By Dr. Marvin X
- RSS Channel Showcase 5009781
- RSS Channel Showcase 5590491
- RSS Channel Showcase 2879255
- RSS Channel Showcase 1622450
Articles on this Page
- 12/02/14--05:29: _Black History and O...
- 12/03/14--23:08: _Black Bird Press Ne...
- 12/03/14--23:21: _Marvin X in Antholo...
- 12/08/14--16:42: _Marvin X with Black...
- 12/09/14--00:25: _Jitney coming to Fl...
- 12/09/14--01:23: _Black Arts Movement...
- 12/09/14--07:32: _Nuyorican Poetry Le...
- 12/09/14--07:54: _Black History is Wo...
- 12/09/14--08:49: _Race in America--th...
- 12/11/14--16:47: _Photo Essay by Neco...
- 12/11/14--22:17: _Marvin X poem: Do n...
- 12/12/14--05:40: _Black Men Speak: Da...
- 12/12/14--08:59: _It's Marvin X time ...
- 12/13/14--06:43: _Black Power Matters...
- 12/14/14--00:04: _The Revolution agai...
- 12/14/14--20:16: _Marvin X recruits B...
- 12/16/14--07:43: _Oakland Protests, l...
- 12/16/14--15:11: _Laney College Presi...
- 12/17/14--09:35: _Cuban 5 free
- 12/17/14--10:51: _Black Bird Press Ne...
- 12/02/14--05:29: Black History and Oakland's Shame
- 12/03/14--23:21: Marvin X in Anthologies
- Check out these flix from last Thurs.Dec4th "International Revolutionary Day" in West Oakland..45yrs since the assassination of Chairman Fred Hampton Sr. & Def.Capt. Mark Clark we commemorated the yearly "IRD" event here in Oakland in conjunction with the official POCC/BPPC "IRD45" events in Chiraq 12/4/14! We had a film screening, community dialogue, positive performances and open mic cypher at this special last 2014 / IRD edition of our monthly Zulu Nation Thursdays-OAKLAND gathering! Revolutionary Love & Solidarity with every1 who came out!!!--Ras Ceylon
- 12/09/14--00:25: Jitney coming to Flight Deck, a place for artists with purpose
- 12/09/14--07:32: Nuyorican Poetry Legends
- 12/09/14--08:49: Race in America--the Grand Denial!
- 12/11/14--22:17: Marvin X poem: Do not dream alone
- 12/13/14--06:43: Black Power Matters at Eastside Arts Alliance
- 12/14/14--00:04: The Revolution against Fear by Marvin X
- 12/17/14--09:35: Cuban 5 free
The purpose of history is to give people a memory of their past in order that they may endure the present and propel themselves into the future. When they are disconnected from their myths and history, the present can be chaotic and the future problematic. Such is the present condition of Oakland’s citizens: they have allowed their grass roots heroes and sheroes to languish in obscurity and infamy. Oakland heroes from the 1960s, namely radicals such as the Black Panthers have no streets named after them for their valiant struggle against oppression. There are no statues or other monuments to the Black Panther leadership or the thousands of rank and file grass roots people who sacrificed their sweat and blood to make Oakland and America a better place. There’s a Federal building named after Ron Dellums, a state building named after Elihu Harris, a psychiatric hospital named after John George, but nothing to honor the common people who fought in the streets of Oakland and across America to make this nation live up to the Constitution, by creating a society of, for and by the people.
There are no statues of Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Hutton, Panther leaders who have joined the ancestors. What is the excuse for not officially naming Defermery Park after Little Bobby Hutton, the 16 year old youth murdered by the Oakland Police in a shootout after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Little Bobby was the third member of the BPP and its secretary. Today he should be an example much needed by youth to show them the path to freedom rather than the rode to self destruction they are presently following. After three black mayors, there is yet no official name change of the West Oakland park where so many Panthers and other radicals grew up on the basketball courts and picnic grounds.
As one who grew up in West Oakland and familiar with Oakland’s radical tradition, I am embarrassed when people ask me where are the monuments to the great radicals Oakland produced, especially during the 60s. People from out of town who visit Oakland are dumbfounded that they cannot visit any sites where Black Panthers and other radicals are honored.
Oakland’s old Merritt College on Grove or MLK street, was the hotbed of radical Oakland during the early 60s. It is where I attended college and obtained my radical education, not in the classroom, but on the steps at the main entrance, listening to young radicals such as Bobby Seale, Huey Newton, Richard Thorne, Ernie Allen, Isaac Moore, Ann Williams, Ken and Carol Freedom, Donald Warden, Maurice Dawson. With all due respect to Martin Luther King, the site should not have been named in honor of MLK but to those Oakland radicals who helped change America and the world from the hallowed steps at the front of the college. The world should know that Oakland’s 60s revolution was spearheaded by students who would extend their struggle for freedom to UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University, which had the longest and most violent student strike in American history. And many of the students at SFSU had transferred from Merritt College, taking their desire for equal education, including black studies, across the bay and eventually across America when the call for black studies became a priority of the freedom struggle. Well, Merritt College, now located up in the Oakland hills, far from the flatlands and the population who made the college historic, has belatedly named a room after its most controversial students, Dr. Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
But the real significance of the BPP is that they gave a voice to the voiceless masses of youth and adults suffering oppression in Oakland, the US and the world. And these brothers and sisters must be honored for their sweat, blood and tears on the streets of this city. The tragic shame is that today’s youth have little or no knowledge of what happened in Oakland, for there are no monuments at 14th and Broadway or anywhere to remind them of their roots, of the struggle and sacrifice of their parents and grandparents.
We call upon Mayor Ron Dellums, himself a part of Oakland’s radical history, to make it a priority of his tenure to establish monuments to Oakland’s Black Radical Past. If streets can be named after African and European radicals, how long will local heroes be neglected, especially when youth need knowledge and symbols of progressive social activists so they can see there are alternative lifestyles other than the self destructive American gansta genre of psycho-social pathology.
And more important than symbolic gestures, we call upon the mayor and city council, in coordination with other Bay Area governments, to establish a special fund to award and reward the still surviving freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives, educations, jobs, and families to make a better world for Bay Area citizens in particular and Americans in general. After all, these liberation fighters in the Panther Party, the Nation of Islam, Black Student Unions and other social activist organizations, suffered the blows of fascist America. These valiant men and women endured police surveillance, family intimidation, jail, prison, torture, murder, exile, black listing and other forms of obstruction in the battles they waged to make things better for all Americans. They are thus entitled to just compensation as are veterans from any war, for their battle was in fact the Second Civil War, far more important than the racist war in Vietnam and the present unprovoked war in Iraq.
One result of the Black Panther Party was the US government’s adoption of their free breakfast program for all children. Black Student Union members fought for diversity in education, and with the establishment of Black Studies, it was soon followed by Asian Studies, Native American Studies, Chicano Studies, Gender Studies, and American academia was forever changed for the better, for the racist Eurocentric education suffered a death blow.
Let us not fail to acknowledge and reward the cultural workers who established the West coast arm of the Black Arts Movement or BAM, which revolutionized the esthetics of the arts, replacing the art for art sake of the European paradigm with a functional approach that stated art is indeed didactic, i.e., for education and elevation of consciousness, not merely for entertainment. Cultural workers such as Ed Bullins, Marvin X, Danny Glover, Jimmy Garrett, Vonetta McGee, Sarah Webster Fabio, Adam David Miller, Ntozake Shange, Reginald Lockett, Avotjca, and others, raised the standard of the black arts that had been initiated by the Harlem Renaissance, but BAM was more political and directed to the masses rather than to the whites seeking exotica and erotica. It was a revolutionary artistic movement, working in tandem with the political liberation movement. Not only was BAM the sister of the Black Power movement, but in a very real since, it was the mother since many of the politicos were nurtured in the womb of BAM, then advanced to the political revolution. We think of Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, Benny Stewart, George Murray, Emory Douglass, Samuel Napier and others who came through BAM.
And finally, BAM, by the very nature of the literature, forced inclusion of its material in academia, thus upsetting the status quo, altering it forever when ethnic literature was forced into the Eurocentric curriculum. Other ethnic groups followed suit with demands their literature become part of the general curriculum. The Asian poet Janice Mirikini (wife of Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide Church) will tell people, “It was the poetry of Marvin X that awakened me to my ethnicity.” So yes, BAM awakened other ethnic groups to the power of their indigenous literature and artistic expression, freeing them of Eurocentric domination or white supremacy/lunacy.
Unfortunately, opportunists took advantage of the situation created by the liberation fighters to simply obtain tenure, thus the original mission was aborted with the resultant disintegration of community. If black consciousness had been properly spread to the community, there would be children today carrying on the tradition rather than engaged in self destructive behavior. The present situation is indeed a shame, but perhaps if the veteran liberation fighters are honored, it will inspire the children of today to engage in the protracted struggle to liberate themselves from the last vestiges of white supremacy/lunacy.
Marvin X. Jackmon (Dr. M) grew up in West Oakland on Seventh and Campbell, the son of a florist who hadpublished the first black newspaper in the central valley, The Fresno Voice. Dr. M’s first writings were published in the children’s section of the Oakland Tribune.
Stand Our Ground: New Global Poetry Anthology Raising Funds for Justice!
Title: Stand Our Ground:Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa AlexanderPublisher: FreedomSeed Press (Philadelphia, PA)
Paperback, 272 pages
Publication Date: April 22, 2013
All proceeds will be shared with the families of Martin and Alexander to aid in their respective pursuits of justice.
READ AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK!
For more information on the book: StandOurGroundBook.com.
In Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander 65 poets from all over the world join together in one voice for justice, freedom and peace. Stand Our Ground is the definitive testament of a revolutionary generation. In this historic collection Black Arts Movement legends Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haki R. Madhubuti, Marvin X and Askia M. Toure’ are joined by poets of all ages from across the United States and around the world representing countries in Africa, Asia, Europe as well as North and South America and the islands of the Caribbean.
The cases of Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander expose the duplicity of an American justice system that remains rooted in racism and sexism. Stand Our Ground is an effort to raise funds for both families to aid in their pursuit of justice even as it raises the consciousness of a generation toward the pursuit of a movement of justice for all!
The book’s editor, Ewuare X. Osayande, is a poet, educator and activist. The author of several books including Blood Luxury with an introduction by Amiri Baraka (Africa World Press) and Whose America?: New and Selected Poems with an introduction by Haki R. Madhubuti (Black Proletariat Press). He is an adjunct professor of African American Studies at Rutgers University.
In the introduction for Stand Our Ground Osayande writes, “This book has been a labor of love. My love for my people. My love for humanity. I acted because I knew it was not enough for me to just march, or write an editorial or to just allow myself to sit and simmer in the face of wrong. I acted because I knew that there were others like me. I knew that if I acted, others would join with me, and, together, we could create a work that would simultaneously raise collective support for these two families and raise the collective consciousness of our generation. So in the Summer of 2012 the call went out and this is the result. A collection of poems. But not just any collection of poems. Herein are contained –
Poems that speak truth to power
Poems that break chains in freedom’s name
Poems that confront abuse
and provide sanctuary for the bruised
Poems that escape from cells
Poems that provide a pathway back from hell
Poems that refuse to be silent
Poems more just than the judge’s gavel
Poems that have tasted cop’s mace
stared down the barrel of a gun in defiance
Shackled poems trying to break free
Poems picking the locks on our minds
Poems that transcend place and time
that tell the histories and herstories
that have been banned from the textbooks
Poems that refuse to look the other way
Poems that say what needs to be said
Poems that resurrect the dead
Poems that refuse to sell their souls
Poems that revolt and rebel
that holler, scream and yell
Poems that leave us speechless
that tell us truths we don’t want to hear
Poems that leave the status quo
quivering in fear
Poems that know that justice is like rain
to the seeds of peace
Poems that move us to act
like you know
Poems sick and tired of being sick and tired poems
Poems that inoculate us against ignorance
Poems that make us think
Poems on the brink
Poems that challenge us to see
the world as it could be
as it should be
Poems in love with freedom
Poems that resist
that resist racism and sexism
that refuse to be conned
Poems for a mother named Marissa
and a young brother named Trayvon.”
Available for purchase exclusively at http://standourgroundbook.com/.
Poet Askia Toure, BAM Producer Kim McMillan and Marvin X. Toure addressed students in Kim's class at University of California, Merced. He received lifetime achievement award from PEN Oakland.Toure mentored LeRoi Jones, aka Amiri Baraka. He guided Marvin X on his first visit to Harlem, NY, 1968
photo Marvin X
Black History Is World History
Before the Earth was
Before time 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
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 Vietnam, 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
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 colosal
in Vera Cruz and Yucatan
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
This poem was written circa 1982 while Marvin X taught English at Kings River College, his last teaching gig.
Suggested reading list
The complete works of J.A. Rogers
The World and Africa, W.E.B. DuBois
Stolen Legacy, George M. James
The African Origin of the Major Religions, Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan
Message to the Black Man, Elijah Muhammad
They Came before Columbus, Ivan Van Sertima
"African Explorers in the New World, " Harold Lawrence,
Crisis, June-July, 1962. Heritage Program Reprint, p. 10
The Destruction of African Civilization, Chancellor Williams.
The Cultural Unity of Africa, Cheikh Anta Diop.
Man, God and Civilization, John G. Jackson
By Dr. Marvin X
The problem is how to throw off the vestiges of colonialism to become the New Man and New Woman. Of course, we must first recognize how sick colonialism has made us throughout Pan Africa. Somehow we must bow down and ask forgiveness of our Higher Power, the ancestors, the living and the yet unborn. There must be a cleansing ritual performed until the mud and slime of Western culture is purged from our minds, bodies and souls. The Western gods must be destroyed, crushed to the earth and stomped into eternity, for they have blessed us with ignorance, superstition, greed, lust and pure evil, allowing us to become worse than beasts in the field, committing the worse atrocities, yea, even worse than all the teaching of our colonial masters.
A Response to "Killing in the Pan Africa Hood"
By Rudolph Lewis
Marvin, there is great wisdom that should be heeded in your essay "How To Stop the Killing in the Pan African Hood." I am aware that a new set of values (though possessed by our enslaved ancestors but now abandoned under the "new world order") and a new perspective of our place in the world, of our past and future are earnestly needed in these dire times. The most important of these new perspectives is couched in your paragraph that reads as follows: Has Africa asked forgiveness of herself, yet she wails for apology from the slave masters' children. Has she given reparations to her descendants lost in the wilderness of North America? Has she ever sent a symbolic ship or plane to bring them home? So Pan Africa lives a slow death because she allows corrupt, boastful, arrogant leaders to control her nations, her leaders shelter each other, covering their multiple sins, protecting themselves from people's justice that would rightfully hang them like Mussolini and his wife.
On Saturday PEN Oakland’s 24th annual book awards honored eight writers for their literary excellence. The annual awards ceremony recognizes authors from across the country for their books published during the previous year. The ceremony was held at the Oakland Public Library’s Rockridge branch and drew several dozen members of the public. In addition to acceptance speeches, authors read excerpts of their work and signed books for fans.
“Our mission is to promote works of high quality literature written by writers of all races, nationalities, classes, marginalized people and points of view that don’t get recognized by the mainstream,” said John Curl, Chairman of PEN Oakland, a nonprofit organization that’s been supporting and recognizing writers since 1989. PEN Oakland – which stands for poets, essayists and novelists – is an offshoot of the larger and older PEN USA, which supports mainstream writers, many in the entertainment industry.
Oakland resident Nina Serrano received an award for her book Heart Strong, a collection of poems that chronicle her life from 2000 through 2012. “It was my experience of the 21st Century,” she said during a book signing reception after receiving her award. “A 20th Century person, essentially, born in 1934, experiencing the 21st Century.” The poems are about everything from war and urban life to relationships and heartbreaks, and they accompany paintings and photographs by Serrano’s artist friends.
In accepting her speech, Serrano read one of her book’s poems, “Black Lives Matter.” It’s a reflection on the many protests she’s witnessed while living in the Bay Area. “Black lives matter. It’s ridiculous to have to state. It’s so obvious because all life matters and is sacred,” she recited.
Serrano isn’t the only author whose work addressed social issues like racial tensions. Los Angeles native Akinyele Umoja, a professor of African American studies at Georgia State University, was honored for his book We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement. The book is a historical narrative about southern blacks in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, using armed defense to challenge racism, terrorism and segregation and acquire legal rights and political power.
In it, he tells the story of an 86-year old grandmother who offered her farm as an organizing base for young southern blacks fighting to vote. One day, a group of these young people were prevented from registering to vote at the county courthouse by white supremacists who terrorized and followed them all the way back to the farm. “But this elder came up with a plan,” said Umoja. The grandmother, he said, supplied the young organizers with shotguns and rifles to defend themselves.
Umoja related the past struggles he writes about in his book to the ongoing racial tensions happening now in Ferguson, Missouri and other cities over police violence against young African American men. “We’re at the beginning of a new movement,” he said, calling the protests over the Michael Brown shooting a creative use of nonviolent direct action. “We must assert our right to defend ourselves,” said Umoja.
PEN Oakland’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Askia M. Toure, a prominent poet and political editor. Toure was leader of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s that encouraged African Americans to launch publishing houses, publish magazines, and open art institutions, and resulted in many African American Studies programs at universities. At this year’s ceremony, Toure was honored for his contributions to the Black Arts Movement’s community and literature. “It was an honor and as a writer and activist, it definitely was a crown jewel of my career,” he said, referring to the PEN award. In addition to writing for several publications, Toure was editor of the Journal of Black Poetry and Black Dialogue and in 1965 he founded Afro World. In 1967, Toure joined the staff of San Francisco State Univerisity where he taught African American studies. He is currently working on a film about the Black Arts Movement.
Other works honored at the ceremony include Hotel Juarez: Stories, Loops and Rooms by Daniel Chacon. Chacon’s book is a collection of short stories and flash fiction – very brief narratives, usually only a few hundred words – and deals with issues of identity and human interaction. Claudia Moreno Pisano was honored for her book, Amiri Baraka and Edward Dorn: The Collected Letters, a compilation of personal letters written between avant-garde poets Amiri Baraka and Edward Dorn, who had an interracial friendship during the Civil Rights Movement era.
In all, eight writers were honored at the annual ceremony, but not all of them were present to accept their awards. Curl said that as long as unconventional views and ideas are ignored by the mainstream media, PEN Oakland will continue to celebrate diversity. “We’ve been doing this for 25 years and the mainstream certainly hasn’t budged,” said Curl. “We’ve become a significant force in terms of writers who are really important but are not recognized by the mainstream.”
THE 2014 PEN OAKLAND-JOSEPHINE MILES
LITERARY AWARD WINNERS
"King Me" by Roger Reeves (Copper Canyon Press)
"Heart Strong" by Nina Serrano (Estuary Press)
"We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement"
by Akinyele Omowale Umoja (NYU Press)
"Amiri Baraka and Edward Dorn: The Collected Letters" edited by Claudia Moreno Pisano (University of New Mexico Press)
"Hotel Juarez: Stories, Loops and Rooms" by Daniel Chacón (Arte Publico Press)
"Claire of the Sea Light" by Edwidge Danticat (Knopf Doubleday)
CENSORSHIP & LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
Abraham Bolden is the winner of the 2014 Censorship Award.
Askia M. Toure will receive the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.
For further information, please contact Kim McMillon at email@example.com.
Saturday, December 6th
1:00 PM-5:00 PM
Saturday Oakland Public Library — Rockridge Branch
5366 College Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618
Copyright © 2014, Tony R. Rodriguez, Examiner.com
alone in a room
but what pleasure
when there are those who share the dream
it is wonderful to know
it is my time
only because it is our time
fling our arms wide
til night day is done
but knowing the communal dream
what wonder is this
I am not alone
they are ready to help
my dream is their dream
their dream is my dream
no confusion here
work out the details
the deal is done
the die was set in the seed of a seed of a seed of the first seed
the seed was a dream
we sat in a circle by the village fire
the Kora sound is kicking our heart strings
there is no shame
only beauty and truth
the sun rises and the dream is hatched
the egg shells split our minds
cracking brain cells
we smell the dream
we are humbled
knowing we know
knowing we are the action
we are the will the way
the sun rises we rise
flowing with the flow
they are coming
coming to dance the dream.
let them dance the holy dance
let them strut like peacocks
stand like one legged flamingos
tall and still at attention
there is motion and sounds
sounds behind the sounds.
it is the drum the drummers
life is complete now
it is morning the rain has stopped
see the rainbow
what a wonderful sign
someone has heard the dream
they come running
hands full of dreams
babies with dreams
old men old women with dreams
workers youth students with dreams
preachers and teachers dreaming
dreaming new preachings and teachings
lovers dream new dreams of love
beyond flesh and climax
Phavia said, "If you think I am just a physical thing
wait til you see the spiritual power I bring...."
so dream lovers
you haters dream too
beyond your ignut haters dream
beyond that mini mind dream
youth dream beyond your sagging pants dream
your mind is sagging
pull up your mind your ass will follow. dream.
Marvin X and the Poet's Choir & Arkestra will perform at the opening gala of the Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary, Laney College Art Gallery, February 7, 2015. For more information: 510-200-4164. firstname.lastname@example.org
photo Conway Jones, Jr.
Publisher Paul Cobb of the Post News Group at Geoffery's Inner Circle, celebrating the 10th anniversary of his ten newspapers. Paul Cobb is in partnership with Marvin X to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement. Paul and Marvin have established the BAM/Post Isaiah 61 Project to bring literature and literacy to the incarcerated. Paul says, "Crack a book before you are booked for Crack!"
He is working on expanding the San Quentin newspaper for distribution throughout the California Department of Corrections, the Post Newspaper as well. He's calling on religious institutions to provide subscriptions to inmates. Books will also be distributed to inmates, especially titles from Dr. Nathan Hare's Black Think Tank Books and Marvin X's Black Bird Press. Authors and publishers are invited to make their titles available for distribution to inmates. Mayor elect Libby Shaaf says "I agree with Post Publisher Paul Cobb that the BAM 50th Anniversary celebration should encompass all cultural genres: visual, literary, and performance. Age-appropriate books for African American students about the Black Arts Movement will literally bring the lesson home for families to share and aspire to.”
No human progress is possible while people are paralyzed by fear. Fear is the great monster of the mind that prevents people from standing against oppression. Once the great monster fear is cut off, we see people can stand tall in the face of any challenge, whether from the guns of state terror, the tanks, police, jails, prisons and ultimately death. Overcoming the fear of death is the ultimate challenge of man. Once a man or woman accepts that his/her life and death are all for God, transcending the self, fear is discarded into the dustbin of history.
We see this occurring in North Africa and the Middle East at this hour. The people have cast off the illusion of fear and are standing tall against oppression from regimes long supported by American Imperialism. America has been the major arms supplier, the guns, bullets, poison gas, equipment for torture chambers and dungeons that were established to allow the most wicked and repressive regimes to flourish for the last forty years.
Let us be clear that America has a history of oppressing its own citizens, of filling their bodies and minds with fear, of reducing them from Kunta Kinte to Toby en mass. We have yet to learn the true story of resistance to the American slave system by North American Africans, who mastered fear during three centuries of chattel enslavement, not recognized as humans or citizens. And yet from within the slave system, North American African resisted by any means necessary, ultimately taking up arms in the Civil War, only to be betrayed by those who won the war and those who were defeated, especially when the 200,000 African soldiers were disarmed.
It is this disarming that allowed fear to return in the from of state terror in the guise of the KKK, the lynchings, virtual slave labor and disenfranchisement during the short lived Reconstruction.
Imagine, for a time the people who were banned from learning to read and write, upon emancipation exercised a thirst for learning so great the children had to be beaten out of the classroom and made to go home. Today we have flipped the script, the children must be beaten or taken to juvenile hall for refusing to attend school. School districts have gone broke because their daily attendance was so low they could not qualify to fund their budgets.
How did the fear of knowledge become pervasive? How did it become a hip fad to be ignut? We need only examine the lives of men who read books and not only transformed their lives but the lives of their people, e.g., Fredrick Douglass, Malcolm X, George Jackson, Eldridge Cleaver. These men cast aside their fears, stood up and made their people stand. Imagine the eternal words of Harriet Tubman, "I could have freed more slaves if they had known they were slaves."
We see here the need for the slave system, today the neo-slave system, to keep people in ignorance and fear. The slave system rules through ignorance and fear. The Civil Rights movement was on the road to success once the people in the South cast off their fears, especially the fear of death, the fear of jail, prison and retaliation.
The 2.4 million people in US jails and prisons are special examples of the fearless. Most people who commit crimes are somewhat fearless, otherwise they would not take penitentiary chances, as they say. Those addicted to fear may be those who decide to hold down a job, to never consider economic independence, until of late when it is crystal clear the job for life is a myth.
We see a college education is no guarantee of a job. Our children will thus need to cast away their fears to configure a fair market system of economic justice. Free market capitalism is exhausted, surely America and her gang of global bandits are in their last days before being rounded up and divested of their ill gotten gains.
By what right should 400 people possess the wealth equal to 150 million? There must be a redistribution of the wealth stolen from the deaf, dumb and blind, yes, those robbed and left half dead on the roadside, those who are victims of American capital accumulation since the beginning of the slave system, i.e., the founding of this nation.
And yet the greatest robbery is not what occurred yesterday, but the robbery of the present global finance bandits who have ripped off the people with their pyramid schemes and sub prime loan scams that stole trillions from people and nations, since the blood suckers of the poor care nothing about people or nations.
The jobless and homeless of today will not rise from this condition until they cast away all fears and seize the means of production and the housing they need. Every human being needs a job and a dwelling. There is no mystery about the human right to a job and a place to stay.
Every human being should have a home with a life estate. This is the true and final solution to homelessness. The home with a life estate cannot be sold or transferred, thus a person will become free of the anxiety of homelessness. And then we consider the reality that all persons need a way to earn money to survive and thrive.
A society that cannot provide its people with economic security shall have no national security, for it is a failed society, a society in chaos, such as we see in America today. There are almost three million people in prison, mostly due to economic crimes, crimes of necessity.
And yet many of these criminals are fearless, some have the very creative minds we need to address the issues of society. And yet they are locked down, many for the most trivial offences, 80% were drug addicted at the time of their arrests and perhaps 50% have severe mental health issues, so what we have in American prisons and jails are drug addicts and the mentally ill or the dual diagnosed.
Still, we have seen that some of our greatest minds came from prison, recall Malcolm, George Jackson, Eldridge, Tookie. Even today we have millions of fearless minds locked down, e.g. Ruchell McGee, and so many other men and women, not to mention our greatest mind on death row, Mumia Abu Jamal. If a man can be productive as Mumia has been on death row, what excuse do we have out here on the big yard?
As Amiri Baraka asked, "Is it difficult for you?" And so I ask, is it difficult for you out here on the big yard? I especially ask the people of the Bay Area who have the legacy of the Black Panther Party who taught one essential lesson which was to discard our fears and stand tall in the face of oppression, is it difficult for you? I say smash your fear of the police, politicians, blood sucking merchants who refuse to hire you yet you do not protest. Challenge the oil and gasoline bandits who reap quarterly profits in the billions by manipulating the markets. But no, you won't dare confront Shell, Mobil, Exxon, Chevron, but you want to kill a brother who jumps ahead of you in the line at the gas station.
After listening to pianist Muziki Roberson accompany Shabaka's reading, Marvin asked him to perform with the BAM Arkestra and Poet's Choir. He accepted. Other musicians who have singed on to the BAM celebration include John Santos, David Murray, Destiny Muhammad, Mechelle LaChaux, Tarika Lewis, Tacuma King, Paul Smith, Augusta Collins, Zena Allen, Elliott Bey, Earl Davis, Val Serrant, et al.
You’ve Received a Campaign Update!
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Respond directly to the campaign owner here.
Help spread the word about the campaign!
Note: To stop receiving updates from Black Arts Movement 27 City National Tour, click here.
You can also unsubscribe from all recurring Indiegogo emails in your account settings.
Protesters chain themselves to Oakland police HQ; 25 arrested
The demonstrators were protesting killings by police in New York and Missouri, including the slayings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
A live-stream video via Blackout Collective shows demonstrators blocking a doorway outside the headquarters and singing, “Calling out the violence of the racist police” as they were taken into custody by officers.
Oakland police said Monday afternoon that 25 people had been arrested on suspicion of obstructing and blocking a public safety building and delaying a police officer.
One protester climbed a flagpole and raised a banner, which protesters said commemorated men and women killed by police. Protesters chained shut four of the building's entrances and then chained themselves to the doors.
"Three of these doors are our main ingress and egress for the public and Oakland Police Department personnel," police said in a statement. "As a result, the public could not access important police services, such as reporting crimes, obtaining public records, accessing necessary paperwork for vehicle impound releases and property releases."
Using a pair of cutters, officers cut chains from the protesters and removed them from the front doors of the police headquarters, which had been sealed shut.
A woman filming the demonstrations said on live video that 100 protesters had been marching through the rain-soaked streets of Oakland since 7:30 a.m. She tweeted, "I repeat OPD is shut down!!!"
Elsewhere, Oakland police said a dozen protesters were chained to one another and were blocking the intersection of Broadway and 7th Street. Protesters also were chained together on the northbound Interstate 880 at Broadway, closing access to the freeway ramp.
The Oakland police's hostage negotiating team was on hand to deal with protesters.
THE CUBAN FIVE
This morning, breaking news on all news agencies says that our three brothers, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, and Antonio Guerrero are free!!! According to the news, Alan Gross is flying back to the United States now, and President Obama will be speaking at about noon today, Eastern time, to announce that and further developments.
INCREDIBLE NEWS! This is a very short notice, just to let everyone know of this GREAT GREAT VICTORY!
Stay tuned for more details!
This victory is possible because of the years of struggle of the strength and determination of our brothers Gerardo, Antonio, Ramon, Fernando and Rene, and all the Cuban people, the struggle of people in the United States and around the world, of all the efforts to demand justice and freedom for the Cuban FIVE! The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five congratulates our brothers and the Cuban people in their victory! 16 Years of imprisonment could not break their spirit!