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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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    Black Reality Think Tank With Dr.William Rogers; Interview with Marvin X

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  • 07/21/18--19:58: When God speaks to you

  • Left to right: Marvin X's son, Ancestor Abdul El Muhajir, aka, Darrell Jackmon; MX's father Owendell Jackmon I (RIP), and Marvin K. Jackmon, Hakim El Muhajir, oldest child.

    When God speaks to you
    His name won't matter
    Allah, God, Jesus, Jehovah, Jah, Krishna, Nigga
    but you will know it is God
    for the wisdom He spits into your ears
    so powerful, you know for sure
    it is the voice of God/Allah
    Sami Allahu liman hamida
    God hears those who praise Him
    Rabbana laka al hamd
    Our Lord to Thee is due all praise!
    God speaks through men and women
    God/Allah appears in the person of man
    speaking loud clear in your ears
    Today God/Allah spoke,
    "Your son is a martyr. He died the death of a martyr."

    This was shocking to me, rocking my world
    a puzzle
    it putting his life in the sacred space of my mind heart soul
    special child
    far beyond the crowd
    took my travels higher
    he went to
    Egypt, Jerusalem, Damascus, London
    Brazil Japan
    then he was gone to eternity at 39.
    I am so grateful for the 39 years I knew him
    I couldn't understand why he walked into a train
    manic depression
    white man drugs depression
    situational disorder oppression
    God/Allah told me today he entered martyrdom
    I am satisfied.
    warrior son

    --Marvin X/El Muhajir

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    Angela and Fania Davis. Fania made a donation to the medical expenses of Dr. Julia Hare. You can too!

    CONTRIBUTE to Let Freedom Ring

    Although there has been no public announcement on the grapevine, many of you are no doubt aware that Dr. Julia Hare has been living with Alzheimer’s for several years and was diagnosed with the End Stage of the condition during the Christmas/Kwanzaa holidays. However, she subsequently served notice that rumors of her demise are just a bit premature. 

    Her health providers refused to treat her on an outpatient basis without confinement (which is one thing if you will stay in a facility; but if you are determined to leave and expressly “go home,” they label you a “wanderer” and lock the door as they would if you had killed the preacher). 

    Though she had never read "The Medicalization of Everyday Life," by Dr. Thomas Ssazz. M.D., psychiatrist, she too called confinement against your will “incarceration.”  When I would go to see her in her locked situation, at the end of the visiting hour I would have to conspire with the staff to distract her in order for me to ease out the door and slip away without her. On the other side of the slamming door, secured by the loud click of the prison-like lock, I would hear her realizing my exit and banging on the door and calling my name, like Maria calling Roberto at the end of “For Whom the Bells Toll.”

    I took a physician and a lawyer as well as a retired judge and a community activist with me and went out and brought her home. Almost as soon as we got home somebody observed that she was getting better already.

    Although most of her medical costs are now being paid by her health insurance company, the cost of caregivers is staggering and relentless.

    Four years ago when we were blindsided by this diabolical and incurable condition, several persons whose opinion I respect suggested that I let it be known and accept donations to help preserve the freedom and dignity of the proud and inimitable lady I promised, fifty-seven years ago, to protect and “To Love and to Cherish” (Essence magazine). See also Ebony and Black Male/Female Relationships.

    So I am now following their advice and posting this donation request. Although we are advised by the Good Book to share and share alike, keep in mind that it’s the little things that count and, as one of Aesop's fables reminds us, no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
    She Always Stood By Me: In Praise of Julia Hare
    By Dr. Nathan Hare, 
    In Praise of Dr. Julia Hare`

    I had seen her singing and dancing but didn’t know her – call her Julia, the name I gave her, her mother named her Julia Ann – when my high school principal took our senior class to the Tulsa, Oklahoma Booker T. Washington High School’s legendary annual production of “Hijinx.” I remember I was sitting in the upper balcony, far out of reach of her, and didn’t pay her that much mind. It was all a dream world. White folks called the balcony “Nigger Heaven,” but there were no whites around in those days of Jim Crow segregation, Hijinx was nevertheless put on downtown in the city of Tulsa’s Convention Hall, the place where the state militia less than three decades earlier had detained over six thousand black men for their safety, after more than 800 were hospitalized and an estimated 300 killed during the bombing of Black Wall Street, the only time whites have bombed blacks from the air in American history.

    But, two years after I saw her for the first time, I was walking across the all-black campus of Oklahoma’s Langston University with a friend one afternoon when I suddenly stopped and told him: “There’s that l’il ol’ skinny girl who was playing that piano last night, and won first prize in the Freshman Talent Show; I think I’ll take her to the movie.” And he laughed and bet me a dollar she wouldn’t go to no motion picture show with me, but he didn’t know she had made eye contact with me in the Dining Hall the year before when she came to visit her pal sister for Homecoming Week and, no sooner than she left to go back home, her sister slipped me a note from her, and I answered  it, telling her I would like to get to know her better too; but my letter somehow fell into the hands of her over-protective mother, who was hoping to save her from the unhappy experiences with men that had befallen her older sisters. So that was the end of that. 

    I myself was just a country boy, at the top of my class scholastically but born and raised on a farm forty miles from Black Wall Street, outside of Slick, Oklahoma, while Julia Ann Reed (eventually Dr. Julia Hare) was a city girl with personality and sass. So when we took up with each other, everybody said our relationship wouldn’t last, that even our sun signs didn’t match.

    But in less than two months I had given her a birthday gift of a recording of Nat King Cole’s hit song, “Unforgettable,” because I had seen she liked it so. I could see that she was thrilled to high heaven that I had even given it to her; and she would play it over and over on the juke box, and she and I would sometimes slow-dance together.  But, while I could slow dance alright, especially in dark and familiar but unchaperoned places, and halfway jitterbug -- I didn’t know how to huckle buck at all, let alone to Suzie Q -- but Julia was a dancing queen.

    Sometimes when everybody was on the dancing floor in the Student Union Building, a gay artistic dancer, say, might take her hand and they would do the tango around the edge of the crowded dancing hall while we all stopped what we were doing and watched them go.  And she was equally adept at the ballroom and the waltz.  Students eventually voted her “Best Girl Dancer” campus-wide, as well as “Most Popular Girl”; and “Most Talented Girl.” For, not only was she one of the best piano players on the campus, in time she would become the regular university organist.

    When I graduated and left Langston on a Danforth Fellowship to study for the Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, a pretty big thing there in those days, Julia soon went to California in her childhood dream of someday making it in the music and entertainment world, and to help her older sister, an impregnated high school dropout with five children, whose husband had gone down to the drug store one night to get some medicine for one of their sick children and just kept going, never to be heard from until he turned up trying to make it in the jazz world in New York.

    Suffice it to say it was after considerable agony and ambivalence that Julia tabled her dreams for fame and fortune and rendezvoused with me in Tulsa and we were married in her mother’s house two days after Christmas when we were all of 23. Then in Chicago, rather than get by on my budgeted fellowship and a part-time job as a statistical clerk, Julia got a job as a substitute teacher.

    I used to feel sorry for her when she would get up winter mornings and cook me eggs and waffles and pancakes and bacon in time for her to be ready when her teachers van came in the cold to take her from the Southside of Chicago to teach unruly children in the Westside slums on the other side of the windy city. 
    Soon her girlfriends and female coworkers began to cock their heads to the side and crow that they “wouldn’t work while no man went to school.” The reason I know she wasn’t lying is one of my sisters and her teacher friend upstairs told her that in my presence, to my face. They quipped that I was getting a Ph.D. while she was getting a PHT (Putting Hubby Through) and then go on to warn her that as soon as I got the Ph.D., I was going to leave her for a younger woman -- never mind that we were still in our twenties. 
    But Julia stuck by me and persevered. Julia was the kind of woman who would stand by her man until he was headed in a better direction and she could get in front of him.

    I got the idea of persuading her to study for a master’s degree herself, so they would be jealous of both of us and by the time I got the Ph.D. she had earned an M.M.ED. from the music department of what is now Roosevelt University’s College of the Performing Arts.  Although she would later also pick up a doctorate in educational psychology, an Ed.D., she was always fond of saying that she was proudest of her MRS, allowing that she had had to work so much harder for the MRS.

    When we left for Washington D.C., in part so I could join with E. Franklin Frazier, though he would end up dying before the end of  the school year. Julia still had her own ambitions on hold, and she was taken aback when we got to D.C. and, in spite of her years of teaching experience in Chicago, plus one year each in Virginia and Oklahoma, the Board said she wasn’t qualified to be a substitute teacher in D.C., compelling her to commute in winter weather to teach in a white school in Maryland for a year before the black Board in D.C. deigned to hire her to teach in the black schools in the slums of the District.

    Yet In just four years, she would go on to win the Outstanding Young Educator Award (teachers 35 years old and under) from the Junior Chamber of Commerce collaborating with World Book Encyclopedia, with the expert judgment of the Department of Education at American University to recognize her as the most commendable teacher thirty-five and under for every grade level for all of the city of Washington, D.C.
    But the following year, I myself was fired from Howard University, along with another black professor and five white ones, for so-called “Black Power activities.” I returned to boxing, this time under my own name – I had quit before when two world champions were killed in the ring one year apart and she had already been getting the heebie-jeebies over the boxing, making big mirations over some cut lip or bloody nose. I’d tell her you ought to see the other guy. Then, after promising her I was going to quit, and did, two weeks later on All Fools Day, I took a shot or two of vodka and went down to the old Capitol Arena to see a friend fight, and was visiting in the dressing room, when  somebody’s opponent didn’t show up and ,I agreed to take the fight, which was an easy win, but two deans recognized me fighting under the name of Nat Harris, and the top dean called me in in a day or two and gave me an ultimatum which almost motivated me to return if I hadn’t promised Julia. Anyway, I had one fight in the comeback under the name of Nathan Hare, winning by a knockout in the first round, before I was asked to become the Coordinator of Black Studies at San Francisco State University.

    Now Julia was not a conscious herself at that point, but a bourgeois lady suddenly challenged to become a revolutionary’s wife and drown her dreams in a revolutionary life. But San Francisco had always been her favorite city, and her two older sisters were still living in the Bay Area, and her school teacher coworkers had sometimes been snide to her about  the things they read in the newspaper about me and Howard, and she had never wanted me to box anyway, let alone under my own name and everybody was waiting to see me on my back on the front page of the Washington Post with my feet sticking up -- so she pushed me, like most other people did, to accept the offer from San Francisco State.

    After closing out our apartment and her job as a laboratory teacher headed for the Board of Education, she came to San Francisco  and went down to the Board of Education here, armed with the citywide award from Washington, D.C. and thirty units beyond the master’s degree and a passing score on the National Teachers Exam, only to be told that in order to be a substitute teacher in San Francisco, she would have to take a course in Teacher’s Arithmetic and another in California History.
    Makes you wanna holler.

    She declined the psychotic suggestion and within a couple of months the Director of the Oakland Museum preparing to reopen happened to be in the audience when she, unemployed, was speaking on a panel at the Black Today conference I was chairing at San Francisco State, and the museum director recruited her as Director of Education. She had worked the previous summer in a program directed by one of the bigtime museums in New York City.

    Julia was in her element at the Museum, and got on well with the society set. Aside from her interest  in the arts, she was in her dream world social element, as she had come to admire Jackie Kennedy and was always studying the women’s and the fashion magazines, even before she worked at the Oakland Museum, and had a Saks card but was not a spendthrift and loved to shop anywhere, including the thrift stores, using Jackie Kennedy once  more as an inspiration. She knew how to put what little clothes she had together. Sometimes her affluent friends would be affronted when they would throw down big money for something they saw in a clothing store window, then get to an occasion and everybody would be praising Julia’s outfit from the thrift shop, though, like I said, she was not averse to using her Saks card. One night we wound up at a high level reception where a blue collar woman I happened to know was also taken with thrift stores and also appeared to me to be an unusually creative dresser.  I determined to introduce them to each other, but before I could do so, they had spied each other from across the room, though total strangers, and introduced themselves to each other.

    But that was the way she was.

    She worked at the Oakland Museum maybe a year while it was preparing to reopen and she and the white multimillionaire Director got the idea of making it a people’s museum and carry the art like Meals on Wheels to the people in the community. This horrified he museum’s docents, who had discovered her connection to me and hence the five-month strike for Black Studies raging at San Francisco State. For instance, one night Julia sat with the Director and his wife waiting for me for dinner at a downtown restaurant when they looked up and saw me getting arrested on the Walter Cronkite CBS Evening News, along with five hundred and fifty seven predominantly white Black Studies strikers at San Francisco State. The Oakland Museum Director was fired and eventually became President of the California Historical Society, but meanwhile I backed Julia’s wish to resign.

    Julia’s black consciousness also took a leap when James Baldwin’s sister, Dr. Rena Karefa Smart, invited me to speak to the Conference on Racism put on by the World Council of Churches in London in the spring of 1969, and I took Julia with me, stopping at St. Louis University on the way to pick up her fare, impressing her at the Custom’s window by nonchalantly counting and talking of pounds and shillings. She enjoyed the week in London, where I also took part in a demonstration with the daughters of Richad Wright, Rachel and Julia Wright. When we returned to San Francisco, Julia announced to me that she was going to start wearing an Afro.

    Her next job was as Public Information Director of the West tern Regional Office of the National Association Against Discrimination in Housing. Then, after two years she beat out seventy finalists for Community Affairs Director of Cowboy Gene Autry’s radio station in San Francisco, KSFO, where she flourished for all of ten years, including eventually some on-air broadcasting time in a sidekick role in the morning drive, until she ran into trouble with a new manager and took a part-time job as a talk show host with the number one talk show station in San Francisco. ABC’s KGO. However, in spite of the fact that she appeared to be one of the very best they had, they would not give her air time in the day time on weekdays, so she eventually sued the station for harassment and her three year contract was not renewed.

    Despite picking up a course for a while in the broadcasting department at the City College of San Francisco, unemployment at forty-eight was her darkest hour. Plus she was a people’s person, a performer, and didn’t like sitting at home, while I was a thinker and a writer and would have loved to change places with her as it was no accident that she became a radio talk show host and had married a psychotherapist, for whom listening had achieved the status of both an art form and a healing art.

    It hurt me to see how hard she was taking her fate. At the time, I was going around the country on the chitlin college lecture circuit pushing a male/female relationships movement on the wind of an incredibly popular editorial I had written for Ebony magazine, speaking out for a better black family based on Kupenda (Swahili for “to love”) black love groups I had been experimenting with at the time. I thought that it would be natural and nice to have a couple speaking on black male/female relationships instead of a solo spouse. I also was inspired by the fact that we had made our own poem rhyme as a couple, and wanted to share the love, so I asked her to come with me, and she agreed, and I named her “National Executive Director” of the Black Think Tank I was running at the time.

    Julia had always been a very good speaker – she’d won the award in “Auditorium” in the third grade in Tulsa, and the experience as a radio broadcaster and talk show host also seemed to augment her impromptu facility. Plus, people didn’t know she was farsighted and could see the copy standing back from the podium while also exploiting her radio broadcaster’s ability to read-talk off of next to nothing, causing it to appear that she wasn’t using any notes or anything at all.

    Having time all day, she used the time and worked hard learning the sociological material and preparing and practicing her speeches and was soon being hailed as “one of the most sought after motivational speakers in the country.” She spoke to most of all of the black women’s groups and even men’s groups, especially the mentoring conferences and began to be included in selections of distinguished black women. For instance she became a regular at the annual Essence Cultural Festival in New Orleans, but she spoke to all the leading black women’s groups and they all seemed to think a lot of her.

    Then, though not at her best when she appeared on the Tavis Smiley’s State of the Black Race Conference at Plymouth Rock in 2008, her comments went viral and seemingly all at once she got more than a million hits from around the world; but later, I stood perplexed after the widest circulating newspaper in Great Britain, “Black Voices,” gave her the two-page centerfold, under the headline, “The Female Malcolm X,” and offered to bring her for a tour of Europe, but she declined, saying she was afraid to fly over the ocean.
    Then, she began to forget and lose important and familiar things; which should have alerted me, but I was blinded by psychological denial as well as a lack of knowledge and familiarity with Alzheimer’s, up close and face to face. I should have been alerted because she had never gotten over the fact that her mother put her father in the rest home after he went and got a rifle to her and her mother fell and injured her foot and couldn’t keep up with him.

    But I was not there, though I visited him with her briefly in the rest home, but he always had a quiet and retiring disposition, a man of very few words, and I had no idea of the difficulties a demented elder can present, how unmanageable some can be, and how to relate to them and manage their behavior. 
    But by 2011, it was clear that something was wrong with Dr. J, despite her trying to hide it, and such a good actor at that. Her mother didn’t know that and drove her to play the piano, but her talent was more in her voice box and her being than her fingers. Plus, she had always relied on me for information, seeing me as a fountainhead of knowledge (she said she thought I was a “genius”). So I continued to play the role, but she wound up in confinement, with me duped by the medical establishment and conventional wisdom and custom.

    First it was 72 hours for her safety and mine, then it’s two weeks for hers when I opt out, then a month. They told me I’d have to have a “power of attorney” to make any decisions over her niece and them, but by then I had seen how oppressive involuntary confinement was to her: involuntary because most people will stay and just be bored and lonely, because after a while people don’t visit that much. Sometimes I would leave the office for visiting hours and be the only one there visiting anybody in the “Acute Psychiatric Ward,” for they have a mixture, which is demoralizing in itself to be in a place of the openly and acutely insane – like how did I come to this? – and people bellowing and moaning, sometimes in a different language, so you don’t know what they’re saying they will do to you, all day long. One night the house psychiatrist came out unsolicited by me and opined that I shouldn’t visit so often, but I paid her no mind.

    And yet, I admired how the staff could handle her, though she was the hardest patient of all for them to handle in a locked up condition. They liked her nevertheless and brought in a portable piano and allowed her to to entertain the other inmates anytime she wanted to. One night in casual conversation with me, she referred to her situation as “incarceration.” I knew for a fact she had never read Psychiatrist Thomas Ssazz, though I had, but even I hadn’t read his “The Medicalizaton of Everyday Life,” in which he independently called involuntary confinement of patients “incarceration.”

    Each night when the visiting hour was over, I would have to conspire with the staff to distract her while I sneaked out the door without her; but, by the time I would hear the  ominous prison-like click of the closing of the door, the nonchalant staff would have turned her loose and I would hear her sorrowfully knocking on the door and desperately calling out my name to help her, like Maria calling Roberto at the end of “For Whom the Bells Toll.”

    I thought of the marital vows when I had stood with my hand on a Bible and promised to love her and protect her until death do us part. I also wondered and imagined what she would have done if they would lock me up against my will for medical treatment of a condition they admit they can’t cure or rightly treat and don’t really even know what causes it.

    What would she have done if I was the one on the other side of the door of sanity in an insane world, where the  most powerful man in existence is collectively described as mentally ill by thirty top psychiatrists and such. I recalled how she would sometimes say in other random but serious circumstances and idle speculation: “If anybody ever bothers you [or do harm in any way], no telling what I would do; I will tear up this town.”

    The next morning I woke up early from a largely sleepless night and called some of the  San Francisco State College BSU leaders from the 1960s Black and Ethnic Studies Strike: including a physician who consults worldwide on Alzheimer’s, a retired judge, a retired lawyer or two, a community organizer in San Francisco and another visiting from the East Coast, and went out and brought her home.

    That was almost six years ago, when she was diagnosed in the late moderate stage. However, my collaborators had noted and remarked on Julia’s visible improvement after an hour of freedom. But later she would develop a bed sore and go through hospice, at home under a visiting clinic, indeed two, as the one who refused before now wanted to come in under new Medicare guidelines from Obamacare. They brought in the death apparatus and stored it in the apartment in full anticipation. A physician sat for at least twenty minutes explaining to me why the bedsore wouldn’t heal, but it did, though I do believe that if Julia had been confined again she would have died, literally, under categorizing and caring staff prescript.

    Mind you, they’re good in what they do, they just need to do it in the home and community.. We have the technology to do so: computers, internet and social networks, cars. S.U,B’s, bicycles, scooters, cellphones with cameras in the back while pointed at you. It would be cheaper as well, for people in their home are already paying rent.

    In any event, I did what I had to do: stand by my wife who had stood by me; but more than that, it just seems there is something wrong with incarcerating a proud and dignified lady in the final stage of her life cycle, against her will, don’t care if she has never had so much as a parking ticket in her life.
    Mental Health Is Tied to Social Health

    I have learned on a deeper level that mental health is tied to social health, and I am gratified and impressed by the way people are getting behind the movement to deal with the Alzheimer’s epidemic and coming pandemic. I liked it when Barack Obama called for a cure by 2025, and it looks to me if interest keeps mounting as it has in recent years, we will meet that goal; but though it would be a blessing to so many others, it won’t do Julia any good or mend a broken heart.

    I want to acknowledge that I could not have stood by Julia in her present ordeal, if so many people hadn’t stood by me, or the few hadn’t stood by me so well. While it is true, and has been said, that most people, especially the ones you’d most expect, will not lift a finger to help a flea, I have been amazed by the quality and the quantity of help and the quantity of the quality of help Julia and I have received from too many to mention. I must find a way some day to thank them in a circumstance that might prevent leaving somebody out.

    When I jumped out with promises and parachutes that didn’t open or got snagged, I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was so ignorant of Alzheimer’s it’s a shame. Partly because people had been prone to hide the demented in the closet, so to speak, or put them away altogether, lock them away if necessary. 
    I often stand and look back now and realize how many people I encountered in the past  who had Alzheimer’s and I didn’t know it: we just lumped them in the loose category of “senile,” a net big enough to encompass almost anybody elderly individual. Two things people think about an old person they meet: they are senile and got some money or something of value under the mattress or somewhere, and the young person is going to try to get it if  they can; not that they necessarily need it, just so they can get it and have it.
    As for Julia, I regret to say that at this point she is going down slow, fast. She is doing well in her physical health and emotionally but Alzheimer’s is a progressively deteriorating disease, and you can see her going down in a cognitive way, something like month by month.

    She has lost much of her ability to speak and function by now, but I can tell that she knows more than she can say.

    People ask me if she still remembers me, if she knows who I am, and I am compelled to quibble, but I say yes, on her current level, she has forgotten much of the old me but she knows me as she knows me now, and of course what is more important, is I know who she is.

    She still knows herself well enough to answer to her name, if you are trying to get her attention, though you can usually get her attention without calling her name, say by simply using the remote to raise or modulate the volume on the cablevision, or by playing her one of her favorite songs on the computer, something I do for an hour or two on many an evening after the sun goes down, and you can tell she is exceedingly gratified, just to have the attention but she will use her hand to direct the music in the air. When we were 24 years old and I was teaching for a year at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia, she was the Minister of Music, including choir director, for the oldest black Baptist church in America, the Harrison Street First Baptist Church, which still exists. At one point, needing more male voices, she even recruited me to sing in the choir and once gave me a solo part to sing. I just acted like I was in the shower.

    So I know there will inevitably come a time when she will have forgotten me altogether without a doubt, but I will remember her: that she sometimes gave me a hard time in good times but always stood by me in times of trouble, always took my side.

    She continues to live at home with Alzheimer’s and find exquisite enjoyment in the instrumental music on 24/7 cablevision, as she was a pianist by background and training and by temperament a dramatist but became a scholar primarily as my longest and most continual student. Though going down slow these days in a cognitive sense, she is doing well physically and emotionally, enjoying interacting with her caregivers and me and the special attention I try to give her because maybe I didn’t always love her quite as often as I could have when times were good, little things I should have said and done but didn’t take the time. So I just try to fill her life with whatever joy I can and always love her all the time.

    So, even when it comes to the point that she no longer remembers me, I will remember her, and I will recall that she was unforgettable and thought I was unforgettable too.
    Marvin X Jackmon
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    Since all my aunts and uncles joined the ancestors, cerca 2001, I adopted Drs. Nathan and Julia Hare as my uncle and aunt. I love them dearly and Nathan, at 85, works with me on many projects as he is able. He is presently editing my next book of essays, Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X. We urge all of you who know him as the Father of Black and Ethnic studies, and one of our greatest revolutionary scholars and writers, Howard University, San Francisco State University, Sociologist, Clinical Psychologist, possessor of two PhDs, and founding publisher of Black Scholar Magazine, to donate whatever you can to his Gofundme campaign to cover the medical expenses of his wife of 60 years, Dr. Julia Hare, featured in a Great Britain newspaper as The Female Malcolm X (see her speech at Tavis Smiley's Black Forum). Last week at my Academy of da Corner, Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, we were happy that Attorney Fania Davis came by and made a generous donation for the Hare's medical expenses.

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     Nia Wilson, RIP

    Rapper/activist Alia Sharief rocks crowd at rally for Nia and Latifa Wilson. When Marvin X praised her speech, she said, "Marvin X, I am just your student!"

    Power to the People!

    North American Africans in Oakland are in pain, grief and sorrow at the cold blooded murder of Nia Wilson and the stabbing of her sister Latifah at the BART station. Ironically, Channel Two television tried to debase Nia by showing her with a gun at some earlier time.

    Obviously, if she'd had the gun on her person, she might be alive today. At least she would have been able to exercise self defense. I've told my three daughters to pack. I don't want them in no situation where they cannot defend themselves and their children! One daughter told me the other day, "Daddy, I'm strapped!"

    Signs throughout the BART tell riders to "Be aware of your surroundings!" The Boy Scout motto is Be Prepared! In the hood we say, "Stay strapped!" The time is such that America's low intensity war against North American Africans is escalating so we must be aware of our surroundings at all times and never get caught napping. We cannot pretend we will be treated as other human beings when this has not occurred in the 400 years we've been in the wilderness of North America. We have been treated as savages along with the indigenous people. And we are killed today as if we were savages or animals, although the Euro-Americans have always treated their animals, especially their dogs, far better than they've treated Africans kidnapped into the "American slave system" (Ed Howard term).

    This morning's rally of Black Artists expressing their grief and sorrow at the murder and stabbing of the Wilson sisters, quickly morphed into a manhood/womanhood rite of passage. Men were given their marching orders to upgrade their respect for women and men. Speakers urged the men to stop calling women bitches and ho's and to assist women when they need protection and not seek sexual favors for their role as protectors of the family, tribe and community. Men expressed their sorrow for not being able to save our sisters from the savage attack. We can't say the white culprit was mentally ill because we have no knowledge of his medical records. We do know it was a totally unprovoked attack by a white person upon two North American African females.

    Some speakers recalled the shameful actions of NAA men who were standing with phones in hand, although the stabber has a prison record so we know he knew how to move quickly upon his prey, almost before anyone had time to intervene.

    There was a call for the religious community to march with the people as protection since ministers are known to be a shield from the brute force of police who attacked protesters.

    If we recall the incident in Los Angeles when the LAPD attacked the Nation of Islam's Mosque and Minister Malcolm X pleaded with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad for a swift retaliation, HEM told Malcolm to chill because in any war there shall be causalities, and so it is with the Wilson sisters. They are causalities of war but we must pick the right time to retaliate. Forget about justice in the courts! In war the warriors give justice to the enemy.

    Frankie Beverly sings of joy and pain, sunshine and rain. Wars have tragedies and victories. As we mourn the death of Nia Wilson, consider her a martyr for freedom. Consider Latifah a soldier in the Black Liberation Army.

    As we mourn and celebrate the death of Nia, let us also celebrate the victory we enjoy with the occupation of Lake Merritt. One of the speakers was from the Bar B Que Becky Revolution that  continues every Sunday at Lake Merritt on Lakeshore Avenue. It is a beautiful demonstration of Power to the People. Revolution is the seizure of power as we have done with the Sunday occupation of Lake Merritt, a space we were banned from while I grew up in West Oakland. Those who don't know need to know it happens every Sunday with vendors and our people enjoying themselves in a space we have liberated. A cultural worker came by my book stand and said, "Marvin, the people just took the Lake, huh?" I said, "Yes, we just took the motherfucka!"

    The vendors begin setting up around 6AM so they can secure vending space and parking space. There has been little police presence and little need for security. I know of no incidents, thus revealing how beautiful we are when in full control of our space. The occupation of Lake Merritt is thus a political, cultural and economic revolution that can and must be expanded along the entire length of the Black Arts Movement Cultural District from Lake Merritt along the 14th Street corridor to the Lower Bottom  and along East Oakland's International Blvd. to deep East. This space must be part of any economic and cultural parity package. Just know life is joy and pain, sunshine and rain!
    --Marvin X
    Black Arts Movement
    Black Arts Movement Cultural District

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  • 07/28/18--19:33: Poem for my Reluctant Lover

  • Poet Marvin X reading
    University of Chicago, 2015

    Poem for my Reluctant Lover

    She said I could pick her out in a crowd
    And so I did one day
    thousands of people passed
    just a coincidence I was looking
    when she passed
    it wasn't her face
    her body
    our energy connected that instant
    Oh, the power of Divine
    I called her name
    she turned and came into my arms
    said she would come my way tomorrow
    maybe spend a moment or two
    reluctant lover
    black velvet goddess
    high priestess of my soul
    have we denied our Lord
    What commandments of my Lord
    shall I deny
    Oh, Black Queen goddess
    if you deny me on earth
    I shall meet you in heaven
    will you deny me in our Father's House?

    Let love flow like water 
    sacred springs
    let rivers of love flow between two spirits
    let steel sharpen steel
    let honesty and truth come together
    let intelligence, beauty wisdom unite
    let us shake the universe with our love
    if only for a moment
    what is life but moments
    a collection of moments
    some moments are lighter than a feather
    some moments are higher than Mt. Kilimanjaro.  
    --Marvin X

    Black Bird Press
    339 Lester Ave. Suite 10
    Oakland CA 94606

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    Marvin X classic: How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

    Can we get pass human bullshit
    white folks shit
    worse than dog shit
    more you clean
    more it stinks
    stay outta white folks business
    leave dem 'lone
    dey crazy
    ain't white supremacy
    it white lunacy crazy
    don't drink the Kool Aid
    ok, drink a little
    puke it out
    white lunacy
    fake news
    fake constitution
    fake religion
    They ain't talkin' bout Mary's baby
    ain't talkin bout
    Cross and Lynching tree
    crazy white folks
    they love children so much
    don't separate children from parents
    they so concerned
    concerned with North American African children
    concerned on New Year's Day 400 years
    auction day care
    selling men women children down the river care
    don't drink the Kool Aid
    just a little bit

    White folks
    My teacher Sun Ra say
    You so evil
    devil don't want you in hell!

    but you care about dogs
    whales owls elephants
    global warming
    Jesus called you liars and murderers
    you can't protect your own children at school
    can't protect your border
    for every filthy unclean bird

    Do Mexicans have walls around their houses?
    You must ain't been to Mexico. Violate your visa in Mexico.
    Tell 'em don't separate me from my wife and kids
    Don't drink the Kool Aid
    just  little bit

    I ain't no human. I try to be like Jesus said
    In this world but no of it!

    If you of it
    you drank the Kool Aid

    ---Marvin X

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  • 08/01/18--21:50: Black Fire

  • Blood
    indigenous blood
    aboriginal African blood
    slave system blood bones mounds
    trees swamps rivers plains blood
    buffalo cotton sugar cane blood
    plantation house african slave huts blood
    screams howls even today
    ancestors scream moan howl
    no justice no peace
    nobody wants more than justice
    nobody wants less
    fires coast to coast
    fire blood bones consume the land of the free
    home of the brave
    medals for Wounded Knee murderers men women children
    In the name of Jesus
    for the cross
    for the crown
    for the king and queen
    mint julep queen
    big house queen
    BBC queen
    Emmit Til don't look at queen
    bow head no whistle queen
    bow down
    get off sidewalk queen
    now minority queen
    white man in drag queen

    what goes round comes round
    who don't know this simple shit
    fools smarter than God
    Like Job's wife
    they say curse God and die
    enjoy now
    no matter tomorrow
    heaven on earth
    no pie in sky slavery sermons
    white man heaven
    black man's hell
    cross lynching tree no matter
    smarter than God
    no mary's baby love
    no cross no crown
    white christian crown no cross
    saved by grace
    grace allows racism
    white supremacy grace
    slave catcher grace
    police murder grace
    black codes grace
    incarceration 13th Amendment
    involuntary servitude grace
    black fire grace
    blood constitution grace
    civil rites last rites grace
    white man's heaven black man's hell grace
    God gave Noah the rainbow sign
    no more water
    fire next time.
    no climate change
    world change
    can you change
    can you change
    Mother Nature change
    perpetual motion
    changing world
    or die
    or burn.
    black fire.
    --Marvin X

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    SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2018

    Hello Marvin,

    Great to hear from you again. I hope you've been able to get out to see the show. We are happy to accommodate your request for tickets.

    We have 20 tickets reserved under "guests of Marvin X"  Please tell them to come to the main ticket booth to retrieve them. 

    Also, please let them know that since this is the final week of the show we anticipate large crowds and there could possible a short wait to go into the exhibition on occasion. But, it should be too much of a wait. Enjoy! And don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions. 

    Hope to see you here.

    Warmest regards,

    Respect Hip Hop Exhibit and the Education of Jahmeel--Adam Turner Photo Essay

    Now, I want everybody to know Rashid interviewed me at the Respect Hip Hop Exhibit. I knew he was coming to interview me but I didn't know he was going to exhaust me with questions which he did, but since I've known him since he was a child, I endured his questions, I just wasn't prepared for an exhaustive interview, but what is the duty of the civilized man but to teach the uncivilized, and if he doesn't perform his duty he suffers a severe chastisement by Allah.Did that, done that. I let him exhaust me in his quest for truth. Ache! What better place than the Hip Hop Exhibit for elders to be questioned by their sons and daughters!--Marvin X

    Rashid Jameel Patterson and Marvin X



    Jameel and Jahmeel

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    The Origin of Blackness
    by Marvin X/El Muhajir

    Translated from English into Arabic
    by Ali Sheriff Bey

    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
    al awwal sudan kalam
    first word was black
    al awwal rajuli sudan
    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
    things you see and hear are black
    sudan al asil
    black is reality
    --Marvin X/El Muhajir
    from Woman, Man's Best Friend, Al Kitab Sudan/Black Bird Press, 1972

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    Notes: Revolution, Youth, Old Age, Sickness and Death at San Francisco State University

    Black Students at San Francisco State University ignited the longest and most violent student rebellion in American Academic History, 1968, in their struggle to establish Black and Ethnic Studies, joined by Third World peoples. Howard University Sociology Professor Dr. Nathan Hare was recruited for Chair of Black Studies at SF State College/now University, but he was rejected by the administration that had no desire to establish Black and Ethnic Studies at SFSC/U. Another critical issue was BSU/Black Panther Minister of Education, George Murray. "They" wanted him removed as lecturer in the English Department.

    In 1968 I was underground in Harlem, NY, after I refused to fight in Vietnam. I dropped out of SFSC/U a short time the SFC/U Drama Department produced my first play, Flowers for the Trashman, at the suggestion of my English Professor, Medievalist, John Gardner. After the Drama Department’s production, an honor for an undergraduate, I dropped out of college to establish my own theatre in the Fillmore, across from Tree’s Pool Hall as described in Bernard’s narrative. Bernard mentions Leonard’s Bar B Que, Sun Reporter Newspaper, Half Note Club on Divisadero, Bunny Simon’s Play Pen and the jazz venue The Both/And.
    Bunny Simon gave Black Dialogue Magazine his venue for a writer’s conference. If my memory is correct, cerca 1966, we performed my second play Come Next Summer, starring Bobby Seale as a young revolutionary trying to find himself. A white Communist, Saul Einstein, was trying to recruit the young black revolutionary. Soon after Bancobby Seale and Huey P. Newton founded the Black Panther Party.
    This is why I say the Black Arts Movement was not the sister but the mother of the Black Arts Movement.
    When LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka came to SFC/U with his Communications Project that included plays, poetry and a film Black Spring, now lost, it advanced the radical consciousness of BSU students and others. After George Murray performed the Preacher in Ben Caldwell’s The First Militant Preacher, he was never the same, he thereafter donned the persona of the revolutionary and was soon appointed Black Panther Party Minister of Education, as well as a member of  the BSU Central Committee.

    George Murray

    and I were undergrads at SFSC/U. He was a conservative poet from the Church of God in Christ, a church in East Oakland founded by his father. Knowing George as an undergrad, I would have never suspected he would become Minister of Education of the Black Panther Party. Yet my deepest suspicions told me George was revolutionized when he performed in LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka's SFSU Communications Project, 1967.

    Contrary to Larry Neal's classic essay on the Black Arts Movement, in which vhe asserted, "The Black Arts Movement is the sister of the Black Power Movement

    8/4/18 Marvin X Notes on the Untold Story of the Black Student Revolution at SFSU, 1968

    How ironic to sit reading the life stories of my comrades in the Black Student Revolution at San Francisco State University, then stopping to call one of the student warriors, Judge George Colbert, in his hospital bed, with another warrior at his side, Terry Collins.

    Last night I was in San Francisco at the home of Drs. Julia and Nathan Hare. Julia was asleep. Dr. Hare was editing my next book Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X, Introduction by Dr. Nathan Hare.

    I am relieved he agreed to edit the manuscript, he has allowed me to get into my top priority project: The Untold Story of the Black Student Revolution at San Francisco State University.

    As I perused the life stories of BSU and Strike leaders, given to me  by BSU strike leader Bernard Stringer , I thought about the fact that their narratives fit perfectly into the central theme of North American African Literature and liberation struggle: How I Got Ova', i.e., how I survived the American genocide of North American Africans.

    The early life of fellow students Bernard Stringer and Sharon Treskanoff (just for starters in my perusal)  was depressing enough in the delineation of their comic-tragedy ( see Diop, Cultural Unity of Africa) of North American African students, not to think of my own narrative Somethin' Proper, Autobiography of a North American African Poet, Introduction by Dr. Nathan Hare), Black Bird Press, 1998. Sharon Treskanoff's story is a plethora of what North American Africans endure in these hells of North America. An old North American African is reported to have said, "Being Black ain't so bad, it's just inconvenient!" To escape this pervasive inconvenience, my daughter, Muhammida El Muhajir, has returned to our Motherland, Africa, now residing in Accra, Ghana, along with 5,000 North American Africans in Accra, Ghana. My daughter told Al Jazeera, "...Ghana may not have electricity 24/7, but they don't have white supremacy 24/7.... When I visit expensive stores, restaurants and hotels, nobody follows me around. Police do not kill people for no reason!...."

    Muhammida as child of conscious parents (her mother Nisa Ra, was part of the Third World Student Revolution at UC Berkeley when she met Marvin X, Lecturer in Black Studies, 1972.  When Muhammida produced her inter-generational discussions in Brooklyn, NY and Philadelphia entitled Black Power Babies, and after reading the narratives of Bernard Stringer and Sharon Truskenoff, we must not submit to the reactionary narrative our liberation struggle was a failure, although the Black Liberation Army, coast to coast, suffered a military defeat by the overwhelming forces of the USA oppressor. But we have brainwashed our conscious children to continue the revolution until victory.

    Sharon's narrative was full of joy and pain, Texas, San Francisco Hunters Point paid. As per Bernard Stringer's childhood joy and pain, I know well because his father operated a grocery store in Fresno  at Dunn and Thorne Streets. My grandmother lived on Dunn, across the street in the projects so I grew up in Mr. Stringer's store, a tall black man who spoke with authority. I don't think anyone ever robbed Mr. Stringer's store. I think Bernard concurred.

    Sharon came from conscious parents in an interracial family, they were progressive and aggressive social activists.

    What we see here is the story of generations of freedom fighters. The BSU students did not jump out of the box. First came the Negro Students Association. So we evolve, struggle and pass the baton to our children. Don't think they don't know what to do, alas, freedom is in their DNA!

    Shortly before he joined the ancestors, Amiri Baraka was asked after his reading at UC Berkeley, "Mr. Baraka, what was your greatest achievement?"

    He said, "I survived!"

    So as I continue reading the SFSU BSU student narratives, I am honored to be in the number! Dr.y Nathan said we were the very best of our generation, who did all we could for our community, and  I must add sometimes to the neglect our our families. But in Muhammida's Black Power Babies, our children said they appreciated us as conscious parents, even though we forced them to wear African garb and did not allow them to celebrate Xmas, Easter, 4th of July and other white supremacy myths and rituals.

    We appreciate so much the griot Phavia Kujichagulia when she spoke on the inter-generational discussion at Laney College at the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement, "Yes, I brainwashed my daughter, washed all the white supremacy out of her brain. There is a pic of Kujichagulia in awe of her daughter speaking.

    In summary as we imagine a conclusion to this Untold Story, the beat goes on and on and on. We were students who once thought we knew everything but found out we didn't know shit except white supremacy mythology and rituals. But in the Sixties, we know North American African students, at San Francisco State University, but also coast to coast, Columbia University, Cornell U., Howard U., South Carolina State, Orangeburg, SA. The Freedom Riders, students who sat-in, who worked in SNCC for voter registration in the murderous dirty south. Students who called for Black Power! Students who challenged the very ideology of Civil Rights. Malcolm X helped clarified our struggle was about Human Rights.

    At San Francisco State College/University, we, North American African students, were slow to realize we were entitled to parity as per Associated Student funds. This sparked a revolution in our human rights

    If I may speak on behalf of my comrades in the NSA and BSU, we give praise to our ancestors, elders and all those who assisted our liberation for human rights, especially at SFSU.  As Bernard Stringer stressed in his narrative, we thank the white and black community who sometimes gave us scholarship money, yes, mothers in the hood who were inspired we was seeking a college education, white people who saw we were sincere and helped us with employment, housing and food. We thank them as we proceed with The Untold Story of the Black Student Revolution at San Francisco State University, a work in progress.


    Marvin X


    P.S. Pray for Judge George Colbert, pray for warrior woman Dr. Julia Hare and her devoted mate of 60 years, Dr.Nathan Hare. Liberty or Death!


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    Former San Francisco State College/University students and members of the NSA and BSU and community brothers, founders of Black Dialogue Magazine, a critical BAM journal: Aubrey LaBrie, Marvin X, Abdul Sabrey (Gerald LaBrie), Al Young; Arthur Sheridan, founding editor and Duke Williams.

    Part One: The Visionary Students ine the Untold Story of the Black Student Revolution at San Francisco State University
    --Marvin X

    When we have been asked to recall the significance of our Black student revolution on campus and in the community, most of us had no idea what we were doing. Perhaps we were guided by the liberation energy in our DNA. For sure, many of us had no idea we were continuing the liberation struggle of those who came before. In our newfound white supremacy knowledge, we imagined we invented the wheel of Black liberation, after all, we morphed from Negro Students Association to the Black Student Union. 

    But how did we get from Negro to Black? Imagine, we members of the NSA fought the name change to BSU. I was there and even I may have put up some resistance to the name change, no matter I had just transferred from Oakland's Merritt College where I received a proper dose of Revolutionary Black Nationalism from Donald Warden's Afro-American Association and from peer group study with fellow students Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Ernie Allen, Richard Thorne, Ann Williams, Ken and Carol Freeman, Issac Moore, Maurice Dawson, et al. Peer Group study was our black studies. Then there was Rap sessions on the steps on Merritt College. Rapping meant extemporaneous speaking (free style) on political events, especially the national liberation of African states freeing themselves of colonialism, while we came to understand we were victims of domestic colonialism.
    We studied E. Franklin Frazier's Black Bourgeoisie, Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth, the writings of Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela's writings and the Sharpesville Massacre. On the eve of Kenya's independence, we studied Jomo's Kenyatta's ethnography of his Kikuyu tribe, Facing Mount Kenya. AAA member wore sweatshirts with Kenyatta's picture. 

    Many of us Merritt students were unofficial followers of Malcolm X, especially after he addressed seven thousand students at UC Berkeley. I listened to him later that night at the NOI Mosque on 7th and Henry in West Oakland. Judy Juanita wrote a story about Black Nationalists at Merritt, featuring Isaac Moore and myself in the student newspaper.

    Conscious parties was a most useful ritual in our revolution in consciousness at Merritt. A conscious party is when we gather for a social party but it is pre-planned that at a certain point the music stops, lights come on and we rapped on revolution, then we again played the music and turned down the lights. This was often repeated throughout the evening. 

    As revolutionary black nationalists, no white people were allowed, no matter than some brothers were with white women. Perhaps we were narrow minded nationalists when we refused to consider the plea from brothers with white women than their woman was black in consciousness, and she probably was, but this notion didn't work as the but erliberation movement morphed from integration to Black Power. When Eldridge and I founded the Black House Political and Cultural Center in San Francisco, 1967, and Mrs. Amina Baraka was there with Amiri who used Black House at their community headquarters (she was also pregnant at this time with their first child, Obalaji, she neveut r lets me forget how my partner and BAM comrade, Ethna X. Wyatt, aka Hurriyah Asar, told a woman at the door who said she was Native American and white, "The Native American can come in but the white got to go!"

    Merritt students connected with RAM, the Revolutionary Action Movement, headed by Robert F. Williams, (Negroes With Guns) and Max Stanford to produce SoulBook, the revolutionary black nationalist magazine, featuring the early writings of Grace and James Boggs, Little Willie of South Africa, Askia Toure, Ken and Carol Freeman, LeRoi Jones, aka Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Marvin X, et al. Soulbook was a critical publication of the BAM/BLM. 

    FYI, the Oakland Afro American Association's Los Angeles representative was Maulana Ron Karenga. Did Kwanza originate in Oakland. Ask AAA member Ed Howard.

    As per Marvin X (Jackmon) and the West Coast Black Arts Movement, his first writings were published in the Merritt College Student Magazine and later Soulbook Magazine. Creative Writing instructor Adam Miller had the dramatic troupe Aldridge Players West before Black Arts West was founded by Ed Bullins and myself, San Francisco, 1966, Fillmore Street. 

    In short, the AAA had created a well of Black consciousness in the Bay, not to neglect Oakland was the end of the line for Amtrak, including the West Coast headquarters of the Pullman Porters Union, the first Black union in America, with C.L. Dellums, uncle of recently deceased US Congressman and Mayor of Oakland, Ronald V. Dellums (RIP). Most importantly, Oakland's Seventh Street and San Francisco's Fillmore  were the cultural and economic Harlem of the West!

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    They teach in Recovery that addiction is addiction is addiction. This is why I employ the harm reduction model in my own drug and alcohol addiction. Yes, I am still a dope fiend/alcoholic but I practice harm reduction, i.e., I pay my rent, wash my ass, clean my house (a little), communicate with my children and grandchildren, etc. I do revolutionary work, I write write write. If I die as a dope fiend/alcoholic, I don't mind joining my friends in Dope Fiend Heaven or Hell.Iin the words of our beloved Hillary Clinton, "What difference does it make?" In the words of Chris Rock, "Yeah, I said it, I said it!" Motherfuckas say I'm a crazy motherfucka and all my friends were crazy, i.e., Sun Ra, Amiri Baraka, Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, et al. But what did the sane, sober motherfuckas do in the revolution? You got to be a crazy motherfucka to challenge the USA, US Army, Navy, Air Force,
    Marines, National Guard, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, police, snitches and agents provocateurs. You got to be a crazy motherfucka not to care about death, prison, exile, house arrest and the plethora of amenities that await revolutionaries or anyone who challenges the capitalist system, the blood sucker of the poor, the exploiter of the 85% or 99% deaf, dumb and blind.

    Sadly, Elijah was right when he said they are hard to lead in the right direction, easy to lead in the wrong direction. He said, "Why do we love the devil? Because he gives us nothing!" After 400 years in the Wilderness of North America, the socalled Negro don't want nothing but a job, the reason he was brought here in the first place, for free or nearly free labor, from chattel slavery to wage slavery. In 2018, he still lookin' for a job, good job. Give that nigga a good job and he will sell out his mama! Then when the boss fires his ass, he goes home and beats his woman. Yeah, she been by his side all the way, loving him, giving him babies, washing his dirty drawers, sucking and fucking him at his pleasure, but he wants to misplace his aggression upon her, not the white man who pimped his ass then gave his job to the white woman, or some gay, lesbian, transsexual or trysexual motherfucka and poor brother (and sister) thought they had a good job for life, thought they were part of the pimp's family. FYI, I ain't got nothing against nobody for their sexual life, but when brothers and sisters bring shit to me, I'm gonna tell it like it is. You can't fire me, don't care if you sell my books. I rather sell my books directly to the people. Fuck book stores, I rather give the people the 40% discount book stores charge. After my labor of writing, why do you deserve 40%, and wholesalers want 65 to 70%, then here come the tax man for his 10%, what the fuck!

    I ain't trying to be nobody's leader, I don't want nobody to follow me around the block and I sure ain't following nobody around the block. As they say in prison and jail, ride yo own beef.
    Let everybody be the leader, let everybody be the central command. When the US invaded Cambodia to destroy the Viet Cong Central Command, the Viet Cong said, "America cannot destroy the central command because we are all the central command!"

    But as I recall my days as a Crack Head (documented in my play One Day in the Life, especially the scene made into a one act play by Ed Bullins and myself, Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam), I recall running through the streets of San Francisco's Tenderloin and the Streets of West, North and East Oakland with Crack in my hand, rushing from the dope man to my house or hovel as it usually was, sometimes it was a TL alley or Hindu Hilton hotel room, SRO, dumps so dilapidated there was no locks on the doors, but one didn't care as long as one had a space to hit the pipe and go crazy.

    But the Crack era has subsided or morphed into the Opioid zone as per chemical drugs. But, alas, there is now a drug more sinister and vile that all other drugs combined: the Cell Phone. Rather than addicts running through the streets with Crack in hand, we now see a global addiction to cell phone psychosis, yes, beyond a neurosis, yes, cell phone psychosis, a total break with reality in which the addict almost never removes the object of their addiction from their hand, literally, never: not while walking, talking to another human being, eating dinner, defecating, sexual intercourse, yes, the
    entire daily round is consumed with cell phone in hand. Any any attempt to remove this vile object full of radiation may be the cause of cancer but most certainly the disconnection of human to human interaction in real time, I mean the touching, hugging, kissing, physical interaction between human beings. Lovers nor families can meet without this devil device in their midst.

    The Cell Phone heads are thus addicts in a pandemic worse that all the world's chemical drugs combined. We cannot imagine the destruction this device is doing to socalled civilization. Yet, when used in the positive, most especially as a repository of knowledge and information, the cell phone is without peer, after all, it is a computer of the first order. And Becky will tell you any and everything you want and need to know, just Google her. But imagine, many have never Googled Becky, they spend their daily round stalking lovers and would be lovers with the mantra, "Where you at, where you at?" Sadly, the person asking probably doesn't know where he/she is at. Ask them, "Are you on the North East corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive? After all, Dr. Frantz Fanon told us the oppressed man/woman is disoriented, he doesn't know where he is, and most especially who he/she is. Tell him, "You are a North American African." You are not a Continental African, European African, Caribbean African, Central and South American African.  Becky will tell who you are.
    And if you can't spell, she will say, "Did you mean....?"

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Parable of the Cell Phone

    Parable of the Cell Phone

    We have come to the death of speech. The era of high spiritual consciousness shall make speech unnecessary because we shall be keen enough to read thoughts up close and from afar. We shall understand as we understood not so long ago the glance of an eye from mama when we were misbehaving. There was no mistaking what mama's eyes were saying to us: straighten up and fly right or face the consequences.

    In the old days, lovers and friends of long time could communicate without speech: they could read each others minds. This is also true when those of high consciousness have met for a short time. It all has to do with the Oneness of being, the One Mind that propels the universe, the universe of thought and the resultant action.

    Speech is thus a kind of laziness and redundancy since we already know what we are thinking. And how often have we called someone thousands of miles away to hear them say they were just thinking about us or they had just mentioned our name in conversation. Or, they knew we were sick or someone was dead.

    So how strange it is that we think the cell phone is an invention of high technology when it is, in fact, already obsolete in the era of spiritual consciousness. Furthermore, 90% of phone conversations are of no importance whatsoever. It is similar to when man discovered the wheel, surely many wheels were rolled down the hill for fun and entertainment.

    The cell phone is such a device, and has become dangerous to our health. The Los Angeles train wreak happened because the conductor was text messaging. So we have new technology taking us backward into danger and death, rather than forward into life more abundantly.

    People are so overjoyed with the new technology they cannot eat without it, cannot have sex without their cell phone in hand. What is more important, reaching a climax or talking to another girlfriend or boyfriend or business partner? Not only should the cell phone be banned while driving, but while eating and making love. Unless you are President Obama, that shit you talking about ain't hardly important. Aristotle said long ago that there were very few things in life really important.
    And the last thing a woman needed was a cell phone. After all, (as if the man doesn't do the same Goddamn thing) she walks talking, sits talking, sleeps talking, eats talking, screws talking, on the toilet talking, in the bathtub talking. She will be in her coffin talking on the cell phone.


    Yeah, these nigguhs is here at my funeral. Yeah, that bitch is here. Now you know I don't like that bitch. I should get out this casket and beat her motherfuckin ass. How dare she come to my funeral after I caught her and my man fucking. They can fuck forever now cause I'm outta here.
    Yeah, I'm gone baby girl. But did you hear that other bitch sing that song I don't like? Yeah, how dat hoe gon sing a song I don't even like at my funeral. I should get out this casket and whip her ass too.

    These nigguhs is too much for me. I'm so glad I'm outta here. And my man sittin there cryin crocodile tears. You know he gonbe at one of his other bitches house tonight. She gon be feelin all sorry for him. I should send my spirit over her house and bust up they shit. Know what I mean. I should just command my spirit over her place and fuck it up.

    Now bout this heaven shit, Girl. We go see when I get there. Better be some fine nigguhs up in heaven or I'm goin down to hell. I am not gonna be where no mud duck lookin nigguhs is. And I gotta be there for eternity. Hell to the naw. Cause I know I'm cute. Did you see what I had on at my wake last night. Yeah, was I cute, girlfriend? I told dem funeral people don't be makinme look like no damn ghost wit all dat gray ass makeup. Have me lookin cute leavin here.

    Well, girl they bout to close the casket. I'm so sorry you couldn't make it but everybody got up and said they little piece. They didn't stop nobody from saying what they thought about me, but you know it was all lies. Nigguhs oughta stop lyin like that. Half them nigguhs hated my guts.
    You shoulda seen that hoe came dressed like mother Hubbard, crying all over my casket, bout to knock me ova. I started to raise up and slap dat bitch, but I kept my cool. I just kept lookin up at the ceiling.

    Girl you take care. I hope they got some damn cigarettes in heaven, and they better have some Hennessey, I swear, or I'm going straight to hell.
    Let me get off dis phone. Later, girl.

    It is a new addiction and thus detox and recovery are in order. Go sit somewhere and listen to the inner self, don't be afraid, let self talk with self! You do have a self, right?

    Most importantly, the cell phone may be a danger to our health, causing brain damage from radiation. In Europe, pregnant women are banned from using the cell phone. And with the I-phone and U-phone, Black Berry and Red Berry, the multi-uses include greater radiation. So keep talking, Mr. and Mrs. Negro, African, Aboriginal.

    But let's talk without talking. The time has arrived to use the mind God gave you, as my mother said to me so eloquently and repeatedly, although it took at least fifty years to sink in. May you rest in peace, Mom! If you don't use it, she said, you will lose it!

    So let the Divine Mind flow through us and between us. Instead of medicating on drugs, why not use and exercise our minds to the highest level. Try the silent mode rather than the incessant talking loud but saying nothing as ancestor James Brown told us.

    Sometimes talking is a way of avoiding the other person because they never get the chance to speak. And this is the intent of the person dominating the conversation. Thus, constant talking is a devious attempt to block truth. The truth is often in the silence, or what you don't say.

    Now some of those who are unable to shut up suffer a nervous condition and are in need of therapy and medication. Silence is probably their best therapy and medication. For sure, there is an apparent disorder in the personality that is preventing them from reaching higher consciousness, i.e., to speak without speaking, to hear without listening, to see without looking.

    By the way, I cut off my cell phone service. ESP me. 

    --Marvin X
    Yuba City Jail
    Revised 3/12/10

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    Marvin X Notes on BLACK AUGUST NATIONAL CONFERENCE, Oakland CA, 2018

    This Black August National Conference has been called for by various prison slavery abolitionist and youth developement activist under the unity and leadership of the founding elders of the Black August Organizing Committee.

    The purpose of this Conference is to formulate legal services and litigation teams for at risk youth and longest held prisoners. Establish programs to provide housing and resource access training for homeless youth, adults and newly released citizens.

    We will continue to try to stem the increasing flow of our youth to jails and prisons. The numbers of youth who are homeless or simply in the streets aimlessly can be drastically cut down with organized effort within our communities.

    During the course of this Conference we will establish the necessary programs that will give us the greatest potential of achieving our goal. 

    This Conference will bring together in unity the working spirit of comrades of the Black August Commemoration prison movement from around the country to establish a set of tactics and strategies that will be used going forward in our collective and individual efforts to better serve our youth and to liberate our brothers, sisters, comrades, family and friends from the neo-slavery prison system.

    The conference will extend into various annual Black August events scheduled in Oakland, Los Angeles and other areas around the country. There will be cultural performances, pilgrimage tours, dedications and tributes throughout the month. Events will be posted here soon.

    There is no time like the present for this Black August National Conference to take place. If you or your organization have been in support of or hosted Black August Commemorations and programs in the past, you are invited and strongly encouraged to RSVP this conference by registering with the National Planning Committee here on this Eventbrite invitation as our special invited guest. Food and lodging information will be added to this invite as registration submissions are received. You can also reach us at for additional info. Registration is strongly suggested but not required.

    Hosted by Oakland BAOC.


    Marvin X Notes on the Oakland Black August Conference, 2018

    Oakland's National Black August Conference on Incarceration was attended by a spirited group of people concerned about the millions of North American Africans in America's jails and prisons. Yes, America, home of the brave and land of the free. America, why then do you have more people in jail and prison than any nation in the world?

    After Mama Ayanna's libation to the ancestors, organizer Shaka spoke on the origin of Black August as per prisoners and the community. Black August originated around the death of prison movement messiah George Jackson.

    Hip Hop brother Naru was MC. Kumasi was the featured speaker. He is the griot of Black August, the undisputed historian and original source on the North American African created American Prison Movement. Life is a mother. Yesterday I was talking with a mutual friend of Kumasi's in Toronto, Canada. He told me the griot would be at Oakland's Black August. BAM! As I entered the event, there was Kumasi. We embraced and agreed to talk later.

    Kumasi's lectures are a minute by minute narrative on how North American Africans navigated the American Gulags. In 1966 Black students from San Francisco State University as members of the editorial staff of Black Dialogue Magazine, were invited to the Soledad Prison Black Culture Club, chaired by Eldridge Cleaver and Alprintice Bunchy Carter. Kumasi says this Black Culture Club is the beginning of the Black Prison Movement and the American Prison Movement. As I observed and Kumasi has lectured, this club was a revolutionary military organization. Indeed, upon my visit as an editor of Black Dialogue Magazine, among several staffers who were also members of the BSU at San Francisco State University, the meeting was under military discipline.

    At today's event, I asked MC Naru if I could introduce Kumasi since I deeply appreciated his role as Master Griot of Black August and the American Prison Movement. I gave Kumasi a short introduction and he took the mike, slowly weaving his story of Black August from beginning to the now.

    He told how North American African Muslims had to fight to win the right to practice Islam in the jails and prisons of America, e.g., the fight to have Qur'ans, prayer rugs, imams, no pork diet. After long struggle legally and resistance within the walls to suppression of the Black identity. Kumasi told of the fight over hair styles that inmates demanded to express. Alas, only after a struggle were Black hair products allowed in the prison system.

    Black August took upon itself the task of protecting Black inmates from predatory behavior by guards, white nationalists and black exploiters, those unconscious elements in the prison population.

    Kumasi noted today as he has on other occasions, "It was kill or be killed, there was no other choice. You guys had your revolution on the outside, we had ours on the inside."

    He said Black August let the Department of Corrections and they right wing white sycophants know, "For every one you take of us, we shall take three of yours!"

    In conclusion, Kumasi called for support of the National Prison Strike on August 21, 2018. "Let
    us never not connect with our brothers and sisters behind the walls."

    "Malcolm X talked about the Ballot or the Bullet, well, the bullet didn't work so now we must make the ballot the bullet! Form Youth Political Organizations to get out the vote. It must not be about individual politicians but about policies in our Black Agenda. If the politicians don't do right, well...there shall be consequences!

    Kumasi ended by introducing a Sister from the South Carolina Prison Movement. Sister informed us of conditions in the South Carolina slave holes, stripped suits, slave labor on the chain gang. South Carolina, Gullah Blacks, brought rice from Senegal, 60% kidnapped Africans arrived at South Carolina ports, Charleston, etc., 500 year old city of slavery and white supremacy domination.

    Sister was Queen Mother of Rastas in South Carolina, former SNCC worker with Kwame Toure, Stokeley Carmichael, and H. Rap Brown, Imam Jamil Alamin.

    She gave a graphic description of the recent explosion at a prison in South Carolina that left 12 inmates dead and others injured. She said the explosion was State sponsored. It wasn't about cell phones. She noted how when prison authorities recognize a natural leader, they ship him out to another facility as they did with a revolutionary brother. He departed with State troopers and a person from the Public Affairs Office. They wanted to be in charge of the narrative.

    Sister said the fight for prisoner rights is a daunting task. We've fought to have African Liberation Day in prisons, Kwanza and other identifying markers of our humanity, especially while we are victims of involuntary servitude under the US Constitution.

    I was asked to speak but introducing Kumasi was enough for me.
    If I had seized the opportunity to speak, I would have said this:

    Soldiers of the Black Liberation Army,

    We have reached a critical hour in our struggle, we need a bold program to free our soldiers in captivity. I suggest we tell ole' pharaoh to let our people go. I would like to see Black August and the American Prison Movement endorse sending a delegation to President Donald Trump to kindly suggest he consider a general amnesty of political prisoners and the general population, including the violent criminals. After all, it is a sociological fact that violent criminals have the lowest rate of recidivism.

    I suggest Black August issue a reply to my suggestion. No matter his right wing expressions, he pardoned Jack Johnson and a Black sister. Shouldn't any means necessary be made to free our people from the American Gulag?

    We need a delegation to meet with President Donald Trump on the matter of a general amnesty for all prisoners. If you issue the statement that Black August would like to meet with President Trump on the matter of a general amnesty, I think I can make it happen, and I do not need to be in the delegation although I am willing and have no fear of dealing with Pharaoh to tell him to let our people go!

    Peace and Love in Black Liberation,
    Marvin X

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    Marvin X rocks Hunters Point Private Party

    He was the featured artist at a birthday party that morphed into a 1960s Conscious Party (Defined; As per the 60s, a conscious party begins as a normal party, music, food, drink, then the music stops, lights on, brothers and sisters rap revolutionary black nationalism. Music up, lights up, party back on. Later, the same rap session continues on whatever subject at hand.

    Before he read, Marvin X thanked his host who requests anonymity. "First of all, I thank the brother for inviting me to his party. I had no idea he was of Black/African consciousness. He has taught me to never underestimate another Black man, especially when you know little about him, though I did suspect the brother was literate because he did accept my books. I was humbled when I entered his apartment and saw my books at the foot of the shrine to his mother.

    I am totally impressed with newfound knowledge of my friend. I am impressed this conscious party happened in Hunters Point, so often derided for ignorance, internecine violence, police violence and other actions of socalled hood life. But if you know Bay Area history, Hunters Point is the only hood that revolted in the streets against white supremacy in the 60s. Yes, Oakland gave us the Black Panthers. San Francisco State University gave us the Black Student Union and Black Studies. Hunters Point gave us a mass uprising. Duncan Barber, a co-founder of Black Arts West Theatre in the Fillmore, was featured on the cover of Newsweek about the HP rebellion.

    I told the conscious party goers I was impressed on my way down Third Street to the party, especially by the Red, Black and Green on light posts. When I sensed the audience really didn't understand the Red, Black and Green, I said, "Marcus Garvey gave us this flag for the Pan African nation, in conjunction with his philosophy of Africa for the Africans, those at home and those abroad. I read that Marcus Garvey reacted to a white racist song of the time "Everybody Got a Flag Cept a Coon."
    Garvey was inspired to give us the African Universal Flag: Red for the blood we've shed after 400 years of enslavement under chattel and wage slavery. Black for us as African and Aboriginal people), green for our land, Africa. I informed them we have the Black Arts Movement Business District in Oakland along the 14th Street corridor, from the lower bottom to Lake Merritt. FYI, as a result of BAR B Q BECKY, Oakland Blacks are still occupying Lake Merritt on Lakeshore Avenue on Sundays. Vendors are there with Black art and crafts. People enjoy the sun, Sundays. Come out and check out the people's revolution. Yet, after repeated requests and offer to pay the cost, Oakland will not fly the Red, Black and Green. So kudos to Hunters Point!

    San Francisco's Hunters Point enjoys 
    the wild crazy ride 
    of the Marvin X Experience

    San Francisco's Hunters Point residents were overwhelmed by the Wild Crazy Ride of the Marvin X Experience at a private house party. When Marvin X arrived to read, he noticed a senior woman reading intently his Mythology of Pussy. The party was for a friend's birthday, but when the friend spoke he said it was to celebrate Black people. It was the first time X heard his friend express Black/African consciousness. The friend had commissioned at artist to do a painting now hanging on his apartment wall. X didn't know his friend was into Black Art. X saw a little shrine to his friend's mother, with her coin-purse full of pennies. He told us his mother taught him to not beg for pennies but to be self sufficient.

    X didn't know his friend hired musicians for the party. X asked the musicians if they would accompany his reading. They agreed but were slightly upset when X jokingly asked they not upstage him. They informed the poet they will be with him all the way and would not upstage him or drown him out as some musicians are known to do to vocalists and/or spoken word artists. The vocalist/guitarist and saxophonist/vocalist got the party started with Home Town Blues. Next tune The Sky is Crying "look at the tears roll down the street."

    X grabbed the mike, told the musicians to accompany him with Home Town Blues. He read Parable of A Real Woman. The house of mostly women got silent. One sister was so fired up she joined X at the mike. He told her, "Don't mess with me while I'm reading." She eased her body off him and he continued reading. The party goers listened carefully to the Parable. When he finished to applause, one sister said, "Now, I don't know bout that Parable of a Real Woman. Seems like the woman did everything for free and gave him her money. I don't know about that." (See Parable of a Real Woman by Marvin X, The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Black Bird Press, Oakland CA.)

    After hearing Parable of a Real Woman, the musicians were fired up. They told the audience X inspired them to perform another Marvin's classic What's Going On. The guitarist told the sax man to open up What's Going On with a solo, and he did a melodious rendition.

    Marvin X couldn't help watching the woman reading his Mythology. When he saw she was at the end of the 18 page pamphlet that is biblotheraphy for those lacking manhood and womanhood training in the new post-patriarchal order, he asked her what she thought? She replied, "You say a lot of things I have thought about but I thought I was crazy to think some things you wrote. Now I don't feel crazy. I know I ain't crazy as you!"

    After the host passed out free earrings by a local craft woman, X decided he would give out free literature to all present. Mythology was his choice. People made him autograph it. As it is much stolen, before he departed, a women told him her copy was missing and she needed another. She accompanied him to his car for another copy. X tells everyone, "Don't let your friends still it." Some people have come back three times because their Mythology disappeared. Some told him when they loaned Mythology to their friends, the friends said they were not going to return it.

    A caterer was in the kitchen preparing the food. And the food was good Soulfood, except pork for me. A girlfriend told me, "You eat pussy, you might as well eat pork!" But there were Vegan dishes as well as chicken, beef salad, cobbler, cheese cake, shrimp pasta and more.

    When the musicians asked if I was ready to do another number, I told them yes. I decided to read Parable of Woman on the Cell Phone. Since the scene is a funeral at which a sister is talking on her cell phone in her coffin, I requested some "Zion" music but the lead musician didn't get it, although the other musician did, as did a deacon seated next to me on the couch. I preceded my reading by apologizing to any religious persons in the audience, with my eyes on the deacon, although I think I demolished him with Parable of a Real Woman. After a few lines, the largely female audience went stone wild. I could hardly read the next line.

    I finished and sat down next to the deacon. He had loosened up from his straight demeanor at the start of the party, especially after the caterer brought him some of her delicious food. They seemed to have a personal relationship. No matter, he asked my views on religion, something I suspected he would do.First he asked if I was a Mason. I said no. Then he wanted to know if I was in the Nation of Islam, which I told him I was, having joined Mosque #26, San Francisco, 1967. I told him I'd written a book Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality. He wanted to know what I said in it. I told him I was going to read my Parable of the Heart, then said if it ain't in  your heart, churches, mosques, temples don't matter. As he departed the couch, he nodded as if he understood the spirituality I laid on him.

    And why should I doubt the deacon. Should I doubt him as I doubted the consciousness of the host?

    --Marvin X
    Hunters Point, San Francisco CA

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    Marvin X is writing The Untold Story of the Black Student Revolution at San Francisco State University, 1968. Marvin X was a member of the Negro Students Association that became the Black Students Union. He obtained a B.A. and M.A., English/Creative Writing and later taught in the Black Studies Department, 1974-75.

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    Where is the love for the LOST people? Thank you for reminding us.--Fahizah Alim 

    Poet Marvin X and Muse Fahizah Alim 

    The people of Nowhere
    Live lives shut in shut out
    Seldom venture out
    From nowhere to some where.
    No church no concert movie
    Walk in the park 
    Eternal house arrest
    No chains handcuffs
    A mental prison
    No guards cept boys on the block
    Who go nowhere 
    Never leave turf
    Cept in body bags
    No motel love ballers
    Laundry room love
    Hot girl upstairs
    No where girl
    Sex on the dryer
    Mama can't dry clothes
    Mama go nowhere
    No mama time
    Jail time sons
    Mama time at court
    Visit prison sons
    No mama time
    Nowhere life.
    --Marvin X

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  • 08/16/18--16:43: Aretha Franklin - Wholy Holy

  • Aretha

    Daughter of a preacher
    Little sista of Mahalia
    Bailed Angela
    Artistic Freedom Fighter
    Soul songbird supreme
    Queen of Soul
    Queen of Rock and Roll
    "If Elvis is king," Amiri Baraka said,"Who is James Brown, God?"
    Classic woman
    Like Bessie Billie
    Sarah Nina
    Let Queen Aretha sing
    From heaven down
    Let the Black Bird sing
    Honor her crown.
    --MARVIN X

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  • 08/16/18--17:04: Maze. Joy & Pain.

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    In 1969, Governor Ronald Reagan removed Angela Davis and Marvin X from teaching in academia: he removed Angela from UCLA because she was a black Communist; Marvin was banned from Fresno State University because he was a black Muslim who refused to fight in Vietnam.

    Speaking on Aretha Franklin this morning with Amy Goldman, Angela Davis recalled that although Aretha Franklin offered to pay her bail, it was a Central Valley White farmer who put up his land to free her. This reminded me that it was this same White farmer who supported my struggle to teach in Black Studies at Fresno State University, 1969. He also spoke on my behalf at my San Francisco draft trial for refusing to fight in Vietnam. He was attacked viciously by white racists for assisting Angela and myself. They called him a nigger lover and I think he eventually lost his land. For his support, I thank him, honor and respect Roger McAfee for his John Brown consciousness.
    --Marvin X

    February 24, 1972, Page 1The New York Times Archives

    PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 23 —Angela Davis, jailed for 16 months while facing murder charges, was released on $102,500 bail here tonight.
    As she left the North County Courthouse at 7:09 P.M. she raised a fist in salute and smiled broadly to some 100 cheering supporters before speeding off in a white Mustang automobile.
    Her release came several hours after the decision to grant her bail was reached during a four‐hour closed session in the chambers of Judge Richard E. Arnason of Superior Court in San Jose, about 20 miles south of here.
    Judge Arnason, who denied a request for bail for the black activist last June, ruled that a state law prohibiting bail in “capital cases” had been invalidated by the State Supreme Court decision last Friday eliminating the death penalty in California.
    Miss Davis, who is charged with murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy, was required to post $2,500 bail in cash and the rest in a surety bond.
    Continue reading the main story

    Roger McAfee, the director of the cooperative, which runs a dairy farm with 60 cows, put his property up as collateral in the belief that “the stands Miss Davis has taken will further the cooperative movement in this country.”
    Miss Davis, upon learning of her impending release, was “elated and very happy to be out.”

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     DJ, San Francisco State University lecturer, Davey D

    Today, Friday, August 17, 2018, DJ Davey D enjoyed a manhood training session at Marvin X's Academy of da Corner, Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. The session began when D was standing at X's Wake Up Table conversing as many brothers do when Marvin X sets up shop.  Even when Marvin X is not there, brothers gather, often with sisters too, to converse at the spot near Peet's Coffee and Trader Joe's. Brothers from throughout the Pan African Diaspora converse on a myriad topics at this liberated space, from Ethiopia, Somalia, Congo, Ghana, Jamaica and all parts of Oakland, West, North, Deep East.

    Before Davey arrived a couple from Harlem, NY, stopped to check out X's literature exhibit that includes large framed pictures of Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, August Wilson and Amiri Baraka. On one table is a large photo of Dr. Julia Hare, called the female Malcolm X (See her performance on Tavis Smiley's Black Forum, Youtube). Dancer Sister Amina came through and told Marvin X she and her children just saw him in Stanley Nelson's documentary film Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, PBS.

    Others who have stopped at Academy of da Corner, Lakeshore, include Angela Davis, Fania Davis, Erika Huggins, Fredericka Newton, Odell Johnson, President Emeritus, Laney College, Fantastic Negrito, Kev Choice, et al.

    As Davey D conversed with Marvin X on their upcoming discussion about Black Power for the benefit of D's students at San Francisco State University, an OG brother came up saying Black Power Black Power Black Power. The brothers  returned the greeting. Then the OG said, "What's the word?" He was speaking to OG Marvin X and OG Randy sitting with him behind the table. Davey D stood silently as the OGs went into an automatic  call and response:

    What's the word?
    What's the price?
    Thirty twice.
    Who drink the most?
    Colored folks?

    Then Marvin and Randy sang the Grass Roots National Anthem of the 50s and 60s:
    really feels good to me
    It's really good wine
    make you feel so fine so fine so fine
    W fada wine
    P fada Port
    L fada Limon
    J fada juice
    W P L J
    really feel good to me
    It's really good wine
    make you feel so fine so fine so fine
    Ohoooo ohooo ohooo.

    Hip Hop Davey D was dumbfounded. He admitted he'd never heard the song before. The OGs acknowledged one had to be in a certain age-grade to know this song. They were sorry this Hip Hop Master had no knowledge of it since it is an iconic song of the 50s and 60s generation in the Hood. The song was included in Marvin X's first play Flowers for the Trashman, produced by the Drama Department at San Francisco State University, 1964. See the Black Arts Movement anthology Black Fire, 1968, and the Black Arts Movement Reader, 2014.

    When one of the OGs told Davey D he was traveling in high cotton, again D was dumbfounded. "What are you OGs talking about? I grew up in New York, I don't know nothing 'bout no damn cotton!" OG Randy told him being in high cotton was a metaphor that one was doing good."

    Marvin X, who partly grew up in Fresno, California, told Davey D there was more cotton in Fresno than Mississippi. "What you don't want to do is go through the cotton field for the third picking, when there is hardly any cotton left but one had to pick it none the less. I wouldn't have survived slavery, they would have killed me. I picked cotton in Fresno, my mother picked cotton, my grandparents, uncles, even my great-grandparents who were pioneers to the Central Valley from the South. Dr. Nathan Hare told me in Oklahoma they put so called Negroes on buses to Fresno to pick cotton and many never returned to Oklahoma."

    Between the song WPLJ and cotton, Davey D was astounded. He had received his manhood training session for the day, a necessary lesson on Black History and Culture for the Hip Hop generation.

    --Marvin X
    Academy of da Corner, Lakeshore, Oakland

    Marvin X on stage at Laney College, Odell Johnson Theatre, X's former classroom, 1981, where he taught and produced his play In the Name of Love, directed by student Ayodele Nzinga

    photo Alicia Mayo