Articles on this Page
- 01/05/15--06:28: _Marvin X and Empres...
- 01/05/15--08:20: _The Black Arts Move...
- 01/06/15--00:30: _The Black Arts Move...
- 01/06/15--17:28: _Parable of the A St...
- 01/06/15--19:39: _Black Arts/Black Po...
- 01/07/15--09:56: _Fantastic Negrito a...
- 01/07/15--10:12: _John Santos in the ...
- 01/07/15--13:00: _Val Serrant at BAM ...
- 01/07/15--13:17: _Photo of Black Part...
- 01/08/15--10:44: _Blowback: King Leop...
- 01/08/15--18:11: _The Cell and the Sa...
- 01/08/15--18:52: _The William James A...
- 01/09/15--00:11: _The Black Arts Move...
- 01/09/15--01:05: _Coming Soon: Black ...
- 01/09/15--05:31: _On the death of AB
- 01/09/15--06:02: _Black Art by Amiri ...
- 01/09/15--06:43: _On behalf of Wadiya...
- 01/09/15--10:58: _Black Arts Movement...
- 01/09/15--19:37: _Jitney by August Wi...
- 01/09/15--20:10: _Black Bird Press Ne...
- 01/06/15--17:28: Parable of the A Students
- 01/06/15--19:39: Black Arts/Black Power Babies 2.0: Muhammida El Muhajir
- 01/07/15--09:56: Fantastic Negrito at Laney College Black Arts Movement Festival
- 01/07/15--13:00: Val Serrant at BAM Celebration
- 01/08/15--10:44: Blowback: King Leopold and Genocide in the Congo
- 01/08/15--18:11: The Cell and the Sanctuary: Art and Incarceration
- 01/08/15--18:52: The William James Association Prison Arts Project
- 01/09/15--05:31: On the death of AB
- 01/09/15--06:02: Black Art by Amiri Baraka
- 01/09/15--10:58: Black Arts Movement Program
- 01/09/15--19:37: Jitney by August Wilson at McClymonds High School
photo Johnnie Burrell
photo Kamau Amen Ra
If you are willing to donate any amount, please call Marvin X, 510-200-4164. BAM must be a community supported project. The original Black Arts Repertory Theatre failed in Harlem when grant funds were cut off. BAM must be independent although we will accept funds but will not compromise our revolutionary values and goals, the freedom of our people.
Here’s an update for you from the ‘Black Arts Movement 27 City National Tour’ team:
Visit the ‘Black Arts Movement 27 City National Tour’ campaign.
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Sponsors: Laney College, Post News Group, Black Caucus of California Community Colleges, YMCA, HP/Bayview; Black Think Tank, Black Bird Press, KPOO Radio, Davey D and Greg Bridges of KPFA Radio, lajones associates, BWOPA/TILE, It's About Time (the Black Panther Party Archives Project).
If you are willing to donate $100 --$500 or any amount, please call Marvin X, 510-200-4164. BAM must be a community supported project. The original Black Arts Repertory Theatre failed in Harlem when grant funds were cut off. BAM must be independent although we will accept funds but will not compromise our revolutionary values and goals, the freedom of our people.
Parable of the A Students
Muhammida El Muhajir, producer of Black Arts/Black Power Babies Discussion; filmmaker: Hip Hop--the New World Order
From producing major events in both the US and internationally, filming a world-wide hip-hop documentary, and working on marketing for major brands, Muhammida has a vast and diverse portfolio of work. Her ability to juggle it all along with motherhood makes it all the more inspiring. Always looking forward to the next project and her ability to remain ahead of the tide in her projects, is what makes her a hip, modern, and motivated individual.
Using a notebook to jot down ideas that sometimes seemed far-fetched ended up manifesting into Muhammida producing a documentary about hip hop all over the world. Just a girl with a vision, Muhammida ended up travelling to Japan, London, Paris, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, and Rio de Janeiro, using her network of sometimes one person to tap into the who’s who of the underground rap world in these cities. This goes to show that everything you do really plays a role and paves a path for your future. One of the funnier stories that El Muhajir recounts while travelling is her “fashionista filmmaker story”. Being so exhausted from carrying a heavy suitcase full of shoes on the Euro rail, she only had enough energy to make a visit to the Gucci store in Milan and not do any interviews, so there is no Italian section in the film. The things we women do for fashion!
As funny as she is, El-Muhajir is serious about her commitment to service. She has done pro bono work with the GEMS organization and spent time teaching the girls film and reading. Additionally, Muhammida regularly mentors young people as well as does motivational/public speaking at high schools, universities, and community organizations. She feels that doing public service is essential to success. When you give (time energy resources), it always comes back double, if not more.
This is great advice for women at any stage in life and all the more reason why Muhammida El Muhajir is a true hip, modern and motivated woman.
John Santos: Keeper of the Culture
Van Serrant has performed with Marvin X for decades. We are honored to have him in the BAM Poet's Choir and Arkestra at Laney College.
The Black Arts Movement District may extend to the Alameda County Courthouse, site of the Huey Newton trial and the trial of those who assassinated Post Newspaper Editor Chancey Bailey.
photo Kamau Amen Ra
King Leopold II: Hidden Holocaust in the Congo
 As a consequence, the rubber quotas were in part paid off in chopped-off hands. Sometimes the hands were collected by the soldiers of the Force Publique, sometimes by the villages themselves. There were even small wars where villages attacked neighbouring villages to gather hands, since their rubber quotas were too unrealistic to fill. A Catholic priest quotes a man, Tswambe, speaking of the hated state official Léon Fiévez, who ran a district along the river three hundred miles north of Stanley Pool:
All blacks saw this man as the devil of the Equator...From all the bodies killed in the field, you had to cut off the hands. He wanted to see the number of hands cut off by each soldier, who had to bring them in baskets...A village which refused to provide rubber would be completely swept clean. As a young man, I saw [Fiévez's] soldier Molili, then guarding the village of Boyeka, take a net, put ten arrested natives in it, attach big stones to the net, and make it tumble into the river...Rubber causes these torments; that's why we no longer want to hear its name spoken. Soldiers made young men kill or rape their own mothers and sisters.One junior European officer described a raid to punish a village that had protested. The European officer in command 'ordered us to cut off the heads of the men and hang them on the village palisades ... and to hang the women and the children on the palisade in the form of a cross.' After seeing a Congolese person killed for the first time, a Danish missionary wrote: 'The soldier said "Don't take this to heart so much. They kill us if we don't bring the rubber. The Commissioner has promised us if we have plenty of hands he will shorten our service."' In Forbath's words:
The baskets of severed hands, set down at the feet of the European post commanders, became the symbol of the Congo Free State. ... The collection of hands became an end in itself. Force Publique soldiers brought them to the stations in place of rubber; they even went out to harvest them instead of rubber... They became a sort of currency. They came to be used to make up for shortfalls in rubber quotas, to replace... the people who were demanded for the forced labour gangs; and the Force Publique soldiers were paid their bonuses on the basis of how many hands they collected.In theory, each right hand proved a killing. In practice, soldiers sometimes "cheated" by simply cutting off the hand and leaving the victim to live or die. More than a few survivors later said that they had lived through a massacre by acting dead, not moving even when their hands were severed, and waiting till the soldiers left before seeking help. In some instances a soldier could shorten his service term by bringing more hands than the other soldiers, which led to widespread mutilations and dismemberment.
Death tollA reduction of the population of the Congo is noted by all who have compared the country at the beginning of Leopold's control with the beginning of Belgian state rule in 1908, but estimates of the deaths toll vary considerably. Estimates of contemporary observers suggest that the population decreased by half during this period and these are supported by some modern scholars such as Jan Vansina. Others dispute this. Scholars at the Royal Museum for Central Africa argue that a decrease of 15% over the first forty years of colonial rule (up to the census of 1924).
According to British diplomat Roger Casement, this depopulation had four main causes: "indiscriminate war", starvation, reduction of births and diseases.Sleeping sickness was also a major cause of fatality at the time. Opponents of Leopold's rule stated, however, that the administration itself was to be considered responsible for the spreading of the epidemic.
In the absence of a census providing even an initial idea of the size of population of the region at the inception of the Congo Free State (the first was taken in 1924), it is impossible to quantify population changes in the period. Despite this, Forbath claimed the loss was at least 5 million;Adam Hochschild, and Isidore Ndaywel è Nziem, 10 million; However no verifiable records exist. Louis and Stengers state that population figures at the start of Leopold's control are only "wild guesses", while calling E.D. Morel's attempt and others at coming to a figure for population losses as "but figments of the imagination". To put these population changes in context sourced references state that in 1900, Africa as a whole had between 90 million and 133 million people.
Note: The Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Celebration at Laney College will exhibit the work of San Quentin inmate art, February 7, 2015. The BAM celebration is from 10am to 10 pm. Call 510-200-4164 for more information. The event is free/donations accepted.
The Cell and the Sanctuary: Art and Incarceration: November 7, 2014 – February 22, 20153rd Floor Art Forum
Overcrowded? Inhumane? Necessary? In a California prison, what does art look like?
See for yourself. Explore the paintings, drawings, sculptures and writing made by incarcerated individuals from prisons around California. These will be alongside installation, audio/video and 2-D works by teachers from their impactful art-in-prisons programs.
The incarcerated artists in this exhibition are on a unique path of self-discovery. They’re exploring arts as a means to become someone who can reconnect with the outside. Evidence suggests that arts-in-prisons programs lower recidivism (returning to prisons) by 27% and reduce disciplinary actions by 75%. They improve relationships between people within the prison as well as with guards and supervisory staff. Inmates exposed to arts programs are more likely to adjust to life outside prison and are less likely to become repeat offenders.
Featured in this exhibition, these teachers, artists and organizations are working together within the prison system to provide a direct link between incarcerated individuals and something larger than their dehumanizing cells. The arts become a vehicle for expression, self-identification and self-direction. If prisons are about transformation of the self, then these artists provide themselves with tools necessary to become someone new: artistic expression.
In collaboration with Barrios Unidos and the William James Association.
Explore the work of currently incarcerated artists as well as their teachers:
Amy M. Ho
Eric “Phil” Phillips
Anthony Marco Ramirez
Adrienne Skye Roberts
Kurt Von Staden
Noah WrightBeth Thielen
Prison Arts Project
The major program of the William James Association is the Prison Arts Project (PAP), created through the vision and efforts of Eloise Smith. A pilot project was set up in 1977 at the California Medical Facility at Vacaville, with funding provided by the San Francisco Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.
Eloise Smith’s vision was based simply on the value of providing all individuals with the most meaningful art experience possible; in her words, “that mysterious life-enhancing process we call the arts, a realm in which patient application and vivid imagination so often produce magic.”
The success of this initial program led to the formation of Arts-in-Corrections, an administrative office within the California Department of Corrections, which oversees the staffing of artist-facilitators at all prisons in California. Unfortunately, in January 2003, all Arts-in-Corrections artists’ contracts were terminated as the result of a budget crisis in California state government.
Through some limited funding from private sources, the William James Association has been able to hire a few professional artists to teach at San Quentin State Prison and the women’s unit of the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco.
Bringing the arts to institutionalized individuals is based in the belief that participation in the artistic process significantly affects a person’s self-esteem and general outlook on the world. Art workshops teach self-discipline, problem-solving, and concentration through absorption in a specific creative endeavor.
The skills acquired through participation in the arts are translated to other aspects of one’s life. Art satisfies an individual’s need for creativity, self-expression, recognition, and self-respect.
“There are general feelings of hostility and hopelessness in prisons today and it is getting worse with overcrowding. . . Art workshops and similar programs help take us out of this atmosphere and we become like any other free person expressing our talents. Being in prison is the final ride downhill unless one can resist the things around him and learn to function in a society which he no longer has any contact with. Arts programs for many of us may be the final salvation of our minds from prison insanity. It’s contact with the best of the human race. It is something that says that we, too, are still valuable.”
Theprison system punishes negative behaviors but offers little to replace them. The capacity for personal change is great, although daunting within a repressive environment and culture of extreme power imbalance, racism, segregation and manipulation. The Prison Arts Project creates a sanctuary where inmates are treated with respect, courtesy and an openness to their unique expressions as creative human beings.
The Black Arts Movement has declared February 27 as the first Last Saturday along Oakland's 14th Street, downtown, between Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and Alice Street. In anticipation of Mayor Libby Schaaf's official proclamation of the BAM District and the City Council President, Lynette McElhaney, introducing legislation to mark the BAM District in stone, leaders of the West Coast Black Arts Movement are preparing to celebrate the grand opening on February 27, 2015. The event will include performances by musicians, singers,poets, spoken word artists, art and craft vendors, physical, mental and spiritual wellness workers, food vendors along the BAM corridor that includes numerous historical landmarks, including the African American Library/Museum, C.L. Dellums Apartments, Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, Elihu Harris State Building, Frank Ogawa Plaza, Marvin X's Academy of da Corner, Geoffrey's Inner Circle, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland Post News Group offices, Caribbee Club and the Malonga Arts Center at 14th and Alice, also the cite where Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey was assassinated in broad daylight. It will extend to the Alameda County Courthouse where the trial of Black Panther co-founder Dr. Huey P. Newton was tried for murdering an Oakland Police Officer. Newton was found innocent. For more information, call Black Arts Movement co-founder Marvin X @ 510-200-4164 or contact the Post News Group
As part of the Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Celebration, Marvin X is proposing An Evening with Marvin X at San Francisco State University. Marvin X graduated in English/Creative Writing at SFSU. He is one of the founding members of the Black Students Union and his first play Flowers for the Trashman was produced by the drama department while he was an undergrad. He dropped out of SFSU to co-found Black Arts West Theatre in the Fillmore, 1966, with Ed Bullins; in 1967 he co-founded The Black House in San Francisco with Eldridge Cleaver. Marvin X later taught African American literature and Radio & television Writing at SFSU. He is the author of 30 books.
This event will be part of the BAM 27 City Tour he has undertaken with BAM icons and the BAM Arkestra and Poet's Choir. It will feature the poet reading and in conversation with Davey D on local, national and global issues. It will include an exhibit of his archives.
my friend departed
my friend to the end
a true friend
who helped me
like no one else
his last words
I gotta gig faya at NYU
wanna do it
Yes, but guess what
I gotta gig fa you
UC Merced then he was dead
in the coldest winter ever
complications of complications
joyful tortured life
Jekyll and Hyde wife said
man of two worlds
the black the white
he flowed wit da flow
lover of life
the drink the fame
women the driver
dining out the shout
the cry the scream
don't let them take yo
um boom de boom
you be in deep trouble
if dey take yo um boom de boom
take you several centuries to get out
oh, my friend
you taught me so much
you taught the world
we love you so much
because you loved the world.
teeth or trees or lemons piled
on a step. Or black ladies dying
of men leaving nickel hearts
beating them down. Fuck poems
and they are useful, wd they shoot
come at you, love what you are,
breathe like wrestlers, or shudder
strangely after pissing. We want live
words of the hip world live flesh &
coursing blood. Hearts Brains
Souls splintering fire. We want poems
like fists beating niggers out of Jocks
or dagger poems in the slimy bellies
of the owner-jews. Black poems to
smear on girdlemamma mulatto bitches
whose brains are red jelly stuck
between ‘lizabeth taylor’s toes. Stinking
Whores! we want “poems that kill.”
Assassin poems, Poems that shoot
guns. Poems that wrestle cops into alleys
and take their weapons leaving them dead
with tongues pulled out and sent to Ireland. Knockoff
poems for dope selling wops or slick halfwhite
politicians Airplane poems, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . .tuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuh
. . .rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . Setting fire and death to
whities ass. Look at the Liberal
Spokesman for the jews clutch his throat
& puke himself into eternity . . . rrrrrrrr
There’s a negroleader pinned to
a bar stool in Sardi’s eyeballs melting
in hot flame Another negroleader
on the steps of the white house one
kneeling between the sheriff’s thighs
negotiating coolly for his people.
Aggh . . . stumbles across the room . . .
Put it on him, poem. Strip him naked
to the world! Another bad poem cracking
steel knuckles in a jewlady’s mouth
Poem scream poison gas on beasts in green berets
Clean out the world for virtue and love,
Let there be no love poems written
until love can exist freely and
cleanly. Let Black people understand
that they are the lovers and the sons
of warriors and sons
of warriors Are poems & poets &
all the loveliness here in the world
Let the world be a Black Poem
And Let All Black People Speak This Poem
Source: Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones (1979)
On Behalf of
Wadiya Jamal and Mumia Abu-Jamal,
A Contribution Request
Wadiya Jamal, Samiya (1978-2014) and Dolly