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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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    The Origin of Blackness
    Black Women’s Body Image – How WE feel about it | Anna Renee is ...

    Sudan la al lawn
    black is not a color
    lawn kuli min sudan
    all colors come from black
    sudan al harakat
    black is a rhythm
    al marna tambura
    a drum beat.
    anata.
    ancient
    assi
    primitive
    al awwal sudan kalam
    the first word was black
    al awwal rajuli sudan
    the first man was black
    Allah sudan
    God is black
    Sudan ilmi akhi
    black knows its brother
    anta mufail mashay min sudan
    you can't run from black
    anta mufail ghaybaw min sudan
    you can't hide from black
    ka umma sudan
    your mama is black
    ka abu sudan
    your father is black
    ka burka sudan
    your shadow is black
    al atum ra'a wa sami sudan
    the things you see and hear are black
    al atum mufail ra'a wa sami sudan
    the things you can't see and hear are black
    sudan al asil
    black is reality
    wahabi
    unity
    hurriya
    freedom
    adil
    justice
    musawat
    equality.
    --Marvin X, 1966
    from the collection Woman--Man's Best Friend by El Muhajir (Marvin X),  Al Kitab Sudan Press (Black Bird Press), 1972, San Francisco. The translator, Ali Sheriff Bey, was Marvin X's first Arabic teacher who gave him the name Nazzam Al Sudan. Bey was the chief Islamic, Arabic and Urdu instructor at Black Arts West Theatre, San Francisco, 1966. Of course the guru of BAM West was the Muslim career criminal Alonzo Harris Batin, immortalized in a play about Batin and Eldridge Cleaver by Earl Anthony. Batin recruited most of the BAM West players into the Nation of Islam, including Hillery X. Broadous, Duncan X. Barber, Ethna X. Wyatt and Marvin X.


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  • 07/29/15--09:39: Marvin X poem: Fetus

  • Fetus In Womb Unborn-baby.jpg

    Mama, please don't kill me
    don't you see
    I got your eyes
    Mama, please don't kill me
    don't you see
    I got my daddy's hair, head feet
    Mama, please don't flush me down the toilet
    I might be a prophet
    come to save the world
    Mama, please
    don't kill me.
    --Marvin X

    from Liberation Poems for North American Africans, Marvin X, Al Kitab Sudan Press (Black Bird Press), 1983.

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    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
    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 tone
    salaam, salaam.
    --Marvin X (Nazzam Al Sudan)

    from The New Black Poetry, edited by Clarence Major, International Publishers, 1972.

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    ... Black Female Lynching Victims 1886-1957: More on Black Women Who Were 
    A man and two women named Jesus

    All you Nigguhs lookin fa Jesus
    he was crucified for sellin single cigarettes
    Sandra Jesus was crucified for not using turn signal
    Oscar Grant Jesus was crucified for celebrating New Year's
    Chauncey Bailey Jesus was crucified for snooping around City Hall and the Police Department
    Travon Martin Jesus was crucified for walking home with Skittles
    Nine people named Jesus were crucified while praying with the devil in Charleston, South Carolina
    Michael Jackson told you Jesus is the Man in the Mirror
    keep lookin at that blue-eyed hippie hanging on the cross bleeding to death
    keep drinking his blood and chewing his flesh
    You will be Jesus whether you want or not
    nailed on the cross and lynching tree of Americana
    yes, in the land Jesus told you about
    the land of liars and murderers
    land of kidnappers thieves robbers rapists
    from the founding fathers til now
    liars murderers thieves robbers rapists kidnappers
    Amazing Grace  Master slaver John Hawkins on the Good Ship Jesus
    you are Jesus in the Valley of the Shadow of Death
    be like Jesus
    in this world but not of it
    for the Lord of the Worlds is coming soon
    Rabbi al-alamin
    He ain't playing Jesus
    won't crucify Him
    He don't need resurrection or ascension
    He is The Most High
    He shall repay the Great Shaitan for every hurtful thing done to you
    crying crocodile tears for your master will not save you or him
    you both shall be consumed by fire
    those who worship the devil shall go down with the devil
    never to rise again
    we don't need no coward soldiers
    God loves a warrior he hates a coward
    every inch of this blood soaked land shall be purified with water from a never ending stream
    saints shall shout and dance the holy dance
    the devil's reign shall be no more
    no more capitalist swine
    no more free market slavery
    wage slavery
    prison house slavery
    man/woman slavery
    let the people say ache ache ache.
    --Marvin X
    7/29/15

    Black Bird Press News & Review: 

    The works of Marvin X 

    now available from Black Bird Press

     For credit card/debit card orders, please call 510-200-4164

    Black Bird Press News & Review: The works of Marvin X now available from Black Bird Press

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    Vantage Point | Articles and Essays by Dr. Ron Daniels
    fly_the_flag
    August 17 will mark the 128th birthday of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, 
    the visionary Jamaican-born leader who built the Universal Negro Improvement 
    Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) into the largest 
    mass movement for liberation in the history of Africans in America and perhaps 
    the world! As such, I have long advocated that August 17th, his birthday, be 
    celebrated as Universal African Flag Day.

    Black Arts Movement poet/organizer Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown 
    Oakland. Marvin has proclaimed 14th Street the Black Arts Movement District.  "The people are urgently awaiting 
    to see the day when the Red, Black and Green will fly up and down 14th Street, i.e. BAM Way. Also, they  want 
    me to write a play about Marcus Garvey and perform the role of Garvey. Now, I have to think about this latter 
    request, but it is not difficult to write about someone I love, Marcus Garvey! For sure, I am an actor and, in the
    words of ancestor Paul Robeson, an artistic freedom fighter."

    An unapologetic Pan-Africanist, Garvey believed that Black people everywhere 
    should unite and fight to liberate Africa, the motherland, from the brutal clutches 
    of European colonialism – Africa should be the base for global Black Power! Hence 
    he said, “I know no national boundary where the Negro is concerned. The whole 
    world is my province until Africa is free.”

    At a time when people of African descent were besieged, belittled , marginalized, 
    exploited and oppressed everywhere, Garvey sought to instill a sense of pride 
    in the history and heritage of a great people,noting that: “Apeople without the knowledge 
    of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” He declared that “God 
    and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make 
    ourselves what we want to be… Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.”

    Garvey was determined to rally a beleaguered people and mold them into a formidable 
    force committed to self-reliance, self-determination and nationhood.   The UNIA was organized 
    like a nation in-waiting with military, economic/commercial, educational, health, religious 
    and administrative divisions.   He also created literature, music, images and symbols, 
    designed to promote pride and unity. For example, theUniversal Ethiopian Anthem 
    was adopted as the official song of the organization.

    But, the most powerful and lasting symbol of unity that Garvey presented and bequeathed 
    to African people was a Flag, the Red,Black and Green. Garvey was keenly aware of 
    the psycho-cultural value of symbols to an oppressed/battered people. The impetus to put 
    forth a flag became even more urgent because of the white supremacist song that 
    became very popular in the early part of the 20th century – “Every Race Has a Flag but 
    the Coon.” The Red, Black and Green was officially ratified as the Flag for African 
    people at the 1920 UNIA Convention – which led Garvey to proclaim: “Show me the 
    race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride. 
    Aye! In song and mimicry they have said, ‘Every race has a flag but the coon.’ How 
    true! Aye! But that was said of us four years ago. They can’t say it now….”

    The colors of the Flag were meant to have significance for Black/African people 
    globally. In the   ceremonies of IBW’s public events, the Flag is saluted by reciting 
    words that embody the essence of what   we believe Garvey intended to be the meaning 
    of the colors: Red, for the blood and suffering of African people; Black for the color 
    and culture of our people; Green, for the land stolen from us which we will reclaim 
    to build our nation. The Red, Black and Green Flag was meant to be a symbol of Pan 
    African Unity! Indeed, the influence of Garvey was such that the colors appear 
    in the Flags of Malawi, Kenya and Ghana in Africa and St. Kitts and Nevis in the 
    Caribbean.

    In the era of the 60’s when Black Power, Black Nationalism and Pan Africanism 
    reemerged as a dominant force in the Black Freedom Struggle in the U.S.,the  
    Red,Black and Green was frequently in full flourish at rallies and demonstrations. 
    And, it was common to see sisters and brothers with buttons, hats, scarves and 
     clothing with the colors of the Flag in the design. The colors of the Black 
    Liberation Flag, as it came to be known, were in! It was a symbol of 
    Black pride, unity, resistance and the struggle for self-determination and 
    independence. I shall never forget the hundreds of Flags waving in the 
    breeze on African Liberation Day in 1972 where some 25,000 gathered 
    in Washington, D.C. to demand the liberation of the last colonies in Africa. 
    It was a glorious site, one Marcus Garvey must have been pleased with from 
    his ascendant perch with the ancestors!

    It was to preserve and promote this spirit of unity, pride and resistance 
     and to keep the legacy of Marcus Garvey alive as an impeccable 
    model of the struggle for Black/African self-determination that I wrote 
    an article some years ago proposing that Garvey’s birthday be declared  
    Universal African Flag Day. In the article I noted that in New York 
    on the day of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Puerto Rican 
    Flag is on prominent display through-out the City. The same applies 
    for the Parades of Dominicans, Colombians and other Latino nationalities 
    in New York. And, at some of the largest pro-immigration reform 
    demonstrations a few years ago there was a sea of Mexican Flags — 
    so much so that it provoked a backlash by opponents of reform, 
    who labeled the demonstrators un-American.



    I firmly believe that Africans in America, indeed, African people 
    everywhere should embrace the Red, Black and Green as our Flag 
     and fly/display it during rallies, demonstrations, public events and 
     Black/African holidays as a unifying, Pan African symbol of 
     self-affirmation, resistance and self-determination. And, on the 
     birthday of Marcus Garvey, Universal African Flag Day, the  
    Red, Black and Green should be proudly on display everywhere!



    Frankly, my initial calls for Garvey’s birthday to be declared  
    Universal African Flag Day, as an act of Kujichagulia/Self-determination,
     did not get much traction. But, sparked by the Black Lives Matter Movement
    there is a new spirit of resistance in the air. I am noticing more and more  
    Red, Black and Green Flags at rallies and demonstrations. Therefore, 
    encouraged by these events,the forthcoming Millions Peoples March for 
    Justice; the urging of Dr. Segun Shabaka of the New York Chapter of 
    the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO); and, with 
    the blessing of Dr. Julius Garvey, the son of Marcus Garvey, I am renewing 
    the call for August 17th to be affirmed as Universal African Flag Day.



    Moreover, in this season of heightened resistance, it is only appropriate that 
    we request that President Obama exonerate the Honorable Marcus Garvey 
    of the trumped up charges of which he was convicted as one of the first 
    victims of the FBI. Marcus Garvey’s life and legacy matter to Black/African
     people. Therefore, we are obligated to fight to clear his name! So, sisters and 
    brothers let’s do it. Fly the Flag and Fight for the Exoneration 
    of Marcus Garvey! #FlytheRedBlackand Green August 17.

    Dr. Ron Daniels is President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century 
    and Distinguished Lecturer at York College City University of New York. 
    His articles and essays also appear on the IBW website www.ibw21.org 
     and www.northstarnews.com. To send a message, arrange media interviews 
    or speaking engagements, Dr. Daniels can be reached via email at info@ibw21.org

     Marvin X and student at his Academy of da Corner. Will Marvin X perform the role of Marcus Garvey?

    Marcus Garvey

    The Red, Black and Green was officially ratified as the Flag for African 
    people at the 1920 UNIA Convention – which led Garvey to proclaim: “Show me the 
    race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride. 
    Aye! In song and mimicry they have said, ‘Every race has a flag but the coon.’ How 
    true! Aye! But that was said of us four years ago. They can’t say it now….”

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    Gordon Brown and LulaEngland's PM Gordon Brown and President Lula of Brazil

    Brazil's Lula raps 'white' crisis

    By Gary Duffy
    BBC News, Sao Paulo, Brazil 
    27 March 2009
     

    President Lula said white, blue-eyed people - not Indians, nor black, nor poor people - had created and spread the crisis throughout the world.

    'Irrational behaviour'
     
    President Lula has long argued that poor and developing nations have been victims of mistakes made in richer countries, caused by irresponsibility or a lack of regulation in the world's banking systems.
    It was not a surprise, therefore, that he would return to this topic just days ahead of the crucial G20 summit in London.

    What was perhaps less expected was the way in which the Brazilian leader chose on this occasion to identify those to blame for the current economic situation.


    "It is a crisis caused and encouraged by the irrational behavior of white people with blue eyes," the president said, "who before the crisis appeared to know everything, but are now showing that they know nothing." 

    If England's PM, Mr Gordon Brown, appeared uncomfortable with this claim, he did his best not to show it. Questioned by a reporter, President Lula expanded his theory.

    "As I do not know any black or indigenous bankers," the president added. "I can only say it is not possible for this part of mankind, which is victimized more than any other, to pay for the crisis." 

    Mr Brown said he preferred not to attribute blame to individuals, and the rest of the news conference focused on a more conventional message of unity in advance of the G20 summit in London.
    As well as the plan for a $100bn fund to boost world trade, there were calls for greater regulation of financial markets, strong words against protectionism and an appeal for the stalled Doha round of world trade talks to be restarted.

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    29 July2015

    Ghana Launches Tech Start-Up School

    Tech entrepreneur Muhammida El Muhajir discusses the success of Ghana's Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology
    By Suede 
     
    Muhammida El Muhajir
    Muhammida El Muhajir

    Muhammida El Muhajir is a marvelous melanin maven of entertainment marketing and brand communications. Her list of accomplishments includes entertainers, trendsetters and brand development from Dubai to Fifth Avenue. She has the essence of entrepreneurial innovation in her veins. A well-traveled and outspoken arbiter of Black culture, she’s not one to shy away from a challenge. But who knew the challenges awaiting when she decided to relocate to Ghana and focus on African tech startups?

    EBONY: Your career has been steeped in the sports and the music industry with a tenure at Nike. Forging entertainment relationships, you’ve dabbled with film production creating music videos and your award-winning documentary, Hip-Hop The New World Order, and the founding of your publicity and marketing agency, Sun in Leo NY, where you’ve worked with Pharrell, Alicia Keys and Snoop Dogg. How did you find your way into a tech fellowship with Meltwater in Ghana?

    Muhammida El Muhajir: I came to Ghana at the end of 2013 for a film screening. I really liked the vibe in Ghana and decided to look for opportunities for staying. I’ve been curious about tech and found out about the fellowship. I applied and that’s how I got involved.

    EBONY: Just like that?

    MEM: Well, I’ve been visiting Africa since I was young. So it wasn’t like I wasn’t familiar with the landscape. I feel like Ghana has really grown since I was last here over 10 years ago, and it was time. I was looking to live and work in Africa. I feel like now is the time. The climate at home, the race relations, it is all very tense. It’s at an all-time high. People don’t realize how that affects you.
    EBONY: Was that a factor for you?

    MEM: OMG are you kidding? People underestimate how that affects you psychologically or emotionally when you see those stories or it happens to you. That really has a deep effect. Imagine how much more productive we could be if we didn’t have to be marching or tweeting about Black Lives Matter, or how much brain time could be dedicated to building or growing something if we didn’t have to deal with race-related matters?
    Seeing these stories, I’m like, I don’t want to go back home. I don’t want my child to have to deal with that. It’s a huge factor.

    I’ve been traveling to Africa since I was 15. Coming here was not a new thing. Africa has lots of struggles. Africa has 99 problems, and guess what? Race is not one. I don’t want to deal with that right now. It’s liberating. I can walk into any upscale hotel, restaurant or shop and no one is looking at me sideways, giving me crazy treatment just because of my skin color. I like that feeling.
    These are the brilliant people of Ghana. They are starting businesses. They are hiring people. It’s happening. The process is working. The businesses are working. It’s happening and having an impact.

    EBONY: Can you describe the working transition from New York to Accra?

    MEM: I work with a lot of young entrepreneurs, so the energy is always fast paced—though fast paced in a Ghanaian sense. They are a different breed of entrepreneurs. It is not like most places. They are more measured thinkers, more focused and safer. They like to take time and are more conservative with their decisions. I’m able to really hone my skills. Everything I’ve been doing for entertainment and brands applies here and more to tech, because I’m helping to build new companies.

    EBONY: What’s the basic premise of the school?

    MEM: Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology is currently a two-year program and will transition into a one-year program. The thinking is that the next Facebook or Google could come from Africa, but it needs to be nurtured and cultivated. We welcome those futurists into the school and go through a rigorous program where they learn the business side and tech side of being an entrepreneur.
    There are professors for tech coding and finance. Everything you would need to learn.
    At the end of the program, students form a group and pitch their ideas to Meltwater.
    If Meltwater likes the idea, the company invests. The designated group then comes into the incubator and we provide business development.

    EBONY: And your role in the fellowship?

    MEM: I’m a fellow in the incubator. I’m their relationship manager. I help them to do everything they need to get their relationships going. This is the fourth year of the incubator. The school has been around for eight years. The different companies in the incubator are very diverse. There are eight to 10 companies in total. The ones I work with are all consumer-related companies.

    EBONY: Can you describe the startups you mentor?

    MEM: I work with SUBAapp.com, which is a photo-sharing app. At a party or an event, you can upload your pictures to a group album. We are connected by the event. No need for Facebook. It’s for everyone. It recently partnered with Ghanaian Celebrity Reggie Rockstone and will be soft launching soon.
    LetiArts.com is an interactive video game and digital comics company. MeQasa.com is an online real estate classified. You can buy and sell real estate online. All amazing people.

    EBONY: How much is tuition, and can anyone apply or only Ghanaians?

    MEM: It’s a free program. Open to Ghanaians and last year Nigerians; next year there will be Kenyans.

    EBONY: Why the decision to open it up to other countries?

    MEM: They discovered that there is more interest in the program and Africa needs this.

    EBONY: Kenya is widely known as the Silicon Safari and South Africa has a great deal of techies. Nigeria is notoriously tech savvy. Why did Meltwater choose Ghana to launch this program? Is the founder Ghanaian?

    MEM: Jorn [Lyseggen] is Korean, but he grew up in Norway. He already had business in Africa and wanted to give back, but not a charity. Why not train the future leaders of a country? You know how it is with the brain drain. Most smart Africans go abroad. This program gives them an opportunity to stay at home. His team did the research and decided to start here, in Ghana.

    And it is working. If they didn’t come here, the talent in this program would go abroad. These are the brilliant people of Ghana. They are starting businesses. They are hiring people. It’s happening. The process is working. The businesses are working. It’s happening and having an impact.

    EBONY: But this isn’t just an altruistic endeavor. This is business, right?

    MEM: Meltwater gets a small percentage if the program participants start a company.
    If they come to the incubator and get investment, then Meltwater becomes a shareholder of their company.

    EBONY: What are your four tips to give someone embarking on a startup in Africa?

    MEM: One, as a business owner, there are things I would say to anyone anywhere. Have a clear vision of where the ultimate goal is for your company. Is it short-term success or long-term success? Once you have that, your business is in a better position. This is something I lacked myself initially. I didn’t know my long and short-term goals.

    Two: really understand your target consumer. For example, when creating the website, are the elements you’re adding to the website benefitting the consumer? Is it something the consumer wants? It’s important to get in the mind of your target customer.

    Three: build your brand. You don’t need a lot of money to do it. What is your brand about and how do you relay that message to your customers. Really building a strong brand. When they see your logo, it should trigger something in their mind about your product.

    Four: Your team is so important. Who is on your squad? Why are you choosing them?  Should they be on your team? What value are they building? Are there others who are better suited? What is their value to the team, and are they upholding their positions?

    I work with many teams. Each company in the program is composed of a team. I see it all the time, that one person who isn’t doing what they need to do to contribute. I’ve been here for a year. There are some teams where I still don’t know what that one person does. That should not be.

    Building a strong business team is like building a strong sports team. You need a strong goalie or a strong forward. They are on your team, not because they are a friend or a relative, but because they serve a purpose. But these tips apply to business across the board, especially if you are a small company, and even more so in Africa.

    EBONY: What’s the situation for women in the African Tech Space?

    MEM: Women are definitely a minority in the tech industry wherever you go. There’s a definite push here to get more women in voted. There were years where there was only one woman here. This past session there were 10 out of the 50. There was a crazy number like 2% women in Silicon Valley, and it is probably the same in Africa. I feel it’s happening, it’s growing. I work with at least three women who have started their own tech company. The change is real.
    Muhammida El Muhajir is the daughter of Marvin X (El Muhajir) and Nisa Ra.

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    Black Bird Press News & Review: Black Bird Press News & Review: The works of Marvin X now available from Black Bird Press



    Aside from his own works, Marvin X's writings and thought appears in several books and anthologies, including Thomas Stanley's The Execution of Sun Ra.



    Review The Execution of Sun Ra

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    Re: Good Places For Black Men to Meet Eligible Black Women...

    She was a square bitch, sophisticated Spelman bitch, til Dante turned her out, made her a stripper, climbing up and down poles like a monkey.

     钢管舞性感美女

    She stripped til her mama and daddy came and got her and took her home for a rest. But she soon returned to college and Dante turned her out again, this time at the dope house, stripping, sucking and fucking  the brothers and sisters in the dope house. Strung out so tough she rented out to the dope man  the BMW her daddy bought for her when she first got to college. She waited outside the dope house all weekend til the dope man returned her car. Square bitch. Know everything dumb ass bitch.

    Took two courses in Black Studies and claimed she knew all of African history, knew who she was and nobody could tell her shit. She was an educated black woman. But when she got a chance to travel abroad, she went to Europe rather than Africa. Said she wasn't ready for Africa. Nor was she interested in that Black Lives Matter bullshit, all lives mattered to her, specially when she met a hipster named Brando. Brando taught her color doesn't matter, so she believed him, until they got drunk one night and he called her his nigger bitch. The real nigguh came out of her and she slapped him, called him a low life peckerwood white trash bastard. When neighbors heard the noise and called the police, they came and saw Brando had bruises on his face, so they took her black ass to jail. Her mama and daddy sent money to bail her out.

    <b>Hipster</b> man watching video on Ipad against <b>white</b> background.
    She left Brando and slipped back into the hood looking for Dante. Dante told her, "I don't want yo punk ass, bitch. Go back to that peckerwood motherfucker, you funky ho!" She begged Dante, "Please, please, Dante, I just wanna be black again, please take me back, I'll do anything.""Ok, bitch, get me a choosin fee and hurry up. You know what to do." Miss Square bitch got on the phone to some tricks so she could get Dante's choosin fee. She got it together and presented it to Dante. He said, "Ok, bitch, don't give me no motherfuckin trouble. Don't you ever again tell me about some motherfuckin boundaries. You do whatever the fuck I tell you quick and in a hurry, you hear me, bitch?""Yes, Dante."

    She moved in with Dante and his other ho's and they were all happy together for a time.
    --Marvin XYZ
    7/31/15







    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  and thoughts 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;
    Review The Execution of Sun Ra






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    The following are a few of the titles in the audio/video library of Marvin X. Most of these titles are now available from Black Bird Press. We have the Square for credit/debit card purchases. Simply call Black Bird Press @ 510-200-4164. Orders shipped by priority mail, add 5.95 for postage and handling.



    Marvin X interviews Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale
    3767380490_fda3c6f2e5_z.jpg
     Bobby Seale, Marvin X and Charlie Walker, Godfather  of San Francisco's Hunters Point

    A classic interview with Bobby, with whom Marvin X attended Oakland's Merritt College, along with BPP co-founder Huey P. Newton, 1962-64. Bobby tells Marvin, "At Merritt College on Grove Street, we were the neo-Black intellectuals." Recently, Bobby said, "When Marvin X performed his play Flowers for the Trashman at Merritt for the Soul Students Advisory Council, aka, BSU or Black Students Union, it kicked off the student movement at Merritt that led to the formation of the Black Panther Party. " In this interview, Bobby gives a history of how the West Coast radical students came into consciousness that evolved into the West Coast Black Liberation Movement and the Black Arts Movement.

    One Day in the Life, a docudrama of Marvin X's addiction and recovery



    This video production of the play One Day in the Life is a record of how 60s radicals succumbed to drugs, Crack in particular. One scene describes Marvin's last meeting with his friend, Dr. Huey P. Newton, in a West Oakland Crack house, shortly before his murder. The play was performed before thousands of recovering addicts in the Bay Area, Dirty South and East Coast. Ishmael Reed says, "It's the most powerful drama I've seen." Ed Bullins and Marvin X wrote a version of the Huey Newton scene, entitled Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam, produced off-Broadway by Woody King at the New Federal Theatre. Marvin X produced the entire play on the East Coast at Sista's Place in Brooklyn, the Brecht Forum in Manhattan and in Newark, New Jersey at Amiri Baraka's Kimako's Theatre in the basement of his house.

    Drugs, Art and Revolution, a conversation based on Marvin X's play One Day in the Life
    Amiri Baraka (left) read from his work and joined in conversation with Marvin X at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. Photo: Don Usner

    This conversation took place at Sista's Place, Brooklyn, New York, during their production of One Day in the Life. Panelist included Sonia Sanchez, Mr. and Mrs. Amiri and Amina Barak, Sam Anderson, Elombe Brathe, Marvin X. It was a welcome home to the East Coast event for Marvin X. Some people had not seen him since he was in Harlem, 1968, at the birth of the Black Arts Movement. In the words of Sam Anderson, this very necessary discussion, took place at the right time when our people were coming out of the Crack epidemic. Of course, the East Coast radicals said there was no excuse for Marvin X, Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver and other revolutionaries succumbing to Crack. Sista's Place founder Viola Plummer said, "I don't want to hear any excuse." Amiri Barak said, "You can be drugged by America, yeah, drugged and drugged. America calls you like the Greek Sirens to come, come to her and submit to her filth and garbage. This play by Marvin will never be shown big time, but they will present you with Negroes who they claim are the Bumba of the Dumba. Yet these Negroes have nothing to say.This play should be shown in the 27 cities where Blacks are in large numbers of the population, even if it is shown in 50 seat theatres as we did at my basement theatre in Newark, New Jersey.  

    Marvin X Live in Philly at Warm Daddies
    Left to right: Marshall Allen, 91 years old and now leader of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Danny Thompson, Enforcer of the Arkestra and poet Marvin X at the University of Chicago for the Sun Ra Celebration, May 21, 22, 2015. They performed in concert.


    This video is also entitled 37 minutes of Jazz History since it was a historic meeting of Marvin X with members of the Sun Ra Arkestra with whom he had performed with coast to coast, including a teaching stint with Sun Ra at the University of California, Berkeley, 1971. The Sun Ra lectures at UCB are on Youtube. During this time, Sun Ra also arranged the music for Take Care of Business, the musical version of Marvin's BAM classic Flowers for the Trashman (see Black Fire and SOS, the BAM Reader). Marvin and Sun Ra performed a five hour concert in San Francisco at the Harding Theatre on Divisadero Street, including a cast of 50 actors, dancers and musicians, without intermission. Choreographers included Raymond Sawyer and Ellendar Barnes.

    At Warm Daddies, Marvin X reads his poetry accompanied by Danny Thompson, flute, Marshall Allen, alto sax, Elliott Bey, keyboards, Ancestor Gold Sky, djembe, Alexander El, trap drums, Rufus Harley, bagpipes.  

    Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness
    San Francisco State University, April 1, 2001 
     Left to right: John Doumbia, Marvin X's mentor; oldest daughter, Nefertiti, Dr. Cornel West and Marvin's youngest daughter, Attorney Amira Jackmon (Yale, Stanford Law School)
    photo Kamau Amen Ra

    In 2001, the indefatigable Marvin X produced The Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness Concert at San Francisco State University. Participants included: Amiri and Amina Baraka, Kujichagulia, Rudi Wongozi, Elliot Bey, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Rev. Cecil Williams, Rev. Andriette Earl, Eddie Gale, Ishmael Reed, Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Nathan Hare, Dr. Theophile Obenga, Destiny Muhammad, Tarika Lewis, Avotcja, et al. 

    This audio/video library will be continued ASAP. 

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     Posted by Marvin X. Jackmon at 10:48 AM
     According to Islamic literary scholar, Dr. Mohja Kahf, Fly to Allah is the seminal work in Muslim American literature. "Marvin X's Fly to Allah (1969) is possibly the first book of poems published in English by a Muslim American author."

    "Fly to Allah not only exhibited Marvin X's complete dedication to the ideas and beliefs of the Black Muslim movement, it also made obvious (even to those who possessed neither interest in nor knowledge of Islam) that a poet so adept with his words could not be ignored...."--Lorenzo Thomas, University of Houston, Texas


     "Marvin X is a deep sea diver who rarely comes up for air. And when he comes up it is only for a moment."--Aishah Kokomon, Oakand, Calif.

    "You must read him as though you are at a buffet, just a little at a time, don't pile the plate because you will be overwhelmed and suffer indigestion."--Elliot Bey, Philadelphia

    He is a man without boundaries except the razor's edge, upon which he walks like a tightrope dancer, for if he makes the wrong move the chasm awaits him. Nefertiti asked her dad, "How are you still alive?" Because of his beliefs the Vietnam War was wrong, he endured exile in Toronto, Canada and later Mexico City and Belize, from which he was deported back to the US and thrown into Federal Prison, Terminal Island, San Pedro, California. But whether in exile or the dungeon, he did the same things: studied, wrote and taught. Whether he was underground in Chicago and Harlem, his work was the same, culture teacher the brothers in Jamaica called him. They begged him to stay in Jamaica. That's what got him into trouble in Belize: the people asked him to teach them and he complied until the drunk man came by his shack on Gales Point singing, "They comin' ta git ya in da mornin boy, been down here teachin dat black power, dey comin ta git ya in da mornin." And sure enough, when he boarded the boat for the five hour ride through the jungle (see the movie Mosquito Coast) he was under arrest but didn't know it, although he did see a man with a rifle who turned out to be an undercover police.

    When he went to the his contact's house, Evan X. Hyde and Ishmael Shabazz, no one was home so he chilled for a moment until he heard someone calling his name, come out Mr. Jackmon, the voice said. He grabbed the rifle but decided not to have a Black Panther style shoot out with the police. He was taken to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Minister read his deportation order that stated his presence was not beneficial to the welfare of the British Colony of Honduras. He was taken to the police station and placed under arrest until the plane departed for Miami at 4pm. He was not placed in a cell but told to take a seat in the lobby. Before he knew it, he was surrounded by African policemen and when the circle was complete, they asked him, "Brother, teach us about Black Power! We don't know why they are kicking you out. White hippies come down here all the time smoking dope but they don't mess with them. You come to teach us and they deport you. Ain't right, ain't right, they black mon wit white heart, black mon wit white heart." When other African policemen came into the station but did not join the circle, they called them black mon wit white hearts. Marvin told them, "Marcus Garvey came here in 1923 and told you to get the white woman off your walls. It's 1970 and you still got that Queen of England white bitch on your walls. Get that bitch off yo walls!" The police cracked up, they said, "You all ite, broder mon, you all ite!"

    The same little mulatto motherfucker who'd arrested me at the Amandala House came to take me to the airport. I resisted when they wouldn't let me contact my wife who was back on Gales Point, a five hour ride through the jungle, pregnant with our daughter we would name Nefertiti. Nefertiti recently realized she was conceived while her parents were in flight from American imperialism. She is a conscious woman who recently demanded her father pass the baton to her generation. "We're qualified and ready, so pass the baton, Dad!"

    So where is Mr. No Boundaries? Some Muslims do not consider him a Muslim, since he rejects sectarianism, although his natural unorthodoxy places him in the Nation of Islam and Shia theology.

    Some Islamic literary  scholars such as Dr. Mohja Kahf consider him the father of Muslim American literature. Bob Holman and Lorenzo Thomas place him squarely in the Islamic literary tradition. Holman says he is the USA's Rumi, the wisdom of Saadi, the ecstasy of Hafiz.

    According to Lorenzo Thomas, "...the writings gleam with brilliant imagery and a stunning grasp of both Afro-American vernacular and classical techniques of Islamic poetics. The title poem, 'Fly to Allah,' begins with hagiographic praises of Elijah Muhammad and contains English adaptations of Arabic poetic forms such as tadmin (interpolated quotations of Quranic suras or verses) and mula'ama (the balanced repetition or parallel phrasing used in the verses of the Bible and Quran).
    At the same time, the poem encompasses  the diction of folk proverbs and common sense, ending with precise pseudo-Haiku emblems of the Nation of Islam's tenets of Freedom, Justice and Equality; it is also written in concentrated verses reminiscent of the projective verse style of the 1950s developed by Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Amiri Baraka and others in their study of the prosody of William Carlos Williams. Fly to Allah not only exhibited Marvin X's complete dedication to the ideas and beliefs of the Black Muslim movement, it also made obvious (even to those who possessed neither interest in nor knowledge of Islam) that a poet so adept with his words could not be ignored...."


    ishmael reed photo kathy sloane low res

    Ishmael Reed, author of the Complete Muhammad Ali

    Ishmael Reed and critic James Spady place him in the Yoruba tradition. Ishmael Reed says, "...If I had to pin down the influences upon Marvin X's The Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables/fables, I would cite the style of Yoruba texts--texts in the Yoruba language reveal that didacticism is a key component of the Yoruba story telling style. Marvin  imparts wisdom by employing cautionary tales and uses his own life and mistakes to consul the young to avoid mistakes."

    But in Reed's The Complete Muhammad Ali, Marvin X claims his Islamic literary roots, though he does not discuss Muslim's in the Americas before Columbus or before the American slave system:
    “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...."

    Nevertheless, critic James Spady places him in the tradition of ancestor worship.  ."..The poetry of Marvin X is deeply rooted in the cosmological convictions of his ancestors and his community. His individual identity is inextricably linked to his communal identity. That is why it functions as a source of power and inspiration. Because he is open to the magico-realist perception or reality and has the authentic experiences of the streets, Marvin's works strike a chord. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in a recent collection, Love and War, 1995.
    Love and War: Poems



    Islamic scholar Dr. Mohja Kahf comments on Marvin X and Muslim American literature:
    "With respect to Marvin X, declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because recontextualizing it will add another layer of attention to his incredibly rich body of work. He deserves to be WAY better known than he is among Muslim Americans and generally, in the world of writing and the world at large. By we who are younger Muslim American poets, in particular, Marvin should be honored as our elder, one who is still kickin, still true to the word!
     READ MARVIN X for RAMADAN!...."






    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  and thoughts 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;
    Review The Execution of Sun Ra




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    'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

    • 22 July 2015


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    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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    Zombies From ‘The Walking Dead’ Who Could Get Their Own Spin-Off

    The Living Dead

    I look into my people's eyes
    see the hollowness within
    I wonder where their spirit went
    the hope of yesterday
    the zombie stares
    he walks away
    why have we come to this
    why is that stare so far away?
    for sure the end is near.

    Love has turned to hate these days
    there is no love in those eyes
    no memory of the men and women
    who suffered fought and died

    O, dead too lazy to die
    O dead that hope passed by
    what will come of you
    but did not Lazarus come alive?
    Come alive then, O living dead.
    Come alive
    you blind to tomorrow's light
    come alive
    the spirit of our saints command you, Rise!
    Strike the blindness from your eyes.
    --Marvin XYZ
    from Liberation Poems for North American Africans, Al Kitab Sudan Press (Black Bird Press), 1983.

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  • 08/04/15--19:10: Time, poem by Marvin X
  • Time
    Run out of time

    People living like they got forever
    but tomorrow is almost here
    afraid to enjoy the blessings of God
    afraid to love to be loved
    blindly praying when God has already answered
    Time
    look at your children
    growing learning asking wanting seeking
    make a world for them
    make your mark in history
    time
    it's hard to struggle sacrifice
    our women don't like it
    our children don't like
    but we push on
    gotta have ma freedom
    gotta have ma freedom today
    rewards few hours long
    we wonder where years went
    children tell us
    they have not learned to lie
    we wonder what will they be
    what path have we cut for them?
    what roads have we mapped
    there are snakes in the jungle
    lions in the forest foxes in the woods
    what roads are safe
    what are the magic words of life
    what is the message of our ancestors?
    Don't you hear them calling, saying rise up be free
    rise up
    don't give up
    rise up
    don't give up
    Time.
    --Marvin X
    from Selected Poems, Al Kitab Sudan (Black Bird Press), 1979.

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    Fable of the Sleeping Lion

    Once there was a lion who lived in a cage in a wilderness. He did not like living in a cage, but he was put in the cage by his master.

    He was strong and he used to run free, but now he was in a cage. The master fed the lion food to make him sleep. Soon the lion began to like sleeping. He would sleep all day. Visitors came to the cage and wondered why this lion was sleeping all day.

    The master had trained the lion so that he never growled anymore--he just slept all the time. He even had a sleepy look on his face when he was awake. Some people called him Sleepy. Sleepy wake up!

    Don't bother me, he said, can't you see I'm sleeping?

    One day Sleepy's friend, another lion, escaped from the cage next to Sleepy's. Sleepy could have escaped too, but he was busy sleeping. And when he got up and found the other lion gone, he was very angry. I'll never sleep again, he said. I'll never sleep again!

    Now when it came time to eat, the master got angry because Sleepy wouldn't eat the food that made him sleep. Sleepy wasn't a fool!

    The master couldn't understand his lion. Eat! the master told Sleepy. Sleepy growled for the first time in a long time. The master jumped back he was so shocked.

    The master got his whip and went into the cage. Eat! he said, cracking the whip over Sleepy's head. Sleepy growled, turned and ran to the master and began eating him to death....
    --Marvin X

    Fable of the Sleeping Lion was published in Black World magazine, June, 1970. It was published in Woman, Man's Best Friend by El Muhajir/Marvin X, Al Kitab Sudan Press, 1973. Now printed in The Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables/fables.

    PARABLE OF THE GANGSTA BY MARVIN X



























    Parable of the Gangsta

    He wanted to be a gangsta since childhood. He watched his big brothers gang banging, in and out of prison, the funerals, parties with more wine than they had at the Last Supper. Females were always on hand serving the brothers, raising their babies, visiting them in jail and prison. Big cars, flashy clothes, bling bling, the little brother watched and waited his turn.

    When it was time for him to join, he got ready for the initiation. On that day he was required to kill and rape. He was ready. No matter his mother was a hard working house cleaner who took the bus to work. She wanted none of her children's ill gotten gain. She was a Christian woman who tried to get him into college, rather than go the path of her other sons.

    But he had other plans. He didn't want to be a square. He hated squares. They were, in his mind, suckers for the white man. He saw them with their suits and ties and brief cases, thinking they were all that and a bag of chips. He saw them in the dope house coping, along with their square girls. When the girls got sprung, they would leave the square nigguhs for the dope man.

    He watched the square brothers get broke and turn tricks with the dope man in front of their women. He vowed to his dead gangsta brothers he would not be a square, but would be like them, even though they didn't want him to end up like them, in prison or a coffin early in life. Thursdays was gang initiation night in the hood.

    Most people stayed off the street on Thursdays, unless people got off work late and had to walk home. Anyone could be a victim if caught on the street. He drove around looking for a victim, not far from his house. It didn't matter who it was. On a dim lighted street he saw a woman and snatched her onto the ground, tearing off her clothes. She screamed and yelled but he didn't care, especially since he was loaded on dope and out of his mind.

    He didn't bother to look at the woman's face as he raped her. When he finished he turned her around and got the shock of his life. She was his mother! He ran to his car in shame and horror.When he got home he took out his gun and shot himself in the head and fell to the floor dead. He was now a gangsta.

    --Marvin X

    Parable of the Man
    With the Gun in Hand

    Once there was a man with a gun in his hand; he came to a land and made the native people slaves. The natives had lived on the land since the world began, but now they were slaves. "And," said the man who came to the land, "they shall be slaves 'til they are in their graves."
    The land was ripe with everything: diamonds and gold, wealth untold--the land was fit for Kings and Queens. But the man with the gun in his hand wanted everything.
    The natives did not know he had no soul, they even called him "brother." Even though the man with the gun in his hand had lynched their fathers and raped their mothers, they still called him "brother."
    "Do you call a snake your brother?" one native asked another. "But I have a dream!" said the other, "even this snake is my brother."
    "You are a fool," said the first, "you see this snake crawling all over the earth!"
    So the man with the gun in his hand not only had the natives working for nothing, but he also had them fighting instead of uniting, while he stood in the corner laughing.
    Time passed. The man who came to the land grew fat. "Look, he is a pig!" one native said. The next day this native was dead.
    "Look, he is a pig," said another, and the next day they found him dead. No, the man with the gun in his hand didn't like being called a pig. Yes, he knew he was wrong for taking their land and working them down to the bone, but he was a pig doing his gig, so he went right on.
    Now out in the bush a native said, "My brothers, the time has come! The time has come to seize our land from the man with the gun in his hand. The time has come. I know you are blind, deaf and dumb, but I have been raised from among you to show you the way. I have studied the nature of the man with the gun in his hand; he has the nature of a devil; his history is full of evil--surely he is a devil!
    But do not fear, he is not so powerful. It is we, the people, who are really powerful. We know God helps those who help themselves, so let us rise up and do for self!
    Unite! Stop fighting each other, stop fighting your friends for your enemy. Brothers, we are all victims of this beast. What can you lose, you are already on the bottom? Wake up! Stand on your feet. The time has come to stop being food for the pig to eat!"
    --Marvin X
    3/11/10
    Parable of the Man with the Gun in His Hand was first published in Black World Magazine, June 1970. It later appeared in Woman, Man's Best Friend by El Muhajir/Marvin X, Al Kitab Sudan Press, 1973. Now appears in Wisdom of Plato Negro, parable/fables by Marvin X.





    For credit card/debit card payment, call 510-200-4164

    ORDER THE WISDOM OF PLATO NEGRO, PARABLES/FABLES BY MARVIN X, $19.95

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    Oakland literary icon Ishmael Reed still fighting the good fight

    Marvin X comments on Ishmael Reed 

    Ishmael Reed is my elder, friend and supporter. He has done critical praises of my work. Every author can appreciate critical praise. He said my play One Day in the Life is the most powerful drama he's seen. And he said this while his play Hubba City on the similar theme of Crack was in performance at the same time. 

    We don't always agree, but who needs to always agree with a friend? He didn't join Amiri Baraka when Baraka left Greenwich Village upon the assassination of Malcolm X  for Harlem and established the Black Arts Movement. But Reed has said, "If it wasn't for the Black Arts Movement, Black culture would be extinct." This is a powerful endorsement of BAM. One of his old friends and former roommates is BAM co-founder Askia Toure. In his most recent book The Complete Muhammad Ali, Reed intentionally made Ali a round character rather than flat, allowing discussion of Elijah Muhammad's deep influence on the Champ. 

    Always multi-cultural, after all, his very life is multi-cultural, yet Reed understands the necessity of Black Nationalism. After all, what can Black people bring to the multi-cultural table except their Blackness? 

    We should be thankful to have Ishmael in our midst. We should seek his wisdom rather than run from him as he mentions in the article below, due to those young people addicted to ageism. But I was guilty of ageism. I was in the presence of the great Black Nationalist Harry Hayward but didn't listen to him because he was an old man.

    For sure, Ishmael Reed is well informed, more than I would ever claim to be. He's more in league with ancestor Amiri Baraka. Both of these men influenced me and supported me. I'm honored Reed's PEN Oakland will present me with their life time achievement award. Although Amiri Baraka did tell me to get the reward, not the award!

    --Marvin X, aka "Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland!"(Ishmael Reed)

    8/04/2015


    Literary icon Ishmael Reed discusses his latest book, "The Complete Muhammad Ali," at his home in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, July 30, 2015.
    Literary icon Ishmael Reed discusses his latest book, "The Complete Muhammad Ali," at his home in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, July 30, 2015. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)


    In the office of his North Oakland home, Ishmael Reed leans back in a chair, folds his hands and begins to describe his life: "I'm 77 and I have a job. Two actually," he says, smoothing his cloud of silver hair for a photo shoot.

    To say that's an oversimplification of his career is a colossal understatement. Just out with his heavyweight, 421-page biographical and historical tome, "The Complete Muhammad Ali," the famed Oakland poet, playwright and author of 30-plus books is more than the sum of his two current positions as Poet Laureate at the San Francisco Jazz Center, and as lecturer at the California College of the Arts. He's well known for his biting satire and critical works on political culture and social oppression. During his long and ongoing career, he's written countless boisterous essays, was nominated twice for a National Book Award and was a Pulitzer finalist for a book of poetry titled, "Conjure."


    Yet for all his accomplishments and accolades, Reed feels he's often seen as part of the old guard these days, especially in East Coast literary circles. He's revered, to be sure, and held up as a standard for young writers. But having once been the darling of the New York lit scene, he's now a mere mention in articles, and his newer works are rarely reviewed.

    "I feel I'm seen as something of a journeyman boxer," he says. "Someone who had a couple of championships in the past, but whose career is on the decline. Somehow, it seems it's OK to still engage in ageism these days."

    At the same time, Reed is a smash hit as a global literary force, welcomed in European and Asian countries with eager arms. His books, including the novels "Mumbo Jumbo,""Reckless Eyeballing" and "Juice!" have been translated into several languages. He just returned from a June trip to China where his play "Mother Hubbard" was performed -- directed by his wife of 40 years, Carla Blank, a choreographer, director and author in her own right. And in May, Reed was honored in Switzerland, and performed with his daughter, poet Tennessee Reed, and members of the Swiss Jazz School. Yes, he plays piano too. Plus he maintains an online literary magazine called Konch, and his own website at www.ishmaelreed.org, and is working on a new book of poetry, a book of essays and two novels.
    "I've become sort of a global writer," he says. "Things have become so politically correct in this country, so I've had to go abroad to express myself."

    A busy man

    Here at home in North Oakland, Reed rises at 4:30 every morning and writes, writes, writes, sometimes working in his office -- where every wall is insulated with a thick blanket of books, many of them his own -- amid file cabinets, an Apple desktop computer, an exercise bike and a high-tech TV that scares him because "it tells me what I want to watch," he jokes. Sometimes he writes at a desk downstairs, the room dotted with African masks and Chinese lanterns from the couple's many travels. He and Blank have lived in this white-shingled Cape Cod since moving to Oakland in 1979.
    California poet Juan Felipe Herrera, who was named who was named U.S. poet laureate in June, says he was mesmerized early on by Reed's writing. "His 'Calafia' poetry anthology is a seminal collection of the poets of this state," he says. "I did not know what he was up to then, now I know -- he was envisioning this cauldron of many voices that sing to us every day as we go about our lives."

    Many of Reed's winning words are embedded in the Bay Area for future decades to come. Quite literally. Artist Mildred Howard's work at the Richmond BART station features a Reed poem incised into a 40-foot wall of faceted steel. Another poem, "When I Die I Will Go To Jazz," is installed on the north gate of the San Francisco Jazz Center. And a line of his famed poem, "Let Oakland be a City of Civility," written for Jerry Brown's 1999 Oakland mayoral inauguration, is emblazoned on a mural in Reed's neighborhood. It reads, "Let Oakland be a city of civility. Let each citizen treat other citizens with good will and generosity."

    Literary icon Ishmael Reed discusses his latest book, "The Complete Muhammad Ali," at his home in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, July 30, 2015.
    Literary icon Ishmael Reed discusses his latest book, "The Complete Muhammad Ali," at his home in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, July 30, 2015. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)
    Reed's own comparison of his career to that of a "journeyman boxer" is quite apt given his new Ali book, and the fact that his hard-hitting writing style has previously been likened to Ali's boxing techniques. The book is the culmination of a project he's been working on for several years. It moves way beyond biography, using Ali as "a human mirror for the sixties, as a cautionary tale for the seventies," Reed writes in the introduction. The book incorporates a history and critique of the sport and the business of boxing, in addition to the influence of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam on Ali amid the atmosphere of the 1960s civil rights movement.

    "Most of the Ali books out there have been written by groupies and fans, or by those who make him out as a villain," Reed says. "My book is sort of down the middle."
    Author Ron Jacobs, who recently reviewed the book for the CounterPunch website, has called Reed, "one of the English language's most important contemporary writers."
    "There is no other living writer who says what he says in the manner he says it," Jacobs says. "I wish more people paid attention."

    Contact Angela Hill at ahill@bayareanewsgroup.com, or follow her at Twitter.com/GiveEmHill.

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    I will go into the city
    I will find work
    I will find work
    I will remember you country woman
    I will not forget you
    your laugh your arguments
    to learn
    it is your way let it be
    how can I foget your lips
    enchanting smile
    I will not forget
    we walked in the rain
    it was free and we were free
    we agreed
    the best of life is free

    I will go into the city
    I will find work
    but you will be with country woman
    when those city women come to devour me
    their swee perfume
    you will be there
    you spirit will protect me

    I will never forget
    how we sipped $1.00 Margaritas
    in the Mexican Cafe in Chinatown

    our ride to the lake
    picnic on the hill
    ranger spotted us in his binoculars
    we did not care
    filled
    with the Holy Spirit of Love

    how can I forget
    hours in bed
    children of the love spirit
    one moment
    man and woman one
    discovered missing self
    eternal self
    self of love
    self of joy
    self of happiness realized

    I will go into the city
    I will find work
    I will not forget you country woman

    I will return to claim you
    in the name of Love
    I will claim you
    because you woman
    I will claim you
    you are feeling spirit
    I will claim you
    you have given yourself to me
    so totally
    I will claim you
    in the name of Allah
    I will claim you
    for the Glory of Allah
    I will claim you.
    --Marvin X

    from Selected Poems, Al Kitab Sudan (Black Bird Press), 1979, Marvin X. In 1979 Marvin X was teaching English at the University of Nevada, Reno and working as a planner/data analyst at a community agency in Redo. Through the Nevada Humanities Committee, he received two planning grants from the National Endowments for the Humanities.

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     2 Cor 11:14-15, “… for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light … his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

    Farrakhan presents the last chance with the sacrifice of 10,000 warriors in the cause of freedom. Better that ten thousand be sacrificed than one by one in the hood. 

    Let those 10,000 not go home until we have freedom, land, reparations, enough to sustain us for the next fifty years. Israel  is the example. In fifty years they became one of the most powerful states in the world, including the possession of nuclear weapons. Why not Nigguhs wit Nukes to keep us from the dungeons and ovens of white supremacy Americans and Europeans?????????????



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