incarnations. Those state governments were also expected to formally support the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which established African American citizenship and more broadly a new, expansive view of civil rights.
    Americans have been arguing about Reconstruction ever since. Like the republic founded in 1787 in Philadelphia, Registration Summer produced a deeply imperfect political system. The ratification of the 14th Amendment expressly kept all women from voting. Native Americans and Chinese Americans in California soon discovered that the new constitutional amendments-the 13th, 14th, and 15th-did not quite include them (at least not without arduous litigation in the federal courts).
    The sesquicentennial of Reconstruction will clock past one anniversary after another, including the insurrection of the Ku Klux Klan against state and local governments run by black officials and white Republican allies; the militant defense of democracy by the Grant administration; and little-known post-Reconstruction anniversaries like the black Exoduster movement to Kansas and black migrations to Oklahoma territory and Liberia. As Americans ponder these milestones, debates over the meanings of these events are certain to follow.
    Finding a middle ground will be difficult. The protagonists of the Civil War have always seemed noble. That war seems to have been fought over higher ideals than Americans see in today's petty political squabbles. As polls show, this is one reason why many Americans remain uneasy about the removal of Confederate monuments. 
    Reconstruction's teeming cast of characters, who were busy at party politics, setting and collecting taxes, and executing public contracts, never quite measure up. Moreover, it has taken three-quarters of a century to come to grips with the basic democratic nature of the period. Writing during the Great Depression, W.E.B. Du Bois carefully showed how deeply weird the then-dominant literature on Reconstruction was-he did this at the close of his 1935 masterpiece, Black Reconstruction. The standard view was that it was all a terrible mistake. Du Bois argued, rightly, that it was much more of a triumph than most educated whites understood. In colleges and graduate programs all around the country, people were buying into a racist caricature.
    Thanks to that work's enduring impact, and to the careful work of Du Bois's great successors, historians John Hope Franklin and C. Vann Woodward, and of theirstudents and successors like Eric Foner, Du Bois's alternative view-that Reconstruction was a great democratic expansion-has become largely accepted.
    The post-bellum system of crop liens (the credit arrangements sorting out who got paid when crops were sold) were fair, labor unions emerged for the first time, the courts were impartial, and police forces were integrated. 
    There was robust party competition at all levels, from local to state to national electoral politics. The post-bellum system of crop liens (the credit arrangements sorting out who got paid when crops were sold) were fair, labor unions emerged for the first time, the courts were impartial, and police forces were integrated. 
    Public education came to the South: The University of South Carolina Law School was desegregated and the New Orleans school system was desegregated for a brief period. A nascent system of black higher education emerged. Literacy rates among African Americans rose sharply, as did property ownership. A vibrant two-party press flourished. Religious liberty surged as African Americans quickly built a vast system of churches and church schools.
    Contrary to the oft-asserted statement that Reconstruction was a time of white disenfranchisement, both white and black voters voted at very high rates. The disenfranchisement of major ex-Confederate officeholders was lifted by Congress. This, too, was good for American democracy. But many Americans wonder: If Reconstruction was so great, why did it fall apart so suddenly? However, the premise of the question is wrong. 
    The post-Reconstruction decades after the 1877 Compromise were much more democratic than is widely known. They certainly featured white-on-black electoral violence, which was also rampant during Reconstruction. There were anti-black electoral fraud and several steps toward legal black disenfranchisement. Yet these years also featured a major biracial party insurgency in Virginia, such as the little-known but important biracial Readjuster movement, and a similar movement about 15 years later in North Carolina in the 1890s. African Americans continued to vote at remarkably high rates during the post-Reconstruction decades and before the onset of black disenfranchisement.   
    Historians sometimes suggest that post-Reconstruction politics was a charade and point to the violent overthrow of the biracial Populist-Republican fusion government of North Carolina at the end of the 19th century. The idea here is that those who really had political power took the gloves off everywhere in the South and smashed their opposition when they decided that it was finally time to end any prospect of biracial government. 
    But the North Carolina putsch hardly shows that disenfranchisement swept all at once through the South. Instead, formal legal disenfranchisement was an extended and uncertain process of policy diffusion and change that began in Florida in 1889 and ended in Georgia in 1907, or in Oklahoma in 1910, depending on which definition of the South one uses. The disenfranchisers hardly knew in advance that they would eventually sweep most of these state and local governments away; there was a repeated and strenuous effort to disenfranchise African Americans in Maryland that utterly failed. 
    Nowhere else in the 19th-century world, in Europe or Latin America, did people who had been in slavery or serfdom shift so rapidly and transformatively into equal and full political, indeed constitution-amending, citizenship.
    The most important point is that from 1867 up to the creation of a single-party/single-race rule in the South, the United States was unique: It was the world's only biracial democratic republic. No other post-emancipation society anywhere ever had a comparable experience-not Cuba or any of the Caribbean slave societies, Brazil, or Russia. Nowhere else in the 19th-century world, in Europe or Latin America, did people who had been in slavery or serfdom shift so rapidly and transformatively into equal and full political, indeed constitution-amending, citizenship. Nowhere else did a myriad of officeholders and national legislators-men who had either themselves been recently enslaved or who, though free-born, had lived and worked previously under a fiercely unequal system-come to play prominent roles in legislation, local courts, and state and local administration.
    With Reconstruction, Americans invented a new kind of regime, unique among 19th-century nations. It was profoundly and massively redistributive in a way that the world had never seen up to that point, for it sealed the emancipation of human property and reversed the de-facto re-enslavement of 1866 by the white supremacist governments that President Andrew Johnson created by proclamation during his "presidential Reconstruction." 
    Thanks to the long civil rights movement, and to bipartisan action in the 1950s, 1960s, and after, America reinvented the biracial republic in new form, now more multiethnic and, thanks to the impact of the 19th Amendment, much more gender-neutral than the first one. During those decades, Americans grew to see Reconstruction very differently than they did during the heyday of Jim Crow, when Reconstruction was instead widely execrated among whites as a policy disaster.
    As the campaign to bring down Confederate monuments shows, many Americans have grown to see the early 20th-century heyday of Confederate commemoration differently. That commemoration was meant to celebrate the final suppression of Reconstruction's democratic revolution. Commentators regularly point this out. But the next question in the conversation hasn't happened: You never hear someone on television asking, "Why don't we commemorate Reconstruction?"
    There is an obvious place to start: Congress and the 16 (yes, 16) African American members from that era who served in both the House and Senate. Not a single bust of any one of them can be found in the U.S. Capitol. That should change. They were literally the world's first black parliamentarians. It is a disgrace that the world's most powerful legislature has ignored their service.
    Another possibility is for the Supreme Court of South Carolina to memorialize its first African American justice, Jonathan Jasper Wright, who wrote some 90 opinions during his seven-year tenure on that court. At the time, the South Carolina Supreme Court was the only state supreme court to have an African American member.
    There are, in fact, many commemorative possibilities. Americans hardly have to mount plaques or build statues for all of them-indeed, so many people merit commemoration that there would be a glut of tributes. But there were thousands of African American office-holders and there were countless events. They are all rich with meaning for understanding a democratic world that in many ways is still lost to us. Recovering and remembering them would certainly help Americans to see their own democracy with new eyes.

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    Award-Winning Playwright Marcus Gardley Odysseys to Oakland

    Black Odyssey at Cal Shakes is a modern retelling of Homer’s epic poem.


    The Odyssey is literature’s ultimate homecoming story. For Marcus Gardley, it’s providing a literal homecoming.

    Gardley, an Oakland-born, award-winning playwright, is making his California Shakespeare Theater debut this month with the West Coast premiere of Black Odyssey, a modern retelling of Homer’s epic poem in which an African American veteran returning from Afghanistan makes his way back to Oakland. (Earlier iterations of the production have taken place in Harlem, but the locale has been adjusted for an East Bay audience.) Gardley’s previous works, including The Box: A Black Comedy and The House That Will Not Stand (which premiered at Berkeley Rep in 2014), have drawn critical acclaim.

    And unlike Homer’s protagonist, whom only the dog recognizes, Gardley can expect a hero’s welcome home. The play reflects all things Bay Area, from its music and cast to the examination of the African American experience, says Cal Shakes artistic director Eric Ting. “This represents the best of what Cal Shakes can do.”
    Aug. 9–Sept. 3

    Marvin X, Master poet/playwright, co-founder of the Black Arts Movement, Notes on Black Odyssey


    photo Pendarvis Harshaw

    Tonight we watched a preview performance of Black Odyssey by Marcus Gardley at the Cal Shakespeare Theatre in Orinda. My daughter, Attorney Amira Jackmon, invited me to attend the outdoor performance with my grandchildren. Since I hadn't seen them for months because Amira has the El Muhajir spirit and is ever on the move throughout the universe, usually accompanied with her children, Naeemah and Jameel, I was elated to spend the evening with my peoples.

    Ironically, when I showed them the latest issue of the Movement Newspaper, Naeemah asked, "Grandfather, when you gonna put me on the cover of your newspaper?" I replied, "Naeemah, you know I had the same  thought tonight that I should put you and Jahmeel on the cover. I will do so soon." Actually, in the August issue, there are two poems in which my children and grandchildren are mentioned.

    When my daughter asked me about Black Odyssey, I told her I didn't know the play but I suspected it was based on the Greek myth stolen from African mythology and reinterpreted through the lens of North American African mythology. Once the play began, I knew I was correct. It began with Ulysses beating the drum, then choral voices in an African language, evolving into the "Stolen Legacy" (George M. James, W.E.B. DuBois) Greek myth morphed into North American African personas and narrative based on situations in the hoods of the Bay, with references to the white hoods as well, e.g., Rockridge, Acorn, et al.

    Because of the cold, I was only able to endure the first half. I forgot or didn't realize it's an outdoor theatre, so although Orinda is located immediate after one departs the tunnel from Berkeley, the weather changed drastically and I was totally unprepared, even though they gave out blankets, so I endured the first half then departed to wait in my daughter's car. My daughter said, "Dad, the tickets cost too much for us to leave now!" I told her I would no doubt come again, if only to review the play for my newspaper. She and her chillin' decided to endure the cold for another hour and twenty minutes. As per myself, I am suffering extreme attention deficit disorder these days, not that I have no suffered it throughout my life. After the play, my daughter reminded me, "Dad, do you know how long your productions usually are?" I said, "Ok, but I'm thinking my next concert will be one hour long. The first set of the recent Sun Ra Arkestra concert at the San Francisco Jazz Center lasted one hour, after which I departed, even though the Arkestra has been a part of my life since I performed with Sun Ra and his Arkestra off and on since 1968 in Harlem, NY. And as per time, Sun Ra and I performed a five hour concert of my musical Take Care of Business in San Francisco at the Harding Theatre on Divisadero, 1972, without intermission. Times change. As Sun Ra taught, "We are on the other side of time!"

    But the first half revealed that we have an excellent writer in Marcus Gardley, who is from Oakland. There was no question of his masterful weaving of African, Greek and North American African mythology into a unified and organic whole, full of poetry and philosophy about manhood rites of passage and male/female relations. For example, when the 16 year old son of Ulysses, (J. Alphonse Nicholson), Malachai (Michael Curry) encounters his mother, Nella Pell (Omoze Idehenre), mom tells him if he wants to be a man as he proclaims, then buy his own shoes and clothes, pay his own rent. Finally, the 16 year old says, "Mom, I don't wanna be a man, " especially after she was ready to throw his X-box out the window.

    I was astounded at the dexterity of the writer in so smoothly working the ancient Greek myth into North American African mythology and simultaneously incorporating African song, dance, music and mythology into his dramatic narrative. I proclaim him a genius of poetry and drama!

    When Eldridge Cleaver observed my 1981 Laney College Theatre production of In the Name of Love, he said, "Marvin, you have returned drama to the poetic tradition of Shakespeare." Well, One Day in the Life was a poetic drama. Black Odyssey is the same. I only saw the first half, but my daughter and grandchildren said they enjoyed the second half as well. My daughter said the second half, especially when Ulysses returned home from his journey, was very powerful, very touching and emotional, when he embraced his faithful wife.



    If you read my notes on the Sun Ra Arkestra concert at the San Francisco Jazz Center, I discuss the Black Arts Movement Theatre tradition of "Ritual Theatre", well, Black Odyssey utilized this concept of having the actors depart the stage into the audience, thus consciously or unconsciously placing themselves in the Black Arts Movement Theatrical tradition, which connects us with aboriginal myth-ritual theatre. I plan to go back to see the second half of this wonderful play and production.

    I will go prepared for the cold night air in Orinda. If you North American Africans can travel to the Concord Pavilion for Snoop Dog, you can endure the cold night air of the Cal Shakespeare Theatre to see Black Odyssey.

     Don't miss it cause  brother Marcus talkin bout your myth-ritual reality right here in the Bay, let alone all the references to North American African history and mythology, including icons of Black liberation, i.e., Medgar, Malcolm, Martin, Emmit Till, down to Black Lives Matter, police killings, black on black homicide, yes,  the Black Odyssey continues to the other side of time, as Sun Ra taught!


    Marvin X giving his opening monologue to One Day in the Life, Buriel Clay Theatre, San Francisco, circa 2002, the longest running North American African drama in Northern California history, run extended from 1996 thru 2002. Nearly every drug recovery program in the Bay Area saw this drama that became a recovery classic. Recovering addicts knew the script so well when Marvin X tried to do a B Script to satisfy the Black Bourgeoisie, the recovery audience walked out in disgust that he had capitulated to the black bourgeoisie and their world of make believe and Miller Liteism!

     Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. Ishmael Reed says, "If you want to learn about inspiration and motivation, don't spend all that money going to workshops and seminars, just go stand at 14th and Broadway and watch Marvin X at work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland!"


    "I do not come to 14th and Broadway to make money by selling books. Sometimes, I think I do but Allah soon reveals to me my mission has nothing to do with money although the people provide me with more money that I expect. Sometimes people drop $20.00 and $10.00 dollars in the glass pot and keep going.

    But if you want to know the beauty of our people, when I give books on credit, I never keep record, yet 99% of them pay me when they can, without fail, this is the beauty of our people you need to know. As per the youth who come by with pants hanging off their asses, if I say, "Pull yo pants up," 99% do so without hesitation, only one percent replay with negative bullshilt like, "You ain't my daddy, you can't tell me what the fuck to do!" Sometimes they walk by and read my thoughts: when they get to the curb they pull their pants up without me saying anything, then turn around and look at me with a smile, then continue across the street. They can read minds as we all can. This is the beauty of our people, even our children that you fear to talk with, say a kind word with, give a word of wisdom to while they are starving for elder knowledge.

    When I go to the barber shop operated by youngsters, they turn to me and say, "OG, teach us, teach us O.G. Tell us some wisdom, O.G. O.G., when you were a youngster, when you got an STD, you took a pill and stopped your drip. These days, if we get an STD, we might die!"

    So let us celebrate Black Odyssey by our brother Marcus. He has much to teach us as per manhood rites of passage and manhood/womanhood relations. Dress fada cold and get yo black asses to Orinda for a myth-ritual healing!
    --Marvin X, Black Arts Movement Theatre Elder
    9/10/17

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  • 08/28/17--23:13: I'm Good, I'm Cool!


  • Master Teacher Marvin X at Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza
    photo Pendarvis Harshaw

    I'm good, I'm cool
    said the so-called Negro
    Negus, King of Kings in another life
    So-called Negro
    no such thing as Negro
    Negus, king of kings, lord of lords, god of gods
    Negus
    ain't nothin' good, ain't nothin' cool.
    How you good in da hood
    brother killing brother
    father against son
    daughter against mama
    children hatin' it all
    runnin' through ghetto hatin'
    hatin' man hatin' girl girl hatin
    hatin children
    hatin
    man/woman love/hate
    woman/woman love/hate
    I'm good, I'm cool
    you fool
    ain't nothing good up in here
    nothin' cool
    Martin Luther King, Jr. said,
    "If we remain cool much longer
    we'll end up in deep freeze!"

    I'm good, I'm cool. you fool
    player gettin' played
    O.G., Marvin X, this how we work Dante:
    he think he playin us but we playin him
    Sheenikqua, you got Dante Monday
    14 to 1 at Howard
    Dante cool, good
    player gettin' played
    sista say Rasheedah get Dante Tuesday
    Latisha Wendesday
    Rahima Thursday
    O.K., sista's Friday I got Dante
    player gettin' played
    he good, he cool
    wake up fool
    deaf dumb blind
    wake up pseudo conscious Youtube scholars
    beyond the pale of sanity
    crisis of  the negro intellectual
    world of make believe
    otherworldness
    anywhere but here
    crisis of the negro intellectual
    anywhere but here
    down here on the ground
    funktown
    oaktown
    getdown
    good, cool
    good, fool
    cool fool
    cool fool
    wake up fool
    the little yellow bus is comin'
    take ya ta school
    fool
    good, cool
    genius in yellow bus
    genius
    wouldn't drink Kool Aid
    red Kool Aid in canning jar
    enough sugar ta kill a nigguh
    don't go dirty south
    sweet tea dirty south
    dirty rice dirty south
    sweet tea kill a nigguh
    dirty rice too
    pork dirty rice
    Shop at Piggly Wiggly
    Big hog fed woman
    aggressive
    told my daughter in Houston,
    "I'm taking yo daddy
    Bring him back in da mornin'.
    Woman ain't ask me shit.
    Dirty South!
    I'm good, I'm cool
    Appreciate you
    Appreciate you
    Appreciate you!
    --Marvin X
    Black August, 2017

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