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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.
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 consciousness.er
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.
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!
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
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!
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 lookinnigguhs 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. Nigguhsoughta 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for additional info. Registration is strongly suggested but not required.
Hosted by Oakland BAOC.
"FOR SURE THE HOUR FOR WHICH WE YEARN SHALL YET ARRIVE AND OUR MARCHING STEP WILL THUNDER WE SURVIVE"
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!
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 8/12/18 Hunters Point, San Francisco CA
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.
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 8/17/18
MISS DAVIS FREED ON $102,500 BAIl
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.
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.”
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? Thunderbird! 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: WPLJ 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 8/17/18
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
AKA, Attorney Donald Warden January 1, 1936--December 15, 2016 Comments from the people on Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour Marvin -Wonderful historic overview of those important times - thanks for continuing to chronicle our history.
Dezie Woods Jones BWOPA -----------------------------
My career started with the shooting death of Melvin Black where I concluded that the shooting was wrongful. Like most I listened to Don Warden aka Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour every Sunday evening. The last time I spoke with him which was 5 to 7 years ago, I told him that his words and deeds were an inspiration for my career as a lawyer representing people abused by the police and various radio programs that I have hosted. Long live his memory in our minds and hearts.
Thank you for the thoughtful tribute to Khalid Al Mansour . I had the unique opportunity to be present during the formative time of the Afro-American Association while attending Oakland City College in 1961-1963. Although, I have no pictures or documents to share, there is yet an abiding place in my heart and soul filled with powerful and positive images of this most trans formative period in my life. The AAA discussion meetings, debates and street corner speeches by Khalid Al Man-sour and others awakened me and set my life on a different path toward personal growth and development. I am grateful for the consciousness-raising experiences that helped inform my educational and career decisions which always included the thought of how my actions could benefit my family and my community. My involvement in the Movement expanded my vision beyond the few blocks in West Oakland where I grew up. I give thanks to Khalid Al Mansour, the AAA, and all the sisters and brothers of the SF Bay Area civil rights and Black Nationalist movements who helped raise my social and cultural awareness, stimulated my intellectual curiosity and made me a better person. What we all experienced is worthy to be remembered, valued and shared with the generations of now and those that follow. Peace
--Ann Williams Willis -------------------------
I still have the papers of the Association that were written in the 1960s. Some of the Association's philosophy came froleft out the 7th keym several other people besides Khalid, including some from the original 12 members of the "book club", which evolved into the Association.
A few of us are planning to have some sort of gathering to express the legacy of the Association, probably within 6 months. Time is needed to collect as much info as possible and get the word out to as many people as possible.
I am writing a book about the Association because many of us are very old. This book will contain some information; but no one book could contain all information about the Association. Each attendee has his/her perspective and memory about this vital organization. Originally I did not want to write this book because I knew we were still being watched. An example: Loye Cherry introduced Roger Holmes to the Association and Don. Roger and John Anderson at San Jose State College in 1968 presented "Black is Becoming" conference, where Don debated Shockley (who stated that Black people were inferior). Others on the panel included Mr. Forman of CORE, Al Poussaint. However Don stole the audience with his excellent debating skills. Roger went on to attend law school at Santa Clara University. While attending this school, Roger played tennis with a young man who he found out was a Prince in Kuwait. Roger told Don and they shortly thereafter got involved with the Arabs. Roger and Don became law partners. Both changed their names. I could go on and on. Don and Roger left out the 7th key....the dark side. We always used RISEPE; but I added the dark side. OPEC is controlled. The Saudi Family was enhanced by Franklin Roosevelt in the 1940s, under the condition of controlling the oil in exchange for protection. The darkness continues. Another ex.: Knorvel Cherry was responsible for getting McClymonds to allow the Association to hold the "Mind of the Ghetto" Conferences in 1963 (Malcolm X) and 1964 (Cassius Clay). Knorvel also got Tillman to to produce the Association's newspaper in 1964.
Anyway, my book is being reviewed.
Please, gather whatever information you have, so we can share our information with each other.
Lee O. Cherry -------------------------------------- Very missed. Dr. Al-Mansour took personal interest in my international pursuits back in the 90's. I remember receiving a call from him on a Sunday evening back in 1998 and saying to meet him in the lobby of the Shangrila Hotel in Kuala Lumpur that Wednesday. I scrambled things together and made it. Although many influential people also arrived there from various parts of the world, he was quite attentive to my needs and introduced me to the Chariman of Renong Berhad, Tan Sri Halim Saad. That company was responsible for, what was at that time the tallest building in the world, Petronas Towers. Everything went well and if not for the fact that just 2 months later, the Asia money crisis hit, the project I was developing in China would have become a reality.
His books opened my interest in ancient African history, and his contribution to the Black world was enormous. --Barry Pierce -------------------------
El Muhajir/Marvin X:
Thank you for all of this important history!! Of course I grew up listening to Bro. Khalid (Donald Warden) on Sunday evenings broadcast from his Afro American Historical Society on KDIA. When I entered Berkeley, I frequently saw him and Donald Hopkins in academic and social settings. After he converted to Islam, he came to Sacramento in the early 90s to lecture and offer evidence to the African American Muslim community of the presence of Africans in ancient Arabia. The last time I saw him was in the 2000s at Yoshi’s when Pharoah Sanders was performing. He was walking swiftly past the restaurant and i didn’t get a chance to greet him. May this Giant Rest In Peace and Power.
Marvin X and his Muse, Fahizah Alim
When I graduated from Edison High School, Fresno CA, 1962, I wanted to attend Howard University. When I came to Oakland and told my father, he suggested I go see his friend, Oakland Post Publisher Tom Berkley. When I told Tom my desire, he told me to forget about Howard, you don't need to go to Howard, we have good schools out here. I forgot about Howard and enrolled at Oakland City College, aka, Merritt College, on Grove Street, now Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.
By the time I graduated from OCC, I had to admit maybe Tom Berkley was right, especially after I was initiated into revolutionary black nationalism that I would carry with me to San Francisco State College/University and beyond for the remainder of my life. en
But unlike Howard, there were few Black instructors and no Black Studies. My Black consciousness came from listening to brothers and sisters rapping on the steps of OCC. Rapping was not beats and rhymes, but extemporaneous speaking on revolution by a variety of speakers, including Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Ernie Allen, Maurice Dawson, Richard Thorne, and Attorney Donald Warden, head of the Afro American Association.
I was fascinated at the brothers rapping. I don't recall sisters rapping but sisters were involved. There was Ann Williams, partner of Richard Thorne. Richard Thorne introduced me to Huey Newton. Carol Freeman, Mississippi poet, married to Ken Freeman, aka, Mamadou Lumumba. Sisters Ellendar Barnes, Judy Juanita, and others whose names I can't recall. There were elder sisters like Mother McKenya, Mother Ruth Hagwood, et al.
From the steps of the college, the rap sessions would move to a campus room for an AAA meeting, or across the street to a greasy spoon .cafe for hamburgers, fries, milkshakes and more rapping. From the cafe we might gather in a fellow student's room. From the steps of OCC, AAA meetings, greasy spoon cafe sessions and meetings in our rooms, we had non-credit independent peer group study, discoursing on black nationalism, the black bourgeoisie (Dr. E. Franklin Frazier), Dr. Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth, the writings of Kwame Nkrumah, Neo-colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism. We discussed Patrice Lumumba, first prime minister of the Congo, assassinated by African neo-colonialists at the behest of the West, Belgium, America, et al. We talked about the Sharpesville Massacre in South Africa, about Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress.
In Cultural Anthropology, we studied Jomo Kenyatta's ethnography of his Kikuyu tribe. Outside of class we were enthralled by the Mau Mau fighters in Kenya, guerrilla fighters who attacked the European colonialists and the reactionary colonial elite who resisted the call for independence. "They" say the Mau Mau had to kill more African resisters to independence than Europeans.
In order to extricate North American Africans from this American matrix, quagmire, conundrum of tricknology, lies, fake news, world of make believe Hollywood CIA propaganda films, arresting our development, keeping us on the low information vibration, we must confront our domestic neo-colonial elite, if necessary with the Mau Mau model. See my Parable of Black Man and Block Man.
Imagine the Catholic Church has sexual psychopathic priests abusing children. Aw, we say the Black Culture Police are even worse, Jesse Jackson, Bill Cosby, et al., moral hypocrites. I was a moral hypocrite once. I spoke at Berkeley High School about Crack addiction. A few days later I was buying Crack in North Oakland. The youth selling me the Crack recognized me from his class at Berkeley High, "Hey teach, wasn't you in my class at Berkeley High talking against Crack? How could I lie? I was busted. I vowed to myself to never be a contradiction. From reading my critics, I know I am my worse critic. I seem to learn best by experience. At OCC we also studied the writings of Ho Chi Minh, leader of the North Vietnam national liberation movement. We saw our struggle and theirs as one international movement for the nation liberation of oppressed peoples. Not only did our peer group independent study sessions include dialouge on the Cuban revolution and the writings of Che Guevara. We especially like Fidel Castro's court speech History Will Absolve Me!
Malcolm X was our hero on the West Coast, not Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, although we connected with student Rights workers in SNCC, Stokely Carmichael/Kwame Toure, John Lewis, H. Rap Brown/Imam Jamil Alamin, Kathleen Neal Cleaver.
The Afro American Association sold sweat shirts with revolutionary fighter Jomo Kenyatfta on the front. Kenya won independence 1963. The AAA rapped on the streets of the Bay Area, from Oakland to San Francisco's Fillmore District, usually on corners, speaking on liberation, cultural consciousness and do for self economics. Aside from students, the AAA had some heavy minds, intellectuals, lawyers: Donald Hopkins, Fred and Mary Lewis, Henry Ramsey and Eleanor Mason, Paul Cobb, Ed Howard, et al. It may have been too many great minds in one space that was the ultimate undoing of the AAA. Khalid was charismatic, for sure, and a great speaker. He was humorous. I recall him saying if you can make the people laugh, you got your audience.
Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour and the Afro American Association was critical to the spread of revolutionary Black and African consciousness in the Bay Area. We must give thanks and praise for the AAA, from which the Black Panther Party leaders were nourished; the West Coast Black Arts Movement evolved from the AAA influence that impressed Marvin X, Judy Juanita, Ellendar Barnes and others who were budding artists and writers. Surely the AAA inspired the call for Black Studies, along with students who were not associated with the AAA, although the AAA's influence was pervasive. Revolutionary students, inspired by the AAA and the explosive world revolution for national liberation from colonialism and neo-colonialism, when the colonial elite take power without decolonizing their Euro-African minds, connected with the national black student revolution, from SNCC in the South to RAM in the North. RAM or Revolutionary Action Movement was founded by Robert F. Williams, North Carolina NAACP leader who believed in arm self defense (see his classic Negroes With Guns). Max Stanford/Muhammad Ahmad was a co-leader from Philadelphia, helped organize RAM at Howard University, connecting RAM with SNCC in the South. At OCC RAM had members and associates who helped publish SoulBook, Edited by Kenny Freeman/Mamadou Lumumba, Donald Freeman (Kenney's brother, although there is another revolutionary brother Donald Freeman of Cleveland, Ohio. Other editors included Isaac Moore, Ernest Allen, Caroll Holmes Freeman, Bob Hamilton. My first published story won a prize in the Merritt Student Magazine, actually I won a prize for Delicate Child, and Soulbook published it. Growing in Marxism and black revolutionary nationalist thought, the AAA was not a place for Soulbook people, so they/we moved on. Donald Warden held us in his tender caring arms until we could walk on and we did. Thank you Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour for your leadership. Thank you for your talks on Black and African consciousness on radio stations KDIA and KPFA. Thank you helping brothers in San Quentin Prison, at the request of Malcolm X. We were among the seven thousand students outside Sproul Hall when Malcolm X addressed seven thousand students.
Maulana Ron Karenga was the Los Angeles representative of the AAA. AAA member Ed Howard says Kwanza came from Oakland. Mother MrcKenya is said to have produced the first Kwanza ceremony in Oakland.
At some point Donald Warden converted to Islam, in fact, became a lawyer for OPEC, the oil cartel, then a lawyer for the Saudi Arabian royal family. At the direction of the Saudi Royal family, Khalid is said to have steered Barack Hassien Obama into Harvard. Khalid wrote many books you can Google.
Our last interaction with Khalid was 1979 at the Oakland Auditorium, a rally to protest the OPD killing of 15 year old, Melvin Black, actually they were killing a Black monthly, until they killed my close friend's Melvin Black. While teaching English, Creative Writing and Technical Writing at the University of Nevada, Reno and Nevada Community College, I read the San Francisco Chronicle Newspaper to keep up on events in the Bay. One morning I looked at the SF Chronicle to see another killing of a Black man by the OPD. I threw the paper down in disgust, but later I turned to the back page to finish the article and their was a picture of my close friend and best Elementary Arabic student, Mustafa/Lawrence McKinney, along with his sister Charla Black, outside Oakland City Hall protesting the OPD murder under the color of law of their 15 year old brother Melvin Black.
We formed a planning committee for the rally. Speakers included Minister Farakhan as featured speaker, along with Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver, Monsa Nitoto, Paul Cobb, Dezzie Woods Jones, Jo Nina Abram, Oba T'Shaka, et al. The rally was from noon to midnight, five thousand attended. Journalist Edith Austin wrote about the rally in her Sun Reporter column, said it was without incident.
But let me give you the untold story. We were behind schedule and running late, it was ten o'clock when Minister Farakhan sent an FOI with a message to come to the Green Room. 'When I got there, the Minister said, "Marvin, if you don't get Khalid off the mike, I'm leaving for Chicago right now."
"Yes, Sir, Brother Minister," I said. As MC, I went up on stage and gently grabbed the mike from Khalid who had been rambling on and on about a Wakandan style state in South Africa. Minister Farakhan came on stage with his entourage, Minister Khalid Muhammd, Minister Billy X/Rabb Muhammad.Khalid departed the stage. I handed the mike to Minister Farakhan. It was the last time I saw Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour.
Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour speaking at the 1979 Melvin Black Forum on Human Rights at the Oakland Auditorium, attended by 5,000 folks to protest the OPD monthly killing of Black men in Oakland. He went off focus about a Pan African Republic, sounded like the Kingdom of Wakanda, but inside South Africa? No matter, we love you Khalid and may Allah be pleased with you.
--Mavin X/El Muhajir
8/19/18 This essay will appear in the forthcoming Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X, Introduction by Dr. Nathan Hare, Black Bird Press, Oakland CA., Introduction by Dr. Nathan Hare, PhD., 2018. Marvin X reading from his play Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam, about his last meeting with Huey in a West Oakland Crack House, Odell Johnson Theatre, Laney College, Oakland CA. photo
In Honor of the Black August National Prison Strike, 2018
Marvin X: The Prison Lyrics, 1970
Marvin X underground in Harlem, NY, 1968.
photo Doug Harris
He was wanted by the FBI for refusing to fight in Vietnam. In Harlem he worked at the New Lafayette Theatre as Associate Editor of their Black Theatre Magazine. His Black Arts Movement associates included Amiri Baraka, Askia Toure, Sonia Sanchez, Sun Ra, Last Poets, Nikki Giovanni, Milford Graves, Haki Madhubuti, Ed Bullins, Robert Macbeth and the Lafayette Theatre family, Larry Neal, Mae Jackson, Barbara Ann Teer, et al.
His chapbook Fly To Allah is a seminal work of the BAM and Muslim American literature, according to Muslim American literature scholar, Dr. Mohja Kahf.
When he was captured returning from a visit to Montreal, Canada, after his release and knew his Harlem sojourn was ended, he penned the following poem before his departure for a court appearance in San Francisco.
Al Hajj Harlem
I go from here
studied theory practice of blackness
University of Harlem
greater than Timbuctu
Mecca of the West
see my children
I am a child
rising taking control
I am moved to be here
As Salaam Alaikum
wa rah matu llahi
After the court convicted and while awaiting sentencing, Marvin X went into his second exile (first was Toronto, Canada), this time to Mexico City and Belize, Central America, from which he was arrested for teaching Black Power and suspected of being a Communist. When the plane from Belize landed in Miami, Florida, he was taken to Dade County Jail, later Miami City Jail, then San Francisco County Jail and sentenced to five months at Terminal Island Federal Prison. He wrote the following lyrics while in San Francisco Country Jail and Terminal Island, 1970.
We are the revolutionaries!
In memory of James McClain, William Christmas and Jonathan Jackson. In their slave revolt of August 7, 1970, at the Marin County Courthouse, shouted, "We are the revolutionaries!"
We are the revolutionaries
Days go slow in here
don't let us out for air
can't even tell morning night
they read our mail
don't have no rights
try to make us feel less than man
don't work don't work
I know who I am
We are the revolutionaries
We are the revolutionaries
They got us down
not for long
feed us food fit for pigs
put us in cells with the insane
never go outside can't tell when it rains
nobody comes to see us, nobody seems to care
in spite of everything we hold on
We are the revolutionaries
jails filled with brothers black and brown
must be conspiracy to keep us down
won't work won't work won't work
gonna break out free the town
Can't make me feel less than man
bars mean nothing
I know who I am
Days go slow in here
don't let us out for air
what kind of people are these
really make you wonder
hurry Allah fire and water
Devils won't give up
til six feet under
We are the revolutionaries
We are the revolutionries
They got us down
not for long
power to the people death to the devil
power to the people death to the devil
We are the revolutionaries
We are the revolutionaries
We're going to make a new world for everybody
We're going to make a new world for everybody.
Chained and Bound
for Luciano Marcellius 15X Bel-Lee, Terminal Island FOI Captain.
Three of us NOI brothers held an election on the Big Yard. Marcellius said I was
the minister since I was the smartest. He appointed the other brother secretary
and himself Captain. Next Sunday we met in the chapel and I lectured on Africans in the Americas, based on Africa's Gift to America, J.A. Rogers, a book I found in the prison library that was marked Contraband, but I put it in my property when I was released from Terminal Island.
You got me chained and bound
but can't keep me down
Born to be free
have my liberty
by any means necessary
Our time has come
our day is here
black man stand
have no fear
got me chained and bound
but can't keep me down
Dare to struggle dare to win
then the world will be ours again
devil is a paper tiger
rules with the gun
no law and order
til black justice done
Got me chained and bound
can't keep me down
Come my brothers
seize the time
no more dope no more wine
no no no no no no
Got me chained and bound
but you can't keep me down
Come my brothers
breako the chains
no peace til freedom reigns
You got me chained and bound
can't keep me down
no no no no no no no no no.............
Allah Loves a Warrior
Allah loves a warrior
hates a coward
Allah loves a warrior
hates a coward
Want to serve the Mighty God
Got to be a mighty man
Allah loves a warrior
hates a coward
When battle gets rough
got to be more tough
Allah loves a warrior
hates a coward
When the deal goes down
Don't turn around
Allah loves a warrior
hates a coward
If you can't give everything
Can't serve this King
Allah loves a warrior
hates a coward
He asks of you
Make His will your will
that's what you gotta do
Cause Allah loves a warrior
hates a coward
You gotta be strong in times like these
can't turn around
can't try to flee
Allah loves a warrior
hates a coward
If you say you believe
don't you know you will be tried
cause Allah loves a warrior
hates a coward.
from Take Care of Business, musical drama, Black Educational Theatre, San Francisco, 1972, music arranged by Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Choreography by Raymond Sawyer. Directed and produced by Marvin X.
Marvin X in Georgetown, Guyana, South America, interviewing Prime Minister Forbes Burnham at his residence, 1972. PM Burnham gave North American Africans citizenship upon request, especially those escaping US white supremacy. Julian Mayfield, Tom Feelings and other artists joined his government. Herman Ferguson was a political refugee from NYC, along with Nassar Shabazz from San Francisco. Other North American Africans who found refuge in Guyana were Mamadou Lumumba and others associated with RAM or the Revolutionary Action Movement.
After enduring exile twice and jail, prison, Marvin X was awarded a writing fellowship from the National Endowment of the Humanities that enabled him to visit Afro-Mexicans in Southern Mexico and attend Carifesta, the Caribbean Festival of the Arts, Georgetown, Guyana, 1972, at which he interviewed Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, a socalled Black Power advocate we later learned the American CIA used to forestall another Cuban-style Marxist regime in the Americas. Black Power was more favorable to the USA than Communism. One of our greatest Pan African scholars, Dr. Walter Rodney, was assassinated under PM Burnham's watch, along with the Rev. Jim Jones massacre of 900 mostly North American Africans so desperate to escape US White supremacy they fed their children poison laced Kool Aid. Marvin's interview was published in Black Scholar Magazine and Muhammad Speaks Newspaper.
It is amazing how quickly white men who commit acts of violence, including mass murder, are labeled suffering mental disabilities, but North American Africans are simply sane hoodlums, thugs, or suffering lack of parental authority and guidance, but sane (and what is sane in this insane world?).
It will be a great surprise to some when the black psycho-social pathology of pervasive violence in Chicago and other US cities is classified as rooted in some degree of mental illness, along with drug abuse and economic inequities.
Does not Black violence stem from traumatic slave syndrome--not post, but modern day mental slavery? If white boys propensity for homicide is due to estrangement in the rapidly transformation of patriarchal white culture into the multi-cultural reality, including the fluid gender identification crisis, why are young Black men exempt from suffering severe trauma at attempting to navigate through the American cultural matrix, quagmire, conundrum? White the best of Hip Hop culture delivered cultural and revolutionary consciousness to some, other in Hip Hop culture gravitated or were directed to the most base, reactionary elements of this culture, from pedophilia to the world of make believe with its conspicuous consumption of blind bling and pimp/ho. Even the conscious sector is in confusion due to the plethora of isms, schisms, religiosity and mythology. Hip Hop celebrants are suffer mental paralysis when unable to synchronize the intellectual, ideological and mythological morass, usually a combination of Kemetic thought, Islamic, Yoruba, Moorish Science, Five Per Center, Rastifari and Hebrew mytho-religiosity. Don't leave out York, Super Sunnis and Sufism to make the pot of Gumbo complete, including North American African Christian myth/ritual.
But the dominant white supremacy false narrative tipping the scale of our mental equilibrium appears in the drug crisis, with Crack heads labeled criminals and imprisoned, while opioid addicts (mostly white) qualify for mental health programs to recover.
Such linguistic and concomitant program disparities have long labeled Black addicts as criminals. This criminalizing of Blacks extends throughout social and institutional culture. In political economics, we are attacked as welfare cheats, while white farmers were recently granted welfare checks totaling 12 billion dollars to alleviate their losses in Trump's tariff wars, even when the farmers cry they want trade not relief checks.
White supremacy is pervasive in the American criminal justice system. While serving time in federal prison, my job was in the yard office, mainly to announce inmate visitors. I had to first look up their names that included their crimes and sentencing. I saw that white bank robbers got three to four years, black bank robbers seven. Is a black bank robber worse than a white one?
American white supremacy has always been about identity, the black body versus the white body, e.g., three-fifths of a man versus the 100% white human white being. Only as chattel slaves (personal property slaves) did North American Africans have value. Even when the slave catchers killed an African for resisting, the catcher had to compensate the master for loss of property.
But in our current and long persistent nothingness and dread, i.e., being only of value as cannon fodder in the military or incarcerated commodities on the stock exchange, the Black identity crisis is internal as well as external.
Dr. Nathan Hare delineates White Supremacy Type I and II. We suffer the oppressed syndrome, while Type I is the oppressor's syndrome. It is the oppressor's disparity in identifying mental disorders based on white supremacy that so often dominates the narrative until we accept his definitions of criminality and mental health, of course, far too often are mental health issues are in denial, to the point of not permitting the family member to see therapy. This is due to shame, perhaps guilt, but as a result, the matter does not become a communal or community affair, even though mental illness impacts most North American African families. I know cases of conscious Black bourgeoisie families that never acknowledged or celebrated their child who committed suicide. I acknowledge one of my sons, Darrel, aka Abdul (RIP), committed suicide at 39 years old. His manic depression and medication made him walk into a train. Dr. Frantz Fanon, Dr. Nathan Hare, et al., tell us the oppresssed suffer situational disorders and manic depression is among them. Of course Dr. Fanon said we can only regain our mental equilibrium by engaging in revolution, national liberation.
There is no consensus of the road to our liberation, some have long sought assimilation, integration, others champion separation, national sovereignty, others seek repatriation to the Motherland as my daughter has done. She is now living in Accra, Ghana. She attended and graduated in Microbiology from Howard University on a track scholarship. In her interviews on Al Jazeera and the BBC, she has said, "I ran track to win, so I am not going to be in any situation where I don't have a chance of winning. They might not have electricity 24/7 in Ghana, but they don't have white supremacy 24/7. They have it but not 24/7."
Too often we buy into the white supremacy narrative and become blind to our traumatic neo-slave syndrome mentality, refusing to acknowledge our young men and women are just as sick as the white-boy school mass killer, church killer or night club mass murderer. Yes, those who shoot and kill every weekend in the hood, along with their plethora of partner abuse, often a critical cause of homicidal and suicidal violence, especially sexual improprieties, are no less sick than those white boys, but the diagnosis of the Black person is criminal, the white boy suffers a mental health disability. The white boy can kill nine persons in a church but is depressed thus afforded a meal at McDonald's on the way to jail, while the surviving victims immediately forgive him in the most grand manner of the Cross and Lynching Tree, as Rev. James Cone taught us (RIP).
We thus suffer psycho-linguistic maladies far beyond usage of the "N" word, or even "B" word, MF word, et al. Most importantly, in 2018, we have no consensus on whether we are Americans, African Americans (I hear continental Africans are now African Americans); we are Negroes, so-called Negroes, Bilalians, Moors, Aboriginal Asiatic Black men and women, etc. With North American African, I try to give us a geo-political identification. We are Africans in North America as distinguished from Central and South American Africans, Caribbean Africans, European Africans, et. al.
In sociology 101, we were taught about the cultural lag. We must admit in this era of high technology, events are changing rapidly and language as well. As I said at the top, some language is cunning and vile, determined to maintain the last vestige of a dying order called White Supremacy, although we are not tricked by this term which is a misnomer in the era of Globalism that transcends white domination, alas, Globalism is multi-cultural, e.g., Chinese, Arab, Latino, European. This mixed portfolio can again confuse those trapped in the low information vibration, still thinking White Supremacy is White, while it has clearly morphed into the multicultural variety, still cunning and vile. After all, ethnicities are all able to express Type II and even Type I White Supremacy. If this is confusing, Nelly Fuller is right, "If you don't understand white supremacy, everything else will confuse you!"
Language is indeed fluid and dynamic, so one can try to maintain a basic language to complete our daily round, yet if we reject the linguistic and societal changes because we find some of them morally abhorrent, we may find ourselves further alienated from a world hostile to us for the last few centuries. And yet, the final question rests, not with "them," but with US as a people who must recognize our national liberation aspirations, for the African proverb says, "Wood may remain in the water ten years but it will never become a crocodile."
If a marriage partner remains in an abusive relationship, their mental health is called into question and recovery, often long term, is needed so the abused person can regain their mental equilibrium. Do you not think North American Africans need a total break from our marriage with the USA, from four hundred years of traumatic slave syndrome psychosis, yes, a complete, total and full blown break with reality. Frazier described it best in Black Bourgeoisie, "The world of make believe" enjoyed by the black bourgeoisie and grassroots as well. We've all been hoodwinked and bamboozled.
Language is the primary instrument in the propaganda war to continue the domination of North American Africans, no matter whether utilized by perennial white supremacists or the new boys and girls on the block,i.e., the globalists and their running dogs, sycophants and sell-outs among our own kind.
For us suffering Type II White Supremacy, we must face the myriad traumas head on, without fear of relapse due to clear knowledge of our horrific condition, past and present. Shall we tell the sufferers of oppression an Aspirin will suffice? We should not tell the patient the cancer is final stage without a vigorous therapeutic recovery regimen? At minimal, we must tell the patient to guard against being deceived, even from the doctor himself! Dr. Nathan Hare says follow the Fictive Theory, i.e., everything White supremacists say is fiction until proven to be fact, most especially anything relating to our condition, but the general reality as well. Mrs. Amina Baraka said, "Don't drink the Kool Aid. Well, Marvin, you and I drank a little bit!" LOL --Marvin X 8/28/18
Master Writer Ishmael Reed has always honored and supported Marvin X. Reed's Literary
Society Pen Oakland, presented Marvin X with a lifetime achievement award. Of Marvin X's docudrama of addiction and recovery, One Day in the Life, Reed said, "It's the most powerful drama I've seen." ]
Left to right: BAM co-founder and chief architect Amiri Baraka, RIP, Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale, Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, star student of Marvin X, Ahi Baraka, son of AB and Marvin X, co-founder of BAM and BAMBD, Oakland's Black Arts Movement Business District along the 14th Street corridor from the Lower Bottom to Lake Merritt.
Oakland Mayoral candidate Cat Brooks and Meta-Mayor Marvin X
Marvin X supports Cat Brooks for Mayor
Poet-playwright Marvin X and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown
"We appreciate Mayor Willie Brown for supporting our Recovery Theatre and my docudrama of addiction and recovery, One Day in the Life. The Mayor gave grant funds from the Mayor's Office and introduced my play at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre to a sold out crowd. We thank San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown for his help in making One Day in the Life the longest running African American drama in Northern California history.
Ishmael Reed calls him, "Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland." Bob Holman says, "He is the USA's Rumi, the wisdom of Saadi, the ecstasy of Hafiz, the politics of Amiri Baraka, the humor of Pietri.
As we go into the City of Oakland elections, Oakland's Black politicos are finding their way to Oakland's Meta-Mayor, poet/scholar/organizer, philosopher Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner, Lakeshore.
He is likely to return soon to his original classroom at 14th and Broadway, where he initially made himself accessible to the citizens of Oakland, Black, White, Brown, Yellow, no matter. After Ishmael Reed observed X in his street corner classroom, Reed said, "If you want to learn inspiration and motivation, don't spend all that money going to seminars and workshops, just go stand at 14th and Broadway, and watch Marvin X at work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland."
Today on Lakeshore, the Meta-Mayor was visited by Peggy Moore, former chief assistant to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, soon joined by Brother Troop, candidate for Mayor from Deep East, along with Cat Brooks and the persistent candidate for any office, Pamela Price, and with incumbent Libby Schaaf, aka, Jerry Brown in drag. LOL. See my short script Marvin X Driving Miss Libby (Youtube).
Peggy and Troop conversed and when they departed when a young writer and photographer arrived to interview me, I informed them I was the Meta-Mayor. They bowed to me in the oriental manner and I returned the bow.
As I ear-hustled their conversation and in prior comments to me, they had doubts that my favorite candidate Cat Brooks was qualified since she had no experience in city politics. Peggy noted that several City of Oakland departments are headed by Black men, e.g., planning, recreation, fire, etc. These are the people a mayor must work with, Peggy said.
Others politicos have doubts about Cat Brooks because of her antipathy with the Oakland Police Department. Cat Brooks is head of the Anti-Police Terrorism Project. We long ago told Cat to visit Newark, New Jersey, to student the City of Newark's Police Model, under Mayor Ras Baraka. She might also learn how Mayor Baraka deals with developers and gentrification, demanding 20% housing for below market rate citizens in new housing developments. We suggest Cat Brooks invite Mayor Ras Baraka to Oakland to speak on her behalf.
As per Cat Brooks antipathy with the OPD, we suggest reconciliation as Mayor Ras Baraka has done in Newark, NJ. His mother, Mrs. Amina Baraka, informed me Mayor Baraka has stopped the police killing Black men but has not stopped Black men from killing Black men!
After candidate Troop returned from his conversation with Peggy Moore, he stopped at Academy of da Corner and said, "We know this, if Black men and women can feed themselves, they are not likely to go out shooting each other. With bellies full, they are likely to kick back and relax. But if they are hungry and cannot satisfy their hunger, all manner of crimes are likely. So we need jobs."
As Meta-Mayor, I said/wrote years ago, "Bush and Baraka offered three things to the insurgents of Iraq and Afghanistan, "If you lay arms and pledge allegiance to the constitution of your countries, we will provide you with education, housing and jobs." When America is ready to do this for the desperate young men and women in her inner cities, we suspect the violence will subside.
As mayoral candidate Brother Troop departed with The Movement Newspaper (Marvin X Publisher, no longer in circulation due to lack of funds), he pointed to the picture of Marvin X and Mayor Libby Schaaf alongside the City of Oakland's Proclamation honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement, of which Marvin X is one of the founders with his Black Arts West Theatre, San Francisco, 1966, Black House Cultural/Political Center, (Co-founded with Eldridge Cleaver, Ed Bullins, Ethna Wyatt, Willie and Vernastine Dale, San Francisco, 1967; New Lafayette Theatre, Harlem, 1968 (associate editor of Black Theatre Magazine; Black Educational Theatre, San Francisco, 1972; Recovery Theatre, 1996-2002. He said, "Hopefully, the day will come when I will be the Mayor and take a picture with you as you have with Mayor Labby Schaaf.
The Meta-Mayor was soon occupied with a young writer/photographer from New York who seeks to photograph and interview Oakland's Plato, Rumi, Hafiz, Saadi, Pietri, Baraka.
Marvin X and sons, Abdul (Darrel, RIP) and Hakim (Marvin K) visited Oaxaca, Southern Mexico, 1972
Vamanos vamanos let's go fresno central valley field hollar happy chant day end cotton field grapes watermelon vamanos let's go home can't see can't see field work school clothes grape cut 100 trays 300 day school clothes grape fields watermelon field too hot quit noon time vamanos to hot noon time vamanos let's go grandfather back to Chinatown contractor bus pool hall time Dick's Jew store Stacy Adam shoes Pendleton shirts Alpaca sweaters cool cats dress uncle style daddy style hustler pimp style vamanos cotton field time third pickin time choppin' cotton time no work no clothes five in morning bus ride Chinatown ride to fields grandfather work hard vamanos grandfather drunk gambling Al Gato Negro Club Granny say go get grandfather stuck on stupid ride with mama/uncle stand wait in car Uncle Stan go get grandpa stuck on stupid money gone gambling drunk universal pan African beer hall style vamanos. Let's go --Marvin X 9/7/18
"The ghetto wasn't bad enough then the hippies came dog shit everywhere.... ghetto wasn't bad enough then the neo-colonial hippies came dogs everywhere WOMAN AND DOG MISSING REWARD FOR DOG! Ghetto wasn't bad enough no more niggas dogs everywhere dog shit opioid human shit everywhere tech shit in suites poor people street shit dogs dogs human dogs four legged dogs two legged dogs cats too granddaughter said she go have kitty cat party no dogs allowed why grandbaby dog poop too big kitty cat party only. --Marvin X 9/9/18
INTRODUCTION By Nathan Hare, PhD Father of Black and Ethnic Studies San Francisco State University
With the return of “white nationalism” to the international stage and the White House and new threats of nuclear war, the black revolutionary occupies a crucial position in society today. Yet a black revolutionary of historic promise can live among us almost unknown on the radar screen, even when his name is as conspicuous as Marvin X (who may be the last to wear an X in public view since the assassination of Malcolm X). This semblance of anonymity is due in part to the fact that the black revolutionary is liable to live a part of his or her life incognito, and many become adept at moving in and out of both public and private places sight unseen. For instance, I didn’t know until I read Marvin X’s “Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter” that when he put on a memorial service for his comrade and Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver, 1998, he was unaware that Eldridge’s ex, Kathleen Cleaver, had traveled from the East Coast and slipped into the auditorium of the church with her daughter Joju. As one of the invited speakers I had noticed her curiosity when I remarked that I had been aware of Eldridge before she was (he and I /had had articles in the Negro History Bulletin in the spring of 1962) and had met her before Eldridge did, when I was introduced to her while she was working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Tuskegee institute, but luckily for Eldridge I was happily married to the woman who years later would escort Kathleen around San Francisco in what I recall as a failed search for a black lawyer to take his case when he returned from exile in France. Like many other persons across this promised land, I also thought I knew Marvin X. I can clearly recall seeing him walk into the offices of The Black Scholar Magazine, then in Sausalito, with a manuscript we published in the early 1970s. However, his reputation had preceded him. For one thing, then California Governor Ronald Reagan had publicly issued a directive to college administrators at UCLA and Fresno State University to get Angela Davis and Marvin X off the campuses and keep them off. The Fresno Bee Newspaper quoted Reagan as he entered the State College Board of Trustees meeting in his capacity as president of the board, "I want Marvin X off campus by any means necessary!" Over the years I continued to encounter him: when he organized the First National Black Men’s Conference, 1980, Oakland Auditorium, that drew over a thousand black men (without benefit of media coverage) to pay their way into a conference aimed at getting black men to rise again. I was a member of his Board of Directors. I also attended a number of other conferences he organized, such as the Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, San Francisco State University, 2001, and the San Francisco Black Radical Book Fair, 2004, as well as productions of his successful play, “One Day in the Life,” with a scene of his last meeting with his friend, Black Panther Party co-founder, Dr. Huey P. Newton, in a West Oakland Crack house. I will never forget the time he recruited me and the seasoned psychiatric social worker, Suzette Celeste, MSW, MPA, to put on weekly nighttime workshops in black consciousness and strategies for “overcoming the addiction to white supremacy.” On many a night I marveled to see him and his aides branch out fearlessly into the gloom of the Tenderloin streets of San Francisco and bring back unwary street people and the homeless to participate in our sessions, along with a sparse coterie of the black bourgeoisie who didn’t turn around or break and run on seeing the dim stairway to the dungeon-like basement of the white Catholic church. But when I received and read Marvin’s manuscript, I called and told him that he had really paid his dues to the cause of black freedom but regretfully had not yet received his righteous dues. As if to anticipate my impression, the designer of the book cover has a silhouetted image of Marvin, though you wouldn’t recognize him if you weren’t told, in spite of the flood lights beaming down on him from above like rays directly from high Heaven, as if spotlighting the fact that Marvin ‘s day has come. You tell me why one of the blackest men to walk this earth, in both complexion and consciousness, is dressed in a white suit and wearing a white hat; but that is as white as it gets, and inside the book is black to the bone, a rare and readable compendium of Marvin’s unsurpassed struggle for black freedom and artistic recognition. Black revolutionaries wondering what black people should do now can jump into this book and so can the Uncle Tom: the functional toms find new roles for the uncle tom who longs for freedom but prefers to dance to the tune of the piper; the pathological tom, whose malady is epidemic today, as well as the Aunt Tomasinas, can be enlightened and endarkened according to their taste in this literary and readable smorgasbord. “Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X” is a diary and a compendium, a textbook for revolutionary example and experience, a guide for change makers, a textbook for Black Studies and community action, including city planners who will profit from his proposals and experiences in his collaboration with the mayor and officials of Oakland to commercialize and energize the inner city, with a Black Arts Movement Business District (BAMBD) that could be the greatest black cultural and economic boon since the Harlem Renaissance. No longer just talk and get-tough rhetoric, his current project is cultural economics, Oakland’s Black Arts Movement Business District, an urban model evolving in real time in the heart of downtown Oakland, where people like Governor Jerry Brown once tried their hand before they turned and fled back into the claws of the status quo.
I can’t say everything is in this book, just that it reflects the fact that Marvin, for all he has done on the merry-go-round of black social change, is still in the process of becoming. Readers from the dope dealer to the dope addict to the progressive elite, the Pan African internationalist, the amateur anthropologist, the blacker than thou, the try to be black, the blacker-than-thous, the try to be white (who go to sleep at night and dream they will wake up white) and other wannabes; in other words from the Nouveau Black to the petit bourgeois noir and bourgie coconuts, “Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X” is a fountainhead of wisdom, with a fistful of freedom nuggets and rare guidance in resisting oppression or/and work to build a new and better day. Dr. Nathan Hare 3/8/18
Dr. Nathan Hare, PhD and Marvin X
Introduction by Dr Nathan Hare Black Bird Press, Oakland CA 2018 Other works coming soon Sweet Tea, Dirty Rice, poems Mythology of Pussy and Dick, Expanded version, 400 pages Collected Plays
Books to reprint
Fly to Allah, poems Land of My Daughters, poems Love and War, poems In the Crazy House Called America, essays Beyond Religion toward Spirituality, essays Wish I could tell you the Truth, essays Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables,Fables Memoir of Eldridge Cleaver, My Friend the Devil How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy Son of Man, proverbs Woman, Man's Best Friend, proverbs,poems, parables, songs Somethin' Proper, autobiography
If you would like to support the writing projects of Marvin X, please donate any amount to my campaign, e.g., $1.00, $5.00, $100.00, $1000.00, $10,000. Your contribution can be tax deductible.
Marvin X has given over a half century of his life to the Black Arts/Black Liberation Movement. He has endured exile, jail, prison, barred from teaching at universities and colleges, hated and despised by black reactionaries and white supremacists, pseudo white liberals and undercover Zionists. Yet, he remains tenacious, indefatigable and peripatetic.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
Aretha, Angela Davis, Marvin X and the White Farmer from the Central Valley
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 Goodman, 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 8/17/18
Cold Wind from the North: The Prehistoric European Origins of Racism Explained by Diop's Two Cradle Theory. By Vulindlela Ijiola Wobogo (Charleston: Books on Demand, 2011. Pp. 554. Contents, Introduction, Bibliography and Index, $29.99)
In light of the 50 year anniversary of the BSU Strike at San Francisco State University that gave birth to Black Studies in American universities, it is an honor to write this review. I am a proud alumnus of the Pan Afrikan Students Union of San Francisco State University (from 1996 to 1998, when the organization was banned) and was a student enrolled in Wobogo's BLS 213 course "Kemetic Strategies in Physical Science". In this course, not only did I learn of the Afrikan foundations of modern science, but I was exposed to fundamental techniques of physical science, i.e., natural philosophic inquiry. This was even before Theophile Obenga, (past Department Chair of Black Studies and one of Africa's greatest living scholars) came to SF State to lead the Black Studies Department in the new phase of intellectual warfare in defending what Ptah Mitchell, President of the School of Afrikan Philosophy, called 'the scholastic sovereignty of Black Studies'. Ironically, it was in this BLS 213 course that I met and studied with a new generation of future African scientists, engineers, philosophers, mathematicians, technologists, scholars and business leaders across the African diaspora.
As a professor, Wobogo had the ability to explain intricate and complicated scientific theories in such a clear and concise manner that I didn't realize until later, when having to take advanced courses in physics or mathematics; that the conceptual understanding I had of certain natural scientific phenomena was due to Wobogo's teaching. All too often I perplexed some of the non African scientists and professionals and researchers I worked with in graduate school or industry by articulating an idea (or theory) with such clarity that their response was usually: "I don't know how you know that...." or something along those lines. Thinking of Wobogo's mastery, I am reminded of the late John Henrik Clarke, who mentioned that he lectured and taught so many popular courses that he did not really have enough time and luxury to publish masterpieces of original research. Now that Baba Wobogo has retired and is able to write, I am thankful that he was able to publish this work (along with subsequent others).
Even though "Cold Wind" is an expansion of two of his earlier published works, "Diop's Two Cradle Theory and the Origin of White Racism"(1976), and "Anokwalei Enyo"(1977), this is a fundamental work in the history and philosophy of science for myriad reasons. In the tradition of detecting scientific laws of social nature analog to laws of physical nature, Wobogo synthesizes the ideas of modern African scholarship from the past 90 years to present a complete theory of the origin of racism. We are reminded of the contributions made by various African scholars to this social scientific theory, usually attributed only to Cheikh Anta Diop.
Wobogo's contention (recognized by Marimba Ani and others) is that "specific conditions of life in the arctic cradle since the beginning of the racial differentiation spawned the development of high levels of individualism-competitiveness, xenophobia, genocentricity and ethnocentricity. Of these qualities, xenophobia can be characterized as proto-white racism, which flowered upon contact of European homo sapien with African homo sapien and Asian homo sapien".
From this basic premise Wobogo takes us through the history and shows how this European trait evolves into the many forms of racism experienced by African people throughout the continents and nations of the world, since about 20,000 BC. The book is also semi-autobiographical since Wobogo is an observer-participant in what he terms the African American Revolution (1960-1975) that led to the creation of Black Studies. And in a manner consistent with traditional scholarship, Wobogo tells a first person narrative of the certain historical events without centering on self aggrandizement and personal ego. work and replaces it with scientific rigor and 'demonstration of authority'.
As an educator and lifelong student, this work is crucial in clarifying, if not solving one of the basic problems facing (African) humanity: racism; even when housed under the auspices of genetic engineering and computer technology. Wobogo paints a picture of what a future would look like with or without the (maatian) balance of African contribution to modern problems of science and society, and how incomplete a picture would be, especially for academics, which refuse to acknowledge Africa in the forefront; whether it is from anthropologists, technologists, or a hybrid of the two. This is a highly recommended book for future scholars and researchers continuing the "great work".
Notes on Dr. Ayodele Nzinga's mytho-magical drama: Protection Shields
Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, founder, producer, playwright and director of Oakland's Lower Bottom Playaz opened a new play at the Flight Deck, 1540 Broadway, downtown Oakland. It is a myth-ritual dance drama in the Black Arts Movement Theatre tradition, based on the Yoruba story telling in the best tradition of African didactic narrative, i.e., teaching a moral story based on ancient spirituality and morality, i.e., the myth of Eshu and the moral teaching of do the right thing.
In the 1960s, Black Arts Movement poets, playwrights, dancers, drummers, painters turned away from Christian mythology and ritual to embrace Islamic, Yoruba, Rasta and Hebrew myth-ritual. It was a conscious denunciation of European White supremacist Christianity that approved the genocide of 100 million, and even today, 2018, North American Africans suffer trauma and unresolved grief so well depicted in Protective Shields.
The Yoruba priest who probably influenced 1960s Black African culture the most, was Oba Serjiman Olatunji who spread Yoruba culture in Harlem, who single handedly presented Yoruba culture in its most flamboyant and royal manner. As a Harlemite during 1968-69, I recall Oba Serjiman parading through the streets of Harlem with his entourage of wives, priests and devotees in elegant flowing robes and head pieces, chanting Yoruba songs that helped ignite the Black Arts Movement of the 60s, the most radical artistic and literary revolution in American history, alas, it gave birth to the Black Panthers, Black Arts Movement, Black Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, et al.
Black Arts Movement co-founders,Amina and Amiri Baraka, were married in a Yoruba ceremony, officiated by Oba Serjiman, who soon departed Harlem to establish his African Yoruba Village in Sheldon, South Carolina. According to the new Oba/king, before his father could have peace with the whites in the area, he had to show superior magic in the manner of Moses and Pharaoh's magicians.
Oba Serjiman, obviously influenced the Black Arts Movement, alas, he is perhaps the most critical factor in the BAM/Yoruba intersection. There was Nigerian drummer Oljunji reinstating the drum as spiritual therapy with rhythms for all the orishas, i.e., gods, for Harlemites and North American Africans coast to coast deprived of the healing power of the drum since arriving in the Americas, most especially in the USA, elsewhere the drum created new world beats in the old world manner, for orisha rhythms never change--an eternal tribute to the identity and power of the gods and their connection with devotees, supplicants, sycophants.....
A Black Mass was Amiri Baraka's interpretation and synchronization of Elijah Muhammad's Myth of Yakub, the mad scientist who created the white man through genetic engineering, but Baraka infused his myth drama with Yoruba and Sufi teachings. We applaud Baraka for utilizing original North American African mythology but extending the myth with African and Islamic myth-rituals.
BAM theatre folks like the New Lafayette's director Bob Macbeth, Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre, the Last Poets and myself tried to create Black Ritual Theatre, with dramatic energy derived from Yoruba, Islamic and Christian myth-ritual, especially the Holy Ghost church. It had the high level of energy we wanted in the BAM theatre. Further, we wanted to destroy that fourth wall that separated the actors from audience, forcing them into oneness and celebration of the Divine Spirit. My contribution to Ritual Theatre is Resurrection of the Dead, a myth-ritual dance drama by Marvin X, Black Educational Theatre, San Francisco, 1972. In the African tradition of drama, there is no audience, all enjoy the communal experience. When I was told Vudun is a democratic society, I understood in the Vudun ritual one only comes forward when their orisha's rhythm is beat on the drum. Correct me if I am wrong.
We cannot leave BAM Master Teacher Sun Ra out of this discussion since he fused Kemit mythology with socalled science fiction, although Sun Ra is considered the father of Afro-futurism, Octavia Butler, the Mother. But Sun Ra took Yoruba, Islamic, Christian and all other isms and schisms, including Jazz, Blues and any other sounds to construct his Myth-Ritual Arkestra, demonstrating the highest level of BAM aesthetics, philosophy, dramaturgy. No BAM artist approached Sun Ra's vision of smashing European art and white supremacy mythology.
In the grand tradition of African drama that originated in the Osirian drama of Resurrection, modeled on the annual inundation of the Hapi River, aka, Nile, Ayodele reveals to us the necessity of high morals and values as the ultimate Protective Shield.
If we cut to the chase in Ayo's drama at the crossroads ruled by Eshu, aka Legba, aka Ptah, aka Peter, Protection Schields taught us the only protection is to do the right thang, thus the long monologues by characters fighting within themselves to do the right thing. To borrow a line from Islam, we say, "Ithdina s-sirata al mustaqim, Guide us on the right path." The Christian Bible tells us to put on the armor of God.
Dr. Ayodele Nzinga forces us to transcend the Christian and Muslim myth-ritual, with repeated calls out to the Yoruba orishas, displaying Yoruba myth ritual of offering fruit to placate the orishas, without which one cannot possibly navigate the crossroads, not without Eshu in the persona of a child, yet wielding spiritual power to present the suffering adults with the Protective Shield, even the suspected murderer of the mother's son is given the Protective Shield but only after he declares the uselessness of murder or "blood for blood" as the narrator repeatedly informed us.
A mother wants revenge for the murder of her son. Having lost a son, we were beyond understanding of her trauma and unresolved grief. She was presented with a Protection Shield by Eshu represented by a child who adorned all the supplicants who submitted to do the right thing, some for the first time in their lives. Alas, my patron, Abdul Leroy James, used to say, "Most of you people (excluding himself since he was a successful multi-millionaire from real estate but he did make possible my book projects and community events such as the Melvin Black Forum, Oakland Auditorium, 1979, National Black Men's Conference, Oakland Auditorium, 1981, Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, San Francisco State University, 2001, Tenderloin Black Radical Book Fair, 2004, San Francisco, One Day in the Life, docudrama of Marvin X's addiction and recovery, the longest running North American African drama in Northern California history, 1996-2002)--Ancestor Abdul Leroy James said, "Most of us ain't done nothing right in our lives.".
Protection Shield's dominant theme was do the right thang! If you kill, the pain of revenge is inescapable, blood feuds for evermore, honor killings. All the supplicants submitted to do the right thang and were thus blessed to transcend the crossroads with the blessing of Eshu.
Throughout the drama, all the orishas were called upon to do their thang. Playwright, producer, director, Dr. Ayodole Nzinga consciously employed the Yoruba myth-ritual to rock 2018 Black Christian myth-ritual, although Africans in the Americas long ago figured out how to synchronize African spirituality with European Christian mythology. We fused Haitian Vudun, Cuban and Puerto Rican Santaria, Barzilian Condomble and other Caribbean spiritual persuasions into a eclecticism of functional religiosity. We can attend a Catholic mass then visit a Vudun ceremony to placate the Orishas without feeling contradictory.
The Yoruba narrative in Ayo's drama resembled Black American Christian ritual, or Christianity in general with its major theme of suffering and death, although the joy of resurrection derived from Kemet, Egypt, Africa's Nile Valley Civilization that extended the 4,000 miles of the Hapi River, aka Nile, source of basic Christianity, Judaism and Islamic religiosity. See Yusef Ali's translation of the Holy Qur'an and his notes on the steps of Egyptian Religion toward Islam.
For sure, Dr. Ayodele transcended Western dramaturgy. Protection Shields was completely devoid of dialogue, instead a plethora of monologues was employed, many offstage, but even more pervasive was her use of choreography to advance the narrative. The Yoruba method of utilizing dance to advance narrative is well known, going back thousands of years. We know the dancers employed classic Yoruba choreography to tell the story, for every dance movement is connected with an Orisha,yet as much as we enjoyed the dancers whose choreography advanced the narrative, still, something was missing and sorely needed to make this myth-ritual dramatic. Dramatic film can move to stage and visa versa, but Protection Shields is the mytho-history of the hero Wolfhawk Jaguar, an individual experiencing a rite of passage and his devotees enjoying a healing communal rite of passage as well.
We were not satisfied with the hero sleeping throughout the drama of his myth history. We see him on the second level, primarily asleep in a dream mode, but since he is also the rapper and high priest of this drama, he must be utilized beyond his dream state. After all we hear him and see him in constant movie clips buy why not allow him to take the stage as rapper to explicate his mythology. He would be much appreciated by the dancers whose every move is about him, so get him out of slumber land and let him rap to us from the upper room. This will make his mythology real to us and expand the reality of his time in our midst and the lessons the narrator informs us about continuously throughout this didactic classical drama in the Yoruba tradition.
Earlier today, I wrote about How to Recognize A Real Nigga, Part Two, Notes on the Nigga Debate, during the intermission, Dr. Nzinga and I conversed and I told her I tried to delineate the positive nigga from the negative nigga. Her drama revealed to us that doing the right thing is the best and only thing to do, anything less has negative repercussions since every action has a reaction and Eshu will not allow us beyond the crossroads unless we put on the Protective Shield, i.e., the armor of God. Thankfully, the supplicants submitted to wear the Protective Shield, so the drama ends in the African fashion of Sheikh Anta Diop, who told us in the Cultural Unity of Africa, there is no tragedy, only comedy, for we know what Frankie Beverly sang about joy and pain, sunshine and rain, sometimes they the same.... Yet, to traverse the crossroads, we must be right, so in Islam we pray, "Ithdina s-sirata al mustaqim, Guide us on the right path. Dr. Ayodele Nzinga continues and extends Black Arts Movement theatre into the present era. We applaud her crew of actors, dancers and technicians.
Protection Shields will rock your consciousness, especially if you are a white man dipped in chocolate as a young man described the Black Anglo Saxons (Dr. Hare) of today.