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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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    Wellness coach Alfredo Ennis, Poet/essayist/philosopher Marvin X, aka Plato Negro,  and his assistant, Quita Kirk, after workout at San Francisco's YMCA Wellness Boot Camp in Hunters Point. Marvin will participate in the Black Men's Wellness Day at the Hunters Point YMCA, July 25. Marvin will address Black Men and Black Rage.

    photo Michael Bennett, Wellness Program Director, BVHP YMCA


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    Sunday, 7-7-13, I met Brother Marvin X Jackmon, a well known brother in the black arts and power movement. We had a very interesting conversation about the state of the movement and the value of the written works of our political and revolutionary thinkers. Those archives are extremely valuable and too often we are tossing them into trash cans. Or at the least, we don't understand the value of them.
    Check him out here: http://blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.co...
    http://aalbc.com/authors/marvinx.htm

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    Cover art by David Mora Catlett

    In Francisco Mora Catlett's Afro Horn, we have rhythms from Pan Africa, i.e., Africa, Cuba, Mexico and the USA or North American Africans. This Diasporic music is, I think, a synchronization  of Francisco's cultural and musical heritage and artistic inclination. He spent years as a Sun Ra drummer, and we most certainly hear Sun Ra's sound in Afro Horn. The Cuban Yoruba tradition is loud and clear, as well as the Afro-Latin tradition. This is Pan African consciousness music at its greatest!


    Cover art by David Mora


    It is as well above all traditions except the infinite, the long going story of humanity rising from the depths of despair to celebration and relief.

    Many moments in this album remind us of Hancock's Maiden Voyage, just traveling along the space ways, as Sun Ra would put it. It is a journey to somewhere, we know not where and we don't care, we only want the ride to some place better than this, that mystical place Afro Horn begs us to go, inspired by the metaphysical Henry Dumas.

    And there is are moments with horn and drum. Moments of Coltrane and the best of his tradition, it is all captured here and transformed into the sound of the Afro Horn.













    Art by Elizabeth Cattlett Mora
    celebrating the Black Panther Party

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    Nelson Mandela Day Pledge your 67 Minutes or more - Make Every Day A Mandela Day
    Nelson Mandela Day Pledge your 67 Minutes or more -Make Every Day A Mandela Day

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  • 07/17/13--22:44: Free Marissa Alexander!
  • Dear Friend,

    Please join the Free Marissa Now Campaign. The terrible injustice of the not-guilty verdict for Trayvon Martin's killer has brought Marissa Alexander's racist and sexist treatment by Florida courts to center-stage of U.S. and world attention. It is infuriating to think how Stand Your Ground was used to avoid any penalties for killing a Black teenager, while a Black woman is serving a 20-year sentence for firing a warning shot that injured no one to stop an attack by her abusive husband.

    As the national Free Marissa Now campaign has stated: "The dramatically different outcomes of these cases is a lesson in how the criminal justice system routinely fails to support black people who defend themselves from violence on the streets, in their homes, and from institutions."

    Over the last year Radical Women has collaborated with other organizations to build a massive outcry to win justice in this case. Lead organizers of the Free Marissa Now Campaign include: African-American/Black Women's Cultural Alliance, INCITE!, New Jim Crow Movement, Pacific Northwest Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander, Radical Women, and Southern Freedom Movement. The campaign has worked in close collaboration with Marissa Alexander and Marissa’s mother, Ms. Helen Jenkins.

    The Free Marissa Now Campaign issued an excellent statement about the Zimmerman verdict that you can find on their facebook page or watch a videoof Radical Women Organizer Helen Gilbert reading it at a 7/14/13 protest in Seattle. For more information about the how the dynamics of race and sex come together in Marissa Alexander's case, read the Radical Women statement issued June 2012.

    What you can do immediately:
    • Visit the Free Marissa Now facebook page; "like" the page and be part of updates and discussions.
       
    • Join conference calls to build an international mobilization to free Marissa.  Email freemarissanow@gmail.com to receive information about the next conference call.
       
    • Sign and forward the online petition.
       
    • Donate to Marissa’s legal defense via Paypal at the websitewww.justice4marissa.com.
    • Write to Marissa to let her know that she has supporters working for her release. Send messages to:
      Marissa Alexander #2012033887
      500 East Adam St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202
    In solidarity,
    Anne Slater
    National Organizer, Radical Women


    Statement from Free Marissa Now Campaign

    July 12, 2013
    Free Marissa Now Statement:

    The political climate created by the George Zimmerman trial has shed light on the opaque imaginations of what some think is a post-racial nation. We are heartbroken for Trayvon Martin's family, who have demonstrated brave resolve throughout this ordeal and we hold them in our thoughts as we move forward. We send strength to the family of Jordan Davis, another unarmed Black male Florida teen murdered by a white male who claimed Stand Your Ground, and many others who are gearing up for their journey through these same halls of due process. As long as the Florida justice system has a double standard for identifying criminal behavior, it breaches our core right to safety. The Zimmerman case is about the freedom to safely walk the streets without being profiled and pursued as a criminal based on reemerging Jim Crow codes, especially in the south. Paradoxically, this trial has been juxtaposed to the Marissa Alexander case; a black woman who stood her ground in her home to defend herself from domestic violence and was consequently sentenced to twenty years in prison when no one was physically injured by her actions.  The dramatically different outcomes of these cases is a lesson in how the criminal justice system routinely fails to support black people who defend themselves from violence on the streets, in their homes, and from institutions.

    The Free Marissa Now Campaign is organizing to win freedom for Marissa Alexander, a proud African American mother of three with an MBA and a survivor of domestic violence. In August 2010, Marissa fired a single warning shot in the ceiling to halt her abusive partner during a life-threatening beating in her home. Marissa's husband, who has previously landed Marissa in the hospital after beating her, admitted in a sworn statement that he was the aggressor, threatened her life and was so enraged that he did not know what he would do.  Despite the fact that Marissa caused no injuries and has no previous criminal record, and despite the fact that Florida's self-defense law includes the right to Stand Your Ground, she was arrested by Jacksonville police, charged with aggravated assault, and sentenced to twenty years in the Florida criminal correctional system.

    We must take a stand against the criminalization of all survivors of domestic and sexual violence.  Marissa's case is one of many that shows us how Black women and other marginalized people are especially likely to be criminalized, prosecuted, and incarcerated while trying to navigate and survive the conditions of violence in their lives. Freeing Marissa is a social justice action against intimate partner and systemic violence against all women, and an urgent call for the end of mass incarceration and support for truly transformative solutions to violence.

    The Free Marissa Now Campaign is calling for the grassroots community to stand your ground about your right to give voice to this situation and not be complacent. Our hope was to see justice done for the death of young Brother Trayvon Martin, who couldn't tell his side of the story, and for his family. We grieve deeply with them and for others whose lives have been impacted by violence with no opportunity for redress. We will continue to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to defend themselves without fear of criminalization and to tell their stories. We see this as another defining moment for racial and gender justice that comes on the heels of the rollback in voting rights.

    There is justifiable cause for rage and protest of the violence of racism embedded in the Florida criminal justice system. This is not the time to shut down but show up and turn rage into resistance through organized and peaceful protests.  We need to build a movement to stop racist murder and race and sex bias in the courts. We encourage people to use their resources to organize and voices to speak truth to power to create change.

    We are standing our ground for peace and justice.  We encourage organizers and survivors to share in our collective power and take action to Free Marissa Alexander!

    Join us online at facebook.com/freemarissanow andfreemarissanow.tumblr.com and contact us at freemarissanow@gmail.com

    Donate to Marissa Alexander's legal defense fund at www.justice4marissa.com

    Sign the petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/florida-governor-rick-scott-free-marissa-alexander

    More ways to take action: http://freemarissanow.tumblr.com/action

    Join Radical Women  you are needed! Connect with a chapter near you or contact the Bay Area chapter at baradicalwomen@earthlink.net.

    You can learn more about RW through The Radical Women Manifesto, an exhilarating exploration of Marxist feminist theory and organizing methods, buy a copy or read it on Google Books. Find other fiery Radical Women writings atwww.RadicalWomen.org.

    Donations are appreciated! As a grassroots group, Radical Women is sustained by support from people like you. Please contribute online or mail a check, payable to Radical Women to 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118.

    Radical Women, Bay Area Chapter
    747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
    Phone: 415-864-1278 * Fax: 415-864-0778

    baradicalwomen@earthlink.net
    www.RadicalWomen.org

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    Stand Our Ground: New Global Poetry Anthology Raising Funds for Justice!

    StandOurGroundFrontCover-sm

    Title: Stand Our Ground:Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander

    Publisher: FreedomSeed Press (Philadelphia, PA)
    Paperback, 272 pages
    Publication Date: April 22, 2013 

    ORDER NOW!

    $25.00
    All proceeds will be shared with the families of Martin and Alexander to aid in their respective pursuits of justice.
    For more information on the book: StandOurGroundBook.com.

    In Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander 65 poets from all over the world join together in one voice for justice, freedom and peace. Stand Our Ground is the definitive testament of a revolutionary generation. In this historic collection Black Arts Movement legends Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haki R. Madhubuti, Marvin X  and Askia M. Toure’ are joined by poets of all ages from across the United States and around the world representing countries in Africa, Asia, Europe as well as North and South America and the islands of the Caribbean.
    The cases of Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander expose the duplicity of an American justice system that remains rooted in racism and sexism. Stand Our Ground is an effort to raise funds for both families to aid in their pursuit of justice even as it raises the consciousness of a generation toward the pursuit of a movement of justice for all!
    The book’s editor, Ewuare X. Osayande, is a poet, educator and activist. The author of several books including Blood Luxury with an introduction by Amiri Baraka (Africa World Press) and Whose America?: New and Selected Poems with an introduction by Haki R. Madhubuti (Black Proletariat Press). He is an adjunct professor of African American Studies at Rutgers University.
    In the introduction for Stand Our Ground Osayande writes, “This book has been a labor of love. My love for my people. My love for humanity. I acted because I knew it was not enough for me to just march, or write an editorial or to just allow myself to sit and simmer in the face of wrong. I acted because I knew that there were others like me. I knew that if I acted, others would join with me, and, together, we could create a work that would simultaneously raise collective support for these two families and raise the collective consciousness of our generation. So in the Summer of 2012 the call went out and this is the result. A collection of poems. But not just any collection of poems. Herein are contained –
    Death-defying poems
    Injustice-decrying poems
    Poems that speak truth to power
    Poems that break chains in freedom’s name
    Poems that confront abuse
    and provide sanctuary for the bruised
    Poems that escape from cells
    Poems that provide a pathway back from hell
    Poems that refuse to be silent
    Poems more just than the judge’s gavel
    Poems that have tasted cop’s mace
    stared down the barrel of a gun in defiance
    Shackled poems trying to break free
    Poems picking the locks on our minds
    Poems that transcend place and time
    that tell the histories and herstories
    that have been banned from the textbooks
    Poems that refuse to look the other way
    Poems that say what needs to be said
    Poems that resurrect the dead
    Poems that refuse to sell their souls
    Poems that revolt and rebel
    that holler, scream and yell
    Poems that leave us speechless
    that tell us truths we don’t want to hear
    Poems that leave the status quo
    quivering in fear
    Poems that know that justice is like rain
    to the seeds of peace
    Poems that move us to act
    like you know
    Marching poems
    Chanting poems
    Ranting poems
    Poems sick and tired of being sick and tired poems
    Poems that inoculate us against ignorance
    Poems that make us think
    Poems on the brink
    Poems that challenge us to see
    the world as it could be
    as it should be
    Poems in love with freedom
    Poems that resist
    that resist
    that resist
    that resist racism and sexism
    that refuse to be conned
    Poems for a mother named Marissa
    and a young brother named Trayvon.”

    Available for purchase exclusively at http://standourgroundbook.com/.


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    http://radio.securenetsystems.net/radio_player_large.cfm?stationCallSign=THRN%C2%A0%C2%A0
     stationlogo276x155
                 TRANSFORMATION PLUS


                         with

                      Dalani Aamon



    Friday July 19th at 10:00 PM EST. until we drop.
    Special Guest will be Marvin X

    Marvin X is a poet/playwright/essayist  in the true spirit of the Black Arts Movement or  BAM. His most well-known BAM play, entitled Flowers for the Trashman, deals with generational difficulties and the crisis of the Black intellectual as he deals with education in a white-controlled culture. Marvin X's other works include, The Black Bird, The Trial, Resurrection of the Dead and In the Name of Love.

    He had the longest running African American drama in the San Francisco Bay area and Northern California, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE, a tragi-comedy of addiction and recovery. The play has a scene of his last encounter with Black Panther Huey Newton in a West Oakland crack house. He is the founder and director of RECOVERY THEATRE.
    Marvin X
    Marvin X has continued to work as a lecturer, teacher and producer. He has taught at Fresno State University; San Francisco State University; University of California - Berkeley and San Diego; University of Nevada, Reno; Mills College, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland. He has received writing fellowships from Columbia University and the National Endowment for the Arts and planning grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    He teaches at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. His classroom was the scene of protests over the murder of Oscar Grant and Occupy Oakland. His Community Archives Project is preparing the Drs Nathan and Julia Hare archives for acquisition. Black Bird Press News and Review is his main blog: www.blackbirdnews.blogspot.com

    The Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables/fables, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 2012.

    Recent  and/or forthcoming anthologies with entries by Marvin X:
    Stand Our Ground, edited by Euware X. Osayande
    Black California, edited by Aprajita Nanda
    Django, edited by Ishmael Reed and Cecil Brown
    S.O.S. Calling All Black People, edited by Sonia Sanchez, John Bracey and James Smethurst
    Poetry Issue Journal of Pan African Literature, guest editor, Marvin X



    Marvin X is available for lectures/readings/performance.  Contact him jmarvinx@yahoo.com
    510-200--4164


     For anyone who is not online but can get to a phone.

    Call Number 
    1-805-309-0111
    ID 840360#
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Harambee Radio & Television Network Numbers
    1-855-harambee
    1-877-514-5454
    1-866-851-5252

    1-202-459-4546
    1-919-728-0612
    1-336-754-4277 


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    ‘America has no functioning democracy’ – Jimmy Carter on NSA

    Published time: July 18, 2013 12:15
    Edited time: July 19, 2013 10:39
    Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)
    Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)

    Carter lashed out at the US political system when the issue of the previously top-secret NSA surveillance program was touched upon at the Atlantic Bridge meeting on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia. 
    Former US President Jimmy Carter lambasted US intelligence methods as undemocratic and described Edward Snowden’s NSA leak as “beneficial” for the country.

    "America has no functioning democracy at this moment," Carter said, according to Der Spiegel.

    He also believes the spying-scandal is undermining democracy around the world, as people become increasingly suspicious of US internet platforms, such as Google and Facebook. While such mediums have normally been associated with freedom of speech and have recently become a major driving force behind emerging democratic movements, fallout from the NSA spying scandal has dented their credibility.

    It’s not the first time Carter has criticized US intelligence policies. In a previous interview with
    CNN, he said the NSA leaks signified that “the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far." He added that although Snowden violated US law, he may have ultimately done good for the country.  

    "I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive, so I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial."
     
    Jimmy Carter was President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. After leaving office, he founded the Carter Center, an NGO advocating human rights. The ex-president’s human rights credentials won him Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

    Carter has frequently criticized his successors in the White House. Last year, he condemned the Obama administration for the use of drone attacks in his article "A Cruel and Unusual Record" published in the New York Times. 

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    I did not attend the Oakland rally for Trayvon Martin, instead I set up Academy of da Corner at the Berkeley Flea Market. I'm getting old now and marches and rallies never attracted me, no matter that so much has happened in Oakland at the very site of my classroom, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. I began Academy of da Corner around 2005, occupying the corner in spite of police harassment until they realized I wasn't going anywhere, only then did they leave me alone, maybe after they realized they were dealing with a personality who was associated with the Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam and the Black Arts Movement, someone who knew North American Africans had shed blood to be on the streets of Oakland.

    Even though people have told me my presence at 14th and Broadway has made things better, I have not been in my official classroom for months, not since my east coast book tour of late last year and early this year. And too my Community Archives Project has taken much of my time, so I've been content to let my classroom "students" do peer teaching. Actually, I have now expanded my peripatetic academy to the homes. I've long said we must, in the manner of Master Fard Muhammad, knock on the doors of the people, in a kinder/gentler manner than when the police go door to door looking for suspects, kicking in doors. My model is to be invited into the homes and very diplomatically go about teaching, yes, somewhat in the manner of the Platonic dialogues. People have recognized my method as being ministerial, especially after I have them read passages from my work then explain or comment on it. I have been invited into their bedrooms and when I say I am tired and would like to stop the conversation, they insist that I not depart to my room but continue talking. At this point I have had to get loud and say, "Nigguhs, class is over. I want to go to bed. Good night!"

    At the Berkeley Flea Market today, I was asked by several people, what must be done because they are highly upset and want to do something beside attend a rally and march. My response was to call upon them to organize  secret societies to defend North American Africans. I told one brother to Google If We Must Die by Claude McKay, that 1920s poem from the Black Renaissance that inspired Winston Churchill in WWII and was the poetic national anthem of the Black Power Movement. The brother Googled the poem on his cell phone and thanked me, then scraped up enough money for a used copy of the 60s bible Black Fire, which he had no knowledge about.

    I departed the Flea Market early to attend a viewing of Fruitvale, the film about the murder of Oscar Grant by the BART police on New Year's Day. I attended the film with my friend and her 9 year old twin boys. After stopping for dinner, we got inside the theatre a few minutes after the movie started.

    After it was over, we all decided we didn't need to wait around to see the little part we had missed. We exited the theatre in a somber mood, as the film intended us to do, or shall we say as the story would have us do.

    Although we are thankful to those who made the movie possible, it seems to me it deleted a powerful element in the Oscar Grant story which is the masses of people who mobilized, marched and rallied, yes, at my classroom, 14th and Broadway, and Frank Ogawa Plaza, renamed Oscar Grant Plaza by the
    people.

    Although I appreciated the focus on Oscar Grant, leaving out the mass response was like leaving
    out the chorus in a classic Greek play. After all, it was the people, the masses, who came alive after his murder by the white racist BART police, who spent eleven months in jail for killing a Black man while America was happy to see quarterback Mike Vick spend five years in prison for killing dogs! Alas, America has always cared for and  treated its dogs, animals and pets better than it has treated North American Africans. During slavery we were fed a diet of animal food now called Soul Food that is the cause of our obesity and resulting diseases such as high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and a host of other illnesses.

    The film let us know Oscar Grant was not a Boy Scout, that he had a criminal past, yet he was trying to uplift himself and be a responsible father of a half Latina daughter. The depiction of Afro-Latina relations should help ease some of the tension between Blacks and Latinos. The new demographics suggest a more positive relationship is possible between individuals in these two ethnic groups while tension may remain in the political/economic arena. We are not so romantic as to think because there are interracial marriages or relationships between Blacks and Latinos that all is well or shall be well, just as interracial marriages between Blacks and Whites has not fundamentally changed racial disparities or
    racial harmony. Alas, my sister married a white man who called her his "Nigger bitch."

    We know those same so called liberal whites who marched and rallied for Trayvon Martin in Oakland today and across the country will simultaneously cause gentrification or "Negro Removal" from San Francisco to Harlem and have no shame about it! Remember Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail, "I'd rather be with the KKK than phony white liberals!"

    After we departed the Grand Lake Theatre and stopped by Lake Merritt for a much needed breath of air, one of the nine year twins said Oscar Grant should not have resisted. His mother chided her son for seemingly taking the side of the police or right wingers. But I told his mother, on one level, her son is right because it's about the Tone Test when stopped by the police, not to mention when in a situation with another Black man as well. But as per the police, the Tone Test says one of three things can happen when a Black man is stopped by the police: (1) killed, (2) arrested, (3) released. All this is determined by the Black man's tone of voice. Years ago, an Oakland police officer revealed there was a tone test in the Oakland Police Department. The officer, a former student of mine at Mills College stated this in the Oakland Tribune, but the Chief (Hart) denied it.

    The murder of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin are clear indicators that North American Africans are at war with America and until this battle is resolved there shall be thousands of Oscars and Trayvons, after all, they are casualties in a war, not about drugs, but about human beings who have every right to live as full human beings, to pursue happiness, freedom and, most of justice!

    We appreciate the producers of this film, although it was not all that we wanted, but it is most certainly better than nothing and it brings Oscar Grant out of the dustbin of history, while so many other Oscar's shall languish there, yes, the many thousands gone that we shall never hear about.

    Let us end with the mystical: Oscar Grant died on New Year's Day, the most dreaded day in the life of a North American African slave: it was the day slaves were auctioned, bought and sold, separated from mother, father, family, a day of horror and dread. Thus this is a day North American Africans should never celebrate but should sing sorrow songs for our ancestors who were bought and sold on this day.

    On the other hand, the metaphysical had a answer for the New Year's Day murder of Oscar Grant. On March 23 or the Spring Equinox, i.e., the African New Year's Day, that same year of Oscar's murder,
    Novell Mixon killed four Oakland police in a shootout that took his own life. Fritz Pointer, brother of Oakland's famed Pointer Sisters, said on the Mixon shootout, Oakland masses received an "obscene pride" after years of police abuse under the color of law. I AM OSCAR GRANT!
    --Marvin X
    7/20/13
    Oakland







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    Dear Friends and Family,
    Please join us on Friday, July 26th, 6pm at Geoffrey's Inner Circle, 410-14th Street, Oakland for an opportunity to share your feelings and get involved in addressing the crisis of our time.
     

    Let your friends and family know about this event...Bring information about actions and initiatives that you are working on that address education, housing, jobs, spiritual practice and any other solution to what is tearing our community apart. Blessings to you!
     
    As the nation and Oakland demand justice for Trayvon Martin, The Brotherhood of Elders, an Oakland-based inter-generational cadre of Black men (from 18 to 80) working for social justice and empowerment, is sponsoring a very special community forum & healing circle about solutions to gun violence in our community. Tragic and senseless violence in our communities MUST stop and we are the ones to stop it.

    The evening will feature youth & elder voices, spoken word performances, short films, and a specific Anti-Violence Action Steps to transform our community.

    Let's turn this moment into our movement!

    CONTACT:
    Gregory Hodge
    KHEPERA consulting


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    Wellness Coach Alfredo Ennis assists Marvin X and woman work out. On Thursday Marvin X participates in the BV/Hunters Point Black Men's Wellness Day. He will discuss Transcending Black Rage.

    photo Michael Bennett, Wellness Director, BV/Hunters Point YMCA

    "The most revolutionary thing a Black man can do is lose 30lbs!"
    --Geoffery Grier, San Francisco Recovery Theatre

    FREE One-Day Health Day for Men
    sponsored by the BVHP YMCA Physical Activity and Nutritional Wellness Program
    Thursday, July 25, 2013


    All Adult African American Men are invited to attend
    Joe Lee Recreation Center and Gymnasium
    1395 Mendell Street, San Francisco
    10:00 am to 2:00 pm
    10:00 am – Sign-In and Fitness Activities in the Gymnasium
    ·        basketball
    ·        gym boot camp
    11:15 am – 12:00 pm – Healthy Lunch,  Guest Speaker 
    12:00 – 2:00 pm – Discussion:
    ·        Transcending Black Rage to Black Wellness
    ·        Ten steps to being a Man and Finding Spiritual Balance
    ·        Health screenings’ for high blood pressure
    ·        What to eat (and not eat) as a diabetic
    ·        Preventing prostate cancer
    PLEASE JOIN US à  and Bring a Friend à Come and participate in this Wonderful Opportunityà Benefits include Male Camaraderie, Healthy Lunch and Invaluable Health Tips that May Save Your Life

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    At the suggestion of Stanford University, Marvin X's Community Archives Project has hired an independent appraiser to assess the Drs Nathan and Julia Hare archives. Since Stanford told Marvin his price was somewhere between art and science, a price recommended by poet Amiri Baraka, Oakland Post Publisher Paul Cobb advised Marvin to ask Stanford the names of three independent appraisers they have used.

    Marvin selected a man who was associated with his agent, Peter Howard,  who sold Marvin's archives to the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley. Peter Howard is now deceased (RIP). When told of the independent appraiser, Dr. Nathan Hare said, "He's not a poet, I hope!" "No, I don't think so," Marvin replied, but he is well aware of Dr. Hare and deeply appreciates and respects his contribution to Black Studies, sociology, psychology and journalism. The agent was also aware of Marvin X's writings, recalling one of the poet's first books, Black Dialectics, 1967.

    While assessing the Hare archives this week, the agent praised Marvin for his organization of the materials. The appraiser is also agent for the sale of the Geronimo Ji Jaga archives.





    Marvin X, Dr. Julia Hare, Dr. Nathan Hare and Attorney Amira Jackmon, Legal Agent of the Community Archives Project.



    Community Archives Project founder and director, Marvin X and his adopted aunt, Dr. Julia Hare

    photos Johnny Burrell


    It has been suggested the price is too high, but after a life of de facto house arrest and black or rather white listing, why should the Hare archives go for peanuts, especially when the collection is substantial, over 200 cartons of letters, manuscripts, unpublished articles and published articles in popular and critical journals, notes attached to news clippings, margin notes in books, records of his clinical psychology practice, photos, notebooks, speech notes and drafts, published articles in magazines, newspapers and books, including his collection of Black Scholar Magazine, of which he was the founding publisher,  awards and honors, audio and video tapes, hundreds of floppy disks, etc.

    And let us not leave out the public career of his wife, Dr. Julia Hare, known as the female Malcolm X. One need only view her performance on Tavis Smiley's State of the Black World. Both are living legends of the movement toward better male/female relations. They founded Black Male/female Relations magazine, Kupenda or Black Love groups. The subject of Nathan Hare's psychology dissertation was Black Male/female relations. Their 57 year marriage is testament they know how to have successful male/female relations and should be honored for demonstrating Black Love Lives (Nisa Ra film).


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



    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

    Marvin X. Jackmon, M.A..
    Senior Agent, Community Archives Project
    510-200-4164
    339 Lester Ave. Suite #10
    Oakland CA 94606



    Description


    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.



    ‪Background


    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.


    Publications


    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.


    The following is not a complete description of the archives
    Extent: Number of containers: 200 cartons

    Howard University, 1 carton

    San Francisco State University, 2 carton

    Awards and Certificates, 3 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

    Manuscripts,

    Drafts


    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

    Finance

    Practice

    Misc. articles

    SF State University, Black Studies

    Who’s Who books, 

    Address books, 

    Message books, 

    Misc. magazines

    Programs

    Black Think Tank books





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    Al Fitnah Muhajir


    When you enter

    Strange cities

    Be silent

    In the streets

    But speak

    With all

    You meet

    And you will see

    As the people see

    The poor people

    Are very rich.


    When you enter

    Their homes

    Eat with them

    Or they will hate you

    But eat not

    That which will kill you

    Even if they insist

    For you have been taught

    By the Great Teacher

    And they know Him not

    May even mock Him

    To your face

    But cool your voice

    They will submit

    When they meet Him

    When they see Him

    In you.


    When you love

    Peoples of the world

    Rivers are nothing

    Between you

    And strange tongues

    A soulful tune.

    Salaam, salaam.

    --Marvin X


    published in Negro Digest/Black World, Sept/Oct 1968





















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    Man Without a Country
    From Marvin X Court Speech, September 9, 1970

    The United States of America has no right to try me as I am not a citizen of the United States, having renounced my so-called citizenship December 7, 1967, before the US Consulate in Toronto, Canada, because the USA has, by action and inaction, deprived me and my brothers and sisters, the 30 to 60 million so-called Negroes, better known as Asiatic Black People, of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    I say I renounced my so-called citizenship, for just as wood may remain in the water for ten years, but never become a crocodile, even though I was born in these hells of North America, it was never my desire to be a U.S. citizen. My U.S. citizenship was forced upon me and my people by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. constitution which made us U.S. citizens in name only, the right of self-determination was not given to us, consequently, we have enjoyed the status of free slaves ever since--the world knows we have never been treated as first class citizens.

    Now the U.S.A. has the arrogance to find me guilty of refusing induction into the racist, fascist army of America-to fight in most savage war in history, as U.N. Secretary-General U Thant has described it.

    Not only is it against my nature and religion to fight someone who has not attacked me, but even asking me to serve, with prison as the consequence of not serving, is a violation of the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which supposedly abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except under imprisonment.

    I also maintain that the U.S. Government has no right or authority to try me since I was kidnapped in a conspiracy between the U.S.A. and the British Colony of Honduras and brought within the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts, against my will and in violation of international law.

    Finally, since I am not a U.S. citizen, in fact, never was a U.S. citizen, and have no desire to be a U.S. citizen, I demand that the U.S.A. deport me at the earliest possible date to the country of my choice, either to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, S.A., the Republic of the Sudan, the United Arab Republic of Egypt, the Democratic Republic of North Vietnam, the People's Republic of North Korea, the People's Republic of China or the Republic of Cuba.

    I further demand the immediate release of all political prisoners held in the numerous jails and prisons of America.

    All Black prisoners are political prisoners--Blackness is the most profound political reality in America!

    Peace through prolonged struggle!

    Marvin X. (Jackmon)
    San Francisco County Jail
    September 9, 1970





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    catlett 3 catlett 4



    Dear Marvin:

    Hope you and your loved ones are doing fine. I wanted to clarify a situation about the sculpture in Sacramento: The people from the "Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission" bought the "Sojourner"
    sculpture in 1998, for an irresistible price from my Mother. Legally they can do what ever they want with the sculpture as it belongs to them ( not to the State of Californianot the Federal Government, not the Mayor of Sacramento). Morally they have a compromise with the public (they say they are fixing it).


    You showed interest on this piece for the city of Oakland. What we could do is make a new one for  the city of Oakland. It would cost approximately $280, 000.00 $ US, that would be for production and transport. setting in location,  producing a platform and mounting the piece, it would have to be payed by the people in Oakland.


    It would be beautiful if this project could lift off. It would have to be organised on your side as I do not know the contacts. Let me know what you think.
    Peace Brother and a warm hug.


    David Mora Catlett

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    The most revolutionary thing a Black man can do is lose 30 pounds!
    --Geoffery Grier, SF Recovery Theatre





    August 5, 2013


    Dear Community Members:


    On behalf of the Bayview Y, I want to extend a huge THANK YOU for participating in our First Men’s Health Summit held at Joe Lee Gym on July 25, 2013.  We were thrilled to have had such a great turnout from our D10 community.  Thanks to your participation and the contributions of our community partners, the Health Summit featuring a day of physical fitness activities, blood pressure testing, a nutritional lunch, a guest speaker and health information workshops, was a huge success.  

    We were very fortunate to have had distinguished guest speaker, Dr. Albirda Rose’s father, share with us his life experience and information about African American health issues.  We owe special thanks to Joe Lee Gym for providing space for the event.  We also want to express our gratitude to the American Heart Association for conducting free blood pressure screenings for all participants and to Goodwill Industries for providing job training referrals and information.  Finally, we’d like to thank Jason Bell and Project Rebound for attending and providing information on opportunities for higher education at San Francisco State University for the formerly incarcerated; Marvin X of the Academy of da Corner for giving out complimentary copies of his books, and Geoffrey Grier of Recovery Theatre for leading the nutrition workshop on eating with diabetes.  It was a beneficial, educational, uplifting and wonderful event for our D10 community, thanks to your participation and the collaborative efforts of our community partners.


    With the Summer winding down, we are planning a special event –an End of Summer Healthy Community Day Celebration:

               

    End of Summer Healthy Community Day Celebration

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    MLK Pool and Playground

    10 am – 2 pm


    We look forward to seeing you on August 14 for our End of Summer Healthy Community Day celebration.  More information on that event to follow.  Your participation with the Bayview Y and the D10 Health and Wellness program is invaluable and greatly appreciated. 

                                                                                 

    Sincerely,



    Michael Bennett, Bayview Y
    Director of Material Activities and Nutritional Wellness



    Brothers softball team at Wellness boot camp

    Women's aerobics class at the Wellness boot camp

    Marvin X setting up Academy of da Corner booth at Black Men's Wellness Day

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    Reflections of a 

    "Human Earthquake" Victim



    Meet Marvin X

     
    Marvin X in Harlem, NY, 1968
    photo Doug Harris

       I’m sure we all have those teachers from our past who have impacted our lives. Some have encouraged us to dig deep within and unleash untapped potential. Some have inspired us to think beyond our little world and reach new heights. I can’t remember, though, very many teachers who have shocked me into a dizzying stupor, made me laugh, then ultimately made me love them for their unbridled “Hootspa” (or as we were fond of saying in my hometown….“Huevos”)

    Meet Marvin X

       I believe it was the fall semester of 1982 when I walked into the first day of my English class. I was attending Kings River Community College in the small, heavily Mennonite town of Reedley, CA. Our quaint little town was your typical white-bread, very conservative, farming community. So when we all took our seats and noticed that our instructor was not your typical white, middle-aged teacher with patches on his jacket sleeves, but was in fact an african american man, staring us down, we were all a bit off of our game.
       “Hello, welcome to my English class. My name is Marvin X. My legal name is Marvin Jackmon, but I don’t use that name because that was given to me by some white slave owner”! The classroom did a collective head scratching, while some more disturbed students got up and walked into the wall several times, then returned to their seats and joined the head scratching asking panically “Um…your just a sub, right??”
       Everyday in Marvin X’s class was like a field trip though a box of Cracker Jacks. There was always some prize waiting for our small town J.C. minds to grapple with. Mr. X always encouraged lively conversation and I took full advantage of that, because we all know that asking a thousand questions equals a passionate interest in the subject which equals a passing grade!!!!
       The thing I love most about him was that he loved…no, he fed on tossing little “shock and awe” bombshells our way. Which was always followed by that jubilant grin and sparkle in his eye’s. He kept taunting us that some day he would share some of his poetry with us. But he warned us, “My poetry is really “street” …so I’m not sure your ready for it”.
       Several more weeks passed, full of lively conversations, debate and complete pandemonium swirling through our young impressionable little minds. Finally, one day he came to class and announced that we were now officially ready for one of his poems. Once again, he reiterated that his poetry was pretty “street” and not for the faint of heart. We did a collective gulp and nodded our heads.
    This poem is called…
    (wait for it)

    Confession of a Rapist”

    (Oh dear Lord!!….um…uh…OK,, I can handle this! I can be street…or at least avenue)
    He looked up with that sly grin and glimmer in his eyes, then proceeded with the opening line…
    I took the P***Y”
    (we’re not talking about sweet little kittens here, folks.)
       He just piloted his Enola Gay B-29 and dropped a bomb (a “P” bomb at that) amongst us citizens of Hiroshima Junior College!
       Visualize those old black & white films of Atomic bomb testing somewhere in the deserts of Nevada. The “Shock Wave” was so insanely intense, our faces were wobbling and contorting to the massive G-forces, that I’m pretty positive not one person heard another line from that poem. Outside, after class, we quickly and hastily put together an emergency Triage unit to asses the damages and re-attach any limbs or brain matter that may have needed attending to.
       Some fellow Christian students from the class were discussing the possibility of assembling a mob with torches and pitch forks, the likes of your typical Frankenstein movie. We soon realized that we were all fine. A little shaken, but fine.

       Oddly enough, there was maybe one complaint in class from a student, and he very patiently and lovingly discussed it with us. In the end, we all came through it like old trench buddies. Mr. X helped lift, perhaps rather firmly, us out of our little comfort zones.

       In the last few remaining weeks of class, we had several more great conversations and debates. One sunny day he even held class outside under a tree and we studied the book of Job from the Bible. I believe he said he loved it because it read like a screenplay. He had lots of great insight and challenged us daily.

       There are only a handful of teachers from my two and a half years of college (and no degree to show for it) that I have maybe a millisecond of memory of them. Mr. X, however, made such an impact on me that his memory is burned into the synapses of my brain. Was he shocking? Yes! However, even more, he loved reaching through to us. He made us think….really think!

    Before I began writing this, I Googled him. Sure enough, there he was…
     

    with that sly grin and glimmer in his eyes!
    Thank you, Mr. X!


    Comment Marvin X:

    Let me thank all those beautiful students who attended my English class at Kings River College, 1982. I had the time of my life, but my academic career ended there, even though I received a 97% retention rate. I simply no longer desired to teach again. It is indeed ironic that my career ended not far from where my life began in Fowler, Ca., a few miles down the road from Reedley. My mother was also born in Fowler but never went to Reedley because the town was too racist. 

    But during my brief tenure at Reedley, the students treated me royally, bringing me gifts of fruits, vegetables and herbs from their farms. Two of my greatest poems were written during this time, i.e., For the Women and Black History is World History. My students, nearly all White and/or Chicano, did research papers on Black History is World History. One of my Black students was from an Alabama town that hanged  his friend from a light post during the semester. Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. But I am humbled by the reflections of my student from Reedley Community College, aka Kings River College.

    Save the Date!

    In March, 2014, Marvin X will give the keynote address at the Black Arts Movement Conference at University of California, Merced, produced by Kim Macmillan, PhD candidate. Marvin X is the senior consultant for the conference, featuring Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Ishmael Reed, and others. The conference will highlight the works of Central Valley writer Sherley A. Williams, critic, novelist, playwright and professor at the Fresno State University and University of California, San Diego. Marvin X and Sherley were lovers and budding writers at Edison High School, both member of the Drama Club and Life Members in CSF or the Honors Society. Sherley's critical work Give Birth to Brightness is an examination of the Black Arts Movement and how the Blues influenced the radical BAM tradition.

    Marvin X turned away from academia to teach on the street corners of America, although he still speaks to university stude


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