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A journal dedicated to truth, freedom of speech and radical spiritual consciousness. Our mission is the liberation of men and women from oppression, violence and abuse of any kind, interpersonal, political, religious, economic, psychosexual. We believe as Fidel Castro said, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness."
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    RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom
    March 24–August 12, 2018

    Hip-Hop is one of the widest reaching cultural and social movements of the last 50 years. Discover the unexpected story of how Hip-Hop changed the world, starting from its roots on the streets, before rap, DJing, street art, breakdancing, and street fashion launched into mainstream popular culture. Learn about the West Coast’s and San Francisco Bay Area’s influences on this global phenomenon. Hear first-person accounts from artists and experts about how, beyond big business, Hip-Hop continues to provide a platform for creative expression, activism, youth development, and education.
    There is an additional $4 charge for this special exhibition in addition to regular Museum admission.
    RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board and members of the Donor Forum.

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    Lifer is based on the true life account of events that occurred during Glenn Baileys 52 years of incarceration in the California Penal System.
    This work brings a season dedicated to exploring the world of incarceration to an end with this story about the resilience of the human spirit, redemption, and light found in unexpected places. 
    Lifer is a darkly humorous cautionary tale filled with advice about how to avoid incarceration from the unlikely lead character: a convicted murderer. Glenn Bailey, a lifer at large, after 52 years of incarceration, is intent on saving lives as a way of ascribing value to his own. He is a unique and serenely hilarious yogi-like sage who is shaped by his modes of survival: building relationships, sharp insight and flawlessly honest self-reflection of his own life as well as the system from which he spent five decades learning.
    Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD.

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    In the silence of centuries
    trees speak
    rolling rivers say my name
    i listen walk tall in the sun
    snow ice hurricane earthquake no matter
    terror bombs walk beside me
    exploding as I gaze upon hill
    walking into night
    moon speaks softly
    guiding me through forest
    snakes hiss sounds of love hate regeneration
    I fear them not walk
    trees chatter
    who is he this night
    who those angels beside him
    we cannot touch him except with love
    he walks straight like Pine
    dives into river
    night swim with lover
    she came across shore
    meet under water
    entangle gracefully
    perfect dance moon full
    water warm healing
    lovers enjoy blessed night
    birds sing sacred songs
    fish dance
    night forest full of light
    river diamond ripples .
    lovers bathe
    retire to shore
    forest birds symphony
    night dance to day
    oh happy day!
    lover returns to her shore
    dance of centuries
    only silence necessary
    words confuse demon sounds
    touch and go
    come again another night
    consider moon
    come right correct
    forest birds salute you sing praise
    worthy one
    come home
    --Marvin X

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    Black Bird Press News & Review: the movement, december 2017, children's issue, print edition

    The Movement, the most beautiful writer's journal in the world! Every page is a work of art. It is beauty and truth in living color! Publisher Marvin X is Duke Ellington, Design Editor Adam Turner is Billy Strayhorn. The result is a magical experience of words and graphic design.

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    Ahed Tamimi: The Mandela of Palestine

    Image of Ahed Tamimi standing in front of a group of people

    Ahed Tamimi is now a statistic. Just one of thousands of Palestinians illegally imprisoned by Israel as it crosses the half way point of its fifty-first year of Occupation – 6154 to be exact. 59 of them women, 250 of them children, and now one more. Ahed is in jail because she “slapped” an Israeli soldier who was occupying her house not long after he or another soldier in his squad shot her cousin in the head with a rubber bullet, forcing him into a coma. Ahed, along with her cousin and then her mother, came out and started shouting at the soldier to leave, and pushed him. He seemed to push back. She kept shouting and push-hit him several more times, continuing to yell even more. Her mother filmed and then uploaded the scene.
    Apparently, Ahed is an existential threat to the state of Israel, and perhaps they’re right. Israeli commentators went ballistic at the viral video, lamenting how she emasculated the soldiers who showed such remarkable restraint in not beating her with the butt of their guns, or just shooting her like her cousin. Not long after, she was seized by security forces, and has since been charged with assault, and her detention extended. No word yet on what the soldier who shot her cousin will be charged with (nor will it ever come).
    The first time I met Ahed Tamimi was about five years ago when she was around 11 years old. She wasn’t yet famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view); it was before the video of her threatening an Israeli soldier with her tiny fists, fearless and filled with fury, hit the internet. But it was already clear what she would become: a fighter. She was a hero-in-the-making; a star at the early stages of going nova. Not quite exploding yet but only a matter of time and nothing could stop her. Not her parents, not the rest of her family, not the Israelis unless they killed her.

    Nabi Saleh and the Renaissance of Civil Resistance
    Like everyone else who meets Ahed I was in her village, Nabi Saleh, to witness weekly demonstrations against the Occupation. Nabi Saleh is a small and picturesque village in the central West Bank overlooking a valley with an important spring. In a normal world, or at least a better one, I’d be visiting with my kids, hiking in the hills, swimming in the spring before settling down to a nice dinner in a family-run restaurant—most of the West Bank is so stunningly beautiful it could compete with Switzerland for both the vistas and the food. But the world and certainly the West Bank are far from normal; and I wouldn’t take my kids there now, not yet anyway. They’re too young to experience what Ahed and the other kids of the village, and every other square meter of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem (not to mention too many refugee camps, from Tripoli to Yarmouk) have lived through for over half a century.
    Instead of being a tourist center, Nabi Saleh is a resistance center, one of the most important places on the planet, the site of the real Armageddon (Megiddo) for humanity’s soul. No, I’m not exaggerating. In a powerful column written after Ahed’s arrest Lisa Goldman writes that Nabi Saleh is where she “lost her Zionism.” It’s impossible not to lose your Zionism when you’ve experienced Nabi Saleh. The evil and brutality of the Occupation burn through whatever fantasy of a mythical liberal Zionist dream with which you might have arrived. But I hope that Goldman didn’t only lose part of herself. The experience is far deeper than that. In losing your Zionism, and if you’re being honest, any fantasy of a humane nationalism of whatever ethnicity or creed along with it, you become open to something far more powerful than an out-of-date ethno-religious identity.
    Nabi Saleh was where I re-found my humanity. It has become the heartbeat of Zion—the Zion of the Matrix, the post-Apocalyptic holdout for the rainbow vision of what remains of humanity after we destroyed ourselves, not of the nationally and religiously and racially exclusivist Zionism of the real world. Indeed, the only time I feel hope when I’m in Israel or the Occupied Territories is when I’m in Nabi Saleh or one of the other resistance centers, when Palestinians, alongside international and Israeli activists, work together with one goal—to stop the occupation, even at the price of their own well-being and even life (Israeli and international activists have routinely been beaten and even shot during these protests).

    Resistance Theater
    Along with the village of Bil’in, and more recently the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and half a dozen other locations in the West Bank such as Atwani and the Jordan Valley, Nabi Saleh has been the site of regular (for the most part, weekly) protests against the Occupation for much of the last decade. What makes these protests so important is that they have become the testing ground for militant civil resistance against the Occupation, perhaps the most important tool left to Palestinians to hold the line against (turning back is a distant dream) the ever-expanding territorial encroachment by Israel across the majority of the West Bank that remains under its direct control.
    Image of people struggling, armed soldiers in the background.I use the term “civil” rather than “non-violent” resistance because the protests are by no means free of violence. They start off that way—every Friday dozens of people gather at the center of the village, pick up their hand made signs, begin their chants, and march one and all—old and young, Palestinians and (Diaspora and even Israeli) Jews, locals and “internationals” – to the patch of hill between the top of the village and the valley road and spring below, which is coveted by the nearby settlement of Halamish (in fact, only six weeks ago, in October, the Israeli government issued orders seizing yet more land from the village to expand the settlement).
    But when the marchers approach the top of the hill, the hill itself, which is usually still empty, suddenly fills with Israeli soldiers at the bottom along the road that leads to a nearby military encampment. And then the performance begins. The soldiers tell the protesters to go back; they refuse. They threaten to fire teargas; the people march forward. Either the tear gas starts or some of the kids start to throw stones (they rarely get close to the heavily armed and fully protected soldiers) but within a few seconds the ‘production’ is in full swing. I say ‘production’ because Nabi Saleh is nothing if not theatre; take your pick: theatre of the oppressed, of the absurd—a “dialectical” or “episches Theater” of the type developed by 20th century luminaries like Piscator and Brecht who desperately wanted to create a political theater that could better represent the intense ferment of inter-war Europe, particularly from below.
    If it’s a good day, no one gets too badly hurt. The people protest, kids throw stones and taunt the soldiers well over 100 meters away. The soldiers, if they’re not in a bad mood, don’t unload dozens of canisters at a time, and sometimes people make it to the bottom of the hill, where they sit and chant a few feet from the road while the internationals and the Tamimi family takes video and pictures. A few will try to cross the road to reach their spring, which rarely happens as the soldiers inevitably grab them and push them back. When someone does get through, it’s like scoring the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl.
    At some point Ahed or one of the older kids gets up and walks over to the Israeli in charge and uncorks a monologue against the Occupation and his presence on her land that is every bit as eloquent as any Martin Luther King, Jr. unleashed against Jim Crow. Ahed has no fear—NO FEAR. Her hair alone, the likes of which have not been seen around here since Samson, could hold its own against a squad, if not a platoon of Israeli soldiers. I think the soldiers actually have a grudging respect for her and her family. They might be enemies, but they know what they’re really doing there, and they know Ahed and her family are doing precisely what they’d do in her position, if they had the courage.
    But if the afternoon is getting late and Shabbat and the weekend are beckoning, the soldiers’ fuses invariably get short. At some point the commander calls or signals her father or another family elder in some way and lets them know it’s time to go home, the play is over. Usually the adults try to disperse the crowd at that point. The international activists and the Israelis as well as the older Palestinians usually begin marching up the hill, more or less out of breath from the tear gas but not too much the worse for wear. One or two might be hunched over or have big welts from being hit by plastic coated steel bullets, but if they weren’t shot at too close range, the injury isn’t too serious. The kids stick around and throw a few more stones, but it all fizzles out soon enough. Solidarity and love pervades the air. It’s the closest to Selma most Americans there could ever hope to get, and in that sense it’s truly like reliving history. Because Nabi Saleh is, in a way, Selma.
    Sometimes, however, the Israelis are in a particularly pissy mood, and then all hell breaks loose. It’s hard to describe the experience of being caught in one of these attacks. More tear-gas than you can imagine, rubber bullets, real bullets whizzing by (and if you’re unlucky, into) you, sound grenades that can pop your ear drum from meters away. Members of Ahed’s family have been killed in these attacks; one had his head half blown off by a tear gas canister fired at him from close range.
    Every year it seems like the gas gets worse. The last time I was there I misread the wind and got lost in a cloud and, for the first time there, felt like I was going to die. The gas paralyzed me, I could neither breathe nor move, and I literally sunk to the ground watching my life go by, before a small hand reach into the haze from above, grabbed me, and with a strength I still can’t comprehend, literally pulled me up the hill above the haze. The hand belonged to Ahed’s cousin Muhammad, then around 11 or 12. The same Muhammad shot in the head earlier in the day when Ahed confronted Israeli soliders responsible for his injuries for which she is now being detained.
    Once the performance is over, people either head home back to other towns in the West Bank, to Israel or for many of us, enjoy the ritual of dinner with the Tamimis and a night spent sleeping on their living room floor. In these quiet evening moments Ahed and the other kids actually seem like normal kids, dancing and playing, talking, practicing English with guests when they’re not sitting patiently for interminable interviews by activists and journalists. Meanwhile her father Bassem and uncle Bilal immediately upload the days videos and photos onto the internet to make sure a permanent record of the protests exists. Most of the time it’s rather banal watching, but sometimes they capture the horror of their own family members being shot and killed.
    If they’re lucky, Saturday and the beginning of the next week are calm and life returns to normal, at least till next Friday when it begins again. But often it’s not so lucky. If you scroll through the videos on the Nabi Saleh YouTube channel you’ll find innumerable videos of midnight raids by Israeli soldiers, of attacks with “shit water” that is sprayed for no reason all over the village and even inside their home, of family members being dragged away into custody for no reason. Most everyone in the family has been beaten, arrested, and even shot. Ahed and her young kin as well as the women of her village are usually left to fight the Israeli soldiers because if an adult man were to go anywhere near a soldier he’ll be shot dead without a second thought.
    Believe me when I tell you that you have no idea what life is like for the people of Nabi Saleh, even when you’ve spent many Fridays with them. Or for the people of Bil’in, or the Jordan Valley, or Jenin, or the Hebron Hills. Never mind Gaza. Simply put, we get to leave. They are fighting for their futures, for their lives. This is Palestine.

    My Daughter and Their Daughter
    The first Friday I spent with the Tamimi family I texted my daughter, who was then about 8, a picture of Ahed, with the caption “This is the bravest girl I've ever met and I hope you grow up to be like her.” And I meant it, although until Trump was elected President I didn’t think she’d actually have to fight like Ahed, to confront cops here the way Ahed confronts soldiers there. The night Trump won I reminded her of that text, and let her know I might have to bring her to Nabi Saleh sooner than I’d hoped for training. I wasn’t joking, she wasn’t laughing.
    Israelis like to criticize Ahed’s role as a child engaged in the struggle against the Occupation, just as they criticized young people throwing stones during the Intifada. They say that the role of children on the front lines shows that Palestinians hate Israelis more than they love their children, and similar arguments. Like many Israeli arguments, this one seems reasonable until you consider it a bit more closely. Let’s start with the obvious question: If Israelis love their kids so much, why do they send them to be brutal occupiers year after year, decade after decade? To shoot, arrest, torture, and kill Palestinians, including thousands of children? Why do they sell their children’s souls for a piece of land that is already inhabited by someone else who’s been there for centuries, when they’ve already conquered most of the land decades ago?
    And if Israelis were so concerned about Palestinians children, how come they harm and kill so many of them year after year? Give me a break. Let me be clear: I don’t want my kids anywhere near the violence and hatred I’ve witnessed in Israel/Palestine, but if I were forced to choose, I’d send my kid to fight against a brutal occupation a lot sooner than I’d send her or him to enforce it. I can understand why Bassem watches with pride through the tears as his daughter becomes a leader of the Palestinian struggle before the world’s eyes. I can’t imagine how Israelis can watch as their children arrest, beat, shoot, and otherwise humiliate and oppress Ahed’s family and the entire Palestinian people. As Michael Lerner warned two decades ago, their “settler Judaism” is among the gravest threat to Judaism since the Holocaust. If this is Judaism, Hitler won. If you don’t understand this, you’re not paying attention.

    No Way to Stop the Performance
    But all this is beside the point, because no one is sending their kids to do anything. It’s impossible to stop them. They are growing up in the midst of an unimaginable and unending Occupation. They live without hope and with trauma and violence that is exceeded in only a few even more tragically star-crossed places like Syria, Yemen, Rohingya, or eastern Nigeria. The only hope they have is in fighting, however they can, against the Occupation. “To resist is to exist” the Zapatistas have long said (and Palestinians as well) – “morir para vivir” (dying in order to live). It’s a common theme wherever oppression rules the land. As I wrote above, no one can control Ahed; not when she was 8, and not when she’ll be 18.
    Ahed’s parents could chain her to a bed but I'm sure she'd find a way to break those chains. She could very well single-handedly break the chains of a half-century occupation if the Israelis aren’t careful (and they know this, which is why they’re now trying to lick her away, far from the media, people forget about her). People are already imagining her as the first true President of Palestine. Others worry all the focus and hype directed to her is dangerous and doomed to backfire. I think it’s more likely she’s going to be the first Prime Minister of Israel/Palestine; Israelis would be lucky to have her.
    People are also criticizing Ahed and the Tamimis for “staging” or otherwise planning her protests. Of course they do. That’s the whole point. They understand that the only way they stand a chance against the Israelis is to play by the script, by the rules of engagement that both sides in the theater that is that hill have more or less agreed to. The script allows the Tamimis and their supporters to at least slow the inexorable take-over of their land. The Israelis get to use their relative “restraint” to show how moral they are. Except for shooting her cousin, of course. And all the other shootings, beatings, arrests, and so on. And now, of course, arresting Ahed (when they came for her cousin last year she and her mother starred in another viral video, in which they grabbed the soldier and pulled Muhammad away from him, pulling his balaclava off his face in the process).
    Finally, Ahed is being criticized for saying in one interview that she supports all forms of resistance, even including suicide bombings. As of the time of writing, I haven’t seen or heard the interview where she allegedly made the comment, and I’ve been told her words were mistranslated or taken out of context, as she was arguing that people shouldn’t be surprised at whatever actions Palestinians take, not endorsing a specific action. But assuming the claim is true, I certainly don't agree with that and if I saw her again I would say so. I also know that’s not at all the position of her family or anyone in the village. Nabi Saleh could as easily become a factory for suicide bombers as Nablus, or Jenin, or Falluja, or Raqqa. But it’s simply utterly foreign to the idea of civil resistance the Tamimis and other Palestinians have developed to use such violence, which they know full well is counter- productive and morally dubious.
    Yet this comment also has to be contextualized before being condemned, not least of which by remembering that whatever the historical weight thrust upon her, Ahed remains a young girl who’s lived her entire life under Occupation, and despite the innumerable times she’s repeated the Nabi Saleh mantra of civil resistance, sometimes you just get too pissed, sometimes you can’t stick to the script, even when you more or less believe in it. Let’s remember what former Prime Minister Ehud Barak admitted during the al-Aqsa Intifada: if he were a young Palestinian, he’d have joined a terrorist group. In other words, he wouldn’t be protesting at Nabi Saleh; he’d have long ago blown himself up in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
    In reality, the Tamimi family has a long history of nonviolent resistance against a brutal occupation that has stolen their land, brutalized their people, destroyed their homes, and arrested and killed their family. If you want to condemn Ahed’s comment, then you need to condemn the very real violence that has produced it with a lot more vociferousness.

    Malala or Mandela?

    Not long after her arrest, the scholar Shenila Khoja-Moolji rightly asked why the world has shown such support for Malala Yousafzai, but not for Ahed. Both are young women who’ve faced incredible violence and oppression, and both share the same grit and determination. But it’s also clear that Ahed is a very different person with a different story. She’s suffered less physically, at least so far. But she also didn’t have the luxury of being “saved” by her former colonizer. Spirited away to the UK to be healed, given citizenship, given a Nobel Prize. Feted around the world as a symbol of what a Muslim women can and should be. And, of course, Malala stood up to America’s mortal enemy, the Taliban, while Ahed is fighting America’s darling, Israel. As long as there’s no understanding of how close Israel’s treatment of Palestinians mirrors the Taliban’s treatment of women – no rights, permanent confinement to ever smaller prisons, violence and murder without regard to international law or morality – there’s no chance Ahed will ever be seen in the same light as Malala.
    God bless Malala. I bought her book for my daughter. We watched the documentary. I hope she grows up with Malala’s courage and determination. But Ahed doesn’t have that chance. She doesn’t have that fresh start. She probably wouldn’t even get a visa to go to the UK or the US today. She won’t sell millions of books. And the Israelis will likely convict her of assault and stick her in a prison for years, hoping the world forgets about her. Even if they do, they’ll never break her. She may not be Malala, but Ahed could well wind up Mandela. That much becomes clear the moment you meet her.
    And it’s our job, the job of every person with a conscience, to support her, her family, and all the Palestinians and their Israeli and international allies who risk so much to fight for the little land that hasn’t been swallowed up by Israel, and in so doing to fight for a future in the Holy Land when Palestinians can breathe the air freely, without tear gas, or shitty water, or the smell of blood and tears, around them; and as important, where Israelis can reclaim their humanity.

    Mark LeVine is professor of history at UC Irvine and Tikkun’s longest serving Inner Editorial Board member. He is presently completing a collaboratively written history of the Occupation to be published by the University of California Press. @culturejamming.


    I am not an Arab, I am not a Jew
    Abraham is not my father, Palestine is not my home
    But I would fight any man
    Who kicked me out of my house
    To dwell in a tent
    I would fight
    To the ends of the earth
    Someone who said to me
    I want your house
    Because my father lived here
    Two thousand years ago
    I want your land
    Because my father lived here
    Two thousand years ago.
    Jets would not stop me
    From returning to my home
    Uncle Toms would not stop me
    Cluster bombs would not stop me
    Bullets I would defy.
    No man can take the house of another
    And expect to live in peace
    There is no peace for thieves
    There is no peace for those who murder
    For myths and ancient rituals
    Wail at the wall
    Settle in "Judea" and Samaria"
    But fate awaits you
    You will never sleep with peace
    You will never walk without listening.
    I shall cross the River Jordan
    With Justice in my hand
    I shall return to Jerusalem
    And establish my house of peace,
    Thus said the Lord.
    --Marvin X (Maalik El Muhajir) 

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    A Pan African Nigguh will have a weave or wig and bleach creamed face. You will think she is an American born nigguh until you hear the accent! An African nigguh will get mad when you call him African or especially black. He will hate you for calling him black, and the nigguh is blue black! A Pan African Nigguh will never wear Kenti cloth or native dress, only Sean John and other nigguh attire, but he will sell North American Africans kenti cloth (especially imitation from Korea or China), mud cloth and other African material, statues, soap, Shea butter and other creams, herbes, beads, trinkets, some of the same shit they tricked us over here to endure 400 years of fucking slavery, of which the African ruling classes benefited. Only one African has apologized to me for his people selling us into slavery, the Ghanian brother Kokoman of Oakland. He said, "Marvin, I want to apologize for my people selling your people into slavery." I accepted his apology on behalf of Mother Africa, for in trade there are buyers and sellers and both benefit, so imagine if the white man accumulated surplus capital, so did the African ruling class, so they owe us reparations as well as the white man. Imagine, there were Jews who sent Jews into Hitler's gas chambers. Not only did Negroes half slaves, but there are Negroes today with shares on the stock market as per the  commodity of prisoners and private prisons traded on the stock exchange. As Rev. Cecil Williams of San Francisco's Glide Church said, "Marvin, Wall Street is still a slaver mart!" A Haitian taxi driver in Newark, New Jersey, said to me, "Broder, Africans sold us once, look like they want to sell us again!"

    Of course the Pan African Nigguh is a victim of neo-colonialism as are all nigguhs. This is why I titled by manual How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, a Pan African healing manual. 

    The white man will allow his colonial elite nigguhs to come to America and teach North American Africans black and/or African studies, after all, North American Africans are not "real Africans". Further, native Africans and Caribbean Africans are more truth worthy than North American Africans, so native and Caribbean Africans are preferred as security guards, especially on the East Coast. They are preferred as security guards in Harlem and Brooklyn, New York. Finally, native Africans claim native Africans are in worse mental shape than North American African Nigguhs! We didn't know anything or anyone could be in worse shape than the USA nigguh, afterall, we say, "A nigguh ain't shit," so how can anyone else be lower than feces?

    Even if the North American African Nigguh ain't the worse nigguh in the world, he's still a motherfucker, especially them pseudo-conscious (my daughter Amira's term) who say they Woke but are walking zombies from the world of make believe (Frazier, Black Bourgeoisie). These Hotep nigguhs try to be more African than Africans, i.e., real Africans. They've been to Africa numerous times but spent all their time trying to hook up with other North American Africans. After all, when the welcome home brother talk is exhausted and as they search for other North American Africans in the streets of Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa and are referred to as "American slaves," they conclude they are not African after all, and reconcile to be North American African nigguhs. For sure, they know no American slave can marry into any African royal family. Africans ain't going for that British royal family shit with that bitch from South Central marrying the prince!

    But ask the pseudo-conscious North American African Nigguh who is the Original Man, Woman? Who is the devil? Who is the white woman? Why won't the devil allow us to integrate or have social equality with him? Who made the devil through genetic engineering as the devil himself is making men today? Aside from the ignut NAA Nigguh, even brothers who learned Supreme Wisdom will confess, "Yes, I got Supreme Wisdom, I got it but I didn't get it!" These brothers, so called Lost/Found, are, along with other NAA Nigguhs, "lost and turned out on the way to Grandmother's House," (Whispers).

    If Master Fard Muhammad came here in 1930, and Noble Drew Ali was here before, and Marcus Garvey as well, then Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Farrakan, and we ain't got no independent nation yet, it ain't gonna happen no time soon. Even with the coming Balkinization of America, it is doubtful the North American African Nigguh will achieve independence and self determination, even though other ethnicity's will do so. For sure, at the present rate of progress, there will surely be a nation of La Raza, La Raza, La Raza. In fact, La Raza might control the whole enchilada! Por favor, if California ain't La Raza, La Raza, ain't no La Raza! Fyi, as a NAA Nigguh from the central valley of Cali, Fresno, I am not against La Raza, Furthermore, Mexico gave me refuge when I had to flee the USA in opposition to the Vietnam War, so I love and appreciate La Raza who helping me in my hour of need. Additionally, during my exile in Mexico City, I saw the most wretched poverty any human being can imagine: houses with dirt floors but TVs and alters to the Catholic church who owns most of the land in Latin America. Therefore, I cannot blame anyone for fleeing the Americas to Ustados Unidos!

    But, as per NAA Nigguhs, what is our agenda? We Hip Hop, we Hotep, we Kemetic, we Pan African, we we we don't have an agenda, yet we want to come to the table to cut up the pie of these United Snakes. Don't ask me what you mean Agenda? Motherfucker, what part of the pie do you want, Nigguh? For sure, when this USA balkinizes, Whitey go get his part, La Raza too, Asia too, Gay/Lesbian, LEGPTIFGQUEXZ go get theirs, so what part do you want of the pie, Nigguh?

    You so motherfuckin Hip Hop, Pan African, Kemetic, multicultural, interracial, inter sexual, what do you want? Don't talk about Donald Trump's America First, Elijah Muhammad taught us Self First. Didn't yo mama and daddy teach you charity begins at home and spreads abroad? Help yo self first, Nigguh! How can you be for everybody but not for yourself? What part of African philosophy is this?
    Is it that part Chancellor Williams talked about in Destruction of African Civilization, where we allowed all enemies into our land, yes, in the African tradition of welcoming the stranger, while Diop taught us in his Cultural Unity of Africa, that the Northern Cradle tradition was to kill the stranger then ask questions! What you doing in on my land, in my house, bitch? 

    Maybe we need to learn some shit from the Northern Cradle, we've learned everything else from these motherfuckers, learn the real low down dirty shit, Self First!

    Oh, we don't need a nation, we can be with everybody. Yeah, fool, only thing, everybody ain't with you! La Raza go get theirs, alas, already got it! Aboriginals go claim theirs, Asians, same gender loving people, so where you gonna be, not again on the lowest rung of the multi-cultural ladder! Is is Nigguh a damn fool too? Yes.

    Nigguh, Nigger, Negro, defined. In the science of Linguistics or the study of language, which is broken down into consonants and vowels, according to Grimm's Law, the consonants C,K and G are interchangeable or equal, thus Negro, Nigro, Necro, Nekro mean the same: something dead, as in Necropolis, City of the Dead. So a nigguh, nigger, negro, is essentially a dead motherfucker. Elijah Muhammad said a Negro was a tool and fool. One of his cartoonist showed us a tool rack and the negro was hanging among the tools. Of course, Elijah said we were not Negroes but so-called Negroes since we were dead to knowledge of self, kind and others. Holy Qur'an said we were deaf, dumb and blind. 

    Nigguh behavior. The most notable personality trait of a NAA Nigguh is that he/she/they will hate you for helping them. FYI, I helped a NAA Nigguh family win a million dollar lawsuit, after which they hated me and didn't give me a chicken bone. Nigguhs! I will stop saying Nigguh when Nigguhs stop acting like Nigguhs. What did Dr. Cornel West say, "How is the NAACP going to have a funeral to bury the N word while they still act like Nigguhs?"

    continued at 

    --Marvin X/El Muhajir
    City of Resistance!

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  • 01/11/18--10:11: Nigguh Please! by Marvin X

  • Nigguh Please!
    by Marvin X

    The black culture police are at it again, lead running dog is Rev. Jesse Jackson, perhaps the most hypocritical culture policeman on the scene--especially after leading president Clinton in prayer over Monica while himself engaged in extramarital shenanigans. I can't take Jesse Jackson with his twisted mouth ( from lying) pontificating on moral issues while he is the most immoral of men, even pimping the blood of MLK, Jr.
    The culture police continue to focus on the N word as in Nigguh or Nigger, depending on whether one is into Ebonics or Euronics. Now Nigguh/Nigger has become a billion dollar word, thanks to rappers. It is used around the world on the rap scene and used by the multicultural hip hop generation. Yes, a white boy, Asian, Latino or others can be called nigguh. Language is fluid and dynamic, not static, thus, definitions of words, connotations and denotations change with time. The conservative cultural police are stuck in a time warp, suffer cultural lag and other psycho pathologies. They want to deal with surface structure rather than deep structure issues. They abhor the term motherfucker while they fuck their mothers and daughters, even sons. They abhor the term nigguh because they are the real nigguhs, faking like they black. As James Brown says in one of his songs, "Talkin Black but living negro."

    As a writer, I am opposed to censorship in any way, for any reason. Nigguh is one of the most powerful words in the American language, certainly in the language of North American Africans, and it's silly to think we are going to stop using the N word--I am not, so Nigguh please tell the culture police to kiss my black nigguh ass.

    If there were people in my audience talking or heckling me, I would/will tell them to get their black nigguh asses out my concert, or come up to the mike and take over, since it is obviously their show and they have something important to say to the audience.
    It is time for political correctness to enter the dustbin of history. Call a spade a spade and stop tweaking. How in the hell can we get mad at the white boy when we use nigguh every day of our lives. And when we ain't using nigguh, for sure we are acting like nigguhs, talkin loud, saying nothing--or more precisely doing nothing. Nigguh, please!

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  • 01/11/18--10:33: Parable of the Rats
  • WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2015

    Parable of the Rats by Marvin X

    The rats all have the same gait: they scurry about, back broken by an abundance of lies, half-truths and disinformation, defamation and other tactics of rat behavior. Even their facial expressions have a rat like appearance, so you can see them coming a mile away. You can smell a funky rat. We suspect the two legged variety even has a tail hidden inside their pants or underneath their dresses, yes, there are rats of every gender, every color, class. Some are sewer rats, some are wharf rats, some are subway rats, church rats, house rats. But their behavior is the same. They are on the lower level of humankind, these two legged rats. They can do nothing right. They cannot give justice even with the scale in view while they weigh goods. They will lie while you look at them playing with the scale. They will try to convince you the scale doesn't work while it is their minds that have not evolved to work on the human level.

    There is only one thing to do with such rats: set a trap for them or feed them poison cheese and watch them puke and vomit until they die. Better yet, let the cat catch their asses. It is beautiful watching the cat catch a rat, seeing how still the cat will become while stalking his prey. But the cat will lie in wait for the rat as long as it takes, never moving, never batting his eye. And then he leaps upon his prey and devours him. It is a beautiful sight when when the cat and rat game reaches the climax and ends with the consumption of the rat by the cat.
    --Marvin X

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    "When you listen to Tupac Shakur, E-40, Too Short, Master P or any other rappers out of the Bay Area of Cali, think of Marvin X. He laid the foundation and gave us the language to express black male urban experience in a lyrical way."
    --James G. Spady, Philadelphia New Observer
    LtoR: BAM founder Amiri Baraka, Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale, BAM babies Dr. Ayodele Nzinga and Ahi Baraka, BAM co-founder Marvin X. This pic was taken in Oakland's Black Arts Movement Business District, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland.
    photo Gene Hazzard

    FYI, The archives of Marvin X and the Black Arts Movement are part of the Respect Hip Hop Exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California, March 2018.
    Hip-hop’s television takeover

    "Atlanta's" Donald Glover, center; Lakeith Stanfield, left; and Brian Tyree Henry. (Matthias Clamer / FX)

    The ceremony for the 60th Grammy Awards is still two weeks away, but already music’s biggest TV night has made history.
    For the first time, hip-hop artists comprise the majority of nominees chosen in the academy’s top categories, including record, album and song of the year.
    But that sound you’re hearing isn’t champagne corks popping in celebration. It’s exasperated sighs that the Recording Academy only just discovered what the rest of the entertainment industry noticed back in the flip-phone era: Hip-hop, once an outlier, is now the status quo.
    From Broadway’s “Hamilton” to Hollywood’s “Straight Outta Compton” to television’s “Atlanta,” hip-hop’s domination of American pop culture has defied countless predictions that a nervous white mainstream would never fully embrace a trend born out of the urban, black experience.
    Consider hip-hop’s television takeover. Today, rappers are not only backing films about the black experience, but they are creating, producing and starring in top-rated cable and network series and breaking out of music categories at film and television award shows.
    “Atlanta” creator and star Donald Glover — who under his rap name, Childish Gambino, is up for five Grammys — made history when he won a directing Emmy in September for his breakthrough FX comedy, a cable ratings success, about the everyday trials and tribulations of an aspiring hip-hop entrepreneur. No other black director had ever won an Emmy in the comedy category, and Glover was the first director since Alan Alda in 1977 to win for a comedy in which he also starred.
    “I wanted to show white people you don’t know everything about black culture,” he told the awards ceremony audience, some of whom had already watched him win two top Golden Globes for the show earlier in 2017.
    Lin-Manuel Miranda, who shattered records and expectations when his hip-hop musical “Hamilton” swept the 2016 Tonys, is now executive producing a forthcoming Showtime series, “The Kingkiller Chronicle,” based on characters from the fantasy books by Patrick Rothfuss.
    And hitting Showtime this month was the already critically acclaimed “The Chi” from “Master of None’s” Lena Waithe, the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing, and hip-hop star Common, the first rapper to win an Emmy, Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe. (Before Oprah and Meryl Streep, he gave what had been the Golden Globes’ most inspirational speech — “I am” — delivered with the poetic rhythm of a rap when he and John Legend accepted the 2015 original song award for “Glory” in Ava DuVernay’s civil rights drama “Selma.”)

    "The Chi"
    The cast of Showtime's "The Chi," which premiered this month and has already garnered critical acclaim. Mathieu Young / Showtime

    “I was surprised by it all,” Common said about the accolades.
    It was one of many in a string of “crossover surprises”: Fox’s hip-hop themed drama “Empire” became a surprise success with white audiences; soccer moms across America were surprised they couldn’t stop humming Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” in favor of something — anything — else; and a biopic about once-feared gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A, “Straight Outta Compton,” became a surprise hit at the box office.
    The surprise, however, is that anyone was surprised.

    The Age of Hip-Hop

    From the streets to cultural dominance
    The 2018 Grammy nominations are overdue acknowledgment that hip-hop has shaped music and culture worldwide for decades. In this ongoing series, we track its rise and future.

    “Hip-hop is the soundtrack of at least one, probably two generations now,” says Common (aka Lonny Rashid Lynn Jr.), who is an executive producer on the Waithe-run series about everyday life on the South Side of Chicago. “People used to be afraid of it or consider it the music of gangsters or thugs, or whatever. But now, it’s part of everything … and everyone under the age of 40.”
    From the jaunty 1980s McDonald’s jingles that still haunt Gen Xers today to raunchy rapper Method Man’s current role as a congenial TV game show host for the millennial-skewing “Drop the Mic,” hip-hop is now part of our cultural DNA. Tupac Shakur, Lauryn Hill and Eminem are to a generation what the Beatles and Stones were to boomers — the artists of their youth.
    And in some cases, the actors of today were the rappers of their parents’ generation.
    Ice-T, the once-controversial “Cop Killer” rapper whose breakthrough film role was in 1991’s “New Jack City,” has played a sex crimes detective on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since 2000. “If you’re 17 now, that means I started when you were two,” he said in the past. “So you don’t have a reference point for me as a rapper. Your mother does, your father does….”

    Ice–T as Odafin "Fin" Tutuola in the long-running NBC series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Paul Drinkwater / NBC

    Rap, after all, was the genre that gave us TV and film personalities like Queen Latifah, Will Smith, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Redman, Method Man and Tupac — and we’re not even into the 2000s yet. Their popularity would eventually give rise to more and more shows about or starring hip-hop figures. When ABC recently canceled “The Mayor,” about an aspiring rapper who becomes mayor of his hometown, there were no outcries over the dearth of black leads on TV — people were too busy looking forward to “The Chi” and the upcoming March premiere of “Atlanta’s” second season.
    “When I used to get my Entertainment Weekly and I’d look at the fall TV previews,” said Method Man (aka Clifford Smith), “there was so many years when there weren’t any black shows premiered. I remember one year, there was only like one new fall show premiering that featured people of color: ‘The Cleveland Show’ — and that was animated, and the lead voice was done by a white guy!”
    Lee Daniels’ “Empire” was the clearest example of hip-hop as a crossover bridge to break color barriers when it premiered on Fox in 2015 and obliterated conventional wisdom that a “black” drama was for black audiences. After all, why would an entire generation raised on Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” consider a show about a hip-hop family dynasty as anything but meant for them?

    Terrence Howard
    Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon, a hip-hop mogul, in Fox's "Empire." Chuck Hodes / Fox

    Instead of waiting for Hollywood and television studios to let them in, many hip-hop artists formed their own multimedia production companies or began crowdsourcing funds to create their own content.
    Ice Cube (aka O’Shea Jackson) alone launched an entire genre of black comedies for the post-Run DMC generation in the “Friday” and “Barbershop” series. The stone-cold gangsta who had referred to himself as the “[N-word] you love to hate” reinvented himself as everyone’s dad in the “Are We There Yet?” films.
    Taking cues from pioneers like Ice Cube, Pharrell co-executive produced a love letter to 1990s hip-hop, the coming-of-age film “Dope.” Beyond his work with Common, crooner John Legend, who came up in the hip-hop world, co-produced a WGN America series about slavery, “Underground.” Rapper 50 Cent was behind the Starz series “Power.”
    Ice Cube and Dr. Dre avoided the curse of the corny rap biopic (e.g., “Notorious”) by co-producing their own story in “Straight Outta Compton.” “NCIS: Los Angeles” star and five-time Grammy host LL Cool J now co-produces his own game show, “Lip Sync Battle.” Clearly his 1990s self was onto something when he rapped about “Rockin’ [his] peers.”
    Queen Latifah (aka Dana Owens) and Will Smith also created their own production companies after experiencing success on their respective hit series, “Living Single” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Netflix recently teamed up with Smith for its biggest gamble to date, “Bright,” a streaming version of a Hollywood blockbuster. Though critically panned, the production was streamed an astonishing 11 million times over three days when it was released last month and has been greenlit for a sequel.
    Demand is high for the cachet, the perspective and, of course, the money that a rap celebrity and elder statesman like Jay-Z brings to a production. “Selma” and “Wrinkle in Time” director Ava DuVernay recently worked with Mr. Bey for his “Family Feud” music video, a short released exclusively on his streaming service, Tidal.
    It’s not just recognizable star power from the music world that’s drawing viewers toward shows and films that take their cues from the rap world. HBO’s “Insecure” and the CW’s “Black Lightning” are heavily steeped in rap references — such cultural shorthand would have been unthinkable 15 years ago beyond BET or MTV.
    Reality TV on those Viacom-owned networks has served as a major stepping stone for hip-hop stars transitioning from music to TV — and beyond.
    Let’s face it, when “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” is renewed for a second season (which kicked off last year), a barrier has not only been broken, it’s been entirely erased. “I don’t know who’s going to be more fried by the end of this show,” joked the perfect hostess with the “Gin & Juice” rapper in the first season.
    VH1’s reality show “Love & Hip-Hop” gave us Cardi B. “Surreal Life” and “Strange Love” made Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav a household name 20 years after he was last a household name. “Run’s House” and, yes, even “The Vanilla Ice Project,” a home improvement show, were canaries in a coal mine for the acceptance of the brash likes of Nicki Minaj on Middle America’s go-to show, “American Idol.”
    Rappers who are used to saying it all — unedited, with abandon and on the fly — make for the best and most unpredictable reality stars. As for scripted television and film, the tradition of storytelling at the base of rap as far back as Kurtis Blow and the Sugarhill Gang is what makes hip-hop so attractive to narrative-hungry mediums.
    Says Common, “rappers are storytellers, and that is a timeless tradition no matter who is watching or listening.” And clearly, this year, the Grammys finally are.
    The rise of XXXTentacion underscores rap's fraught battle with the law
    Pharrell and Chad Hugo redefined hip-hop's sound, now they've put out a N.E.R.D response to Trump
    Why hip-hop, once ostracized in clubs, is ruling the festival circuit
    Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times

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  • 01/13/18--10:38: America is a Shithole!
  • You didn't know Trump was a  white nationalist? Now you know! You didn't know he was a devil? Now you know! Did you know Europe and America under developed Africa, Haiti and other "shitholes" around the world, the result of slavery, colonialism, imperialism, neocolonialism and globalism? Don't blame the white man for being white. Do you blame a dog for being a dog? Yes, Trump is the white lash. He's going to whip Toby back to Kunta Kinte, yes, with the black bull whip of white power! Welcome back, Kunta! FYI, America is the biggest shithole on earth, the filthy dungeon of oppressed people suffering wage slavery and mental slavery with full blown addiction to white supremacy type I and II (Dr. Nathan Hare).

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    Did you know the City of Oakland established the Black Arts Movement Business District
    January 19, 2016?

    And two years later you don't know about the BAMBD? Ask your City Councilperson for the area, Lynette McElhaney? Ask why our banners don't fly along the BAMBD, the 14th Street corridor from the lower bottom to Lake Merritt, and four blocks north and south? 

    Ask why no budget has been allocated for the BAMBD. Isn't this similar to Juneteenth and post slavery? They said we were free, yes, we learned one year later in Texas, but weren't given the trappings of freedom such as forty acres and a mule. The Black Arts Movement Business District is part of the City of Oakland's Downtown Plan for the next 25 to 50 years, but there is no equity in business development, housing, jobs, cultural and art space and other amenities. 

    At the present rate of development and gentrification in the BAMBD, we can only look forward to being museum objects, similar to the Black cultural district in Austin, Texas, i.e., the district has few Black people due to development and gentrification. 

    On behalf of the North American African community, the BAMBD CDC or community development corporation has been established as an independent entity from the City of Oakland. If the last two years are an index of Oakland's snail paced bureaucratic process, we clearly don't wish to be caught at the whim of ephemeral regimes. The BAMBD must stand on solid ground for the present and future.

    Marvin X co-founder
    Black Arts Movement and BAMBD

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    Whole Foods has been attacking folks of color within the past two years—going as far as attacking and racially profiling two black men, and a young, black teenager in recent reports. Their gentrifying organization must be held accountable for the threat they have posed to our community and it’s time that we make some noise to show resistance and intolerance to racial terror on any and all fronts.

    Join us, next Tuesday (1/23) from 3:30-5:30 PM as we hold a noise demo in front of the store to demonstrate our intolerance for racism in our communities. Please bring any safe objects you have to make noise, signs, and bright spirits as we show up for the folks who were affected and targeted by this racist institution. It is imperative that we address racism on all fronts in our communities—especially in recent light of honoring King’s legacy and the path he has helped to pave with his work. We have to continue to take to the streets EVERY day, and address issues as we see them rather than depending on others to do the work first.

    When: Tuesday, January 23rd
    Time: 3:30-5:30PM
    Where: Whole Foods Market 230 Bay Pl, Oakland, CA 94612

    Direct all questions, comments, or concerns to:

    Hope to see you all there! Love & Solidarity!

    Boycott Whole Foods Oakland and its racism!!

    Yet another case of blatant racism and racial profiling at another new Oakland establishment has occurred! I’ve witnessed this multiple times at different stores in Oakland, we all know we have and too often I’ve just grit my teeth and accepted that as way it has to be. But this most recent incindent involving a  13 year old child buying gifts for his mother and him being racially profiled twice in the same store over a year apart!!??
    That means there’s an issue. I want to force Whole Foods Oakland and board members of Oakland’s developers committee  to sit and have a discussion and be held accountable for this grievance against the black community. Please sign and help move this along, share it wide , give suggestions, I’ve never done something like this before but I couldn’t stay silent any longer , any help from established activists would be appreciated. We need change , I don’t know if it will happen in our lifetime but we have to try.

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    What make god and goddess happy?
    Original man/woman
    everywhere find us traces
    bones in  sand
    primitive art Picasso copy
    copy cats plagiarists 
    original man
    mad in babylon
    no post traumatic slave syndrome
    traumatic in the now
    slave now
    tech brain only
    no original mind
    cell phone mind
    where you at where you at
    Google nigga
    white woman tell you where she at
    where you at is the question
    where you at
    2018 in the rain
    scared of Trump
    Rocket Man #1
    you scared of little Kim Rocket Man #2
    Who got most rockets
    who's finger button always works
    Rocket Man #1
    Shithole man #1
    Last hurrah
    savage no civility
    discipline Sun Ra said
    Space is the Place
    party ova here
    emergency situation
    run faya life
    grab children, husband wife
    If you resist he will flee from you
    You flee in name of Allah
    "You shall find many places of escape
    abundant resources." Al Qur'an

    Tribe of Shabazz Greater Taker
    Allahu Akhbar
    no more blues man woman
    Allahu Akhbar
    Flee to Upper Room
    escape dungeon mind
    be other side of time
    everybody star
    shine star
    little light shine
    Mutabaruka say
    don't stay white man land too long
    African, Kemet, Aboriginal, Crime in street
    negro problem no, negro solution
    no white man solution Chinese Arab Latin
    don't let devil catch ya naked
    riddin' dirty
    travel light
    hide from fools
    As-salaam Alaikum fool
    Allahu Akhbar fool
    Al hamdulilah fool
    Aoutho bilahi mina s shaitani r rajim fool.

    --Marvin X

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    Salamishah Tillet
    January 12, 2018
    New York Times
    For Lorraine Hansberry, art was not simply an expression of her civil rights concerns but a space where she could wage racial and gender battles and find resolutions that were more liberating than the law.

    David Attie, Lorraine Hansberry was the first African-American woman to have a play produced on Broadway, with “A Raisin in the Sun.”

    A few months before her death from pancreatic cancer in early 1965, the playwright Lorraine Hansberry spoke about a letter to the editor that she sent to, but that was ultimately rejected by, The New York Times. Standing before a racially integrated Town Hall audience in New York, Ms. Hansberry, then 34, sought to counter the growing white liberal criticism of the racial militancy expressed by a younger generation of African-Americans.
    “And I wrote to The Times and said, you know, ‘Can’t you understand that this is the perspective from which we are now speaking?’” Hansberry said. “It isn’t as if we got up today and said, you know, ‘what can we do to irritate America?’ you know. It’s because that since 1619, Negroes have tried every method of communication, of transformation of their situation from petition to the vote, everything. We’ve tried it all. There isn’t anything that hasn’t been exhausted.”
    This image of Hansberry — exasperated, fatigued and sympathetic to the nationalist ideologies that would later blossom in the Black Power movement — might surprise those who know her only through the success of “A Raisin in the Sun.” With that much-lauded play, about a working-class African-American family on the verge of racially desegregating a Chicago suburb, Hansberry became the first African-American woman to have a show produced on Broadway, in 1959.
    But for Tracy Heather Strain, showing there was much more to Hansberry than “A Raisin in the Sun” was the imperative driving the making of “Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart,” which debuts Jan. 19 on “American Masters” on PBS. This includes her radical leftist politics as well as her struggle to identify publicly as a black lesbian in the 1950s and 1960s. “I started with the notion that people did not know who Lorraine Hansberry was,” Ms. Strain said. “I didn’t either, really. You see these pictures, she’s wearing the pearls, her hair’s all done. She’s an icon, the picture of success during the civil rights movement.”
    Ms. Strain, 57, was 17 when she discovered Hansberry. But it was not through “A Raisin in the Sun,” which has had critically acclaimed revivals on Broadway (in 2004 and 2014) and has inspired other work like Bruce Norris’s “Clybourne Park” and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s“Beneatha’s Place.” Her introduction came in 1978 in her hometown, Harrisburg, Pa., during a performance of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” a play that Hansberry’s ex-husband and literary executor, Robert Nemiroff, adapted posthumously from her unpublished letters and diary entries.
    “I’d never encountered a young black woman sharing her inner thoughts before, and those thoughts and observations were remarkably similar to the ones that I had about things like race, gender and class,” Ms. Strain said. “It stayed in the back of my mind for a long time.”
    As she pursued a career in documentaries, producing and directing documentaries like “Unnatural Causes” (2008) and “I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African-American Arts” (1999), Ms. Strain found herself drawn to her subject. She produced and directed a short TV segment on “A Raisin in the Sun” in 1999. Five years later, she met with Chiz Schultz, a film producer who not only had exclusive access to Hansberry’s materials, but was also in search of a director for his Hansberry documentary. (Mr. Schultz is an executive producer on the film, which was budgeted at $1.5 million.)
    Through interviews with the original cast of the stage and film versions of “A Raisin in the Sun,” including Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Louis Gossett Jr., as well as her fellow artist-activist, Harry Belafonte, Ms. Strain tries to capture the revolutionary nature of Hansberry’s play. “It was like Lorraine opened a new chapter in theater,” Ms. Dee recalls in the film, describing the standing ovation and riveting response on opening night. “That included black people.”
    LaTanya Richardson Jackson, the narrator of “Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart,” whose performance as Lena Younger in the 2014 Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” received a Tony Award nomination, sees the character of Beneatha, Lena’s adult daughter, as ahead of her time. Not only does she turn down the advances, and in one case a marriage proposal, from her two male suitors, but she also plans to be a doctor and proclaims to be atheist in a staunchly Christian household.
    “She had a very feminist, ‘why not me’ point of view, whereas her mother just assumed the status quo of ‘your brother should lead the family,’” Ms. Jackson said. “She respected that, but she also challenged that his notion of living was any better than hers.”
    Like Beneatha, Hansberry was an intellectual in an era when women and African-Americans were denied full admission into that rarefied category. “The stereotype of African-Americans in this country was that we weren’t thinkers, but Hansberry was thinking, batting around ideas, putting forth ‘what ifs’ and challenging suppositions that everyone else took for granted,” Ms. Jackson said.
    The film emphasizes that despite the success of “A Raisin in the Sun,” Hansberry was frustrated with the common interpretation of it as a play of optimism or integration. Her family history helped shape her beliefs about the limits of turning to the courts for racial justice. Her parents’ legal challenge of Chicago’s restrictive racial housing covenants, in a case that went to the Supreme Court in 1940, was successful, but black and white people remained segregated and mob violence often greeted the African-American families that moved in, such as hers. And “my father died a disillusioned exile in another country,” Hansberry lamented at that Town Hall meeting.
    Hansberry responded to her father’s fate by moving beyond theater to pursue her larger goal of social change. Seeking to underscore the racial particularities of her play, for example, she tried again with a film version of “A Raisin in the Sun.” The studio rejected her first two screenplay drafts and finally accepted the third one; ultimately, the film was not as successful as the play.
    “Hansberry experimented with a variety of forms, which includes the essay, long-form fiction, short stories as well being a visual artist and a painter,” said Imani Perry, author of the forthcoming “Looking for Lorraine: A Life of Lorraine Hansberry” and a professor of African-American studies at Princeton. “And she was also was fairly ecumenical in terms of her political activism.” Hansberry was concerned with racial justice, colonialism and feminism; she joined the Communist Party and led the Young Progressives group at the University of Wisconsin in 1948.
    For Hansberry, however, art was not simply an expression of her civil rights concerns but a space where she could wage racial and gender battles and find resolutions that were more liberating than the law.
    The documentary also wrestles directly with her sexuality, rather than avoid or allude to Hansberry’s same-sex relationships (the way some recent documentaries on James Baldwin and Nina Simonehave). Her lesbianism was a source of conflict and comfort and helped shape her feminist politics. The film also recognizes that even though Hansberry never denied her attraction to women, she did not actively publicize it.
    Instead, as she was working on the play that canonized her place in the civil rights movement, she was also writing, under the initials L.H.N. or L.N., letters to “The Ladder,” the first subscription-based lesbian publication in the United States. Hansberry’s preoccupation with women’s financial and sexual independence was not limited to these semi-anonymous letters, but a theme that she infused throughout her work, even “A Raisin in the Sun.”
    Though she may have written in an era that precedes “what we think of mainstream feminist movement,” Ms. Perry said, “Hansberry stands out today because she was thinking about what a feminist future looks like.”

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    Oh Happy Day

    Oh, Edwin
    we rejoice your passage to the Upper Room
    Oh, Happy Day
    for all of us in the Bay, Oaktown
    City of Resistance
    Qur'an says After difficulty comes ease
    Oh Happy Day
    Sixteen Crucified Saviors walked
    on water
    peace be still
    oh happy day
    Jesus walked
    Isa Ibn Mar'yam
    Isa Ibn Yusef
    Oh happy day
    Frankie Beverly say
    joy pain same
    oh happy day
    after difficulty comes ease
    no cross no crown
    sweat equity
    visit Santa Rita jail
    holding cell sleep head by toilet
    strip butt naked
    hold yo nuts cough
    top ramen money
    no cigarettes
    starving hustle food all day night
    communal meal top ramen casserole doritoes bologna
    everybody share
    Oh happy day
    down in the dungeon
    If yo mind ain't in prison
    you ain't in prison!
    Oh happy day!
    Some out here in the big yard in mental prison, lockdown.
    Oh happy day!
    Jesus walked
    washed my sins away
    Isa Ibn Mar'yam
    Isa Ibn Yusef.
    --Marvin X

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    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Muhammida El Muhajir with parents Nisa Ra and Marvin X

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Muhammida el-Muhajir says as an African American in the US, she felt she could 'never win' [Courtesy of Muhammida el-Muhajir]
    Muhammida el-Muhajir says as an African American in the US, she felt she could 'never win' [Courtesy of Muhammida el-Muhajir]

     AL JAZEERAAccra, Ghana -
     They have come from the big cities of San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Thousands of them. And many refuse to return.
    A new wave of African Americans is escaping the incessant racism and prejudice in the United States. From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.
    It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They are teachers in small towns in the west or entrepreneurs in the capital and say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.
    Take Muhammida el-Muhajir, a digital marketer from New York City, who left her job to move to Accra.
    She says she moved, because despite her education and experience, she was always made to feel like a second-class citizen. Moving was an opportunity to fulfil her potential and avoid being targeted by racial violence.
    She told Al Jazeera her story:

    On life as a second-class citizen in the US...

    "I grew up in Philadelphia and then New York. I went to Howard, which is a historically black university. I tell people that Ghana is like Howard in real life. It felt like a microcosm of the world. At university, they tell us the world isn't black, but there are places where this is the real world. Howard prepares you for a world where black people are in charge, which is a completely different experience compared to people who  have gone to predominantly white universities."
    I can't say what's happening in America today is any worse than what's been happening at any other time.

    On her first trip to Africa...

    "The first country I went to was Kenya. I was 15 and travelled with a group of kids. I was one of two black kids. I saw early that I could fit in and wasn't an outsider. Suddenly it switched, I came from America where I was an outsider, but in Africa, I no longer felt like that. I did graduate school in Ghana in 2003 and went back to New York and then moved to Ghana in 2014.
    "I have no connection to Ghana. Some people in my family did tests, and we found ties to Senegal and The Gambia, but I don't think you can ever figure it out. No matter where you were sold or left the port, Senegal or Ghana, no one can be certain where you came from."
    No matter where you were sold or left the port, Senegal or Ghana, no one can be certain where you came from.
    Market in Agbogbloshie, a district in Accra, Ghana's capital [Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images]

    On leaving New York for Accra...

    "Even when you live in a place like New York as a black person, you're always an outsider.
    "You hear stories about the richest black people, like Oprah Winfrey, getting shut out of a store or Jay-Z not being allowed to buy [an apartment]. Those things happen. It doesn't matter if you're a celebrity, you're a second-class citizen. This was the biggest issue for me.
    "In America, you're always trying to prove yourself; I don't need to prove myself to anyone else's standards here. I'm a champion, I ran track and went to university, and I like to win, so I refuse to be in a situation where I will never win."
    You might not have electricity, but you won't get killed by the police either.

    On moving to Ghana...

    "There are amenities that I am used to at home in New York - like parties, open bars and fashion, so when I realised I could do the same things in Africa as I could back in the US, I was sold. There is also a big street art festival here, and that was the difference from when I came [as a student]. I saw the things that I love at home here, so I decided that now is the time."

    On Ghanaian reactions...

    "When Ghanaians find out that I live here, they're usually confused about why I chose to live here as an American. There is definitely certain access and privilege being American here, but it's great to finally cash in on that because it doesn't mean anything in America.
    "There are also plenty of privileged Ghanaians; if you take away race there's a class system."
    Modern architecture in Ghana's capital [Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images]

    On the 'Blaxit' documentary...

    "In my documentary, I chose five people that I've met since I've been here and every one of them went to a black college in the US. It's something that prepares you mentally to realise you aren't a second-class citizen. Something like that can help you make a transition to live in Africa.
    "I made Blaxit because of this wave of African-Americans moving to Africa. This trend started to happen around independence of African countries, but the new wave [comprises] people who come to places like this. This new group has certain access in America and comes here to have that lifestyle in Africa.
    "Unbeknown to us, we're living out the vision that [Ghanaian politician and revolutionary] Kwame Nkrumah set out for us, of this country being the gateway to Africa for the black diaspora.
    "I don't want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It's just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person - you won't have to suffer with those things here.
    "You might not have electricity, but you won't get killed by the police either.
    "I want people to understand that they have options and alternatives. Most black people in America don't know that these options exist; they think they have to suffer because there's nowhere else to go. But no, there are other places."

    On the prospect of more African-Americans moving...

    "I think more will come when they begin to see it as a viable alternative. But it's not easy and it's not cheap. I can't say what's happening in America today is any worse than what's been happening at any other time. I think now is the time that people are starting to see they can live somewhere else."
    This interview was edited for clarity and length.
    Follow Azad Essa on Twitter: @AzadEssa


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    Public statement of concern about President Trump’s vulgar statement about Africa
    By the African community in Sacramento

    January 19, 2018                               

    This week, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a great man whose message of peace, justice and courage changed the course of history. A man whose proud and deep ancestral roots spring from the fertile shores of the Nile, Niger, Congo and Zambezi rivers of Africa.  
    However, it is unfortunate that in this very week when people of goodwill all over the world pause to reflect and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the United States of America President Donald J. Trump chose to debase our humanity as Africans, including Haitians, with the vulgarity as attributed to him that is not worthy of a repeat in this document. We stand today, and with respect to the office of the presidency, to reject and condemn without reservation the president’s characterization of African nations, as widely condemned by African governments and many others in the Americas and around the world. It is our conviction that his choice of words amounts to hate speech and has no place in any civil discourse. History reminds us that the world’s most horrific crimes always start with weaponized words and statements like these have no place in a civilized world or just leadership. When people are characterized as sub-human, it becomes too easy and inciting to subject them to sub-human treatment.
    The African continent has withstood untold challenges through the course of human history, and remains the cradle of humanity. Our people were extracted against their will and enslaved for centuries in far regions of the world where they built today’s flourishing economies from the bend of their backs and the sweat of their brows, including the USA. We stand today to declare to all who care to listen that Africa and her more than a billion people and over 20 % of the world’s population will not be characterized as sub-human; this is very offensive. Our ancestors built the ancient pyramids of Egypt and the Sankore University in Timbuktu, built over 400 years before the American independence, and produced ancient texts that became roadmaps to science, mathematics and astronomy. Indeed, the history of the American greatness will be incomplete without Africa and her resilient peoples.
    Our sons and daughters across the world continue to distinguish themselves in all fields of human endeavor. African immigrants contribute to the development of the country economically. Among the African immigrants in the United States are men and women of the Military, Medical Doctors, Pharmacists, First Responders, Lawyers, Judges, Legislators, Engineers, Business owners, Entrepreneurs, Innovators Investors, College/University Professors, Nurses, Teachers, and other careered persons who work hard and pay their taxes as well as support their families and obey the law. Failure to acknowledge these facts is unfortunate and sad. With 22 Nobel Laureates, 7 female presidents, several female Chief Justices, 4 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world, a young and vibrant population; Africa’s time has come. We stand today to claim and affirm our rightful place of pride in this long journey of human existence and the promise of a greater future.
    This most recent vulgar characterization of Africa(including her Diaspora) by the president, coupled with previous adverse or pejorative pronouncements against other immigrants  has the real potential to incite verbal or physical violence against African immigrants in the USA by persons who may act on the troubling remark or harbor racial animus.
    Accordingly, we call on our elected officials, peace officers, educators, employers, and community leaders to ensure the protection of the human and civil rights of our people, especially from any form of hate crime that may result from the president’s hurtful speech. Further, we ask people in our communities to go about their daily lives without fear but remain vigilant, and to immediately report any incidents to the law enforcement authorities.
    We thank all people of conscience who have spoken publicly against this hate speech. Your courage to stand with us and humanity puts you on the right side of history and restores our faith in human decency. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said at a 1965 public address at Hunter College in New York City on Human Rights Day, "The brotherhood of man is not confined within a narrow, limited circle of select people. It is felt everywhere in the world; it is an international sentiment of surpassing strength. Because this is true, when men of good will finally unite, they will be invincible.”

    We affirm our belief in the great African tradition of Ubuntu. We remain committed to the use of dialogue in the quest for mutual understanding and respect in our diverse society.   

    In Peace and Solidarity!

    Sacramento Africa Peace Committee
    Friends of Rwanda Association
    Sacramento Association of Nigerians
    Association of Citizens and Friends of Liberia
    Sierra Leone Humanitarian Project
    Ushirika Kenya Association
    Sacramento- Uganda Community
    Angolan community of Sacramento

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    Rally to end racism and white supremacy at Oakland Whole Foods

    When: Tuesday, January 23rd
    Time: 3:30-5:30PM

    The Movement Newspaper


    JAN 18, 2018 — Madam Mayor Libby Schaaf should have DA Nancy O'Malley bring criminal charges against Oakland Whole Foods for physical, verbal and emotional abuse of North American African workers and customers. We want compensation for damages done to North American Africans at Oakland Whole Foods.

    Whole Foods has been attacking folks of color within the past two years—going as far as attacking and racially profiling two black men, and a young, black teenager in recent reports. Their gentrifying organization must be held accountable for the threat they have posed to our community and it’s time that we make some noise to show resistance and intolerance to racial terror on any and all fronts.

    Join us, next Tuesday (1/23) from 3:30-5:30 PM as we hold a noise demo in front of the store to demonstrate our intolerance for racism in our communities. Please bring any safe objects you have to make noise, signs, and bright spirits as we show up for the folks who were affected and targeted by this racist institution. It is imperative that we address racism on all fronts in our communities—especially in recent light of honoring King’s legacy and the path he has helped to pave with his work. We have to continue to take to the streets EVERY day, and address issues as we see them rather than depending on others to do the work first.

    When: Tuesday, January 23rd
    Time: 3:30-5:30PM
    Where: Whole Foods Market 230 Bay Pl, Oakland, CA 94612

    Direct all questions, comments, or concerns to:

    Hope to see you all there! Love & Solidarity!

    Boycott Whole Foods Oakland and its racism!!

    Yet another case of blatant racism and racial profiling at another new Oakland establishment has occurred! I’ve witnessed this multiple times at different stores in Oakland, we all know we have and too often I’ve just grit my teeth and accepted that as way it has to be. But this most recent incindent involving a  13 year old child buying gifts for his mother and him being racially profiled twice in the same store over a year apart!!??
    That means there’s an issue. I want to force Whole Foods Oakland and board members of Oakland’s developers committee  to sit and have a discussion and be held accountable for this grievance against the black community. Please sign and help move this along, share it wide , give suggestions, I’ve never done something like this before but I couldn’t stay silent any longer , any help from established activists would be appreciated. We need change , I don’t know if it will happen in our lifetime but we have to try.

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  • 01/20/18--19:41: Ancestors one year later
  • Still grieving oldest brother sister
    Granny said brother go end up in pen
    Granny true
    no brother whole life miss love

    Marvin X siblings: Ollie(RIP), Debbie and Judy at poet's 65 birthday party, Berkeley CA. They say Judy is Marvin X in drag!

    me and bro in juvenile hall same time
    he go CYA
    judge say yo grades
    cost must to send college or CYA
    brother CYA
    outside court I say Mama
    why you ain't cryin'?
    No cry outside
    cry inside
    ok Mama
    no big brother no cry
    six sisters
    yap yap yap
    retire to room with grandpa
    drunk on gin
    me drunk on green death
    Rainer Ale
    kick a nigga's ass
    green death
    country girl too ass
    Roberta gotta pee on road
    cotton patch road
    cotton patch raisin patch
    tent city Thorne Ave.
    niggas come up
    time after time
    work hard own property
    marian m. jackmon realty
    oh mom
    sell every nigga a home first home
    greatest mom ever
    work hard
    nine kids no man
    two grand
    eleven raised Mom
    business woman
    spiritual woman
    disciple Mary Baker Eddy
    know truth
    set you free
    mind ova matter
    mind ova matter
    no dis ease
    negative attraction
    negative attraction.
    Mom no medicine cabinet no pills
    no the truth heal dis ease
    one year later
    Donna Ollie gone
    Ollie one year older
    Donna under me
    oldest six sisters
    Donna gone Ollie gone
    Me middle man when
    everyday holy day
    live no stress zone
    everyday holy dayla
    no stress zone
    work hard party hard
    revolution party
    red black green
    Marcus Garvey flag
    Where Coon flag
    KKK say
    Where Coon flag
    everybody got a flag
    cept Coon
    where Coon flag
    Garvey say red black green
    black supreme
    red blood
    black peoplee
    green land
    Africa for Africans
    home abroad
    One aim God destiny
    Africa for Africans
    home abroad.
    see the Black Star
    let black star light shine
    Ollie say burn me
    ashes Lake Merritt
    no words memorial
    don't say shit bout me
    a motherfuckin thang
    Donna story teller
    greater than brother
    telling lies
    brother defer in lie contest
    Donna master lie teller
    sell Brooklyn Bridge to Nigga
    Donna cold
    girl vivid imagination
    miss my peoples
    some kinna hole in heart
    miss my peoples
    brother gave me funiture
    Invictus watch collection
    time time
    Timer watch time
    consumed time
    sitting rotting studying time
    after time
    Miles Davis Time After Time
    year later Donna Ollie
    no closure
    silent grief
    wish it had been better
    older brother love
    manhood training love
    Donna sister love
    oldest sister love
    my motherfucking ass!
    Thank you Allah
    near his end
    lived round corner from me
    by Lake Merritt
    where his ashes flow
    maybe mine as well
    Oaktown child man
    Long live West Oakland
    Harlem of West!
    --Marvin X

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  • 01/20/18--20:55: No Nigga Debate Oakland

  • No Nigga debate Oakland
    nigga too busy being niggas
    no time debate nigga
    niggers sittin cross street
    nigga debate
    no nigga tell'em bout debate
    excuse me
    no conscious African tell them
    sittin sidewalk doin' nothin'
    Sun Ra say Space is the Place
    Oakland nigga what ya doin'
    nigga say I ain't doin nothin'
    Sun Ra say you wanna job
    nigga say doin' what
    Sonny say doin' nothin
    nigger say watcha pay
    Sunny say nothin'
    city of resistance
    now nothin'
    broke down
    pacified pasteurized
    lost multi-cultural chasm
    diluted polluted
    Oakland MLK, Jr March 2018
    few blacks represent
    Oakland Women's March 2018
    few blacks represent
    Mayor Jean Quan came by booth
    City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan
    Erica Huggins knew Mythology of Pussy was Marvin X
    Paul and Gay Cobb came by from distance
    West Oakland nigga let a b come b tween brothers
    Oakland black girls/women say I hate a weak nigga
    BAM patron Abdul Leroy JamesRIP
    say friend friend to end
    nigga b friend 2 end nigga
    no nigga debate Oaktown
    city of resistance
    broke down
    nigga wanna break free
    black panther party
    Pullman Porters Union
    black arts movement
    black studies
    Afro American Association
    Donald Warden
    Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour
    oaktown no nigga debate
    nigga live tent town
    west oakland gone
    east oakland gone
    north oakland gone
    nigga gone Tracy Sac Stock Modesto Merced Madera Fresno
    gone nigga gone
    see nigger history oakland museum
    Afro American Museum/Library
    see nigga history archives objects
    see nigga no more
    nigga gone
    women's march white woman say
    I wanna help
    let me help
    appreciate what your doing
    I'm banker come see me
    Ain't got no credit
    didn't ask you that
    come see me!
    No nigga debate
    black is white
    white black
    beware day
    beware night!
    --Marvin X

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    'World's richest 1% get 82% of the wealth', says Oxfam

    Should we trick them to a meeting and force them to divest as the crown prince has done at the Ritz in Saudi Arabia?--Marvin X
    man by a yachtImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
    The gap between the super rich and the rest of the world widened last year as wealth continued to be owned by a small minority, Oxfam has claimed.
    Some 82% of money generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population while the poorest half saw no increase at all, the charity said.
    Oxfam said its figures - which critics have queried - showed a failing system.
    It blamed tax evasion, firms' influence on policy, erosion of workers' rights, and cost cutting for the widening gap.
    Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past five years. In 2017 it calculated that the world's eight richest individuals had as much wealth as the poorest half of the world.
    This year, it said 42 people now had as much wealth as the poorest half, but it revised last year's figure to 61. Oxfam said the revision was due to improved data and said the trend of "widening inequality" remained.
    Number of Billionaires since 2000


    Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring said its constant readjustment of the figures reflected the fact that the report was based "on the best data available at the time".
    "However you look at it, this is an unacceptable level of inequality," he said.
    Oxfam's report coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, a Swiss ski resort. The annual conference attracts many of the world's top political and business leaders.
    Inequality typically features high on the agenda, but Mr Goldring said that too often "tough talk fades away at the first resistance".

    Analysis by Anthony Reuben, BBC Reality Check

    It's really hard working out how much wealth the super-rich and the very poor have.
    The super-rich tend not to publicise their worth and many of the world's poorest countries keep poor statistics.
    To illustrate that, this time last year, Oxfam told us that eight individuals have as much wealth as the poorest half of the world's population. Now it has revised that figure to 61 people for last year, falling to 42 people this year - that's a pretty big revision.
    And there are other caveats around the data on which all this is based, such as that the people on the list with the lowest wealth are not necessarily poor at all - they may be highly qualified professionals with large amounts of student debt, for example, or people with high incomes but enormous mortgages.
    But whether it's eight people, 42 people or 61 people who have the same wealth as half of the world, there is still great wealth inequality around the world, which is the message Oxfam is taking to Davos.

    The charity is urging a rethink of business models, arguing their focus on maximising shareholder returns over broader social impact is wrong.
    It said there was "huge support" for action with two thirds (72%) of 70,000 people it surveyed in ten countries saying they wanted their governments to "urgently address the income gap between rich and poor".
    But Mark Littlewood, director general at free market think tank The Institute of Economic Affairs, said Oxfam was becoming "obsessed with the rich rather than the poor".
    "Higher taxes and redistribution will do nothing to help the poor; wealth is not a fixed pie. Richer people are also highly taxed people - reducing their wealth won't lead to redistribution, it will destroy it to the benefit of no one," he added.
    It was a criticism echoed by Sam Dumitriu, head of research at another free market think tank - the Adam Smith Institute - who said the charity's inequality stats "always paint the wrong picture".
    "In reality, global inequality has fallen massively over the past few decades.
    "As China, India and Vietnam embraced neoliberal reforms that enforce property rights, reduce regulations and increase competition, the world's poorest have received a massive pay rise leading to a more equal global income distribution."
    gold barsImage copyrightAFP

    How does Oxfam work out the figures?

    Oxfam's report is based on data from Forbes and the annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth databook, which gives the distribution of global wealth going back to 2000.
    The survey uses the value of an individual's assets, mainly property and land, minus debts, to determine what he or she "owns". The data excludes wages or income.
    The methodology has been criticised as it means that a student with high debts, but with high future earning potential, for example, would be considered poor under the criteria used.
    But Oxfam said even if the wealth of the poorest half of the world was recalculated to exclude people in net debt their combined wealth was still equal to that of just 128 billionaires.

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    Dark is divine: What colour are Indian gods and goddesses?

    Goddess Sita with her sonsImage copyrightNARESH NIL
    Image captionGoddess Sita is photographed with her twin sons Luv and Kush
    In India where light skin is coveted, a new campaign is re-imagining popular Hindu gods and goddesses with a darker skin, writes the BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi.
    The desire for fairer skin is not new in India and for centuries, fair complexion has been considered superior.
    Fairness creams are among the highest selling cosmetic products in the country and top Bollywood actors and actresses regularly appear in commercials endorsing fairness products.
    Goddess LakshmiImage copyrightNARESH NIL
    Image captionModel Suruthi Periyasamy was "thrilled" when she was chosen to portray Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth
    In recent years, creams and gels have been introduced which claim to lighten armpit hair and even female genitals, and advertisements encourage customers to believe that lighter skin tones would help them improve their lives by getting a better job or win them love.
    In the past few years, there have been campaigns such as Dark is Beautiful and #unfairandlovely, calling on people to celebrate dark skin.
    Yet, the unhealthy obsession with light skin has continued and, as ad filmmaker Bharadwaj Sundar says, it's not just limited to earthly beings, it includes the divine too.
    A calendar image of Hindu god Krishna with his consort Radha
    Image captionEven Krishna, who is described as a dark-skinned god in the scriptures, is often shown as fair-skinned
    "All the images of the popular gods and goddesses that we see around us, photographs in our home shrines or prayer halls, online, on calendars, stickers and posters in shops and pasted behind auto-rickshaws, all show them to be light-skinned."
    In a culture obsessed with fairness, Mr Sundar points out that even Krishna, who is described as a dark-skinned god in the scriptures, is often shown as fair. And so is the elephant-headed Ganesha, even though there are no white elephants in India.
    "Everyone here prefers fair skin. But I am a dark-skinned person and all my friends are dark-skinned too. So how do I identify with fair-skinned gods and goddesses?"
    To fight this disconnect, Mr Sundar, who is based in the southern city of Chennai, teamed up with photographer Naresh Nil and the two have come up with "Dark is Divine" - a project that portrays gods and goddesses with a darker skin colour.
    Lord ShivaImage copyrightNARESH NIL
    Image captionGod of destruction Shiva is part of the Hindu holy trinity
    They recruited "dusky" male and female models, dressed them up as gods and goddesses and shot the campaign images over two days in December and the result is quite stunning.
    Model Suruthi Periyasamy told the BBC that she had to face too many rejections in the past "because no-one wanted a dusky model" and that she was "thrilled" when she was chosen to portray Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
    Goddess DurgaImage copyrightNARESH NIL
    Image captionDurga is almost always portrayed as a fair-skinned goddess
    "Lakshmi is the most popular goddess in India, everyone wants a daughter-in-law like her because she brings prosperity so I feel so blessed to be her."
    Ms Periyasamy says everyone talks about working with dark-skinned models, but no-one really encourages them. She says she hopes that this campaign will "change the minds of some people to allow us to shine in life".
    Since the campaign was launched last month, Mr Sundar says they have received lots of calls and the responses have been largely positive, though some people have accused them of unfair biases, pointing out that goddess Kali is always portrayed as black.
    Baby KrishnaImage copyrightNARESH NIL
    Image captionChild Krishna is one of Hinduism's most popular gods
    Mr Sundar says he's a devout Hindu and does not mean disrespect to anyone but "if we look around, we find that 99.99% times, the divine is fair-skinned".
    "Appearance plays a major role in how we perceive people, especially women, and we felt that this needed to be addressed," he says.
    "And through the Dark is Divine project, we are trying to challenge the belief that fair skin is superior."

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    Parable of Black Man/Block Man & Parable of the Rats

    When a fool is told a parable, it's meaning must be explained to him.--African proverb

    You got black man and block man.

    Watch out for block man!

    --Sun Ra

    There was a black man and a block man, both were black men, but block man had a big block head. He used to stand at the crossroads waiting for black man to come through so he could block him from going in any direction. If black man tried to go east, west, north or south, the playa hatin, jealous, envious block man would cause black man to either stop, stumble or fall.

    Sometimes black man would purposely fall because he knew the African proverb that to stumble or fall is only to go forward faster. So after being blocked at one turn, he would fake a fall and go forward on his journey up the hill.

    Of course block man would be waiting for him at a pass up the hill and again try to block black man from going farther. But black man, being athletic, was able to leap to the side and gracefully go pass block man.

    And even though block man had a lot of friends who were blockheads too, black man had friends in the sun, moon and stars who watched out for him.

    Black man had friends in the wind, seas, rivers, trees and all over the earth. So block man didn't have a chance with his evil scheme to block black man. All black man had to do was flow in the flow and make sure he wasn't swimming against the current of the universe, for in the counter flow the block men were waiting patiently for him, sharpening their knives, ready to remove the heart and soul of black man.

    So black man planned and block man planned, but black man was the best planner. As long as his mind remained clean and sober, he could see block man coming a mile way.

    Parable of the Rats by Marvin X

    The rats all have the same gait: they scurry about, back broken by an abundance of lies, half-truths and disinformation, defamation and other tactics of rat behavior. Even their facial expressions have a rat like appearance, so you can see them coming a mile away. You can smell a funky rat. We suspect the two legged variety even has a tail hidden inside their pants or underneath their dresses, yes, there are rats of every gender, every color, class. Some are sewer rats, some are wharf rats, some are subway rats, church rats, house rats. But their behavior is the same. They are on the lower level of humankind, these two legged rats. They can do nothing right. They cannot give justice even with the scale in view while they weigh goods. They will lie while you look at them playing with the scale. They will try to convince you the scale doesn't work while it is their minds that have not evolved to work on the human level.

    There is only one thing to do with such rats: set a trap for them or feed them poison cheese and watch them puke and vomit until they die. Better yet, let the cat catch their asses. It is beautiful watching the cat catch a rat, seeing how still the cat will become while stalking his prey. But the cat will lie in wait for the rat as long as it takes, never moving, never batting his eye. And then he leaps upon his prey and devours him. It is a beautiful sight when when the cat and rat game reaches the climax and ends with the consumption of the rat by the cat.
    --Marvin X

    Marvin X and student in the Fillmore, San Francisco

     Marvin X and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf who says, "Marvin X is a wonderful personality!" She gave him a proclamation from the City of Oakland on the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement.

    Poets Amiri Baraka and Marvin X shared a 47 year friendship in black revolutionary arts and politics.
    Baraka was more involved that Marvin X yet Marvin not only influenced the Black Arts Movement but
    the Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam and Black Studies. He recruited persons like Eldridge Cleaver into the BPP and as per the Nation of Islam, he recruited Nadar Ali (Bobby Jones of Fresno, an educator who became the NOI's Director of Imports.

     Marvin X in heaven, i.e., in the presence of intelligent, berautiful, revolutionary women at Laney College celebration of the Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary

     Actor Gano Grills as Marvin X; Marvin X and Amiri Baraka (RIP), New Federal Theatre, NY

    Customer holding his most provocative  essay Mythology of Pussy and Dick, 2009, an 18 page pamphlet now expanded to a 400 page collection of his writings on male/female relations or psycho-sexuality. According to Oakland poet Paradise Jah Love, "Youth fight over his Mythology of Pussy and Dick as if it were black gold!" Indeed, they steal it from each or simply refuse to return it. As a result, people come back two and three times for another copy, even though Marvin told them, "Don't let your friends steal it!" It is most timely in light of Harvey Weinstein and all the men around the world who have sexually, physically, emotionally and/or verbally abused women and/or children. 

    Marvin X was himself an abuser of women and wrote about it years ago in his classic poem Confession of an Ex-wife Beater, his play In the Name of Love (Laney College Theatre, 1981), and the recovery classic docudrama of his Crack addiction and recovery One Day in the Life, performed from coast to coast, e.g., Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Recovery Theatre, San Francisco; Alice Arts Theatre, Uhuru House Theatre, Oakland; Black Repertory Group Theatre and Berkeley Rep, Berkeley; Sista's Place, Brooklyn, NY, Brecht Forum, Manhattan, NY; Kimako's Blues Theatre, Newark, New Jersey. The dramatic depiction of his last meeting in a West Oakland Crack house with Black Panther Party co-chairman Huey P. Newton was made into a one-act play by Marvin X and Ed Bullins, produced at New York's Federal Theatre by Woody King. On the 2009 national tour of Mythology of Pussy and Dick, Marvin spent a week speaking in classes at Howard University, especially the classes of Dr. Greg Carr and Dr. Tony Medina. "With the ratio of women to men 14 to 1, what do you think is the primary topic of discussion?"

    Maestro Marvin X at Oakland's Malcolm X Jazz/Art Festival, accompanied by David Murray and Earle Davis and the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir

    Marvin X is known variously as El Muhajir (the migrant), Plato Negro, Rumi, Jeremiah. Alterhough he taught briefly in such academic institutions as Fresno State University, San Francisco State University, University of California Berkeley and San Diego, Mills College, University of Nevada, Reno, Laney and Merritt Colleges and elsewhere, he most enjoys his outdoor classroom known as Academy of da Corner is at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland and the Berkeley Flea Market. . Ishmael Reed says, "If you want to learn about motivation and inspiration, don't spend all that money going to workshops and seminars, just go stand at 14th and Broadway and watch Marvin X work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland!"