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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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    I am Nelson Mandela
    I was jailed a thousand years
    for thinking a thought called freedom
    a thousand years of jail did not taint me one bit
    my will is solid
    confinement is heaven
    I listen to the stars
    they guild me to freedom
    I smell the moon
    keeping my balance
    like Harriet Tubman
    I could have freed more
    if they had known they were slaves
    and yet my task was not only slaves
    but slave masters as well
    Yes, I had to free them of their freedom
    freedom to hate
    freedom to dominate
    freedom to desecrate
    full human beings
    from the very beginning of humanity
    Call us Kafirs
    Call us niggers
    all the same
    the attitude is the same
    Israel USA South Africa
    Mandela tried to find a better way
    Israel is like a kosher hog loving slop
    persisting in her inordinacy
    blindly wandering on
    America the same
    kissing the jews asshole
    chosen people?
    Jesus told you who they are
    liars and murderers
    "If God were your Father
    you would love me
    but you seek to kill me
    because I tell you the truth"

    Apartheid left South Africa
    landed in Jerusalem
    in the USA
    call it the New Jim Crow
    the slave system
    under the US Constitution
    involuntary servitude
    Nelson knew it well
    the cell of solitude
    the cell of wonder
    imagination
    determination
    a thousand years of chains
    no wife
    no children
    to hug and kiss
    only destruction by oppressors
    as they destroyed themselves
    the world of make believe
    and Baldwin told me
    The murder of my child
    will not make your child safe!
    They understand no part of nothing
    understanding transcends the mentality of white supremacy type I
    We must overcome white supremacy type II
    Nelson did
    slave mentality
    passivity
    fear is the worst thing
    trembling in the boots
    crisis in the mind
    mental paralysis
    anorexia
    political and sexual
    Dr. Julia Hare taught us
    and we pray for her health
    as we write.
    But Nelson was our dream
    we knew the pass system
    even here in the Bay
    they stopped every nigguh
    gave him a pass
    the Bay was Apartheid in motion
    most never knew this
    as they hunted for Patty Hurst and the Zebra killers
    Apartheid in America
    give me a brake
    Apartheid in the schools
    workplaces
    eating out
    shopping
    calling for help at the door of white supremacy
    knocking in the night when our car crashed

    We saw Nelson when he came to Los Angeles
    when he came to the Oakland Coliseum
    my daughters Nefertiti and Amira
    Muhammida just came from Lagos and Accra
    says she's out of America
    no America for her
    She shall be part of the New Africa
    the new light of the world
    she refuses to be a North American African
    caught in the American slave system
    Dad, they may not have constant lights and water
    in Lagos and Accra
    but they don't lynch American Africans on a constant basis
    they are not shot in Lagos and Accra for walking while Black
    for shopping while black
    for loving while black!
    Free all political prisoners in America and Africa
    Asia and Latin America
    Free all the Nelson Mandelas in Angola Attica and Pelican Bay
    Free Ruchell Magee
    Free  Mumia Abu Jamal
    Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin
    General Amnesty for the 2.4 million Africans in the American slave system
    Ed Howard term!

    --Marvin X
    12/5/13

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  • 12/06/13--08:11: Sun Ra on America











  • "America, the Devil don't even want you--you not even suitable for hell!"--Sun Ra, Master Teacher of the Black Arts Movement







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


    Marvin X, the Symphony Conductor

    Marvin, you have so much energy and so many things going on at once. You're a conductor of a great symphony, a Sun-Ra. Loving you madly, Rudy Lewis, Editor, Chickenbones.com

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    Dec 6 at 12:37 PM
     
    http://blackleftunity.blogspot.com/2013/12/mandela-presente.html

    Sisters & Brothers,

    We have to relentlessly combat the political neutering of Ancestor Madiba- Nelson Mandela -by the racist corporate media and their negro spokespersons. These past 24-26 hours have made it clear that the racist corporate media had months to prepare for a total misinformation/erasure-of-history onslaught upon the citizens of the West. Mandela, the revolutionary armed struggle freedom fighter against apartheid racism is now just a lovely old man who only embraced nonviolence strategies and tactics against Apartheid.

    The Black Left Unity Network's blog is the place to go to to see how revolutionaries across the earth show their condolences, rememberances and analyses of Brother Nelson Mandela's revolutionary life. More tributes will be posted in the 10 days of global rememberances and celebration
    ahead.

    http://blackleftunity.blogspot.com/2013/12/mandela-presente.html

    MANDELA PRESENTE!




    Johannesburg, 6 December 2013


    SACP statement on the passing away of Madiba

    “…the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love”


    Last night the millions of the people of South Africa, majority of whom the working class and poor, and the billions of the rest of the people the world over, lost a true revolutionary, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Tata Madiba.

    The South African Communist Party (SACP) joins the people of South Africa and the world in expressing its most sincere condolences to Ms Graca Machel and the entire Mandela family on the loss of what President Zuma correctly described as South Africa's greatest son, Comrade Mandela. We also wish to use this opportunity to express our solidarity with the African National Congress, an organisation that produced him and that he also served with distinction, as well as all his colleagues and comrades in our broader liberation movement. As Tata Madiba said:

    “It is not the kings and generals that make history but the masses of the people, the workers, the peasants…”

    The passing away of Cde Mandela marks an end to the life of one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th century, who fought for freedom and against all forms of oppression in both their countries and globally. As part of the masses that make history, Cde Mandela’s contribution in the struggle for freedom was located and steeled in the collective membership and leadership of our revolutionary national liberation movement as led by the ANC – for he was not an island. In Cde Mandela we had a brave and courageous soldier, patriot and internationalist who, to borrow from Che Guevara, was a true revolutionary guided by great feelings of love for his people, an outstanding feature of all genuine people’s revolutionaries.

    At his arrest in August 1962, Nelson Mandela was not only a member of the then underground South African Communist Party, but was also a member of our Party’s Central Committee. To us as South African communists, Cde Mandela shall forever symbolise the monumental contribution of the SACP in our liberation struggle. The contribution of communists in the struggle to achieve the South African freedom has very few parallels in the history of our country. After his release from prison in 1990, Cde Madiba became a great and close friend of the communists till his last days.

    The one major lesson we need to learn from Mandela and his generation of leaders was their commitment to principled unity within each of our Alliance formations as well as the unity of our Alliance as a whole and that of the entire mass democratic movement. Their generation struggled to build and cement the unity of our Alliance, and we therefore owe it to the memory of Cde Madiba to preserve the unity of our Alliance. Let those who do not understand the extent to which blood was spilt in pursuance of Alliance unity be reminded not to throw mud at the legacy and memory of the likes of  Madiba by being reckless and gambling with the unity of our Alliance.

    The SACP supported Madiba's championing of national reconciliation. But national reconciliation for him never meant avoiding tackling the class and other social inequalities in our society, as some would like to make us believe today. For Madiba, national reconciliation was a platform to pursue the objective of building a more egalitarian South African society free of the scourge of racism, patriarchy and gross inequalities. And true national reconciliation shall never be achieved in a society still characterized by the yawning gap of inequalities and capitalist exploitation.

    In honour of this gallant fighter the SACP will intensify the struggle against all forms of inequality, including intensifying the struggle for socialism, as the only political and economic solution to the problems facing humanity.

    For the SACP the passing away of Madiba must give all those South Africans who had not fully embraced a democratic South Africa, and who still in one way or the other hanker to the era of white domination, a second chance to come to terms with a democratic South Africa founded on the principle of majority rule.

    We call upon all South Africans to emulate his example of selflessness, sacrifice, commitment and service to his people.

    The SACP says Hamba kahle Mkhonto!


    Issued by SACP

    Contact:
    Alex Mashilo – National Spokesperson
    Mobile: 082 9200 308
    Office: 011 339 3621

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    In Loving Memory



    Roderick Douglas Bush
    November 12, 1945 – December 5, 2013

    Our dear loved one (partner, father, grandfather, favorite son-in-law,
    friend, comrade, professor, teacher, mentor) Roderick Douglas Bush
    passed December 5, 2013, 6:55pm. All of his children (Malik, Thembi,
    Sarafina, Andree) were with him during his last week. His last days
    were spent packing an enormous suitcase filled with love, admiration
    and the affirmation of his principles, vision and relationships as
    conveyed in visits, calls, texts and emails. He was in a palliative
    care environment dedicated entirely to his comfort.

    While this disease (bile duct cancer in the liver) moved so rapidly,
    Rod was strong, engaged, very physically active, passionate and
    extremely happy right to the time when the forces of nature took over.
    The initial sign was a mild discomfort that he attributed to drinking
    too much coffee. Formal diagnosis occurred on November 8th and two
    weeks were spent working to strengthen him for treatment. From
    November 26th – December 1st, his conditioned rapidly weakened. In
    total, he had three difficult and uncomfortable weeks, though not
    severe pain.

    We are struggling to come to terms with the idea that the only point
    at which things could have turned out differently was when a cell
    mutated. After that, it was a matter of the passage of time. This is
    the path of this disease.

    With the agreed determination of Malik, Thembi, Sarafina and Melanie,
    we then moved Rod to an environment where his last time could be spent
    peacefully receiving messages of love and admiration.

    Rod passed in Melanie’s arms, looking right into her eyes. He took
    three calm, deep and peaceful final breaths. That our complex family
    came together to make decisions, that all of our children were with
    him in his final days, that many of the people he affected were able
    to express their love for him at this critical time, was a true
    blessing. He proudly, defiantly, compassionately, generously, and
    wisely provides a model for us to draw upon as we move forward a
    legacy of struggle, dignity, possibility and profound love for
    community and humanity. Rod has and will continue to be, in all of us,
    a true warrior for the best of what can be.

    It is in his memory that we shall walk with dignity even as we
    navigate our searing sorrow and overwhelming grief. Let his example
    make us stronger fighters for justice, and better, more loving people.
    May we count every blessing and use these to lift us to fight for
    right, not some of our days but all of our days, and all day long.

    Rod passed on the anniversary of his mother’s transition in 2007 and
    on the same train as Nelson. We KNOW they are talking, laughing,
    debating, reflecting and possibly even watching Happy Feet 2. Let’s do
    the same in their honor.

    We are so grateful for the love and generosity that you have shared
    with Rod, and with us. It is only for the likes of people who do
    believe that we can change the world that we already have and will
    continue to do so as time marches on.

    ..............................
    The funeral will take place in Florida and a Memorial Service will
    take place in New York at a later date.

    A webpage will be set up so that you may post photos, memories, access
    his writing etc.

    If you want to forward expressions to the family, you may send them
    to: 642 East 26th Street Brooklyn NY 11210

    If you want to communicate immediately with the family, you may do so
    to melanie.e.l.bush@gmail.com

      

    20th Century Black Nationalism

    — Clarence Lang

    A Nation within a Nation:
    Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) & Black Power Politics
    by Komozi Woodard
    (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999),
    352 pages, $17.95 paperback.
    We Are Not What We Seem:
    Black Nationalism and Class Struggle in the American Century
    by Rod Bush
    (New York University Press, 1999), 336 pages, $19 paperback.
    MORE THAN A movement, Black Power (1965-75) was a nationalist slogan whose meaning disparate communities of activists fought to define and appropriate.(1) Scholars have paid particular attention to the schisms that developed between two trends of Black Power: cultural and revolutionary nationalism. The former emphasized the creation of African-centered values and practices. The latter, oriented toward Marxism, focused on both the racial and class concerns of the African-American “grassroots.”
    Two new excellent books written by veterans of this era -- Komozi Woodard's A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics, and Rod Bush's We Are Not What We Seem: Black Nationalism and Class Struggle in the American Century -- revisit the nationalist upsurge of the twentieth century from these contrasting perspectives.
    Both defend the legacies of Black Power from contemporary critics on the right, but this is far from the only goal. In his work, Woodard argues that cultural nationalism (and its most influential proponent, poet/playwright Amiri Baraka) played the decisive role in shaping African-American mass politics during the 1970s. He suggests that it contained progressive qualities often obscured by critics, then and now.
    Bush, responding to critics from both the liberal center and the left, asserts the “universalistic” nature of Black nationalism and its centrality to working-class struggle.
    The books themselves are companion pieces. By advancing different views of African-American nationalism -- its origins and class bases -- Woodard and Bush cross each other's paths.
    Woodard, a history professor at Sarah Lawrence College, argues that long-term processes of African-American urbanization and modernization earlier in the twentieth century laid the basis for “a black national political community” initially rooted among professional, managerial and business elites (6). He contends that while African Americans were assimilated into urban society along lines similar to Southeastern European immigrant groups, the pattern of their inclusion diverged from ethnic group politics.
    That is, African Americans were fundamentally excluded from “wealth, power and privilege,” by both recent European transplants and native-born whites. As a result, a rising stratum of educated Blacks was propelled toward nationalism; they pursued their group interests through independent institutions, and in the process developed a distinct national culture and consciousness (33).

    The Nationalist Impulse

    During the 1960s, as more African Americans appeared at white colleges and universities, Black nationalism spread among a small circle of students, artists and intellectuals. Thus, Woodard concludes, the pace of black nationality development actually accelerated as African Americans were urbanized and acculturated” (6).
    He suggests that at its core, modern African-American nationalism was “engendered by the nature of urban bureaucratic competition and conflict in a multiethnic capitalist society” (261). This involved not only an exclusion from modern bureaucratic society and its ethnic-based politics (e.g., urban political machines and similar avenues of group brokerage). Similar to other forms of nationalism, it also had origins in the petty bourgeoisie's rejection of bureaucratic society and its conformities.
    At the same historical moment that nationalism was cresting among the Black college-educated elite, Woodard argues, federal urban renewal schemes and the collapse of municipal government and commercial services activated a nationalist groundswell among the grassroots. According to the author, the Cuban Revolution, African liberation struggles, and the widespread influence of Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik Shabazz) further ignited nationalist insurgency among the working class and poor, and more widely.
    Significantly, the urban uprisings of the 1965-70 period created the historical context for fusing the nationalism of the college-educated with the broader based nationalism of the Black “masses.” These two elements together constituted the Black Power Movement.
    In Woodard's estimation, the most widespread expression of Black Power was cultural nationalism, whose strategies reached a zenith in what he terms the “Modern Black Convention Movement.”(2) This movement marked an attempt to grasp electoral power in U.S. society and influence U.S. foreign policy. It was also a step toward the formation of a national Black political community.
    In Woodard's words, the convention movement “constructed its own democratic process of agenda building around the principle of proportional representation, articulating the numerous viewpoints within the black community and giving each perspective due weight in decision making” (160).
    This manifested itself in the National Black Power Conferences held between 1966-68; the Congress of African People (CAP), which consolidated as a united front in 1970 and built twenty-five chapters around the country; the National Black Political Assembly (NBPA), which grew out of the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana; and the African Liberation Support Committee (ALSC) and Black Women's United Front (BWUF), both of which formed in the early 1970s.
    The development of the BWUF, moreover, symbolized Black nationalist women's determination to fight not only colonialism in Africa and racism in the United States, but also sexual exploitation and male chauvinism within the movement itself.

    Baraka's Role

    Amiri Baraka's importance to this period, Woodard asserts, stems from the fact that he drew lessons from individuals like Malcolm, Lumumba, and Fidel Castro. He also theoretically understood the effects of urbanization on Black nationality formation. But foremost, Baraka was the leading figure in `60s cultural nationalism, and the convention movement of the `70s.
    Anchored by Baraka's Committee for A Unified Newark (CFUN), CAP led cultural nationalists to the dead center of African-American politics. Surpassing the influence even of the newly elected Black officials it helped generate, this nationalist community enjoyed a brief hegemony between 1970-74, with Baraka occupying its uppermost peak.(3)
    Not surprising, Newark, New Jersey (Baraka's base and CAP's national headquarters) is Woodard's case study in this book, serving as his index to the triumphs and failures of Black cultural nationalism elsewhere. Thus, he argues that when Newark mayor Kenneth Gibson and other local Black officials “emerged as allies of white agents of repression,” activists around the nation felt the ripples (224). Many cultural nationalists lost faith in their previous strategies, and sought new answers.
    Already influenced by aspects of “Third World” socialism, individuals like Baraka began to consider its doctrines more seriously, and by 1975 embraced a “Marxist-Leninist” ideology influenced by Mao Tse-Tung. Woodard maintains that Baraka's putative rejection of nationalism drove a final nail into the coffin of the Modern Black Convention Movement and the `60s wave of cultural nationalism that had nurtured it.(4)

    Culture vs. Politics?

    Woodard's greatest contribution to literature on the Black Power era is his argument that cultural nationalist strategies were not nearly as isolated from concrete, quality-of-life struggles, as has been commonly argued.
    While even Woodard concedes that cultural nationalism emphasized “the importance of a black cultural revolution to win the minds of black people,” the practical political orientation of CFUN/Newark CAP, and the convention movement more generally, exposes the myth of a purely cultural politics.
    In many accounts of the period, for instance, the cultural nationalist US Organization is often compared unfavorably to the revolutionary nationalist Black Panther Party, its chief rival. This opposition revolves around the revolutionary nationalists' practical community organizing versus the cultural nationalists' supposed navel-gazing.
    By drawing on the record of Newark activists and offering a more complex picture of cultural nationalism overall, Woodard suggests that the differences between the two tendencies were not so fundamental after all.
    However, he never entertains the question: Were the community struggles coordinated by cultural nationalists in Newark the exception to their activities elsewhere, or the norm? (Another reviewer, James Smethurst, has argued that Woodard altogether overestimates the importance of the Northeast to Black Power nationally.)
    On a theoretical note, Woodard seems to conflate cultural assimilation with structural integration, even though the two categories are not the same. Attacking barriers to Black participation in U.S. society (a structural integrationist objective) does not conflict with nationalist aims of Black institution-building. In contrast, cultural assimilation implies, at least, a rejection of such building efforts.
    Further, Woodard's assessment that Black nationalism arose as a petty-bourgeois dismissal of urban bureaucratic society seems too broad. As the 1960s revealed, for instance, some expressions of Black Power coexisted with mainstream electoral politics; many would-be African-American politicians made powerful appeals to nationalist sentiments.(5)
    Finally, Woodard's focus on cultural nationalism and its moorings among the Black petty bourgeoisie overlooks traditions of nationalism among the “grassroots” and poor. In attributing the origins of grassroots revolt mainly to the urban crises of the post-World War II period, he leaves relatively unexplored the long-term roots of working-class Black nationalism.

    A Universal View

    Rod Bush's work is in some ways the opposite. At the center of We Are Not What We Seem is the urban poor and working class who have brought social change from the bottom up. Bush, a sociologist and anthropologist at St. John's University, argues overall that African-American social movements have only superficially been about group interests.
    More important, these movements have reflected a “universal” resistance to economic exploitation and political oppression. Black Power, in particular, raised issues that “the existing framework of social relations” could not resolve (11). More generally, Bush argues, Black nationalism in the twentieth century was fundamentally anti-systemic in nature, demanding a “reordering of the capitalist world-system” (20).
    This contrasts with Woodard's portrait of Black Power as a group-specific politics, though the difference is mainly one of complexity. The broadly progressive character of Black nationalism also contrasts with “liberal universalism,” which espouses color blindness and opportunity but nonetheless is compatible with deep-rooted social inequalities (the William Jefferson Clinton years come to mind.)
    In arguing that Black nationalism has lent motion to class struggle, Bush also challenges New Left scholars and activists who dismiss nationalism, and other “identity politics,” as a distraction from more fundamental, class-based matters.
    He suggests the illusory nature of a generic proletariat un-bifurcated by race and nationality (22). Bush maintains that with the co-optation of labor leadership by Cold War liberalism, and the repression of the left in the immediate post-World War II period, African-American social insurgency became “the central force for a just and egalitarian social order within U.S. borders” (155).
    Bush gives attention not only to the ferment of the 1960s, but also to the militant, anti-imperialist Black radical culture of the 1920s and `30s, which nurtured organizations like the African Blood Brotherhood (ABB) and National Negro Congress. A linchpin of Bush's argument, however, is a reassessment of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).
    While Bush's sentiments seem to lean closer to the ABB, he suggests that the UNIA's mass-based character, and overwhelmingly working-class constituency, made it a better model of what an independent, mass-based Black organization should be. He also lauds Garvey's anti-colonial and -imperialist politics.
    On such points, Bush defies scholars like Harold Cruse (author of The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, who linked Garveyism to the accommodationism of Booker T. Washington), and even a large segment of the Black left (who view the Garvey Movement as petty bourgeois in character).
    As in Woodard's book, Malcolm X plays a role here. His importance, for Bush, lay in transmitting to a new generation the grassroots nationalist tradition learned on the street corners of Harlem, and inherited from the Garvey movement.
    More than Woodard, Bush talks extensively about the post-1974 period, when people like Baraka turned to Maoism, and nationalist fronts like CAP and ALSC became Marxist-Leninist organizations. For Woodard, this period is an endpoint, but for Bush it is the beginning of a new phase of movement activity. He maintains that one trend among this Black radicalism involved a withdrawal from organizing along national lines.
    In underestimating the centrality of African-American national struggle, many activists missed an opportunity to advance working-class politics -- even as their outlook became more self-consciously proletarian.
    Bush intimates that anti-nationalist sentiments contributed to white ideological hegemony over the left, and accelerated many cultural nationalists' anti-Marxism (which alienated them further from considerations of class). This created the space, in the late 1980s, for retrograde elements of the movement to appropriate Black nationalism as their sole property.

    Multidimensional Nationalism

    While women like Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker play a role in his narrative, Bush engages the category of gender far less than Woodard. It also seems that Bush, like Woodard, oversimplifies African-American nationalism, though differently.
    Woodard's framework encompasses both working-class and petty-bourgeois nationalism, though he seems to highlight the latter. Bush, on the other hand, tends to portray nationalism as an expression by the Black working class of its presumed anti-systemic interests.
    At the same time, Bush does acknowledge that such social movements have involved actors across class lines, not to mention those who have supported the status quo. This is exactly the point: African-American nationalism has assumed numerous forms, and its content has varied -- within, as well as between, social classes.
    In a related vein, Bush's reassessment of Garvey and the UNIA does suggest the need to look at how African-American workers have experienced class identities historically, in ways that may diverge from ideological models.
    Yet Garvey's legacy is more contradictory than it comes across here. The UNIA was largely working-class in membership; yet Garvey counseled Black workers to seek “the good will of the white employer” by accepting pay below white union wages, and often preached the futility of political agitation in general.6 However strategic, such advice represented a retreat from the insurgency Bush views as central to African-American nationalism.
    Similarly, Garvey may have espoused anti-colonialism, envisioning the formation of an independent African nation-state. Yet underlying this vision of redeeming the African continent was an assumption that African descendants in the New World would lead this nation-building (Garvey, after all, appointed himself Provisional-President of Africa), and that the peoples of the continent itself would passively submit to their leadership and plans for transatlantic Black commercial enterprises. On this score, Garveyism could be compatible with neo-colonialism. Nevertheless, it is probably best to distinguish Garvey's own thought from the Garvey movement, which contained numerous trends of thought.
    Taken together, A Nation within a Nation and We Are Not What We Seem form an engaging chronicle of African-American nationalism over the past century, and suggest directions in the twenty-first.
    Woodard envisions a nationalism that draws on the Marxist tradition, generates progressive alliances, and binds together the Black Power and Hip-Hop generations. Bush, while asserting African-American struggle as a precondition for revolutionary change in the United States, recognizes that it is not sufficient by itself. He offers that the Black Liberation Movement ultimately will have to transcend its “radical nationalist moorings” (241).
    As the “mainstreaming” of the reparations movement demonstrates, however, Black nationalism possesses much vitality at the beginning of the new millennium. This, and similar efforts, have created the basis for an alliance between nationalists and Black elected officials. It is perhaps reminiscent of the one Woodard discusses, though it remains to be seen on whose terms a new alliance would be built. Tied to this is the debate that has ensued within segments of the left (consistent with themes in Bush's work) about the “universal” versus exclusive nature of the reparations campaign.
    Such immediate and open-ended issues make both books essential reading for students of the Black Liberation Movement, and movement activists.

    Notes

    1. Black nationalism is a diverse body of thought whose ideas have ebbed and flowed throughout the African-American experience. Overall, it rests on the belief that African Americans possess a common history and identity forged during slavery. Most manifestations of Black nationalism advocate the building and maintenance of autonomous institutions, as in the Black town movement of the late 1800s, or the history of Black economic development begun earlier. One trend has posited the existence of a literal “Black Belt Nation” in the South, while some have cohered around prophetic or millenarian religions. Other expressions have promoted Black migration, either within the United States (e.g., the Exoduster Movement of 1879) or beyond (e.g. emigration to Liberia). In this manner, Black nationalism may be compatible with pan-Africanism, a belief in the common heritage and destiny of African-descended people globally. Some articulations of Black nationalism have promoted strategies of separation, while others have proposed that African Americans fight for their full citizenship in the United States. In some incarnations, Black nationalism has supported private capitalist entrepreneurship, while other tendencies have intersected with socialist ideologies. See, for example, two classics on the subject: John H. Bracey, Jr., August Meier, and Elliott Rudwick, eds., Black Nationalism in America (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970); and Wilson J. Moses, The Golden Age of Black Nationalism, 1850-1925 (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1978). See also, Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, America's First Black Town: Brooklyn, Illinois, 1830-1915 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000); William L. Van Deburg, New Day in Babylon: The Black Power Movement and American Culture, 1965-1975 (University of Chicago Press, 1992) and Juliet E.K. Walker, The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship (New York: Macmillan Publishers, 1998).
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    2. During the 1830s, activists created the National Negro Convention Movement to press for the abolition of slavery. In the decades following the Civil War, the National Afro-American League (1890-1908) and similar united fronts argued for African-American men's right to full democratic rights in the United States. Other convention movement initiatives have included the Sanhedrin All-Race Congress (1922-24), and the National Negro Congress (1936-40). See Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, The Black Radical Congress and the Reconstruction of the Black Freedom Movement, The Black Scholar, Vol. 28, No. 3/4 (Fall/Winter 1998): 8-21.
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    3. As this first wave of post-'65 Black elected officials consolidated power, the cultural nationalists became junior partners in this tenuous alliance. By the late 1970s, electoralism had become the most prominent expression of African-American politics nationally. Among other things, this was perhaps consistent with the modern bureaucratic society of which Woodard speaks. See Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua and Clarence Lang, “Providence, Patriarchy, Pathology: Louis Farrakhan's Rise & Decline,” New Politics, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Winter 1997): 47-71.
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    4. Surely, Woodard is aware of the convention-building efforts that occurred after the early 1970s, such as the National Black Independent Political Party (1980-84), and the National Black United Front (1980). His likely suggestion is that these did not have the same impact as CAP, ALSC, and NBPA in their heyday. See Cha-Jua, “The Black Radical Congress and the Reconstruction of the Black Freedom Movement,” The Black Scholar, Vol. 28, No. 3/4: 9.
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    5. Moreover, in Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America (New York: Vintage Books, 1967), Kwame Touré (formerly Stokely Carmichael) and Charles V. Hamilton essentially recommended an ethnic group style of bureaucratic politics.
      back to text

    6. See the chapters “Advice to Black Workers” and “Garvey's Message for Whites” in E. David Cronon, ed., Marcus Garvey (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1973), 57-60, 51-56. Both appear in Amy Jacques-Garvey, ed., Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey (New York: Atheneum, 1982). See also Adolph L. Reed, Jr., “Pan-Africanism -- Ideology for Liberation?” The Black Scholar (September 1971): 2-13.
      back to text

    ATC 92, May-June 2001

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     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.  
    --Dr. Nathan Hare
     

     

    In my Parable Broken Systems, Broken Minds and Navigating the Perilous Mental Landscape and other writings such as How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy and In the Crazy House Called America, I tried to describe the mental health condition of our people from a lay person's point of view, a person who himself suffers mental illness and thus understands some of the trauma and unresolved grief  of people addicted to white supremacy type II.

    I have often reported on those persons who visit Academy of da Corner, especially when we set up at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, also at the Berkeley Flea Market, Ashby BART station.
    I only know that God has sent me to do this work, so I do so at His request. It is exhausting and some of the stories I hear are crushing to my mind and spirit, to say nothing of the persons I'm speaking about, their trauma and unresolved grief.

    Sometimes I question God about why He is having me do this work. Often I want to flea home to write which is the pleasure of my life, but God says, no, you cannot leave now. Your mission is not about money, fame or fortune, though that is what many people want of me. But I must stay focused and if nothing else, remain attentive and simply listen to the people and/or help them with knowledge or even a little money from time to time, if only a dollar or two to get a hamburger, coffer or bus fare.

    We know when the people stop by to share their trauma, often because no one else has time listen, and when they get in my face eye ball to eyeball to make sure I am listening and looking at them eye to eye, we know it is not about selling books or some ego trip. No, I am simply a servant of the Great One, so I must humble myself, be patient, say a kind word, give a hug, but most of all, listen.

    As our mental condition as a people deteriorates due to emergent American economic  apartheid, yes, as our mental and physical condition depreciates and withers away from mild, moderate to severe, we are seeking new methods of recovery from the addiction to white supremacy type II, a Dr. Nathan Hare term. Dr. Nathan Hare defines Type II addiction to white supremacy in the foreword to my book How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy:

    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.  
    --Dr. Nathan Hare
     
    And so in seeking a program or prescription for our Addiction to White Supremacy Type II, we are experimenting with the peer group, one on one counseling, biblotherapy, videotherapy, and yes, any means necessary, of course food, clothing and shelter are primary for mental health. Of course homelessness can be eradicated overnight by simply assigning all needy persons living space with a life estate that cannot be sold or transferred.

    More recently we have been making home visits to families from various economic classes, from the petit black bourgeoisie to the homeless. As per the homeless, we have opened our home to them as an experiment, especially by attempting to change their diet and allowing them to reside, if only temporarily, in an environment free of stress, including the departure of the doctor for a short time to give the patient a space to look within themselves as the primary problem. .
     
    The family model has involved visiting selected families on a regular basis, even spending the night with such families who often "kidnap" the doctor, refusing him permission to leave their abode or even go to sleep for that matter. The family members insist the social doctor continue teaching late into the night.
     
    After months of family visits, we have seen a qualitative change in the consciousness of family members. Of course, when persons engage the doctor in close quarters such as the home, the sickness of the doctor emerges so he is aware as he heals the people, he must heal himself in and by the process. In spending several days and nights with persons suffering Addiction to White Supremacy Type II, there is no hiding of contradictions by anyone, including the doctor. Thus such close encounters are beneficial for all, yes, the doctor must seize the opportunity to heal himself from the residue of ravages of addiction to white supremacy type II.
     
    There are many casualties on the battlefield. Broken bodies are everywhere, but broken minds must be addressed. We know of no families who lack members with mental health issues, whether mild, moderate or severe. Most mental health workers, especially those with a black consciousness perspective, understand our myriad problems stem directly from the nature and consequences of our addiction to white supremacy, thus the only solution is to confront the enemy and his toxic propaganda 24/7, detoxing from the virus of white supremacy at every turn, for it is a constant, the hostile environment at work in wage slavery jobs, at worship with the patriarchal theology and mythology, in sexual relations based on such sick mythology of domination and ownership, i.e. chattel slavery, see my Mythology of Pussy and Dick.
     
    The endgame is that North American men and women must jump out the box of addiction to white supremacy type II which requires them to don the persona of the superman and superwoman. Yes, this will call for a radical overhaul of the mental apparatus, an injection of a truth serum and a revamping of our biochemistry through diet and a physical wellness program. Doctor heal thyself: I am attempting to do so, but like most of us, our primary problem is laziness and penchant for bad habits that can and must be converted to good and positive ones. So let us all be lions of Africa, in honor of ancestor Nelson Mandela! He spent 27 years in prison, but many of us are spending decades upon decades in the prison of our minds! Baldwin said it's a wonder we all haven't gone stark raving mad! He said this in my 1968 interview, most certainly we have now reached that point of stark raving madness.
    --Marvin X
    12/7/13
     
    --continued--
     
    Why not invite Marvin X to speak on your campus, conference, festival? 510-200-4164, jmarvinx@yahoo.com

    Tentative schedule

    December 26 Kwanza, African American Museum, Fresno CA
    February 4, New York University, Amiri Baraka host
    February 21 Fresno City College, Khendi Solwazi host
    February 22, Fresno Chapter NAACP, Pamela Young, President, host
    February 28, March 1-2, Black Arts Movement Conference, University of California, Merced,
    produced by Kim Macmillan and Marvin X

    BEYOND RELIGION, TOWARD SPIRITUALITY, ESSAYS ON CONSCIOUSNESS 
    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

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    South Africa is one of the world's most unequal societies. Over half the population of South Africa lives in extreme poverty. The only source of water for 1.4 million children is dirty, disease-ridden streams. Immigrant workers from poorer countries in Africa are subjected to violent attacks. Conditions for women, who played such a heroic role in the battle against apartheid, are abysmal—South Africa has the highest rate of rape in the world.

    On the Death of Nelson Mandela

    Updated December 6, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
     
    On December 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95. In the coming period, revcom.us/Revolution will have more reporting and analysis of the significance of the struggle against the brutal racist apartheid regime in South Africa with which Mandela was so closely associated, Mandela's role in that, and the nature of South Africa today. But at this moment, the following are five points of orientation:
    1. The vicious system of apartheid—blatant, racist, brutal oppression and discrimination against black (and other non-white) peoples in South Africa, which Nelson Mandela struggled against—was part of a legacy of centuries of the most horrific plunder of Africa as a whole by the capitalist world. In South Africa after World War 2, apartheid further institutionalized and intensified that vicious oppression. Black (and other non-white) South Africans were locked down in prison-like "Bantustans," without the most basic necessities of life (like clean water or decent shelter). They were treated as non-humans, subject to fascist "pass laws" that governed their every movement. On the backs of their labor, white settlers lived the lifestyles of northern Europe and global capitalism-imperialism accumulated massive profits.
       
    2. Nelson Mandela emerged as an opponent of the apartheid system in the 1950s. He joined the rising tide of courageous, widespread struggle among many different sections of people in South Africa that went up against the whips, clubs, guns and torture chambers of the regime. For this he was sentenced to a life of hard labor in prison, and he never backed down in his opposition to apartheid. The struggle against apartheid became a cause that inspired people around the world. Many people gave their lives in this struggle. And Nelson Mandela became the most prominent symbol of that struggle.
       
    3. But the powers-that-be are not praising Mandela because of his role as an opponent of apartheid, but because he conciliated with the forces of the old order, and played a key role in dismantling apartheid in a way that didn't excavate, but in the main reinforced the historic and horrific oppression of the black and other non-white peoples of South Africa. Whatever Mandela's intent, his outlook of "embrace the enemy" which is being so extolled by the powers-that-be in their eulogies, went directly against the need to uproot all the political, structural, economic, social and cultural relations that formed the foundation for that system.
       
    4. We have to have the honesty to confront the reality of the path Nelson Mandela charted. It did not lead to freedom for the oppressed people of South Africa. The vast majority of people in South Africa continue to suffer in the grip of global capitalism-imperialism. Today, two decades after Mandela became the first black president of South Africa, the situation for the masses of black people in South Africa remains horrendous. South Africa is one of the world's most unequal societies. Over half the population of South Africa lives in extreme poverty. The only source of water for 1.4 million children is dirty, disease-ridden streams. Immigrant workers from poorer countries in Africa are subjected to violent attacks. Conditions for women, who played such a heroic role in the battle against apartheid, are abysmal—South Africa has the highest rate of rape in the world. And, perhaps the most heartbreaking consequence of all, people have been left demoralized—seeing all this as more proof that fundamental change in society is not possible. That is not the case.
       
    5. But it is the case that nothing short of uprooting exploitation and oppression can free the people of South Africa or anywhere else. The "wretched of the earth" have made revolution and started on the road to communism—a society free of all oppression—first in Russia and then in China. They achieved great things before these revolutions were turned back. And not only has this been done before, it can be done again, and even better this time....

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    Navigating the perilous Mental Landscape

    Like the earthquake in Japan, man too is in mental motion, a mind quake of the most devastating degree that is rocking his mental equilibrium to the core!
    We must be aware of the times and what must be done. A blind man named Ray Charles told us "the world is in an uproar, the danger zone is everywhere...." And so it is, ancestor Ray, there is turbulence in the land and in man, woman and children. As the earth enters another 25,000 year cycle of history with the coming New Age of high spiritual consciousness, there are many who remain deaf, dumb and blind to present and future events, even though the news is full of rapidly changing events in the global village. One would need to be in worse shape than Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder not to see the earth is in transformation, even Nature itself. The ice is melting, the sea rising, the forests burning, earthquakes and tsunamis , drought, famine, pestilence, in diverse places, just as Jesus predicted.

    Apparently, many do not believe what Jesus said even when they see events he predicted before their very eyes, on the news, Twitter, Facebook, Cable TV and elsewhere. He said mother would be against child and child against mother and father. Did he not say brother would be against brother and sister against sister? And do we not see this in our social relations today.

    It is crystal clear to me we are in times in which a friend is no longer a friend, a wife and husband no longer wife and husband. There is no love between them. Husbands and wives say the horrible things to each other. Daughters and sons say the most wretched things to their parents, often when the parents are helping them.

    But when the danger zone is everywhere, no one, no relationships are exempt from the turmoil sweeping the old order out and ushering in the New Era. But there is an almost organic relationship between the earth quaking and the minds of men, women and children becoming totally unbalanced. In this time of radical change of Nature and man, those with no understanding shall become unglued, losing their fragile mental equilibrium or simply tripping out. Ultimately, they become a danger to themselves and others and must be committed, for they are not the person we knew only yesterday. Today they are a total stranger who does not know us, cannot even recognize us, yet we have known them since childhood. They could be a sibling yet they do not act like there is any blood relationship between us. We behave like total strangers.

    It could be parent/child relationships that come to such a low point children will sue parents or visa versa. In short the love is gone. Amiri Baraka tells us in his play A Black Mass, "Where the souls print should be there is only a cellulose pouch of disgusting habits...."

    As we walk the streets be very careful what you say to people, for they are on edge, on the precipice, ready to strike out at the slightest perceived negative incident, or wrong word uttered.
    Yes, they are ready to kill, so be aware as you make your daily round.

    The political/economic atmosphere is charged with venom, but it is misplaced aggression, for no one is going after the bankers, the loan sharks, the Wall Street financiers who were casino gamblers with the wealth of the people, stealing 13 trillion dollars in the sub prime housing scam.
    And yet hardly a banker is in jail, meanwhile 2.4 million mostly poor are incarcerated for petty crimes, additionally they suffer drug abuse and mental illness, not to mention lack of proper legal representation at the time of their trials. The only white man doing time is the one who stole from the rich, not the poor. Those who robbed the poor are yet receiving multimillion dollar bonuses while 30 million workers are unemployed and millions are now homeless.

    It is this atmosphere that is so unsettling to the mental state of those who were already suffering stress from the general hostile environment, from bad food, the media dispensing
    information from the world of make believe and promoting the addiction to white supremacy conspicuous consumption

    How do we move from problem to solution, from addiction to recovery, from sickness to healing?
    The Buddhists says knowledge plus the right action. We must first understand the time and what must be done. These are perilous times, very dangerous, thus one must tip through the tulips, through the mind fields that lay before us, behind us, to the right and to the left.

    We must practice eternal vigilance and stay on guard against being deceived. There are those who wish to deceive us so that we remain victims of the slave system. They will not tell us all the institutions are exhausted, political, economic, educational, religious, marital. None of these shall continue with business as usual. They must and shall undergo radical structural change, if not simply thrown into the dustbin of history where they belonged long ago.

    Those not prepared for radical change shall be blown by the wayside where they shall inhabit the lower realms of an animal existence until they die or recover from savagery and come into the era of civility and spirituality beyond religiosity.

    Those who are a danger to themselves and others will need to be confined to a program of long term recovery, a rehabilitation of their disgusting habits, namely greed, ego, pride, lust, arrogance, and other deadly sins, and most importantly the inability to practice freedom, justice and equality, constitutionally unable to share the wealth and practice democracy or the consent of the governed.

    The end is the beginning and the beginning is the end, or rather what goes around comes around. What we are witnessing and experiencing is not linear time but circular, for we shall continue, but only those who are able to jump out of the box of the old structures into the new.

    The fearless ones, they shall be successful. Those not motivated by the illusions of the monkey mind shall be successful. We pray for the others who persist in their inordinancy, blindly wandering on, as the Qur'an says.
    --Marvin X
    4/7/11

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    Special invited guests include Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Ishmael Reed, Askia Toure, John Bracey, James Smethurst, Mike Sell, Juan Felipe Herrera, Genny Lim, Jerry Varnado, Terry Collins, James (Jimmy) P. Garrett, Belva Davis, Marvin X, Adilah Barnes, Nathan Hare, and others.
    --A Kim Macmillan/Marvin X production




    Call for Papers
    The Black Arts Movement and Its Legacies, an International Conference, the University of California, Merced, March 1-2, 2014.

    In 2015, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Black Arts Movement and affirm the creativity and audacity of a generation of proudly Black artists, intellectuals, and activists who challenged racist imperialism and demanded justice and beauty. In Black Women Writers at Work, One of the movement’s most courageous creators, Sonia Sanchez, captures its spirit p...erfectly: “The black artist is dangerous. Black art . . . negates negative influences, and creates positive images” (135). What is the significance of the Black Arts Movement today? As we celebrate another 50th anniversary, that of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and as we celebrate the nation’s first African-American President, we must all ask: Has the dream been achieved? If that dream is not reality, then it is vital that we look back at the Black Arts Movement, engage again with the challenges posed by Black-centered culture, community, and creativity, and examine the legacies the movement has bequeathed us.

    We invite you to participate in this celebration at the International Conference on the Black Arts Movement and Legacies, at the University of California, Merced, March 1-2, 2014, sponsored by UC Merced’s African Diaspora Graduate Student Association. Our mission is to consider the Black Arts Movement as both historical movement and legacy, consolidate our understandings of the movement, reconsider our perspectives, chart new paths for future research and creativity, and, most importantly, give praise and respect to our elders, the activists, critics, and artists who stood and proclaimed, “Black is beautiful.”

    We invite scholars of all backgrounds to submit proposals for conference-length papers, panels, workshops, and poster sessions that explore the Black Arts Movement, both past and present, seeking to provide new perspectives and signal future directions.

    Proposal format:
    On a single page, include the following:
    a. Title
    b. Presentation format (choose one: paper, panel, workshop, poster session)
    c. Abstract, not to exceed 150 words
    d. Contributor information (name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address)

    Email your proposal, include the proposal in the body of the e-mail and as a RTF attachment, to kmcmillon@ucmerced.edu. Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged via email within one week. Deadline for submissions: December 29, 2013.





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    Parable of a Happy Dope Fiend
    In memory of Rick

    Rick was a happy dope fiend. He loved shooting dope in the Tenderloin of San Francisco, though he used to shoot dope in the Fillmore, but that was in the old days when the Fillmore was jumping, bumper to bumper cars, Negroes with big hats and long coats, ladies strutting like peacocks. Jazz clubs everywhere. That was before Negro removal came to town. When Negro removal came, Rick started hanging out in the TL, that funky multi-ethnic ghetto a block from downtown.

    He was happy in the TL, along with all the other dope fiends, sex workers, derelicts , mentally ill, homeless and working poor.

    Whenever Rick was on the streets of the TL, he had a big smile and laughed so hard you had to laugh with him, even if what he was laughing about wasn't funny.

    He dressed clean like a real dope fiend from the old days when dope was good, not like that punk dope they have today.

    Sometimes Rick would be in the middle of the street loaded to the gills, laughing out loud with one of his dope fiend friends.

    Then something happened to Rick. He disappeared for awhile. We heard he was in a drug recovery program. We were happy for him.

    He came out of recovery a changed man. He got a job driving yellow cab. He moved out the TL to Oakland. He'd found a house, bought two cars, one a Cadillac Seville.

    But when we ran into Rick he was somber, quiet, mellowed out, didn't laugh anymore. He wasn't the Rick we knew. But he was clean and sober, had money in his pocket. But he didn't have that old smile, the laughter was gone.

    Time passed.

    We saw Rick one day down in the BART or subway station. He was with a girl. She was telling him to hurry up, come on. Rick did as he was told. He had a smile and was laughing.

    It was the last time we saw Rick. We know he died happy, doing his thing.
    --Marivn X
    4/12/10
     
    from The Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables, fables, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 2012, $19.95. Order from Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702.

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    Marvin X Offers A Healing Peek Into His Psyche
    Review of In the Crazy House Called America

    By 
    Junious Ricardo Stanton
                
     
    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, Marvin X serves as a modern day shaman/juju man who in order to heal himself and his people ventures into the spirit realm to confront the soul devouring demons and mind pulverizing dragons; he is temporarily possessed by them, heroically struggles to rebuke their power before they destroy him; which enables him to return to this realm, tell us what it is like, prove redemption is possible, thereby empowering himself/ us and helping to heal us. He touches on a myriad of topics as he raps and writes about himself and current events. 
     
    Reading this book  you know he knows what it is like to come face to face with and do battle with the insanity and death this society has in store for all Africans.   Marvin X talks about his sexual relations/dysfunction, drugs, media and free speech, sports, black political power or the lack thereof, the war on drugs and the current War on Terrorism, nothing is off limits. He includes reviews of music, theater as well as film, but not as some smarter/ holier than thou, elitist observer. 
     
    Marvin X writes as one actively engaged in life, including its pain and suffering. He lets us know he was a willing and active participant in his addiction, how it impacted his decision making, his role as a parent, his male-female "relationships", his ability to be creative within a movement to liberate African people and the world from the corruption of Caucasian hegemony. 
     
    Marvin X is in recovery and it has not been easy for him. As a writer/healer he still has the voice of a revolutionary poet/playwright, it is a voice we need to listen and pay attention to. He has survived his own purgatory and emerged stronger and more committed to life and saving his people.  As North American Africans (his term to differentiate us from our continental and diasporic brethren) he sees the toll the insanity of this culture takes on us. His culturally induced self-destructive lifestyle choices and the death of his son is a testament to how life threatening and lethal this society can be. 
     
    But Marvin X also talks about spiritual redemption, the ability to transcend even the most horrific experiences with resiliency and determination so that one gets a glimpse of  one's own  divine potential. This book is an easy read which makes it all the more profound. In The Crazy House Called America is for brothers especially. It is a book all black men should grab hold of and digest, if for no other reason than to experience just how redemptively healing and liberating being honest can be.
     
    Marvin X is now booking for speaking and reading engagements coast to coast. Call 510-200-4164, email a letter of invitation to jmarvinx@yahoo.com

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    When we see grandchildren
    calling us grandfather so sweetly
    full of innocence purity
    their wisdom is most surprising
    it confounds us
    this world they know
    we know not
    we stare in wonder
    their pronouncements
    letting us know they see our
    contradictions
    Jahmiel tells me
    "Flow wit da flow Gpaw
    didn't you say flow wit da flow
    so flow wit the flow Gpaw."

    When we see them
    death does not bother us anymore
    we know death has no power
    except the friend of eternity
    we see eternity before our eyes
    so we hug and kiss them
    squeeze them tightly
    as they enter this world
    as we depart through the door
    of no return.
    --Marvin X
    12/8/13

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    My favorite song
    a wisdom poem
    the greatest thing
    you will ever learn
    to love
    be loved in return
    search the world for truth
    the simple lesson returns to mind
    after all the money women sex dope
    where was love in your story
    did you stop for love
    hold her hand tenderly
    respect her
    talk softly
    forgive and be forgiven
    no long term hatred bitterness
    submit to love
    didn't you hear God is Love
    and so it is.
    --Marvin X
    12/8/13

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    And time is all we have
    together
    a moment or two
    do not waste time
    you will look back to wonder
    what happened to time
    who ate time
    some big ugly monster
    illusions filling the night air
    something we missed in conversation
    "That is not what I meant
    That is not what I meant at all" (TSE)
    and before you know it
    time has slipped away
    lovers have gone
    children grown
    you sit alone
    no matter
    life is wonderful
    live like Sade said
    every day is xmas
    every night New Year's eve.
    --Marvin X
    12/8/13

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    I have gone beyond memory
    to walk home again
    free of fear
    in my village
    there is no fear of lions here
    only the village fire
    the ritual dance into the early dawn
    I whirl and whirl into my world
    beyond all the years of history
    I am in peace now
    no fear of lions
    in my children
    they walk and talk with lions.
    --Marvin X
    12/8/13

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  • 12/08/13--12:59: Lizz Wright - Nature Boy


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    Dear John
    St. John of the Negro Crucifixion
    John of the resurrection
    John of the ascension
    Dear John
    Thank you for salvation music
    resurrection music
    healing our wretched souls
    you saved us
    we were almost gone
    at the precipice
    you  sang to us
    keep the faith til we win the race
    Yes, St. John of the Negro Cross
    Negro is Jesus
    who else claim no cross no crown?
    Our buddy Sun Ra taught us
    dance beyond the cross
    Sunny said he didn't come here to play Jesus
    Sunny slipped away to outter space
    Sing to us St. John
    wail and moan and praise
    dance sing laugh
    even with loss of memory
    we remember
    somewhere beyond physics
    we live in holiness
    yes, beyond wretchedness
    ignorance squalor in ignorance
    we stand to your music
    touching us in the jugular vein
    St. John
    sing to us those warrior songs
    marching us to war Sonny said
    armies march to music Maavin
    Sonny said
    Come St. John of the cross
    St. John of the Crucifixion
    resurrection
    ascension
    save us from the devil
    whispering into the hearts of men and women.

    0 0



    A love supreme a love supreme a love supreme
    Love is always forever all
    nothing else exists love
    no matter
    all freedom is love
    let the people dance to love
    live and die for love
    a love supreme
    a love supreme
    freedom was for love
    no hate freedom to love
    self love first
    look at the man in the mirror
    Michael said
    did he ever find that man?
    no matter we love him
    in the name of love
    supreme
    a love supreme
    a love supreme
    a love supreme
    Elijah said we can be in heaven over night
    a love supreme
    good homes
    friends in all walks of life
    heaven while you live
    not after you die
    a love supreme a love supreme

    I often ask why are you on your knees praying
    when God has already answered?
    --Marvin X
    12/8/13


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