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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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    Black Bird Press News & Review: Invite Marvin X to Speak/Read for Black History Month, February 2014


    Marvin X will perform at New York University on Feb. 4, 2014, hosted by Amiri Baraka. Marvin X is available for booking in the New York area. Call 510-200-4164. Back on the west coast, he will speak at Fresno City College, Feb 24, 2014. The Fresno chapter of the NAACP will host an evening with Marvin X, Feb 15. March 1-2, 2014, he will participate in the Black Arts Movement Conference, University of California, Merced.

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    The hotspot in the global village is the Middle East, especially with the on going war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.  Of course this is simply the rise of the Persian empire and the demise of  Israel and Saudi Arabia along with her cohorts in the Persian Gulf and other Super Sunnis (Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, et al) in their eternal war with Shia Islam as represented by Iran or the Persians.


    We said long ago that the war in Iraq would not truly begin until the Americans departed, although there are still 16,000 American “contractors” hanging around the US embassy. We knew the Super Sunnis would never allow the Iraqi Shia Muslims to establish a stable regime, so the sectarian battle is just warming up with the Axis of Evil, America, Saudi Arabia and Israel fanning the flames of sectarian chaos in Iraq. Meanwhile the battle has now engulfed Syria with the same major players on the battlefield or supplying all the necessary men and weapons of war.  Events have spilled over into Lebanon, especially with the entrance of Hezbollah in the Syrian quagmire and the counter offensive by the reactionary Sunni forces now bombing and maiming in Lebanon.


    Those who are shocked to see Israel and Saudi Arabia uniting should have known they have always been in league otherwise Arab oil money would have closed down Israel decades ago and we would have seen an independent state called Palestine.

    Israel and Saudi Arabia are now even closer due to the recent   American/Iranian agreement  over nuclear weapons, although there are no facts the Iranians have such a program. 



    It is shameful and hypocritical that Israel has the gull to protest the agreement while she possesses  a nuclear arsenal free from inspection by the global village.  And the deaf, dumb and blind Americans suck the Zionist’s asshole, supposedly out of guilt for what Hitler did to them. Ironically, the Zionists are out doing Hitler with their treatment of  Palestinians who exist in nothing less than concentration camps in Gaza and the West Bank.


    Who do the Jews think they are, surely not God’s chosen—what God would have such devils for his children, only the God of  Evil.


    Why should not Iranians have the Muslim bomb? Jews have the Jewish bomb and Christian Americans have their bomb, so in all fairness and a level playing field, why should not Muslims, no matter what sect, have the Islamic bomb? For sure, the only people who have used such weapons of mass destruction is the white man upon the Japanese Asians.


    To prevent the Iranians from having such nuclear weapons is more reason for them to obtain such weapons, since it is clear there are those who want to subject others to nuclear blackmail, who want to be the hog with the big nuts while others must submit to them in the manner of stunted men and women, in the best condition of the colonized man and woman.


    --Marvin X
    11/27/13


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    Most North American Africans will rush to white supremacy stores to spend their hard earned "slave" wages with people who hate their guts and often spit in their faces while taking their money in the name of white supremacy. Surely we suffer White Supremacy Type II for spending our money with those who have no respect for us whether they are white, brown or yellow. And when Black businessmen or women don't treat us with respect, don't shop with them either.

    In our mental illness (we're in denial of course) we will spend thousands of dollars between Black Friday and New Year's Day --

    the most dreaded day in the life of Africans caught in the American slave system--the day we were sold on the auction block and separated from our loved ones, mates and children--therefore New Year's should be a day of mourning for our ancestors but we will party and bullshit and party and bullshit as the Last Poets said.
    --Marvin X
    12/1/13

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    Marvin,
     

    Just want to say E. Franklin Frazier was president of the American Sociological Association (then called the American Sociological Society until they realized the initials were ASS) in 1948. Six years later the Supreme Court Decision 1954. Then came Montgomery and Emmitt Till circa 1955/56.  Bourgoisie Noir (France, 1956). Black Bourgeoisie (1957). Sit-in movement, 1960, Freedom Riders, 1961. Frazier king if the hill at Howard in 1961. Five years later Black Power (1966), Howard rebellion they like to hide, 1967. Echo/building takeover in 1968 they like to applaud. If Frazier had been alive he would have been president of ASA twenty years before. It would take more than four decades (twenty-eight years after Frazier’s death) for another black person to be elected president of the ASA (1990), William Wilson, who today holds one of the top twenty professorships at Harvard. But Wilson does not have the quality of national fame and charisma that Frazier had in his final days at Howard. Frazier was a giant any university would be proud to have, although I overheard a conversation in the summer of 1960 when a white chairman of a leading sociology department suggested hiring him away from Howard but another professor remarked snappily that he didn’t’ “think he’d be happy around here.”  I’m sure Frazier had a l.ot of critics and distractors around Howard, but the University felt blessed. Having spent several years in Paris, he always wore a beret, the only one on the campus, at Howard, like some of the graduate students at the University of Chicago in the 1950s and S.I. Hayakawa at San Francisco State in the 1960s.

    Probably you were thinking of William Leo Hansberry, the popular Howard Africanist who allegedly got a lot of opposition and blocking of his advancement at Howard by Frazier, no less, other higher powers there whose identity is too vague to name at this time. It seems to have also been connected to the famous conflict between white anthropologist Melville Herskovits (The Myth of the Negro Past) -- who created the first African Studies (1947) and Afroamerican Studies (1957) programs in America -- and E. Franklin Frazier over the amount of African carryovers retained by the slaves and their progeny in America; with Herskovits taking the view more contemporaneous to the afrocentricity of black intellectuals today. Unfortunately Frazier almost got knocked out of polite black intellectual society by the anti-Moynihan anti-pathology strong-black-family mythology of the 1970s and early 1980s that dovetailed with the white feminist domination that emerged to obstruct inadvertently a forthright and uncompromising black intellectual focus on the prevention of black family decay as opposed to singing a song of African-oriented and derived black family strengths.

    But in the late spring of 1962, when Frazier died, Howard was much in the press over who in the world could they get to replace him. Meanwhile, there was one of his students, G. Franklin Edwards, who had largely been responsible for getting me there on behalf of one of his colleagues at the University of Chicago, Otis Dudley Duncan, in which they presumed my continuing focus on demography to provide data for the lucrative consulting work Prof. Edwards did for high level government agencies there in Washington. Edwards would eventually tell me it was his idea to take “Negro” out of the census and to make Howard 60 per cent white, though it was said during a conversation in which he was angrily discouraging my open criticism of them.

    While Edwards thought he should replace Frazier, Howard selected Daniel Thompson, a member of the New Orleans Creole elite from Dillard University who had just done a book that was getting a lot of media coverage, The Negro Leadership Class, as the best they could do to replace Frazier. But Edwards had enough pull (for one thing he was married to the daughter of one of the wealthiest black real estate tycoons in the city) to block the naming of Thompson as chairman, though Thompson came on to Howard as a professor, but at the end of the year he returned to Dillard, after which Edwards became chairman. I was telling you yesterday that Edwards and his friends had disliked The Black Anglo Saxons when it was published in 1965, but Frazier had praised the 1962 Negro Digest article by that name to his class in “The Negro in America“ (which required a small auditorium).

    The years went on and I happened circa 1987 to write an article on the destruction of the black male child for the New Orleans Tribune, a local black monthly vying to be national. The New Orleans Tribune was published by a Creole physician who was vice president of the Board of Education (and like Thompson, also one of the nicest individuals you lever met) invited me to speak to an audience convened by the Board, after which they had me to a lunch, and there Daniel Thompson was the speaker and said kind things about me publicly but told me privately that if he had been chairman he would not have handled my case the way Edwards did and I wouldn’t have been fired by Howard.  Not knowing all the details or the background that developed after his departure from Howard, Thompson seemed to be talking about my involvement in the “black university uprising” in the spring to make Howard “relevant to the black community and its needs” that was fomented by me and the Black Power Committee --- a campus student coterie of the Philadelphia based RAM (Revolutionary Action Committee) -- that broke out in the winter and ensuing spring after Edwards refused to submit the letter mandated by his own handpicked departmental hiring and retention committee to give me tenure at Howard.

    Frazier would probably have backed up our criticism of the distancing of Howard from the black community he seemed to have in mind when he spoke of the new Negro middle class’s frenzy to put social distance between itself and the lower strata of the black race foretold by him in Bourgeoisie Noir and so famously translated a year later as Black Bourgeoisie.

    Nathan


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    Taylor just moved to Oaktown from the ATL Taylor holds her copy of the Marvin X classic Mythology of Pussy and Dick. Someone said you may not be a best seller in the New York Times, but you a best seller in da Hood. Taylor, welcome to Oaktown where we git down fada git down.
    On Black Friday, Academy of da Corner issued the following:

    Love Black! Love Black!
    Buy Black! Love Black!
    Live Black!
    Die Black!
    --Academy of da Corner teachings
    14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland

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    August Wilson's Fences is a riveting drama about life and death in America, with the focus on the North American African community in Pittsburg, PA. Dr. Ayodele Nzinga's production of Fences is her sixth in the ten play cycle of Wilson. She is a leader among those directors who have ventured to do the entire cycle. There have been more readings of his play cycle than productions.

    We must congratulate Dr. Nzinga for a career of persistence in the thespian tradition of the play must go on, even when there is little or no money to do a production. Her Lower Bottom Playaz is not only her "baby" but the crew includes most of her six children either on stage, running lights and sound and handling the door. In her 12th season, her children must be considered professional, especially since she finds the means to pay them.

    For years Ayo was content to do her work on an outside stage in the yard of a former convent known as the Prescott Center/Thea Bowman Theatre. Rarely did she do productions beyond her outside theatre that was often freezing cold and sometimes interrupted by gun shots and arguments from the neighbors.

    It was a pleasure to see her production tonight at the African American Museum/Library. The play opened late due to a line stretching outside the door. This was a happy feeling for Dr. Nzinga, especially since it was a paying crowd. The play opened before a packed house.

    As per the play, we love the writing of August Wilson, especially since he is compared to me. One of my daughters saw his Joe Turner's Come and Gone and asked me was he stealing my lines. I told her no but he did/does sound like me in utilizing the common Black language, not as raw as another PA native, Ed Bullins, whose many plays deal with life in ghettoes of Philadelphia. For sure, August Wilson extended aspects of the Black Arts Movement's dramatic tradition.

    I've told Ayodele I find Wilson sometimes longwinded in his storytelling. She replied, "And so are you!" For me, the play didn't begin until the second half. The first half could have been deleted except for the exposition of characters. The second half begins with the revelation of the husband being unfaithful. This is the most critical matter in the play and the script moves rapidly to the conclusion
    although we think August Wilson really didn't know how to deal with the subject other than in the traditional manner of the wife getting rid of him, although she did adopt the child after the mother died during childbirth. Of course my Mythology of Pussy and Dick is an attempt to transcend traditional reactions to so called sexual improprieties. We suggest with spiritual consciousness we will be able to work through all problems in relationships. In Fences, the wife tells her husband what if she had wanted to meet someone who could make her laugh as the other woman did for her husband. Why did she need to remain solely devoted to her husband? The play raises more questions than answers and some playwrights are content with raising questions and letting the audience find answers.

    Adimu Madyun has come of age with the Lower Bottom Playaz. In Fences he had the opportunity to expand and express his talent in the lead role of Troy. He has become so familiar with the language of Wilson that it appears it is his own, the words come effortlessly from his lips, said in a strong voice that commands authority. His character can only be described as a scoundrel and he prepared us for his fateful meeting with death, apparently the only end befitting the scoundrel

    Kenitra Love as the wife Rose, was awesome and powerful as the dutiful wife. We felt her pain as the mate of an unfaithful husband who was persistent in his patriarchal domination and ignorance, which may be one and the same.

    Harold Desmond and Bono, Troy's friend, performed one of his biggest roles to date. He held his own as the friend of Troy who warned Troy to do the right thing with his wife as per the other woman.

    Luchan Baker as Gabriel, the mentally ill brother of Troy, was outstanding in revealing the thoughts and behavior of the mentally ill. We see the racism of the white society that constantly jailed him but released him upon payment of a fine for being crazy. His role was a lite motif on the theme of death.

    Koran Jenkins as Lyons has grown up in the Lower Bottom Playaz. He performed his role with skill and a subtle power that is his own confident way of approaching a script.

    The young man playing (don't have his name at press time) Cory, the mother's son by a previous marriage, was compelling in his role, including his confrontations with stepfather Troy who seemed to block the son at every turn.

    This was a great production and raises the bar for Ayodele Nzinga as the Bay Area's consummate director/producer/actress/poet/playwright.
    --Marvin X
    12/1/13



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    BOOKING AGENT: SUN IN LEO 718-496-2305


    Marvin X is now available for speaking and reading at colleges


    and universities. Contact his agent: Sun in Leo PR: 718-496-

    2305; prgirl@suninleo.com



    BLACK HISTORY IS WORLD HISTORY

    By Marvin X


    (c) 1981 by Marvin X


    Before the Earth was

    I was


    Before time was


    I was


    you found me not long ago


    and called me Lucy


    I was four million years old


    I had my tools beside me


    I am the first man


    call me Adam


    I walked the Nile from Congo to Delta


    a 4,000 mile jog


    BLACK HISTORY IS WORLD HISTORY


    I lived in the land of Canaan


    before Abraham, before Hebrew was born


    I am Canaan, son of Ham


    I laugh at Arabs and Jews


    fighting over my land


    I lived in Saba, Southern Arabia


    I played in the Red Sea


    dwelled on the Persian Gulf


    I left my mark from Babylon to Timbuktu


    When Babylon acted a fool, that was me


    I was the fool


    When Babylon fell, that was me


    I fel
    l

    BLACK HISTORY IS WORLD HISTORY

    I was the first European


    call me Negrito and Grimaldi


    I walked along the Mediterranean from Spain to Greece


    Oh, Greece! Why did you kill Socrates?


    Why did you give him the poison hemlock?

    Who were the gods he introduced


    corrupting the youth of Athens?


    They were my gods, black gods from Africa


    Oh, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle


    Whose philosophy did you teach


    that was Greek to the Greeks?

    Pythagoras, where did you learn geometry?


    Democritus, where did you study astronomy?


    Solon and Lycurgus, where did you study law?


    In Egypt, and Egypt is Africa


    and Africa is me


    I am the burnt face, the blameless Ethiopian


    Homer told you about in the Iliad


    Homer told you about Ulysses, too,


    a story he got from me.


    BLACK HISTORY IS WORLD HISTORY


    I am the first Chinese


    China has my eyes


    I am the Aboriginal Asian

    Look for me in Viet Nam, Cambodia & Thailand


    I am there, even today, black and beautiful


    BLACK HISTORY IS WORLD HISTORY


    I used to travel to America


    long before Columbus


    came to me asking for directions


    Americo Vespucci


    on his voyage to America


    saw me in the Atlantic


    returning to Africa


    America was my home


    Before Aztec, Maya, Toltec, Inca & Olmec


    I was hereI came to Peru 20,000 years ago


    I founded Mexico City


    See my pyramids, see my cabeza 
    colossal

    in Vera Cruz and Yucatan

    that's me


    I am the Mexican


    for I am mixed with all men


    and all men are mixed with me


    I am the most just of men


    I am the most peaceful


    who loves peace day and night


    Sometimes I let tyrants devour me


    sometimes people falsely accuse me


    sometimes people crucify me


    but I am ever returning I am eternal, I am universal


    Africa is my home


    Asia is my home


    Americas is my home


    BLACK HISTORY IS WORLD HISTORY


    Marvin X has been ignored and silenced like Malcolm X would be ignored and silenced if he had lived on into the Now. He's one of the most extraordinary, exciting black intellectuals living today! 
    --Rudolph Lewis, Chickenbones.com 


    BOOK MARVIN X 
    as 
     Speaker/reader/performer

    FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH
     FEBRUARY, 2014


    HE'S LIVING BLACK HISTORY

    A live dog is better than a dead lion!--African proverb


    NATION OF ISLAM, BLACK PANTHERS, BLACK ARTS 
    MOVEMENT, Black Student Union, BLACK STUDIES

    Went into exile and served time in Federal Prison for refusing to fight in Vietnam!

    Removed from teaching Black Studies at Fresno State University, 1969, on orders from Governor Ronald Reagan, "Get him off campus by any means necessary!"
    Gov. Reagan removed Angela Davis from UCLA same year.

    "Marvin X is still the undisputed king of black consciousness!"
    --Dr. Nathan Hare, the Black Think Tank

    "Marvin X was my teacher. Many of our comrades came through his Black Arts Theatre: Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas, Samuel Napier!"
    --Dr. Huey P. Newton, co-founder, Black Panther Party

    BOOKING AGENT: SUN IN LEO 718-496-2305
    Marvin X is now available for speaking and reading at colleges and universities. Contact his agent: Sun in Leo PR: 718-496-2305; prgirl@suninleo.com




    Marvin X's Revolution on the Rocks Book Tour 2012


    Tuesday, Sept 18
    Africana Studies Department, University of Houston
    Thursday, Sept 20
    Elders Institute of Wisdom, SHAPE Community Center, 11:30am
    Friday, Sept 21
    Texas Southern University, School of Business
    Saturday, Sept 22
    Secret Word Cafe, 9pm
    Sunday, Sept 23
    Third World Imports, 2-4pm
    October 6
    Kings Day at Oyutunji African Village, Sheldon, SC
    October 25
    Brecht Forum, Manhattan, New York
    October 28
    Joins Amiri and Amina Baraka at the Blue Mirror, Newark NJ
    November 1
    Thursday, 6-8pm, Sankofa Books, 2714 Georgia Avenue, NW, Wash DC
    November 2-4
    Black Power to Hip Hop Conference, Howard University, Wash DC
    November 4
    Sunday, 7pm, Umoja House, 2015 Bunker Hill Rd., NE, Wash DC
    November 9          
    Friday, 7pm, Moonstone Art Center, 110 South 13th Street, Philadelphia PA
    November 16        
    Friday, 3pm, Black and Nobel Books, 1411 West Erie Ave., Philadelphia
    November 17
    Saturday, 4-6pm, Black Power Babies, Restoration Plaza, Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
    November 25
    The Free Market Place, 905 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn
    November 26
    Interview with PBS
    Midnight flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico for R & R

    Marvin X is Plato Teaching on Oakland’s Streets

    By Ishmael Reed
    Marvin X is not only a terrific writer but a Black Power historian…. However, if I had to pin down the influences upon Marvin X’s, “The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/Fables,” I would cite the style of Yoruba texts: texts in the Yoruba language reveal that didacticism is a key component of the Yoruba story telling style.

    Africans use proverbs to teach their children the lessons of life. Marvin X acknowledges the Yoruba influence on his book. He imparts wisdom by employing cautionary tales and uses his own life and mistakes to consul the young to avoid mistakes.

    Moreover, unlike some of the books written by popular African American writers, his book does not look backward to the period of slavery, though some of that is here. He writes about the contemporary problems of a community under attack.


    He blames crack for causing “ a great chasm between adults and children, children who were abandoned, abused, and neglected, emotionally starved and traumatized.”

    Marvin X exposes the situation of other ethnic groups invading Black neighborhoods and making the lion’s share of profits from vice, while the media focus upon the mules of the operation, the pathetic and disgusting pimps, the drug dealers who are killing each other over profits that are piddling next to the great haul made by the suppliers of the guns and the drugs.

    Don’t expect the local newspapers to cover this end of the distribution.
    In the “Parable of the Donkey,” Marvin X writes: “ The so-called Negro is the donkey of the world, everybody rides him to success. If you need a free ride to success, jump on the Negro’s back and ride into the sunset. He will welcome you with open arms.
    “No saddle needed, just jump on his back and ride him to the bank.”

    When you learn that the government ignored the dumping of drugs into our neighborhoods by their anti-communist allies, you can understand the meaning of Marvin X’s words. Not only are invading ethnic groups and white gun suppliers benefitting from using the Black neighborhoods as a resource but the government as well.

    In  “Parable of the Parrot,” Marvin X also takes aim at the Dream Team academics who “parrot” the line coming down from the One Percent that the problems of Blacks are self-inflicted.

    “The state academics and intellectuals joined loudly in parroting the king’s every wish. Thank God the masses do not hear them pontificate or read their books. After all, these intellectual and academic parrots are well paid, tenured and eat much parrot seed. Their magic song impresses the bourgeoisie who have a vested interest in keeping the song of the parrot alive.”

    Marvin X’s answer to this intellectual Vichy regime has been to cultivate off campus intellectuals by conducting an open air classroom (Academy of da Corner) on 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, which is how the peripatetic philosophers like Plato used to impart their knowledge in open air academies.
    ****
    Ishmael Reed is the author of “Going Too Far, Essays About America’s Nervous Breakdown.” 

    CONTACT MARVIN X @ (510) 200-4164
    EMAIL: jmarvinx@yahoo.com
    www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com

    Marvin X, also known as Marvin Jackmon and El Muhajir was born May 29, 1944 in Fowler, California, near Fresno. Marvin X is well known for his work as a poet, playwright and essayist of the BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT or BAM. He attended Merritt College along with Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. He received his BA and MA in English from San Francisco State University.
    African American Collection
    Advertise on AALBC.com
    Marvin X is most well known for his work with Ed Bullins in the founding of Black House and The Black Arts/West Theatre in San Francisco. Black House served briefly as the headquarters for the Black Panther Party and as a center for performance, theatre, poetry and music.Marvin X is a playwright in the true spirit of the BAM. His most well-known BAM play, entitled Flowers for the Trashman, deals with generational difficulties and the crisis of the Black intellectual as he deals with education in a white-controlled culture. Marvin X's other works include, The Black Bird, The Trial, Resurrection of the Dead and In the Name of Love.
    He currently has the longest running African American drama in the San Francisco Bay area and Northern California, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE, a tragi-comedy of addiction and recovery. He is the founder and director of RECOVERY THEATRE.
    Marvin XMarvin X has continued to work as a lecturer, teacher and producer. He has taught at Fresno State University; San Francisco State University; University of California - Berkeley and San Diego; University of Nevada, Reno; Mills College, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland. He has received writing fellowships from Columbia University and the National Endowment for the Arts and planning grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
    Marvin X is available for lectures/readings/performance.  Contact him @ jmarvinx@yahoo.com.




    The Wisdom of Plato Negro: Parables/Fables

    In “Wisdom of Plato Negro,” Marvin teaches by stories, ancient devices of instruction that appeal to a non-literate as well as a semi-literate people. (Fables differ from parables only by their use of animal characters.) The oldest existing genre of storytelling used long before the parables of Jesus or the fables of Aesop, they are excellent tools, in the hands of a skilled artist like Marvin X, in that he modifies the genre for a rebellious hip hop generation who drops out or are pushed out of repressive state sponsored public schools at a 50% clip. Marvin X is a master of these short short stories. Bibliographies, extended footnotes, indexes, formal argumentation, he knows, are of no use to the audience he seeks, that 95 percent that lives from paycheck to paycheck.
    These moral oral forms (parables and fables), developed before the invention of writing, taught by indirection how to think and behave respecting the integrity of others. Marvin explained to his College of Arts audience, “This form [the parable] seems perfect for people with short attention span, the video generation… The parable fits my moral or ethical prerogative, allowing my didacticism to run full range” (“Parable of a Day in the Life of Plato Negro,” 147). But we live in a more “hostile environment” than ancient people. Our non-urban ancestors were more in harmony with Nature than our global racialized, exploitive, militarized northern elite societies.
    —Rudolph Lewis is the Founding Editor of Chickenbones.com, A Journal. (Click here to read the full review).

    Marvin X Classic--How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy







    Foreword


    How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

    By Dr. Nathan Hare


    Call him Dr. M, as I do, though I’ve known him by other names in other places and, like Diogenes, who went around holding up a lantern to the faces of the people he would meet in the streets of ancient Athens looking for an honest man, I have come to the realization that we as a people have been waiting and looking for somebody like Dr. M to come along for more than half a century, ever since  America was stunned by The Mark of Oppression (the Jim Crow era book by two white liberal psychiatrists whose findings had brought them to the heartfelt conclusion that the race of people called “Negroes”  was “crushed.”

    In only four years after their epitaph was written, Negroes (now called “blacks,” “Blacks,” “Afro-Americans,” “African-Americans,” or as Dr. M sometimes calls them “American Africans”) had exploded in Montgomery with passive resistance.  In four more years the “sit-in movement” broke out among the youth, followed like a one-two punch by the so-called “freedom riders” (roving bands of individuals who boarded and defied the segregation of interstate vehicles and included a future student of mine on spring break from Howard University by the name of Stokely Carmichael).  Then came “Black Power,” in the context of which I first heard of a man who had metamorphosed from the slave-name Marvin Jackmon into a prominent “North American African poet” who went by the name of Marvin X (the X connoting “the unknown”).

    While, despite the fact that I have known him through the intervening years, I cannot unravel every single quality of the brother, I can testify that Dr. M is a brand new Marvin, a Dr. Marvin, a social doctor, if you will, with a gift and a mission for a new black movement. I know this to be true because, aside from my Ph.D. and years of experience in the practice of clinical psychology, I specialized in the study of social movements for a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Chicago.  But more than that, I have watched a dedicated Dr. M, up close and clinically, going about his fearless work in the mean streets of San Francisco.  

    Over a period of many months, on many a dark and dreary sometimes rainy Wednesday night, I served as a consultant in clinical psychology to Dr. M’s “Black Reconstruction Group” (the pilot to his twelve-step model now unveiled in this important book on “How to Recover from Addiction to White Supremacy.” In the Recovery Theatre’s pilot groups, I sat with diverse and ad hoc coteries of men and women gathered impromptu in the austere basement of a Catholic church, St. Boniface, located in the heart of The Tenderloin, the highest crime district in San Francisco, just down a few blocks from the famous Glide Memorial Methodist Church.  Many a night I marveled at the ease with which Dr. M and his talented co-facilitator, Suzette Celeste brought out trickles of lost and unleashed hope and inspiration in the minds of destitute and degraded street people as well as in the confused and empty psyches of invited members of the black bourgeoisie who, still trying to be unbroken, had come where not many “bourgies” would dare to tread.

    On many an appointed night I stood by silently looking on while Dr. M and his collaborators sauntered out into the shadowy mysteries of dilapidated streets to solicit and harness hapless homeless men and a woman or two and bring them in to meet as equals with the anxious representatives of the black bourgeoisie who had dared to cross momentarily back over their tentative territorial and social boundaries.  This of course is not recommended for the feeble or the fainthearted; because, until the revolution comes, or the proletariat triumphs, there will be difficulties and perils in chance encounters of the social classes.  So I must hasten to explain that a security conscious Dr. M was operating within a safety net of collaborators competent in the martial arts; like Geoffrey Grier, who has been an international martial arts competitor and is a son of a black psychiatrist, Dr. William Grier, coauthor with Dr. Price Cobb of the late 1960s blockbuster, Black Rage.

    At the moment when the oppressed have had enough, their rage will explode --  Fanon had warned us in The Wretched of the Earth -- and it is at that moment, at the very point of mental and spiritual coagulation and defeat, when they will come together and rise.  Frantz Fanon went on to tell of a category of reconstruction groups called “’djemaas’ (village assemblies) of northern Africa or in the meetings of western Africa, tradition demands that the quarrels which occur in a village should be settled in public. It is communal self-criticism, of course, and with a note of humor, because everybody is relaxed, and because in the last resort we all want the same things. But the more the intellectual imbibes the atmosphere of the people, the more completely he abandons the habits of calculation, of unwonted silence, of mental reservations, and shakes the spirit of concealment. And it is true that already at that level we can say that it spreads its own light and its own reason.”

    However, psychiatric authority for a self-help peer group focus on individual feelings (or addiction) in relation to white supremacy became available anew in the late 1960s, when Jeffrey Grier’s father, Dr. William H. Grier, and his collaborator, Dr. Price M. Cobbs, published Black Rage.   Dr. Grier has also consulted with Dr. M and his Recovery Theatre around the time of the pilot trial run of the first “Black Reconstruction Groups.”  According to Grier and Cobbs, in the “Introduction to the Paperback Edition” of Black Rage, “The most important aspect of therapy with blacks, we are convinced, is that racist mistreatment must be echoed and underlined as a fact, an unfortunate fact, but a most important fact – a part of reality. Dissatisfaction with such mistreatment is to be expected, and one’s resentment should be of appropriate dimensions” among black warriors who would exact retribution.  “Psychiatry for such warriors,” Grier and Cobbs went on to explain, should aim to “keep them fit for the duty at hand and healthy enough to enjoy the victories” that are likely to emerge.

    Fitness for duty is a pleasant but likely side effect of Dr. M’s “Black Reconstruction Groups” working to free the minds of persons addicted to white supremacy.  This no doubt is no doubt why they do not limit themselves in their group sessions to expressions of resentment of racist mistreatment and dissatisfaction but also calmly allow its hidden effects, which often remain unconscious in the way in which the relentless karate chops of white supremacy have killed our dreams on a daily basis and shattered our ability to love, to feel loved, to love ourselves and therefore one another. I listened with much satisfaction as Dr. M and his assemblies delved into the depths of fractured feelings and emotions of the brokenhearted in order to help them come to terms with betrayal, jealousy and rage, in their moving endeavors to learn to love again.

    And so it is that you will find many a reference to love in How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy. This includes, for instance, “Women Who Love” and the motivations of the men who love them. 

    Dr. M’s own fitness for duty is complex, unique and variegated.  According to James W. Sweeney, "Marvin  walked through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal." Marvin can boast of “a Ph.D. in Negrology,” as he puts it,” the study of nigguhs” issued by the University of Hardknocks’s College of Hell), based on twelve years of research , independent study , and practicum in San Francisco's Tenderloin and other unlettered social laboratories throughout the United States.  

    There may still be hope, if it pleases  you, for Dr. M to join the white man’s system of miseducation and mental health care, when we consider that psychologists, including one of my mentors, the late Dr. Carlton Goodlett, at first were “grandfathered” in when the licensure of psychologists was started in the state of California.  Later came the oral exam (conversational, not dental), followed in time by an essay exam, before the boom in “standardized “ multiple choice tests for which workshops were offered to prepare you for a fee, causing excellent practitioners, especially black ones, to be blocked from licensure until they found out and forked over whopping workshop fees . 

    There is also a burgeoning market opening up in “clinical sociology” and “sociological practice” still cutting out its slice of the marketplace and finding its way in matters of licensure and credentialing in the field of sociology. But here it may be important to say that the self-help peer group does not require a sociological or a mental health professional, any more than the primordial AA groups from which the mental health profession has profited and learned. Dr. M is a social “doctor” (which etymologically means “teacher”) grappling with a social problem, white supremacy and its punishing residue in the minds of oppressed black individuals and white oppressors who have chosen to reject and come to places where their fathers lied. Oppressors pure and simple, who accept white supremacy, must be dealt with in a later context, as you will not very well be able to keep them in a Black Reconstruction or White Supremacy Destruction Group (or White Supremacy Deconstruction, if you will).

    Much in the manner of Hegel in his essay on “Master and Slave,” Marvin senses that the oppressor distorts his own mind as well as the mind of the oppressed. Hence Type I and Type II White Supremacy Addiction. White sociologists and the late black psychologist, Bobby Wright, converged in their findings of pathological personality traits (“the authoritarian personality” and “the racial psychopathic personality,” as Bobby put it). 

    But if Hegel was correct in his notion that the oppressor cannot free the slave, that the slave must force the oppressor’s hand, then it is Type II White Supremacy Addiction which if not more resistant to cure, must occupy our primary focus. Type II White Supremacy may be seen as a kind of “niggeritis” or “Negrofication” growing out of an over-identification with the master, who is white. As in any disorder severity of symptoms may vary from mild to moderate or severe.  

    As Frantz Fanon put it when he spoke for the brother with jungle fever in Black Skin, White Mask: “I wish to be regarded as white. If I can be loved by the white woman who is loved by the white man, then I am white like the white man; I am a full human being.” In the twisted mental convolution of a brother in black skin behind a white mask, Fanon observed a “Negro dependency complex” independently chronicled in my own Black Anglo Saxons (black individuals with white minds in black bodies). They struggle to look, think, talk and walk white by day, then go to sleep at night and dream that they will wake up white. They refuse to realize that no matter what they may ever do they will never get out of the black race alive.

    On the other hand, you are going to be seeing “nouveau blacks” and lesser Afrocentrics -- who faithfully and unquestionably follow twelve-month years and endeavor even to blackenize the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ -- jumping up to question Dr. M’s re-africanization of the “Twelve Steps” model for “using the Eurocentric twelve steps,” but they forget  that the very effort to be practical and collective is the original African way.  In any event, we must build on whites as whites have built on us, taking the best of the West and leaving the rest alone.  But Dr. M has expressly and creatively added a thirteenth step; for his goal is not just recovery but discovery, his goal is not just to change the individual but to change the individual to get ready to change the world.

    Meanwhile there is one thing on which we can all agree:  in any serious attempt to solve the bitter mental ravages of white supremacy, we must face the unadulterated fact that we are limited when we look to the institutionalized “profession” and their professional “providers.”  This of course is not to say that the institutionalized professionals cannot be helpful. Dr. M is quick to point out that a self-help peer group cannot cure all the diverse neuroses and psychoses that afflict us. Indeed he goes so far as to suggest that some of us “may need to be committed.”

    The late Queen Mother Moore (who loved to boast that she had “gone as far as the fourth grade, and stayed in school too long to learn anything”) delighted in going around deconstructing our “slave mentalities” and saying somebody needs to “do some surgery on these Negro minds” – in which Queen Mother had diagnosed a chronic condition she called “oppression psychoneurosis.” Queen Mother Moore was basically joking, that is, laughing to keep from crying, but it is no joke that mental health professionals, operating under the medical model, think nothing of seeing a person suffering from a psychosocial problem and not only treating the victim instead of the problem but – much in the manner of any addict or drug pusher– use or apply chemicals and sometimes chemical abuse to deal with the inability of the “patient” to feel good in a bad place and thrive, to try to  “have heart” in a heartless world. Many people are unaware to this very day that the practice once was rampant for psychiatrists to treat a person with chronic mental maladies by subjecting them to lobotomies cutting off a portion of their brains. Shock treatment was another method – you’re shocked by life, let’s shock your brain, Senator Eagleton (who later ran for the vice-presidency in the 1970s on the ticket with George McGovern).

    It should never have been any surprise that the mental health profession would be of only partial help in reconstructing the psychic consequences of centuries of prolonged brainwashing and subjugation (this is not to mention “Sicko” and what we know of the crippling new effects of “managed care” on the medical profession). Many mental health experts, the overwhelming majority of them white, have long suggested that the “medical model” may be inappropriate in the treatment of the psychological, not to mention, sociological components of mental illness. 

    But you don’t have to be a mental health professional or a sociologist to know that we can no longer restrict our search for healing to professional shrinks, raring back in executive chairs and carpeted suites stocked with “psychometric instruments” standardized on the white middle class, far removed from the realities of the concrete social milieu of afflicted and homeless black “subjects” living lives of hardship and subjugation, with no assurance of available treatment.

    Even when they are “insured they are limited to the care and treatment some insurance clerk is willing to “authorize.”  In matters of mental health, this typically will include a few sessions of “fifty minute hours” of “talk therapy” before leaving with a prescription or chemical palliative to dull agony and the pain but not the punishment of life on the skids in a sick society.

    The hour is up and time is running out, black people, but white supremacy is not. We are living now in the final and highest stage of racism and white supremacy.  We’ve let our struggle slip back while sitting in classrooms and conferences crooning about “afrocentricity” and ancient African glories that have gone forever.

    We have come now to a crossroads. We have lost control of our children’s minds, our future.  We have lost their respect, and appear to be on a collision course to a war of words between the black generations, in which hip-hop youth disparage and mock our language, our music and our humanity with a creativity and a rime and a rhythm we can’t fathom, let alone equal in our pitifully fruitless endeavors to eliminate the “n-word” and box with the black-on-black random violence of dissocialized youth who have concluded that adults and their leaders cannot or will not fight the power.  Who knows but it may be that Dr. M’s movement of recovery from addiction to and from white supremacy is offering us a final and effective chance to begin to “sit down together,” to get together and get our heads together.    

    BEYOND RELIGION,BEYOND RELIGION, TOWARD SPIRITUALITY, ESSAYS ON CONSCIOUSNESS Click to order via Amazon
    Paperback: 281 pages
    Publisher: Black Bird Press (2007)
    Language: English

    Marvin X has done extraordinary mind and soul work in bringing our attention to the importance of spirituality, as opposed to religion, in our daily living. Someone'maybe Kierkegaard or maybe it was George Fox who'said that there was no such thing as "Christianity." There can only be Christians. It is not institutions but rather individuals who make the meaningful differences in our world. It is not Islam but Muslims. Not Buddhism but Buddhists. Marvin X has made a courageous difference. In this book he shares the wondrous vision of his spiritual explorations. His eloquent language and rhetoric are varied'sophisticated but also earthy, sometimes both at once.
    Highly informed he speaks to many societal levels and to both genders'to the intellectual as well as to the man/woman on the street or the unfortunate in prison'to the mind as well as the heart. His topics range from global politics and economics to those between men and women in their household. Common sense dominates his thought. He shuns political correctness for the truth of life. He is a Master Teacher in many fields of thought'religion and psychology, sociology and anthropology, history and politics, literature and the humanities. He is a needed Counselor, for he knows himself, on the deepest of personal levels and he reveals that self to us, that we might be his beneficiaries.
    All of which are represented in his Radical Spirituality'a balm for those who anguish in these troubling times of disinformation. As a shaman himself, he calls too for a Radical Mythology to override the traditional mythologies of racial supremacy that foster war and injustice. If you want to reshape (clean up, raise) your consciousness, this is a book to savor, to read again, and again'to pass onto a friend or lover.
    —Rudolph Lewis, Editor, ChickenBones: A Journal

    BEYOND RELIGIONIn the Crazy House Called AmericaClick to order via Amazon
    ISBN: 0964067218
    Format: Paperback, 204pp
    Pub. Date: January 2003
    Publisher: Black Bird Press


    “Rarely is a brother secure and honest enough with himself to reveal his innermost thoughts, emotions or his most hellacious life experiences. For most men it would be a monumental feat just to share/bare his soul with his closest friends but to do so to perfect strangers would be unthinkable, unless he had gone through the fires of life and emerged free of the dross that tarnishes his soul. Marvin X, poet, playwright, author and essayist does just that in a self-published book entitled In The Crazy House Called America.

    This latest piece from Marvin X offers a peek into his soul and his psyche. He lets the reader know he is hip to the rabid oppression the West heaps upon people of color especially North American Africans while at the same time revealing the knowledge gleaned from his days as a student radical, black nationalist revolutionary forger of the Black Arts Movement, husband, father lover, a dogger of women did not spare him the degradation and agony of descending into the abyss of crack addiction, abusive and toxic relationships and family tragedy.

    Perhaps because of the knowledge gained as a member of the Nation of Islam, and his experiences as one of the prime movers of the cultural revolution of the '60, the insights he shares In The Crazy House Called America are all the keener. Marvin writes candidly of his pain, bewilderment and depression of losing his son to suicide. He shares in a very powerful way, his own out of body helplessness as he wallowed in the dregs of an addiction that threatened to destroy his soul and the mess his addictions made of his life and relationships with those he loved. But he is not preachy and this is not an autobiography. He has already been there and done that. In sharing his story and the wisdom he has gleaned from his life experiences and looking at the world through the eyes of an artist/healer…”
    —Junious Ricardo Stanton

    Love and War: PoemsLove and War: PoemsClick to order via Amazon
    by Marvin X. Preface by Lorenzo Thomas
    Format: Paperback, 140pp.
    ISBN: 0964967200
    Publisher: Black Bird Press

    Book of poetry by Black Arts activist, preface by Lorenzo Thomas. "When you listen to Tupac Shakur, E-40, Too Short, Master P or any other rappers out of the Bay Area of Cali, think of Marvin X. He laid the foundation and gave us the language to express Black male urban experience in a lyrical way." --James G. Spady, Philadelphia New Observer.

    Have spent the last few days (when not mourning with friends and family the passing of my family friend and mentor in Muslim feminism and Islamic work, Sharifa AlKhateeb, (may she dwell in Rahma), immersed in the work of Marvin X and amazed at his brilliance. This poet has been prolific since his first book of poems, Fly to Allah, (1969), right up to his most recent Love and War Poems (1995) and Land of My Daughters, 2005, not to mention his plays, which were produced (without royalties) in Black community theatres from the 1960s to the present, and essay collections such as In the Crazy House Called America, 2002, and Wish I Could Tell You The Truth, 2005.

    Marvin X was a prime shaper of the Black Arts Movement (1964-1970s) which is, among other things, the birthplace of modern Muslim American literature, and it begins with him. Well, Malik Shabazz and him. But while the Autobiography of Malcolm X is a touchstone of Muslim American culture, Marvin X and other Muslims in BAM were the emergence of a cultural expression of Black Power and Muslim thought inspired by Malcolm, who was, of course, ignited by the teachings and writings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

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

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

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

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

    By we who are younger Muslim American poets, in particular, Marvin should be honored as our elder, one who is still kickin, still true to the word!Love and War Poems is wrenching and powerful, combining a powerful critique of America ("America downsizes like a cripple whore/won't retire/too greedy to sleep/too fat to rest") but also a critique of deadbeat dads and drug addicts (not sparing himself) and men who hate.

    "For the Men" is so Quranic poem it gave me chills with verses such as:

    for the men who honor wives
    and the men who abuse them
    for the men who win
    and the men who sin
    for the men who love God
    and the men who hate
    for the men who are brothers
    and the men who are beasts"

    "O Men, listen to the wise," the poet pleads:
    there is no escape
    for the men of this world
    or the men of the next

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

    For all that, the poetry of Marvin X is like prayer, beauty-full of reverence and honor for Truth. "It is. it is. it is."A poem to his daughter Muhammida is a sweet mix of parental love and pride and fatherly freak-out at her sexuality and independence, ending humbly with:

    peace Mu
    it's on you
    yo world
    sister-girl

    Other people don't get off so easy, including a certain "black joint chief of staff ass nigguh (kill 200,000 Muslims in Iraq)" in the sharply aimed poem "Free Me from My Freedom." (Mmm hmm, the 'n' word is all over the place in Marvin too.) Nature poem, wedding poem, depression poem, wake-up call poems, it's all here. Haiti, Rwanda, the Million Man March, Betsy Ross's maid, OJ, Rabin, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and other topics make it into this prophetically voiced collection of dissent poetry, so Islamic and so African American in its language and its themes, a book that will stand in its beauty long after the people mentioned in it pass.

    READ MARVIN X for RAMADAN!
    --Mohja Kahf Associate Professor / Dept. of English, Middle East & Islamic Studies,
    University of Arkansas-Fayetteville

    Wish I Could Tell You the Truth, EssaysWish I Could Tell You the Truth, Essays (Signed Copy)
    Paperback: 215 pages
    Publisher: Black Bird Press (2005)
    Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
    Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds



    Somethin' Proper: The Life and Times of a North American African Poet Somethin' Proper: The Life and Times of a North American African Poet
    Paperback: 278 pages
    Publisher: Black Bird Pr (June 1999)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0964967219
    ISBN-13: 978-0964967212
    Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
    Marvin X
    photo Kamau Amen Ra





    Somethin' Proper, the Autobiography of Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 1998

    from the Introduction by Dr. Nathan Hare, the Black Think Tank

    In SOMETHIN' PROPER, we quickly see that we are inside the pages not only of Marvin's private political papers, comprising a lyrical diary shaped to be read and enjoyed like a novel by the masterful hands of an internationally noted black poet, but we are being escorted to the cutting edge of a fascinating postmodern black literary genre in the making, the notes of an undying black warrior who refuses to give up, give out or give in!

    Although easy to read by almost anybody wishing to do so, SOMETHIN' PROPER (apparently a phrase from the drug subculture, i.e., BREAK ME OFF SOMETHIN' PROPER), presents us at once with an opportunity for a deeper understanding of a panorama of participants in the often poignant but sometimes hilarious inner workings of the black male psyche, from the middle class bourgeois pretenders such as "tenured Negroes" on the academic plantation and their "negrocity," to "coconuts" in the corporations, and across the spectrum to brothers in the hood, particularly the way in which utility and haughty demeanor conceal and mask the panoramic and pervasive depression of the black male.

    Before his death at the early age of 36, Frantz Fanon, the black psychiatrist who lived and wrote about the relations between the oppressor and oppressed in the battle of Algiers (Wretched of the Earth; Black Skin, White Masks, and A Dying Colonialism), presented us with clear psychiatric paradigms for the struggles Marvin deftly captures for us.

    Marvin is able to give us insights into himself and his affiliates (Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, Little Bobby Hutton, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Angela Davis, et.al., that are original but reminiscent of Fanon, because Marvin is bearing the covers on his life and the life of others.

    Of all the many disorders and distortions that plague the black male, each and every day, perhaps the ones that take the heaviest tool on his ravished brain are those that—if not contained by armed resistance—revolve around the painful difficulty of gaining control over his individual and collective destiny, around what is known in mental health circles as "the locus of control," the dilemma of resistance to the enemy from without and the enemy from within (including the self, if we consider that there can be no master without those who, for whatever reason, are willing to be a slave). Might makes right but not for long.

    If we honor the likes of Patrick Henry for saying "give me liberty or give me death," it is no matter that when the Negro says give him liberty or death the white man tries to give him death! The so-called Negro is confronted with a choice Patrick Henry had not reckoned with, something Fanon called "reactional disorders" or "psychosomatic pathology" that is the direct product of oppression.

    But out of a last ditch desperation in self-medication and the management of his pulverized and thwarted emotions, in a mindless effort to soothe his psychological and social wounds, the black male is introduced unwarily if discreetly to the vicious cycle of self-mutilation and induced addiction, which takes hold and spreads like an epidemic virus as part of the psycho-technology, historically, of the white man's oppression of the North American African and others around the world.

    In his powerlessness and victimization, with nothing left to lean on, the black man is likely to mount the seesaw, if not the roller coaster of racial psycho-social dependency and messianic religiosity (becoming the mad-dog religious fanatic, believing in a savior other than himself) on the one hand and the individual chemical dependent on the other, i.e. the dope fiend.

    Marvin decontructs both. In the bottomless caverns of addiction in any form, there seems no amount of religiosity, coke, crack, alcohol or sex sufficient to sedate the social angst and shattered cultural strivings.

    The more the black man tempts to medicate his anxiety and to mask his depression and self doubts with pretense and hostility, the more he finds himself in trouble with the persons he must love and be loved by than with the alien representatives of the society that would control and castrate his manhood.

    Novelist Richard Wright, addressing these paradoxes and dilemmas in his own autobiography BLACK BOY, explained that, "Because I had no power to make things happen outside of me in the objective world, I made things happen within. Because my environment was bare and bleak, I endowed it with unlimited potentialities, redeemed it for the sake of my own hungry and cloudy yearning."

    The catch is in the way these things turn out after the boy has been taken through the meat grinder of growing up within the machinery of white social control. In response, the strategy or road most taken by both Marvin X and Richard Wright, to put it simply, is FLIGHT (what Wright as a matter of fact names the middle passage of his novel, Native Son, book 2 of 3).

    As surely as the individual who accepts oppression is constantly in flight from his racial identity, the black man who rejects it is constantly on the run from the agency of white supremacy that must control him and wishes to annihilate him outright. And here is where Marvin's story is most valuable to us , helping us to grasp the meaning of the tradition of escape within our race, literature and history, stretching back to the slave trade and slave ships of the middle passage, down to the demanding requirements of escape from coercion, incarceration and surveillance in the modern era: he takes us through a childhood of continual efforts to avoid juvenile hall, to the flights of his father (despite punishing ambiguities, Marvin X dedicates his book to both his parents in memorial), calling upon pure personal honesty and the deepest levels of understanding to appreciate the parental struggles of his own and the resulting psycho-sexual and social conflicts.

    Without professing to do so, Marvin X speaks here most effectively of all black men, exposing their triumphs and follies, telling all he knows about everybody, including himself, always seeming to exact the hardest toll of all on himself, inviting us openly and unashamedly into the intricacies of his youthful endeavors to love too many women, including more than one try at the practice of polygamy (at one point he had four wives, in the Islamic tradition), until he realizes that if monogamy is the love and marriage of one woman, polygamy is the love or marriage of one woman too many!

    I predict that SOMETHIN' PROPER (the life and times of a North American African Poet) will readily emerge as an underground classic as well as a classic of the black consciousness movement and the world of the troubled inner city, a manual of value to any brother who has lost his way and the sister who would help him to understand or know how to find it, to find it within himself, in the intriguing story of Marvin X, who has been there and the women and political fellow-travelers in the black movement who were there with him in his often daring escapades, his secret flights and open confrontations with white supremacy.

    In the end, is he bitter? Or is he happy as a negro eating watermelon on massa's plantation? Well, in the beginning white people are devils—but by the end, all people are devils—in Marvin's world. After all, this is his story. Nevertheless, by the end we are convinced Marvin has regained faith in himself, his God and his people.

    And it is gratifying in an era of the sellout, the faint hearted and the fallen, to see that Marvin X was one black man who met the white man in the center of the ring and walked with him to the corners of psycho-social inequity, grappling with him through the bowels of the earth, yet remained one black man the white man couldn't get.

    I'm glad I stopped that day on Market Street and bought a pair of Marvin's sunglasses, but I wish I knew where to find those sunglasses now, because I could feel so proud to wear them, or, better yet, I could lend them to some other brother who was trying to find his way to SOMETHIN' PROPER while moving in the direction of the sun.
    --Dr. Nathan Hare

    Marvin X Performing

    Land of my daughtersLand of My Daughters: Poem's 1995-2005
    Paperback: 116 pages
    Publisher: BlackBird Press (2005)
    Language: English
    Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches

    Where I’d like to start this 2005 Poetry Roundup is Iraq, as in, how did we get there and how do we get back? The consciousness-altering book of poems that tells the tale, in no uncertain terms and yet always via poetry, is the astonishing Land of My Daughters: Poems 1995-2005 (Black Bird Press) by Marvin X.

    Marvin X is the USA’s Rumi, and his nation is not “where our fathers died” but where our daughters live. The death of patriarchal war culture is his everyday reality. X’s poems vibrate, whip, love in the most meta- and physical ways imaginable and un-. He’s got the humor of Pietri, the politics of Baraka, and the spiritual Muslim grounding that is totally new in English –- the ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi. It’s not unusual for him to have a sequence of shortish lines followed by a culminating line that stretches a quarter page –- it is the dance of the dervishes, the rhythms of a Qasida.
    --Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club, NYC



    Pull Yo Pants Up: Critical Notes on Obama Drama 2008-2012
    Paperback
    Publisher: Black Bird Press (2013)













    Stay connected to new generation. they really can feel you. as much as you dislike rap. your style is very hip hop. Lol! brash. raw. in your face. not givin a F what anybody thinks albeit a much stronger message.
    --Muhammida El Muhajir

    This is a dangerous book, for it reveals the inner workings of capitalist and imperialist governments around the world. It's a book that stands with and on behalf of the poor, the dispossessed, the despised, and downtrodden.--Rudolph Lewis, editor, Chickenbones 
    You are the voice of the Black Man whose cry has been muffled by the clank of prison bars, the explosion of gunfire, and the loud silence of apathy and compliance. 
    --Fahizah Alim 


    ELDRIDGE CLEAVER - MY FRIEND THE DEVIL: A Memoir



     


      • This book added much to our knowledge of the personal life of  young civil rights/black power leaders. That human side we seldom see without sentimentality and without condemnation. Too often there is too much concern for respectability.
         
        You are fearless in representations of black life.  Those stances have made all the difference in my own writings.
         
        Rudolph Lewis, Chickenbones.com
         
    Click to order via Amazon

    Paperback
    Publisher: Black Bird Press (2009)


    Marvin X‘s newest book, “Eldridge Cleaver: My Friend, The Devil” is an important Expose!, notonly of whom his good friend really was… (I confess I thought something like that, in less metaphysical terms, from the day we met, at San Francisco State, 1967) But also of whom Marvin was/is. Now, Marvin has confessed to being Yacub, whom Elijah Muhammad taught us was the “evil big head scientist” who created the devil. (Marvin’s head is very large for his age.)

    What is good about this book is Marvin’s telling us something about who Eldridge became as the Black Panther years receded in the rear view mirror. I remember during this period, when I learned that Marvin was hanging around Cleaver even after he’d made his televised switch from anti-capitalist revolutionary to Christian minister, denouncing the 3rd World revolutionaries and the little Marxism he thought he knew, while openly acknowledging beating his wife as a God given male prerogative, I said to Marvin, “I thought you was a Muslim” . His retort, “Jesus pay more money than Allah, Bro”, should be a classic statement of vituperative recidivism.

    But this is one of the charms of this memoir. It makes the bizarre fathomable. Especially the tales of fraternization with arguably the most racist & whitest of the Xtian born agains with Marvin as agent, road manager, co-conspirator-confessor, for the post-Panther – very shot- out Cleaver. It also partially explains some of Cleaver’s moves to get back in this country, he had onetime denounced, and what he did after the big cop out. Plus, some of the time, these goings on seem straight out hilarious. Though frequently, that mirth is laced with a sting of regret. Likewise, I want everyone to know that I am writing this against my will, as a favor to Yacub.
    —Amiri Baraka. Newark, 5/13/09

    Related Links
    www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com


    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."


    Marvin X Articles on AALBC.com Include
    The black culture police are at it again, lead running dog is Rev. Jesse Jackson, perhaps the most hypocritical culture policeman on the scene--especially after leading president Clinton in prayer over Monica while himself engaged in extramarital shenanigans. I can't take Jesse Jackson with his twisted mouth ( from lying) pontificating on moral issues while he is the most immoral of men, even pimping the blood of MLK, Jr.

    Movie Reviews by Marvin X on AALBC.com include:

    Order the writings of Marvin X direct from the publisher:

    Black Bird Press
    1222 Dwight Way
    Berkeley CA 94702
    jmarvinx@yahoo.com
    510-200-4164

    Marvin X is available for readings and lectures on a variety of topics:

    How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, a mental health peer group session
    The Psycholinguistic Crisis of the North American African
    The Black Arts/Black Power Movement
    Islam in the Bay Area
    Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality
    Roots of the Black Panther Party
    True Mission of Black Studies as envisioned by the Black Student Union
    at San Francisco State University
    Revolution from Egypt to the Americas
    Male/female Rites of Passage
    Partner Violence, physical, verbal and emotional

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    Black Bird Press News & Review: Marvin X Now Available for Bookings for Black History Month, 2014



    "Marvin X is still the undisputed king of black consciousness!"
    --Dr. Nathan Hare, the Black Think Tank

    "Marvin X was my teacher. Many of our comrades came through his Black Arts Theatre: Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas, Samuel Napier!"
    --Dr. Huey P. Newton, co-founder, Black Panther Party


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    Don't Say Pussy

    Don’t say pussy

    just beat your woman half to death
    because you own her
    she yo private property
    don't say pussy
    just gang rape from America to Africa
    from the streets of Richmond to the DA's office
    don't say pussy
    that's a nasty word
    just cut off clitoris
    it's African tradition
    and we african to the bone
    don't say pussy
    let AIDS infect the world
    but don't say pussy
    say vagina
    cunt
    anything but pussy
    say cat
    dog
    boo
    anything but pussy
    nastiest word in creation
    we presume
    don't say pussy
    just be a church ho
    jezebel in the temple
    don't say pussy
    people might understand
    it's a woman's body not man's
    not his pussy but hers
    24/7 she owns it
    you don't have a pussy
    you don't have a pussy
    pussy man
    get the concept baby boy
    now you got 25 to life for rape
    don't say pussy
    say asshole from now on
    don't say pussy
    abuse yo wife cause she gave up some
    to yo buddy
    only after you fucked her best friend
    but don't say pussy
    cause you own it
    paid for it
    got it legal
    not in the alley
    in yo house
    so abuse it accuse it
    but don't say it
    send yo woman to the hospital
    two black eyes
    why not kill her cause she gave it up
    in a revenge fuck
    you taught her to say
    "You don't have no evidence
    I gave it up"
    you told her that many times
    on yo pussy runs
    but don't say pussy
    in anger management class
    court mandated
    since you so warped
    wanna beat her
    why not beat the white man
    beat yo boss
    not yo woman, yo pussy
    you love so much
    but it's gone now
    ain't coming back
    you so crude and rude
    don't say pussy
    just think about it.
    think about who taught you pussy was dirty, nasty
    the church, the pope, the bishop fucking little boys
    what he know bout pussy
    ain't pussy God's mother
    holy Mary mother of God
    who taught you pussy was nasty, funky
    was it religions of men
    wanting control of women and the fruit of their womb
    control of property
    control of the world
    who are these men
    did they come from women
    did women teach them this madness
    was it her breast milk
    her kindness
    wiping their asses
    snotty noses
    was it mama's hands taught them this
    yet they hate pussy
    will beat it to death, throw it in the Bay, on the roadside, in the woods
    in the backyard, in the wall
    what kind of people are these
    constructing a world to hate pussy
    the very thing that gave them life
    won't let it be free
    want to cage it box it handcuff it tie it up in the closet
    what manner of man is this
    what beast what cave animal what dog
    still cave acting in the modern world
    actually hating that which he loves
    some kind of schizophrenic devil

    can't do without pussy for five minutes
    he wants to cum
    wants some head
    wants some yeah pussy
    wants some ass
    wants wants wants
    but hates hates hates pussy
    a sick man really
    go to the pussy doctor
    not the gyno but the psycho
    talk to him bout yo problem
    why you so warped demented deranged
    want to get violent over her pussy
    that you can't own no matter what the papers say
    no matter how much you pay on yo pussy bill
    you can't own it dog
    don't think you own it for a minute cause you don't you can't
    it's not yours to own baby boy
    get a life a real life in a hurry
    before the end of the world
    don't you see it coming
    and you still stuck on stupid
    go be dead in this life
    dead in the hereafter
    be careful
    pussy gives life and pussy takes life
    you can't beat it
    too strong
    you lose in the end
    pussy always wins
    pussy bad
    better ax somebody.
    go get a healing!


    from the Mythology of Pussy and Dick (expanded version circa 400 pages)  by Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 2014

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    Comrades, do you remember when we were ignut students, especially in white academia? We thought we knew everything, especially after taking a few classes in white supremacy civilization. We just knew our parents were stupid and ignut and we were the wisest of all people, our youth blinding us to reality as we proceeded to become edumaked in white supremacy mythology. Those of you who attended San Francisco State College/University, surely can recall how we played bid whist in the cafeteria and totally disrespected the Nation of Islam's Brother Edward who was trying to get us deaf, dumb and blind students to get an understanding of our Aboriginal mythology. We cursed and some of us wanted to spit on Brother Edward, a man who almost single handedly recruited a generation of Muslims from San Francisco State U, UC Berkeley, San Jose State U and other bay area colleges and universities. Those of us who finally heeded Brother Edward and made our way into the Nation of Islam should forever honor and respect Ancestor Brother Edward for saving us from being eternally deaf dumb and blind.

    As per the white man's teachings, we were guilty as black students of today who were best described by Amiri Baraka, "We send them to colleges and universities and they come back hating us and everything we're about, except they don't know what we're about!"

    And so it is, today's students are so "bright" they know absolutely everything and their networking is "original" and must be accepted by OGs who are totally out of the loop in the present era.

    It is as though our knowledge of the past is of no use, since we know nothing and our little children fresh out of the womb know everything, especially those taught by white perverts and anti-lifers who favor global drone murder and NSA spying on American citizens. Of course the so called Negro tenured professors fare no better since they can only be described as a motley crew of intellectuals in perpetual crisis, chasing dysfunctional African wisdom and Anceint bones around the pyramids, in the process neglecting dry bones in the hoods suffering homicide and the New Jew Crow.

    There is little or no program for Dry Bones so he languishes in jail and prison cells, while his natural mate suffers identity crisis and a mate crisis, even while acquiring the best of  white supremacy edumakion, B.A., M.A., MBA, PhD, etc.

    As my dad (RIP) said of me and my generation, we were so smart we outsmarted ourselves, we say of the present generation, and this is indeed one of our smartest generations, after all they are products of the information age, they can goole the world on their cell phone. Some of the books that took us twenty years to read, they read in one semester.

    True, this generation has a plethora of millionaires and even billionaires, a few can be called conscious but most are simply capitalist exploiters who care not if their products are made from slave labor. They make tennis shoes for 50 cents then sell them in the hood for $200.00, some youth are killed for their gear.

    Comrades, we who are now 70, 80 years old, know we have changed some of our thinking and acting since we were in our twenties. Just remember how arrogant and boastful we were, our abysmal level of ignunce. We can be proud our generation took our liberation to a higher level. We now pass the baton to the present generation and hope they will avoid some of our pitfalls and especially our contradictions.
    --Marvin X
    12/2/13

    ***
    Marvin X (Jackmon) came into black consciousness as a student at Oakland's Merritt College, along with fellow students Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Marvin, Huey, Bobby and other students such as Ernest Allen, Maurice Dawson, Kenny Freeman, Carol Freeman, Richard Thorne, Ann Williams, Isaac Moore, et al., studied in peer groups independent of the college that had few classes on anything Black.
    This group of students were influenced by the African American Association, headed by Donald Warden, Esq, aka Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour.

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    Marvin X has been known by many names throughout his writing and social activist career of five decades. Coming across the border from Mexico while underground and sought by the FBI for refusing to serve in Vietnam, he was Elijah Muhammad, using the birth certificate of Elijah Muhammad’s grandson of the same name, who he had met while exiled in Mexico City. His first Arabic teacher, Ali Sharif Bey, named him Nazzam which means organizer or systematizer . Ali said a poet creates a system of mythology with his work.


    After observing Marvin X on the street, Ishmael Reed said, “If  you want to learn about motivation and inspiration, don’t spend all that money going to workshops and seminars, just go stand at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland and watch Marvin X at work. He’s Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland.”


    One of his students, Ptah Allah El, says “The works of Plato Negro prove to be a major contribution to the field of African philosophy. These works provide a model for a standard approach toward reflective thinking and critical analysis for African people, still trying to define their own philosophical worldview…..”


    As per Rumi, Bob Holman of the Bowery Poetry Club, NYC, commented, “Marvin X is the USA’s Rumi…. X’s poems vibrate, whip, love in the most meta—and physical ways imaginable and un-. He’s got the humor of Pietri, the politics of Baraka, and the spiritual Muslim grounding that is totally new in English—the ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi.  It’s not unusual for him to have a sequence of shortish lines followed by a culminating line that stretches a quarter page—it is the dance of the dervishes, the rhythms of a Qasida.


    “He is a Master Teacher in many fields of thought—religion and psychology, sociology and anthropology, history and politics, literature and the humanities. He is a needed counselor, for he knows himself on the deepest of personal levels and he reveals that self to us, that w might be his beneficiaries…. One of America’s great story tellers. I’d put him ahead of Mark Twain.”—Rudolph Lewis


    He’s the new Malcolm X! Nobody’s going to talk about his book (s) out loud, but they’ll hush hush about them. He’s very straight and plain….—Jerri Lange, author Jerri, A Black Woman’s Life in the Media


    Declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because by re-contextualizing it will add another layer of attention to Marvin X’s incredibly rich body of work. Muslim American literature begins with Marvin X. –Dr. Mohja Kahf


    In terms of modernist and innovative, he’s centuries ahead of anybody I know.—Dennis Leroy Moore, Brecht Forum, New York


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    Black Bird Press News & Review: The Public Career of Marvin X:



    Marvin X has been teaching for a long time. He has established his tenacity. As one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement (BAM), he became a teacher in an emerging field called Black Studies. Like Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, Askia Toure and others, Marvin X both contributed to and later taught those pivotal courses that constituted a new discipline.

    For the last thirty years, this gifted poet, journalist, dramatist, oral historian (he appears to be the only participant in the Black Arts Movement that conducted intensive and extensive oral interviews with the key participants, as well as international political, cultural and educational leaders)and teacher, has established an unusual record. Marvin X has taught at the University of California at San Diego, Mills College, San Francisco State University, Fresno State University, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland, University of Nevada,Reno, and the University of California at Berkeley.

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    Black Bird Press News & Review: Marvin X Now Available for Bookings for Black History Month, 2014



    Marvin X has been teaching for a long time. He has established his tenacity. As one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement (BAM), he became a teacher in an emerging field called Black Studies. Like Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, Askia Toure and others, Marvin X both contributed to and later taught those pivotal courses that constituted a new discipline.

    For the last thirty years, this gifted poet, journalist, dramatist, oral historian (he appears to be the only participant in the Black Arts Movement that conducted intensive and extensive oral interviews with the key participants, as well as international political, cultural and educational leaders)and teacher, has established an unusual record. Marvin X has taught at the University of California at San Diego, Mills College, San Francisco State University, Fresno State University,
    Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland, University of Nevada,Reno, and the University of California at Berkeley.--James G. Spady, Philadelphia PA

    Today Marvin X conducts his method of teaching at Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland--the most dangerous classroom in the world! Call for an appointment with Doctor M. 510-200-4164



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    Black Bird Press News & Review: Marvin X Now Available for Bookings for Black History Month, 2014



    Marvin X‘s newest book, “Eldridge Cleaver: My Friend, The Devil” is an important Expose!, not only of whom his good friend really was… (I confess I thought something like that, in less metaphysical terms, from the day we met, at San Francisco State, 1967) But also of whom Marvin was/is. Now, Marvin has confessed to being Yacub, whom Elijah Muhammad taught us was the “evil big head scientist” who created the devil. (Marvin’s head is very large for his age.)
    What is good about this book is Marvin’s telling us something about who Eldridge became as the Black Panther years receded in the rear view mirror. I remember during this period, when I learned that Marvin was hanging around Cleaver even after he’d made his televised switch from anti-capitalist revolutionary to Christian minister, denouncing the 3rd World revolutionaries and the little Marxism he thought he knew, while openly acknowledging beating his wife as a God given male prerogative, I said to Marvin, “I thought you was a Muslim” . His retort, “Jesus pay more money than Allah, Bro”, should be a classic statement of vituperative recidivism.
    But this is one of the charms of this memoir. It makes the bizarre fathomable. Especially the tales of fraternization with arguably the most racist & whitest of the Xtian born agains with Marvin as agent, road manager, co-conspirator-confessor, for the post-Panther – very shot- out Cleaver. It also partially explains some of Cleaver’s moves to get back in this country, he had onetime denounced, and what he did after the big cop out. Plus, some of the time, these goings on seem straight out hilarious. Though frequently, that mirth is laced with a sting of regret. Likewise, I want everyone to know that I am writing this against my will, as a favor to Yacub.
    —Amiri Baraka.
    Newark, 5/13/09

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    Marvin,
     
    Knowing how much a little learning can be a dangerous thing, I hasten to add that there had been no promise of demography to Edwards on my part – indeed, it was years before I figured that part out. As a matter of fact, one day Prof. Edwards happened to come by the University of Chicago Population Center, where I was a graduate student research assistant for Prof. Duncan in 1960. Prof. Edwards was in the company of a former Howard professor who had moved on to teach at the University of Chicago in the Political Science. Dudley’s wife, my immediate supervisor, came upstairs with them and introduced them to me. It was I who naively informed them that I was going to teach at Howard when I finished my studied for the Ph.D. They said, “well, when you finish let us know.” That evening I wrote my mother that I was going to be teaching at Howard, which was a big thing then, without considering they’d have to have an opening, as I had no doubt they would hire me if they did. Actually, I had turned down a chance to be the first and only fulltime Negro on the teaching faculty of Colorado State at Fort Collins, though my duties would expectedly include research in collective behavior, the field in which I had taken my special field exam. Howard was offering 40 per cent less,, but the head guy from Colorado (they had come to Chicago to interview me etc.) called over and over saying you’re making a mistake, talk to your family and friends, why don’t you name a salary. I had a plan and went to Howard expressly to make Howard students more concerned and aware of the black condition, and other black college students would emulate them and they would be the leading Negroes if not the Negro leaders and have an impact on the entire race. Such was the naïve hopes of a young black man living isolated in the cemetery of  whiteness as a graduate student making the decision to go to Howard against everybody’s advice accusing me of holding back racial progress by not taking the opportunity to integrate Colorado State. One night it broke up a party of friends and acquaintances who had gathered to say goodbye, and it ended my friendship with two individuals to this day.
     
    Nathan
     

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    Marvin X Classic--How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

    Foreword

    How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

    By Dr. Nathan Hare

    Call him Dr. M, as I do, though I’ve known him by other names in other places and, like Diogenes, who went around holding up a lantern to the faces of the people he would meet in the streets of ancient Athens looking for an honest man, I have come to the realization that we as a people have been waiting and looking for somebody like Dr. M to come along for more than half a century, ever since  America was stunned by The Mark of Oppression (the Jim Crow era book by two white liberal psychiatrists whose findings had brought them to the heartfelt conclusion that the race of people called “Negroes”  was “crushed.”

    In only four years after their epitaph was written, Negroes (now called “blacks,” “Blacks,” “Afro-Americans,” “African-Americans,” or as Dr. M sometimes calls them “American Africans”) had exploded in Montgomery with passive resistance.  In four more years the “sit-in movement” broke out among the youth, followed like a one-two punch by the so-called “freedom riders” (roving bands of individuals who boarded and defied the segregation of interstate vehicles and included a future student of mine on spring break from Howard University by the name of Stokely Carmichael).  Then came “Black Power,” in the context of which I first heard of a man who had metamorphosed from the slave-name Marvin Jackmon into a prominent “North American African poet” who went by the name of Marvin X (the X connoting “the unknown”).

    While, despite the fact that I have known him through the intervening years, I cannot unravel every single quality of the brother, I can testify that Dr. M is a brand new Marvin, a Dr. Marvin, a social doctor, if you will, with a gift and a mission for a new black movement. I know this to be true because, aside from my Ph.D. and years of experience in the practice of clinical psychology, I specialized in the study of social movements for a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Chicago.  But more than that, I have watched a dedicated Dr. M, up close and clinically, going about his fearless work in the mean streets of San Francisco.  

    Over a period of many months, on many a dark and dreary sometimes rainy Wednesday night, I served as a consultant in clinical psychology to Dr. M’s “Black Reconstruction Group” (the pilot to his twelve-step model now unveiled in this important book on “How to Recover from Addiction to White Supremacy.” In the Recovery Theatre’s pilot groups, I sat with diverse and ad hoc coteries of men and women gathered impromptu in the austere basement of a Catholic church, St. Boniface, located in the heart of The Tenderloin, the highest crime district in San Francisco, just down a few blocks from the famous Glide Memorial Methodist Church.  Many a night I marveled at the ease with which Dr. M and his talented co-facilitator, Suzette Celeste brought out trickles of lost and unleashed hope and inspiration in the minds of destitute and degraded street people as well as in the confused and empty psyches of invited members of the black bourgeoisie who, still trying to be unbroken, had come where not many “bourgies” would dare to tread.

    On many an appointed night I stood by silently looking on while Dr. M and his collaborators sauntered out into the shadowy mysteries of dilapidated streets to solicit and harness hapless homeless men and a woman or two and bring them in to meet as equals with the anxious representatives of the black bourgeoisie who had dared to cross momentarily back over their tentative territorial and social boundaries.  This of course is not recommended for the feeble or the fainthearted; because, until the revolution comes, or the proletariat triumphs, there will be difficulties and perils in chance encounters of the social classes.  So I must hasten to explain that a security conscious Dr. M was operating within a safety net of collaborators competent in the martial arts; like Geoffrey Grier, who has been an international martial arts competitor and is a son of a black psychiatrist, Dr. William Grier, coauthor with Dr. Price Cobb of the late 1960s blockbuster, Black Rage.

    At the moment when the oppressed have had enough, their rage will explode --  Fanon had warned us in The Wretched of the Earth -- and it is at that moment, at the very point of mental and spiritual coagulation and defeat, when they will come together and rise.  Frantz Fanon went on to tell of a category of reconstruction groups called “’djemaas’ (village assemblies) of northern Africa or in the meetings of western Africa, tradition demands that the quarrels which occur in a village should be settled in public. It is communal self-criticism, of course, and with a note of humor, because everybody is relaxed, and because in the last resort we all want the same things. But the more the intellectual imbibes the atmosphere of the people, the more completely he abandons the habits of calculation, of unwonted silence, of mental reservations, and shakes the spirit of concealment. And it is true that already at that level we can say that it spreads its own light and its own reason.”

    However, psychiatric authority for a self-help peer group focus on individual feelings (or addiction) in relation to white supremacy became available anew in the late 1960s, when Jeffrey Grier’s father, Dr. William H. Grier, and his collaborator, Dr. Price M. Cobbs, published Black Rage.   Dr. Grier has also consulted with Dr. M and his Recovery Theatre around the time of the pilot trial run of the first “Black Reconstruction Groups.”  According to Grier and Cobbs, in the “Introduction to the Paperback Edition” of Black Rage, “The most important aspect of therapy with blacks, we are convinced, is that racist mistreatment must be echoed and underlined as a fact, an unfortunate fact, but a most important fact – a part of reality. Dissatisfaction with such mistreatment is to be expected, and one’s resentment should be of appropriate dimensions” among black warriors who would exact retribution.  “Psychiatry for such warriors,” Grier and Cobbs went on to explain, should aim to “keep them fit for the duty at hand and healthy enough to enjoy the victories” that are likely to emerge.

    Fitness for duty is a pleasant but likely side effect of Dr. M’s “Black Reconstruction Groups” working to free the minds of persons addicted to white supremacy.  This no doubt is no doubt why they do not limit themselves in their group sessions to expressions of resentment of racist mistreatment and dissatisfaction but also calmly allow its hidden effects, which often remain unconscious in the way in which the relentless karate chops of white supremacy have killed our dreams on a daily basis and shattered our ability to love, to feel loved, to love ourselves and therefore one another. I listened with much satisfaction as Dr. M and his assemblies delved into the depths of fractured feelings and emotions of the brokenhearted in order to help them come to terms with betrayal, jealousy and rage, in their moving endeavors to learn to love again.

    And so it is that you will find many a reference to love in How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy. This includes, for instance, “Women Who Love” and the motivations of the men who love them. 

    Dr. M’s own fitness for duty is complex, unique and variegated.  According to James W. Sweeney, "Marvin  walked through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal." Marvin can boast of “a Ph.D. in Negrology,” as he puts it,” the study of nigguhs” issued by the University of Hardknocks’s College of Hell), based on twelve years of research , independent study , and practicum in San Francisco's Tenderloin and other unlettered social laboratories throughout the United States.  

    There may still be hope, if it pleases  you, for Dr. M to join the white man’s system of miseducation and mental health care, when we consider that psychologists, including one of my mentors, the late Dr. Carlton Goodlett, at first were “grandfathered” in when the licensure of psychologists was started in the state of California.  Later came the oral exam (conversational, not dental), followed in time by an essay exam, before the boom in “standardized “ multiple choice tests for which workshops were offered to prepare you for a fee, causing excellent practitioners, especially black ones, to be blocked from licensure until they found out and forked over whopping workshop fees . 

    There is also a burgeoning market opening up in “clinical sociology” and “sociological practice” still cutting out its slice of the marketplace and finding its way in matters of licensure and credentialing in the field of sociology. But here it may be important to say that the self-help peer group does not require a sociological or a mental health professional, any more than the primordial AA groups from which the mental health profession has profited and learned. Dr. M is a social “doctor” (which etymologically means “teacher”) grappling with a social problem, white supremacy and its punishing residue in the minds of oppressed black individuals and white oppressors who have chosen to reject and come to places where their fathers lied. Oppressors pure and simple, who accept white supremacy, must be dealt with in a later context, as you will not very well be able to keep them in a Black Reconstruction or White Supremacy Destruction Group (or White Supremacy Deconstruction, if you will).

    Much in the manner of Hegel in his essay on “Master and Slave,” Marvin senses that the oppressor distorts his own mind as well as the mind of the oppressed. Hence Type I and Type II White Supremacy Addiction. White sociologists and the late black psychologist, Bobby Wright, converged in their findings of pathological personality traits (“the authoritarian personality” and “the racial psychopathic personality,” as Bobby put it). 

    But if Hegel was correct in his notion that the oppressor cannot free the slave, that the slave must force the oppressor’s hand, then it is Type II White Supremacy Addiction which if not more resistant to cure, must occupy our primary focus. Type II White Supremacy may be seen as a kind of “niggeritis” or “Negrofication” growing out of an over-identification with the master, who is white. As in any disorder severity of symptoms may vary from mild to moderate or severe.  

    As Frantz Fanon put it when he spoke for the brother with jungle fever in Black Skin, White Mask: “I wish to be regarded as white. If I can be loved by the white woman who is loved by the white man, then I am white like the white man; I am a full human being.” In the twisted mental convolution of a brother in black skin behind a white mask, Fanon observed a “Negro dependency complex” independently chronicled in my own Black Anglo Saxons (black individuals with white minds in black bodies). They struggle to look, think, talk and walk white by day, then go to sleep at night and dream that they will wake up white. They refuse to realize that no matter what they may ever do they will never get out of the black race alive.

    On the other hand, you are going to be seeing “nouveau blacks” and lesser Afrocentrics -- who faithfully and unquestionably follow twelve-month years and endeavor even to blackenize the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ -- jumping up to question Dr. M’s re-africanization of the “Twelve Steps” model for “using the Eurocentric twelve steps,” but they forget  that the very effort to be practical and collective is the original African way.  In any event, we must build on whites as whites have built on us, taking the best of the West and leaving the rest alone.  But Dr. M has expressly and creatively added a thirteenth step; for his goal is not just recovery but discovery, his goal is not just to change the individual but to change the individual to get ready to change the world.

    Meanwhile there is one thing on which we can all agree:  in any serious attempt to solve the bitter mental ravages of white supremacy, we must face the unadulterated fact that we are limited when we look to the institutionalized “profession” and their professional “providers.”  This of course is not to say that the institutionalized professionals cannot be helpful. Dr. M is quick to point out that a self-help peer group cannot cure all the diverse neuroses and psychoses that afflict us. Indeed he goes so far as to suggest that some of us “may need to be committed.”

    The late Queen Mother Moore (who loved to boast that she had “gone as far as the fourth grade, and stayed in school too long to learn anything”) delighted in going around deconstructing our “slave mentalities” and saying somebody needs to “do some surgery on these Negro minds” – in which Queen Mother had diagnosed a chronic condition she called “oppression psychoneurosis.” Queen Mother Moore was basically joking, that is, laughing to keep from crying, but it is no joke that mental health professionals, operating under the medical model, think nothing of seeing a person suffering from a psychosocial problem and not only treating the victim instead of the problem but – much in the manner of any addict or drug pusher– use or apply chemicals and sometimes chemical abuse to deal with the inability of the “patient” to feel good in a bad place and thrive, to try to  “have heart” in a heartless world. Many people are unaware to this very day that the practice once was rampant for psychiatrists to treat a person with chronic mental maladies by subjecting them to lobotomies cutting off a portion of their brains. Shock treatment was another method – you’re shocked by life, let’s shock your brain, Senator Eagleton (who later ran for the vice-presidency in the 1970s on the ticket with George McGovern).

    It should never have been any surprise that the mental health profession would be of only partial help in reconstructing the psychic consequences of centuries of prolonged brainwashing and subjugation (this is not to mention “Sicko” and what we know of the crippling new effects of “managed care” on the medical profession). Many mental health experts, the overwhelming majority of them white, have long suggested that the “medical model” may be inappropriate in the treatment of the psychological, not to mention, sociological components of mental illness. 

    But you don’t have to be a mental health professional or a sociologist to know that we can no longer restrict our search for healing to professional shrinks, raring back in executive chairs and carpeted suites stocked with “psychometric instruments” standardized on the white middle class, far removed from the realities of the concrete social milieu of afflicted and homeless black “subjects” living lives of hardship and subjugation, with no assurance of available treatment.
     
    Even when they are “insured they are limited to the care and treatment some insurance clerk is willing to “authorize.”  In matters of mental health, this typically will include a few sessions of “fifty minute hours” of “talk therapy” before leaving with a prescription or chemical palliative to dull agony and the pain but not the punishment of life on the skids in a sick society.

    The hour is up and time is running out, black people, but white supremacy is not. We are living now in the final and highest stage of racism and white supremacy.  We’ve let our struggle slip back while sitting in classrooms and conferences crooning about “afrocentricity” and ancient African glories that have gone forever.

    We have come now to a crossroads. We have lost control of our children’s minds, our future.  We have lost their respect, and appear to be on a collision course to a war of words between the black generations, in which hip-hop youth disparage and mock our language, our music and our humanity with a creativity and a rime and a rhythm we can’t fathom, let alone equal in our pitifully fruitless endeavors to eliminate the “n-word” and box with the black-on-black random violence of dissocialized youth who have concluded that adults and their leaders cannot or will not fight the power.  Who knows but it may be that Dr. M’s movement of recovery from addiction to and from white supremacy is offering us a final and effective chance to begin to “sit down together,” to get together and get our heads together.    
     
    Marvin X's How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy is available from Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94702.

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    Breaking News: Iconic Leader Nelson Mandela Dead at 95

      

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        neLSON mANDELA dead at 95. www.blackbluedog.com
        .

        Reported by Maria Lloyd
        CNN.com just broke the devastating news that the world-renowned iconic leader Nelson Mandela has passed away at the age of 95.
        The Telegraph reports that his family and friends were by his side as he laid in his deathbed last night. Two of  Mandela’s granddaughters and Bantu Holomisa, a close family friend, were among those seen entering the house in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, along with military personnel responsible for the former president’s health.
        Mandela’s death comes after several months of being in and out of critical illness throughout 2013. At this moment, there is no exact cause of death. CNN.com reports he was home at the time of his death and his room had been converted into an Intensive Care Unit and overlooked his garden. He received 24-hour care up until his death.


        Mandela’s death occurs just as his biopic “Long Walk to Freedom,” starring British actor Idris Elba, screened in London. Mandela’s daughter Zindzi, who attended the screening in London, told reporters that her father had seen some clips of the film. She described the state of his health as “frail” but “fine.” Zindzi also told reporters “My father is fine. He’s 95 years old and he is pretty frail. We are hoping to see more of him.
        George W. Bush sent he and his wife’s condolences stating that Mandela “was one of the great forces of freedom and equality of our time.” The media is anticipating statements from President Obama and former President Clinton momentarily.
        Mandela is best-known as an anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. He leaves behind his wife Graça Machel and eight children (six biological children, two stepchildren).

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        Black Bird Press News & Review: Oakland's Imam Musa and the American Islamic Revolution

        Imam Jamil al-Amin, aka H. Rap Brown

        June 2000: At a gathering in Baltimore organized by Jamaat al-Muslimeen, Alim Musa spoke about Imam Jamil al-Amin, a Muslim activist who has since been convicted for killing an Atlanta, Georgia, deputy sheriff:
        "Al-Amin…turned his ideas, his belief in Islam, into practical solutions for society. And they can't stand that….the Zionist are the same today as they was then. In those days [in Arabia before the ascendance of Islam] they controlled the liquor market in Madina… and the Zionists kept the Arab leaders broke and drunk…the yahud [Jews, in Arabic] were seating back and had each one of them [Arab clans] fighting each other because the leaders was both drunken and they was all in owe (sic) to the same Yahud… he was manipulating the Arabs…then Islam came [and abolished riba, or interest]…"We're the pioneers here of Islam in America… Islam went everywhere in the world… so why can't Islam take over America… We are on the right road."

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        Black Bird Press News & Review: The Public Career of Marvin X



        Marvin X and Fred Hampton, Jr.
        photo Kamau Amen Ra

        ....Marvin X is a teacher of primeval knowledge, a knower of both street poetry and book poetry. In fact, he combines the two in a powerful way. Each verse is a teach act, each stanza--a class. His use of alliteration, rhymes, assonance, dissonance and free rhymes indicates he has absorbed the teachings of the academy. Yet, the street consciousness lying in the cut of its content links him directly to the poets of the new idiom called Rap....
        --James G. Spady

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        Black Bird Press News & Review: The Public Career of Marvin X



        Marvin X and Fred Hampton, Jr.
        photo Kamau Amen Ra

        ....Marvin X is a teacher of primeval knowledge, a knower of both street poetry and book poetry. In fact, he combines the two in a powerful way. Each verse is a teach act, each stanza--a class. His use of alliteration, rhymes, assonance, dissonance and free rhymes indicates he has absorbed the teachings of the academy. Yet, the street consciousness lying in the cut of its content links him directly to the poets of the new idiom called Rap....
        --James G. Spady

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