Thursday, May 5, 2016

Marvin X tentative tour 2016; now available for booking coast to coast

Marvin X is the author of 30 books, including poetry, essays, autobiography, memoir. He has taught at Fresno State University, University of California, Berkeley and San Diego, San Francisco State University, Mills College, University of Nevada, Reno, Laney College, Merritt College.

 His writings appear in Ishmael Reed's The Complete Muhammad Ali

 His poetry appears in Black Gold Poetry Anthology

 This is his 13 Step manual to recover from the addiction to white supremacy
foreword by Dr. Nathan Hare

 Writers at memorial for Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka, New York University

 The Marvin X Fan Club

 The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra, University of California, Merced, 2014

 Marvin X participated in the Sun Ra Conference, University of Chicago, 2015
Marvin X and Sun Ra worked together in Harlem, 1968, and at UC Berkeley, 1971-72

 Marvin and Oakland CA Mayor Libby Schaaf, a supporter of the Black Arts Movement

 Marvin X in conversation with Amiri Baraka, Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, New Mexico

 His writings appear in the BAM Reader, also in the BAM Classic Black Fire
Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing - Walmart.comf
 Marvin X appeared in Stanley Nelson's film

Director Stanley Nelson, Marvin X, Fred Hampton, Jr.

"Marvelous Marvin X!"--Dr. Cornel West

Marvin X and daughter Nefertiti at Laney College BAM 50th Celebration. In this inter-generational 
panel discussion, she urged her father to pass the baton!

Panel Discussion: Women and the Black Arts Movement, Laney College BAM 50th Celebration, 2014. Left to Right: Elaine Brown, Dr. Halifu Osumare, Judy Juanita, Portia Anderson, Kujichagulia, Aries Jordan. Marvin X, producer.

 Marvin X  National  Tour 2016
East Coast/West Coast/Dirty South

February 24, Black History, Oakland City Hall

flyer-obhmr-potp-2016-700-full size

 Marvin X and Oakland City Council President, Lynette McElhaney
Oakland City Hall Black History Celebration
photo Adam Turner

April 23, Memorial for Hugo "Yogi" Panell, San Quentin Six member, African American Cultural Center, San Francisco


Hugo "Yogi" Panell, San Quentin Six

9780883783535: Black Hollywood Unchained - Ishmael Reed (Editor)

May 15, 2016  New York City reading of contributors to anthology,  Black Hollywood unchained, edited by Ishmael Reed, Third World Press, Chicago.

A scene from Marvin X's BAM classic Flowers for the Trashman, produced by Kim McMillon's theatre students at University of California, Merced. 

Marvin X and students at the University of California, Merced ...
Students and Marvin X in Kim McMillon's class on theatre and social activism. "My students love Marvin X!" says Professor McMillon.

May 25, University of California, Merced, Marvin X speaks in Professor Kim McMillon's theatre class on his role in the Black Arts Movement as artistic freedom fighter and playwright, author of the BAM classic Flowers for the Trashman. 

May 29, Marvin X celebrates his 72nd birthday. Travels to outter space.

June 18, San Francisco Juneteenth, in the Fillmore. Marvin X and Fillmore Slim will perform together. 

Marvin X and Fillmore Slim

June 19, Berkeley Juneteenth, Marvin X, autographs books, exhibits archives. 

 Marvin X at Berkeley Juneteenth, 2015
photo Harrison Chastain

June (West Oakland Juneteenth) TBA

9780883783535: Black Hollywood Unchained - Ishmael Reed (Editor)

July 3, San Francisco Public Library, reading of Black Hollywood unchained contributors

September, 9-11 Black Arts Movement South 51st Anniversary Celebration, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA

 Marvin X in previous appearance at University of Houston TX
September, University of Houston, Texas, Africana Studies, Texas Southern University and elsewhere in the Big H. TBA

September, Black Book Store, Seattle Wa, hosted by Hakim, TBA

September 30/August 1, Laney College Theatre, Oakland, Marvin X opens for Donald Lacy's Color Struck.
October, 20-23 Black Panther Party 50th Anniversary at Oakland Museum of California. Marvin X speaks/reads.
*   *   *   *   *
Marvin X, poet, playwright, essayist, dramatist, producer, director, actor, organizer, educator
photo Pendarvis Harshaw

To book Marvin X:

Marvin X at Yoshi's San Francisco Part II

Marvin X reading at Oakland's African American Museum/Library with Kujichagulia, Rashidah Sabreen

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dear Mama, Afeni Shakur Joins Ancestors

Tupac Shakur with his mother, Afeni Shakur, in an undated photo.
(CNN) Afeni Shakur Davis, the mother of one of hip-hop's most seminal and iconic figures, has died at age 69, the Marin County, California, sheriff's office said Tuesday.
Though she is best known as Tupac Shakur's mom, she was also a Black Panther as a young adult and an activist and philanthropist in her later years.
Deputies responded to a call reporting "a possible cardiac arrest" at her Sausalito home around 9:34 p.m. Monday, the Marin County Sheriff's Office said.

Shakur Davis was taken to the hospital where she died at 10:28 p.m., the office said.

"Sheriff's Coroners Office will lead investigation to determine exact cause & manner of Afeni Shakur's death," the office said in a tweet.

Information is still being gathered, and the sheriff's department will answer questions regarding her death later Tuesday morning, it said.

From drugs to arts

In a 2005 interview ahead of the opening of the now-shuttered Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Shakur Davis recalled how her life was almost derailed by drugs and how her son got it back on track.

Her drug use made her so oblivious to what was happening in her life that when someone told her in 1990 that her son -- then on the precipice of becoming the biggest name in hip-hop -- was going to be on "The Arsenio Hall Show," she thought the person was lying, she said.

In the mid-1980s, she was homeless in New York City and "messing around with cocaine," she said. Despite the drug use, she was still coherent enough to realize that Tupac would become a product of the streets if she didn't make different choices.

"I was running around with militants, trying to be badder than I was, trying to stay up later than I should," she said in the 2005 interview.

She decided to enroll Tupac in the 127th Street Ensemble, a Harlem theater group, something she called "the best thing I could've done in my insanity." They later moved to Maryland, where she enrolled him in the Baltimore School for the Arts, and then to a small town outside Sausalito.

It was there that Tupac confronted her about her cocaine use.

"He asked me if I could handle it, and I said yeah because I'd been dipping and dabbing all my life," she said during the interview. "What pissed him off is that I lied to him."

'Pac told the local drug dealers not to sell to her, she said, and he told his mother to get clean or to forget about being involved in his life.

'Arts can save children'

She got clean in 1991, she said, and when her son was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996, she resisted the urges to delve back into her old bad habits. She instead founded Amaru Entertainment to keep her son's music alive.

Later, she realized that her life -- mistake-ridden as it may have been -- might serve as a lesson to others.

"Arts can save children, no matter what's going on in their homes," she said. "I wasn't available to do the right things for my son. If not for the arts, my child would've been lost."

She provided the majority of the money to begin the $4 million first phase of the arts center, while her Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation hosted poetry and theater camps for youngsters in the Atlanta area.

"I learned that I can't save the world, but I can help a child at a time," she said, pointing out that her new life of philanthropy wouldn't have been possible without the influence of her legendary son. "God created a miracle with his spirit. I'm all right with that."

And as much as she credited Tupac with inspiring her to help others, the tribulations she endured in raising him weren't lost on the multiplatinum artist. He regularly invoked her in his music, perhaps never as directly as in his chart-topping song, "Dear Mama."

In it, he rapped, "And even as a crack fiend, mama, you always was a black queen, mama/I finally understand, for a woman it ain't easy trying to raise a man/You always was committed, a poor single mother on welfare, tell me how you did it/There's no way I can pay you back, but the plan is to show you that I understand."

Shakur Davis is survived by daughter Sekyiwa Shakur.

CNN's Jeffrey Acevedo contributed to this report.

Letter from Newark NJ Mayor, Ras Baraka on State of the Black World Conf.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka
Dear Friends:
On behalf of the entire City, it is a pleasure to welcome everyone attending the 21st Century State of the Black World Conference IV to Newark!
Newark has empowered the transformation of African-American life over the past 45 years, with leaders like Kenneth A. Gibson and my father, Amiri Baraka, challenging the chronic and acute crises and injustices that have faced our community for centuries, striving to create a truly equal nation for all.
Decades ago, at the height of the Civil Rights Era, the battle was being fought for equal accommodations, equal justice, access to the ballot, and to break the chains of poverty that cripple so many African-Americans.
Today, the battlefield’s dimensions have changed, but the issues remain the same – efforts to restrict voting rights…police brutality…an unequal economy that disenfranchises millions of African-Americans and keeps them in a loop of poverty.
That is why the theme of this conference “It’s Nation Time…Again,” reminds us that we must unite again to achieve the transformation we want to see in our City, state, nation, and world. Today’s conference will enable its diverse attendees to bring their many ideas to the table to share issues and concerns, propose agendas and initiatives, and unite to seek solutions. I am proud to host this conference and humbled that it will honor my father.
All the best for a memorable conference!
Mayor Ras J. Baraka
Ras J. Baraka Mayor

2Pac - Dear Mama

Tupac Shakur's "Dear Mama", Afeni Shakur Joins Ancestors

Tupac Shakur’s Mother, Afeni Shakur Davis, Dies at 69

Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation Honors The 10th Anniversary Of Tupac's Death
Afeni Shakur-Davis, mother of the late Tupac Shakur, watches the African drum ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of his death September 9, 2006 in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

She was the inspiration for the rapper's hit "Dear Mama"

Afeni Shakur Davis, the mother of late rapper Tupac Shakur and subject of his hit “Dear Mama,” died late Monday night, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. She was 69.

Police responded to reports of a possible cardiac arrest at Davis’ home around 9:30. She was taken to the hospital, and died at 10:28 p.m. The Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office announced on Twitter that they plan to investigate the exact cause of death.

Earlier in her life, Davis joined the Black Panther movement in New York City. Police arrested her and other party members in 1969 and charged them with conspiracy to bomb multiple city landmarks. She was acquitted in May 1971 and gave birth to Tupac Shakur a month later.

Shakur dropped “Dear Mama” in 1995, in which he rapped about his childhood struggles and his love for his mother. “There’s no way I can pay you back/But the plan is to show you that I understand / You are appreciated,” he rapped.

Tupac was killed in a drive by shooting in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996 at the age of 25. He spent six days in the hospital before he died. Police never caught the shooter.

After Tupac’s death, Davis took over his estate, which reportedly earns $900,00 per year. Tupac’s producers put out six albums after his death, two more than he produced when he was alive. Davis also founded the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and the record company Amaru Entertainment in Atlanta, for which she served as CEO.


Play "Dear Mama"
"Dear Mama"

You are appreciated

[Verse One: 2Pac]

When I was young me and my mama had beef
Seventeen years old kicked out on the streets
Though back at the time, I never thought I'd see her face
Ain't a woman alive that could take my mama's place
Suspended from school; and scared to go home, I was a fool
with the big boys, breakin all the rules
I shed tears with my baby sister
Over the years we was poorer than the other little kids
And even though we had different daddy's, the same drama
When things went wrong we'd blame mama
I reminisce on the stress I caused, it was hell
Huggin on my mama from a jail cell
And who'd think in elementary?
Heeey! I see the penitentiary, one day
And runnin from the police, that's right
Mama catch me, put a whoopin to my backside
And even as a crack fiend, mama
You always was a black queen, mama
I finally understand
for a woman it ain't easy tryin to raise a man
You always was committed
A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it
There's no way I can pay you back
But the plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated

[Chorus: Reggie Green & "Sweet Franklin" w/ 2Pac]

Don't cha know we love ya? Sweet lady
Dear mama
Place no one above ya, sweet lady
You are appreciated
Don't cha know we love ya?

[second and third chorus, "And dear mama" instead of "Dear mama"]

[Verse Two: 2Pac]

Now ain't nobody tell us it was fair
No love from my daddy cause the coward wasn't there
He passed away and I didn't cry, cause my anger
wouldn't let me feel for a stranger
They say I'm wrong and I'm heartless, but all along
I was lookin for a father he was gone
I hung around with the Thugs, and even though they sold drugs
They showed a young brother love
I moved out and started really hangin
I needed money of my own so I started slangin
I ain't guilty cause, even though I sell rocks
It feels good puttin money in your mailbox
I love payin rent when the rent's due
I hope ya got the diamond necklace that I sent to you
Cause when I was low you was there for me
And never left me alone because you cared for me
And I could see you comin home after work late
You're in the kitchen tryin to fix us a hot plate
Ya just workin with the scraps you was given
And mama made miracles every Thanksgivin
But now the road got rough, you're alone
You're tryin to raise two bad kids on your own
And there's no way I can pay you back
But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated


[Verse Three: 2Pac]

Pour out some liquor and I reminisce, cause through the drama
I can always depend on my mama
And when it seems that I'm hopeless
You say the words that can get me back in focus
When I was sick as a little kid
To keep me happy there's no limit to the things you did
And all my childhood memories
Are full of all the sweet things you did for me
And even though I act craaazy
I gotta thank the Lord that you made me
There are no words that can express how I feel
You never kept a secret, always stayed real
And I appreciate, how you raised me
And all the extra love that you gave me
I wish I could take the pain away
If you can make it through the night there's a brighter day
Everything will be alright if ya hold on
It's a struggle everyday, gotta roll on
And there's no way I can pay you back
But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated


Sweet lady
And dear mama

Dear mama
Lady [3X]

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Education of Jah Amiel: piano recital at University of California, Berkeley, May 1, 2016

 Jah Amiel Douglas, performs theme from Star Wars at U.C. Berkeley's Morrison Hall. He is the
son of Attorney Amira Jackmon; grandson of poet Marvin X. When he was two years old, he told his  grandfather, "You can't save the world but I can!"

 piano and voice students at recital, UC Berkeley, May 1, 2016

 piano and voice students at recital, UC Berkeley, May 1, 2016

Jah Amiel and fellow students

His piano teacher Phoebe Abramowitz and Jah Amiel

 Left to right, Naima Joy and brother, Jah Amiel. Left to right, their mother, Attorney Amira Jackmon and sister Muhammida El Muhajir, visiting from Accra, Ghana.

 Jah Amiel, Cal Bear, Naima Joy

 Jah Amiel, the one who has come to save the world, according to himself. After all, his birthday is May 31, two days after his grandfather's, May 29. Does he have an ego like his grandfather's or what?

 Aunt Muhammida and Jah Amiel

 Jah Amiel and Naima Joy

 Amira, Muhammida and aunt Debra Jackmon

From the Jah Amiel Archives
FYI, his grandfather's archives are in the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
Left to Right: Marvin X, grandson Jah Amiel, director Stanley Nelson, MX's daughter Attorney Amira Jackmon and her daughter Naimah Joy at Shattuck Cinema, Berkeley showing of Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution, directed by Stanley Nelson; Marvin X is in the film.  He and Stanley Nelson participated in the Q and A. Jah Amiel  said, "It was too much shooting!"

Left of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is Naima Joy and her aunt Nefertiti, on right is Jah Amiel. Mayor issued proclamation to Marvin X on the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement of which he is one of the founders. On right of Marvin X is Dr. Elnora T. Webb, Laney College President. Seated in Dr. Nathan Hare, father of Black and Ethnic Studies.
photo Ken Johnson

Left to Right: Paul Cobb, Dr. Leslee Stradford, Rt. Col. Conway Jones, Jr., Marvin X, granddaughter Naima Joy, grandson Jah Amiel, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Dr. Elnora T. Webb, President of Laney College, Dr. Nathan Hare, Lynette McElhaney, President of the Oakland City Council.
photo Ken Johnson