Truth will not make you rich, but it will make you free.
--Francis Bacon

Black Bird Press News


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Marvin X poem: THIS

This is not about making money
Not about selling books
Not about ego or fame
Not about women or children
Old age and sex
This is not about sin or some preacher
Some holy book or how one prays
It is a simple thing
Like tears in the eyes
Like working the last nerve
Like standing when feet are tired
Talking when silence is the desire
Like showing love when hatred is behind the smile
Like feeding the poor when they ask
Like listening to an old woman who is homeless
Like hearing the story of a mad negro and a mad African one after another
Like listening to street children with grills in their mouths tell stories of the spirit world
This is the daily round
This is the work unfinished
To express truth no matter who is around
And knowing truth is a circle coming round and round and round 

This is not about the personal or the lover who is lost in traffic
This is not about the teacher but the student who will learn to stand to teach what he is taught
About the comrades who will gather as peers on the corner to save themselves
Not about the black the white the mixed or the mad
It is coming together to realize life is a moment to seize or be lost in eternity. 
It is knowing action and reaction
Passing the tone test in the presence of the beast.
It is about getting through the day so one can fight tomorrow.
It is about seeking knowledge above food, rent and pleasure.
Knowledge is the power that turns the universe into a ball
We throw into space and time until it explodes into particles of a new world for all to see and wonder.  

--Marvin X


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sun Ra - A Joyful Noise

Poem: The Post Black Negro

he ain't black, never was
his mama wasn't black
some colored lady from mississippi
not black
not to him
when she served miss ann
not black in the cotton field
yellin for his black ass to hurry up youngin
not black when she sent him to college to be a man
not black man just man
be human
love everybody and get ahead in life
so he became a success
hid from the black girls in college
did mama tell him that in the cotton field
tell him to hate his sisters
don't lie on mama post-black negro
don't lie
you just dreamed of white girls in the cotton patch
wanted masta's daughter but knew he would lynch yo ass
so you waited til you got up south
got smart read two books on whitenss and crossed over jordan
wouldn't join the BSU too black for you
you multicultural now
no more collard greens in yo canning jar
you crossed where mama never told you to go
no nigguhs in yo world
no negroes
no coons
no diggaboos
no burnt matches
you did it all by yo self
came on the slave ship by yo self didn't you
you was the only sardine on board
even had a restroom just for you
no black history month for you
world history is yo thing
european history really
want nothing to do with Africa, Asia, the Americas
that's a black thang
ain't into that shit
nigguh history, hell no
we is americans 100%
we is citizens
don't know why we renew voting rights
whites don't
chicanos don't
why us blacks
that's why i ain't claimin black
too inconvenient being black
cross over and love everybody
leave dem nappy headed girls alone
don't want no nappy headed kids
don't care if I went to Yale and Stanford
Harvard and Princeton
I don't see color
I'm beyond such a thing
this is the post black world
get hipped.
We got Alambama for president
see he ain't really black
he African and white
that ain't black that' black
he american like bush and hillary
imperialist too
will send troops to Iran and Pakistan
will hunt ben laden like bush didn't
will prove his post blackness
so you too.
blond that weave
cross the line and be right for the new times
still stuck in blackness
going nowhere
we american so like it or leave it
don't call me black we go fight.

--Marvin X

Monday, October 20, 2014

Parable of the Pit Bull by Marvin X

There was a pit bull who lived in the city. A man wanted to buy him and raise him for protection, so he met with the owner and got the pedigree. He investigated the history of the dog and his family connections, to make sure he was a pure bred. Once he was clear the pit bull came from a legit line, he paid for the animal and brought it home. He was happy to have a nice pet, especially one so pure and not polluted like a mutt, a cross breed or mongrel, a mutation whose DNA was of questionable nature. 

He loved his pit bull and the animal loved him. He trained the dog for fighting, and he was a great fighter, a champion who won many battles. 

And then the man met a woman he really liked. He knew almost nothing about her, but he hooked up with her and eventually she moved in with him. He didn't know where she came from, nothing about her family roots, her friends, her education and work history, whether she was psychotic and/or neurotic, suicidal and/or homicidal, whether she was radical, revolutionary or reactionary. 

He didn't know she had been raised in a foster home, and later an orphanage, that she had seen her mother stab her grandmother, that her mother had a nervous breakdown and was confined to an institution for life. He didn't know any of this. He didn't know she had been a prostitute, homeless and a drug addict. 

But he loved her and married her. And when he found out about her past life, he didn't give a damn. Since he was rich, a baller, big willie, he gave her the best of everything, just as he treated his pit bull, even better. He dressed her in the finest clothes and took her to eat in the finest restaurants and party in the VIP section of clubs. 

And then one day she disappeared. He didn't know what happened to her. Worried to death, he hired a private investigator to search for her. The private eye found her in a two dollar motel with a trick. 
The man told the private eye not to disturb her, leave her where she was. 

--Marvin X

from The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, Black Bird Press, 2012, donation $19.95.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Plato Negro and the Woman at the Well

By Marvin X
A woman asked Plato why are the youth out of control ? He replied that youth are out of control because adults are out of control and youth observe then emulate their behavior. Even during the revolutionary 60s, the militants, who are the fathers and mothers of today’s youth(some are grandparents) were guilty of contradictions, or saying one thing but doing another. They talked black power but went home to beat their wives and women. They preached discipline but were guilty of drug abuse and abuse of power. Much of our behavior was patriarchal white supremacy actions that debased women, considering them less than human. Of course we learned this behavior from our white supremacy socialization. True enough, there were many good things we learned and achieved during that time, and many sincere and honest people gave their lives for the cause of freedom. But if we had been more sober minded, we would have been able to detect agent provocateurs and snitches. We would have been able to see through the US Government’s counter intelligence program or Cointelpro. With sobriety and discipline, we might have been able to show our children better examples of male/female relations, and perhaps today’s youth would be more respectful of women, elders and peers.
The woman asked Plato what can be done today to reconnect with our children? Plato said we must embrace them with unconditional love and do not abuse them, physically, sexually or emotionally. Do not show them contradictory behavior, saying one thing but doing the opposite. We must not say we are about freedom, yet make their mothers slaves in the home, treating them with abuse that the children observe and then act out in their relations with their mates and friends.
Many children have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. They are without mother or father. Many are living in foster homes, the result of parental drug and sexual abuse. Adults must stop being predators and instead be mentors and guides. The youth want and seek our wisdom, but we must reach out to them because many are terrified of us just as we are terrified of them.
It is communal insanity when we allow children to rule our community, making us afraid to go outside at night, afraid to go to the store. But we can only take back control of our community by reconnecting and embracing our children, no matter how painful it is for us and them. We must make amends to them for our wickedness and then demand of them the same. Yes, they must apologize to the elders they have harmed and disrespected. What we are talking about is the urgent need for a healing session between youth and adults, a time and space where we can gather to admit our mistakes and promise to do better now and in the future.
We must, youth and adults, swallow our pride and reconnect. We cannot allow the chaos to continue because we know things go from bad to worse, if we do not address the issues. Nothing is going to change until we change our thinking and actions. We must rise up from animal to divine. The tide is turning because you are turning the tide!
Mothers and fathers who are separated must come together for the sake of their children, if only for a moment. When children see parents reconciling, they will do likewise. No matter the pain of the past, adults must show the way to community unity. Why shouldn’t youth resort to violence, after all, they see adults resolving their conflicts with violence.
Adults cannot get out of our responsibility to show the way, to guide and mentor. Every youth is our child, thus our responsibility to show the right way.
Give youth a chance, support them when they are selling items other than dope, such as DVDs, CDs, gear and other items to get their hustle on in a legal way. At least they are not killing to make a dollar, so reach out to them. Hug a thug before the thug hugs you!
The woman at the well seemed to understand the wisdom of Plato. Although she was without husband and frustrated to the max, she said she would try to reach out to youth, rather than simply complain about their behavior and shortcomings. She promised to cast away her fears and take authority over her children.
This parable appeared in the Oakland Post News Group. It is in The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, Black Bird Press, Berkeley.

Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale interviewed by Marvin X

    Marvin X and Bobby Seale discuss their days at Merritt College, how they were self educated into Black consciousness to become the Neo-Black intellectuals; how Bobby performed in Marvin's play Come Next Summer; Bobby recites his favorite Marvin X poem "Burn,Baby,Burn" about the 65' Watts rebellion; how Bobby and Huey evolved into Black Panthers. Interview reveals Bobby's excellent memory of black history down to the minute, second, microsecond. Get it from the horse's mouth rather than swallow revisionist history told by muddle headed academics and intellectuals in perpetual crisis.--Marvin X

    Bobby Seale interviewed by Marvin X 2000 [Video: 64 min]