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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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     North American African Queens on the Black Arts Movement panel at Laney College, Oakland, Feb 7, 2015: Elaine Brown, Dr. Halifu Osumare, Judy Juanita, Portia Anderson, Kujuchaulia, Aries Jordan; standing, Marvin X, event producer
    photo Southpark Kenny Johnson


    My African Queen wants to be a Negro
    Never heard the term until her fantastic teacher used it
    Yes, she connected with the Wild Crazy Ride of the Marvin X Experience
    Never had she used the term before
    fluid is several languages in the Mother tongue
    She told her teacher Africans are worse than Negroes
    He was astounded
    how could this be possible
    Negroes are below shit
    a nigguh ain't shit
    you mean an African is less than shit
    I can't believe this
    prove it to me with scientific analysis and facts
    Africans are worse than Negroes
    no
    not possible
    Africans have culture, language and civilization
    Lucy is the Mother of Civilization
    how can Africans be less than shit
    sometimes you are more than you think you are
    the Greeks called it Hubris or false pride
    a tragic flaw in the dramas of Shakespeare

    So let me teach you African Queen
    but don't be a Negro please
    we know African loves bleaching cream and blond wigs
    pay no attention a fad only
    they will come to themselves
    when the king comes to himself
    no more king for life bullshit
    you don't know everything motherfucker
    have elections
    the more minds the better
    your mind is not Divine
    old delusional pass the baton
    not to a fool son
    to the wise son
    another mother
    don't kill the wise son
    raise him to the Upper Room
    let the kingdom rejoice
    let the people vote freely
    let the opposition speak
    transcend ignorance and ancient tradition mythology
    let the new ear begin!
    Sing praises to the New Era!
    Sing praise of the next generation
    let the youth exercise power
    listen to youth
    the years have taught you a lot
    and they have taught you nothing
    for you are sick with power and tradition
    sit down please
    let your son take the baton
    let the wise sister queen take control
    shall we say to you
    what year did you go crazy?
    --Marvin X
    7/1515


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    July 15, 2015- newyorker.com
     

    Ta-Nehisi Coates and a Generation Waking Up

    ByBrit Bennett

    Coates’s “Between the World and Me” is written as an open letter to his teen-age son.
    Coates’s “Between the World and Me” is written as an open letter to his teen-age son.
    Credit PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHEN VOSS/REDUX
    The night Trayvon Martin’s killer walked free, I stood outside a Los Angeles movie theater, in line to watch “Fruitvale Station.” Maybe I would’ve picked a different movie had I foreseen the verdict, but I was young and hopeful, and I believed that someone would be held accountable for snuffing out a seventeen-year-old’s life. Instead, I blinked back tears as a well-meaning white woman approached—she couldn’t believe that verdict, she said, the injustice of it all. I didn’t want to hear her disappointment. I didn’t want to be a conduit for her guilt. I wanted to understand how a jury could determine that a child’s unarmed black body posed more of a threat than a grown man with a gun.
    Later, I sat in the darkness of a theater, watching the final moments of a different young black man’s life. I was a freshman at Stanford when Oscar Grant was killed, living on a campus that was an hour away from the Oakland BART station where Grant, lying face down and handcuffed, was shot in the back by a white officer. When the film’s epilogue revealed that Grant’s killer was sentenced to two years, and he was released after one, someone yelled at the screen, “At least he went to jail!” The audience clapped, as if this were the happiest ending we could hope for.
    This was two summers ago. Two summers since I sat glued to my laptop, streaming grainy courtroom-video feeds, endlessly refreshing and retweeting. I’ve since memorized a litany of names, an endless march of the young black dead. That summer, the night Trayvon Martin’s killer walked free, a black friend called me from a park where he’d gone to clear his head. It was late and I lay in my dark bedroom, long silences hanging between us. I wanted to say something comforting. I was worried about him, alone in a park late at night. “Why don’t you go home?” I wanted to say. “It’s safer.” Then I remembered what he would say to me, in the white college town where we had met, whenever we walked somewhere late at night. “Don’t worry. You’re with me. And I’m the scariest thing out here.”
    This was a summer before Michael Brown bled out in the streets, before marches and protests and hashtags crystallized into the Black Lives Matter movement. Two summers before a white policeman assaulted black teen-agers at a pool party, before a white terrorist massacred nine black people in a church, before black churches throughout the South were burned. That summer, as my country splintered over whether an unarmed black teen-ager deserved to die, something shifted inside me. That summer, I awoke.
    Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book, “Between the World and Me,” opens with a similar awakening. The book, written as a letter to Coates’s teen-age son, begins as Coates struggles with how to help his child after Michael Brown’s killer is not indicted. He does not offer comfort, which would feel, to him, dishonest, and instead sets out to explore the question of how to “live free in this black body.” To Coates, a defining feature of black life is that your body can be taken from you easily, and with little consequence. Throughout the book, he awakens repeatedly to this reality: when, as a child, a boy points a gun at him; when he loses his temper at a white woman who shoved his son and a man threatens to call the police; when Prince Jones, a Howard University classmate, is gunned down in front of his house by a police officer who faces no charges. Coates begins to see patterns in the brutality within his own community as people try to protect their bodies and the bodies of those they love against all the easy ways those bodies can be destroyed. “This was the war for the possession of his body,” Coates writes, “and this would be the war of his whole life.”
    To Coates, to be black in a white supremacist society is to live in constant fear of disembodiment. Even if your body is not stolen from you, the fear of losing your body steals your energy, your time, and your freedom. Coates threads this fear throughout the narrative—it haunts him from West Baltimore to New York City to Paris. His relentless fear is striking, jutting up against the popular American vision of black men as impervious to fear. Black male bodies are unfeeling, superhumanly strong, and dangerous. Michael Brown was a demon who charged into a hailstorm of bullets toward an officer’s gun. Trayvon Martin, a lanky teen-ager, bashed a grown man’s head into concrete with the strength of an M.M.A fighter. But Coates depicts the black male body as essentially vulnerable. What does it mean, then, to live in a body that is both scared and scary? Coates dives into this question, and while open letters often feel didactic, his elegiac prose and deep curiosity allow his book to continually open up to meaning.
    Although the book has been widely praised as a monumental text about black life, it’s more specifically a book about how to live free in a black male body. Coates’s first book, “The Beautiful Struggle,” also explores the relationships between blackness and masculinity; in that book, a memoir, Coates describes his coming-of-age, which is aided mostly by male role models, from his Black Panther father to Afrocentric rappers. Black women hover on the margins of the story, at times shoved there, as when Coates describes his relief when the radio DJ would “drive off Whitney [Houston] and all the feminized rhythm and bullshit until Afrika Bambaataa owned the night.” Coates directs little attention to the feminine, focussing instead on the men who raised him to manhood even as he, a nerdy, awkward kid, struggled to live up to a masculine ideal.
    Black women also suffer from racist terror from police and white vigalantes.
    Similarly, in “Between the World and Me,” Coates describes black women lovingly, almost ethereally, but they rarely appear as complicated, fully fleshed-out people. He closes the book with a conversation with Mabel Jones, his dead classmate’s mother. Her loss, to Coates, is her “legacy,” the time and energy and love she poured into a son who was stolen from her. Jones worries about her daughter—not about her daughter’s own body but about her daughter birthing a son whose body she could not protect from “the ritual violence that had claimed” her own son. Here, black women are vulnerable because of their love for black men. Coates writes extensively about the vulnerability of the black body, but he only briefly alludes to the additional ways black women’s bodies are vulnerable to sexual and physical violence. To his credit, he does not presume to be an expert on black women’s experiences, but his reluctance to interrogate them further feels odd for a narrator who is otherwise insatiably curious. “The women around you must be responsible for their bodies in a way that you never will know,” he writes to his son, and the lesson stops there. The dangers of living in a black female body are mysterious, forever unknowable.
    When I say that I awoke two summers ago, I was not alone. Toward the end of the book, Coates describes the moments when black people become aware of “the chasm”—the distance between our lives and the white world. Sometimes, he writes, these moments when we gain awareness are small and quiet; other times, they are large and dramatic. The night Trayvon Martin’s killer walked free feels like one of those moments for young people like me, who had experienced many awakenings before but hadn’t yet found a way to bridge the chasm or, more importantly, bridge the distance to one another. But now we had Twitter. Now injustice was not a lonely experience but one that could be easily communicated. On Twitter, I first heard about a black teen-ager in a small town in Florida who had been killed by a man who had confessed but somehow, weeks later, had not been arrested. On Twitter, I followed the trial, the ridiculous debates about hoodies, and the courtroom theatrics, and, after the acquittal, I found comfort in collective mourning.
    Looking back, that summer feels like the beginning of what would become the Black Lives Matter movement, a summer when my generation began to find the language we could use to fight racial injustice. Looking forward, “Between the World and Me” feels like a crucial book during this moment of generational awakening. In Coates’s work, racism not only disembodies but it is disembodied itself. Nowadays we love a loud racist—a Donald Sterling tape, a ranting Mel Gibson—but Coates turns away from such sensational stories and focusses instead on the slow violence of institutional racism. In his estimation, racism is neither an individual act of hatred nor some natural outside force; racism is a series of systems operating exactly as they were planned. Coates’ ongoing examination of institutional racism—as in his breathtaking Atlantic essay “The Case for Reparations”—is, in certain respects, the opposite of Twitter: it is dense, analytical writing about policy and history that shows us how systems operate. This is not the kind of story that quickly goes viral and unites us in outrage. When I saw Coates speak last winter at the University of Michigan, the mostly white audience was insistent on asking him for a grand solution to racism, but Coates politely refused to answer those questions. He seemed uncomfortable with the expectation that he was the correspondent for black America. What he knew, he kept saying, was writing. In a time of incessant takes on the latest scandals, a Coates byline promises something different: intelligent ideas expressed beautifully, sentences that hit you like body blows. “You have been cast into a race in which the wind is always at your face and the hounds are always at your heel,” he writes to his son. “And to varying degrees this is true of all life. The difference is that you do not have the privilege of living in ignorance of this essential fact.”
    In her review of “Between the World and Me” for BuzzFeed, Shani O. Hilton worries that this “book about black male life is one that many readers will use to define blackness.” In a later Slate interview, Coates said that he disagreed with Hilton’s description but empathizes with her desire for broader representation. “I understand that it is the male experience and I am a male writing the book,” Coates said. “I don’t know how to remedy that.” It may be unfair to hold Coates accountable for reader expectations—books by black authors are always asked to be more representative than they ought to be. And it is unsurprising, maybe, for a book written by a father to his son to focus on black manhood. However, the book’s focus on black men is also unsurprising given the political moment when this book was born. Although the Black Lives Matter hashtag was created by three black women, the movement has overwhelmingly focussed on black male deaths.
    As a result, the African American Policy Forum at Columbia University released #SayHerName, a document gathering stories of black women who have been killed by police or experienced gender-based violence, like rape. “Although black women are routinely killed, raped and beaten by the police, their experiences are rarely foregrounded in popular understandings of police brutality,” Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, the director of the A.A.P.F. and a co-author of the document, said. “Yet inclusion of black women’s experiences … is critical to effectively combating racialized state violence.”
    Black female bodies are vulnerable, too, in the presence of police, in our communities, and even in our own homes. Black women are disproportionately likely to be victims of violent crimes, intimate-partner violence, and sexual assault. But while we are rightly outraged by the vulnerability of black male bodies, we rarely register the ways in which black women are vulnerable. Whose vulnerability is horrifying and haunting, worthy of marching and protest? Whose is natural and inevitable? Even as a woman, I notice this contradiction in myself. I noticed it the night Trayvon Martin’s killer walked free, when I felt the overwhelming urge to comfort my friend because he should not feel vulnerable. He should be the one to walk through deserted parks late at night, even if I never could because I’m aware of all the things that men—black or white, police or civilian—might do to my body. How easily I accepted this as the natural order of things. How easily I learned all the ways my body could never be free.
    As a child, I once heard that slavery was worse for black men than black women, because black men were pained by their inability to protect the women they loved. In this retelling, black women’s pain is incidental. The systemic, relentless rape that black women endured is only meaningful because of how it hurt black men. I believed this for a time, in deference to the black elder who told me, until I realized that trauma is not a competition, that there is no better or worse; there is only pain, and a woman’s pain is equally worthy of mourning.
    Structurally, “Between the World and Me” is a conversation between black men, and this conversation is vital, but the strength of the Black Lives Matter movement is that it calls us to participate in and create new conversations. In “Men We Reaped,” another crucial book of this moment, Jesmyn Ward writes about losing five young black men in her small Mississippi town within four years, her beloved brother among them. Like Coates, she writes beautifully about the fragility of black male bodies in a world that easily disposes of them. While she describes her grief at losing these men, she also interrogates the vulnerability of her own body, the specific dangers that come with being a young, poor black girl in the South—everything, she writes, “the world around me seemed to despise.” As she comes of age, she struggles to understand her place in a world where black men often hurt or disappoint her, from her father abandoning her family to a boy who stalks and threatens her.
    Ward humanizes young, poor black men who sell drugs and fight dogs; she imagines living in a body that is both scared and scary. In her work, the different vulnerabilities of black men and black women are not unbridgeable experiences—they reveal each other, like one big house in which each room opens into another. I’m grateful to wander through these rooms, grateful for the writers who lead me.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     
    ----------------------------------
    s. e. anderson
    author of The Black Holocaust for Beginners
    www.blackeducator.org
    www.blackeducator.blogspot.com
    If WORK was good for you, the rich would leave none for the poor. (Haiti)
    --------------------------------------------
    __._,_.___

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  • 07/19/15--21:53: The Y.E.S. event
  • Deborah Day, Laney College President Dr. Elnora T. Webb, Almaz Yihdego, Marvin X at Y.E.S. event


    The Y.E.S. (Youth Empowerment Services, an after school program in the planning stages) event was not what planners intended, but sometimes events take on a life of their own.  A fund raising project can turn into a healing session such as the Y.E.S. event this past Sunday at Oakland's Humanist Hall. Laney College President Dr. Elnora T. Webb gave the keynote address. Marvin X introduced her with a reading of his Parable of Yes. Sandra Pitts Johnson, an Alameda County Probation Officer, told Marvin later, "Marvin X, you are coming to Juvenile Hall. Your books are coming to Juvenile Hall."


    But Marvin's Parable  was no match for the testimony of Laney College President, Dr. Elnora Tina Webb. Dr. Webb said she had no prepared speech but would speak from the heart.
    Dr. Webb told how she survived as the child of a 13 year old mother. She never knew her father; she recalls six foster homes; was told she was nothing and would never be something, she was trash, garbage, throw away child, yet she persisted to defy all detractors. In high school she was told to forget college prep, go get a job at McDonald's. The counselor didn't know she was already working at McDonald's. But she wanted to go to college because she learned you could get student housing and that was her primary concern since she was 17, almost 18, and would be out of foster care and homeless. But she persisted. She liked math because it was logical, not emotional, i.e., two and two equal four, no debate, no thought, no emotion. So she excelled. A recluse. She participated in drama, sports and other events so no one needed to question her. "Please don't question me, I have no feelings. I am just trying to survive as a human being who has been treated as nothing." Imagine how many children have a story similar to Dr. Webb's, well, their narratives will be similar if they get the support and have the inner strength of Dr. Webb. Y.E.S.
    --Marvin X
    7/20/15

    Parable of YES


    by Marvin X
    No, no, no! That is all you say. Everything about you is no. Your lips say no, your eyes, your heart, your mind, your arms, your legs, your feet. You are a no person. I run from you. You say no to God. I am afraid of your no touch. I cannot expand my mind around no people. You will kill my spiritual development. No no no no!

    When you say yes to life you open the world of infinite possibilities. I understand no part of no, only infinite possibilities. No does not exist in my world, only yes. Yes to love. Yes to success, yes to hope, yes to truth, yes to prosperity, yet to divinity, yes to resurrection, yes to ascension, yes to eternity. I am the language of yes. If you cannot say yes, get away from me. I run from you, want nothing to do with you. There is no hope for you until you open your mouth to yes.

    Cast away the yes fear. Let it go, let God. Yes. No matter what, yes. No matter how long, yes.
    No matter how hard, yes. Let there be peace in the house, yes. Let there be love between you and me, yes. Let there be revolution in the land, over the world, yes. We will try harder, yes, we won't give up, yes. We shall triumph, yes. Yes is the language of God. Yes is the language of Divinity, Spirituality.

    All the prophets ssaid yes. Adam said yes, Abraham said yes. Moses said yes. Solomon said yes.
    Job said yes. Jeremiah, Isaiah said yes. The lover in Song of Solomon said yes. David said yes.
    John and Jesus sasid yes. Muhammad said yes. Elijah and Malcolm, Martin and Garvey, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth said yes. Fannie Lou and Rosa Parks, Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott ssaid yes.
    Mama and daddy said yes. Grandma and grandpa said yes. All the ancestors said yes. Forevermore, let go of no and say yes. Dance to yes. Shout to yes!
    --Marvin X
    from Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2007

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    Sandra Bland's death causes questions
    Sandra Bland’s death causes questions

     Mourners Gather to Celebrate Sandra Bland, Her Life Does Matter
    Mourners for Sandra Bland will gather at  alma mater Sunday evening to celebrate “the life and legacy” of a woman who regularly spoke out on racism and police brutality before her death in a Texas jail cell last week.  The idea is to make certain that  Sandra Bland is remembered. Yes “Black lives matter.”

    As far as Texas law enforcement officials are concerned, 28-year-old Sandra Bland died in a jail cell Monday after hanging herself with a plastic bag.

    But her family says the idea that Bland would kill herself is “unfathomable,” prompting questions about the circumstances of her death. There are too many questions that need to be addressed. There’s the conversation she had  with a friend while awaiting  bail. There’s the question of possible brain injury caused by the slamming of her head to the ground by the police and question of exactly why was she arrested and not just given a ticket and sent other way. 

    Authorities have recored that she was arrested for assault on a police officer. What was the assault? And exactly how and when did that occur?

    To those who believe her death is suspicious, Bland is the latest victim of racial bias and police brutality. To drive home the point, social media users are imagining themselves in her place and sharing directives for what to do “if I die in police custody.”

    Police say they found the Ms. Bland dead Monday after she hanged herself with a plastic bag inside the Waller County Jail, where she was incarcerated after allegedly assaulting an officer during a July 10 traffic stop. 

    Interestingly, there is no footage  of her assaulting  the officer but there is footage capturing the officer assaulting her and her response. She printed out to him that he slammed her head to the ground and that she can’t hear as as result. There is no empathy or compassion  expressed verbally or shown by the officers.  Only the  instruction from the officer to the bystanders to leave the scene and run along.

    She was found “in her cell not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation,” a sheriff’s office statement said. Bland received CPR, and an ambulance was called, but she was pronounced dead a short time later.

    Bland lived 1,000 miles away from  in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, but was in Texas because she was taking a job as a student ambassador to the alumni association at Prairie View A&M University. She graduated from the historically black school in 2009.

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     Marvin X in a Chicago recording studio, May, 2015

    PEN Oakland has informed Marvin X he will be the recipient  of their Lifetime Achievement Award
    at the annual ceremony in December at the Rockridge Library.
















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    'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

    • 22 July 2015


    You need to install Flash Player to play this content.
    Media captionThe university's academics were "startled" when the radiocarbon dating tests showed it was so old


    What may be the world's oldest fragments of the Koran have been found by the University of Birmingham. Radiocarbon dating found the manuscript to be at least 1,370 years old, making it among the earliest in existence. The pages of the Muslim holy text had remained unrecognised in the university library for almost a century. The British Library's expert on such manuscripts, Dr Muhammad Isa Waley, said this "exciting discovery" would make Muslims "rejoice".
    The manuscript had been kept with a collection of other Middle Eastern books and documents, without being identified as one of the oldest fragments of the Koran in the world.

    Oldest texts

    When a PhD researcher, Alba Fedeli, looked more closely at these pages it was decided to carry out a radiocarbon dating test and the results were "startling". The university's director of special collections, Susan Worrall, said researchers had not expected "in our wildest dreams" that it would be so old. "Finding out we had one of the oldest fragments of the Koran in the whole world has been fantastically exciting." The fragments of the Koran are still legible


    The tests, carried out by the Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, showed that the fragments, written on sheep or goat skin, were among the very oldest surviving texts of the Koran.
    These tests provide a range of dates, showing that, with a probability of more than 95%, the parchment was from between 568 and 645.


    "They could well take us back to within a few years of the actual founding of Islam," said David Thomas, the university's professor of Christianity and Islam.

    "According to Muslim tradition, the Prophet Muhammad received the revelations that form the Koran, the scripture of Islam, between the years 610 and 632, the year of his death."

    Prof Thomas says the dating of the Birmingham folios would mean it was quite possible that the person who had written them would have been alive at the time of the Prophet Muhammad.
    "The person who actually wrote it could well have known the Prophet Muhammad. He would have seen him probably, he would maybe have heard him preach. He may have known him personally - and that really is quite a thought to conjure with," he says.

    First-hand witness

    Prof Thomas says that some of the passages of the Koran were written down on parchment, stone, palm leaves and the shoulder blades of camels - and a final version, collected in book form, was completed in about 650.


    Prof Thomas says the writer of this manuscript could have heard the Prophet Muhammad preach
    He says that "the parts of the Koran that are written on this parchment can, with a degree of confidence, be dated to less than two decades after Muhammad's death".

    "These portions must have been in a form that is very close to the form of the Koran read today, supporting the view that the text has undergone little or no alteration and that it can be dated to a point very close to the time it was believed to be revealed."


    You need to install Flash Player to play this content.
    Media captionSusan Worrall says the university wants to put this internationally significant discovery on public display
    The manuscript, written in "Hijazi script", an early form of written Arabic, becomes one of the oldest known fragments of the Koran.

    Because radiocarbon dating creates a range of possible ages, there is a handful of other manuscripts in public and private collections which overlap. So this makes it impossible to say that any is definitively the oldest.

    But the latest possible date of the Birmingham discovery - 645 - would put it among the very oldest.

    'Precious survivor'

    Dr Waley, curator for such manuscripts at the British Library, said "these two folios, in a beautiful and surprisingly legible Hijazi hand, almost certainly date from the time of the first three caliphs".
    The first three caliphs were leaders in the Muslim community between about 632 and 656.


    The University of Birmingham's manuscript was in a collection brought back from the Middle East
    Dr Waley says that under the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, copies of the "definitive edition" were distributed.

    "The Muslim community was not wealthy enough to stockpile animal skins for decades, and to produce a complete Mushaf, or copy, of the Holy Koran required a great many of them."
    Dr Waley suggests that the manuscript found by Birmingham is a "precious survivor" of a copy from that era or could be even earlier.
    "In any case, this - along with the sheer beauty of the content and the surprisingly clear Hijazi script - is news to rejoice Muslim hearts."



    Muhammad Afzal of Birmingham Central Mosque said he was very moved to see the manuscript
    The manuscript is part of the Mingana Collection of more than 3,000 Middle Eastern documents gathered in the 1920s by Alphonse Mingana, a Chaldean priest born near Mosul in modern-day Iraq.
    He was sponsored to take collecting trips to the Middle East by Edward Cadbury, who was part of the chocolate-making dynasty.


    The Koran




    • Muslims believe the words of the Koran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel over 22 years from 610
    • It was not until 1734 that a translation was made into English, but was littered with mistakes
    • Copies of the holy text were issued to British Indian soldiers fighting in the First World War
    • On 6 October 1930, words from the Koran were broadcast on British radio for the first time, in a BBC programme called The Sphinx
    Discover how the Koran became part of British life


    The local Muslim community has already expressed its delight at the discovery in their city and the university says the manuscript will be put on public display.
    "When I saw these pages I was very moved. There were tears of joy and emotion in my eyes. And I'm sure people from all over the UK will come to Birmingham to have a glimpse of these pages," said Muhammad Afzal, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque.

    The university says the Koran fragments will go on display in the Barber Institute in Birmingham in October.

    Prof Thomas says it will show people in Birmingham that they have a "treasure that is second to none".

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     Playwright Ed Bullins

     Actor Gary Bolling

     Actor Dr. Bill Lathan

     The New Lafayette Theatre family in Mt. Morris Park, aka Marcus Garvey Park
     Director Robert Macbeth
     Actress Helen Ellis
     Actor George Miles
     Actress Vaughn Reddie
     Black Theatre Magazine Associate Editor Marvin X









    Manager Joyce Stroud

    Actor Roscoe Orman

    Photographer Doug Harris

     Actor Sonny Jim


    Painter Ademola Olugebefola 

     Manager Karen Baxter



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    Sandra Bland's death causes questions
    Sandra Bland’s death causes questions



    Our beloved Sista Sandra Bland failed the tone test when stopped by the Texas Ranger. Based on one's tone of voice when stopped by the police, one can be killed, arrested or released. The Oakland CA police denied the tone test some years ago, even after one of their officers (a former student of mine at Mills College, 1972) revealed it was in use by the OPD. But we know the tone test is a fact as we see with the pig slamming Sister Bland to the ground. Did her mental state qualify her to be treated like a dog, especially for failure to signal a lane change. Why would she want to commit suicide when she was about to begin a new job? Wouldn't she be happy, joyful? Sadly, Dr. Nathan Hare tells us, "...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." Thus, it seems, white supremacy is so pathological and pervasive it will take ineluctable  energy to find happiness in this wretched land, soaked in the blood of Indigenous Nations and North American Africans. Would that job have been sufficient to satisfy Sandra's social angst and shattered cultural strivings? Yes, her Black Life Matters because we must learn from her experience that we live under the shadow of death in this land. When the white devil doesn't take us out, we take out each other, thus becoming white devils in black face. So not only must we be conscious of the Tone Test with the pigs but with each other, another brother and/or sister. We can escalate or de-escalate a conversation. It is up to us, just know our life may be at stake, if we fail the Tone Test!

    --Marvin X

     Mourners Gather to Celebrate Sandra Bland, Her Life Does Matter
    Mourners for Sandra Bland will gather at  alma mater Sunday evening to celebrate “the life and legacy” of a woman who regularly spoke out on racism and police brutality before her death in a Texas jail cell last week.  The idea is to make certain that  Sandra Bland is remembered. Yes “Black lives matter.”

    As far as Texas law enforcement officials are concerned, 28-year-old Sandra Bland died in a jail cell Monday after hanging herself with a plastic bag.

    But her family says the idea that Bland would kill herself is “unfathomable,” prompting questions about the circumstances of her death. There are too many questions that need to be addressed. There’s the conversation she had  with a friend while awaiting  bail. There’s the question of possible brain injury caused by the slamming of her head to the ground by the police and question of exactly why was she arrested and not just given a ticket and sent other way. 

    Authorities have recored that she was arrested for assault on a police officer. What was the assault? And exactly how and when did that occur?

    To those who believe her death is suspicious, Bland is the latest victim of racial bias and police brutality. To drive home the point, social media users are imagining themselves in her place and sharing directives for what to do “if I die in police custody.”

    Police say they found the Ms. Bland dead Monday after she hanged herself with a plastic bag inside the Waller County Jail, where she was incarcerated after allegedly assaulting an officer during a July 10 traffic stop. 

    Interestingly, there is no footage  of her assaulting  the officer but there is footage capturing the officer assaulting her and her response. She printed out to him that he slammed her head to the ground and that she can’t hear as as result. There is no empathy or compassion  expressed verbally or shown by the officers.  Only the  instruction from the officer to the bystanders to leave the scene and run along.

    She was found “in her cell not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation,” a sheriff’s office statement said. Bland received CPR, and an ambulance was called, but she was pronounced dead a short time later.

    Bland lived 1,000 miles away from  in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, but was in Texas because she was taking a job as a student ambassador to the alumni association at Prairie View A&M University. She graduated from the historically black school in 2009.
     Mourners Gather to Celebrate Sandra Bland, Her Life Does Matter
    Mourners for Sandra Bland will gather at  alma mater Sunday evening to celebrate “the life and legacy” of a woman who regularly spoke out on racism and police brutality before her death in a Texas jail cell last week.  The idea is to make certain that  Sandra Bland is remembered. Yes “Black lives matter.”

    As far as Texas law enforcement officials are concerned, 28-year-old Sandra Bland died in a jail cell Monday after hanging herself with a plastic bag.

    But her family says the idea that Bland would kill herself is “unfathomable,” prompting questions about the circumstances of her death. There are too many questions that need to be addressed. There’s the conversation she had  with a friend while awaiting  bail. There’s the question of possible brain injury caused by the slamming of her head to the ground by the police and question of exactly why was she arrested and not just given a ticket and sent other way. 

    Authorities have recored that she was arrested for assault on a police officer. What was the assault? And exactly how and when did that occur?

    To those who believe her death is suspicious, Bland is the latest victim of racial bias and police brutality. To drive home the point, social media users are imagining themselves in her place and sharing directives for what to do “if I die in police custody.”

    Police say they found the Ms. Bland dead Monday after she hanged herself with a plastic bag inside the Waller County Jail, where she was incarcerated after allegedly assaulting an officer during a July 10 traffic stop. 

    Interestingly, there is no footage  of her assaulting  the officer but there is footage capturing the officer assaulting her and her response. She printed out to him that he slammed her head to the ground and that she can’t hear as as result. There is no empathy or compassion  expressed verbally or shown by the officers.  Only the  instruction from the officer to the bystanders to leave the scene and run along.

    She was found “in her cell not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation,” a sheriff’s office statement said. Bland received CPR, and an ambulance was called, but she was pronounced dead a short time later.

    Bland lived 1,000 miles away from  in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, but was in Texas because she was taking a job as a student ambassador to the alumni association at Prairie View A&M University. She graduated from the historically black school in 2009.

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    Washington DC Jazz Network 

    "Book of the Year" 

    Autobiography of NEA Jazz Master 

    Jimmy Heath "I Walked With Giants" Available On Line & Book Stores!


    PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
    Jimmy Heath and Joseph McLaren, foreword by Bill Cosby, introduction by Wynton Marsalis "I have long admired Jimmy's passion heard so clearly in his music; he is a soulful musician and a consummate educator. In these pages he gives a new voice to his love of life and music. He once told Dr. Camille Cosby that ‘our history is a mystery,’ so here he pulls back the veil and sets forth a wonderful collection of reminiscences culled from a long life of accumulated wisdom."

    Photobucket

    Washington DC Jazz Network
    Advocate for Preserving America's Classical Music, "JAZZ",
    it's African American Heritage, Roots and Legacy!

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    Jimmy Heath & George V Johnson Jr
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    Black Bird Press News & Review: Marvin X Tribute sponsored The Oakland Post, show #1

    Please go to link to see video.



    Chauncey Bailey: The Cross and the Lynching Tree
    Posted January 16, 2008
    By Marvin X

    From the 12th floor office of the Oakland Post newspaper at 14th and Franklin, one can look down the block to a tree at 14th and Alice. Chauncey Bailey was lynched near that tree, although it was not in the tradition of a white lynching, but in the neo-America, his lynchers were black. And although the suspect is a young black man, there are witnesses who say the killer was an older person. Does it really matter, except for the fact that we are now doing the work of the KKK. We wear the hoods these days, and the fad is to wear gear with “stupid” designs, including skull and bones, thus signaling to the world our deathly intentions.

    We have become death angels, as sinister as the suicide bombers in the Middle East, although we have no purpose, no mission, except to kill another black, for of the nearly 130 killed in Oakland last year, not one white man was killed by a black. And for the most part, this is true throughout America. Our youth exhibit an animal consciousness as opposed to their spiritual consciousness. No, they do not use the mind God gave them, as my mother told me to do, but they seem motivated by a demonic spirit of hatred of self and kind, causing them to perpetuate the internal violence Dr. Franz Fanon wrote about in Wretched of the Earth. Mao Zedong told us some deaths are higher than Mount Tai, some deaths lighter than a feather.

     At least Chauncey gave his life for the cause of truth, no matter that we did not always agree with his abrasive attitude, who can deny the man was dedicated to seeking the truth? We all have defects of character, but are we fulfilling our life’s mission as Chauncey was doing? Are we trying to inform the blind, deaf and dumb, to educate the ignorant? Many of us say let the blind stay blind, and that the youth are a lost cause, yet we saw in the film the Great Debaters, youth will do the right things when guided right by sincere and dedicated adults.

     The only excuse for youth behavior is adult behavior! The tree at 14th and Alice stands still, a monument to a fallen soldier. From the window, our eyes zoom down to the tree, eyes full of tears and heart full of sorrow. Bill Moyers asked Rev. James Cone the meaning of the cross and the lynching tree. He said they are one and the same, for on the cross Jesus was crucified and on the tree the black man was done the same. And just as Jesus transcended the cross, the black man must rise above his self crucifixion and ascend to spiritual consciousness.

     The crucifixion ends when the resurrection and ascension begins. We must rise up from the grave of ignorance, from the lynching tree of hatred, jealousy and envy. We must heal from the wretchedness that allows us to kill another brother at the drop of a hat, yet never approach the real enemy. And perhaps the real enemy doesn’t exist except inside of our selves. White supremacy/lunacy has no power over us except when we allow it.

     As Rev. Cone explained, the lynching tree has no power over us because in our crucifixion comes resurrection and ascension. Paul Cobb observed how white women can jog past West Oakland’s Campbell Village housing projects at night without fear. No one dare harm them because they are white and thus sacred. To speak harshly to them is a terrorist threat, to harm them is a hate crime that qualifies for the death penalty.

     But there is no crime for speaking harshly to another black, and killing another black does not qualify as a hate crime, although most surely it is the absolute essence of hate, self hate. And so we dig our own grave these days. We put the noose around our necks, as some rappers have demonstrated. We killed our brother Chauncey because he was just another nigguh, therefore worthless, in the imagination of the killers, whoever they are. And then perhaps they recognized his importance and were instructed to eliminate him, for writers and journalists are killed around the world, simply for their dedication to telling the truth.

     But we see after the thousands and thousands of words written about him, we see death has no sting, it has no victory. On a horrible day last August, the tree at 14th and Alice gave forth a strange fruit that shall rise from the earth and give blessings from high heaven. Because Chauncey lived, we shall a better people, a people who shall one day fulfill our radical tradition and destiny to free ourselves and the world. The attempt was made with the Oakland branch of the Pullman Porters, and it was made with the Black Panthers. Chauncey extended that tradition into the present era, for he gave his life in the cause of truth, freedom, justice and equality. Yes, he transcended the lynching tree. His death was not lighter than a feather but higher than Mount Tai.

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    Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland
    photo Adam Turner
    If you want motivation and inspiration, don't spend all that money going to workshops and seminars, just go stand at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland and watch Marvin X at work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland.... His play One Day in the Life is the most powerful drama I've seen.--Ishmael Reed

    51haSf-ecnL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

    Chapter 30
    Ishmael Reed interviews Marvin X on  Ali As A Black Nationalist
    San Francisco, January 2004 Black Liberation Book Fair

     
    Some of the pioneers of the 1960s Black Nationalist movement are gathered at a book fair organized by Marvin X, a writer who is much venerated in Black Nationalist circles. Some of those gathered are die heart Maclolmites who are cool to Ali and attribute mainstream acceptance of Ali as the white public gloating over the fact that the man once called “ The Louisville Lip,” has been muzzled by a disability.
    Though still regarded with respect, some black nationalists will never forgive Muhammad Ali, their one time hero, for turning his back on Malcolm X, their idol. Some of those who dismissed Joe Frazier as an Uncle Tom are giving Frazier a second look. He is no longer regarded as the usurper who deprived the exiled champion of his glorious comeback. As an example of Joe Frazier’s lack of sophistication was his mistaking “Uncle Tom,” for “Peeping Tom.”
    “Malcolm gave me political consciousness. He stood up against America. Ali on the other hand is now speaking on behalf of America.”—Marvin X
     
    Marvin X provides further evidence of the influence that the Nation of Islam had on Muhammad Ali’s decision to forfeit his duty to serve in the armed forces. He provided a biography, which gives a historical background to the presence of African-American Muslims in this country.
    Marvin X
    “I would like to delineate my lineage. As a spiritual descendant of West African Muslims, I begin my literary biography in the Mali Empire, among those scholar/poet/social activists of Timbuktu: Ahmed Baba, Muhammad El-Mrili, Ahmed Ibn Said, Muhammad Al Wangari, and the later Sufi poet/warriors of Senegal and Hausal and, Ahmedu Bamba and Uthman dan Fodio.
    “In America, this literary tradition continued under the wretched conditions of slavery with the English/Arabic narratives of Ayub Suleimon Diallo, Ibrahima Abdulrahman Jallo, Bilali Mohammad, Salih Bilali, Umar Ibn Said. (Note:There is some suggestion that David Walker, Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington and Benjamin Banneker may have  been descendants of Muslims.) In 1913,Noble Drew Ali,established his Moorish Science Temple in Newark, New Jersey, later Chicago, and created his Seven Circle Koran, a synthesis of Qur’anic, Masonic, mystical and esoteric writings. 
      “And most importantly, Master Fard Muhammad arrived in Detroit, 1930, to deliver his Supreme Wisdom, mythological Sufi teachings, to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, later summarized in Elijah's primers of mystical Islamic theology and Black Nationalism, Message To The Black Man and The Theology of Time
    “The next major work is Malcolm X's Autobiography, with the assistance of Alex Haley. This neo-slave narrative bridged ancient and modern Islamic literature in America. Let us also include Louis Farrakhan’s Off-Broadway drama “Organa” and his classic song “A White Man’s Heaven is The Black Man’s Hell,” anthem of the Black revolution of the 60s. Amiri Baraka utilized the Muslim myth of Yacub in his play ‘A Black Mass,’ one of his most powerful works, an examination of the cloning of the white man. Askia Muhammad Toure must be credited for his Islamic writings, along with poetess Sonia Sanchez (Laila Mannan) who served a brief tenure in the Nation of Islam. Yusef Rahman and Yusef Iman created powerful Islamic poetry as well.
     
    Marvin X continued (Black Liberation Book Fair, January 31, 2004)
    “Well, you know we both had the draft problem as Muslims. Ali followed Elijah Muhammad’s directive to go to prison instead of going into exile like I did. I went to Canada. I was there about six months. Well because I got tired of Canada. There is an expression, ‘Racism is as Canadian as Hockey.’ First I went to Chicago and linked up with the group around Black World, which was edited by Hoyt Fuller, Haki Madhubuti and others. I was in Chicago when Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. After I left Chicago, I went to Harlem. This is now ‘68. I went to New York to work with Ed Bullins at the New Lafayette.
    “I went to Montreal for a visit. I had met a girl from Montreal. At the same time there was a struggle at Sir George Williams University. Bobby Seale was up there and a brother from Dominique, I think it was Dominique, Rosy Douglas. There was a student struggle going on; I got busted coming back from Montreal. Coming across the border without papers. And so I [was] put in jail in Plattsburg, New York, and then released on OR [Own Recognizance] and then they gave me a trial date, a court date in San Francisco, for the draft. I was invited to lecture at Fresno State in the Black Studies Department. Richard Keyes was the chair. So actually I was going to two trials. One with Reagan at Fresno Superior Court and one in San Francisco at the Federal Court.
    “In 1967, I had met Eldridge Cleaver upon his release from Soledad Prison, who was then working for Ramparts magazine. He was supposed to interview Muhammad Ali, but he couldn’t go because he was under house arrest,  so he arranged for me to do the interview. I went to Chicago to wait around for the interview. Muhammad Ali was in Detroit. He finally came back to Chicago. We were at Elijah Muhammad’s house.  I saw Elijah Muhammad’s wife, Clara, and Muhammad Ali, but I didn’t see Elijah. Before we got ready to do the interview, Elijah Muhammad called him into a room, and when he came out he said, ‘Elijah Muhammad said not to do the interview.’ That he had said enough about the draft. This was like ’67. Well, we were probably in the house for about an hour. He said that Elijah was ‘the man I am willing to die for so I do what he says.’ Well that’s how most Muslims felt. 
    Both Black Panther and NOI attitudes about the draft influenced me. That’s why I was in Canada. What I’m saying is that Elijah said, ‘Resist the draft.’ The Panthers said, ‘Resist arrest.’ So I resisted the draft and I resisted arrest. That’s where I was coming from.
    “Ali asked me if I needed any money, and I said, ‘Yeah.’ He gave me a hundred dollars. Why did he? I don’t know. I guess maybe it was his personality. 
    I was at Merritt College with Huey [Newton] and Bobby [Seale] from 1962 to ’64 and we identified with Malcolm X and so I didn’t join the Nation until ’67. I think I was looking for something more than what the Panthers were offering, because I could have easily gone to the Panther Party because they were my friends. It was a spiritual dimension that I was looking for. But I also got some Marxist material from the Panthers. But, you know their Ten Point Program was just a rehashing of the Muslim Program and put into  Marxist language.
    “Malcolm gave me political consciousness. He stood up against America. Ali on the other hand is now speaking on behalf of America. That’s not really strange for him to do that and I think I say that about him in my review of the movie ‘Ali’ in my book In The Crazy House Called America. He became a follower of Wallace Deen and Wallace Deen has an American flag on his newspaper. So Wallace accepted his American identity and I guess his followers follow that. Wallace left his father before Malcolm. He never came back. Ali said he followed Wallace after Elijah made his transition, because as far as he was concerned, Wallace came with the true Islam, the spiritual Islam, after the Nation had become corrupted. And then Norman Brown told me last night that as far as he was concerned Wallace just bought into Arab Nationalism and Arab racism and turned Negroes into Arabs.”
    In his book, In The Crazy House Called America, Marvin X is far more critical of Ali’s move to the right. He blames it on the champion following the teachings of  the late Wallace Muhammad. In the book he writes,
    “We understand that he [Ali] has been requested to make public service announcements supporting America’s war on terrorism. Would this be a more dramatic ending: the people’s champ who fought against oppression, finally broken down to a servant of the oppressor… the tragic truth is that Ali is a member of Warith Din Muhammad’s sect that was known for flag waving before 9/11. Warith had rejected the teachings of his father, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, in favor of orthodox Islam, dismissing the Black Nationalism of Elijah for Americanism, so it is not whack for President Bush to call upon Ali to be the ‘voice of America’ to the Muslim world, nor for Ali to accept. If indeed, our hero has been co-opted, let us be mature enough to realize humans are not made of stone and we know in real life people change, not always for the good—thus the danger of hero worship and thus the Islamic dictum: nothing deserves to be worshipped except Allah.”
     
    In 1998 I received a three-year grant fromthe Lila Wallace Foundation, which required me to accompany adults, who were learningEnglish at Oakland’s Second Start Literacy Program, to the theater. In the course of threeyears, I saw a number of plays and musicals, many of which were overrated, and quite anumber of which were insulting to minorities, like “Ms. Saigon” and “Rent” and the mostreprehensible of all, “Stonewall’s House,” a play that tried to clean up the Confederateinsurgents’ reputation and which argued that blacks were better off in slavery, andthat because of political correctness, white male playwrights were oppressed. In other words, plays by blacks dominate the Great White Way. The play that I found the mostcompelling was produced by the Black Repertory Theater in Oakland. It was called “ADay In The Life,” and it was written by Marvin X. Like some of the other black revolutionaries of that period, Marvin X turnedto drugs after the disillusionment set in, and the revolution was busted, partially due toa sinister COINTELPRO operation (Counter Intelligence Program). Some of the more vibrant, charismatic and militant of the activists were permitted to morph into non-threatening positions as college professors, where they still engage in correcting those whom they feel are not revolutionary enough. All one has to do is contrast the swell-headed boastfulplay, “Big Time Buck White” in which Muhammad Ali starred, with “A Day In TheLife” to determine the corrosion of the sixties optimism and the pessimism of the currentpolitical climate. Black Nationalists and those on the black left have been among PresidentObama’s harshest critics, while black support for the president has remained in the ninety percent range.Cornel West, whom white progressives were agitating for a run in a primary against thepresident, referred to the president as “a black mascot for Wall Street,” which makesyou wonder why Wall Street backed his opponent, Mitt Romney. Marvin X has calledthe president “a black hangman.” The Marvin X play includes a scene in which the lateBlack Panther leader Huey Newton with whom I appeared on an 1988 ABC TV show (https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=VHL7glIcP4o&feature=share) a year before his assassination over a drug deal gone wrong. In Marvin X’s play he shares a crack pipe with the man who would laterassassinate him.
    Inspired by the Harlem Book Fair, Marvin X decided to organize his own.Thus the Black Liberation Book Fair was held in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco,San Francisco’s Skid Row, on January 31, 2004. This event included a veritable Who’s Who of Black Nationalist personalities. With the tendency of the segregated media to tokenize every aspect of African-American life, some of these people are unknown to the general public, but connoisseurs of black politics and culture know about themand recognize their important contribution to the modern slave revolt of the 1960s. Ifanyone would give an unsparing portrait of Muhammad Ali, it would be they. For the 1960s, Muhammad Ali was their leader, but some, like Haki Madhubuti still resent thechampion’s betrayalof Malcolm X, who, among black nationalists, is regarded as a deity.
     The book fair was held in the basement of Saint John’s Church. While themedia of the 1960s made a few Civil Rights and Black Power personalities famous, someof those who had worked behind the scenes, those who did the intellectual heavy lifting,were present at this book fair. Poet Askiá Toure, my 1960s roommate, Nathan Hare,the lateSam Greenlee, whose film version of The Spook Who Sat By The Door, about an armed uprising against the government drew the attention of the FBI, and the late Reginald Major, the author of The Black Panther Is A Black Cat, which remains one of the best books on that group’s career.

    The Complete Muhammad Ali

    “…it will become the truly definitive book on Muhammad Ali.” Professor Sam Hamod, PhD

    twelve solid rounds of writing… stands above its competition.” Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch

    More than a biography and ‘bigger than boxing’, The Complete Muhammad Ali is a fascinating portrait of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. Ishmael Reed calls it The Complete Muhammad Ali because most of the hundred odd books about the Champion are “either too adoring or make excessively negative assertions.” They also omit many voices that deserve to be heard.

    Ishmael Reed charts Muhammad Ali’s evolution from Black Nationalism to universalism, but gives due credit to the Nation’s of Islam’s and Black Nationalism’s important influence on Ali’s intellectual development. People who led these organizations are given a chance to speak up. Sam X, who introduced Ali to the Nation of Islam, said that without his mentor Elijah Muhammad, nobody would ever have heard of Ali. That remark cannot be ignored.

    Reed, an accomplished poet, novelist, essayist and playwright, casts his inquisitive eye on a man who came to represent the aspirations of so many people worldwide and so many causes. He also brings to bear his own experience as an African American public figure, born in the South in the same period, as well as an encyclopaedic grasp of American history.

    People interviewed include Marvin X, Harry Belafonte, Hugh Masakela, Jack Newfield, Ed Hughes, Emmanuel Steward, Amiri Baraka, Agieb Bilal, Emil Guillermo, Khalilah Ali, Quincy Troupe, Rahaman Ali, Melvin Van Peebles, Ray Robinson, Jr., Ed Hughes, Jesse Jackson, Martin Wyatt, Bennett Johnson, Stanley Crouch, Bobby Seale, and many more.

    Reed also places the Muhammad Ali phenomenon in the history of boxing and boxers from before the times of Jack Johnson, through Joe Louis and Archie Moore to Floyd Mayweather. He also includes Canadian fights and fighters like Tommy Burns, George Chuvalo and Yvon Durelle.
    The Heavyweight Championship of the World,” wrote Reed in a 1976 Village Voice headline article shortly after third Ali-Norton fight, “is a sex show, a fashion show, scene of intrigue between different religions, politics, classes; a gathering of stars, ex-stars, their hangers-on, and hangers-on assistants.

    The author of the much cited Writin’ is Fightin’ has now produced what will likely be known not only as The Complete Muhammad Ali but also “the definitive Muhammad Ali.”

    Praise
    great book, a lot of hard work, and I know that it will become the truly definitive book on Muhammad Ali.” Professor Sam Hamod, PhD; Former Director of The Islamic Center, Washington, DC

    ishmael reed photo kathy sloane low res 

    Ishmael Reed is a prize-winning essayist, novelist, poet and playwright. He taught at the University of California-Berkeley for thirty-five years, as well as at Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth. Author of more than twenty-five books, he is a member of Harvard’s Signet Society and Yale’s Calhoun Society. He lives in Oakland, California.

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    Dr. Hussain al-Shahristani was among the many people Marvin X met in Toronto, Canada during his first exile from America as a resister to the Vietnam War, 1967. Along with comrade in exile Norman Otis Richmond,  writers Jan Carew, Austin C. Clarke and singer Salome Bey, Hussain al-Shahristani befriended Marvin at Juma prayers at the University of Toronto. He gave  Marvin private lessons on Shia Islam and Arabic.



     

    Hussain al-Shahristani

    Hussain Al-Shahristani
    حسين الشهرستاني
    Hussain al-Shahristani Cropped.jpg
    Shahristani in 2009
    Minister of Education
    Incumbent
    Assumed office
    8 September 2014




























    Personal details
    Born Hussain Ibrahim Saleh al-Shahristani
    1942 (age 72–73)
    Karbala, Iraq
    Nationality Iraqi
    Political party State of Law Coalition
    Alma mater Imperial College London
    University of Toronto
    University of Baghdad
    Religion Shia Islam
    Hussain Ibrahim Saleh al-Shahristani (born 1942) is an Iraqi politician who served in different cabinet posts. He is currently Iraq's Minister of Education.

    Contents

    Early life and education

    Shahristani was born in 1942 in Karbala, Iraq. His family name, Shahristani, is Iranian and in addition to his native Arabic he has strong command of Persian as a second language.[1] Shahristani showed an exceptional aptitude for science in Secondary School,[2] Shahristani received a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London in 1965, and an MSc from the University of Toronto in 1967, from where he also received a PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1970. He specialised in design and building Building Nuclear reactors. Part of his education was also in Russia.[3]

    Career

    He was tipped to be the Iraqi Prime Minister during the 2004 discussions, a position which he refused to take it and stated "I have always concentrated on serving the people and providing them with their basic needs, rather than party politics."[2]

    A senior member of the State of Law alliance,[4] he was previously the deputy speaker of the Iraqi National Assembly under the Iraqi Transitional Government and was considered for the post of Prime Minister in both the current government and the interim government.

    He was appointed oil minister in May 2006 after the withdrawal of the Islamic Virtue Party Minister, which was also a Shia from the government coalition. By August, however, he was under pressure as there was a fuel crisis.[5]

    In December 2012 he was named the head of the committee responsible for receiving and addressing the demands of the demonstrators. He has made some significant achievements in period of December 2012 to February 2013.

    From 2006 to 2010, Shahristani was Iraq's minister of oil, and he served as acting minister of electricity in 2010.[6]

    Before his arrest and imprisonment Shahristani served as Chief Scientific Advisor to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission. Prior to that, he was a lecturer at Mosul University (1973), an Assistant Professor at Baghdad University (1974), Chief of Baghdad University’s Radioisotope Production Department from 1975-1977, and Chief of the Nuclear Chemistry Department from 1977-1979.[7]
    He is recognised as the architect of Iraq's oil future and during his time Iraq oil output reached a 20-Year high.[8]

    Imprisonment

    The key reason why Shahristani was imprisoned is that he was personally requested by Saddam to contribute to a military program to produce Weapons of Mass Destruction. He refused on moral and religious grounds. He was first enticed with money and high government positions in return for his cooperation in building the WMD program Saddam intended.

    Former government officials, including Khidir Hamza his successor, have claimed that he was imprisoned for his refusal to cooperate with Saddam's WMD program and his intentions to build nuclear weapons. He was imprisoned personally by Saddam Hussein and was threatened directly by him too. "While imprisoned and tortured at Abu Ghraib prison for 11 years under Saddam Hussein he refused to help build a nuclear weapon for the country."[9]

    He was later sentenced to death in an effort to terrorize him and the sentence was reduced to lifetime imprisonment as regime always hoped he could benefit of his skills and expertise one day. A false hope which never materialized for Saddam's regime. He was put in a solitary confinement prison cell for 8 years and was not allowed to make any communication with his family or the outside world during that period.

    In his biography book Escaping to Freedom, he mentions that "the sound of a defective neon light was the highlight of his time during that period since silence was all he could listen to". He could not have a conversation even with his prison guards and food was passed to him through the gap under the prison cell's door. He escaped from Abu Ghraib during the 1991 Gulf War and went to Iran, where he left for UK. He obtained his freedom in an extremely daring 'Hollywood' style escape plan which was thought, orchestrated and implemented by him. He went on to set up humanitarian aid organisations for the millions of Iraqi refugees during the Saddam era.

    Having spent more than a decade (1979-1991) as a political prisoner in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison under the regime of Saddam, he escaped during an allied bombing raid on Baghdad during the First Gulf War. H.E. al-Shahristani fled to Iran where he served as head of the Gulf War Victims Organization from 1991-1995. He later continued his support for the victims of Saddams's regime and the Gulf War as head of the Iraqi Political Prisoners Union (2003) and as Chief of the Iraqi Refugees Relief Committee (1998-2003).[7]

    Other positions

    Shahristani is a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey United Kingdom.
    In 2004, he taught as a professor at Baghdad University, and from 2002 to 2004 he was concurrently a visiting professor at Surrey University in the United Kingdom. In 2003 he was Head of the Iraqi National Academy of Sciences, and prior to his role there, from 1998-2002 was an advisor to the International Technical Research Centre, London, United Kingdom.[7]

    Awards

    Shahristani was awarded Roosevelt Freedom from Fear Award 2012. In a video of the award on YouTube Prof. al-Shahristani was presented the award by Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency IEA.

    In his speech during the award ceremony he said "I confronted my fear in December 1979 when I had to make a choice: either to work on Saddam’s nuclear weapon program, or pay a price. The choice was simple, and the price turned out to be 11 years and 3 months in prison."

    Conversation with Saddam's half-brother

    After seven months in jail, Shahristani was taken in front of Saddam's half-brother, Barzan al-Tikriti, who offered to free him if he would work on Iraq's secret nuclear weapons programme. "Anybody who refuses to serve his country does not deserve to be alive," Shahristani quoted Tikriti as telling him.

    "I agree with you that the person must serve his country but what you are asking me is not a service to the country," Shahristani replied, he said in his book Escaping to Freedom (1999). He was eventually sentenced to 20 years and spent 11 in prison, some in solitary confinement.[10]

    His reaction - Saddam's Trial

    "This is the day that the Iraqis have been waiting for. There are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of families who have lost their dear ones. They have been waiting for justice to be executed, and I think that Iraqis have received the news that they've been waiting for too many years."[11]

    2014 Prime Minister To-Be

    He has been tipped by analysts close to decision makers in Iraq as a serious contender for the PM job.[12] On 11 July 2014 he assumed the role of acting foreign minister in addition to his deputy prime ministership, after Kurdish politicians including former Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari withdrew from the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.[13]

    References




  • "Iran in Iraq: How Much Influence?"(PDF). Crisis Group. 21 March 2005. p. 5. Retrieved 14 July 2014.

  • "Iraq oil minister Shahristani staked future on oil auctions". The National. Retrieved 17 February 2013.

  • [1], Black Sea Energy & Economic Forum[dead link]

  • [2][dead link]

  • Civil War Violence Explodes Throughout Iraq, Informed Comment, 28 August 2006[dubious]

  • Shahristani given temporary power portfolio, "Iraq Oil Report", 23 June 2010

  • (Norwegian)http://www.nupi.no/content/download/210373/755528/file/CV_Shahristani.pdf

  • Ajrash first=Kadhim (22 December 2011). "Iraq Oil Output Has Reached a 20-Year High, Shahristani Says". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 February 2013.

  • Profile: Hussain al-Shahristani, Times Online, 26 May 2004.

  • Gamal, Rania El (18 December 2010). "Shahristani, architect of Iraq's oil future". Reuters. Retrieved 17 February 2013.

  • "Saddam hanged: Reaction in quotes". BBC News. 30 December 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2013.

  • "Al-Maliki Does Not Get a Third Term in Iraq, so what?". Especialview. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.




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    Black Gold: an Anthology of Black Poetry
    Last night we were informed by the .wife of JA A. Jahannes that he has joined the ancestors. Surely we are from Allah and to Him we return. Peace and love to his family--Marvin X

    Black Gold: an Anthology of Black Poetry

    by
     
    Black Gold: an Anthology of Black Poetry is a highly original anthology of poems edited by Ja A. Jahannes and featuring works by a collective of more than 100 authors who span multiple generations. Theirs represent diverse voices from throughout communities of the African and Latino Diasporas.

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     MX and Rashad Wiley

    Several students met Marvin X today at Oakland's Black Expo at Frank Ogawa Plaza, aka Oscar Grant Plaza. But Marvin is growing weary of mentoring because students want to tell him their agenda rather than following his. If you want to follow your agenda, you don't need me, go do your thing, don't take up my time. I have no illusion my time on earth is short, so let me do my thing and you do yours, he told students recently. Rashad Wiley and his wife came by today seeking knowledge, both graduates of San Jose State University. Marvin told them to do for self on the economic level, but Rashad seemed puzzled, saying he had to prepare to go to his job on Monday. Marvin advised, you must find a product to sell, almost anything will do. The lowest hustler in Harlem will sell toothpicks and get over. Bring me to San Jose State University, Marvin told Rashad, I want to speak at a rally near the statute of John Carlos and Tommy Smith! Rashad thought it was a great idea. Before he and his wife departed, Olympic Gold Medalist Jimmy Hines came by. Marvin told Rashad who he was. Ask him what his gold medal was for, he told Rashad. Hines told him for the 100 yard dash, Mexico City, 1968. Rashid could only say Wow! Hines told Marvin he will be calling him as he might need some help on his autobiography. Marvin is in conversation with Mrs. Amina Baraka about writing her biography.

    L to R: Nisa Ra, former wife of Marvin X, Mrs. Amina Baraka and Muhammida El Muhajir, daughter of Nisa and Marvin X. Muhammida recently moved to Ghana, West Africa and is encouraging her father to do the same. "Dad, Ghana may not have electricity 24/7, but they don't have white supremacy 24/7." When he mentioned to his oldest daughter, Nefertiti, about moving to Ghana, she told him, "Dad, I've been ready to go. I've been waiting on you!"


    Marvin X and oldest daughter Nefertiti on the Black Arts Movement/Black Power Babies Panel at Laney College's 50th Anniversary Celebration of BAM. She told her father, "Dad, you say pass the baton, but you don't pass the baton. We're qualified and ready, so pass the baton!" Yes, he's mentored his children well, i.e., they all have smart mouths!
    photo Southpark Kenny Johnson

    MX and Joey Thomas

    A little while later a young lady came by after she passed on the bus and  saw his Academy of da Corner with the Red, Black and Green flag flying in the wind, along with other posters that caught her attention such as Black Power Matters. An artist, activist, poet, she had no idea she was at Marvin X's Academy, headquarters of the Bay Area Black Arts Movement. Indeed, he has proclaimed 14th Street the Black Arts Movement District, from Martin Luther King, Jr. Way to Alice Street.


    After discovering he was a co-founder of BAM and his friends were Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Amiri Baraka and Sun Ra, et al., she got around to asking if he mentored people. He replied that he was rethinking his mentoring program since, as Elijah Muhammad said, "The Negro is hard to lead in the right direction, easy to lead in the wrong direction, being stiff necked and rebellious." He told her one of his students described his mentoring as "The wild, crazy ride called the Marvin X experience." She replied, "That's what I'm looking for, a wild, crazy ride!" We'll talk about the mentoring, he told her. Before she departed, another young lady came and said she wanted to be mentored. When he told her about his wild, crazy ride, she too said, "That's what I'm looking for, a wild crazy ride with no seat belt, no air bag." We'll see, the poet said. The two ladies touched each other in agreement they both wanted the Marvin X Experience. Stay tuned! Catch the Wild, Crazy Ride of the Marvin X Experience at Oakland's Art and Soul, next weekend, August 1st and 2nd. Call 510-200-4164 for his booth location.


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    Yesterday Terry Collins and I visited Nathan at his office. It was a pleasure to be in the presence of true genius; he talked and we listened and learned, continuing education.

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    Marvin X, Dr. Julia Hare, Dr. Nathan Hare, Attorney Amira Jackmon

    Black Bird Press is now distributing Black Think Tank Books. BBP Publisher Marvin X says, "We are honored to enter a partnership with Black Think Tank Books to distribute the works of Drs. Julia and Nathan Hare. Your purchase of the Hare's books will help Dr. Nathan Hare care for himself and his wife of 58 years, Dr. Julia Hare."

    We'd like organizations and institutions to purchase bulk copies of Black Think Tank books. We will give a generous discount of 50% for orders of 50 copies or more. Usual discount is 40% for wholesale orders. We can negotiate an even better deal upon request.  Institutions and organizations can retail the books for fundraisers. 

    We call upon persons and organizations to sponsor 100 to 1000 books to be given away at Academy of da Corner, Juvenile Hall, Correctional Institutions, high schools, middle schools, churches and other religious centers, night clubs, bars and restaurants, barber and beauty shops, corner grocery stores and super markets. We know this will increase community literacy and appreciation of literature, raise the level of consciousness and perhaps decrease the violence, street violence and partner violence. 


     Mayor Libby Schaaf on Black Arts Movement books:

    "...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.”
     
    Dr. Nathan Hare was honored as the Father of Black Studies by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf at the Laney College Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Celebration, February 7, 2014. photo Southpark Kenny Johnson




    Titles available from Black Bird Press/Black Think Tank
    Partnership

    How to Find and Keep a BMW--Black Man Working, retail price $10.00


    Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood, retail price $10.00

    The Black Agenda, retail price $15.00




    The Miseducation of the Black Child retail price $10.00

    The Sexual and Political Anorexia of the Black Woman, retail price $14.95

    Crisis in Black Sexual Politics, retail price $15.00

     
    The Endangered Black Family, retail price $10.00 

    Now accepting credit cards.

    We use the Square for credit card/debit card orders. Please call 510-200-4164 to
    pay by credit/debit card.


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    Titles by Marvin X currently available from Black Bird Press




    $19.95
     I welcome reading the work of a "grassroots guerilla publicist" who is concerned with the psychological/intellectual freedom of his people. I think of Dr. Walter Rodney as the "guerilla intellectual" who was organically connected to the grassroots. Key book here would be The Groundings With My Brothers (and sisters). Or Steve Biko's I Write What I Like. I think though that Dr. M is closely affiliated with Frances Cress Welsing's Isis Papers: Keys to the Colors (along with Bobby Wright's thesis...). Of course we need to also consult Dr. Nathan Hare's The Black Anglo-Saxons and Frazier's Black Bourgeoisie. What I am most impressed with is Dr. M's Pan Africanist perspective.
    --Dr. Mark Christian, PhD., Professor of Sociology and Black World Studies, University of Miami
    (Ohio)

    $19.95
     If you want to learn about motivation and inspiration, don't spend all that money going to workshops and seminars, just go stand at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, and watch Marvin X at work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland. --Ishmael Reed, author, The Complete Muhammad Ali

    This 18 page pamphlet is Marvin's most controversial piece of writing, yet probably the most healing for young and old. He cares nothing about political correctness but when one gets beyond the cover, we see a liberator of men and women from patriarchal mythology and other forms of white supremacy domination in male/female relations and all gender relations. $5.00
    A DVD version is that is a rough cut of a dramatic reading  filmed at Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway,  during Occupy Oakland is now available. $15.00

    Unfortunately, his memoir of Eldridge Cleaver, My Friend the Devil,  is out of print. FYI, Marvin X introduced Eldridge Cleaver to Black Panther Party co-founders Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. Introduction by Amiri Baraka.

    CD of Marvin X reading in Chicago, May 23, 2015

    $15.00
    CD of Marvin X reading in Chicago while in town to participate in the Sun Ra Conference at the University of Chicago. He was invited to record at a studio on South Shore: left to right Marvin X, Eliel Sherman Storey, alto sax (producer and owner of studio), David Boykin, alto sax; Tony Carpenter, percussion, Lasana Kazembe, poet.


     To pay by credit/debit card, call 510-200-4164.


    Other writings of Marvin X  appear in the following books




    Review: Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin & Marissa Alexander

    Black California - A Literary Anthology (Paperback): Aparajita Nandaj





    http://library.tulane.edu/exhibits/files/original/75d6972bd0d7dc640a534382b7422bca.jpgt

    Front Cover;








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    1965 Watts riots photo gallery

    Burn, Baby, Burn

    Tired.
    Sick an' tired
    Tired of being
    sick an' tired.

    ST-race1408056001.jpg

    Lost.
    Lost in the wilderness
    of white america
    are the masses asses?
    cool.

    Watts Riots, 1965

    said the master to the slave,
    "No problem, don't rob an' steal,
    I'll be your drivin wheel."

    Watts riot, 1965
    Cool.
    And he wheeled us into 350 years
    of black madness

    1965 Watts riots photo gallery

    to hog guts, conked hair, covadis
    bleaching cream and uncle thomas
    to Watts.
    To the streets.
    To the kill.
    Boommm...2 honkeys gone.

     Watts- 1965
    Motherfuck the police
    Parker's sista too.
    Black people.
    Tired.
    sick an' tired.
    tired of being
    sick an' tired.
    Burn, baby burn...
    Don't leave dem boss rags
    C'mon, child, don't mind da tags.
    Git all dat motherfuckin pluck,
    Git dem guns too, we 'on't give a fuck!
    Burn baby burn
    Cook outta sight

    watts riots, watts riot, 1965 watts riots

    Fineburgs
    whitefront
    wineburgs
    blackfront
    burn, baby, burn
    in time
    he
    will learn.
    ... saw in televised images and printed photos of the 1965 watts riots
    --Marvin X (Jackmon)
    1965
    from Soulbook Magazine, Fall, 1965

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