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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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    Peddling Islamophobia

    Islamophobia has always been a bipartisan affair, and "warmonger Judith Miller is happy to be its shill", writes author.

    Last Modified: 28 Apr 2013 15:00
    Charlotte Silver

    Charlotte Silver is a journalist based in San Francisco and the West Bank, Palestine. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

    The rate of FBI-orchestrated terrorism sting operations has only increased under Obama's watch [EPA]
    In her own words, Judith Miller has devoted her career to covering "threats to our country". Her service to this end includes significant if dubious accomplishments. Most widely known for fabricating and peddling many of the biggest lies that sold the country on the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Miller also helped propagateIsrael's myth that Palestinian political party Hamas had a "dangerous" network in the United States. The latter propelled the migration of Hamas onto the US' list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and saw US citizen Muhammad Salah perniciously labelled a "terrorist".
    Now, Miller has seized on the Boston bombings as an opportunity to advocate for increased surveillance of Muslim communities, à la New York City. In a wholly laudatory article for the Wall Street Journal, Judith Miller speculates how the NYPD, with their cunning combination of psychological and detective work, would have handled the Tsnarnaev brothers - and likely saved the day.
    "In the dozen years since 9/11, the city has developed a counter terror program that is a model of how to identify and stop killers like the Tsarnaev brothers before they strike," she said.  
    Miller seems blithely unconcerned with mass murderers like James Eagan Holmes, Adam Lanza or Michael Page who killed a combined total of 45 people in the last year. The only "killers" Miller thinks our law enforcement should be worried about are Muslim ones.
    Radicalisation theory
    Miller heaps praise on the NYPD's implementation of the "radicalisation theory" - a pseudo-scientific barometer of an individual's predisposition to committing an act of terror - into police practice, and the department's infiltration and surveillance of exclusively Muslim communities since 9/11. In disingenuously euphemistic terms, Miller characterises the latter as the NYPD's "continuing effort to understand Muslim communities".
    This rank ethnic profiling programme, tellingly named the Demographics Unit (later re-named the "Zone Assessments Unit"), is housed within the NYPD's CIA-built Intelligence Division and has overseen the systematic and indiscriminate spying on Muslim communities.
    The programme gathers such critical information as which cafes offer Al Jazeera news for customers, which businesses sell halal products and how many times Muslims pray during the day. The Demographic Unit is thorough and extensive: "The NYPD monitored Muslim Student Associations from Philadelphia to New Haven... and mosque crawlers [NYPD informants] had spied and reported on... more than 250 mosques," according to a recent report produced by the CLEAR Project, AALDEF and MACLC. This report documents the fear, fragmentation and erosion of trust in law enforcement the programme creates within Muslim communities in the greater New York City area. Muslims might be forgiven for doubting the authenticity of the lofty aim of "understanding" Judith Miller attributes to the NYPD in her WSJ article.
    Listening Post - Boston: When the media gets it wrong
    According to Miller's assessment, it is these tactics that have allowed the NYPD to effectively stop 16 terror plots in New York City.

    Never one to be overly concerned with facts that do not suit her position, Miller omits details, including the fact that some of those 16 plots some were "manufactured" and it was not the NYPD's surveillance programme that successfully thwarted any of them. Justin Elliott of ProPublica broke down the inflated - yet oft-cited - list of "prevented" attacks in NYC, showing the mendacity of crediting the NYPD for keeping the city safe from "terror".
    Thomas Galati, the commanding officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division put it plainly last June: "I never made a lead from rhetoric that came from a Demographics report, and I'm here since 2006... and I don't recall other ones prior to my arrival."
    Miller's article cites heavily from Mitchell Silber's and Arvin Bhatt's 2007 report "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat". The report, prefaced by New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, provides the foundational logic for NYPD's surveillance of Muslims and suggests that all Muslims are on a path that leads toward terrorism. Although the report has been thoroughly denounced and repeatedly ridiculed, its rationale has nevertheless become normalised. So while Judith Miller has been widely discredited, the views she espouses on this subject are not.
    Spying programme
    In January, the Congressional Research Service issued a report called "American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat" that reflects the persistent dominance of the so-called radicalisation theory in discussions surrounding terrorism.
    In its critique of the report, the ACLU notes that CRS is "charged with providing objective policy analysis for members of Congress". The ACLU points out that while CRS acknowledges the problems with Silber's and Bhatt's report, it accepts that "the adoption of a particular belief set is a precursor to violent action" and "continues to hew closely to the model of radicalisation it promotes". In other words, casting the entire Muslim community as a potential threat is considered "objective" analysis rather than racist rhetoric.
    Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel at the ACLU Washington Legislative Office writes:
    The faulty assumption that radical thoughts lead to violence drives many of the inappropriate law enforcement actions against Muslim-American communities and political activists that, like the NYPD surveillance programme, violate civil rights but don't actually improve security.
    In advocating for increased surveillance, Miller is likely to be criticised for echoing the likes of Republican Representative Peter King. But, perhaps inconveniently for Democrat apologists, it was John Brennan - Obama's lead counterterrorism adviser before his promotion to the director of the CIA - who defended the NYPD's spying programme in the face of criticism last year.
    And why wouldn't he? The surveillance of Muslim communities was never an exclusively New York - or Republican - enterprise. The number of informants embedded in Muslim communities throughout the country remains at record highs under Obama; and according to Trevor Aaronson's The Terror Factory, the rate of FBI-orchestrated terrorism sting operations has only increased under Obama's watch.
    Islamophobia has always been a bipartisan affair, and long-time liar and warmonger Judith Miller is happy to be its shill.
    Charlotte Silver is a journalist based in San Francisco and the West Bank. She is a graduate of Stanford University. 
    Follow her on Twitter: @CharEsilver
    The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

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    Understanding London--And Boston!


    “If they are going to kill him. I don’t care. My oldest son is killed, so I don’t care. I don’t care if my youngest son is going to be killed today. I want the world to hear this. And, I don’t care if I am going to get killed too. And I will say Allahu Akbar!“--Mother of Boston Bombers

    My Son the Fanatic
    a film review
    Marvin X

    In light of recent events in London (and now Boston), I thought it would be important for a clearer understanding of London's Muslim community (and America's) to resend this review of the film My Son The Fanatic.


    Most western politicians, media spooks and experts refuse to address the root cause of young men and women willing to self destruct as suicide bombers or why they choose to become fundamentalist Muslims. Westerners and the moderate Muslim experts continue in denial that white supremacy is the root cause of their former colonial subjects desire to remove the last vestiges of the disease of cultural imperialism.

    White supremacy has spread hopelessness in young Muslims in Europe and cultural imperialism has spread it to the former colonies, now neo-colonial regimes best described by journalist Ayman Al Amir, who recently said, “Terrorism is the consequence of political ostracism, not religious fanaticism. It is fermented not in the mosques of Egypt or the madrassas of Pakistan but in solitary confinement cells, torture chambers, and the environment of fear wielded by dictatorial regimes.”

    The film reveals that Muslims in Europe, and London in particular, are not only politically disenfranchised but culturally, economically, and spirituality alienated as well.

    This alienation is simply the nature of the beast, the Mother Country, that devours the little people from the colonies who seek comfort in the Mother but are rejected for being less than human, thus in a twist of the Oedipus complex, they seek to destroy the Mother who has all but destroyed them, stunted their personalities and possibilities for human and spiritual development. (President Obama described the Boston bombers as stunted men!

    The Review of the film My Son the Fanatic

    …Essentially, it is about the colonized man, the colonized family and its attempt at de-colonization. Ironically, we are challenged to decide who is the fanatic, the father or the son, for both are battling their supposed demons. For the son, it is western culture—the father fights to escape eastern culture, i.e., his Pakistani roots. The son wants to return to his religious roots, Islamic fundamentalism. The father is fanatically in love with secularism—he is non-religious, in love with jazz, blues, alcohol and whores, one in particular.

    What if Osama Bin Laden and his band of devils came to your house at the invitation of your son? When his son comes under the influence of fundamental Islam, he get his father to allow a Muslim teacher to visit from Lahore, Pakistan, turning the house into an Islamic center, which the father reluctantly allows because of his deep love for his son. Although he arranges for his son to marry a London policeman’s daughter, the son rejects his father’s request, opting for Islam, claiming the girl represents the worst of western culture. Couldn’t he see how the policeman abhorred him, the son asks the father.

    The father is blind: his loveless job as a London taxi driver exposes him to street life and he succumbs, falling seriously in love with a whore, rejecting his homely wife who has failed to inspire him, perhaps because she doesn’t represent the decadent western culture he loves, symbolized and summarized in the whore. For him, the whore has life, love, tenderness, and freedom. Why can’t he get this at home? Is it because the wife represents the old world he rejects so totally?  …After his son and comrades attack the whores for being whores—the son actually attacks his father’s whore, spitting on her, and striking her in a violent anti-prostitution riot, forcing the father to expel the imam, with the son departing in disgust.

    …In the German trick Mr. Schitz, we see the arrogance of western man who derides the father for being the “little man.” What can the little man from the East do with the white whore, the symbol of western civilization? The little man is inferior by nature, with defects, genetic of course, which disqualifies him from being on par with western man.

    Mr. Schitz can pat the “little man” or eastern man on the head, kick him to the ground and apply any number of verbal insults, until eastern man finds a bat in the truck of his car and threatens to use it. Of course, this is the colonized man fighting back, regaining his manhood. The father fights on a personal level, the son on a politico-religious level, but both are fighting colonialism.

    Their misunderstanding each other’s fight is symbolic of the tension between moderate and fundamental Muslims. We know we cannot go back to Islam of the Prophet’s day, but nor can we accept the passivity of the moderates. There is no excuse for one billion Muslims being humiliated by a few million Jews in Israel. This is not a question of hatred, but the result of political backwardness, the non-use of power. With Muslim unity, the Palestinian problem could be resolved tomorrow morning. 
    Until contradictions between moderate and fundamental Muslims are resolved, eastern man will not be able to successfully challenge western man. This, of course, will necessitate revolution because moderate Muslims control most Islamic societies and have no plans to give up power without a struggle—those who struggle against them being described as terrorists to disqualify legitimate freedom fighters who will ultimately challenge the corrupt, undemocratic, secular Muslim nations.

    The final question is what will be the nature of the new Nation of Islam. Can fundamentalism function in the modern era or is it antithetical? Will it be repressive, will it be democratic in any sense, not necessarily in the western democratic sense? Will Iran be an example? Tunisia? Turkey? For sure, the motion in the Muslim world will lead to a synthesis of the best of the old and the new. 

    Let us understand clearly, if the reactionary secular regimes cannot or do not eradicate ignorance, poverty and disease, they will be replaced.

    The father’s love of the whore was real. She represented the poor underclass that even the revolutionary son could not accept because of his moral myopia. If the father had married her (another wife being acceptable in Islam), perhaps the son would have respected him and the tension between the old and new would have eased, allowing the possibility of a better day.

    After the present convolutions, look for a marriage between old Islam and the new, between East and West. We will either come together or go to hell together. For all his attempts to claim allegiance to the Islamic past, Osama Bin Laden is the most modern of men, using modern technology, modern weapons, modern financial systems, and modern media techniques to the best of his ability.

    *   *   *   *   *

    This film review appears in Marvin X's book of essays, In the Crazy House Called America, Black Bird Press, 2002. 
    posted 5 August 2005

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    Who's Afraid of Marvin X?

    Marvin X has been ignored and silenced, like Malcolm X would be ignored and silenced if he had lived on into the Now. He's one of the most extraordinary, exciting black intellectuals living today. A master teacher in many fields of thought: religion and psychology, sociology and anthropology, history and politics, literature and the humanities. He is a needed counselor, for he knows himself on the deepest personal levels and he reveals that self to us that we might be his beneficiaries.... One of America's great story tellers. I'd put him ahead of Mark Twain! --Rudolph Lewis, Chickenbones

    He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland.--Ishmael Reed

    The USA's Rumi. The wisdom of Saadi. The ecstasy of Hafiz!--Bob Holman

    Marvin X has three titles in print:

    The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2013
    Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2007
    How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, BBP, 2007

    Dear Marvin,
    It was not possible for me to thank everyone personally this period but your paid subscription greatly is appreciated, thank you!
    My goal is to get at least 1% of our current subscribers to purchase their subscription to the eNewsletter for only $7.99 per year. Your paid subscription makes it possible for me, with the support of dedicated writers, to continue to improve our coverage of books, films and related subjects.
    Troy Johnson

    Power List Best-Selling Book Written or Read by African Americans

    On April 22nd, three leading African-American literature web sites announced the launch of the Power List, a quarterly compilation of best-selling books written or read by African Americans. The Power List is a joint project of, and, three Web sites which have promoted African-American literature for more than a decade.
    The Power List accumulates data on books written or read by African Americans and compiles that information into a quarterly Best-selling books list. Add the Power List to your website or Blog and get automated updates when new lists are published. Read the entire press release.

    Authors You Should Know


    Derek Walcott - Recipient Nobel Prize in Literature

    At the age of 18, Walcott he made his debut with 25 Poems, but his breakthrough came with the collection of poems, In a Green Night(1962). In 1959, he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop which produced many of his early plays.
    In addition to having won the Nobel, in 1992, Walcott has won many literary awards over the course of his career including an Obie Award in 1971 for his play Dream on Monkey Mountain, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen's Medal for Poetry, and the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize for his book of poetry, White Egrets.

    Jamal Joseph (video)

    Sister's Uptown Bookstore hosted a presentation and conversation with Jamal Joseph author of Panther Baby on April 27, 2013.
    In this video Joseph, who was eventually incarcerated for his participation in the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in New York City, talked about his experiences as a teenager in the organization. He also talked his personal experience with the agent provocateur who got him and 20 other Panthers arrested. He shares his experience mentoring Tupac Shakur and why he greatly respected for Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, who was also a member of the Panthers and much more.

    Gary Phillips

    Gary Phillips writes fictional stories of chicanery and malfeasance in various formats, often drawing on his past experiences. He is a Los Angeles native, and was born and raised in the then South Central area of the city. There he was a community activist on issues ranging from police abuse, the anti-apartheid movement and opposing the contras in Central America during the Reagan era.
    "Phillips is a veteran crime novelist who creates a plausible postapocalyptic scenario in which the safety of middle-class America can dissolve in a moment. Exciting, violent, and entertaining." —Booklist

    Tracy Price-Thompson

    Price-Thompson is a speaker, novelist, and retired United States Army Engineer officer. She is a veteran of the Gulf War. She self-published her first novel, Black Coffee, at the age of 37. A story about an illicit romance between a female officer in the United States Army and a married enlisted man, it was quickly bought by Striver's Row, an imprint of Random House and became a bestseller.
    She has since published five more novels: Chocolate Sangria, A Woman's WorthKnockin' BootsGather Together In My Name, and 1-900-ANYTIMEA Woman's Worth won the 2005 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Contemporary Fiction.

    Nonfiction Book Reviews


    Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire by Andrea Stuart

    Although Andrea Stuart was born and raised in the Caribbean, she never knew much about her ethnic heritage growing up. As a curious adult, she started digging around in library archives and was able to trace part of her ancestry as far back as the 17th C. to a white plantation owner of a sugar plantation on Barbados.
    A credible, cross-cultural examination chronicling the unresolved master-slave relationship still reflected in today’s Barbados where, as Faulkner sagely surmised about America’s Deep South, “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.”

    The Motherhood Diaries: A Humorous Look at Motherhood in the New Millennium by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

    While the first half of the timely tome is comprised exclusively of ReShonda’s pithily-delivered pearls of wisdom, the rest of the opus is devoted to the relatively-sobering reflections of a couple dozen other moms. For instance, there’s Lorna Lewis’ “Diary of a Grieving Mother,” Raquel Rogers’ “Diary of a Forgetful Mom,” Edna Pittman’s “Diary of a Special Needs Mother,” Crystal Brown Tatum’s “Diary of a Breast Cancer Survivor,” Jamesina Greene’s “Diary of a Depressed Mom,” Miranda Parker’s (who tragically succumbed to her affliction in October of 2012)“Diary of a Mom with a Disability,” and Lichol Ford’s “Diary of a Welfare Mom,” to name a few.
    Overall, this alternately comical and heartbreaking collection adds up to a compelling compendium of refreshingly-honest conversations about modern-day motherhood.

    The Lace Wig Bible: How to Style, Care & Maintain Lace Wigsby Morgan R. Gantt

    Beauty guru Morgan Gantt, a sister with her finger on the pulse when it comes to solving any sort of hair care nightmares. She speaks from experience, as she has not only worn wigs for years but is the founder of a premium line of wigs woven from the locks of East Indian females. In The Lace Wig Bible, the definitive guide on the subject at hand, Morgan shares her tricks of the trade, covering everything from appearance to grooming.
    In Chapter One to answer the ten questions most frequently asked about lace wigs, including “How long will my wig last?” and “Will lace wigs damage my hairline?” In the next chapter, she lays out the ten most popular pitfalls leading to a bad wig day, such as showing too much lace, using too much adhesive and improperly securing your wig.



    The 20 Most Well-Read Cities for African-Americans

    We reviewed our website’s traffic and ranked, on a per capita basis, the number of visitors from cities with more than 200,000 residents. The total number of cities captured in the sample was over 500 globally.
    Durham, North Carolina, home of North Carolina Central University, tops the list. The state of North Carolina shares the honor of having the most cities in the top 20 (three), with New York State. New York State had the highest number of visitors, but North Carolina easily beats New York on a per capita basis.
    Now I know why these are some of my favorite cities.

    The Importance of Independent Black Owned Bookstores (video)

    Authors and industry professionals talk about the importance of Black owned, independent, book stores. These clips were recorded by during the 2012 Bayou Soul Writers and Reader's Conference, held annually in New Orleans, Louisiana.
    In this video you'll hear from; ReShonda Tate Billingsley (Power List best-selling author); Renee Daniel Flagler (author and President of Aspicomm Media, Inc.); Victor McGlothin (author of 13 novels); Yvette Hayward (founder of the African American Literary Awards Show); TaNisha Webb (author and president of the KC Girlfriends Book Club) and others. Some of the bookstores recommended include Pyramid Art Books & Custom Framing in Little Rock, AR andCommunity Book Center, New Orleans, LA

    The Book Look (video) - Season 2, Episode 3 - April 2013

    The hit online show, The Book Look, speaks with Keli Goff about her book The GQ Candidate; Host Monda Webb keeps the pages turning as Cornel West and Ledisi pop in and Jessica Ann Mitchell of Black Bloggers Connect covers James McBride’s Song Yet Sung.
    Run the “The Book Look” videos on your website or blog. Just cut a paste a few lines of code and we'll update your site with the latest Book Look videos.

    Amber Books Marks 15 Years

    Amber Books, an independent publisher specializing in nonfiction titles for the African-American market, marked its 15th anniversary in February by winning an NAACP Image Award in the Youth/Teen category for publishing Gregory Reed’s book, Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons—A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders.
    Amber Book revenues grew about 20% in 2012 compared to the previous year, ACGI president and CEO Tony Rose (pictured) said, credited the growth to e-books, as well as increasing international sales “and the global popularity of African-American history and culture.” Read the entire article written by Diane Patrick in Publishers Weekly.

    Tyler Perry Scribe Acquires Film And TV Rights to Children’s Book

    Former Tyler Perry’s House of Payne Head Writer, Brian Egestonrecently acquired the worldwide TV and film rights to Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band (Sleeping Bear Press). The NAACP Image Award nominated book was written by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Tim Bowers.
    “I’ve followed Kwame’s work for more than a decade as a poet, playwright, novelist and now as a children’s author,” said Egeston. “When I heard the rights to his book were available, I jumped on it.”
    The book’s main character, Acoustic Rooster, hopes to win the Barnyard Talent Show, but first he needs a band. Turned away by other barnyard musicians such as, Mules Davis, Ella Finchgerald and Thelonius Monkey, he starts his own jazz band with Duck Ellington, Bee Holiday, and Poncho Ernesto Cruz.

    An Oversimplification of Her Beauty - Annoying Narration Ruins Jay-Z Produced Romantic Romp

    While the protagonists try to sort out their feelings, the picture poses some thought-provoking questions, such as, “How do you balance logic and emotions?” Unfortunately, the film is afflicted with a fatal flaw, namely, a virtually non-stop narration of the play-by-play which starts to get on your nerves after about five minutes.
    Granted, this could just be an age thing, since the Hip-Hop Generation is already used to hearing incessant, mindless, staccato-style chatter in their favorite songs. So, it might not be that big a jump for them to have to listen to a non-stop voiceover for the duration of a movie. Nevertheless, the slick poetry slam approach definitely didn’t do it for this critic.

    42 - Jackie Robinson Biopic Recounts Historic Breaking of Baseball’s Color Barrier

    42, a poignant cinematic portrait of an American legend directed by Brian Helgeland. The film carefully chronicles a host of humiliations Robinson was forced to endure en route to equality, from “Colored Only” bathrooms to separate accommodations to the relentless ribbing from bigoted fans in the stands and rivals in the opposing dugout.
    Fortunately, Jackie managed to maintain his dignity and composure in the face of wearying adversity, thereby opening the door for the full integration of baseball by other African-Americans waiting in the wings. An emotionally-draining biopic featuring Oscar-quality performances from Harrison Ford and Chad Boseman in what is easily Hollywood’s best offering of the year thus far.

    Temptation - Adulteress Wife Shamelessly Violates Vows in Latest Tyler Perry Morality Play

    I’ll be honest, when I heard that Lionsgate wasn’t screening Temptationfor critics, I really expected it to be a dreadful mess. But after entering the theater with very low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by the latest morality play from Tyler Perry. No advance peek meant I had to wait until opening day to see the melodramatic soap opera, which in my case was in a sold-out house with a crowd that was about 90% black and female. As far as what the sisters thought of the picture, all I needed to hear was the chorus of Amen’s and the robust round of applause during the closing credits.
    Still, it’s debatable whether the Christian-themed cautionary tale’s simplistic sermonizing will attract a broader audience beyond that loyal demographic, but I’d guess that it very well might resonate with Evangelicals in general.

    Paradise: Love - Single-Mom Develops Jungle Fever in Kenya in Initial Installment of Incendiary Trilogy

    Needing a break from that humdrum routine, Teresa leaves her daughter in the care of a sister (Maria Hofstaetter) before flying alone to Kenya for a much-needed vacation. However, she’s planning for a little more than fun in the sun, since her destination is a resort that caters to the carnal desires of European sex tourists.
    Specifically, it’s older white women looking to get their groove back, so to speak, with help of African men, the younger and better endowed the better. The goal, obviously, is less to find romance than to mate with any hunks who find them attractive.
    Warning: the film (and our review) features nudity.

    Herman’s House - Eccentric Artist Lobbies for Inmate’s Freedom in Unlikely-Couple Documentary

    72 year-old Herman Wallace has been imprisoned at Louisiana’s infamous Angola penitentiary since he was found guilty of committing bank robbery back in 1967. His sentence was later lengthened to life after when he was convicted of stabbing a prison guard to death solely on the testimony of a fellow inmate.
    ...this biopic basically revolves around Jacke’s earnest effort to turn Herman into a cause célèbre, but it carefully tiptoes around the more compelling elephant in the tiny cell, namely, whether there’s a romantic aspect to their relationship? A fascinating flick as much about a possible miscarriage of justice as about a case of arrested development who looks like a little girl playing house with an imaginary mate.

    Support Independent Film

    The following filmmakers are looking for support for their projects. In 2013, if we have any hope of enjoying the full spectrum of our stories being told in film or on the page, we have to provide that support ourselves.

    Seize the Time: The Eighth Defendant - Bobby Seale

    Bobby Seale, Chairman, co-founder and national organizer of the Black Panther Party is producing a biographical feature motion picture which will dramatize his life and the tumultuous 1960’s and 70’s, the era in which the Black Panthers emerged as the prominent revolutionary civil rights movement of it’s time.
    Bobby and his partner Stephen Edwards, a filmmaker and former member of the Panthers, have written a screenplay with the title,Seize the Time, The Eighth DefendantSeize the Time is the title of Bobby’s autobiography, which has sold over one million copies since it was first published in 1970. A studio executive at Fox Search Light Pictures introduced the concept of producing a dramatized feature instead of a traditional documentary to Bobby and Stephen during a meeting one year ago.

    Poetry is an island, Derek Walcott - Director, Ida Does

    A feature documentary film about the life and times of Derek Alton Walcott (1930), a St. Lucian poet, playwright and visual artist. Walcott was the first Caribbean writer of color to win The Nobel Prize for literature (1992). To this day he remains one of the most prominent English-language poets. In this film we meet the man behind the poetry. We visit him in the privacy of his home in St. Lucia where we try to capture some of the poetic mystery that surrounds him. We learn how Walcott's life has been dedicated to his art. Even as a senior citizen, at the age of 83, he keeps working, lecturing, painting and defending unspoiled Caribbean landscapes.

    Butterfly Rising - Written and Directed by Tanya Wright‏

    Here is an independent film worth checking out. The story behind the film, is just as inspiring as the film itself. Wright took her idea and passion. combined that with hard work and the support of others and was to get her film made.
    “_Butterfly Rising_ was written in eight long days in the summer of 2006 and, like thousands of young screenwriters, I dreamed of making the movie. Butterfly Rising is a movie about love and the power of belief; it is my hope that the message in ‘Rising' compels us not to run from fear, but cultivate the courage to go toward it. I truly believe it is only in fear's nucleus where one finds a timeless and ever-present joy that transcends the vicissitudes of earthly circumstances.
    Lastly, I hope this movie inspires people to believe in their dreams. Because they really do come true.” —Tanya Wright

    Ken Burns - Central Park Five

    Ken Burns has been making films for more than thirty years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and to produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made.
    Ken’s films have won ten Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations, and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Here, he talks about his latest film, The Central Park Five, co-directed by his daughter, Sarah, and her husband, David McMahon, which premieres on PBS on April 16th, 2013.

    Mike Tyson - On His Role in Scary Movie 5, His One Man Broadway Show and More

    Born in Brooklyn on June 30, 1966, Michael Gerard Tyson is an all-time boxing great who, in his prime, struck fear in the heart of any opponent he squared off against. He compiled an impressive record of 50 wins, 5 losses and 1 disqualification for biting off an opponent’s ear over the course of an incomparable career in which he became the first undisputed heavyweight champ to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF title belts simultaneously.
    Mike is currently on a 36-city tour of the country in Undisputed Truth, a one-man Broadway show which is part comedy/part confessional and covers all of the above and more. Here, the pugilist-turned-actor talks about his latest movie, Scary Movie 5, co-starring a rogues gallery of controversial celebrities including Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Katt Williams and Snoop Lion.
    *** Recommends


    BLACK PULP — “Literature for the Masses”

    From Today's Best Authors and up and coming writers comes BLACK PULP from Pro Se Productions! BLACK PULP is a collection of stories featuring characters of African origin, or descent, in stories that run the gamut of genre fiction! A concept developed by noted crime novelist Gary Phillips, BLACK PULP brings bestselling authors Walter Mosley and Joe R. Lansdale, Gary Phillips, Charles R. Saunders, Derrick Ferguson, D. Alan Lewis, Christopher Chambers, Mel Odom, Kimberly Richardson, Ron Fortier, Michael A. Gonzales, Gar Anthony Haywood, and Tommy Hancock together to craft adventure tales, mysteries, and more, all with black characters at the forefront!
    Between these covers are 12 tales of action, adventure, and thrills featuring heroes and heroines of darker hues that will appeal to audiences everywhere! BLACK PULP! From Pro Se Productions!
    “Literature for the masses kindled the imagination and used our reading skills so that we could regale ourselves in the cold chambers of alienation and poverty. We could become Doc Savage or The Shadow, Conan the Barbarian or the brooding King Kull and make a difference in a world definitely gone wrong.” —Walter Mosley from his introduction.

    African Lives: An Anthology of Memoirs and Autobiographiesedited by Geoff Wisner

    African Lives, a pioneering anthology of memoirs and autobiographical writings, lets the people of Africa speak for themselves telling stories of struggle and achievement that have the authenticity of lived experience.
    The anthology presents selections from the work of many of Africa s finest writers and most significant personalities from across the continent and spanning several centuries. Enhancing the material, Geoff Wisner s introduction and biographical notes provide important context for the selections and also highlight the challenges that African memoirs pose to the preconceptions of Western readers. The result is a book that is both an absorbing read and a valuable resource for courses on Africa.


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    Marlene Lily
    807 Silva Ave.
    Santa Rosa, CA 95404
    April 30, 2013
    Mr. John Wetzel, Secretary
    Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
    1920 Technology Parkway
    Mechanisburg, PA 17050
    Dear Secretary Wetzel,
    I am writing to demand that Russell Shoatz AF-3855 be immediately removed from solitary confinement and returned to the general prison population.
    The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the imposition of “cruel and unusual punishments.”
    In 1969, I attended a conference in Oakland sponsored by the Black Panther Party, called “The United Front Against Fascism.” The Panthers could see signs of emerging fascism 43 years ago. I am now 71 years old. I once thought that my father’s generation defeated fascism in 1945, when I was three years old. Now I am certain that was not the case.
    The ghost of Adolph Hitler still roams the United States in the form of those who hold public office but never take the time to read and understand the legal basis for their employment. You are a public servant, paid by the people of Pennsylvania, the state known as the birth place of the Constitution. Yet you are condoning, and perhaps even ordering, a practice forbidden by the Law of the Land. In my view, that makes YOU a criminal. You are endangering the Rule of Law. Whatever Russell Shoatz may have done, I know he didn’t do that!
    If you are, or anyone in your family is, a veteran of military service, you, or they, took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That oath is not revoked when one leaves military service.
    Our Constitution is under attack from many quarters within the United States, and it appears that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is one of those quarters.
    I urge you to read the Constitution today, and to give serious thought to what it means that you and the Department of Corrections are violating that precious Law.
    In the meantime, release this man from solitary. I’m ashamed to be an American, at a time when torture has become an everyday practice. Whether it happens in Abu Grahib, Guantanamo, or the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, torture is WRONG! And the Founders knew that and forbade it in 1776!
    Sincerely yours,
    Marlene Lily

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    Dr. Nathan Hare and Rahim Ali, assistant to Marvin X, project director of the Hare archives.

    Today, Stanford University perused the Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare archives, giving much respect to the Honorable Hares for their work in shaping the history of North American Africans in the Bay Area, nationally and internationally. Stanford University Green Library curator Ben Stone, appreciated Attorney Amira Jackmon and her father, Marvin X (Project Director of the Community Archives Project), for arranging the Hare archives in a professional manner, although the total archive cataloging is incomplete. Marvin X has asked for community support on this project. 
    Marvin X is disabled from a rotor cuff injury, basically working with one arm. 

    Marvin X, Executive Director of the Community Archives Project,  Dr. Julia Hare, Dr. Nathan Hare and Attorney Amira Jackmon, Senior Agent of the Community Archives Project.
    Stanford University viewed  the Hare papers with great interest for acquisition. Marvin X says, "Our desire is for the archives to stay in the Bay Area, so we are giving Stanford the first option to acquire the archives. We are in contact with Emory University in Atlanta, Harvard, Yale, Umas and the University of Chicago, but we love the Bay! As per the price offered, Stanford curator said, "Well, the price offered is between art and science!"

    Marvin X replied, "Well, I am an artist and scientist, so let's work it out. But if you have anyone on a higher level than Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare, please let me know."

    Curator Ben Stone could only mention Dr. Cornel West, a dear friend of Marvin X. "We had Dr. Cornel West at the my concert The Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness," and he sat in the audience for five hours like a child in kindergarten. When I called him up to the mike, he said, "I don't know if I'm a king or queen, there is so much darkness in my life." 

    According to Ben Stone, the archives are a rare cross, a disciplinary representation of the Hares: they represent the genres of Ethnic Studies, 
    Black Studies, Sociology, Clinical Psychology, Literature, Gender Studies, and Media Studies. The Hares are very much a part of the social media. Dr. Julia Hare has received a million hits on Youtube for her appearance on Tavis Smiley's State of the Black World. 

    Marvin X told the Stanford Curator that Dr. Nathan Hare writes long emails on a daily basis, to him and others in the various genres in which  he expounds, e.g., sociology, psychology, Black Studies, literature, male/female relations--how many writers can supersede Dr. Nathan Hare in the art of writing, Black Studies, Male/female relations, Black Mental Health?

    Curator Ben Stone could only think of Dr. Cornel West. Marvin X said we produced the Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness at San Francisco State University, 2001. Dr. Cornell West sat in the audience for five hours before I called him up to the stage. 
    And when he came to the mike, he said, "I don't know if I'm a king or queen, there is so much darkness in my life." 

    Marvin told the Stanford curator, I am no match for Dr. Hare as a writer. He initially majored in English literature and excelled. I majored in English but flunked English grammar and English literature! Still, I am the author of 30 books and taught English at SF State U., University of Nevada, Reno, Fresno State University, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland. But Dr. Hare's style is impeccable, no match for me. I honor him as my elder and colleague. He wrote the introduction to my autobiography Somethin' Proper, 1998, and the foreword to my manual How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, BBP, Berkeley, 2007.

    Collection title: The Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare Archives: 1962-2013

    (their archives)

    $2,000,000.00 (net)

    As a couple, Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare are the foremost exponents of Black Consciousness and social activism in America. Dr. Nathan Hare is the father of Black Studies and a literary figure in his own right. Dr. Julia Hare is called the female Malcolm X and was highly sought on the speaking circuit. She is an author as well. --Marvin X

    Offered for sale by

    Amira Jackmon, ESQ, (Yale and Stanford graduate)


    The Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare papers consist of nearly 200 cartons that document the life and work of Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare from the mid 20th century through the first decade of the 21th century. The papers include correspondence; the Hare writings and speeches; audio/video collection; materials relating to Dr. Nathan Hare's controversial tenure at Howard University and San Francisco State University; works by Dr. Julia Hare, e.g., speeches drafts, book drafts; works by their colleagues. Correspondence includes letters, emails, cards, blog dialogues; correspondents include Queen Mother Moore, Max Stanford (Muhammad Ahmed), Governor Jerry Brown, editors of publications such as Jet, Ebony, Negro Digest/Black World, Black Scholar (Nathan Hare founding publisher), Haki Madhubuti, Robert Chrisman, editor of the Black Scholar and other prominent North American African intellectuals. Critical documents from Dr. Nathan Hare's brief tenure at San Francisco State University, including documents of the first Black Studies program on a major American University. The Hare writings include essays in Newsweek, Mass. Review, Washington Post, Sepia, Phylon, Negro History Bulletin, Sun Reporter Newspaper, San Francisco Chronicle.

    Documents include organizational and financial records of the Black World Foundation/Black Scholar magazine; the Black Think Tank, Black Male/female Relations. Resource files contain academic articles, emails, news clippings, notes, photos that contextualize and document Nathan and Julia Hare's involvement as educators, activists, intellectuals and literary figures in the Bay Area, nationally and internationally. The archives document the work of Dr. Nathan Hare as a clinical psychologist and Dr. Julia Hare as a major personality on the speaking circuit as well as a radio talk show host and commentator. Photographs include family, friends, educators, and fellow activists. Dr. Nathan Hare and Dr. Julia Hare stand alone as the most prominent intellectual and social activist couple in North American African history.


    Nathan Hare (born April 9, 1933) was the first person hired to coordinate a black studies program in the United States,  at San Francisco State University in 1968. Hare was born on a sharecropper’s farm near the Creek County town of Slick, Oklahoma on April 9, 1933. He attended the public schools of L’Ouverture (variously spelled "Louverture") Elementary School and L'Ouverture High School. The two schools were named after the Haitian Revolutionary and General Toussaint Louverture and were part of the so-called “Slick Separate Schools” in the segregated rural milieu of the late 1930s and 1940s.

    Early life and education

    When Hare was eleven years old, his family migrated to San Diego, California, where his single mother took a civilian janitorial job with the Navy air station. As World War II ended and his mother was laid off, his family returned to Oklahoma. This put on hold his ambition to become a professional boxer, something he had picked up after adult neighbors in San Diego assured him that writers all starve to death.

    The direction of his life would change again when his English teacher at L'Ouverture High (later closed after the Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court desegregaton decree, through consolidation into the all-white Slick High School, itself now also closed by consolidation) administered standardized tests to her ninth grade class in English Composition in the search for someone to represent the class at the annual statewide "Interscholastic Meet" of the black students held annually at Oklahoma’s Langston University. Hare represented L'Ouverture and won first prize with more prizes to come in ensuing years; and on that basis the L’Ouverture principal persuaded him to go to college after getting him a fulltime job working in the Langston University Dining Hall to pay his way. By his junior year Hare had moved up in his student employment to Dormitory Proctor of the University Men and Freshman Tutor in his senior year.

    When Hare enrolled at Langston University (now only "historically black"), Langston was the only college Black students could attend in the state of Oklahoma. Named for John Mercer Langston, one of only five African Americans elected to Congress from the South before the former Confederate states passed constitutions that essentially eliminated the black vote, the town was a product of the late nineteenth century black nationalist movement’s attempt to make the Oklahoma Territory an all-Black state. In fact, Langston, Oklahoma laid claim to being the first all-black town established in the United States. One of Hare’s professors, the poet Melvin B. Tolson, was mayor of the town for four terms, was named poet laureate of Liberia, and eventually his spectacular style of teaching would be portrayed in "The Great Debaters." Graduating from Langston with an AB in Sociology, Hare won a Danforth fellowship to continue his education and obtained an MA (1957) and PhD in Sociology (1962) from the University of Chicago. Hare received another PhD in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco, California (1975).


    Black Studies

    Hare wrote the “Conceptual Proposal for a Department of Black Studies" and coined the term “ethnic studies” (which was being called “minority studies”) after he was recruited to San Francisco State in February 1968 by the Black Student Union leader Jimmy Garrett and the college’s liberal president, John Summerskill. Hare had just been dismissed from a six-year stint as a sociology professor at Howard University, after he wrote a letter to the campus newspaper, The Hilltop, in which he mocked Howard president James Nabrit’s plan (announced in the Washington Post on September 6, 1966) to make Howard “sixty per cent white by 1970.” James Nabrit had been one of the civil rights attorneys who successfully argued the 1954 “Brown vs. Board of Education” case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The “Black Power” cry had been issued just two month’s earlier by one of Hare’s former Howard students, Stokely Carmichael (another of Hare’s students at Howard was Claude Brown, author of Manchild in the Promised Land). Hare had taught sociology at Howard since 1961, the year before he obtained the Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.

    On February 22, 1967, Hare stood at press conference, with a group of students calling themselves “The Black Power Committee,” and read “The Black University Manifesto,” which Hare had written with the input of the Black Power Committee. The manifesto expressly called for “the overthrow of the Negro college with white innards and to raise in its place a black university, relevant to the black community and its needs." Hare had previously published a book called The Black Anglo Saxons and coined the phrase “The Ebony Tower” to characterize Howard University.

    In the spring of 1967, he invited Muhammad Ali to speak at Howard and introduced him when the controversial heavyweight champion gave his popular “Black Is Best” speech to an impromptu crowd of 4,000 gathered at a moment’s notice outside the university’s Frederick Douglass Hall after the administration padlocked the Crampton Auditorium in the days leading up to Ali’s refusal of his military draft. Following Hare’s dismissal that June, he briefly resumed his own aborted professional boxing efforts, winning his last fight by a knockout in the first round in the Washington Coliseum on December 5, 1967.

    At San Francisco State, where the Black Student Union demanded an “autonomous Department of Black Studies,” Hare was soon involved in a five-month strike for black studies led by The Black Student Union, backed by the Third World Liberation Front and the local chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. Black, white, and Third World students and professors participated in the strike, which also included community leaders and the Black Faculty Union, headed by Hare. The late actor, Mel Stewart was a member of the Black Faculty Unon, but Hare was the only faculty member invited to become a "quasi-member" of the Central Committee of the Black Student Union, which included a student named Danny Glover, who would go on to become a successful Hollywood actor. One of the speakers almost daily at the noonday rallies of the strike was Ronald Dellums, who was later elected to the U.S. Congress and later Mayor of Oakland, California.

    After one San Francisco State College president (the late John Summerskill) was fired and another (Robert Smith) resigned, Smith was replaced by the general semanticist S.I. Hayakawa (who would later become a U.S. Senator). Hayakawa used a hard-line strategy to put down the five-month strike, declaring “martial law” and arresting a crowd of five hundred and fifty-seven rallying professors and students (the overwhelming majority of them white). Weeks later, on February 28, 1969, Hayakawa dismissed Dr. Nathan Hare as chairman of the newly formed black studies department, the first in the United States,“to become effective June 1, 1969.” Hare stayed on until June at the request of the Black Student Union and remained for many more months in an unofficial capacity of “Chairman in Exile.”

    Hare then teamed with Robert Chrisman and the late Allen Ross (a white printer and small businessman in Sausalito who had immigrated from Russia) to become the founding publisher of “The Black Scholar: A Journal of Black Studies and Research" in November 1969. The New York Times would soon call The Black Scholar “the most important journal devoted to black issues since ‘The Crisis.'” Ten years earlier, in 1959, Hare had briefly been a clerical assistant to the editor of the Journal of Asian Studies then being edited by Andrew Hacker, a white history professor at Northwestern University, where Hare developed a dream of someday editing a “Journal of Negro Studies” ("Negro" was the word still in fashion for blacks in 1959). In 1968, during a break in a television panel including Nathan Glazer, co-author of The Lonely Crowd, Glazer wrote a note to Hare on a white index card saying "Needed: a Black Scholar journal." Before starting The Black Scholar, Hare had written and published articles in magazines and periodicals that included: EbonyNegro Digest,Black WorldPhylon Review, Social Forces, Social EducationNewsweek, and The Times.

    After leaving The Black Scholar in 1975, in a dispute over the changing direction of the journal, and obtaining a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco, Nathan Hare began the private practice of psychotherapy, with offices in San Francisco and Oakland. He also focused on forming a movement for “A Better Black Family” (the title of a popular speaking out editorial he wrote for the February 1976 issue of Ebony magazine) shortly after completing a dissertation on “Black Male/Female Relations” at the California School of Professional Psychology.

    By 1979, in collaboration with his wife (Dr. Julia Hare, author of How to Find and Keep a BMW (Black Man Working), Hare formed The Black Think Tank, which published the journal of “Black Male/Female Relationships” for several years. After the journal folded, Hare went into the full-time practice of psychology and the development of the Black Think Tank. In 1985, a small book written by him and his wife ("Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood") was disseminated by The Black Think Tank, issuing the call and becoming the catalyst for the contemporary rites of passage movement for African-American boys that emerged as the Hares lectured and spread the idea of the rites of passage for black boys throughout the United States.


    In addition to dozens of articles in a number of scholarly journals and popular magazines, from The Black Scholar and Ebony to NewsweekSaturday Review and The Times, Nathan Hare is the author of several books:

       The Black Anglo Saxons. New York: Marzani and Munsell, 1965; New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1970; Chicago: Third World Press edition, Chicago, 1990)0-88378-130-1.

    Books in collaboration with his wife, Julia Hare (the former radio talk show host and television guest, who also is a graduate of Langston University) have been published and widely distributed by The Black Think Tank, headquartered in San Francisco. They include:

       The Endangered Black Family, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 1984, ISBN 0-9613086-0-5.

       Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood: the Passage, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 1985, ISBN 0-9613086-1-3.

       Crisis in Black Sexual Politics, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 1989, ISBN 0-9613086-2-1.

       Fire on Mount Zion: An Autobiography of the Tulsa Race Riot, as told by Mabel B. Little. Langston: The Melvin B. Tolson Black Heritage Center, Langston University, 1990, ISBN 0-9613086-1-4

       The Miseducation of the Black Child: The Hare Plan to Educate Every Black Man, Woman and Child, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 1991, ISBN 0-9613086-4-8.

       The Black Agenda, San Francisco: The Black Think Tank, 2002, ISBN 0-9613086-9-9.

    While publisher of The Black Scholar from 1969–75, Nathan Hare co-edied two books with Robert Chrisman:

       Contemporary Black Thought, Indianapolis: Bobs-Merrill, 1973, ISBN 0-672-51821-X.

       Pan-Africanism, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1974, ISBN 0-672-51869-4.

    Dr. Julia Hare

    Dr. Julia Hare is widely regarded as one of the most dynamic motivational speakers on the major podiums today.

    At the Congressional Black Caucus's 27th Annual Legislative Conference chaired by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Dr. Hare was one of three speakers invited to address the Caucus's kickoff National Town Hall Meeting on Leadership Dimensions for the New Millennium. Her collaborators included distinguished historian, Dr. John Hope Franklin, Chair of President Clinton's Advisory Board on Race, and Dr. Cornel West, Harvard professor and author of the critically acclaimed Race Matters.

    Dr. Hare has appeared on "Geraldo", "Sally Jesse Raphael", "Inside Edition", CNN and Company, "Talk Back Live", "News Talk", Black Entertainment Television (BET), "The Tavis Smiley Show", ABC's "Politically Incorrect", CSPAN, and major radio and television affiliated throughout Australia and America. Her commentaries, lectures and topics include: politics, education, religion, war, foreign and domestic affairs, sexual politics and contemporary events.

    A prime innovator on issues affecting the black family and society as a whole, Dr. Hare is mentioned or quoted in national newspapers, including "The New York Times", "The Washington Post", "Sun Reporter", "San Francisco Chronicle", "Miami Herald", "Louisville Courier Journal" and "The Oklahoma Eagle" among others. She has appeared in "Ebony", "Jet", "Dollars and Sense", "Heart and Soul", "USA Today", "Today's Black Woman", "Essence" and other periodicals. She is co-author with her husband, Dr. Nathan Hare, of "The Endangered Black Family"; "Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood"; "The Passage"; "The Miseducation of the Black Child" and "Crisis in Black Sexual Politics". Her most recent best-selling book is "How to Find and Keep a BMW (Black Man Working)".

    Her work has brought her many accolades and honors, including Educator of the Year for Washington, D.C. by the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the World Book Encyclopedia in coordination with American University; the Abe Lincoln Award for Outstanding Broadcasting, the Carter G. Woodson Education Award; the Marcus and Amy Garvey Award; the Association of Black Social Workers Harambee Award, Third World Publishers' Twentieth Anniversary Builders Award; Professional of the Year from "Dollars and Sense" magazine; Scholar of the Year from the Association of African Historians; Lifetime Achievement Award from the international Black Writers and Artists Union; as well as a presidential citation from the national Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. Dr. Hare has also been inducted into the Booker T. Washington Hall of Fame.

    Extent: Number of containers: 200 cartons

    Howard University, 1 carton

    San Francisco State University, 2 carton

    Awards and Certificates, 2 cartons

    Personal, 1 carton

    Photos, 1 carton

    Letters/correspondence, 3 cartons

    Black Scholar Magazine, 2 cartons

    Male/Female Relations, 2 cartons

    Articles in Newspapers/magazines

    Notes/news clippings



    Writings in Johnson publications:

    Ebony, Jet, Negro Digest/Black World

    Dr. Julia Hare’s writings, notes, speech drafts

    Audio/video tapes/

    cassette, VHS

    Floppy disks



    Misc. articles

    SF State University, Black Studies

    Who’s Who books, 

    Address books, 

    Message books, 

    Misc. magazines


    Black Think Tank books

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    Thanks to the following poets who will be our featured readers for our first two Stand Our Ground book events:

    May 2nd, Thursday, 6 - 8 PM 
    Temple University
    1810 Liacouras Walk, Philadelphia, PA

    In Person: Amir Taron, Jaz, Cyd Charise Fulton, Yolanda Wisher, Shahn L. Franco, Ki Soo Burkhauser

    Via Skype: Malkia Charlee NoCry, Zoe Flowers, Lena Sledge, Malaka Wilson-Greene, Shaunda Holloway

    May 6th, Monday 12-2 PM
    Rutgers University
    Campus Center, 3rd and Cooper Sts, Camden, NJ

    In Person: Amir Taron, Ashley McFarlane, Jaz, Zoe Flowers, Cyd Charise Fulton, Lis Bass, Ki Soo Burkhauser

    We still need poets to read via Skype! Please contact me ASAP if you are interested! 

    IN PERSON POETS: Please arrive 30 minutes before the event.  

    SKYPE POETS: I will contact you prior to your reading. Once you are Skyped in, I will introduce you to the audience and you will then share your poem. 

    Poets, please come prepared to read only the poems that are published in the anthology. 

    Thank you, all! 

    Looking forward to a dynamic book tour!

    -- I am still interested in booking events for the book, especially on the East Coast. I welcome any leads you may have.

    By the way, I mailed out more books today. Those still waiting for books, thank you for your patience and understanding. This is a one-person operation! ;) The books are coming!

    Ewuare X. Osayande

    FreedomSeed Press
    P.O. Box 42634
    Philadelphia, PA 19101
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    We can say between the Black Panther Party and the West coast Black Arts Movement that also came out of Merritt, we shook up the world! Yes, the Black Panthers came out of Merritt, the Black Arts
    Movement (west coast) came out of Merritt and Black studies came out of Merritt. No wonder the college was moved from the Hood to the hills.

    Attorney Donald Warden (aka Khalid Abdullah Tariq al Mansour),
    Chairman of the Afro-American Association centered at Merritt College. 
    The AAA developed from a group of brothers attending UC Berkeley's Bolt Law School.

    Merritt College was the hotbed of Black Nationalism, initiated by Donald
    Warden's Afro-American Association that deeply influenced all the

    above. When Eldridge Cleaver was released from prison, 1966, he

    and I established the Black House, a political/cultural center in San

    Francisco that was briefly the headquarters of the Black Arts

    Movement and later the Sf headquarters of the Black Panther Party.

    Eldridge Cleaver and Marvin X, circa 1977

    When Eldridge Cleaver was released from prison, 1966, he and Marvin X established the Black House, a political/cultural center in San Francisco that was briefly the headquarters of the Black Arts
    Movement and later the Sf headquarters of the Black Panther Party.

    Amiri Baraka and Marvin X worked bi-coastal to establish the Black Arts Movement.
    Baraka established the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/school in Harlem. Marvin X and 
    playwright Ed Bullins established Black Arts West Theatre in the Fillmore, 1966, and
    with Eldridge Cleaver, established the Black House in San Francisco, 1967. Baraka
    came West to work at San Francisco State University on the BSU's Communications Project.
    Marvin arrived in Harlem, 1968, to work at the New Lafayette Theatre. His BAM colleagues
    included Askia Toure, Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Ed Bullins, Barbara Ann Teer, Larry Neal,
    Nikki Giovanni, Mae Jackson, the Last Poets, Milford Graves and Sun Ra.

    As per the Black Arts Movement literature, two key journals came out of Merritt, Soulbook magazine writers were at Merritt, including Bobby Seale, Ken Freeman, Carol
    Freeman, Ernest Allen and Marvin X. Richard Thorne wrote in Negro

    Digest, Adam David Miller had the Aldridge Players West and taught

    at Merritt. Poet Sarah Webster Fabio taught Black Studies at

    Merritt. The brothers who founded Black Dialogue Magazine (Abdul

    Sabry, Aubrey LaBrie and Marvin X) had transferred to San Francisco

    State University from Merritt.  The Journal of Black Poetry evolved from
    Black Dialogue. 

    The Black Panther Party was critical in the establishment of Black Studies at Merritt College, but San FranciscoState University was first to establish Black Studies on a major college campus, suffering an eight month violent strike to do so!

    Ed Howard


    You bring back fond memories.

    Too bad Merritt has changed “Black Studies” to “African-American Studies” (closer to Melville Herskovits’s “Afroamerican Studies” (1957), or even “African Studies” (1947). I seem to remember reading where Howard even had something called “Negro Studies” before then (see the groundbreaking article on Negro Colleges by Harvard professors, Reisman and Jencks, in the Harvard Educational Review (circa 1966/1967). I know they had a master’s degree in “African Affairs” (including three African languages) when I went to teach there in 1961. Two years earlier I had been a typist for the Journal of Asian Studies, housed at Northwester, Melville Herskovits’s haunt.  My wife and I had just been sharing an apartment with a couple from Lincoln University, the man a postman, and anytime he cornered me alone he was marveling about something Melville Herskovits had said when he was a visiting professor at Lincoln.

    I don’t know what we would call the course I had in “Negro History” (Carter G. Woodson’s textbook) in 1948 at Tousssaint L’Ouversture High -- then a part of the “Slick Separate Schools of Creek County” (Oklahoma). Or the course in “Race Relations” at the University of Chicago in 1956. Where I was the only black student when a  white professor, an E. Franklin Frazier classmate, almost daily spoke of “Bourgeoisie Noir” (to be translated with acclaim in America the following year as “Black Bourgeoisie.)”  

    Indeed, I had what we might call independent study in blackness the first grade at Toussaint l’Ouverture elementary school (where each morning our daily devotion would be devoted to singing Negro songs and reciting Negro poetry and Miss Ruff’s touting of Nat Turner and John Brown. Miss Ruff had told us we would pass from 1st to 2nd once we had completed the textbook (Dick and Jane or Tom and Spot, don’t recall just which). However, she would have us recite the two pages she presumed we had gone home and learned the night before, let alone to pace herself like psychotherapists traditionally leave ten minutes to take care of office chores and go to the restroom in the “hour” devoted to a session (The 50 Minute Hour).

    One day Miss Ruff was making costumes for the eighth grade play and had two 8th grade students handling our daily reading recitations. They being female, I chose the opportunity to show off and kept right on reading and reading. Finally one called out to the teacher: “Miss Ruff, how many pages do they read?”  Not looking up she replied: “As much as they can.” I continued through the book. However, my sister was in the second grade, having been kept back a year due to a ringworm epidemic that had swept our community. So Miss Ruff held me in the first grade but gave me the run of the big white book cabinet pretty much all day, where I would read each as I wished independently and soon found delight in stories and pictures of little black children in books that had been published by a place in Okemah, Oklahoma (a so-called “Sundown Town” –  where the sign read: “Nigger, don’t let the sun set on you here”, or “Nigger, read and run; if you can’t read, run anyway.)”  

    I would never see copies of those books until 1965, in a SNCC “Freedom School” in the basement of a predominantly white Unitarian Church in Washington D.C. And I have never seen a copy of them since.

    The struggle continues.


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  • 05/04/13--14:00: Dock of the Bay

  • Berkeley Marina

    Who can take nothing
    make something
    turn air into a being
    full of universal spirit
    who can guide the empty handed
    broken hearted
    into fullness
    singing joy joy to the world
    We bow before the God of all things
    life force of rocks bees babes in the cradle
    let us then always and forever
    flow with the flow
    be renewed and fulfilled
    see how thy cup runneth over
    do the work
    keep the faith
    til you win the race!
    --Marvin Dos Equis

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    catlett 1 catlett 2
    catlett 3 catlett 4

    Francisco Mora Catlett
    Marvin, this is one for your Black Bird Press, GET YOUR WEST COAST PEOPLE ON IT.

    Comment from Marvin X 
    Subject: Elizabeth Cattlett Mora statue destroyed in Sacramento

    Francisco, this is the most horrible and disgusting shit I've heard in a long time, but you must know Sac is a racist/red neck city, so it is not surprising these cave men would destroy a statue of Sojourner Truth by your Mom (RIP). As you know the Black Panthers ignited Sac when they marched there with guns into the capitol. Sac has a black mayor. I will inform my friend Fahizah Alim who is director of communications for the State gov. and see what she can do about this situation. 
    Paz y amor,
    Marvin Dos Equis
    Comment from Paul Cobb, Publisher, Oakland Post News Group

    Why don't we get a committee and meet with the Mayor of Sacramento to get this restored  if they don't want to commission another Black Sculptor, then we should hire Franklin Sirman to negotiate to bring the statue to Oakland and put it in City Hall Plaza or in front of the African American Museum or at the Lionel Wilson Airport (The truth sojourns). I am surprised that the Califronia Legislative Black Caucus and other political leaders and/or the spokespersons for the various Black and/or feminist groups haven't spoken out on this dastardly deed. Maybe Kamala Harris can find the appropriate poetic justice photo-op moment to re-erect Ms. Truth  while re-electing herself or using Truth broken statue as a srpingboard for catapulting herself to a higher position. Ain't the Sojourner Statue our Lady Liberty for Blacks and all other Americans too? Maybe we can shame all of them into action by getting the Republicans to raise the issue and lead an effort to restore it. Truth crushed to earth shall rise again---and since we are nearing the 150th anniversary of her visit with Abraham Lincoln in the white house----It's a propitious time for us to make a RESTORATIVE JUSTICE move for TRUTH.
    I'm on my sojourney now.............and I wouldn't take nothing for my journey...
    Thanks for the information
    I hope you get your eblast group to rally around a plan.
    Does Sweeney have a budget estimate? 
    If so, I know we can do it. 
    Truth be told!
    Paul Cobb

    Comment by Marvin X

    Francisco, I agree with my childhood friend, Paul Cobb, Publisher of the Oakland Post: since certain segments of the population in Sacramento can't appreciate Sojourner Truth and the sacred work of Betty Mora, the people of Oakland who have a revolutionary tradition are willing and able to accept this piece of sculptor in honor of our great ancestor Sojourner Truth. If you can help make this happen, let me know. We know Ancestor Betty is not pleased to know what happened in Sacramento. We know she would surely smile to know her work was appreciated in one of the most radical cities in America and world, Oakland--like Falujah, Iraq, a city of resistance!

    --- On Sat, 5/4/13,  wrote:

    Subject: Re: Elizabeth Cattlett Mora statue destroyed in Sacramento
    Comment from Francisco Mora Cattlett
    Date: Saturday, May 4, 2013, 4:35 PM

    Hey Marvin,
    David (FYI, David is Betty Mora's son who is a painter and sculptor as well) can fix it / or do a new one, he has the resources to do it... the problem is that it was not fastened and secured to a base (like the monuments in New Orleans) and it was easy to push it and tilted over... (this is terrible)
    It will be most difficult to destroy the Idea of honoring "Sojourner Truth and her legacy" by vandalizing the monument, now we have to put it back where it belongs !!!
    I think is a good thing that is in Sacramento as to give this folks a clear example of determination and human value, this is an opportunity to educate Sacramento’s people by putting this Major Art Work where it belongs and it needs to be...
    We have to let folks know nationally of the crime committed and reinstalled the monument properly and with Dignity. 
    I'm appalled that it took this long for us to find about it, almost like some one is covering up or hiding this horrible crime to the Art world and especially to the American people.
    Thanks for your conscientious reply, and lets get moving to put the piece where it belongs and educate folks in the process...
    Francisco Mora Catlett...


    Comment from Evolve Art Gallery, Sacramento CA

    Not quite sure why we are just hearing about this, but the "Sojourner Truth" statue created by Master Fine Artist Elizabeth Catlett, located at 13th and K in Midtown, Sacramento; was vanadlized back in January of this year. It has been "pushed over and broken into 3 pieces." If anyone has any information on the status of it being repaired or replaced or the investigation to find the suspects, please share with the rest of us. We'll post the updates and you can follow the story on our Facebook page: 

    Ms. Catlett passed in April last year. This is a terrible loss, as the work cannot be replaced by her.

    The ONLY information/news I found on it was here: (Thanks, Kevin Hellon and Mr. James Sweeney for brining this to our attention.)

    catlett 1 catlett 2
    catlett 3 catlett 4

    Evolve the Gallery | 2907 35th Street, Historic Oak Park | Sacramento California 95817

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    The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Messenger of Allah 
    to the Deaf, Dumb and Blind So-Called Negro

    Sometime during 1966, Nation of Islam officials in Fresno, California asked Marvin X to "fish" Nadar Ali into the NOI since he was my friend. Nadar, aka Bobby Jones, was the first Black secondary school teacher who taught "across town" in segregated Fresno. He taught at the nearly all white Bullard High School. Marvin had seen Nadar perform in a local production of Loraine Hansberry's classic A Raison in the Sun. How appropriate for the Central Valley, raison capitol of the world. Sun Made raisons come from Selma, 13 miles south of Fresno. Anyway, when Marvin returned to Fresno to perform LeRoi Jones' (Amiri Baraka) Dutchman at Fresno State University, 1966, he recruited Nadar as a passenger on the subway train.

    Marvin X's Fly to Allah, 1968,  is the seminal work in American Muslim literature. Muslim American literature begins with Marvin X! --Dr. Mohja Kahf

    In the Black Arts Theatre tradition of using white faced black actors to represent white people, Marvin, who performed the role of Clay, used his girlfriend Ethna X. Wyatt (Ethna got her X in Fresno at this time, Marvin X didn't join the NOI until 1967, San Francisco Mosque #26) to perform as the white woman Lula. Ethna needed a wig so Marvin asked the town's biggest pimp, Marcel,  to loan him one of his white ho's wigs, which he did. More about Marcel later.

    Marvin X and his "fish" for the Nation of Islam Brother Nadar Ali, aka Bobby Jones, Educator, International Business Representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Imam Warithdeen Muhammad

    Marvin recruited Bobby Jones into the NOI. In 1967, Bobby wrote his M.A. thesis on education in the Nation of Islam for Fresno State University. Nadar became a director of educator for the NOI, setting up schools in Los Angeles, Fresno and Oakland. Because of jealousy and envy, Elijah Muhammad sat Nadar down from his post but soon he was selected by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to become Director of Imports, answering to no one except Elijah. Elijah told him, "You answer to no one but me because there are too many rats around," meaning NOI officials, including some of his own children, i.e.sons. Nadar moved to Chicago and traveled internationally representing the NOI. A Japanese agent connected them with the Peruvians who sold Whiting fish. When Ali saw the fish came from Peru and that the Japanese were only middle men, Ali got the approval of the HEM (Honorable Elijah Muhammad) to make deals directly with the Peruvians. Ali became a world traveler for the NOI, making deals with Morocco for tons of Sardines. In 1973 he was on the balcony of his hotel in Chile when President Allende was overthrown at his presidential palace.

    Recently, Marvin X was in Fresno for a little R and R and visited Nadar Ali at his family business Salaam Fish, a small cafe in Fresno's Chinatown. In his early eighties, Nadar told Marvin he was called to Chicago to meet with other Muslim officials and the Smithsonian Institute who wanted to establish a room at the Smithsonian for American Muslims. The Muslim officials were so elated, they agreed to donate their archives to the Smithsonian. Enter Marvin X, "Donate," he said to Ali, "By no means, if they want your archives, they must pay for them, Ali!" Ali said he had already agreed and that a truck was on the way from Washington, DC to pick up his archives. Marvin X said to hell with the truck, don't give them shit! Suddenly a light came on in Ali's brain. "Damn, Marvin, this is the second time in my life you had to awaken me, first when you recruited me into the NOI, now with my archives."

    This weekend, Marvin was in Fresno due to a death in the family, but he arranged to meet with Ali before he departed. "Let me see what you got, Brother!" Ali invited him to peruse the archives stored at his cafe and Marvin was astounded. Ali has one of the most complete collections of Muhammad Speaks Newspapers. He has boxes of tapes of the Honorable Elijah Muahmmad and Imama Warithdeem Muhammad that he was ready to throw into the trash. But what shocked Marvin X was Ali's collection, though small, of letters from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. As Marvin and his associate Rashid Ali read through the letters in the inimitable style of the man who raised Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Farrakhan, Warithdin, and millions of others in the greatest movement since the Honorable Marcus Garvey, Marvin X came upon two letters address to himself. Marvin X went into shock! since he doesn't possess the letters, though he remembered the first letter but not the second.

    Letter #1

    September 30,1969

    From: Elijah Muhammad
    Messenger of Allah
    4847 South Woodlawn Ave.
    Chicago, Ill.

    To: Mr. Marvin X
    1526 Fresno Street
    Fresno, CA


    In the Name of Almighty Allah, the Most Merciful Saviour, our Deliverer, Who Came in the Person of Master of Master Fard Muhammad, to Whom Praises are due forever, Master of the Day of Judgment.
    To Allah alone do I submit and seek refuge:

    Dear Brother:

    Your book of poems and proverbs, entitled "Black Man Listen", has been received.

    Brother, words do not mean just what they are saying all of the time. If it is read, it may mean something else and you will be disgraced.

    Remember that poems are a science and remember again, the Holy Quran warns against poets and their writings. They messed Muhammad up at Medina and Mecca with their writings, because when the poems were understood, it was found that they were against Muhammad and His Teachings. Read William Muir's and Washington Irving's writings on Muhammad. See what they said about these writers (poets). The Holy Quran condemns poetry, therefore, that which the Holy Quran condemns, we condemn.

    I am only after the plainest way to the the dead to know of the Truth and not in any science way for them to later try to understand. Poetry is science.

    May Allah Bless you and keep you on the Path of Righteousness.


    Elijah Muhammad
    Messenger of Allah
    September 30, 1969

    Letter #2

    December 17, 1969

    Elijah Muhammad
    Messager of Allah
    4847 South Woodlawn Ave.
    Chicago, IL

    To: Mr. Marvin X
    1526 Fresno Street
    Fresno, CA


    In the Name of Almighty Allah, The Most Merciful Saviour, Our Deliverer, Who Came in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad, to Who Praises are due forever, Master of the Day of Judgment. To Allah alone do I submit and seek refuge.

    Dear Brother:

    This letter is in regard to the mimeographed copy, "The Myth of Black Studies",  and also the History lesson, which is written in a poem.

    Brother, I am only interested in the plainest way to beth the Truth to my people.

    Some Black people do not understand Poems. Words do/not mean just what they are saying all of the time. Poems are sciences.

    May Allah Bless you with the Light of Understanding.


    Elijah Muhammad
    Messenger of Allah


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    Poetry is a science our people do not understand. I am only after the plainest way to get truth to our people!--the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to Marvin X, 1969

    Marvin X Agrees with Elijah Muhammad on Poetry

    If truth be told, and it must, Elijah Muhammad was/is right about poetry: it is a science our people do not understand. It has taken half a century for me to come to the conclusion he was right, no doubt because I fit his description of the so-called Negro: stiff necked and rebellious, hard to lead in the right direction, but easy to lead in the wrong direction. And so it is rare these days that I read poetry in public, although I still write poetry when the Muse strikes me. 

    In the introduction to The Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables/fables, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 2012, Ptah Allah El describes the transition of both Plato and Marvin X away from poetry:

    Recently while reading about the Dialogues of Plato, I came across a quote by William Chase Green, former Professor of Greek and Latin at Harvard University. Greene describes Plato's works by profoundly stating, "In yet another field the Platonic Philosophy seeks to find an escape from the flux. Those poets and artists who are content to record the fleeting impressions of the senses, or to tickle the fancies and indulge the passions of an ignorant people by specious emotional and rhetorical appeals, Plato invites to use their art in the service of truth."

    These are timeless words describing Plato's classic works, yet if you simply replace Plato's name with Marvin X in the above quote, and review Marvin's work over the past 40 years, you won't be surprised why he has adopted the title "Plato Negro". In this classic volume, the Wisdom of Plato Negro,  Marvin X truly becomes Plato personified, as we see him transcend from master poet to philosopher.

    Plato was once a master poet until the death of his teacher Socrates in 399 B.C. This marked a turning point in Plato's life causing him to fully convert to philosophy. The same can be said now with Marvin X who recently lost his master teacher John Doumbia and has since elevated beyond poetry, reincarnating as the philosopher "Plato Negro"....

    It is clear that Marvin X has become the true Platonist of the day by demonstrating his Platonic love for the people, taking us on a symbolic trip through the Parable of the Cave, where all true analysis takes place, inside the true self....

    Teaching Diaspora Literature: 
    Muslim American Literature as an Emerging Field
    by Dr. Mohja Kahf

    Is there such a thing as Muslim American literature (MAL)? I argue that there is: It begins with the Muslims of the Black Arts Movement (1965-75). The Autobiography of Malcolm X is one of its iconic texts; it includes American Sufi writing, secular ethnic novels, writing by immigrant and second-generation Muslims, and religious American Muslim literature. Many of the works I would put into this category can and do also get read in other categories, such as African
    American, Arab American, and South Asian literature, "Third World" women's writing, diasporic Muslim literature in English, and so forth. While the place of these works in other categories cannot be denied, something is gained in reading them together as part of an American Muslim cultural landscape. Like Jewish American literature by the 1930s, Muslim American literature is in a formative stage. It will be interesting to see how it develops (and who will be its Philip Roth!)

    I suggest the following typology of MAL only as a foothold, a means of bringing a tentative order to the many texts, one that should be challenged, and maybe ultimately dropped altogether. My first grouping, the "Prophets of Dissent," suggests that Muslim works in the Black Arts Movement (BAM) are the first set of writings in American literature to voice a cultural position identifiable as Muslim. Contemporary Muslim writing that takes the achievements of the BAM as an important literary influence also belongs here, and is characterized similarly by its "outsider" status, moral critique of mainstream American values, and often prophetic, visionary tone. In contrast, the writers of what I call "the Multi-Ethnic Multitudes" tend to enjoy "insider" status in American letters, often entering through MFA programs and the literary establishment, getting
    published through trade and university book industries, garnering reviews in the mainstream press. They do not share an overall aesthetic but are individual writers of various ethnicities and a wide range of secularisms and spiritualities, and indeed I question my placing them all in one group, and do so temporarily only for the sake of convenience.

    On the other hand, my third group, the "New American Transcendentalists," appears to cohere, in aesthetic terms, as writers who share a broad Sufi cultural foundation undergirding their literary work. Their writings often show familiarity with the Sufi poets of several classical Muslim literatures (e.g., in Turkish, Farsi, Arabic, Urdu), as well as with American Transcendentalists of the nineteenth century, and that which tends toward the spiritual and the ecstatic in modern
    American poetry. Finally, the "New Pilgrims" is my term for a loose grouping of writers for whom Islam is not merely a mode of dissent, cultural background, or spiritual foundation for their writing, but its aim and explicit topic. Of the four groups, the New Pilgrims are the ones who write in an overtly religious mode and motivation, like Ann Bradstreet, Cotton Mather, and the Puritans of early American history. This does not prevent them from being capable of producing
    great literature, any more than it prevented the great Puritan writers. Here is an example of just a few writers in each category, by no means a comprehensive list:
    Prophets of Dissent
    From the Black Arts Movement:
    • Marvin X, whose Fly to Allah (1969) is possibly the first book of poems published in English by a Muslim American author.

    Marvin X's Fly to Allah, 1968,  is the seminal work in American Muslim literature. Muslim American literature begins with Marvin X! --Dr. Mohja Kahf

    • Sonia Sanchez, whose A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women (1974) is the work of her Muslim period.
    • Amiri Baraka, whose A Black Mass (2002) renders the Nation of Islam's Yacoub genesis theology into drama. As with Sanchez, the author was Muslim only briefly but the influence of the Islamic period stretches over a significant part of his overall production.
    Later Prophets of Dissent include:
    • Calligraphy of Thought, the Bay area poetry venue for young "Generation M" Muslim American spoken word artists who today continue in the visionary and dissenting mode of the BAM.
    • Suheir Hammad, Palestinian New Yorker, diva of Def Poetry Jam (on Broadway and HBO), whose tribute to June Jordan in her first book of poetry, Born Palestinian, Born Black (1996), establishes her line of descent from the BAM, at least as one (major) influence on her work.
    • El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) is an iconic figure for this mode of Muslim American writing and, indeed, for many writers in all four categories.

    Multi-Ethnic Multitudes
    • Kashmiri American poet Agha Shahid Ali, an influential figure in the mainstream American poetry scene, with a literary prize named after him at the University of Utah, brought the ghazal into fashion in English so that it is now taught among other forms in MFA programs.
    • Naomi Shihab Nye, Palestinian American, likewise a "crossover" poet whose work enjoys
    prominence in American letters, takes on Muslim content in a significant amount of her
    • Sam Hamod, an Arab midwesterner who was publishing poetry in journals at the same time as Marvin X.
    • Nahid Rachlin's fiction has been published since well before the recent wave of literature by
    others who, like her, are Iranian immigrants.
    • Mustafa Mutabaruka, an African American Muslim, debut novel Seed (2002).
    • Samina Ali, midwesterner of Indian parentage, debut novel Madras on Rainy Days (2004),
    was featured on the June 2004 cover of Poets & Writers.
    • Khaled Hosseini, debut novel The Kite Runner (2003).
    • Michael Muhammad Knight, a Muslim of New York Irish Catholic background, whose punk rock novel The Taqwacores (2004) delves deeply into Muslim identity issues.
    • There are a number of journals where Muslim American literature of various ethnicities can
    be found today, among them Chowrangi, a Pakistani American magazine out of New
    Jersey, and Mizna, an Arab American poetry magazine out of Minneapolis.

    New American Transcendentalists

    • Daniel (Abd al-Hayy) Moore is an excellent example of this mode of Muslim American writing. California-born, he published as a Beat poet in the early sixties, became a Sufi Muslim, renounced poetry for a decade, then renounced his renouncement and began publishing again, prolifically and with a rare talent. His Ramadan Sonnets (City Lights, 1986) is a marriage of content and form that exemplifies the "Muslim/American" simultaneity of Muslim American art.
    • The Rumi phenomenon: apparently the most read poet in America is a Muslim. He merits mention for that, although technically I am not including literature in translation. Then again, why not? As with so many other of my limits, this is arbitrary and only awaits someone to make a case against it.
    • Journals publishing poetry in this mode include The American Muslim, Sufi, Qalbi, and others.

    New American Pilgrims

    • Pamela Taylor writes Muslim American science fiction. Iman Yusuf writes "Islamic
    romance." This group of writers is not limited to genre writers, however.
    Dasham Brookins writes and performs poetry and maintains a website,, where poets such as Samantha Sanchez post. Umm Zakiyya (pseud.) has written a novel, If I Should Speak (2001), about a young Muslim American and her roommates in college. Writers in this group also come from many ethnicities but, unlike those in my second category, come together around a more or less coherent, more or less conservative Muslim identity.

    Websites tend to ban erotica and blasphemy, for example. The Islamic Writers Alliance, a group formed by Muslim American women, has just put out its first anthology. Major published authors have yet to emerge in this grouping, but there is no reason to think they will not eventually do so. My criteria for Muslim American literature are a flexible combination of three factors: Muslim authorship. Including this factor, however vague or tenuous, prevents widening the scope to the point of meaninglessness, rather than simply including any work about Muslims by an author with no biographical connection to the slightest sliver of Muslim identity (such as Robert Ferrigno with his recent dystopian novel about a fanatical Muslim takeover of America). It is a cultural, not religious, notion of Muslim that is relevant. A "lapsed Muslim" author, as one poet on my roster called himself, is still a Muslim author for my purposes. I am not interested in levels of commitment or practice, but in literary Muslimness.

    Language and aesthetic of the writing.

    In a few cases, there is a deliberate espousal of an aesthetic that has Islamic roots, such as the Afrocentric Islamic aesthetic of the Muslim authors
    in the Black Arts Movement.

    Relevance of themes or content.

    If the Muslim identity of the author is vague or not explicitly professed, which is often the case with authors in the "Multi-Ethnic Multitudes," but the content itself is relevant to Muslim American experience, I take that as a signal that the text is choosing to enter the conversation of Muslim American literature and ought to be included.In defining boundaries for research that could become impossibly diffuse, I choose to look mainly at fiction and poetry, with autobiography and memoir writings selectively included. I have not included writings in languages other than English, although there are Muslims in America who write in Arabic, Urdu, and other languages. I have looked at the twentieth century onward,
    and there is archival digging to be done in earlier periods: the Spanish colonial era may yield Muslim writing, and we already know that some enslaved Muslims in the nineteenth century have left narratives. More research is needed. If one expands the field from "literature" to "Muslim American culture," one can also include Motown, rap, and hip-hop lyrics by Muslim artists, screenplays such as the Muslim American classic The Message by the late Syrian American producer Mustapha Aqqad, books written for children, sermons, essays, and other genres.There are pleasures and patterns that emerge from reading this profusion of disparate texts under the rubric of Muslim American cultural narrative. It is time! I hope, as this field emerges, that others will do work in areas I have left aside in this brief initial exploration.

    Love And War
    by Marvin X
    preface byLorenzo Thomas

    by Mohja Kahf

    Have spent the last few days (when not mourning with friends and family the passing of my family friend and mentor in Muslim feminism and Islamic work, Sharifa AlKhateeb, (may she dwell in Rahma), immersed in the work of Marvin X and amazed at his brilliance.

    This poet has been prolific since his first book of poems, Fly to Allah, (1969), right up to his most recent Love and War Poems (1995) and Land of My Daughters, 2005, not to mention his plays, which were produced (without royalties) in Black community theatres from the 1960s to the present, and essay collections such as In the Crazy House Called America, 2002, and Wish I Could Tell You The Truth, 2005.

    Marvin X was a prime shaper of the Black Arts Movement (1964-1970s) which is, among other things, the birthplace of modern Muslim American literature, and it begins with him.

    Well, Malik Shabazz and him. But while the Autobiography of Malcolm X is a touchstone of Muslim American culture, Marvin X and other Muslims in BAM were the emergence of a cultural expression of Black Power and Muslim thought inspired by Malcolm, who was, of course, ignited by the teachings and writings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

    And that, taken all together, is what I see as the starting point of Muslim American literature. Then there are others, immigrant Muslims and white American Muslims and so forth, that follow.There are also antecedents, such as the letters of Africans enslaved in America. Maybe there is writing by Muslims in the Spanish and Portuguese era or earlier, but that requires archival research of a sort I am not going to be able to do.

    My interest is contemporary literature, and by literature I am more interested in poetry and fiction than memoir and non-fiction, although that is a flexible thing.I argue that it is time to call Muslim American literature a field, even though many of these writings can be and have been classified in other ways-studied under African American literature or to take the writings of immigrant Muslims, studied under South Asian ethnic literature or Arab American literature.

    With respect to Marvin X, I wonder why I am just now hearing about him-I read Malcolm when I was 12, I read Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez and others from the BAM in college and graduate school-why is attention not given to his work in the same places I encountered these other authors?

    Declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because recontextualizing it will add another layer of attention to his incredibly rich body of work.He deserves to be WAY better known than he is among Muslim Americans and generally, in the world of writing and the world at large.

    By we who are younger Muslim American poets, in particular, Marvin should be honored as our elder, one who is still kickin, still true to the word!

    Love and War Poems is wrenching and powerful, combining a powerful critique of America ("America downsizes like a cripple whore/won't retire/too greedy to sleep/too fat to rest") but also a critique of deadbeat dads and drug addicts (not sparing himself) and men who hate.

    "For the Men" is so Quranic poem it gave me chills with verses such as:
    for the men who honor wives
    and the men who abuse them
    for the men who win
    and the men who sin
    for the men who love God
    and the men who hate
    for the men who are brothers
    and the men who are beasts
    "O Men, listen to the wise," the poet pleads:
    there is no escapefor the men of this world
    or the men of the next

    He is sexist as all get out, in the way that is common for men of his generation and his radicalism, but he is refreshingly aware of that and working on it. It's just that the work isn't done and if that offends you to see a man in process and still using the 'b' word, look out. Speaking of the easily offended, he warns in his introduction that "life is often profane and obscene, such as the present condition of African American people."

    If you want pure and holy, he says, read the Quran and the Bible, because Marvin is talking about "the low down dirty truth." For all that, the poetry of Marvin X is like prayer, beauty-full of reverence and honor for Truth. "It is. it is. it is."

    A poem to his daughter Muhammida is a sweet mix of parental love and pride and fatherly freak-out at her sexuality and independence, ending humbly with:

    peace Mu
    it's on you
    yo world

    Other people don't get off so easy, including a certain "black joint chief of staff ass nigguh (kill 200,000 Muslims in Iraq)" in the sharply aimed poem "Free Me from My Freedom." (Mmm hmm, the 'n' word is all over the place in Marvin too.)

    Nature poem, wedding poem, depression poem, wake-up call poems, it's all here. Haiti, Rwanda, the Million Man March, Betsy Ross's maid, OJ, Rabin, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and other topics make it into this prophetically voiced collection of dissent poetry, so Islamic and so African American in its language and its themes, a book that will stand in its beauty long after the people mentioned in it pass. READ MARVIN X for RAMADAN!--

    Mohja Kahf Associate Professor / Dept. of English, Middle East & Islamic Studies, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville

    Read more:

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    I found the copy of the Great Britain’s biggest black newspaper, which featured Dr J as the “Female Malcolm X.” Also much more. Come back soon. As you saw yesterday to some degree, we were delving in stuff piled high and deep in the closets and ignoring things right up in our face, like Negroes used to skip over things the white folks were hiding from them on the front page of the newspaper.

    I’ll look to see you soon. Time is running out. Today I’ll presume to copy  my master’s thesis (1957 sports sociology dinosaur, Harry Edwards) at Chicago and the PhD. at CSPP (first dissertation on black male/female relationship openly and unashamedly straight out, setting plans for the late 1970s to late 1990s black male/female relationships movement (see Newsweek, 1979 for “The New Black Struggle).”  I don’t figure I need a copy of the dissertation at Chicago, though it had a breakthrough “intracohort analysis” and was a rare black scholar’s publication in a major sociology journal at the time (Social Forces).  Cal Berkley and Stanford need to come back out. Whatever happened to the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California.  Did the Africanas in the Ivy League ever get the news?

    You keep advising Negroes to save the trash. Why do you think anybody would save trash if it really was trash? Usually it is trash, if nobody is around to make some sense of it or give some value to it; though you routinely give more value to a brother’s things than they’re worth, so I guess it balances out, but don’t hesitate to let me tell you what a piece of paper meant or means or could. Remember, we thought we were making the revolution, so a message to Garcia was vital back then, and the consequences could be deadly. But if a brother takes the message to the trash or gives it to the wrong brother in the wrong place at the wrong time, the message is lost in oblivion: ignorance is not bliss, but oblivion.

    “Full many a gem of purest ray, serene the dark unfathomed caves of oceans, bare. Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air”
    I learned that at Toussaint L’Ouverture High School, a part of the “Creek County Separate Schools” of Slick, Oklahoma, where I as a psychological dropout became a legend in my time. while the teacher, Miss Foshee, was calling on the other kids one by one to get up and stumble through what they had memorized the night before. She had come to the realization that  if she called on me last, by then I would know the lines we were to have memorized and then she could whip them over the head by pointing to me. One time we won second place in the state,  by competitive white folks standardized testing, with 22 points, from 36 competitors representing Slick and I made twelve points by myself. I was going to be the welterweight champion of the world but they blocked blacks from the Golden Gloves in Oklahoma until I was a junior in college and herded me into college, where they kept me most of my life, moving me to the front of the class as a college instructor, first in white studies at a black university, Howard, and then COORDINATOR of “black studies” at a polka dot university called San Francisco State, before they had the nerve to turn around and put me out. And you wonder why I sing the blues.

    So come back soon, you don’t have to look for the blues around here, it’s everywhere and in your face; cast down your storage boxes wherever you are, a change is gonna come. We will make it to the mountaintop, but I’m 80 going on 90 years old, and I want to get there with you. If you mess around until I’m gone before you get there, my ghost will be there to greet you and give you some good old fashioned chastising as soon as you squeeze through the pearly gates.


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    We are heartbroken to announce the U.S. Embassy has just confirmed that Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, was killed early Thursday morning, May 9, 2013. He died from injuries sustained after he was thrown off a building as he was being robbed in Tijuana. Surely we are from Allah and to Him we return.

    Malcolm Shabazz dead
    Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of legendary human rights leader, El Hajj Malik el Shabazz, (Malcolm X), has died today, reports the Amsterdam News.
    He was thrown off of a building during a robbery, and, according to conflicting reports, he was shot.
    The Amsterdam News has learned, and the U.S. Embasy has confirmed, that Malcolm Shabazz – son of Malcolm X, was killed on early Thursday morning, May 9, 2013. He died from injuries sustained after he was thrown off a building as he was being robbed in Tijuana. “I’m confirming, per US Embassy, on behalf of family, the tragic death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X.Statement frm family 2 come,” wrote close friend of the Shabazz family Terrie M. Williams on twitter.
    Early reports said he was shot and information is still coming in. Malcolm Shabazz is survived by his three year old daughter, Ilyasah, his mother, Qubilah, and his closest aunt Ilyasah among others. Malcolm Shabazz pled guilty and was found guilty of manslaughter and arson and was sentenced to 18 months in Juvenile detention. His stay was extended and he was released four years later. Years later he told the Amsterdam News that he had not set the fire.
    Malcolm Shabazz was in the process of writing two books, at least one of which was a manuscript, and he was attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

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    Assata Shakur has been placed on the 'Most Wanted Terrorists' list, but the move has raised many eyebrows [AP]
    "Don't believe everything you hear. Real eyes realise real lies."-Tupac Shakur
    Assata Shakur is now a Muslim. Well, she didn't actually convert to Islam. But in the eyes of the United States government where "terrorism" and threats to the state have become synonymous with Islam and Muslims, the recent placement of Assata Shakur on the FBI's "Most Wanted Terrorist List", has for all intents and purposes, made her one.
    While her being named to the list shocked many, is it really that surprising, especially when one considers how the "war on terror" has been used as a logic of control to systematically target, undermine and destroy any challenge to the domestic and global realms of US power?
    Welcome to the Terrordome
    Recently while in New York, I was on a panel at the Riverside Church that explored the links between the "war on crime" and the "war on terror". I joined an incredible group of mostly black and Muslim activists, individuals (including Yusef Salaam, one of the "Central Park Five"), and family members of individuals who have been persecuted and incarcerated due to the policies of these proxy "wars".
    As I discussed on the panel, it's no coincidence that the figure of the "black criminal" and the "Muslim terrorist" both emerged in US political culture in the early 1970s due to the neurotic fears of Black Power domestically, and the threats to an expanding US imperial footprint in Muslim countries abroad.
    For the individuals and family members who have been deeply scarred by these violent state policies, their powerful testimonies of life on the frontlines made plain to all of us there the deep connections that exist between the "war on crime" and the "war on terror", between the "black criminal" and the "Muslim terrorist".
    Take the logic of "crime" for example. Cle Shaheed Sloan's 2005 documentary Bastards of the Party and Mike Davis' book City of Quartz suggest that the criminalisation of blackness in the late 1960s and early 70s was in essence a counter-insurgency strategy against black communities in the shadow of Black Power, as the "war on crime" (and "war on drugs") became an extension of the dirty wars waged byCOINTELPRO that sought to prevent the future emergence of the exact kinds of political activities that Assata Shakur and others were involved in.
    As scholars such as Michelle Alexander and Khalil Gibran Muhammad have noted, once the US state defined particular activities as "crime", it then sought to crack down and control it. As the fears of the "black criminal" were stoked, the political will was generated in mainstream America to pass repressive laws that normalised "crime" and linked it almost exclusively to blackness, making all black people suspicious, and leading to state-sanctioned racial profiling, the creation of an urban police state, and the explosion of a massive prison archipelago that Michelle Alexander has called "the new Jim Crow".
    The "war on terror" has used the face of the "Muslim terrorist" to narrow the scope of dissent, expand state control, and prevent the creation of alternatives to exploitation and war.

    Similarly in the "war on terror", the US has named particular acts as "terrorism", delegitimising them and generating the political will through fear to normalise the figure of the "terrorist", making Muslim-looking people, and even Muslim countries themselves, suspects under deep suspicion in their struggles for self-determination.
    As a result, the need for state security created broad "anti-terrorism" measures that expanded state power, making Muslim countries subject to invasions, sanctions, bombs, and drones, and making Muslim bodies subject to indefinite detention, torture, surveillance and targeted murder, as Muslims got marked as people who don't have the right to have rights.
    While the system of mass incarceration used the face of the "black criminal" to legitimise itself and disproportionately target black men and women, the tentacles of incarceration soon expanded to include Latinos and other poor people in its orbit.
    Similarly, the "war on terror" has used the face of the "Muslim terrorist" to narrow the scope of dissent, expand state control, and prevent the creation of alternatives to exploitation and war. But while the Muslim has been the face of this, the logic of "terror" is now being used to target other countries and also black and brown communities domestically, as the fluid category of the "terrorist" continues to morph.
    Organised confusion
    While many were shocked that Assata would be placed on the "Most Wanted Terrorist List", some argued that not only is she innocent of the charges against her, but that what she was struggling for as a black revolutionary could not possibly make her a "terrorist". But this begs the question: who is a "terrorist"? And what does he do that would make him one? Would he by chance have a beard? Wear flowing garb? Be a Muslim?
    By all credible accounts, Assata is not guilty of killing Officer Forester in 1973. But the focus by many on her innocence as the reason why she is not a "terrorist" misses the point completely. Because whether she's innocent or not, the labelling of her as a "terrorist" has more to do with her political beliefs and the liberation struggles that she was a part of. In fact, it's those very beliefs and activities that led to her (and others) being targeted under the FBI's COINTELPRO, persecuted, put on trial, convicted and then forced to ultimately flee the country and live in exile in Cuba. For the US state, when it comes to labelling a "terrorist", innocence or guilt are simply irrelevant details.
    For her supporters and those on the Left who deny that she's a "terrorist", we have to understand that to the US government that's exactly what she is. But instead of denying it, it's high time that we instead challenge the prevailing logic of "terrorism", refuse to normalise it, and recognise it for what it is: not only a political label used to discredit and undermine struggles for self-determination, but also a legal frame that then gives the state the sanction and power to narrow the scope of dissent and violently crackdown and arrest, incarcerate, torture, bomb, drone, invade, and even assassinate those deemed threats to state interests.
    But if her allies continue to accept "terrorism" as the ruling paradigm, and make the false and fatal distinction between the struggles of black radicals like Assata from the struggles of Third World peoples fighting for dignity against racist, imperial power in places such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, then these supporters are not only misunderstanding and undermining the internationalist legacy of Assata Shakur and the Black Panther Party (who supported the Palestinians and other Third World struggles), but they are also ironically reinvigorating the very same violent state forces that she and the Black Power movement struggled to eliminate.
    No coincidences, only consequences
    More than just targeting Assata, the FBI and the Obama Administration have essentially labelled the Black Power movement as "terrorists". But in trying to rewrite and destroy that past, the labelling of Assata as a "terrorist" is also an attack and warning to those who are organising today against the very same forces that Assata was over 40 years ago: police brutality, militarism, imperial war, economic exploitation, and racist state practices that continue to perpetuate black suffering and the decimation of the Global South.
    And if that wasn't chilling enough, in calling her a "terrorist" and Cuba a "state sponsor of terror", could a drone attack on Assata be that far-fetched? Could the official state policy of targeted assassinations - a policy that ironically mimics the targeted killing by COINTELPRO of Fred Hampton, Bunchy Carter and others - and that now murders Muslims who are deemed threats to US and Israeli interests be in the offing for her?
    And what about those artists and activists who have supported her and other Cuban solidarity activists: are they not now subject to the "material support for terrorism" law that has imprisoned so many and also severely curtailed the work of Muslim charities seeking to help those in Kashmir, Palestine, Pakistan and elsewhere?
    If there is a silver lining in this, its that for those black, Latino, Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities who are involved in political work that is now or soon will be lumped into the category of "terrorist", this is an opportunity for us to use our collective exclusion as suspect communities and deepen our links and points of solidarity to vigorously fight the violent forces that target us in a different ways.
    Despite the mainstream Muslim, black, Latino and South Asian communities who have assumed the logic of "anti-terrorism" and have tied their fates to successes of white supremacy and US empire, the internationalist legacies we have inherited from Malcolm X, Assata Shakur and others within Black radical movements endures.
    It's seen in the black, Latino, South Asian and Arab organisers in New York and Los Angeles doing work around the NYPD "Stop and Frisk" programme and the "Stop LAPD Spying" campaigns; it's present in the work of artists and activists struggling for migrant justice around the US-Mexico border. It's also evidence in the beautiful work of Angela DavisAlice WalkerRobin KelleyCynthia McKinney and others who recently travelled to Palestine and have spoken out against Zionism and US empire, and in favour of Palestinian self-determination; and it's also born witness in the collective statement of solidarity signed by many black activists and scholars in 2012 called "African Americans for Justice in the Middle East & North Africa".
    These are exactly the kinds of internationalist political positions that Malcolm X and later Black Power advocates like Assata Shakur took, as they understood the urgent need for global solidarity, seeing the racist links, for example, between the NYPD programme of "Stop and Frisk" and the Bush Doctrine of "Pre-emptive War", between Pelican Bay and Guantanamo Bay, and between Abner Louima and Abu Ghraib.
    For to not question how the logic of "terrorism" is now being used to silence black and Third World voices is to undermine the very movements that Assata (and so many others) have so valiantly sacrificed their lives and livelihoods for.
    Let's remember that yesterday it was Nelson Mandela who the United States labelled a "terrorist", and today it's a Palestinian, an Afghan and now Assata. Tomorrow it could be a labour organiser, a student activist, a teacher, or maybe even you.
    Sohail Daulatzai is the author of Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom Beyond America and is co-editor of Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas' Illmatic. He has written liner notes to the 2012 release of the 20th Anniversary release of Rage Against the Machine's self-titled debut album. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies and the Program in African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine.
    Follow him on Twitter: @SohailDaulatzai
    You can follow the editor on Twitter: @nyktweets
    The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

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    Between the Lines - May 2013
    Monthly Newsletter of the New York Chapter of the National Writers Union
    (UAW Local 1981)
    (212) 254-0279 ext. 7
    In This Issue
    Later, Louis
    Making Freelance Writing Work
    Welcome New Steering Committee Members and Delegates
    Local NWU Events
    On the Front Lines
    Members' Announcements
    Monthly Open Mic Event
    New Members & Anniversaries
    New Chapter Initiatives
    A Note from the Editor

    NWU-UAW Logo 
    Remember Louis Reyes Rivera on May 19. 
    Click image to listen to one of his well-known readings.
    Pen Pressure: Later, Louis 
    Written by Lora Rene' Tucker, NWU NY Chapter Steering Committee Member

    (Pen Pressure is BTL's regular column about the best practices for activist writing. Guest columnists are welcome. Email if interested. -- Editor)
    To show how our distinguished former chair Louis Reyes Rivera still influences the work and movement of the New York Chapter, BTL will include a tribute piece about him from an NWU member every May to mark Louis's birth date on May 19. -- Editor
    The month of May tends to be an important month for me.  My father's birthday was May 3rd, mine is May 8th, and my mother's May 13th (a house of bulls, that's a story!). When I was twelve, my mother told me I was due on the 18th or 19th of May. Now I do not play "the numbers," but the number 19 became one of those "special" digits.  By the age of 18, I knew that Malcolm X was born on the 19th, but little did I know 32 years later, I would meet a man who gave me a deeper reverence for the 19th of May.
    Louis Reyes Rivera would shun me for putting him on a pedestal, but he deserves it.  He deserves to be placed on a pinnacle; he was a mighty poet, teacher and man.  He is my hero - he saved me from my self- doubt and told me I am a writer.  And facing the world, like a warrior riding a mighty "Waterman," he fought the battles so that I could write.
    I remember being at the Harlem Book Fair a couple of summers ago when there was a tribute to him at the Thurgood Marshall Academy. 
    (Click HERE to continue reading.)

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    Dear Mr. Baraka,

    The honorarium is small, but I hope to raise money so that we can offer more.  We would like the Conference to be free to the academic community and the general public.  I  was planning to charge, until a young African American female student told me that so many of her fellow students would welcome this opportunity, but didn't have the funds to pay a registration fee.  So much of the time, there is a price on knowledge so that people of color are blocked from their heritage, and history.  We are in Central California in one of the poorest communities in the United States.   By hosting this Conference, we will have an opportunity to bring people together to learn about a dynamic and empowering time in American history for African Americans.  I didn't learn about the Black Arts Movement until I was in college.  I have known Marvin for over 15 years, and did not know of his part in this point in history.  I have studied your work since I was in college.  I don't want young African Americans to wait until they go to college to learn of Amiri Baraka.  Your work should be in all high school curricula.  

    This summer, I will teach Theatre and Social Responsibility at UC Merced.  One of the required books is the anthology Black Fire.  I had an undergraduate come up to me saying that we are never taught this type of literature.  Both Ishmael Reed and  Marvin X have very kindly agreed to speak to my students.  I am so blessed.  Ishmael will be a part of the conference in February.  I feel so happy to be able to teach students about African American history and literature.  When I was working on my Master's in Playwrighting at San Francisco State in the 70s, your work, and the work of Lorraine Hansberry were the only two playwrights of color that we studied.  I had no idea about Marvin X, or other playwrights of color because the works that were studied were given to us by older white men.  I am so lucky to have a better understanding of African American Theatre.  One of the reasons for that is because of playwrights like you, Marvin, and black voices that I have finally become smart enough to go out and find, rather than waiting for someone to hand me my drama.

    We would truly be honored to have you speak at our Conference.  Although, we are a small campus, the majority of our students are of color, and the African American study body is large, except on the graduate level.  It would be a gift to so many black men and women, and people of all races to understand the importance of your work, and the work of Marvin X.

    Thank you.

    Kim McMillon

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    2 Waiters Arrested in Killing of Malcolm X’s Grandson

    Mario Guzm�N/European Pressphoto Agency
    Rodolfo Fernando Rios Garza, a prosecutor, left, said he saw no evidence that Malcolm Shabazz’s attackers knew his background.
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    MEXICO CITY — The police here arrested two men on murder and robbery charges on Monday in the beating death last week ofMalcolm Shabazz, the grandson of Malcolm X, though many questions about the case remained unresolved.
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    Xiomara Michel/The Shabazz Family, via Associated Press
    Malcolm Shabazz
    Procuraduria General de Justica del Distrito Federal, via Associated Press
    Manuel Alejandro Pérez de Jesús
    Procuraduria General de Justica del Distrito Federal, via Associated Press
    David Hernández Cruz
    The men taken into custody, David Hernández Cruz and Manuel Alejandro Pérez de Jesús, worked as waiters at the Palace Club, a downtown bar where Mr. Shabazz, 28, was beaten, in what the city prosecutor called a dispute over an excessive bill.
    Two other bar employees who the authorities said participated in the beating, which left Mr. Shabazz with fatal skull, jaw and rib fractures, were being sought.
    The body of Mr. Shabazz, who for years had wrestled with living in the shadow of his grandfather’s fame, was still at a city morgue on Monday while American consular officials worked to have it returned to the United States. A family spokeswoman said they would have no comment, and no funeral plans have been announced.
    Mr. Shabazz arrived in Mexico City from Tijuana, the prosecutor, Rodolfo Fernando Rios Garza, said at a news conference. He went to the bar on Thursday with a man whom friends identified as Miguel Suárez, a Mexican labor activist whom Mr. Shabazz had befriended in the United States and who had been recently deported.
    When the argument over the tab broke out around 3 a.m. as they prepared to leave, the two were separated by bar employees, but, for reasons the prosecutor said had not yet been determined, only Mr. Shabazz was beaten. A blunt object was used but no other details were given.
    Mr. Shabazz’s companion was taken to another part of the bar and robbed but said he managed to escape and call for help.
    The pair disputed a tab that came to around $1,200, Mr. Rios Garza said. Two young women had approached them on the street and invited them to the bar, but although Mexican newspapers have identified the bar as a known brothel, Mr. Rios Garza waved off questions regarding prostitution. Many of the bars in that rundown area charge customers for even a conversation with their female employees, according to Mexican news reports.
    Mr. Shabazz consumed several drinks; a prosecutor’s office statement said he had a blood alcohol concentration more than three times the legal limit for driving in most American jurisdictions. But the prosecutor, while not offering details on how much liquor was consumed, said the bill was excessive and was part of the effort to rob Mr. Shabazz and his companion.
    He said he found no evidence that race or any motive other than robbery was in play, and there was no indication that the attackers knew Mr. Shabazz came from a famous family.
    The investigation, however, has had its stumbles.
    There were security cameras in the bar, but after a search of the property two days after the attack, video recording equipment was missing and the cameras were turned toward the walls, the prosecutor’s statement said. It was unclear why the search was delayed, but justice reform advocates have long complained that Mexican investigators do not always move with the speed and forensic acumen of the police in the United States.
    The police have interviewed Mr. Suárez, who could not be reached for comment.
    Mr. Shabazz was 12 when he set a fire in Yonkers that killed his grandmother, Betty Shabazz. After serving prison time, he walked an erratic path away from his troubled youth.
    He had gone to Mexico City with Mr. Suárez with plans to draw media attention to his deportation, Mr. Suárez said on Facebook.
    Karla Zabludovsky contributed reporting from Mexico City, and Kia Gregory from New York.

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    Father Stands By 12-Year-Old Son Arrested in Sister Leila Fowler's Stabbing Death

    PHOTO: Leila Fowler

    The father of a 12-year-old boy arrested in the stabbing death of his 8-year-old sister, Leila Fowler, said he supports his son and believes he is innocent until evidence proves otherwise.
    Barney Fowler told The Associated Press today that his family is standing behind the boy "until they have the proper evidence to show it's my son."
    On April 27, Leila's 12-year-old brother, who has not been identified because he is a minor, told Valley Springs, Calif., authorities he found his sister stabbed to death after an intruder broke into their home.
    The 12-year-old said he called his parents, who alerted sheriff's deputies. The boy told authorities the intruder, who he described as a tall man with a muscular build, fled the scene. The boy's description launched a 15-day manhunt that included door-to-door searches and divers in a reservoir.
    The Calaveras County Sheriff's Office in Northern California announced the arrest of the 12-year-old boy late Saturday. He is expected to be charged with homicide.
    Neighbors in Valley Springs, Calif., where the family lives, said they feared all along that Leila's brother -- not a mystery man the boy described -- might be responsible for the girl's stabbing death. Community members were both relieved and saddened by the news of the boy's arrest.
    PHOTO: Leila Fowler
    ABC News | Calaveras Unified School District
    Authorities are at the scene where 8-year-old... View Full Size
    Boy, 12, Arrested in Fatal Stabbing of Sister Watch Video
    Illinois Kids Fatally Stabbed in HomeWatch Video

    "It made us sadder, because he's just 12 years old," Barron told "The family has lost two children now."Barbara Barron, who lives two doors down from Leila Fowler's home, said she suspected the brother from the beginning and found it unusual that he allegedly called his parents before calling police when he found his sister.
    She described the neighborhood as "really quiet" and "very somber."
    "Everybody speculates, and everybody said this and that, but I just prayed," Mary Gallagher, a friend of the Fowler grandparents, told ABC News' Sacramento affiliate KXTV. "I prayed it wasn't him."
    Neighbors said they had not seen Leila's family since her death, but Leila's grandfather said the family is struggling.
    "I don't know what to think. They had been trying to make a case for a while now," grandfather Dennis Fowler told KXTV. "It's been really hard on the family."
    Several knives were taken from the Fowlers' home to determine if one of them had been used in the murder, The Associated Press reported. In the days after the stabbing, a neighbor, who told police she saw a man flee the home, also recanted her story, the AP reported.
    Authorities initially said Leila's brother was not a suspect, but acknowledged they were continuing to talk with him.
    "We are continuing to talk to him, which would be normal because he was the last person with the child," Calaveras County Sheriff's Capt. Jim Macedo said at a news conference last month.
    Macedo said at the news conference that investigators had collected fingerprints and what they believed to be DNA at the crime scene.
    Authorities have not said what led to the arrest the 12-year-old boy on Saturday.
    After a tense two weeks, Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz said he hoped the arrest would bring some peace of mind to a community that has been on edge.
    "Citizens of Calaveras County, you can sleep a little better tonight," he said.
    ABC News' Alyssa Newcomb contributed to this report.

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  • 05/14/13--07:45: Obama's Drama

  • Obama's Drama

    Bombs fall from Drones
    children, women men
    called terrorists
    a wedding party
    Yemen Somalia
    citizens of America even
    no trial no arrest no charges
    what man is this
    so called black
    not negro
    no slave history here
    some clone perhaps
    made for the USA
    organizer from Chi town
    beloved of Wall Street
    no bank the bankers here
    give 15 year girls
    morning after pill
    for his daughters too
    let's see if they get the pill
    without Michelle's permission
    Obama's drama
    murder list in hand
    Afghanistan or USA
    no matter
    Badder than Bush
    You wit me or against me
    I don't like you
    so you enemy combatant
    civil rights workers
    liberation fighters
    Asata Shakur
    Mumia Abu Jamal
    down in the American gulag
    Will Ruchell McGee ever see the sun again
    Russell Soaltz
    why you lie about closing Gitmo'
    No bankers in jail for robbing the poor
    No bankers in jail for money laundering Cartel money
    slap hands with a fine
    2.4 million doing petty crimes
    did you give up Benghazi for election win
    spy on AP
    you tell IRA interrogate Tea Party
    what is you, man
    the devil in black face
    imperialist African style or Jamaican
    won't talk to Cornel and Tavis
    won't discuss the poor the black
    talk of gays, lesbians, Mexicans
    no mention of boyz and girls in the hood
    give boyz and girls in Iraq, Afghanistan
    jobs, education housing
    if they lay down arms
    why not jobs, education housing in the hood to stop the violence
    Chicago is Iraq, Oakland Afghanistan
    New Orleans is Yemen
    Philly is Somalia
    C'mon man
    this drama must end.
    You got Osama
    Now get man in mirror
    --Marvin X

    Coming Soon: Pull Yo Pants Up: Critical Notes on Obama Drama: 2008-2013, Marvin X,
    Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2013.

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