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."
America is the Black man's battleground. As I travel the streets of Oakland, I run into police at crime scenes, streets taped and markings for bullet casings. It is almost daily or weekly. This is war, whether caused by external or internal forces. War is war. Coast to coast. But we cannot make war unless one is prepared. When unprepared, one is simply the victim who suffers but is unable to stop the war against him or her. How does one prepare for war? Put on the armor of God or obtain spiritual consciousness, then one can walk through the valley of the shadow of death but fear no evil. Be conscious of the Tone Test: when stopped by the police, one can be arrested, released or killed, depending on one's tone of voice. When encountering another brother, the tone test operates. Depending on our tone of voice, we can have an argument or the situation can escalate to violence and death. Isn't there a Hadith that says when we encounter the ignorant, say As-Salaam-Alaikum. Don't escalate a situation when you know where it is going! We must survive to fight another day of our choice, not the enemy's. And don't think you are going to defeat the enemy with guns. My friends and comrades in the Black Panther Party tried this but suffered a military defeat. We don't have enough guns or bullets to match the police, the US Army, Navy, Air Force, FBI, CIA, NSA, spies, snitches and agent provocateurs. Fidel Castro said, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness."--Marvin X
Women Writers Panel at Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Celebration, Laney College, Oakland, Feb. 7, 2015. L to R: Elaine Brown, Halifu Osumare, Judy Juanita, Portia Anderson, Kujichagulia, Aries Jordan. Standing: Marvin X, BAM producer photo South Park Kenny Johnson
For the Women For the women who bear children and nurture them with truth for the women who cook and clean behind thankless men for the women who love so hard so true so pure for the women with faith in God and men for the women alone with beer and rum for the women searching for a man at the club, college, church, party for the women independent of men for the women searching their souls for the women who do drugs and freak for the women who love only women for the women who play and run and never show for the women who rise in revolt in hand with men who say never, never, never again for the women who suffer abuse and cry for justice for the women happy and free of maternal madness for the women who study and write for the women who sell their love to starving men for the women who love to make love and be loved by men for the women of Africa who work so hard for the women of America who suffer the master for the women who turn to God in prayer and patience for the women who are mothers of children and mothers of men for the women who suffer inflation, recession, abortion, rejection for the women who understand the rituals of men and women for the women who share for the women who are greedy for the women with power for the women with nothing for the women locked down for the women down town for the women who break horses for the women in the fields for the women who rob banks for the women who kill for the women of history for the women of now I salute you A Man. --Marvin X www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com email@example.com 510-200-4164
When you enter strange cities be silent in the streets but speak with all you meet And you will see as the people see the poor people are very rich.
When you enter their homes eat with them or they will hate you but eat not that which will kill you even if they insist for you have been taught by the Great Teacher and they know Him not may even mock Him to your face but cool your voice they will submit when they meet Him when they see Him in you
When you love peoples of the world rivers are nothing between you and strange tongues a soulful tune Salaam, salaam. --Marvin X, aka Nazzam Al Sudan, El Muhajir from The New Black Poetry, edited by Clarence Major, 1972, New World Paperbacks
Marvin X and the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour is coming your way soon as you book us in your city. For booking the BAM Poet's Choir and Arkestra: Call 510-200-4164. Suggested fee for three hour concert with the BAM Poet's Choir and Arkestra, including Q and A: $50,000.00--$100,000. Fee negotiable.
Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale and fellow Merritt College student, Marvin X. Bobby Seale performed in Marvin's Black Arts West Theatre before joining the Black Panther Party. He played a young revolutionary Black man trying to find himself in Come Next Summer, Marvin's second play.
Tonight at Oakland's Marriott City Center, the Peralta Colleges Foundation honored one of their own, former Merritt College student Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, along with fellow student Huey P. Newton. Bobby Seale was ill, so he sent Virtual Murrell, another Merritt College student and first president of the Soul Students Advisory Council, that morphed into BSUs across America. The first thing Virtual Murrell read was a note from Bobby to let those in attendance know that the Soul Students Advisory Council began after a performance of fellow Merritt student Marvin X's (Jackmon) play Flowers for the Trashman. The anti-Vietnam play recruited students into the Black consciousness and activist movement at Merritt College. Marvin X stood at the $175.00 plate dinner, a benefit for the Peralta College Foundation that gives scholarships to needy students.
Speaking for Bobby, Virtual also said Peralta College students and instructors must tell the true story of Merritt, not the watered down, Miller Lite version so often heard, although attendees did view a trailer of the award winning Peralta College TV documentary on Merritt College as the birthplace of the Black Panther Party and student activism, especially in the Bay Area.
Marvin X's autobiography Somethin' Proper, narrates the student struggle at Merritt, one of the few sources on the history of the Black Arts/Black Power Movement, especially on the West Coast. Laney College Professor, Judy Juanita's novel, relates some of the history as well. See also the writings of Donald Warden of the Afro-American Association, the key organization that preceded the Black Panther Party and the Black Arts Movement on the West Coast and nationally.
Marvin X's one-man concert entitled The Wild Crazy Ride Called the Marvin X Experience will arrive in San Diego soon as final arrangements are made. Community Black Art groups will bring the poet to town. The poet will read from a variety of works, including poems, parables, fables, essays and plays during his concert, a separate project from the BAM 27 City Tour.
The late critic, poet, novelist, professor Sherley A. Williams
The San Diego folks will work in partnership with BAM to make the 27 City Tour happen in their town. Many years ago, Marvin X was a Visiting Professor at the University of California, San Diego, invited by his late childhood friend, Professor Sherley A. Williams. Marvin suggested to the San Diego folks that the BAM Tour in San Diego should be in honor of BAM poet/critic Sherley A. Williams. Give Birth to Brightness was her critique of the Black Arts Movement. At Marvin's suggestion, Sherley also edited an anthology of the Journal of Black Poetry writings which she submitted to JBP publisher Jose Goncalves (Dingane) before making her transition. Her novel Dessa Rosa was featured on Oprah Winfrey.
To book Marvin X and/or the BAM 27 City Tour, call 510-200-4164. Send letter of invitation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Black Arts Movement Districts established nationwide in each city with large populations of North American Africans. BAM chief architect, Amiri Baraka (RIP), called for the BAM tour to include 27 cities with large populations of North American Africans.
2. A community/corporate sponsorship of the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour. Government agencies should support BAM as well, with the understanding that we are and shall remain artistic freedom fighters!
A Poetic Moment, Marvin X and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf at Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Celebration, Feb. 7, 2015.
Mrs. Gay Pair Cobb, Marvin X, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Laney College President Elnora T. Webb, Dr. Nathan Hare, Paul Cobb photo South Park Kenny Johnson
3. A BAM Endowment Fund for veteran BAM artistic freedom fighters without basic survival funds. FYI, BAM/Black Power activists were patriots who believed in the values of American democracy. We believed in the American revolution. We quoted the US Constitution in our raps and principles. We believed in the consent of the governed, yet we suffered taxation without representation. We suffered a military defeat by the US Government. We hereby call upon all veterans of the US military to connect and support the BAM/Black Power veterans, especially those in need. We call on Black military veterans to reach out and touch the soldiers in America's domestic war against the freedom and independence of North American Africans, e.g., Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, Socialists, Communists, Liberation theologists and others. Now there are some who completely missed the 60s. They are like the girl who said Wake up to what? Poor girl doesn't even know she's sleeping. But US military veterans, reach out and touch your brothers in the war for freedom in America.
4. A BAM House in every North American African city. A separate house for men, women and youth in the BAM tradition. House can serve as a recovery center for those artists suffering from the addiction to white supremacy. BAM housing should be owned by a Land Trust. As per elder housing, they should be given the Life Estate to the space they inhabit, wherein they hold title to the property for natural life. Upon their transition to the ancestors, the title reverts to the Land Trust. On the general societal level, we think the Life Estate can end homelessness overnight in America. Of course, case management of many residents may be in order since many suffer traumatic slave syndrome, unresolved grief and communal amnesia, although Dr. Nathan Hare says it is not amnesia because they never knew, therefore they cannot suffer amnesia. Domestic colonialism severed the umbilical cord except for deep structure DNA residue. We know the ritual but not the myth, we beat the drum but don't know the rhythms as divine movement. How many of us recall the musical culture of Mali as origin of the Blues, especially in the Mississippi Delta. The Malian musician Ali Farka played with BB King and the Rolling Stones but he said he was not playing Blues. His music is from a ten thousand year old mythology, aboriginal and Islamic. Sorry we diverted from the housing issue but we must also address the dire mental apparatus that must be restored so the oppressed can regain their mental equilibrium as Dr. Hare notes. One project we have is the How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy mental health peer group facilitated by Dr. Nathan Hare and Suzzette Celeste, MPA, MSW. They recently conducted a session at the Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Celebration on Feb. 7, 2015, Laney College, Oakland.
5. A BAM Union of Artists, modeled on the National Writers Union. Union will offer health and life insurance for all members. Please comment on the NWU model. Do you suggest we reinvent the wheel?
6. A general fund.
Want to help? Contact: Marvin X, BAM 27 City Tour, 510-200-4164, email@example.com Please send a generous donation to the BAM 27 City Tour, 339 Lester Ave. #10, Oakland CA. 94606. Your donation can be tax deductible. BAM 27 City Tour co-planner, Paul Cobb, Publisher of the Post News Group in Oakland, suggests 100 people donate $100.00 in each city. This would go a long way to making the BAM 27 City Tour happen in your city. Set up a planning committee in your city, secure donations, grants. I will help you plan the BAM 27 City Tour for your city. Each city must have the participation of local artists, after all, BAM was local as well as national. Each city had their little Black theatres, some funded but mostly unfunded but were able to do productions as they were able. This was certainly true for Black Arts West Theatre, San Francisco. We got no grants. The Bay Area Black bourgeoisie did not support BAM until we established Black House with Eldridge Cleaver. They supported Black House because we had a celebrity in da house. Eldridge released his best-seller Soul on Ice while at Black House. Today, we again call upon the progressive Black bourgeoisie to support the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour.
1. Black Arts Movement Districts established nationwide in each city with large populations of North American Africans.
2. A community/corporate sponsorship of the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour.
3. A BAM Endowment Fund for veteran BAM artistic freedom fighters without basic survival funds.
4. A BAM House in every North American African city. A separate house for men, women and youth in the BAM tradition. House can serve as a recovery center for those artists suffering from the addiction to white supremacy.
5. A BAM Union of Artists, modeled on the National Writers Union. Union will offer health and life insurance for all members.
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 and Marvin X at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Marvin X was invited to read.
who served in foreign wars and to those veteran Black liberation Movement/Black Arts Movement artistic freedom fighters and political activists who fought for the liberation of the Hood from the ravages of domestic colonialism; who are also patriots in the American revolutionary tradition; who believed in the consent of the governed, a jury of peers, innocence until proven guilty, one man, one vote.
We call upon our North American African, United State of America military brothers and sisters to celebrate a reconciliation with a banquet and parade down the Oakland BAM District, 14th and MLK, Jr. Way to 14th and Alice. We call upon our US Military Veterans to show unity with the people with public recognition of love and respect between all those who fought for the American revolution, from the founding fathers to the elders of today, in the US military and those in the Black Arts/Black Liberation Movement. We must have a unity gathering, what about Geoffery’s Inner Circle, in the BAM District at 14th and Franklin?
We envision a Red, Black and Green Parade (with the heart) , in the Marcus Garvey style, down 14th from MLK, Jr. Way to Alice. We see USA North American African veterans in uniform marching along with the F.O.I, Black Panther Party, workers, students, religious leaders, educators, politicians, artists, same gender loving persons, et al.
As we all well know, our community is in need of unity,thus our task is to unite the people, regardless of our individual political/religious beliefs, military allegiance . Let us come together for the common cause of our liberation—no matter the results of American politricks, we must get a consensus on our agenda for the next 50 to 100 years. Let us put on the Divine thinking cap and come to understand there is only one truth, one reality. If it’s true for you, it is true for me. Ache’.
As independent people, we must remain in this world but not of it! Let us stay focused on our wants and needs. For all we know, though we hope not, America may fall tomorrow. Where shall we be, want part of the American pie do we want. We know there shall be the Balkinization, ethnic, political, religious groups will claim their share of the American pie. Without an agenda, we shall find ourselves on the lowest rung of the multicultural ladder.
We therefore call upon Bay Area North American African US Military Veterans, especially, Rt. Col. Conway Jones, Jr. and Charles Blanchard, to lead the charge for a Day of Reconciliation of North American African Veterans who fought in US wars abroad and at home, including the F.O.I., Black Panther Party, Students, Workers, et al. Ase’.—Marvin X
ONE OF THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT'S CO-FOUNDERS, MARVIN X, ASKS IF THE ELDERS PASS THE BATON TO THE YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS, CAN YOU CATCH IT?
In this picture, we see, L to R, Oakland Post Publisher Paul Cobb, Laney College Professor of Art, Dr. Leslee Stradford, Rt. Col. Conway Jones, Jr. Marvin X, Naima Joy, granddaughter of Marvin X, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Jah Amiel, grandson of Marvin X, President of Laney College, Dr. Elnora T. Webb, Dr. Nathan Hare, father of Black Studies, and Lynette McElhaney, President of the Oakland City Council. photo South Park Kenny Johnson
I want to see artists and craft persons in the Black Arts Movement District along Oakland's 14th St., just as they are daily on Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue and San Francisco's Market Street. This will inspire entrepreneurship or do-for-self economics in our community, as well as inspire cultural consciousness. If youth can sell drugs, they can sell anything, legal goods, gear, music and educational tapes, books, healthy food and vegetables. I don't want to hear problems, I want to hear solutions! The cultural revolution is first, then follows the political revolution!--Marvin X
Black Arts Movement chief architect Amiri Baraka (RIP), Black Panther Party Co-founder Bobby Seale, BAM student Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, Ahi Baraka, and Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, in the heart of the BAM District. photo Gene Hazzard
Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner in the heart of the BAM District, 14th and Broadway.