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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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    photo Gene Hazzard

    Dear Friends-
    A project that I began more than 10 years ago has finally reached completion and will be released in a few weeks! Many of you have followed the progress of this project and I am excited to finally share the finished product.

    Hip Hop: The New World Order is an archival documentary I produced & directed that explores the global impact of Hip Hop in 8 international cities: Tokyo, Havana, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro, & Johannesburg and shot between 1998-2002.

    This film has truly been a labor of love and has been put on the creative shelf many times over the years while I focused on other projects i.e. Nike, Graduate Studies in Ghana, Sun in Leo, Frank White, and more recently Mahadevi!! Interesting enough technology has finally caught up with my global vision. Keep in mind there was no itunes, netflix, facebook, twitter, etc. back in ’98. So now I can share the film with the world!!

    In addition to releasing the film through an amazing new digital platform called Distrify, I will also launch a promotional international tour and return to the cities of production (and a few others) to re-connect with the artists and communities featured in the film. 
    I NEED YOUR SUPPORT! Here are 5 Ways You Can Help!

    NYC Folks I’ll be hosting a screening/tour kickoff party on Sunday, 8/18 at The Thompson LES Hotel!  RSVP

    Thank You in advance for your continued support! It means so much.

    Kind regards,

    muhammida el muhajir
    sun in leo, inc.
    f: sun in leo
    t: @suninleonyc

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    Mr. and Mrs. Marvin X in a central valley grape field.

    Wow is all Quita Kirk, mother of nine year old twin boys,  can say about her husband, Marvin X. After reading his writings for the first time, she said Wow! His writings took her to new vistas in her thinking--she wanted to read more, so she sought him out. After meeting him, all she could say was Wow!

    When he invited her to accompany him out of town on business, she had no idea the business would be their wedding, a hastily arranged affair organized in two hours. The bride was as surprised as the guests, the poet's close friends in the central valley town of Fresno. She had thirty minutes to find an outfit and get to the restaurant of former Nation of Islam official Nadar Ali who found a Sunni Muslim Imam to officiate the ceremony. Marvin's friends, Mrs. and Mr. Rashid Easley and Mr. and Mrs. Ovis Collins, received a call from Marvin telling them to meet him at the restaurant at 6pm for the ceremony.

    Mrs. Collins said she didn't think Marvin was serious but she got dressed to be there on time, actually she and Ovis arrived at 6:03. The imam soon arrived with this entourage and the ceremony began. Receptions are planned for the Central Valley and the Bay Area ASAP.

    Salaamu Alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu,
    Trully all praise is due to Allaah, we praise him and seek only his help and forgiveness.  We also seek refuge wit Allaah from the evil of our nafs(carnal desires) and from the evil of our actions.  Those whom Allaah guides(to Islaam) none can lead astray, and those whom he leads astray, NONE can guide.   I bear witness that there is NO God but ALLAAH(The One) who has no partna's, and I bear witness that Muhammad(sas) is his slave and Messenger.  amma ba'd........................ 3:102 "O ye who believe! Fear Allaah as he should be feared, and die NOT except in a state of Islaam(ie, Muslim)"      4:1 "O Mankind! Fear your Lord who created you from a single soul(Aadam) and from that soul created it's mate(Eve), and from those two(Aadam and Eve)  he created many men and many women.  So fear Allaah through whom you demand your Mutual rights, and do not severe the ties of kinship.  For verily Allaah is ever watchful of ALL that you do.."   33:70-71 "O ye who Believe!! Fear Allaah and Always speak the truth.  Thus he will rectify your deeds,  AND Forgive you of your sins. And he who obeys Allaah AND his Messenger has Indeed achieved a Great achievement......"     Trully the best speech is the speech of  Allaah(the Quraan) and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad(sas)[his sunnah]),  and the worst of all matters is those things that are innovated by the people, for every innovation is a Bid'a, and every Bid'a leads astray, and that which leads astray is in the Fire.........
    As Muslims, we are Commanded to fulfill our obligations as Human Beings to worship our Lord that created us..51:56 " And I(Allaah) created not Jinn(unseen spirits) and Mankind except that they worship me..."   In this obligation Allaah gives us rules and regulations in how we live our lives.  

    One of the major aspects of Life is the common welfare of society.....Either we are builders in society, or we are destroyers.....Marriage is a major factor that brings about harmony in our societies.  Not only is it Positive for society, but it is COMMANDED by Allaah.   24:32 "MARRY  those amoung you who are single, and those who are Pious and righteous amoung ur slaves.  and IF u are poor(don't worry) for Allaah will provide for them from his Bounties.  For Allaah is all Sufficient and Knowing(for his slaves)"......... 

    So we see from this verse that Marriage is Mandatory in Islaam and a thing that is encouraged.   It safeguards family structure, and protects us from illicit acts.   Fornication and Adultery are some of the leading Destroyer's in society.  They bring about chaos, broken homes, not knowing who one's parent's are, and/or even DEATH!!!   For many Domestic disputes today deal wit cheatin', baby-daddy/mamma dramas, suspesions, and playin Games.   Marriage(TRu marriage) eleviates all that.    Now the question is: Who do i marry, and How do i do it?.................Allaah states in Quraan 30:21 "And amoung his signs(miracles) is that he('Allaah) created for you from ur ownselfs(the rib from Aadam) a  mate/Wife so that you find in her Sakeena(peace/tranquility), and he also made between you  two Love and Mercy.  

    Verily in This(the makin' of a soul-mate) is a Sign for those who reflect.."  Thus when one gets married, it is wit the intent of finding this love, mercy,tranquility, and peace!!!  this is the tru essence of marriage, not argueing, cheatin', deceit, games etc   but to the contrary the total opposite,,,,,,Thus when we get married, this is the intent and the goal.......Allaah tells the man...MARRY  the chaste amoung the woman, those not seeking boyfriends, or those who are promiscuous.  

    Be they Muslim, OR Jews and Christians  (5:5)   in hadith the prophet(sas) said, "And marry the woman for (4) four reasons 1.) beauty    2.) wealth  3.) family status  and  4.) for her Deen(religious conviction)   thus MARRY the one for her DEEN otherwise you'll be a Loser!!"   thus when a man marries, it should be that he marries for this reason, as well as fulfilling his obligation to his lord.  

    For the prophet(sas) said, "Marry, for it is 50% of your Deen(religion), fulfill this half and he'll make the other half easy......and wit regards to the woman, she is to follow this same pattern as well...In the time of the prophet(sas) there was a woman who presented herself to the prophet(sas)[ie, asked his hand in marriage]  his first wife Khadijah inquired about the prophet(sas) because she was pleased wit his caliber and his good the same applies today....the woman should seek  out the God-fearing and he that will teach her and be a good example.  

    Money, Looks, Family Status etc. do not matter in Islaam.  To the contrary, it is these things that will have us loosin' IF they are the sole basis of getting married.      As stated above(24:32) money  shouldn't be the factor, or the reason for Not gettin married.  For Allaah states that IF you get married, it is HE that will provide for you both(for ur obediance)  Also in hadith the prophet(sas) was going to marry this man and woman, but before he did he asked the man,"What do you have to give her as a wedding gift?"  the man said that he had NOTHING to give because he was a poor man,  the prophet(sas) thus asked, "do you even have a iron ring?" he(the man) said, "No," wherein the prophet(sas) asked him, "How much Quraan do you know  by hard[memorization]," the man said,"I know such and such surah's[chapters]," the prophet(sas) then said," 

    Then TEACH HER these surahs (verses of Quraan/Deen) and THAT will be ur wedding gift to her..."  ALLAAHU AKBAR!!!  so we see that Allaah makes things easy for us, it  is only Mankind that make things hard......
        So now that we know Who it is that we wish to marry, now the question is How do we perform it, and What are the rights and Obligations to both the Husband and Wife........
    For the HUSBAND- Allaah tells us in Quraan that the Men are the Maintianers and protectors of the Women.  That they are the Head of the, and that they have certain obligations upon them.......they are to provide(according to their means), protect, and safequard their wives.....this includes(clothing, food, and shelter)   this is his duty, but yet at the same time if the woman Waives these areas, then that is suffice as well....the man is never to hit the woman in the face, nor oppress or abuse her, but to treat her wit respect and honor...he is to respect her family, and be the leader in her learning and in how she conducts her self in the land......he should never deny her intimancy in the bedroom unless for a valid reason, and should talk to her wit respect and honor.....
    For the WIFE-  Allaah tells us that the Best Women are those that are Obediant and submissive to their husbands...she must obey him in all that he advices UNLESS he tells her to do something opposing to the Quraan and the Sunnah....the prophet(sas) said in hadith, "If Allaah would have commanded anyone to be Worship any one than him, it would have been the woman towards her husband..."  not that he is a God but to show his Right and honor......she is to respect her husband by not talkin over him, downplayin him, and respectin' his honor, property, and reputation....she is also to Guard her Chastity in his presence, and in his absence,,,,,,,she is also to honor his home by NOT allowing anyone he disapproves of in her house....she is to beautify herself for him and never deny her bed from him......she can work if she wishes and all her monies is her's unless she wishes to give to her husband.....she is NEVER to be alone with one who is NOT her husband(for the 3rd is shaytaan)_ nor should she tell her husbands businesss......
    with any disputes that they(the husband and wife) have, they are to bring about 3rd parties to reconcile and find and solution..........etc etc
                             THE CEREMONY
    a successful marriage   AMEEN......................................
    The wedding itself consists of 1.) an Imaam (one who conducts the wedding) 2.) A Walee for the Bride(one who safeguards the women's rights at the time of the wedding, preferably her father, brother, uncle etc. one who gives her away at the wedding,   but if they are not Muslim than the Imaam will be sufffice and 3.) at least (2) two the time of the wedding, a Mahr/Dowry(wedding gift) is giving.....whatever the bride and groom agree upon that will suffice(be it knowledge, a ring, some oil, or whatever) as long as she agrees then that will suffice.......   this ceremony can be done in person, in the visiting room, over the phone long as AFTER the wedding it is announced to the masses, the Wedding is Valid.      

    Also after the wedding it is Sunnah to give a dinner..this is called and Waleema,,,,,it can consist of a Lamb, or even some rice, dates etc whatever can be afforded......No blood test is needed in Islaam, for all that is needed is the witnesses and the witness of Allaah to the wedding......this wedding will be binding and valid in the site of Allaah, and should be held as such...Marriage is serious in Islaam, thus there is no  room to play wit it................Insha'Allaah this will suffice you in the process of gettin' married in Islaam......there is of course much more but insha'Allaah this will suffice for  now.....if you have any questions feel free to ask or Email..........May Allaah bless you both in this journey, and may he blesss you with 
                                                 Salaamu Alaykum,   
    your bro. in this Deen.......Abdul-Walee Al-Fresnauwy

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  • 08/16/13--00:39: Mrs. Marvin X

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    Dear Marvin X,

    I write to you on behalf of Prof. John Bracey Jr. (UMass Amherst),  Prof. James Smethurst (UMass Amherst), and Sonia Sanchez.

    Your work is considered to be included in the forthcoming book "S.O.S  - Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader". Please,  find attached the editors letter and the permission form(s) for the  publication of your contribution(s). You can sign the form(s) and  return a copy to us electronically by responding to this email and/or  to the mailing address indicated in the letter.

    Please, confirm or inform us about a valid mailing address where the  letter can be sent to.

    We greatly appreciate your contribution.


    Flávia Santos de Araújo

    PhD Candidate - Department of Afro-American Studies
      University of Massachusetts
      326 New Africa House
      180 Infirmary Way
      Amherst, MA 01003

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                                            Paul Cobb and Marvin X, childhood friends in West Oakland
    photo Walter Riley

    See You Sunday…
    Geoffrey Pete
    410 14th Street
    Oakland, CA 94612
    510-839-7911 (fax)

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    "Americans are afraid there will be riots, like there were after the King verdict in 1992. But we should not fear riots. We should fear a society that puts people on trial the day they are born," writes Sarah Kendzior [Reuters]
    When I was a child I watched policemen beat a man nearly to death, and I watched my country acquit them. I was shocked that police would attack a man instead of defending him. I was shocked that someone would record the attack on video and that this video would mean nothing. I was shocked that people could watch things and not really see them. I was shocked because I was a child. I was shocked because I am white.
    Twenty-one years after the Rodney King verdict, Americans have proven again that in a court of law, perception matters more than proof. Perception is rooted in power, a power bestowed upon birth, reified through experience, and verified through discrimination masked as fairness and fact.
    Trayvon Martin is dead and the man who killed him walks free. Americans are afraid there will be riots, like there were after the King verdict in 1992. But we should not fear riots. We should fear a society that puts people on trial the day they are born. And after they die.
    Recession-fueled racism
    The Trayvon Martin trial was not supposed to happen. This is true in two respects. The Trayvon Martin trial only took place because public outrage prompted Florida police to arrest George Zimmerman, the man who killed him, over a month after Martin's death. The Trayvon Martin trial took place because that same public went on to try Martin in his own murder, assessing his morality like it precluded his right to live. It was never a trial of George Zimmerman. It was always a trial of Trayvon Martin, always a character assassination of the dead.

    Over the past few decades, the US has turned into a country where the circumstances into which you are born increasingly determine who you can become. Social mobility has stalled as wages stagnate and the cost of living soars. Exponential increases in university tuition haveerased the possibility of education as a path out of poverty. These are not revelations - these are hard limitations faced by most Americans. But when confronted with systematic social and economic discrimination, even on a massive scale, the individual is often blamed. The poor, the unemployed, the lacking are vilified for the things they lack.
    One might assume that rising privation would increase public empathy toward minorities long denied a semblance of a fair shot. But instead, overt racism and racial barriers in America have increased since the recession. Denied by the Supreme Court, invalidated in the eyes of many by the election of a black president, racism erases the individual until the individual is dead, where he is then recast as the enemy.
    Trayvon Martin was vilified for being "Trayvon Martin". If he were considered a fully human being, a person of inherent worth, it would be the US on trial. For its denial of opportunity, for its ceaseless condemnation of the suffering, for its demonization of the people it abandons, for its shifting gaze from the burden of proof. The Trayvon Martin case only sanctioned what was once tacit and disavowed. A young black man can be murdered on perception. A young black man becomes the criminal so that the real criminal can go free.
    Americans should not fear riots. They should fear a society that ranks the death of children. They should fear a society that shrugs, carries on, and lets them go.
    A tragedy
    A friend of mine on Facebook posts updates from a website called " Black and Missing but Not Forgotten ". The site exists because the default assumption is that a black and missing child will be forgotten. It exists because the disappearance of a black child is considered less important than the disappearance of a white child. It exists because a large number of Americans has to be reminded that black children are human beings.
    New video in racialised Florida killing
    In June, the Supreme Court invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act , stating that "our country has changed", implying that discrimination against African-Americans was a thing of the past. In May, the city of Chicago shut downmajority black public schools. In April, a black high school student, Kiera Wilmont, was prosecuted  as an adult after her science project exploded. In February, The Onioncalled nine-year-old black actress Quvenzhane Wallis an extremely vulgar name. The US that proclaims racism a thing of the past abandons and vilifies black children.
    Many Americans, of many races, will be outraged that George Zimmerman has gone free. They will advocate for tolerance and peace. This is a noble sentiment, but what the US needs is a cold, hard look at social structure. We need to examine and eliminate barriers to opportunity, some of which are racially biased in an overt way, but many of which are downplayed because they are considered ambiguous social issues - social issues, like decaying public schools, low-wage labor and unemployment, that affect African-Americans at disproportionate rates.
    Trayvon Martin was murdered before we could see what kind of person he would become. But the truth is, he had a hard road ahead of him no matter what he did. He would have confronted an America of racial and class barriers that even the most ambitious young man cannot override without a good deal of luck.
    In a US of diminished opportunities, luck is nothing to bank on. Neither is hope, or dreams, or the idea,espoused by President Obama, that for young black men, "there's no longer any room for excuses". Trayvon Martin shows that there is plenty of room for excuses. There is even more room for social and economic reform, for accountability, and for change.
    Above all, there is room for responsibility. The death of Trayvon Martin is a US tragedy. He was part of a broken system we all experience, but that black Americans experience in ways white Americans cannot fathom. The children who grow up like Trayvon Martin, discriminated against and denied opportunity, are everyone's responsibility. Providing them a fairer, safer future should be a public priority.
    Americans should not fear riots. They should fear apathy. They should fear acquiescence. They should not fear each other. But it is understandable, now, that they do.
    Sarah Kendzior is an anthropologist who recently received her PhD from Washington University in St Louis.
    Follow her on Twitter:  @sarahkendzior

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  • 08/18/13--07:34: The Egyptian Tragedy

  • Diop taught us there is no African tragedy, only comedy, thus in the end we know all shall be well for the Egyptian masses. At this hour things look bleak in the land of pharaohs. For sure the deposing of the Muslim Brotherhood regime will not bring power to the people but power to elements of the previous regime of pharaoh Mubarak in the form of the US supported military who claims it got rid of the first democratically elected president in Egyptian history in the name of the people, but if we follow the money trail, we know President Morsi was rolling on the money grabbers in the military who control the economy. Thus what is happening in Egypt is about economics not politics. The military has long been in control of the economics and were not about to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to displace their fundamental role as autocrats. 

    The Brotherhood won the election because it was the best organized, but elements of the old regime, including the military and judiciary, had no intention to allow it to rule uninterrupted. The Brotherhood slogan was Islam is the Solution and it had every right to carry out its plans for an Islamic society. This was its democratic right, if we truly believe in such, but we know money overrides  politics in the real world. Even the 1.3 billion dollars from the USA does not match the 12 billion promised from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, so the army went for the biggest pot under the guise of fulfilling a mandate from the ignorant masses.

    For sure, Egypt is a nation divided between urban liberals and rural based Islamists. The military has sided with the liberals in a deceptive move that shall soon reveal their true mission to restore business as usual, i.e., to placate the West and other reactionary forces in the geopolitical game, namely Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states. 

    Time has proven any suppression of the Brotherhood shall be short-lived. Nassar, Sadat and Mubarak tried suppression yet they survived and we predict they shall overcome the present morass. We pray next time around they will broaden their perspective to include a true desire to consider a more inclusionary regime. 

    Fundamental Islam is a reaction to colonialism and neo-colonialism. What is needed is an ideology that includes a recognition of Islamic culture in the political realm. Turkey might be an example. 

    Western liberalism will find little room in the so called Arab Spring, for the West had proven itself too hypocritical and malevolent, a contradiction to itself and its so called long espoused principles of freedom, justice and equality. The Arabs are quickly discovering Western style democracy, including the right to vote, is not the panacea for what ills their world. More than anything, the Arabs need justice, a sharing of the wealth and human dignity for all, including men and women. They need not ape the West because the West has yet to impart true freedom, justice and equality to the descendants of Africans who were victims of the American slave system. Alas, America has no intention to provide a living wage to its citizens, whether white, black, brown, gay/lesbian or straight. America shall continue its futile mantra of global free trade, aka, wage slavery. America should thus prepare for its own Spring,

    for as with the Arabs, dissatisfaction demands change. 

    America has never been an honest broker in the Middle East but has sought to suck oil from the region

    so greedy Americans can drive their gas guzzlers down freeways bumper to bumper. She tells the Palestinians to make peace with Israel but we know without justice there shall never be peace!

    America suffers a myopia so severe she will not even declare a coup has taken place in Egypt  when the entire worlds knows what happened. This refusal to acknowledge reality is the tragic flaw America suffers and we know from the study of classic drama that self destruction is the ultimate result of such hubris. This addiction to delusion for political expediency shall come to haunt America like that whirlwind Marcus Garvey predicted!

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    Alice Walker disinvited from University of Michigan over ‘Israel comments’
    Submitted by Ali Abunimah 
    Thu, 08/15/2013 

    Alice Walker speaks in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
    (Lazar Simeonov / TEDxRamallah)
    World-renowned American author Alice Walker has been disinvited from giving a speech at the University of Michigan because a donor objects to her views on Israel, the agent negotiating the contract was told.

    Walker, the Pultizer Prize winning author of The Color Purpleposted on her blog an excerpt of a letter from the agentinforming her that the invitation to keynote the 50th anniversary celebration of the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan had been withdrawn.

    The agent wrote:
    I’m saddened to write this because I’m a proponent of free speech and have been brought up to allow everyone to have their say. But I also realize that there are other considerations that institutions are faced with. This afternoon I was contacted by the University of Michigan instructing me to withdraw their invitation due to the removal of funding from the donors, because of their interpretation of Ms. Walker’s comments regarding Israel. They are not willing to fund this program and the university/Women’s center do not have the resources to finance this on their own. They are deeply regretful but I wanted to let you know immediately either way. I hope you can appreciate the fact that I’m uncomfortable even having to send this email in the first place. Hopefully we can work together again down the road. Thanks for understanding. I wish things had turned out differently.
    Calling the withdrawn invitation “Censorship by Purse String,” Walker wrote, “Such behavior, as evidenced by the donors, teaches us our weakness, which should eventually (and soon) show us our strength: women must be in control of our own finances. Not just in the family, but in the schools, work force, and everywhere else. Until we control this part of our lives, our very choices, in any and every area, can be denied us.”

    Walker is listed as one of the speakers represented by the American Program Bureau agency.

    Alice Walker not “optimum choice”

    Gloria D. Thomas, director of the Center for the Education of Women, acknowledged that Walker had been disinvited, but said that the matter was a “misunderstanding.” In an email to The Electronic Intifada, Thomas wrote:
    The [Walker’s] blog was a result of an unfortunate misunderstanding. As director of the Center for the Education of Women (CEW), I decided to withdraw our invitation because I didn’t think Ms. Walker would be our optimum choice for our 50th anniversary.

    Our 50th anniversary funding is assured. All donations, for this and other events, are accepted with no provisos or prohibitions regarding free speech. In fact, in a conversation with one of Ms. Walker’s friends/representatives, I indicated that I would be willing to speak with other units around campus to serve as a possible co-sponsor for a lecture by Ms. Walker in the near future.
    Asked if a speaker had been chosen to replace Walker, Thomas wrote, “No contract has been signed yet. This information will be made available on our website once the contract is confirmed.”

    Walker: supporter of Palestinian rights

    In recent years, Walker has become increasingly outspoken in her support of Palestinian rights, sometimes likening Israel’s abuses to the Jim Crow racist system she grew up with in the southern United States.

    Walker has written about her visit to Gaza, and participated in the June 2011 solidarity flotilla that attempted to reach the territory besieged by Israel, which led to her being demonized by the Israeli army.

    Her position on boycott has also been deliberately distorted by Israeli media.

    Walker has campaigned for other artists, most recently Alicia Keys, to respect the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

    In her letter to Keys, Walker wrote:
    I have written over the years that explain why a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions (not individuals) is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major “crime” is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own.
    Could Walker, one of the most celebrated figures in American letters, now be paying the price of refusing to be silent about Palestine?

    Poems for Palestine, Egypt, Syria by Marvin X and Mohja Kahf

     PALESTINE by Marvin X (Imam Maalik El Muhajir)

    I am not an Arab, I am not a Jew
    Abraham is not my father, Palestine is not my home
    But I would fight any man
    Who kicked me out of my house
    To dwell in a tent
    I would fight
    To the ends of the earth
    Someone who said to me
    I want your house
    Because my father lived here
    Two thousand years ago
    I want your land

    Because my father lived here
    Two thousand years ago.
    Jets would not stop me
    From returning to my home
    Uncle toms would not stop me
    Cluster bombs would not stop me
    Bullets I would defy.
    No man can take the house of another
    And expect to live in peace
    There is no peace for thieves
    There is no peace for those who murder
    For myths and ancient rituals
    Wail at the wall

    Settle in "Judea" and "Samaria"
    But fate awaits you
    You will never sleep with peace

    You will never walk without listening.
    I shall cross the River Jordan
    With Justice in my hand
    I shall return to Jerusalem
    And establish my house of peace,
    Thus said the Lord.
    © 2000 by Marvin X (Imam Maalik El Muhajir)

    After Friday Prayers

    Egypt: After Friday Prayers

    After Friday Prayers
    After salat
    al humdulilah
    we shall meet in the streets
    to shout no more pharaoh
    no more presidents for life
    no more American aide for guns and tear gas
    no more uncle abdullah
    no more
    no more reactionary theology
    no honor killings
    suppression of women's dignity
    no more
    after Friday prayers
    in Tunisia
    Saudi Arabia
    Persian Gulf
    no more
    after Fatihah/Ikhlas
    we shall meet the guns of Pharaoh Mubarak
    we shall meet the tear gas
    even death even
    we shall meet
    and go to paradise
    for freedom
    we have no fear of Pharaoh's guns/tear gas
    no fear no more
    we are mostly young and invincible
    we have the model
    we shall meet in the streets
    to live again
    to breathe
    to love
    to take control of our lives
    to feed our families
    to fly in the sun of freedom and liberty.
    --Marvin X


    To Egypt With Love

    Dedicated to my son, Abdul El Muhajir (Darrel P. Jackmon, RIP)

    He studied at the American University in Egypt
    fell in love in Egypt
    some Ghanian ambassador's daughter
    told him don't give no woman keys to your apartment
    he never did
    not even the ambassador's daughter, he told me
    he loved Egypt
    spoke the language
    graduated UC Berkeley in Arabic and Middle Eastern Literature
    said the Africans were slaves throughout the Middle East
    Arabs took their passports
    making them slaves
    racism was pervasive
    yet understandable

    they are not the aboriginal Arabs
    not the Arabs of Sabah
    Queen of Sabah's land
    who ruled from Canaan to Jerusalem to the Persian Gulf
    Queen of Sabah
    who fascinated King Solomon

    My son loved Arabic, Persian
    Fulbright fellowship to University of Damascus
    Syrian intelligence  interrogated him daily
    why was he hanging around those filthy Palestinians
    Why did he swim at the American embassy 

    Dad, they tried to recruit me for the C.I.A
    Mormons controlled the US Embassy
    wanted me to be a Mormon

    Toward the end my son became a Mormon
    lived with Eldridge Cleaver
    himself a Mormon, for a time
    said Eldridge got strange phone calls
    from strange people
    we know Eldridge was dr. strangelove

    The Ghanaian woman came to see my son in Cali
    I do not know what happened
    but she went home

    In the end he loved a Portuguese woman
    he loved Brazil
    said he wanted to live in Bahia
    dance Condomble 

    a man of the world
    at his funeral came his friends
    no black man no black woman
    Asians whites
    after all
    he was a man of the world
    what could he say to a nigguh in the ghetto
    his travels to Africa, Egypt, Jerusalem, Brazil,Japan, what could he say to a ghetto nigguh
    In Japan, he said they teach the women to say three things:
    yes, thank you and I'm sorry
    Japanese woman he got pregnant said no to his black baby
    so she could go home in peace
    family told her don't bring no black baby home.

    Abdul loved the Middle East
    loved Persian
    the rhythms of the language
    poets who dervish.

    Egypt may fall today tomorrow
    my son will be pleased
    Pharaoh Mubarak is no more
    the regime is history
    what a story to tell my son
    who walked into a train
    in his midnight madness
    Dr. Hare said he was like Malcolm and Martin
    he was 38, they were 39
    he self destructed
    suicide and homicide is the same
    different sides of the same coin.

    Let Egypt arise for the sons and daughters who have suffered
    a long suffering that has come to an end.
    Mubarak a page in history
    a pitiful note in the eternal song of a people.
    --Marvin X

    Two Poems for the People of Syria

    Oh, Mohja
    how much water can run from rivers to sea
    how much blood can soak the earth
    the guns of tyrants know no end
    a people awakened are bigger than bullets
    there is no sleep in their eyes
    no more stunted backs and fear of broken limbs
    even men, women and children are humble with sacrifice
    the old the young play their roles
    with smiles they endure torture chambers
    with laughs they submit to rape and mutilations
    there is no victory for oppressors
    whose days are numbered
    as the clock ticks as the sun rises
    let the people continue til victory
    surely they smell it on their hands
    taste it on lips
    believe it in their hearts
    know it in their minds
    no more backwardness no fear
    let there be resistance til victory.
    --Marvin X/El Muhajir

    Syrian poet/professor Dr. Mohja Kahf

    Oh Marvin, how much blood can soak the earth?

    The angels asked, “will you create a species who will shed blood

    and overrun the earth with evil?” 

    And it turns out “rivers of blood” is no metaphor: 

    see the stones of narrow alleys in Duma

    shiny with blood hissing from humans? Dark

    and dazzling, it keeps pouring and pumping

    from the inexhaustible soft flesh of Syrians,

    and neither regime cluster bombs from the air,

    nor rebel car bombs on the ground,

    ask them their names before they die. 

    They are mowed down like wheat harvested by machine,

    and every stalk has seven ears, and every ear a hundred grains.

    They bleed like irrigation canals into the earth.

    Even one little girl in Idlib with a carotid artery cut

    becomes a river of blood. Who knew she could be a river 

    running all the way over the ocean, to you,

    draining me of my heart? And God said to the angels, 

    “I know what you know not.” But right now,

    the angels seem right. Cut the coyness, God;

    learn the names of all the Syrians.

    See what your species has done.

    --Mohja Kahf

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    Economics is the cause of much homicide in America, especially in the hood. Prez Obama promises jobs, education and housing for young men if they stop the violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, why not the same for the boyz and girlz in the hood?
    --Marvin X

    Oakland Gang Shooting in Broad Daylight Captured on Dashboard Camera (+Video)

    An apparent gang shooting in Oakland was caught by a driver’s dashboard camera as the driver drove past the two men shooting across the street.
    The gunmen fire their guns at least 15 times during the shooting, which happened in West Oakland last Wednesday (August 14).
    The driver, who wants to stay anonymous, decided to drive past through the hail of bullets to get away from the scene, at the intersection of 23rd Avenue and East 23rd Street.
    “I was scared to death. I feel unsafe to live in Oakland,” he said.
    At least six people were near the intersection, reported CBS
    “It’s really disturbing and alarming that this continues on a daily basis,” said Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo, who lives near the shooting scene.
    Gallo said criminals are becoming more reckless because Oakland officials are not letting Oakland police officers become aggressive to stymie the crime. 
    The video emerges as the Oakland Tribune reported that 12 people were shot in less than 24 hours over the weekend, and 3 of those people died.
    “We need to have the political will to put the social structures in place so that people also know that they will not get away with these crimes,” Councilwoman Libby Schaaf told the Tribune. “To end the ‘no snitching’ culture. To have an adequately staffed police force. To continue to be the voices that help guide people to make better decisions.”
    In one incident, a man who was caught breaking into a car outside a hair salon on Telegraph Avenue came back with a gun and shot the four people at the salon in broad daylight.
    “He had to be out of his mind,” Dwayne McCarther, a co-owner of the salon, said of the shooter. “These guys don’t care anymore.”

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    Long live revolutionary Black Art. General Amnesty for America's 2.4 million political prisoners!
    --Marvin X

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    Please support the world tour of Black Power Baby Muhammida El Muhajir (daughter of Marvin X and Nisa Ra)! Send the sista a dollar, please!

    Global Hip Hop Documentary launches International Screening tour in Europe & Africa's freshest cities!
    View this email in your browser

    Global Hip Hop Film launches International Screening Tour in Europe & Africa's Freshest Cities

    The documentary “Hip Hop: The New World Order” was shot in eight cities—Tokyo, Havana, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg—over a span of four years 1998-2002 has mushroomed into a rare archive and video survey of pioneering artists and communities at the turn of the 21st century.

    The film features a cast of international all-stars including, Questlove (The Roots), Method Man (Wu Tang Clan), DJ Muro (Tokyo), Roots Manuva (London), Marcelo D2 (Rio de Janeiro), & Oxmo Puccino (Paris), the pioneers in each of their respective locales who have all emerged as global cultural icons!

    Trace Urban HD/Trace TV, the #1 intenational urban channel will serve as the global media partner to promote the international screening tour in over 80 countries covering Eastern and Northern Europe, Middle East & Asia, France, English Speaking Africa - South Africa & Nigeria.

    "I'm thrilled to finally release Hip Hop: The New World Order and have the opportunity through the partnership with Trace TV, to expose this important documentation of international hip hop history with artists and communities around the world," says director, Muhammida El Muhajir, who traveled on many guerilla style solo missions to capture this groundbreaking work.

    The Tour launches in Berlin on September 7, 2013.

    9/7 Berlin, Germany

    9/8 Amsterdam, Holland

    9/10 Paris, France

    9/11 London, England

    9/12 University of Oxford, England

    10/24 Accra, Ghana

    10/28 Johannesburg, South Africa

    10/XX Lagos (TBA), Nigeria

    10/XX Capetown (TBA), South Africa
    Hip Hop is Global
    Watch the Video
    ***** 1 ratings 87 views
    TRACE Urban is the #1 international urban music channel. TRACE Urban gives a unique insight into urban music and culture and airs the most popular urban music genres focusing on the latest in R&B, hip-hop, dance, rhythmic pop, & reggaeton. Since 2003, TRACE has launched 15 successful pay-TV and digital platforms that are available in 160 countries to more than 80 million subscribers.
    JOIN US A TOUR PARTNER + Connect with global media, artists and cultural influencers. MORE INFO

    Media Inquiries + More Info, Contact: Rory Dawes
    Contribute $10 To Support the Tour Fundraising Campaign!
    Twitter @hiphopisglobal
    Twitter @hiphopisglobal

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  • 08/20/13--18:13: Letter from Da Prez

  • Hello, everybody --
    Michelle and I know exactly how tough it can be to pay for higher education. By the time we finished paying back the loans we took out to go to college and grad school, I was on my way to being a U.S. Senator.
    I believe that anyone who works hard should have the same opportunities that our educations gave us. That's why, as President, I've made it a personal mission to make higher education more affordable -- and why I'm going to be visiting school campuses later this week.
    The facts are clear. Over the past three decades, the average tuition at a public four-year college has more than tripled. At the same time, many state governments are actually reducing their support for education, and many middle-class students are getting stuck with the tab. Today, the average student taking out loans to pay for education graduates with more than $26,000 in debt.
    Just tinkering around the edges won't be enough: To create a better bargain for the middle class, we have to fundamentally rethink about how higher education is paid for in this country. We've got to shake up the current system.
    That's why, starting Thursday, I will be embarking on a bus tour to offer my plan to make college more affordable, tackle rising costs, and improve value for students and their families. My plan includes real reforms that would bring lasting change. They won't all be popular with everyone --including some who've made higher education their business -- but it's past time that more of our colleges work better for the students they exist to serve.
    Over the past four and a half years, we've worked to put college in reach for more students and their families through tax credits, improving access to financial aid, and new options that make it easier to repay those loans.
    But if we're going to keep the doors of higher education open to everyone who works for it, we need to do more -- much more. And that's exactly what I'm going to be talking about this week.
    So learn more here, then help to spread the word:
    President Barack Obama

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    Geoffrey Pete
    410 14th Street
    Oakland CA 94612

    510-839-7911 (fax)

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  • 08/20/13--21:04: Parable of Iraq

  • Friday, April 16, 2010

    Parable of Iraq

    The war in Iraq has not begun. It shall begin when the Americans leave--now what day might that be? They are still in Germany, Japan, and elsewhere. They ain't in Vietnam, ha? But in Iraq,they have merely opened Pandora's box. As they draw down, the spiritsshall dance in the desert winds.The Shia have power they've never had before, not since before the martyrdom of their imams after
    the death of the prophet. The Shia say to hell with the democratic process, there shall be Shia power until they see fit to share power with the Sunnis, their oppressors and eternal theological enemy.The Sunni must receive the big payback! They must suffer justice for theyears of domination and destruction of Shia culture. Why should theyshare equal power after years of oppression. 

    When a man beats his wife, he loses a certain power, his stature is reduced, his rights curtailed. His wife will say, you blew it buddy. You're lucky I didn't kill you in your sleep. We have seen the sectarian battles in Iraq. But we ain't seen nothing yet. Of course the sectarian is in reality geo-political.

    The Sunni neighbors in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf states have no intention to allow Shia power to rule unobstructed, without sabotage at every turn, especially since the Shia are theological and geo-political brothers with Iran.

    The Sunni will do as they have been dong since the US invasion: collaborate with the US, while at thesame time undermine the Shia at every turn. The Shia can be destroyed because they are not considered real Muslims. Just as Sunni Muslims donot consider the Nation of Islam real Muslims. They barely accept thefollowers of Warthideem Muhammad as real Muslims, after all, what do niggers know about Islam? This racism is no different than Christianracism. One o'clock Friday is the most racist hour in Islam, just aseleven 0'clock Sunday is the most racist hour in Christianity.

    The Sunni/Shia conflict is an eternal contradiction that cannot be resolvedexcept by political domination, or politics by other means, as in war.The Shia are in a mode of expansion, from Iran, through Iraq to Lebanon, orfrom the Tigris and Euphrates to the Mediterranean. 

    The Sunni will attempt to block them, and the Zionist and Christian America shall assist as they are doing at this hour.They will do so under the guise of stopping Iran's nuclear program. 

    The Sunni/Zionist/USpropaganda machine is in high gear preparing the world for thedestruction of Iran, but the real purpose is not their fear of IranianNukes, but Shia geo-political expansion. 

    Of course what we are witnessing is the rise of the Persian empire. Even with theirreactionary theocracy, the Iranians/Persians have outflanked the Sunni regimes by supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, thus earning the respect ofthe Arab masses suffering under the yoke of reactionary Sunni Muslim regimes.

    The Iranian theocracy does not have clean hands, but they do stand closer to the Arab masses than the oppressive Sunni governments. America's mission is, of course, oil, oil, oil. She doesn'tgive a damn about Sunni or Shia, only as pawns in the game ofgeo-political/economic hegemony. 

    As per America, even the Zionists are expendable. In the end, she will give up support of the Zionist for a barrel of oil! She will give up her mother for two barrels!
    --Marvin X4/16/10

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    I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice....

    King's famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail," published in The Atlantic as "The Negro Is Your Brother," was written in response to a public statement of concern and caution issued by eight white religious leaders of the South. It stands as one of the classic documents of the civil-rights movement.

    "Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]"

    16 April 1963
    My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
    While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

    I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

    But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

    Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

    You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

    In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation.

    Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham's economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants--for example, to remove the stores' humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" 

    We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

    Then it occurred to us that Birmingham's mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene "Bull" Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer.

    You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

    One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. 

    My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.
    We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

    We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. 

    There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."

    Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. 

    Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

    Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. 

    Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

    Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.
    I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

    Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.
    We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws.

    I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

    In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

    You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of "somebodiness" that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best known being Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro's frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible "devil."

    I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the "do nothingism" of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as "rabble rousers" and "outside agitators" those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies--a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.

    Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. 

    If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. 

    So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." 

    Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

    I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some -such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle--have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. 

    Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as "dirty nigger-lovers." Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful "action" antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. 

    I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.
    But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.

    When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.

    In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.

    I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.

    I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"

    Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.

    There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are.

    But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

    Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. 

    Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. 

    We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America's destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation -and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. Before closing 

    I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence." I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.

    It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."

    I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: "My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest." They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience' sake. 

    One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

    Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?

    If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.
    I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

    Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, 

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

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    For the complete Marvin X audio/visual archives, contact him directly. For Bobby Seale interviewed by Marvin X, please go to It's About Also, see

    Collection Guide
    Collection Title:
    Collection Number:
    Get Items:
    Marvin X audio visual collection.
    Motion Picture 1102 D:1-27; Motion Picture 1103 E:1-21; BANC CD 686 :1; Phonotape 4011 C:1-29; ...
    Collection Overview


    Marvin X audio visual collection


    X, Marvin, 1944-, creator


    Video and sound recordings of performances (One Day in the Life, Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, In the Crazy House Called America, etc.), radio appearances, video of Eldridge Cleaver memorial, Bobby Seale audio interview, audio interviews with Nisa Islam Muhammad and other items.


    ca. 1980-2003 (issued)


    X, Marvin -- 1944- -- Archives
    Cleaver, Eldridge -- 1935-1998
    Seale, Bobby -- 1936- -- Interviews
    Baraka, Amiri -- 1934-
    Muhammad, Nisa Islam
    African American poets -- 20th century
    African American dramatists -- 20th century


    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright holder. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright holder.
    List of contents available. Shelved as Motion Picture 1102 D Notes.

    Physical Description:

    27 videocassettes, 21 dvds, 20 cds, 29 sound cassettes




    Motion Picture 1102 D:1-27
    Motion Picture 1103 E:1-21
    BANC CD 686 :1
    Phonotape 4011 C:1-29
    BANC CD 686 :8
    BANC CD 686 :9
    BANC CD 686 :10
    BANC CD 686 :11
    BANC CD 686 :14
    BANC CD 686 :15
    BANC CD 686 :16
    BANC CD 686 :17
    BANC CD 686 :18
    Motion Picture 1102 D:1-27
    Motion Picture 1103 E:1-21
    BANC CD 686:1-20
    Phonotape 4011 C:1-29



    Copyright Note:

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright holder. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright holder.

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