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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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    Former Negro Slave Dies on Madera Ranch

    Ephraim Murrill, 99, who lived the first twenty years of his life as a Negro slave in North Carolina, died yesterday in his home on a Madera district ranch. Murrill, who was highly respected by both whites and Negroes in the community, recalled having seen Abraham Lincoln when the great emancipator was campaigning for his first term as president.

    Surviving him are one daughter, Mrs. J. H. Hall, Madera; a son, John Murrill, Fowler; nine grand children and three great grandchildren. He would be 100 years old had he lived until next February 13. One of his brothers lived to the age of 116.

    Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon in the Jay Parlors and burial will be in Arbor Vitae Cemetery.
    --Fresno Bee, Tuesday, December 16, 1941
    ------------ --------- --------
     Fresno Bee photo of Marvin X during his struggle to lecture in Black Studies at Fresno State University, 1969
    Parents of Marvin X, Marian Murrill Jackmon and Owendell Jackmon I
     
    Marvin X. Jackmon, born May 29, 1944
     
    Ephraim Murrill is the maternal great grandfather of poet/philosopher Marvin X. His mother, Marian Murrill Jackmon, was born in Fowler, about thirty miles south of Madera. Marvin X was born there as well, May 29, 1944. Marvin's parents, Owendell Jackmon and Marian published the first black newspaper in the central valley, the Fresno Voice. They were also real estate brokers who sold many blacks their first homes after WWII.


    The Jackmons later moved to Oakland and became florists on 7th Street. Mr. Jackmon was prominent in West Oakland's political and social life. He was a member of the Men of Tomorrow, the Elks Lodge and the American Legion. He was a member of Downs Memorial Methodist Church. Mrs. Jackmon became a Christian Scientist, follower of Mary Baker Eddy.

    Mrs. Jackmon later returned to Fresno with her children and opened a real estate business. In 1969, Marvin X became the most controversial black in Fresno history when he defied Governor Ronald Reagan by continuing to teach at Fresno State University, even though the Gov. ordered the college/now university to remove him by any means necessary, especially since he had refused to fight in Vietnam.

    According to Marvin X's student and colleague, Ptah Allah El, his great grandfather is one of the legendary men of the Central Valley. He and Col. Allenworth may have been associates. After Col. Allenworth, Murrill is the most prominent black man in the central valley. Something about him crossed the line separating blacks and whites. Negroes in the Valley know about Epharaim Murrill. According to Ptah Allah El, Ephraim Murrill  was well known in Madera, Fresno, Fowler, Hanford, Lemoore. He was a conscious black man.

    Marvin X's  cousin Mrs. Latanya Tony (wife of FSU chemistry professor emeritus Joe Tony)  is researching family history.

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  • 12/31/13--17:57: John Gilmore and Sun Ra


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    Being black ain't so bad, it's just inconvenient!--elder black woman

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    Black Bird Press News & Review: A Marvin X poem for Miles Davis in Montreal - Time After Time:

    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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    The Fresno Chapter of the NAACP proudly presents
    Master Teacher/Poet
    Marvin X. Jackmon
    internationally known author/philosopher
    Graduated with honors from Edison High School, 1962
    Controversial lecturer in Black Studies, Fresno State University, 1969
     
     Marvin X. Jackmon, M.A.

    "His writing is fantastic--blew me away!"
    --Kehindi Solwazi
     
    "He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland."
    --Ishmael Reed
     
    "The USA's Rumi!"--Bob Holman
     
    "Marvelous Marvin X!"--Dr. Cornel West
     
    "Marvin X was my teacher. Many of our comrades came through his Black Arts Theatre: Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas,Sam Napier."--Dr. Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party
     
    "Still the undisputed king of Black Consciousness!"
    --Dr. Nathan Hare
     
    A reading and conversation with
    Professor emeritus of Black Studies at FCC
    Kehindi Solwazi
    at the
    Hinton Center
    2385 S. Fairview Ave. Fresno CA 93706
    Saturday, February 22, 2014
    3pm
    Free, donations accepted
    Call 559-263-1367
    sponsors California Advocate, Black Bird Press, Salaam Sea Foods, Fresno City College Black Studies Dept., Black Arts Movement Conf., UC Merced, Rev. Bruce Hood
    --------------------
     
    Marvin X will speak at Fresno City College
    Monday, February 24, 10AM
     
    --------------------------
    Marvin X is co-producer with Kim McMillan of the
    Black Arts Movement Conference
    University of California, Merced
    Sat, Sunday, March 1-2, 214
     
    for more information: 510-200-4164



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    This title will be released on January 7, 2014.

    Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, is an activist, motivational speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed Growing Up X— with Hajji Ali Davis.



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    Marvin X and Gregory Fields, Professor of Law at X's Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. Ishmael Reed says Marvin X is Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland. Bob Holman calls him the USA's Rumi! Rudolph Lewis says Marvin X is one of America's great story tellers. I'd put him ahead of Mark Twain!" But it appears he is a descendent of a mythical character named Ephraim Murrill.

    Aside from the Fresno Bee article of 1941, I know nothing about my great grandfather Ephraim Murrill,  but my associate Ptah Allah El informed me he knew of my great grandfather long before I mentioned his name and had no idea I was related to him.

    As a result of traveling throughout the central valley vending food, Ptah talked with the African elders and they informed him of a mythical character named Ephraim Murrill, who came after  Joaquin  for whom the central valley was named.


    According to the myth told by the central valley elders, Murrill came before Col. Allensworth who founded the all Black town.


    Ptah says the consensus is that Murrill was a Robin Hood character that took from the rich and gave to the poor. So it appears his great grandson, Marvin X, is in the same mode.


    More research needs to be done, says Ptah (one of the best students Black Studies produced at San Francisco State University) but it is crystal clear Ephraim Murrill was an African who obtained mythical status.  Again, his transition in Madera, 1941, was important enough for the Fresno Bee to do a story on him, claiming he was respected by both whites and blacks.

    --Marvin X Murrill Jackmon



    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

    Marvin X's Great Grandfather, Former Slave, Dies on Madera Ranch


    Former Negro Slave Dies on Madera Ranch

    Ephraim Murrill, 99, who lived the first twenty years of his life as a Negro slave in North Carolina, died yesterday in his home on a Madera district ranch. Murrill, who was highly respected by both whites and Negroes in the community, recalled having seen Abraham Lincoln when the great emancipator was campaigning for his first term as president.

    Surviving him are one daughter, Mrs. J. H. Hall, Madera; a son, John Murrill, Fowler; nine grand children and three great grandchildren. He would be 100 years old had he lived until next February 13. One of his brothers lived to the age of 116.

    Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon in the Jay Parlors and burial will be in Arbor Vitae Cemetery.
    --Fresno Bee, Tuesday, December 16, 1941
    ------------ --------- --------
     Fresno Bee photo of Marvin X during his struggle to lecture in Black Studies at Fresno State University, 1969
    Parents of Marvin X, Marian Murrill Jackmon and Owendell Jackmon I
     
    Marvin X. Jackmon, born May 29, 1944
     
    Ephraim Murrill is the maternal great grandfather of poet/philosopher Marvin X. His mother, Marian Murrill Jackmon, was born in Fowler, about thirty miles south of Madera. Marvin X was born there as well, May 29, 1944. Marvin's parents, Owendell Jackmon and Marian published the first black newspaper in the central valley, the Fresno Voice. They were also real estate brokers who sold many blacks their first homes after WWII.


    The Jackmons later moved to Oakland and became florists on 7th Street. Mr. Jackmon was prominent in West Oakland's political and social life. He was a member of the Men of Tomorrow, the Elks Lodge and the American Legion. He was a member of Downs Memorial Methodist Church. Mrs. Jackmon became a Christian Scientist, follower of Mary Baker Eddy.

    Mrs. Jackmon later returned to Fresno with her children and opened a real estate business. In 1969, Marvin X became the most controversial black in Fresno history when he defied Governor Ronald Reagan by continuing to teach at Fresno State University, even though the Gov. ordered the college/now university to remove him by any means necessary, especially since he had refused to fight in Vietnam.

    According to Marvin X's student and colleague, Ptah Allah El, his great grandfather is one of the legendary men of the Central Valley. He and Col. Allenworth may have been associates. After Col. Allenworth, Murrill is the most prominent black man in the central valley. Something about him crossed the line separating blacks and whites. Negroes in the Valley know about Epharaim Murrill. According to Ptah Allah El, Ephraim Murrill  was well known in Madera, Fresno, Fowler, Hanford, Lemoore. He was a conscious black man.

    Marvin X's  cousin Mrs. Latanya Tony (wife of FSU chemistry professor emeritus Joe Tony)  is researching family history.



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    Fa salli li rabbika, so pray to your Lord! Allahu liman hamida: He hears those who praise Him. Rabbanlaka al hand: Our Lord to Thee is due all praise! The pen of a scholar is worth a thousand ignorant worshippers!--proverb


    We talked with Mrs. Amina Baraka on the phone today. He is still suffering from pneumonia. Let us pray for our dear brother brought so much African culture and consciousness to the Black Nation.
    --Marvin X
     Nisa Ra, Mrs. Amina Baraka and Muhammida El Muhajir


     Amina and Amiri. We think the babe in arms is the next Mayor of Newark, NJ, Ras Baraka below


    The Dutchman is a manhood training ritual for Black Men. I directed and produced the Dutchman at Fresno State University with Hurriyah (Ethna X Wyatt) as Lula in black face and white wig, the BAM tradition.--Marvin X

    Sonia Sanchez asks authors, "Will your book help free us?"



    Askia Toure (Rolland Snellings) Godfather of BAM



    Kim McMillan, Producer of the BAM Conference, along with co-producer Marvin X
    and the University of California, Merced



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  • 01/03/14--22:11: Again the Kora
  • The Kora taught me
    listen to the Blues
    but listen with eyes behind your head
    third eye listen
    Blues take you beyond
    Ali Farka played the Blues they sad
    Ali said go beyond America
    go ten thousand years
    let the griot tell you stories of myth and reality
    let the Kora speak
    let the Griot speak
    it is the sweet music of a soul in peace
    we sit at the tribal fire
    we dance
    Kora takes us there
    men know they are men
    they manhood train
    women too
    no struggle no fight
    manhood ritual works
    solid men stand tall
    the women say
    I hate a weak nigguh
    women say
    I hate a weak nigguh
    young girls say the same
    No man can miss the lesson
    Manhood training
    conquer the self
    greatest Jihad
    the self
    man in the mirror
    what is your bliss?
    Follow your bliss
    Campbell said
    marriage is the end all
    a good job not enough
    what is your mission
    purpose
    beyond money pussy dope
    greed lust jealousy envy
    take the wood for the fire place
    burn wood burn
    burn my garbage burden on my back
    destroyed my kingdom
    took me from the Upper Room
    to the dungeon
    after all my labor under the sun
    demons confounded me
    demons were music in my ears
    illusions convinced me
    lies were truth
    I am Othello
    the devil whispers in my ear
    I listen and I am destroyed.
    --Marvin X
    1/3/14

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    Iraq loses control of Fallujah to Al-Qaeda-linked group

    January 4, 2014 11:04AM ET Updated 2:17PM ET
    Islamic State of Iraq and the Greater Syria is battling security forces and tribesmen in the Anbar province
    Topics:
     
    Al-Qaeda
     
    Iraq
     
    International
    Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) gunmen walk in the streets of the city of Fallujah on Friday.
    Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria gunmen walk in the streets of the city of Fallujah on Friday.
    Stringer/Reuters
    The Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed Saturday to eliminate "all terrorist groups" from Anbar province as a security source conceded the government had lost control of Fallujah to Al-Qaeda-linked fighters.
    Maliki, speaking on state television, said his government would end "fitna," or disunity, in the province and would "not back down until we end all terrorist groups and save our people in Anbar."
    The overrunning of Fallujah and Ramadi this week by the group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) in the Sunni heartland of western Anbar provinces is a blow to the Shia-led government of Malik. His government has been struggling to contain discontent among the Sunni minority over Shia political domination that has flared into increased violence for the past year.
    On Friday, ISIS gunmen sought to win over the population in Fallujah, one of the cities they swept into on Wednesday. A commander appeared among worshippers holding Friday prayers in the main city street, proclaiming that his fighters were there to defend Sunnis from the government, one resident said.
    "We are your brothers from the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant," gunmen circulating through the city in a stolen police car proclaimed through a loudspeaker. "We are here to protect you from the government. We call on you to cooperate with us."
    At least 40 of the ISIS fighters, who fought with machine guns and pick-up trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, were killed this week in Ramadi, medical and tribal sources told Reuters. There was no casualty figure for tribesmen or security forces. On Friday, two policemen were killed and six other wounded when their patrol was attacked by gunmen in speeding cars outside Fallujah, a police officer and a medical officials said.
    The fighters seized the moment after Maliki ordered security forces to break up a yearlong sit-in near Ramadi. There, Sunnis had gathered to protest their exclusion from the political process by the Shia-led central government, but Maliki claimed the protest became a camp for Al-Qaeda.
    Once the sit-in was broken up on Monday, fighting erupted between the security forces and local fighters — among them, elements of ISIS, which have long battled for dominance in Ramadi and other Anbar cities.
    On Thursday, tribesmen angry at what they perceive as Sunni marginalization in politics clashed with Iraqi troops trying to regain control of Falluja and Ramadi.
    But later that day, the tribesmen struck a deal with the government to join forces against ISIS fighter seeking to establish local control.
    "Those people are criminals who want to take over the city and kill the community," said Sheikh Rafe'a Abdulkareem Albu Fahad, who is leading the tribal fight against ISIS in Ramadi.
    Anbar — Iraq's largest province — is composed of a vast desert area on the borders with Syria and Jordan and has an almost entirely Sunni population. It was the heartland of the Sunni insurgency that rose up against American troops and the Iraqi government after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
    The insurgency was fueled by anger over the dislodgment of their community from power during Saddam's rule and the rise of Shias. It was then that Al-Qaeda established its branch in the country.
    Anbar became the deadliest territory for coalition troops, with fevered local opposition to the U.S. culminating in the lynching of four American contractors in Fallujah in 2004. This set off two U.S. military offensives that year to take back the city.
    Responding to the latest developments, Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the State Department, said Washington was following the events in Anbar closely.
    "(ISIS's) barbarism against civilians of Ramadi and Fallujah and against Iraqi Security Forces is on display for all to see," Harf said in a statement.
    "We would note that a number of tribal leaders in Iraq have declared an open revolt against ISIL. We are working with the Iraqi government to support those tribes in every possible way." 
    Al Jazeera and wires

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    Marvin X Now Available for Bookings for Black History Month, 2014



    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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    Congressman Keith Ellison, Syrian-American Mazen Halabi, Gail Daneker from Friends for a Nonviolent World and 15 other Minnesotans are preparing for a day long hunger strike in solidarity with Qusai Zakary, a Syrian who is in the 25th day of his hunger strike to protest the siege of over 30 towns in Syria.  They are the first phase of an action that is gathering international support (see attached list). On Friday, January 10, 2014 Marvin X will fast for Syria and the hoods of America suffering genocide and fratricide. Also, he asks you to join him in prayer for poet Amiri Baraka and Dr. Julia Hare. Fasalli li Rabbika! (So pray to your Lord)


    Black Arts Movement Poet, Marvin X


    Syrian poet, novelist, professor Mohja Kahf and poet Marvin X. She considers Marvin X the father of Muslim American literature. 



    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                            
    Contact:  Mazen Halabi  612-386-1081   
                   Terry Burke   952-926-0198  312-399-0454 (cell)
    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, FIRST DAY  
    of an International Hunger Strike for Syria

    Congressman Keith Ellison, Syrian-American Mazen Halabi, Gail Daneker from Friends for a Nonviolent World and 15 other Minnesotans are preparing for a day long hunger strike in solidarity with Qusai Zakary, a Syrian who is in the 25th day of his hunger strike to protest the siege of over 30 towns in Syria.  They are the first phase of an action that is gathering international support (see attached list).

    Syrians are dying of malnutrition because military blockades have prevented food and medicine from coming into their areas - approximately 1 million people are affected. The goal of the strike is to break the siege.

    It's a "rolling" strike where at least one person participates in the hunger strike each day.  Congressman Ellison is fasting on Monday, December 23.  Mazen Halabi, Gail Daneker, Wendy Tuck, Terry Irish, and Ava Dale Johnson are the Minnesotans fasting on Friday, December 20.  

    The Minnesota Syrian-American community has been extremely active - sending doctors to help in the refugee camps, making speeches around the state, and raising money for refugees and medical aid.

    Mazen Halabi is one of the local Syrian-Americans whose friends and family in Syria are caught in a crisis that has been described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since World War II.  Halabi expressed his appreciation for Ellison's responsiveness.  "Congressman Ellison has always been there for us - to listen and to try and find a way to resolve the Syrian conflict.  We are grateful to have a compassionate, involved representative in Congress."

    Qusai Zakary, who is in Moadamiya, Syria, pleads with the world to help the "starving and frozen Syrian people".  "Starvation is a much worse weapon of war than sarin gas," he points out.  "Dozens of women and children have died from malnutrition in the last few months.  The world has to raise their voices together and say 'Stop using food as a weapon of war'.  My hunger strike will continue until the siege is broken and aid convoys enter the besieged towns of Syria."

    The solidarity hunger strike has gotten support from U.S. academics and nonviolence advocates around the world, including American poet Marilyn Hacker.  Here in Minnesota, Gail Daneker, director at Friends for a Nonviolent World and a peace activist for 30 years, says, "We live in an era where we have ample resources so that no one on the planet should be hungry and yet thousands are being deliberately deprived of food and medicine.  We should be beyond using food and medicine as weapons of war."

    A petition supporting Zakarya's strike was created by the human rights advocacy group Avaaz last month.  The petition calls for a binding resolution from the U.N. Security Council requiring the regime in Syria and all armed parties to allow humanitarian organizations immediate unfettered access to aid the civilian population without discrimination, including cross-border access and access across military lines.


                     #      #       #      #      #  




    Saturday, September 7, 2013


    Two Poems for the People of Syria by Marvin X and Mohja Kahf




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



    Syrian poet/professor Dr. Mohja Kahf



    Oh Marvin, how much blood can soak the earth?

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

    and overrun the earth with evil?” 

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


    see the stones of narrow alleys in Duma

    shiny with blood hissing from humans? Dark

    and dazzling, it keeps pouring and pumping

    from the inexhaustible soft flesh of Syrians,

    and neither regime cluster bombs from the air,

    nor rebel car bombs on the ground,

    ask them their names before they die. 

    They are mowed down like wheat harvested by machine,

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

    They bleed like irrigation canals into the earth.

    Even one little girl in Idlib with a carotid artery cut

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

    running all the way over the ocean, to you,

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

    “I know what you know not.” But right now,
    the angels seem right. Cut the coyness, God;

    learn the names of all the Syrians.

    See what your species has done.

    --Mohja Kahf                     

    Marvin X tour dates

    Marvin X will read at New York University on February 4, 2014, at a tribute for poet Jayne Cortez.
    February 22 he will read at the Hinton Center, Fresno CA.
    February 24 he will read at Fresno City College
    February 28, March 1-2, he will co-produce (with Kim McMillan) the Black Arts Movement Conference, University of California, Merced.
    For more information or to invite Marvin X to your campus and/or conference, call 510-200-4164.






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     Mrs. Amina Baraka


    Mrs. Amina Baraka and Malika Iman

    In a phone conversation with Marvin X, Mrs. Amina Baraka said the condition of her husband is not getting better. He is on dialysis and still fighting pneumonia. "We can't let capitalism take him out. Marvin you gotta come back here. You know he will get up if you come cause he ain't gonna let you get the last word. You know how he is! Plus, I want to slap him again and tell him some things that're on my mind. So please come, if you can. He still has not regained consciousness and the condition of his heart, liver and kidneys are not good. But we're not gonna let capitalism take him out--they want to take us all out but it ain't gonna happen! We will fight!"

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    Photo: Thanks to the organizers of Day of Solidarity with Syria - global demonstrations on Saturday, January 11. London, Dublin and Malmo, Sweden will also have groups doing a Solidarity Hunger Strike on that day. Check out their info and attend the demonstration in your area. There are demonstrations in Syria; Vienna, Austria; Milano, Como Genova, Bologna, Ancona, Roma, Napoli, Palermo, and Lecce in Italy; Munich Stuttgart, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Aachen, Cologne, Hamburg, Dortmund in Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Barcelona, Granada and Seville in Spain; Paris and Montpelier in France; Montreal in Canada; Mexico City in Mexico; Nairobi in Kenya; Warsaw in Poland; Cairo in Egypt; Antwerp in Belgium; Lausanne in Switzerland; Buenos Aires in Argentina; Los Angeles and Washington in the U.S. https://www.facebook.com/solidaysyria

    Thanks to the organizers of Day of Solidarity with Syria - global demonstrations on Saturday, January 11. London, Dublin and Malmo, Sweden will also have groups doing a Solidarity Hunger Strike on that day. Check out their info and attend the demonstration in your area. There are demonstrations in Syria; Vienna, Austria; Milano, Como Genova, Bologna, Ancona, Roma, Napoli, Palermo, and Lecce in It...aly; Munich Stuttgart, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Aachen, Cologne, Hamburg, Dortmund in Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Barcelona, Granada and Seville in Spain; Paris and Montpelier in France; Montreal in Canada; Mexico City in Mexico; Nairobi in Kenya; Warsaw in Poland; Cairo in Egypt; Antwerp in Belgium; Lausanne in Switzerland; Buenos Aires in Argentina; Los Angeles and Washington in the U.S. https://www.facebook.com/solidaysyriaSee More

     On Friday, January 10, 2014 Marvin X will fast for Syria and the hoods of America suffering genocide and fratricide. Also, he asks you to join him in prayer for poet Amiri Baraka and Dr. Julia Hare. Fasalli li Rabbika! (So pray to your Lord)


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    Prison Hallway with money



    Three months into our monumental campaign to end for-profit incarceration, and we are already seeing real progress.
    Three months into our monumental campaign to end for-profit incarceration, and we are already seeing real progress.
    Tens of thousands of Color Of Change members have signed on to pressure investors, board members, and politicians to end their support for the shameful private prison industry and we've contacted more than 150 corporations demanding divestment. Nearly 50 companies have responded, and many are open to discussing ways to end their financial support.
    Please join us today in urging corporations, board members, and political leaders to end their support of discriminatory, for-profit imprisonment. We need a groundswell of voices in order to successfully hold them accountable and continue this exciting work — fueled by the well-known power of members, like you.
    In the coming weeks, we plan to publicly pressure corporations that refuse to do the right thing and divest. We have a very unique opportunity to weaken the industry’s financial standing and its ability to cause widespread human suffering, we just need your support to make it happen.
    Sincerely,
    Rashad Robinson
    Executive Director, ColorOfChange.org

    Private prison companies make billions from torture and confinement.
    We can stop this by holding prison companies' investors, board members, and public officials accountable.Join Us
    Dear Nefertitti,
    The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, and the private prison industry is making a killing off this broken system. For-profit prison companies get paid for each person that fills their cells — raking in $5 billion in annual revenue.1 Empty beds mean lost profits, so to keep the money flowing the industry spends millions lobbying the government to expand the destructive policies that keep more people behind bars for longer, harsher sentences.2
    Tragically, one-third of all Black men will spend part of their lives in prison.3 Meanwhile, for-profit prisons promote and exploit mass incarceration and racial-bias in the criminal justice system — further accelerating our nation's prison addiction. We can stop this. The prison industry depends on corporate backers for the capital it needs to keep growing,4 and allies in government for contracts that fill their prisons. If we convince enough investors and board members to leave the industry, we can discredit incarceration as a business, bring attention to the harm it creates, and deter public officials from granting contracts to prison companies.
    Please join us in urging investors and board members of for-profit prison companies to get out of this exploitative business. We'll inform them of what they're involved in, and if they refuse to do what's right, we'll hold them publicly accountable.
    Federal agencies and state governments contract with three main companies to lock people up: Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group, Inc., and the Management and Training Corporation (MTC). The top two prison companies, CCA and GEO, are publicly traded and financed by investors, major banks and corporations, who hold shares in the industry. CCA and GEO Group make money by charging a daily rate per body that is sent to them — costing tax payers billions for dangerous, ineffective facilities.5 The industry also makes money by avoiding tax payments. CCA will dodge $70 million dollars in tax payments this year by becoming a real estate investment trust (REIT) and designating their prisons as "residential".6
    In order to maximize profits, prison companies cut back on staff training, medical care, and rehabilitative services — causing assault rates to double in some private prisons.7A 2010 ACLU lawsuit against CCA-run Idaho Correctional Center cited a management culture so violent the facility is known as the "gladiator school".8 The industry also maximizes profits by lobbying for and benefiting from laws that put more people in jail. In the 1990's CCA chaired the Criminal Justice Task force of shadowy corporate bill-mill, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which passed "3 strikes" and "truth in sentencing" laws that continue to send thousands of people to prison on very harsh sentences.9Black folks are disproportionately subjected to these uniquely harsh conditions due to our extreme overrepresentation in the private prison system.10
    In many parts of the country, the political tide is shifting against the for-profit prison industry. Earlier this summer, Kentucky, Texas, Idaho, and Mississippi broke ties with CCA after reports of chronic understaffing, inmate death, and rising costs to the states became undeniable.11 In April, New Hampshire rejected all private prison bids because the prison corporations could not show that they would follow legal requirements for safely housing prisoners.12 And, there is growing opposition to California Governor Jerry Brown's misguided plan to comply with a Supreme Court order to alleviate the State's prison overcrowding crisis by moving thousands of prisoners into private facilities, at a public cost of $1 billion over 3 years.13
    The private prison industry should not control who is locked up, for how long, and at what price. For-profit prison companies have investors that cut across many industries. Some of these investors — wealthy individuals, major banks and financial companies — know exactly what they're doing. But with enough pressure, they might reconsider whether it's worth being known as profiting from exploitation and racism in the criminal justice system.
    Profiting off the brutality and discrimination of incarceration is shameful. Please join us in calling on the investors and board members of for-profit prison companies to get out of this corrupt business.
    Thanks and Peace,
    --Rashad, Matt, Arisha, Aimée, William, Lyla and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
    September 4th, 2013
    Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don't share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.
    References
    1. "A Boom Behind Bars," Bloomberg Businessweek, 03-17-2011
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2913?t=10&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    2. "Gaming the System," (.pdf) Justice Policy Institute, 06-01-2011
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2914?t=12&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7"
    3. "1 in 3 Black Men Go To Prison? The 10 Most Disturbing Facts About Racial Inequality in the U.S. Criminal Justice System," AlterNet, 03-17-2012
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2915?t=14&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    4. "Private Prison Profits Skyrocket as Executives Assure Investors of Growing Offender Population," ThinkProgress, 05-09-2013
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2916?t=16&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    5. "Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration," (.pdf) ACLU, 11-01-2011
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2926?t=18&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    6. "The Legacy of Chattel Slavery: Private Prisons Blur the Line Between Real People and Real Estate With New IRS Property Gambit," Truthout, 02-04-2013
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2917?t=20&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    7."The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America," (.pdf) Grassroots Leadership, 06-01-2013
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2918?t=22&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    8. "ACLU Lawsuit Charges Idaho Prison Officials Promote Rampant Violence," ACLU, 03-11-2010
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2919?t=24&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    9. "Too Good to be True: Private Prisons in America," (.pdf) 01-01-2012
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2921?t=26&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    10. "The Color of Corporate Corrections: Overrepresentation of People of Color in the Private Prison Industry," Prison Legal News, 08-30-2013
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2920?t=28&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    11. "Three States Dump Major Private Prison Company in One Month" ThinkProgress, 06-21-2013
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2924?t=30&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    12."New Hampshire Rejects All Private Prison Bids," ThinkProgress, 04-05-2013
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2927?t=32&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7
    13. "Gov. Brown's misguided private prison plan" SF Gate, 08-28-2013
    http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2925?t=34&akid=3236.1164386.gg43J7



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     Living legend violinist Tarika Lewis will perform with Marvin X at BAM conference

     Percussionist Tacuma King will accompany the poet
     
    Trumpet master Earl Davis will be in da house. Earl was a member of Marvin X's Black Arts West Theatre, San Francisco, 1966. He also performed with Sun Ra's Arkestra, as did Marvin X.

    Poet Eugene Redman will appear at the BAM conference. He is poet laureate of East St. Louis, former professor of English at Sacramento State University.

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