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- 09/01/13--03:29: _Michelle Alexander ...
- 09/01/13--03:56: _Common Dreams on Sy...
- 09/01/13--04:47: _Get On Board The Wh...
- 09/01/13--07:38: _Sam Cooke "Chain G...
- 09/01/13--07:50: _Marvin X at Yoshi's...
- 09/01/13--09:04: _Parable of the fami...
- 09/02/13--07:04: _Save the Date: Sank...
- 09/02/13--07:23: _50th Anniversary of...
- 09/02/13--16:00: _Bibliography of Mar...
- 09/02/13--17:56: _We mourn, grieve bu...
- 09/04/13--13:08: _Pearl Cleage: Conve...
- 09/04/13--13:54: _From the Archives: ...
- 09/04/13--19:38: _Poet Mohja Kahf spe...
- 09/04/13--20:42: _Marvin X Replies to...
- 09/05/13--07:51: _Black Left Unity Ne...
- 09/05/13--08:48: _World War III--Russ...
- 09/05/13--09:48: _From the Archives: ...
- 09/06/13--11:22: _Marvin X still Alive
- 09/07/13--00:00: _Call for Rallies ag...
- 09/07/13--06:22: _Film Review: 12 Yea...
- 09/01/13--03:29: Michelle Alexander and Parable of Woman in the Box
- 09/01/13--04:47: Get On Board The Wheel (Part One)--Master Fard came from India!
- 09/01/13--07:38: Sam Cooke "Chain Gang"
- 09/01/13--07:50: Marvin X at Yoshi's San Francisco Part II
- Interview with James H. Cone about Black Theology
- Read an excerpt from A BLACK THEOLOGY OF LIBERATION
- 09/02/13--16:00: Bibliography of Marvin X
- 09/04/13--13:54: From the Archives: Marvin X interviewed by Lee Hubbard
- 09/04/13--20:42: Marvin X Replies to Poet Mohja Kafh on the Syrian Revolution
- 09/05/13--07:51: Black Left Unity Network on Syria
- 09/05/13--08:48: World War III--Russian warships en route to Syria
- 09/06/13--11:22: Marvin X still Alive
The only way to end mass incarceration is with the general amnesty, brought about by mass protests that demand the release of the millions of prisoners who suffer drug addition as well as mental illness, plus most of them had no or poor legal representation at their trials. Alas, there are very few rich men in prison! The bankers guilty of money laundering billions of dollars in drug money merely paid a fine, equal to a week's money laundering of Mexican drug money.
Image the little brother doing ten years for a few rocks of cocaine! There is no justice in the justice system. Long live the California prison strikers who refuse to eat. Love live Comrade George Jackson.
We love you, Michelle Alexander and Angela Davis, Women out the box of Americana!
--Marvin X, Editor, Black Bird Press News & Review
Parable of the Woman in the Box
We suspect Master Fard was from India since his theology as per messengership aligns with the Ahmedia Muslims of India who claimed a messenger after prophet Muhammad. The Ahmedia are persecuted because they are not considered true Muslims, just as the NOI is not considered true Muslims. But what is a true Muslim? Show me a true Muslim and I will save the whole town! Elijah said his best followers were not in the mosque but in the street. A true Muslim might be a dope fiend or prostitute or killer, no matter that you do not consider them such, but who are you to judge? Yo shit might be a quart low, check your dip stick!--Marvin X
16th Street Baptist Church bombing
Marvin X, 1972, Black Educational Theatre, SF
With respect to Marvin X, I wonder why I am just now hearing about him-I read Malcolm when I was 12, I read Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez and others from the BAM in college and graduate school-why is attention not given to his work in the same places I encountered these other authors? Declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because recontextualizing it will add another layer of attention to his incredibly rich body of work. He deserves to be WAY better known than he is among Muslim Americans and generally, in the world of writing and the world at large. By we who are younger Muslim American poets, in particular, Marvin should be honored as our elder, one who is still kickin, still true to the word!--Dr. Mohja Kahf
Bibliography of Marvin X
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This work is scheduled for publication sometime next year. For more information write to Marvin X @ University of Poetry/Black Bird Press, 11132 Nelson Bar Road, Cherokee CA 95965. firstname.lastname@example.org / 510-472-9589.
Writers are welcome to submit a critical essay on the writings of Marvin X for consideration.
Why don't you who are able, send a generous donation to make this work possible. If you believe in what I am doing and have been doing for the past forty years, put your money where you mouth is and send a generous donation to Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94606. May Allah bless you.
Happy birthday Malcolm!
Preface of father o f Muslim American Literature Introduction Dedication Contents The Contributors Bibliography of Marvin X
posted May 22, 2005, chicken bones.com/www.nathanielturner.com
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For more on Marvin X at Fresno State University, check out the archives of Gov. Ronald Reagan and FSU President Frederick Ness. Google has ample entries for Marvin X. Visit his blog:www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com . Email him at: jmarvinx@yahoo. com. His books are available from Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94702, $19.95 each. For speaking engagements, call 510-200-4164.
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An Interview by Lee Hubbard
As word spread about Marvin's Recovery Theatre, many younger people began to discover Marvin's controversial work, which during the 60s prompted Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, to ban Marvin X from teaching at state universities.
Lee: Tell our readers about your Recovery Theatre.
Marvin: It is a continuation of my work in the Black Arts Theatre. Recovery Theater is a present day Black Arts Theatre. Black Arts was about healing from oppression. Recovery Theater is about healing from drugs and/or oppression. Drug usage is caused by oppression. It is a symptom of a greater problem. I don't care if you are poor or rich, you can still be oppressed.
Lee: Tell me about your book In the Crazy House Called America.
Marvin: I thought I would offer a prescription to get out of the crazy house or, if not to get out of it, to transform the crazy house and turn it into a mansion. The prescription is like Frantz Fanon said, ’You have to fight your way out of the crazy house to sanity.’ That is the only way that the oppressed man and woman can regain their mental health, through revolutionary struggle and challenging the diagnosis that he isn't sick. Oppression is a sickness. That you allow yourself to be a slave is a sickness. It is a form of mental illness. We become passive.
Lee: So your book has the cure?
Marvin: Well this is what people who have read my book say. It is prescription for action to get up and do something. It is part of the African American literature tradition of how I got over and how I survived, how I made it from Hell and back. It is a lesson that everyone can learn from. If I did it, why can't you? I had gone from the poorest street in America to the richest street in the world, Wall Street. My national tour was a manifestation that there are many mansions in my father’s house, because everywhere I have stayed, I was in a mansion.
Lee: In your book, you talk about your life on drugs. Explain to our readers how a very literate and educated revolutionary man could get hooked on crack.
Marvin: That is very simple. I am going to say it in the words that my father used. He said, ’You are so smart that you outsmarted yourself.’ I outsmarted myself, and I played with fire. And I got burned. There was no excuse. I can give you some, but the critical Negroes in New York said that no excuse is acceptable for what happened to me, Eldridge and Huey and other so-called revolutionaries. They say we betrayed the revolution for drugs, when we knew the source of drugs, and we knew the danger of drugs and the destructive power of drugs. I am just lucky to come out alive in contrast to Huey and Eldridge, my buddies, who I smoked dope with who did not make it out. I wrote about this in my play, One Day in the Life.
Eldridge Cleaver and Marvin X
Lee: Why did you write your book, and what can younger readers get out of it?
Marvin: I wrote it to help save humanity from insanity, because White people are just as crazy if not crazier than Black people. For example, the brothers and sisters in Houston asked me to set up a Recovery Theatre South in Houston. Immediately what came to my mind, more important than recovery from drugs, the South has to recover from racism. I wrote it about everyone, for Muslims as well as Christians. Muslims are sick with religiosity just as Christians are sick with religiosity, and ritualism and mythology. These are some of the causes of our current situation. If we recognize it, we can get a healing.
Lee: Looking back at your career, what do you think of the Black Arts Movement and your contribution to it?
Marvin: The Black Arts Movement was part of the liberation movement of Black people in America. The Black Arts Movement was the artistic arm. The time period we are talking about was from 1964 until the early 1970s. The Black Arts Movement was like a halfway house for brothers and sisters to get Black Consciousness and go from there into the political revolution.
For example, brothers came into the Black Arts Theatre that Ed Bullins and I had in San Francisco, and they got a revolutionary consciousness through Black art, drama, poetry, music, paintings, artwork and magazines. The same thing took place on the East Coast in Harlem at Amiri Baraka’s Black Arts Theatre. In Detroit, they had the Black Arts Movement with Rod Milner and producer Woody King. In Chicago, you had a crew with Haki Madhubuti, Gwendolyn Brooks, Hoyt Fuller. You had the same thing in the South with the Free Southern Theatre in New Orleans that traveled throughout the South and was connected with SNCC. There was a marriage between Black arts and the revolution.
Lee: What happened to this movement?
Marvin: Well, what happens to a dream deferred? It had to be destroyed. Black people were on the road to freedom. We had upped the ante with the Black Power/Black Arts movement, so we had to be stopped.
Lee: What happened with you and the Black Arts Movement?
Lee: Tell me about your relationship with Amiri Baraka?
Lee: What did you think of his poem controversy with the governor of New Jersey?
Marvin: I thought it was in the tradition of the Black Arts Movement. I think it was one of his greatest poems. He asked the question, Who. If you ask the question, you might get some answers.
Lee: So where is the revolution?
Marvin: The revolution is inside of the revolutionary. We thought it was outside in the 1960s. We thought we could free the people, but we did not free our families or ourselves. We abused our families. We neglected our families, yet still we were fighting revolution.
But there is no revolution without the family. There is no revolution if we beat our women half to death and neglect our children for an abstraction called freedom. That is why the rappers have gone crazy. They saw our contradiction in the Black Arts Movement. And so they rejected the aesthetics of the Black Arts Movement, and they have gone on to openly express perversions.
Movie Reviews by Marvin X on AALBC.com include:
Save the Date: March, 2014, the University of California, Merced, presents The Black Arts Movement, invited participants include Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Ishmael Reed, Dr. Nathan Hare and Marvin X. Marvin X will speak on the Black Arts Movement in the Bay Area. The conference is a Kim McMillan production; Marvin X is senior consultant.
Sonia Sanchez will discuss the new Black Arts Movement Reader: SOS--Calling All Black People, UMASS Press, 2014, edited by James Smethurst, John Bracey and Sonia Sanchez.
Without a doubt, those of us who consider ourselves politically correct in our ideological dogmatism, with our focus on the various factions can totally neglect the masses of true believers who only seek simple freedom, justice and equality, who are not steeped in religiosity or any other ideological framework. Yet in our diatribes we fail to mention the simple masses striving for a better day, not to be part of this faction or that, this sect or that, but simply a better day under the sun.
How is it possible that we focus on the geo-political game players of the East and West, who have long range plans beyond simple justice and a better day in the sun.
This is some kind of intellectual myopia that blinds us from seeing beyond the ideologues of the right and/or left. It is not to glorify the secularists or any other liberal faction confronting the Islamists or dogmatic sectarians, but we do indeed need to think about the simple masses that we never hear about in the news, who are somehow forgotten in the mad geo-political gamesmanship between East and West.
Let us them give at least a moments thought to the children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts who have lost so much in this struggle that has transcended simple democracy but is caught up in the mythology of the political elite with their agendas far beyond justice, freedom, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Let us give thought to the struggling masses, the six million internal and external refugees, the 100,000 dead, those grieving their dead and struggling to stay alive, those not of any ideological persuasion other than common justice and freedom that transcends narrow minded ideological and mythological notions grounded in political and religious dogmatism and sectarianism.
Some of Us Still Oppose U.S. Militarism: Statement from The Black Left Unity Network on Syria
It is both an irony of history and a reflection of the right-wing trajectory of U.S. politics and culture that on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington where African Americans and progressives took a stand for social justice, that U.S. warships are positioning themselves for yet another attack on a nation in the global South. This latest imperialist adventure being ordered by the country’s first “black” President.
The pending attack on Syria by the U.S. along with the second rate colonial powers of Britain and France are demonstrating once again that international law, morality and even commonsense are meaningless in the blind and desperate desire to maintain Euro-American global dominance.
We in the Black Left Unity Network, vigorously opposed the decision to wage war on the people of Syria. We remind the supporters of this action of the consequences of U.S. and NATO attacks on the sovereign state of Libya supposedly to save lives, with the result being the death of over 50,000 people!
It is only in the imagination of individuals whose consciousness has been infected with the disease of white supremacy and U.S. exceptionalism, that the idea that the United States, still the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet, as Dr. King so accurately stated, would have the moral authority to inflict a punitive strike on Syria for supposedly killing its own people.
We are clear that the war on Syria has nothing to do with any supposed concern for the lives of the people of Syria. If there were real “humanitarian” concerns for people facing oppression in the so-called middle-east then the U.S. would intervene in Palestine to “save” the Palestinians from Israel, liberate the people from the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, stand with the people fighting for democracy in Bahrain, cut off aid to the generals in Egypt and cease funding Al-Qaeda linked Jihadist groups in Syria.
The ten year U.S. imperialist led war in Iraq made clear, that the U.S. is not above lying in charging governments that it wants to invade with using or having weapons of mass destruction. Not only were there no weapons of mass destruction, According to the Cost of War Project, “the U.S. war against Iraq killed at least 190,000 people, including men and women in uniform, contractors, and civilians and will cost the United States $2.2 trillion.”
And in the U.S., August 29th marks the eight anniversary of the day Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States forever altering the lives of thousands of black working class and poor people forever, because the federal and state governments failed to allocate funds to repair substandard levees. Yet under Bush and Obama they found hundreds of billions to bail out the corporations. In New Orleans more than a hundred thousand majority black people who were transported and forced to flee out of the city in a blatant program of ethic cleansing never made it back to the city eight years after. In California thousands of largely black and Latino prisoners are refusing food to protest the inhumane conditions that many have suffered for decades and across the country a black person is gunned down by an agent of the U.S. police force every 28 hours as part of the continuous domestic War on black America. These are just a few of the “humanitarian concerns” that could be addressed right in the borders of the U.S. if there was a real concern for ending human rights abuses and protecting people.
But we are not naive, we know that the war being waged against black and brown people’s globally by the white West has one objective – to maintain the global structure of Western imperialism by controlling and dominating the populations of the world by force. That is why it is not ironic that across the U.S. funds are being cut for critical public services and social programs, claiming a lack of resources, while millions of dollars can be found to support whatever military mission is identified that advances the interests of the Euro-American oligarchy.
That is why opposing the corporate/State war machine of U.S. imperialism is not only a moral necessity but a strategic imperative that unites all who can still see though the ideological fog of a false humanitarian that conceals the true enemies of humanity – The U.S., its white supremacist Western allies and the oppressive governments they support.
Historically the U.S. black left has always taken a stand against U.S. imperialism from Haiti and Cuba through to the Philippines, Vietnam, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela and all of the countries in between. Today we continue that principled stand with clarity and an unshakable commitment to our belief in the possibility of a new global order liberated from the savageries of U.S. and Western imperialism.
As we fight against the U.S. War on Black America and build the Black liberation movement to strengthen this fight, we must mobilize opposition to all U.S. imperialist wars!
The poet was also asked to establish Recovery Theatre South by his Houston host, brother Omawali of the National Black United Front. On Friday, NBUF screened Marvin X's video THE KINGS AND QUEENS OF BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS, which features Amiri and Amina Baraka, Dr. Julia Hare, Dr. Cornel West, Phavia Kujichagulia, Destiny, Tarika Lewis, Elliott Bey, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Ishmael Reed,
Askia Toure, Rudi Wongozi, Rev. Cecil Williams, Marvin X and others. The poet read and answered questions for nearly two hours on every topic under the sun: the black arts movement, role and mission of youth in today's struggle, lack of unity, lack of reconciliation among 60s progressives and its effect on youth of today; will there be revolution without family unity; conflict between Panthers and other groups and within the Panthers, e.g. the conflict between Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver; between US and the Panthers. The poet said the rappers of today are our children, their behavior a direct reflection of our behavior during the 60s, 70s and 80s. They have our toxic waste.
He said the hip hop poetry readings are therapeutic for youth--peer counseling and a good thing but they must move to a revolutionary consciousness, get beyond the personal, although it is good to hear youth try to heal some of their wounds since many are without fathers and mothers--although they must come to terms with the fathers and mothers who abandoned them before any healing will take place. His daughter Nefertiti agreed with her dad that revolution must include caring for the family, the first unit of the community, although this reality was often forgotten during the 60s. We thought the family could be neglected for the abstraction called freedom.
We were dead wrong. We had it twisted.
On Saturday at Houston's Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, the National Black United Front hosted a forum on reparations. Keynote speaker was Att. Deadra Pellman who filed a lawsuit against corporations who benefited from slavery, including insurance companies. Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee presented a paper entitled "Making the Case for Slavery Reparations." Also on the panel was a sister who is a direct descendent of slaves and she told an eloquent story of her genealogy. In attendance were Mrs. and Mr. Omari Obadele, legends of the reparations movement and founders of N'Cobra, the organization that has spearheaded the call for reparations. The Nation of Islam was present, along with the New Black Panther Party of Houston.
Marvin X called for a general strike to go along with litigation and legislation--mass action to keep the pressure on the American people until we achieve self-determination and sovereignty. He said we should demand reparations for our ancestors if no one else. The poet described his train ride from South Carolina to Houston: as he looked out at the trees, the woods, the swamps, the marsh, the rivers, he thought about the many thousands gone, bones buried deep in the clay, in the creeks. He thought about the slaves who tried to escape but failed and the ones who did make it to freedom. For all these people, we must fight for reparations, and as Brother Kofi of NBUF noted, we must fight for compensation for the vestiges of slavery: our deplorable mental and physical health, our poor housing and now gentrification, lack of economic parity and educational opportunities. On another level, Marvin X noted that we are the 16th richest nation in the world (GNP), so even without reparations we have enough money to come up, if we use it wisely. We must take authority over our economic resources. The forum ended with Marvin X reading his poem "When I'll Wave The Flag."
Later that evening, the poet's daughter, Nefertiti, hosted a book party for her father, but because of the ENRON disaster many of the lawyers and MBAs present were unemployed and unable to purchase his book of essays, but they listened attentively as he read.
JUST GOT WORD FROM BROTHER MUHAMMAD AHMAD THAT OUR BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT POET, MARVIN X, HAS PASSED. "It is with great sorrow that we received news of the passing of brother freedom fighter, Marvin X and we of the Philadelphia Community Institute of Africana Studies offer condolences to his family.
brother muhammad ahmad and family"
The non-violent struggle led by Dr. Martin L. King Jr. was not for the election of a Black president that would continue the role of the U.S. that he called the World's Greater Purveyor of Violence.
While recognizing that many felt pride in electing Obama as the U.S. president, seeing it as a challenge against the capitalist system's white supremacy and racism that has denied Black people basic civil and democratic rights; Black people must not allow this to stop us from challenging the policies and pleas of Obama when they are not really different from those of George Bush, only with a different appeal and skin color. Dr. King said – not to judge people by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character (their actions). This must also apply for Obama.
Bush used Colin Power and Condoleeza Rice as figureheads to state that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, hoping that as Black officials whose people continue to be victimized by, and fighting against racism and injustice, could convince Black people and the world that the U.S. claims were truthful. Defending the corporate dictated and imperialist polices and decisions of Obama, is not challenging white supremacy and racism; it is allowing the structural attacks that causes the racist inequalities and domination to be deepened without a serious challenge from the most oppressed. As many are trying to rewrite the history of Dr. King and the civil rights and Black power movement, the BLUN calls on Black Activists across the country to mobilize and lead protest at the venues named after Dr. King, to speak out against the U.S. launching a military attack on Syria, and as a call to action to reclaim the real history and moral authority of the Black Freedom and human rights struggle.
The Black officials in congress and at all levels of government who are in those positions because of the leadership and sacrifices made by Dr. King and many others, must be called on to speak out and vote against the pleas by the Obama administration to launch an attack on Syria. The Congressional Black Caucus must express the will of the Black masses who want an end to the U.S. War on Black America and all imperialist wars throughout the world. People should be asked to call 202-225-3121 to reach your congressperson.
These rallies should highlight issues like the Zimmerman not guilty verdict for the racist profiling and murder of young Trayvon Martin, the high Black unemployment, cuts in funding for public education, mass incarceration, stop and frisk and police killings of Black people as examples of the War on Black America. Send in reports with photos of Black led rallies at the King and other venues to the BLUN listserv.
These rallies should raise the demand No war on Syria and Stop the War on Black America and other issues.
As for the graphic scenes of beatings, floggings and hangings, breakout star Lupita Nyong’o said, “It was hard to go there, but it was necessary.”
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