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

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Toward the Language of Love


Toward the Language of Love






In the 60s and 70s, we wanted to transcend the English language because we recognized it as the slave master's tongue, the tongue of the true "motherfucker" who had kidnapped, raped and robbed our ancestors, the men, women and children. In our frantic and desperate effort to rid ourselves of English, we tried Swahili and Arabic, and this functioned for a short time, even though these languages originated from another slave master, the Arab, yet much of our literature was in Arabic and Swahili. Those Muslims who learned to pray in Arabic found a sense of joy in transcending English in our sacred moments, and Swahili gave many cultural nationalists a feeling that we were regaining our African consciousness, at least linguistically, no matter that Swahili is basically an East African tongue and most of us descended from West Africa. A few did learn Yoruba, especially those North American Africans in Harlem who gravitated to the Yoruba religion as practiced by Baba Serjiman Olatunji.




As a result of this minuscule understanding of African languages, parents began naming their children non-English titles. This was a grass roots attempt to reclaim some semblance of our collective memory, additionally it was an attempt to distance ourselves from Christian names and Christianity itself, since the English language and the slave master's religion were part of the "breaking in" or brainwashing and behavior modification to transform us from Kunta Kinte to Toby.




Bill Cosby was a shameful black bourgeoisie slob when he attacked black mothers and fathers who gave their children African names or even Africanized English names, so prominent in the South. The Southern names are so unique and original, even in their spelling, that we should applaud the parents for their effort to reclaim their cultural memory. When the culture of North American Africans is studied, those Southern names shall constitute a genre apart from the traditional African or Arabic names.




In the 60s, we also referred to each other as king and queen, and often dressed accordingly, giving up the Western attire for dashikis and bubas, elegant headdresses or gayles. Men wore African crowns rather than fedoras. This was all part of the cultural revolution that was an essential part of the political liberation. There can be no revolution without a change in cultural consciousness. Language plays an essential part since language is a reflection and expression of mythology and ritual, components of culture.




In the Black Arts Movement, we wanted to break out of the English language as well. Use of so called profanity was one attempt to express ourselves in the basic language of our people. It was also a method of putting "curses" on the oppressor by rejecting his proper speech in favor of grass roots linguistics. And yet some of us were multi-lingual, often combining Arabic, Swahili and grass roots English. And then there the attempt to purify our works of so called profanity. During the height of my Muslim period, especially my time in Harlem, 1968, I purged my work of profanity until Sun Ra pulled my coat that I was trying to be so right I was wrong.




And so we are in a linguistic conundrum, because every writer is duty bound to speak the language of his people, especially if he and his people are going through the process of decolonization from the culture of the oppressor. The great Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiango has called for African writers to abandon the English language and return to writing in their native tongues. But the majority of North American Africans speak English, so what choice do we have but to use English until we can discover another language. Hip Hop has fashizzel, but don't know how far we can go with fashizzel.




Often, the most significant change we can do is redefine the language, reverse meanings that are negative into positive. Black was at one time a fighting word--if you called someone black you better be ready to fight. Now black is beautiful. Nigguh is another term that was negative but today is a global expression of love among the Hip Hop generation. It is a multi-ethnic term. Youth around the world are calling themselves nigguhs, even when they have little or no understanding of the historical significance of the term. The older generation of North American Africans go into a tizzy when they hear youth, especially non-Africans, using the term. But this is due to their fixation on the original meaning as something negative, while we must understand that language is dynamic and fluid, ever changing, so we must flow with the flow. The term Negro is archaic, although I love the term because it calls to mind a time when we had our own society even though we lived under segregation. But imagine, when we were Negroes we had Harlem, Fillmore, South side of Chicago, and other enclaves of black culture. We had Seventh Street in Oakland. Today we are Black but where is Harlem, Fillmore, Seventh Street, either destroyed or on the way to gentrification. As Negroes we had our own restaurants, hotels, clubs, newspapers, magazines. What do we have today? Nothing, hardly a pot to piss in except for a few high class blacks who act white for all practical purposes--like Bill Cosby rejecting the linguistic originality of his people, a Negro who grew up in funky Philly, yeah, a Philly dog Negro.

So what happened to our use of Arabic and Swahili, or referring to each other as king and queen?


With the destruction of the liberation movement came the destruction of culture, thus the necessity of the cultural revolution to get back on track, on the right path or ihdina sirata al mustaqim. And then we must practice eternal vigilance, stay ever alert and watchful that we do not relapse into our negrocities. It shall be a daunting task because our situation is not only a linguistic dilemma, but we must resolve contradictions in our social relations, male/female relations, brother to brother/sister to sister/ parent to child relations, even our relationship to the Creator.

But when we become disgusted with the youth of today, their language and nihilistic behavior, the violence and general self hatred and low self esteem, we must understand that they observed our language and behavior, saw the contradictions and sometimes emulated them. And then along came Crack that caused a great chasm between adults and children, children who were abandoned, abused and neglected, emotionally starved and traumatized.

To reverse the present condition will require unconditional love and understanding of the depths of the problem. Our children require Divine love and healing. It is not a stretch to say they have come under the power of the devil, hence their behavior is beyond our understanding, especially those of us who consider ourselves so conscious to the point of puritanical. We have worked on ourselves over the decades, so it is disgusting to observe youth behavior, and often we match Bill Cosby in our reactionary attitudes toward our children who shall not recover until we decide to reach out and touch them with the language of love, demonstrating our love by answering the many questions they have as persons in search of their sexual and adult identity.

Many have had no manhood or womanhood training. They received no parental love since many of the parents were Crack addicted and thus they suffer arrested development. We have fifty year old adults bouncing to rap music, pants sagging with skull and bones on their gear, so they cannot speak to the children--they are stuck in childhood themselves.

We must listen to the youth and answer their questions as truthfully as we can and don't reveal our contradictions except to let them know we are human and have our foibles. For sure, they are watching us, every word we say, every action we make. Not long ago I took a young man on my book tour of the East coast. We were in Brooklyn at my daughter's house, and my ex-wife was there as well. The young man observed me talking with my ex-wife. He asked my daughter how did it feel to see her mother and father talking together, since he had hardly ever seen his mother and father talking, especially in a friendly, loving manner.

Imagine how many youth are like this young man. Both his parents were on Crack, and he loves them both, but there is an estrangement, an emotional void, a psycholinguistic crisis, for how shall he talk with his girl? Can he tell her he loves her, how shall he say it? Where and when did he hear the language of love? And then love is not a word, but an action, a verb, not a noun. I was guilty of abandonment of my children as a Crack head. One of my daughters wrote me and said, "Daddy, you say you love me, but you don't take care of me. Mama says she loves me and shows me she does. What is your problem?"

So even parents who are estranged, separated or divorced can and must let the children see they can be civil, even if they are not friends, even if they hate each other. Don't make the child hate the father because you hate him, or hate the mother. Let's show our children love, maybe then they will emulate our positive behavior and raise up from their animal actions.

And don't let their language stress you, be more concerned about their behavior. Again, language is dynamic and fluid, so flow with the flow. Guns kill, not language, and yet we know the power of words, and this is why I say silence is golden, until we evolve a true language of love, and it may not involve words but simple acts of kindness, for if you show me you love me, there is no need for words.
--Marvin X


1/29/10






Thursday, January 28, 2010
































Beyond Gang Violence, toward Political Power



Gang violence is a senseless endeavor leading nowhere except more community trauma and suffering. It is the act of desperate men and women who cannot envision a way out of social oppression, but such oppression cannot end until the oppressed alter their mental state of stinking thinking.
We cried about how dumb President George Bush was, but dummy George wrote a three page letter and obtained nearly a trillion dollars--think about it, a three page letter for a trillion dollars!
And many times life is just this simple. You figure out what you want, what you need, then you propose it. At this hour, the Gang of Five, Plus One is meeting in Europe to configure a plan to resolve the war in Afghanistan and Yemen. Part of the plan includes offering jobs and housing to insurgents, so called terrorists. Didn't Malcolm X tell you a hint to the wise is sufficient?

It seems to me those brothers and sisters involved in gang violence, drug dealing, prostitution and other criminal activities need to think another way that will get them out of going to prison and to the cemetery. Yes, it is an act of insanity to do the same thing yet expect different results.

Mama told me to use the mind God gave you, so I say to you brothers and sisters in the gang life, ain't you tired of funerals, incarceration, causing trauma and grief to your community?
Well, your community is tired of you terrorizing it 24/7, causing the slaughter of innocent people, children, adults and the elderly. You need to get a healing real quick.

If the USA can offer schooling, jobs and housing to those committing violence abroad, why would not the USA offer you the same if and when you present yourself as a political force with the backing of your esteemed local and national politicians, including the religious leaders, intellectuals and artists?

Violence in our community is worse than Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen combined. You are not aware of it? Count the bodies coast to coast. Fifteen to twenty thousand young black men slaughtered last year, then the collateral damage to families, loved ones, friends. Then you want to destroy the lives of young women with prostitution. I say legalize prostitution, legalize drugs.

The white boys are selling marijuana legally at cannabis clubs. How many black clubs do we have? You still going to jail and prison behind weed and the white boy is selling it legally in your face. Go somewhere and still yourself so you can think, even if it is a jail cell. Yes, go to jail and get a healing, then come out ready to rock and roll.

Your community is similar to Haiti, totally destroyed and you are partially responsible because you have the energy and genius to reconstruct it from the ground up. Imagine, there are still empty lots in the hood from the riots in Watts and the rebellion in Newark, New Jersey. After you contribute to Haiti, sit down and consider your situation at home. Look at your community without economic power, hardly a grocery store in the hood with quality food, a medical clinic, a decent school. Do you see the time and what must be done? As a nation of 40 million, we have not a bottle of water, a grain of food stored for emergency. Yet you're cool? No, you a fool! And you shall suffer the consequence for your foolishness as a people.

As a friend said, when you kill your brother you kill yourself. A young brother told me he was going to kill his real brother. Yet he said if someone else tried to kill his brother, he would kill them. He was silent when I asked him what if someone kills you for killing your brother?
Gangs can transform themselves into political organizations, the Black Panthers are the example. The tragedy was that the Panthers tried to confront the police. They found that once you do this you bring the wrath of the entire society upon you, and it was valiant that the Panthers took the blows of the oppressor off the people and put it upon themselves, but it was a no-win situation, though we thank them and honor them for what they attempted.
When the Panther party was formed here in the Bay Area, there were two organizations. The brothers in the first organization, the Black Panther Party of Northern California, were warned by brothers from Brazil that if they confronted the police directly, they would be smashed, so the first Panther Party disbanded. We know the result of the Huey Newton/Bobby Seale Black Panther Party of Self Defense. It was destroyed by the police, the FBI, Army and Navy Intelligence, and other agencies. And it was destroyed from within, from lack of discipline. So don't think I mean for you to stop gang banging and become a revolutionary organization that will be wiped out in an instant, especially in the era of 9/11, with its plethora of snitches and intelligence agents, provocateurs, etc.

I want you to use your minds that God gave you and take your game to a higher level. Present your ten point program to address the pressing issues in your community. Present them on the national level, but do so with the backing of your people. Don't you think your people will be with you to end the violence, to reconstruct your lives and your community? The only ones who will not be happy are the police and correctional officers who may lose their jobs from lack of clients.
The international drug cartels won't be happy that they can no longer pimp you. Too bad!

You must decide do you want to save yourselves and your people or destroy yourselves and your people. You can't do both. We tried that in the Nation of Islam. Some brothers wanted to deal drugs, pimp, murder in the name of Allah, then bring the money to Elijah Muhammad. How can you destroy the people and save them at the same time? Make up your mind!

Whatever you must do to get the evil and hatred out of your hearts, do it, then get about the business of organizing yourselves into a force for change, real change, otherwise you shall see this society has plans for your permanent elimination. The universe is about to enter an new era, the beginning of a new cycle of time. And either you are going to be in time or out of time, the choice is yours.

Now what part of Revolution 101 don't you understand?

1. We want jobs at a living wage.
2. We want decent housing fit for human beings.
3. We want land that is minerally rich and adjacent to the sea.
4. We want reparations and assistance for the next 25 to 50 years until
we can sustain ourselves (just as you did for Israel and as you shall do for Palestine).
5. We want education minus the white supremacy curriculum.
6. We want a general amnesty for all prisoners.
7. We want to secure our neighborhoods ourselves, minus racist police.
8. We want exemption from service in imperialist wars.
9. We want membership in the Pan African Union.
10. We want freedom for men, women and children to express their spirituality, minus physical, verbal and emotional abuse and brutality.

--Marvin X
1/29/10









Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Response to State of Union Speech:Obama Drama--The End

YouTube - Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - 1975 - Wake Up Everybody

Response to State of Union Speech

Obama Drama: The End

A sister on the street at my outdoor classroom came by tonight and said, "You think this is the end, cause ain't nobody got no job. I'm working part time." Well, sister, I replied, you know when you at the end of a movie, what do you see on the screen--The End! And so it is--every nation has a term, and when it cannot fulfill its destiny, it simply falls into the dustbin of history. Another nation takes its place.

And so the time has come to think out of the box of Americana. As we speak, a power shift is taking place in the global village--it's called BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India and China. This is the coming new world order. You see America is not in the picture. She had her chance but blew it because of her arrogance, greed and selfishness. She has no intention to make fundamental changes in her economic policy of free market exploitation.

Your President said tonight that America will move aggressively to secure new markets to dump American goods. But what are American goods and where are they being manufactured in America? Does he really think America can compete with China and India--better do the math, better do the science, better do the English or Mandarin, Hindi and Portuguese. Better jump out of the box of this white supremacy English. Elijah said English shall be banned in the new world order.
But you don't believe, just as you don't believe anything not emanating from the box of Americana. You are blind, deaf and dumb. You see a world changing before your eyes, yet you refuse to see what you see, to hear what you hear, and to speak the truth you know out of fear and trembling, shaking in your boots because the world order you are accustomed is in chaos.

You see the people on the streets, in the homes, going mad before your very eyes, yet you are lost in denial. You hear them on cell phones talking with no one, text messaging to nowhere. The music in their I-phones is disintegrating their central nervous system. No wonder they cannot jump out of the box. Even though it is an easy task, their mental equilibrium will not afford them the ability to flip the switch to escape the box of their own making.
Yes, our condition at this time is our own fault, not the government's, not the white man's. Don't you see the government can't pay its own bills--it owes over a trillion dollars to China. The war in Iraq cost over a trillion and the cost shall continue even after the American departure--they have not paid for all the destruction--a totally unnecessary adventure in madness due to white supremacy dreams of exploitation and domination.
And what shall be the cost of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia? Your President vowed tonight to continue the killing and maiming of people for no real reason. You say it is because America was attacked on 9/11, because three thousand people lost their lives. Many more than three thousand people die in the hoods of America but nothing is done about it. Remember the song, How Long Has This Been Going On? Too long! Negroes say, "I'm cool, I'm cool." Martin Luther King, Jr. told you if you are cool much longer you'll end up in the deep freeze!

It is time for us to think outside the box of America that has proscribed us into the dungeon of
economic, educational and spiritual stagnation. There are rites and rituals in other cultural traditions that we must consider, and if they are progressive, we must embrace them, whether it is marital relations, creative and artistic innovations, economic endeavors, educational curriculum or whatever.
Don't we need to seek out how and why India and China are progressing, how and why they are making a great leap forward into the new millennium? What are they doing that we who are lagging cannot understand? Is it some deficit in our mindset, our genetic makeup? Or simple sloth and laziness, reflected in the gait of our young men with pants sagging, walking like ducks.
What people can go anywhere looking and walking like this? We are an insult to our ancestors who suffered the most inhumane treatment known to humanity to get us to this day.

We cannot continue inside the box of a sinking ship. Why should we go down with the Titanic just because we happened to find ourselves on board--we can jump ship and swim to another shore, even if we only do so mentally as Jesus taught, "In this world but not of this world."

Look at Latin America (Peru, Brazil, Chile, Boliva, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, et al) determined to find an economic solution beyond free market capitalist exploitation. You mean North American Africans cannot come together in an economic think tank to configure a just economic order that provides a living wage and collective ownership of essential institutions in our community, including communal emergency facilities. The Mormons were able to send tons of food to Haiti because they control an abundant food supply for their own kind. Where is the North American African Emergency food center, medical center, transportation and housing center?

Long ago we heard the tune Wake Up, Everybody, teachers must teach a new way, preachers must preach a new way. And so we must think a new way, discarding the box of archaic, reactionary, ignorant thoughts. Booker T. told you to cast down your buckets where you are, and you can do this if you will get your own little bucket? Think globally, act locally. Jump out the box to see what others are doing in the global village, then bring your knowledge home to your own kind. North American Africans are addicted to white supremacy thinking, i.e., you want to save the world yet can't save your own black asses. You are emulating American values and stinking thinking.

Your President didn't tell you tonight the US government is giving money to employ insurgents in Iraq, Afghanistan, and soon Yemen. Yet, this same government refuses to make similar jobs available in the hood so the low intensity war can end, the homicides and suicides (probably half the homicides are suicides because brothers put themselves in a situation so someone can kill them because they were too cowardly to kill themselves).

But how can the USA pay for jobs for so called terrorists abroad, but only call upon corporate America to find jobs for the dispossessed and desperate here at home? But he let you know there will be money for police and correctional officers to secure and occupy the hood that is growing more anxious and weary from a life of nothingness and dread.

We must realize the final solution is do for self. Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey and Elijah Muhammad told you the day would come when you shall be forced to do for self. That day has arrived. You say you are free, no longer slaves, then get up and do for self. America cannot save you--did it save you during Katrina? Did it drop you a bottle of water, a grain of food? Not until you had gone several days, weeks, with nothing. Yet you have faith in this devil and the Negro in the White House who shall be lucky to walk away with his head.

You must think out of the box. As Baraka says, "Stop thinking like an American." Are you being treated like an American? No, dogs get better treatment than you! Look how much time Michael Vick got for mistreating dogs, yet how much time shall America get for the mistreatment of her descendants of slaves who are yet suffering poverty, ignorance and disease? Your President said nothing tonight about helping the poor, the wretched confined to the cities full of violence, desperation and hopelessness, about the young single mothers whose mates are confined to jail and prison, about the drug addicted who medicate themselves into oblivion to ease the pain of their lives.

The End has arrived, but The End is your beginning. Seize the time!

--Marvin X

Monday, January 25, 2010

Marvin X, Crazy Nigguh, Now Available for Speaking Engagements/Readings








































About Marvin X

I thought Marvin perhaps had an exaggerated opinion of himself, but the information below removes all doubt. Can you imagine comparing himself to Malcolm X (by including such an identification from Nathan Hare) and calling himself the last revolutionary. But when others say such things about someone it is understandable that they would also think these things. Such is the human psyche. --Vulindlela Wobogo

Malcolm X ain’t got nothing on Marvin X. Still Marvin has been ignored and silenced like Malcolm would be ignored and silenced if he had lived on into the Now. Marvin’s one of the most extraordinary, exciting black intellectuals living today—writing, publishing, performing with Sun Ra’s Musicians (Live in Philly at Warm Daddies, available on DVD from BPP), reciting, filming, producing conferences (Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, San Francisco Black Radical Book Fair); he’s ever engaging, challenging the respectable and the comfortable. He like Malcolm, dares to say things fearlessly, in the open (in earshot of the white man) that so many Negroes feel, think and speak on the corner, in the barbershops and urban streets of black America….

Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality by Marvin X is a dangerous book, for it reveals the inner workings of capitalist and imperialist governments around the world. It's a book that stands with and on behalf of the poor, the dispossessed, the despised, and downtrodden. He’s a needed counselor, for he knows himself on the deepest personal level and he reveals that self to us that we might be his beneficiaries. --Rudolph Lewis, editor, Chickenbones

People who know Marvin X already know him as a peripatetic, outspoken, irreverent, poetic “crazy nigger,” whose pen is continually and forever out-of-control. As a professional psychologist, I hasten to invoke the disclaimer that that is in no way a diagnosis or clinical impression of mine. I have never actually subjected this brother to serious psychoanalytical scrutiny and have no wish to place him on the couch, if only because I know of no existing psycho-diagnostic instrumentality of pathology of normalcy that could properly evaluate Marvin completely.—Dr. Nathan Hare, Black Think Tank, San Francisco

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

He’s Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland. If you want to learn about motivation and inspiration, don’t spend all that money going to seminars and workshops, just go stand at 14th and Broadway and observe Marvin X in his classroom. His play One Day in the Life is the most powerful drama I've seen. —Ishmael Reed, essayist, Oakland

His writing is orgasmic!—Fahizah Alim, Sacramento Bee

Consciousness-altering, astonishing -- Marvin X is the USA’s Rumi & his nation is not “where our fathers died” but where our daughters live. X’s poems vibrate, whip, love in the most meta- and physical ways imaginable and un-. He’s got the humor of Pietri, the politics of Baraka, and the spiritual Muslim grounding that is totally new in English –- the ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi.--Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club, NYC

He’s the new Malcolm X! Nobody’s going to talk about his book, HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE ADDICTION TO WHITE SUPREMACY, out loud, but they’ll hush hush about it
—Jerri Lange, author, Jerri, A Black Woman’s Life in the Media

Declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because by re-contexualising it will add another layer of attention to Marvin X's incredibly rich body of work. Muslim American literature begins with Marvin X. --Dr. Mohja Kahf, Department of English, Middle East and Islamic Studies, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Marvin X's autobiography Somethin' Proper is one of the most significant works to come out of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It tells the story of perhaps the most important African American Muslim poet to appear in the United States during the Civil Rights era. The book opens with an introduction by scholar Nathan Hare, a key figure in the Black Studies Movement of the period. --Julius E. Thompson, African American Review

He has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the innovators and founders of the revolutionary school of African writing. --Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)

I welcome reading the work of a “grassroots guerilla publicist” who is concerned with the psychological/intellectual freedom of his people. I think of Walter Rodney as the “guerilla intellectual” who was organically connected to the grassroots. Key book here would be The Groundings With My Brothers [and sisters]. Or Steve Biko’s I Write What I Like. I think though that Dr. M. is closely affiliated with Frances Cress Welsing’s Isis Papers: Keys to the Colors (along with Bobby Wright’s thesis). Of course we need to also consult that classic: The Black Anglo Saxons, and Frazier’s Black Bourgeoisie. What I am most impressed with is Dr. M’s Pan-Africanist perspective. We all need to “Detox” as Dr. M states, wherever we are in this world. So the Pan-African element is important. Du Bois knew this, and many of the other giants. Even though they were also, ironically, “infected” like most of us in some way today. I think this citation from Step I is important: “…We are only powerless when we deny who we are and do not recognize we exist in harmony with the universal spirit of peace, justice and mercy. White supremacy is an illusion in the minds of those who believe it and those who accept the scam”….--Mark Christian, PhD Associate Professor Sociology & Black World Studies Miami University (Ohio)
Biography
Marvin X (El Muhajir)was a key poet and playwright of the Black Arts Movement (BAM) in the 1960s and early 1970s and is still active today. He is called the USA's Rumi and considered the father of Muslim American literature. He wrote for many of the leading black journals of the time, including Black Dialogue magazine, the Journal of Black Poetry, Soulbook, Black Scholar, Black Theater Magazine, Negro Digest/Black World and Muhammad Speaks.
He founded Black Arts West Theatre with Ed Bullins, and Black House with Ed Bullins and Eldridge Cleaver, a political/cultural center which served for a short time as the headquarters of the Black Panther Party, the militant black nationalist group. Always a controversial and confrontational figure, Marvin X was banned from teaching at Fresno State University in the 1969 by the then state governor, Ronald Reagan.
When asked in 2003 what had happened to the Black Arts Movement, Marvin X told Lee Hubbard: "I am still working on it..telling it like it is." Marvin X was born Marvin Ellis Jackmon on May 29, 1944, in Fowler, California, an agricultural area near Fresno. His parents were Owendell and Marian Jackmon who published a black newspaper, The Fresno Voice, in the central valley. His father later became a florist, his mother ran her own real estate business.
He has been known as Nazzam al Fitnah Muhajir, Maalik El Muhajir, and is now known simply as Marvin X. Marvin X attended Oakland City College (Merritt College) where he received his AA degree in 1964. He received his BA in English from San Francisco State College (San Francisco State University) in 1974 and his MA in 1975. The drama department at San Francisco State produced his first play, Flowers for the Trashman, 1965. Marvin X was involved with various theater projects and co-founded the Black Arts/West Theater with Bullins and others, 1966. Their aim was to provide a place where black writers and performers could work on drama projects, but they also had a political motive, to use theater and writing to campaign for the liberation of blacks from white oppression. Marvin X told Lee Hubbard: "The Black Arts Movement was part of the liberation movement of Black people in America. The Black Arts Movement was its artistic arm...[brothers] got a revolutionary consciousness through Black art, drama, poetry, music, paintings, and magazines."
By the late 1960s Marvin X was a central figure in the Black Arts Movement in San Francisco and Harlem, New York (a member of the New Lafayette Theatre) and had become part of the Nation of Islam, changing his name to El Muhajir and following Elijah Muhammad. Like the heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, Marvin X refused his induction to fight in Vietnam. But unlike Ali, Marvin X, along with several other brothers, decided to evade arrest. In 1967 he escaped to Toronto,Canada but was later arrested in Belize, Central America. He chastised the court for punishing him for refusing to be inducted into an army for the purpose of securing "White Power" throughout the world before he was sentenced to five months at Terminal Island Federal Prison. His statement was published in the journal The Black Scholar in 1971.
Despite his reputation as an activist, Marvin X was also an intellectual, and a celebrated writer. He was most concerned with the problem of using language created by whites in order to argue for freedom from white power. Many of his plays and poems reflect this struggle to express himself as a black intellectual in a white-dominated society. His play Flowers for the Trashman (1965), for example, is the story of Joe Simmons, a jailed college student whose bitter attack on his white cellmate became a national rallying call for many in the Nation of Islam and other black nationalists. Marvin X's own poetry is heavy with Muslim ideology and propaganda, but it is supported by a sensitive poetic ear. Perhaps his greatest achievement as a poet is to merge Islamic cadences and sensibilities with scholarly American English and the language of the black ghetto.
Like his close friend Eldridge Cleaver, in the late 1980s and 1990s Marvin X went through a period of addiction to crack cocaine. His play One Day in the Life (2000) takes a tragicomic approach to the issue of addiction and recovery, dealing with his own experiences with drug addiction and the experiences of Black Panthers, Cleaver, and Huey Newton (1942-1989). The play has been presented in community theaters around the United States as both a stage play and a video presentation.
After emerging from addiction Marvin X founded Recovery Theatre and began organizing events for recovering addicts and those who work with them. His autobiography, Somethin' Proper (1998) includes reminiscences of his life fighting for human rights as well as an analysis of drug culture. Drug addiction and "reactionary" rap poetry are two areas of black culture that he has argued have "contributed to the desecration of black people."
His latest books are a memoir of Eldridge Cleaver, My Friend the Devil, BBP, 2009, and Mythology of Pussy, a manhood/womanhood rites of passage, BBP 2009. In the late 1990s Marvin X became an influential figure in the campaign to have reparations paid for the treatment of blacks under slavery. He organized meetings, readings, and performances to promote black culture and civil rights. He has worked as a university teacher since the early 1970s (Fresno State University, University of California, Berkeley and San Diego, San Francisco State University, University of Nevada, Reno, Mills College, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland), as well as giving readings and guest lectures in universities and theaters throughout the United States. Recent speaking engagements include San Francisco State University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Arkansas, University of Virginia, Howard University, Morehouse, Spelman, Medgar Evers College, Berkeley City College.
Marvin X has also received several awards, including a Columbia University writing grant in 1969 and a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1972 and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1979.
Selected writings
Books
Sudan Rajuli Samia (poems), Al Kitab Sudan Publishing, 1967.
Black Dialectics (proverbs), Al Kitab Sudan Publishing, 1967.
Fly to Allah: Poems, Al Kitab Sudan Publishing, 1969.
The Son of Man, Al Kitab Sudan Publishing, 1969.
Black Man Listen: Poems and Proverbs, Broadside Press, 1969.
Black Bird (parable), Al Kitab Sudan Publishing, 1972.
Woman-Man's Best Friend, Al Kitab Sudan Publishing, 1973.
Selected Poems, Al Kitab Sudan Publishing, 1979
Confession of a Wife Beater and Other Poems, Al Kitab Sudan Publishing, 1981.
Liberation Poems for North American Africans, Al Kitab Sudan Publishing, 1982.
Love and War: Poems, Black Bird Press, 1995.
Somethin' Proper, autobiography, BBP, 1998.
In the Crazy House Called America, essays, BBP, 2002.
Wish I Could Tell You the Truth, essays, BBP, 2005.
In the Land of My Daughters, poems, BBP,2005.
Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, essays, 2007.
How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy,BBP, 2008
Eldridge Cleaver, My friend the Devil, a memoir, BBP, 2009
Mythology of Pussy, a manhood/womanhood rites of passage, BBP, 2009
Plays
Flowers for the Trashman (one-act), first produced in San Francisco at San Francisco State College, 1965.
Come Next Summer, first produced in San Francisco at Black Arts/West Theatre, 1966.
The Trial, first produced in New York City at Afro-American Studio for Acting and Speech, 1970. Take Care of Business, (musical version of Flowers for the Trashman) first produced in Fresno, California, at Your Black Educational Theatre, 1971.
Resurrection of the Dead, first produced in San Francisco at Your Black Educational Theatre, 1972.
Woman-Man's Best Friend, (musical dance drama based on author's book of same title), first produced in Oakland, California, at Mills College, 1973.
In the Name of Love, first produced in Oakland at Laney College Theatre, 1981.
One Day in the Life, 2000, produced at Recovery Theatre, San Francisco.
Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam, (with Ed Bullins),produced at the New Federal Theatre, New York, 2008.
Sergeant Santa, 2002
Other
One Day in the Life (videodrama and soundtrack),2002.
The Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness (video documentary), 2002.
Love and War (poetry reading published on CD), 2001.
Proceedings of the San Francisco Black Radical Book Fair, 2004, 9 disc set
Speech at San Francisco State University, 2009
Conversation with students at Berkeley City College, Peralta College District
Conversation with Amiri Baraka, Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, New Mexico, audio, 2009
Interview at Philadelphia International Locks Conference, 2009
Archives
The Marvin X archives are available at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Marvin X Speaks
Obama Drama, A One Act Play

Unless our first black president makes a radical policy shift in his State of the Union speech, we expect he shall retire or be retired after his first four year term. We understand Hillary Clinton has informed Tavis Smiley she will not serve a second term as Secretary of State, probably so she can resume her run for president since she was so rudely interrupted by Obama.

What is clear is that our president doesn't seem to get it, especially with respect to the least of those, the poor, homeless, imprisoned and those forced into acts of violence and other criminality due to economic circumstances.

His focus has been to aid the rich and middle class, neglecting the working poor, the under and unemployed, temporary and contract workers. Yet he has allocated billions to employ poor insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. Logically, if the poor and violent persons in the hood would aim their guns at the White House, there would be an immediate policy shift toward the home front.

Even mass protest by the poor, homeless, unemployed and mentally ill might force his administration to shift its focus. Imagine, nearly one million children go to school homeless in America! And addiction to crass materialism is the major reason 2.4 million people are imprisoned in this nation. Of course, many of the imprisoned are dual diagnosed, suffering drug addiction and mental illness. We must help the least of these, the captives, the broken hearted, the rejected and despised.

Obama's focus on saving the financial system may work in the short term, but there is no future for capitalism with its free market exploitation of poor nations and their resources. As we enter the Age of Consciousness, the free market system of cheap labor and resources, will not stand.
What is the real cost of exploiting poor nations of their wealth so the West can grow fat with conspicuous consumption, devouring 25% of the world's energy while only 4% of the population?
This is white supremacy pure and simple, and all those who enjoy the spoils of free market capitalism shall endure the wrath of those who rise up to claim their labor and natural resources.
Free market exploitation is the breeding ground of so called terrorism and revolution. Many so called terrorists are simple freedom fighters reclaiming their land from foreign occupiers and neo-colonial running dogs.
The insurgents are fighters who are fed up with poverty, disease and ignorance. Some are poor farmers, others educated urban dwellers who are unemployed, too poor to get married. Of course they are sitting ducks for radical ideology, whether Islamic or Marxist, nationalist or socialist.

And so our President will need to get on the right path. He, his administration and the Democratic party, had a wake up call in Massachusetts with the Republication senate victory. This was clearly the result of Democratic arrogance and myopia, a tragic flaw in classic drama.
This same blindness caused him to focus on health care while millions are unemployed and homeless, victims of the sub-prime loan scam, the pyramid scheme of global finance. How will they pay for health insurance while unemployed and homeless?

How in the hell did he earn the Nobel Peace Prize in the midst of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia? Yet violence in American cities outnumber American deaths in all those nations--we don't count the innocent thousands killed by Americans.

While he is putting out the fires of war abroad, American cities burn in a low intensity war of the dispossessed, the wretched of the earth. Unless it is a high profile case, most deaths in the hood go unmentioned, with traumatized families suffering in silence.

The ghettos of America are little Haiti's, full of ignorance, disease, poverty and drug abuse. How else can one live in hell except under medication? Unless one chooses revolution, the only therapy for the oppressed.

Youth in the Bay Area have the highest rates of STDs and HIV/AIDS in the State of California. And yet denial is the order of the day, with no national concern from the White House, after all, Washington DC is the capital of HIV/AIDS in America. The President need only look in his backyard to see the suffering that is nationwide, coast to coast. But his focus is on so called terrorists in Afghanistan. And after the war there is concluded, we shall discover a nation of people addicted to opium, and Pakistan is suffering same fate as we speak.

Is our first black president suffering the Hamlet syndrome, to be or not to be--to be for the people or for the bankers and wall street robber barons who are global and transnational, who don't give a damn about American workers, white or black, if they don't fit into the free market economy of global exploitation and domination. Have you heard the President mention the word poor or the word Black? Why is he terrified of the poor and Black?

Let's see what this Negro does in the second year of his first term, but the die is set, especially with the ever expanding wars abroad to the neglect of the home front. Why does it take thirty thousand US troops to hunt down 100-500 Al Qaeda said to be in Afghanistan? And the cost is staggering: 30,000 men/women at one million dollars each per year. Why not pay the 100-500 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan a million dollars each to leave or at least stop their violence, especially since the US did so in Iraq and is preparing to pay the Taliban to lay down their arms.

What is the need for an additional surge of 30,000 troops, unless there is an ulterior motive.
We see the US slowly edging its way into Pakistan with the use of drones and more recently with the mercenary Black Water army of professional killers. Supposedly it bombed a market in Pakistan and blamed it on the Taliban who refused to take credit as it usually does for its actions.
Blackwater, part of the US hidden hand government, no doubt seeks to destabilize Pakistan so the US can seize their nuclear weapons before Al Qaeda and the Taliban, who probably have access to such weapons since they both originated from Pakistani intelligence services and, ironically, the CIA, when Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban were aided by the US in the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

While we hoped for peace, all we have is war and more war to come. And the political Left is as effete as the Right is hawkish, with their usual agenda of militarism is good for capitalism. But the Left is pitiful, with hardly a peep from the anti-war movement, yet thousands of people are dying at the hands of the US war machine, just as the Left, including those same sex marriage people so addicted to their sexuality that it is the their sole focus for existence--consequently their racism is so pronounced the black same gender loving people say the gay flag does not represent them--just as thousands of young black men and women are maimed and killed in the concrete jungles of American cities due to their underclass status as collateral damage of technological advance.
Yet these children and youth are ingenious at packaging and marketing drugs, accounting and security, but America can find no use for them except as birds in the cages of prisons and jails to the benefit of correctional officer unions where the birds are a valuable commodity, not only of the officers, but the wider community since manufacturing and other jobs have been outsourced. The jailing of blacks and other minorities is big business, for some communities the only business.

The economic forecast is that things are not getting worse, but not getting better--12.4% official unemployment in California. In the hood, 20-50% unemployment. Yes, while the hood is in the emergency room and the middle class in intensive care, the bankers and transnational global bandits of Wall Street are in recovery and back to business as usual, multi-million dollars bonuses included.

When Hamlet made his equivocal speech to Muslims in Cairo, Egypt (I come in the name of As-Salaam Alaikum), he proceeded to expand the US occupation of Muslim land: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia (a proxy war using Christian Ethiopia). Hamlet talks peace, but makes war with his Crusader army.

If and when America ceases her global and domestic terrorism, only then can she have time to ponder a new economic order that is truly equitable and just to all concerned. Latin American nations have configured a free market system devoid of the naked robbery of the poor. Can America envision the same. We thought Obama had the vision with his talk of change, but maybe it was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

With all his progressive pronouncements, President Obama yet seems mired in the world of bourgeoisie, right wing duplicity. He promised openness, yet practices secrecy. He promised to close Gitmo, yet it remains open. He has not ruled out the torture of the Bush era, and of course he has made no mention of closing the torture chambers of American jails, prisons and juvenile facilities. Why not a general amnesty--at least this was the last act of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Nowadays, my friends chide me for my unabashed support of Obama early on, but these days they mock me for being an emotional old fool, for not understanding all politicians are liars and schemers with the next election high on their agenda.

But if he can make a radical shift in policy, he can restore my faith and trust, and perhaps the world will acknowledge him worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.
--Marvin X
1/27/10


Jobs for Terrorists Abroad, None for the Hood


American, Afghan and NATO leaders are also preparing to start an ambitious program to convince rank-and-file Taliban fighters to give up in exchange for schooling and jobs. That plan, expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, will be the focus of an international conference later this week in London. The plan aims at the bottom of the Taliban hierarchy — the foot soldiers who are widely perceived as mostly poor, illiterate, and susceptible to promises of money and jobs. In 2007 and 2008, a similar effort unfolded in Iraq, where some 30,000 members of the country’s Sunni minority — many of them former insurgents — were put on the American payroll. Partly as a result, violence there plummeted.


--Dexter Filkins, NewYork Times, January 24, 2010

It is absolutely ironic and mystifying that the United States of America pays billions to convince terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan to lay down their guns and pledge allegiance to their governments. It was the payment of billions to insurgents in Iraq, rather than the so called surge that decreased the violence in Anbar Province. Money was provided to tribal elders who in turn hired young men to secure their neighborhoods. Billions are presently being allocated in Afghanistan to convince the Taliban to stop their violence.

So the question is whether decreasing violence abroad is more important than stemming violence in the hoods of America, especially between young black men who have been killing themselves at the rate of ten to fifteen thousand per year since 2005 and decades before in a low intensity war. Parents are helpless to protect their children, especially their sons. They can't make their sons understand the hood is a war zone and the only thing that will save them is putting on the armor of God or spiritual consciousness, combined with political consciousness and common sense.

It seems that violence is the panacea for problems in the hood, especially between young men and women. There is little conflict resolution or thought beyond an emotional response to every situation. A young man told me yesterday he was going to kill his brother on sight, and in the same breath said he would kill anyone who killed his brother. He went silent when I asked him what ifsomebody killed you for killing your brother?Much of the violence in America is due to pure and simple racism? We know if black men focused their guns at the white community it would be a problem of the national security of the United States. But since it is only young black men, let them commit homicide or fratricide.

At least they are not shooting at white people or American troops and/or the national guard.Only then would the US be concerned, only then would the ghettos become totally occupied by police. Indeed, the much heralded decrease in violence of New York City is because police are deployed throughout the hood who stop young blacks at random, questioning their status in the criminal justice system, then arresting them or permitting them to continue on their way.

They also reward persons with a thousand dollars if they will turn in (snitch on) anyone (friends, co-workers) known to carry a gun.In other American cities, the violence continues unabated, with no end in sight, no solution offered except more police, in turn filling the jails and prisons with young black men who cannot find any alternative to economic deprivation other than gang membership and the resultant violence. Much of the violence is part of gang initiation rites. The cost of violence to the physical, mental and emotional health of the community exceeds any amount of money, for the trauma and unresolved grief of family members is staggering and incalculable.Yet, there is no national solution from the black bourgeoisie political, religious, or intellectual leadership.

If black bourgeoisie children were being slaughtered in the hood, something would be done about it, yet we all know the violence is directly related to economics, just as it is in Iraq and Afghanistan.Many of the insurgents are farmers who cannot til the soil at a living wage, so they join Al Queda and the Taliban. When will America offer her violent prone young men the same opportunity at home? Or does she prefer to continue the destabilization of the hood, since it employs any number of white people as police, correctional officers, judges, parole agents and probation officers. The cost of incarceration is a minimum $50,000.00 per man per year, almost double the cost of attending Harvard, Yale and Stanford.

Why not offer the boys and girls in the hood $50,000.00 per year to secure their community and other jobs, or reward them for staying in school, but only after a radical transformation of the educational system to make it inviting rather than boring to tears with white supremacy curriculum that is outdated and retarded, certainly not fit for the information age of high technology.If jobs cannot be provided, why not micro loans so the young men and women can become entrepreneurs? Micro loans are allowing people to come out of poverty throughout the world. Why do Americans have their heads in the sand on so many issues? Yet, with their white supremacy arrogance, they proclaim to know everything, as President Lula of Brazil chided the President of France recently.

With respect to violence, if America continues her present policy of do-nothingism she will sow the seeds of her destruction from within, for one day the boys and girls in the hood shall discover a revolutionary solution to their problems that involves the seizure of power, the taking over of entire communities by youth and adults radicalized by an ideology born of desperation and despair. As in the 1960s, the voices of reactionary political sycophants will be ignored. Unless America intends to incarcerate entire communities, she would do well to offer an immediate solution to economic desperation in the hood.

After his first year in office ended on a sour note with the Republican victory in Massachusetts, President Obama and his Democratic party sycophants should take note that people are disgusted with his policies that rewarded the very ones who caused the economic meltdown, while the suffering of the middle class and poor has gone unattended.Massachusetts should be a wake up call to any reasonable person. Senator Edward Kennedy is surely turning over in his grave. And yet the health plan is another concession to the rich, to the insurance companies and others who impeded the bill's passage.

Contrary to his pledge of an open administration, Obama has made back room deals that call into question his honesty and suggest an inclination to political chicanery.His administration and the Democratic party are scrambling after their disastrous defeat in Massachusetts. Politicians only respond to pressure, thus the message must be gotten out that the violence caused by economic deprivation must end immediately.
Must we have a poor people's march on Washington--a march of the unemployed and homeless, including the mothers and fathers of slain children?My friend, Dr. Cornel West says we must protect, respect and correct our president. I will add that we must check him as well by organized protest until he understands it is not only the bankers and wall street robber barons who need an infusion of funds for survival. He can no longer ignore violence at home, while rewarding violence abroad. If employment is the simple solution in Iraq and Afghanistan, why not in the ghettos of America to insure the social security of the hood?
--Marvin X
1/21/10



Marvin X
Now Available
for Speaking Engagements/Readings
jmarvinx@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jobs for Terrorists Abroad, None for the Hood




Jobs for Terrorists Abroad,


None for the Hood



American, Afghan and NATO leaders are also preparing to start an ambitious program to convince rank-and-file Taliban fighters to give up in exchange for schooling and jobs. That plan, expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, will be the focus of an international conference later this week in London. The plan aims at the bottom of the Taliban hierarchy — the foot soldiers who are widely perceived as mostly poor, illiterate, and susceptible to promises of money and jobs. In 2007 and 2008, a similar effort unfolded in Iraq, where some 30,000 members of the country’s Sunni minority — many of them former insurgents — were put on the American payroll. Partly as a result, violence there plummeted.--Dexter Filkins, NewYork Times, January 24, 2010



It is absolutely ironic and mystifying that the United States of America pays billions to convince terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan to lay down their guns and pledge allegiance to their governments. It was the payment of billions to insurgents in Iraq, rather than the so called surge that decreased the violence in Anbar Province. Money was provided to tribal elders who in turn hired young men to secure their neighborhoods. Billions are presently being allocated in Afghanistan to convince the Taliban to stop their violence.
So the question is whether decreasing violence abroad is more important than stemming violence in the hoods of America, especially between young black men who have been killing themselves at the rate of ten to fifteen thousand per year since 2005 and decades before in a low intensity war. Parents are helpless to protect their children, especially their sons. They can't make their sons understand the hood is a war zone and the only thing that will save them is putting on the armor of God or spiritual consciousness, combined with political consciousness and common sense. It seems that violence is the panacea for problems in the hood, especially between young men and women. There is little conflict resolution or thought beyond an emotional response to every situation. A young man told me yesterday he was going to kill his brother on sight, and in the same breath said he would kill anyone who killed his brother. He went silent when I asked him what if somebody killed you for killing your brother?
Much of the violence in America is due to pure and simple racism? We know if black men focused their guns at the white community it would be a problem of the national security of the United States. But since it is only young black men, let them commit homicide or fratricide. At least they are not shooting at white people or American troops and/or the national guard.
Only then would the US be concerned, only then would the ghettos become totally occupied by police. Indeed, the much heralded decrease in violence of New York City is because police are deployed throughout the hood who stop young blacks at random, questioning their status in the criminal justice system, then arresting them or permitting them to continue on their way. They also reward persons with a thousand dollars if they will turn in (snitch on) anyone (friends, co-workers) known to carry a gun.
In other American cities, the violence continues unabated, with no end in sight, no solution offered except more police, in turn filling the jails and prisons with young black men who cannot find any alternative to economic deprivation other than gang membership and the resultant violence. Much of the violence is part of gang initiation rites. The cost of violence to the physical, mental and emotional health of the community exceeds any amount of money, for the trauma and unresolved grief of family members is staggering and incalculable.
Yet, there is no national solution from the black bourgeoisie political, religious, or intellectual leadership. If black bourgeoisie children were being slaughtered in the hood, something would be done about it, yet we all know the violence is directly related to economics, just as it is in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many of the insurgents are farmers who cannot til the soil at a living wage, so they join Al Queda and the Taliban. When will America offer her violent prone young men the same opportunity at home? Or does she prefer to continue the destabilization of the hood, since it employs any number of white people as police, correctional officers, judges, parole agents and probation officers. The cost of incarceration is a minimum $50,000.00 per man per year, almost double the cost of attending Harvard, Yale and Stanford.
Why not offer the boys and girls in the hood $50,000.00 per year to secure their community and other jobs, or reward them for staying in school, but only after a radical transformation of the educational system to make it inviting rather than boring to tears with white supremacy curriculum that is outdated and retarded, certainly not fit for the information age of high technology.
If jobs cannot be provided, why not micro loans so the young men and women can become entrepreneurs? Micro loans are allowing people to come out of poverty throughout the world. Why do Americans have their heads in the sand on so many issues? Yet, with their white supremacy arrogance, they proclaim to know everything, as President Lula of Brazil chided the President of France recently.

With respect to violence, if America continues her present policy of do-nothingism she will sow the seeds of her destruction from within, for one day the boys and girls in the hood shall discover a revolutionary solution to their problems that involves the seizure of power, the taking over of entire communities by youth and adults radicalized by an ideology born of desperation and despair. As in the 1960s, the voices of reactionary political sycophants will be ignored. Unless America intends to incarcerate entire communities, she would do well to offer an immediate solution to economic desperation in the hood.
After his first year in office ended on a sour note with the Republican victory in Massachusetts, President Obama and his Democratic party sycophants should take note that people are disgusted with his policies that rewarded the very ones who caused the economic meltdown, while the suffering of the middle class and poor has gone unattended.
Massachusetts should be a wake up call to any reasonable person. Senator Edward Kennedy is surely turning over in his grave. And yet the health plan is another concession to the rich, to the insurance companies and others who impeded the bill's passage. Contrary to his pledge of an open administration, Obama has made back room deals that call into question his honesty and suggest an inclination to political chicanery.
His administration and the Democratic party are scrambling after their disastrous defeat in Massachusetts. Politicians only respond to pressure, thus the message must be gotten out that the violence caused by economic deprivation must end immediately. Must we have a poor people's march on Washington--a march of the unemployed and homeless, including the mothers and fathers of slain children?
My friend, Dr. Cornel West says we must protect, respect and correct our president. I will add that we must check him as well by organized protest until he understands it is not only the bankers and wall street robber barons who need an infusion of funds for survival. He can no longer ignore violence at home, while rewarding violence abroad. If employment is the simple solution in Iraq and Afghanistan, why not in the ghettos of America to insure the social security of the hood?


--Marvin X


1/21/10


Reply From Gerald Ali:

Marvin X. -- '''Yet, there is no national solution from the black bourgeoisie political, religious, or intellectual leadership. If black bourgeoisie children were being slaughtered in the hood, something would be done about it, yet we all know the violence is directly related to economics, just as it is in Iraq and Afghanistan. '''

Gerald Ali: Which puts it in the nutshell, since when do the Bourgeois class send it sons to fight, when the British Monarch's grandson went to Afghanistan, he sat in a shelter thirty miles away and guided missiles at Afghanis.The 'black bourgeois' do the same, they spread the ideology of capitalism amongst the working class, who themselves have no basis for setting up businesses, there is only two main ways of doing so, either they have high skills and can produce a commodity/product or they need finance, of which most have neither.Many of the 'black bourgeois' have made money from entertainment, but its limited.So 'finance' is gained through enterprise, theft, extortion, robbery, but like the sperm only the occasional one gets through, the rest end up dead, literally or metaphorically, prisons and destroyed lives, with of course all the collaterall damage to others. But its not correct that the 'sons of the black bourgeois' are not being killed, they are doing it through proxy, those in the Hood that emulate the form of what they understand capitalism to be, however wrongly, expropriation of wealth from the working classes.The other side is the working classes fighting back, its all class based warfare. But a question can be asked here, why just in the 'black community'', why not gereralised throughout the USA ?

Marvin X -- ''We know if black men focused their guns at the white community it would be a problem of the national security of the United States.''

Gerald Ali: But of course that won't happen, that was solved in the 1970's with the 'black civil right's campaign' [BCRC], one that has led to the development of the Black bourgeois class, which is its only natural offspring.The 'BCRC segregated the civil rights movement, one that had roots back to the 1860's and earlier, but encompassed all Americans, now in Britain, Europe, Australia, China, India etc, all children learn that the 'Civil rights movement'' in the USA in the 1970' was only for ''black folk'', not for any other section.It was used to divide the population, one that had just seen the ending of the Vietnam war, it then drew off many of the anti war movement into having to oppose the racist right wing, and in doing so the anti war movement lost all its momentum.The BCRC had and still has no application outside the USA in the majority of people who took part in it, only as far as the black bourgeois is concerned does it spread wider, the new proposed rape of Africa. At the moment what one is seeing is the growing conflict between the 'Black' American and the 'African' American. Following the death, by extreme violence, of MLK, the campaign collapsed, the working class African American was said to have become poorer than prior to pre campaign, but the Black bourgeois began to grow, feeding off the working class. The condition for its growth had been gained, the soil in which it could send out root was prepared, workers who could not acquire jobs, were forced to take lower pay to work for Black capitalists.

Marvin X. -- They also reward persons with a thousand dollars if they will turn in (snitch on) anyone (friends, co-workers) known to carry a gun. ''

Gerald Ali: Its both a right and a duty for any citizen to report any crime, so any citizen doing so is not ''snitching' ', the term 'snitching' was used for crooks turning in other crooks, mainly due to jealousy, or to clear people out of the way, owning a gun without a license is a crime. Its a term that goes back to the 1700's, often used to describe thieving of goods of little value.How would it be in a society that had no policing force, and the community had to police itself ? How did they manage in Africa for all those thousands of years, in all those villages and small towns ? A 'crook' is a crook, not a worker in revolt, its an individual way out, they are almost all conservatives in politics, and if there is collateral damage, do they care ?Do we, in this day, still have a need for 'bleeding heart liberals '' ? A campaign for the 'reward' to be raised should be launched, two thousand dollars would be most helpfull, even if one has to bring in Iraqi negotiators to help advise.

Marvin X -- filling the jails and prisons with young black men who cannot find any alternative to economic deprivation other than gang membership and the resultant violence

Gerald Ali: No skills, No finance, and No brains, gang membership overall doesn't alleviate the economic deprivation, and the violence is just savages protesting, has no one ever told them the meaning of the word 'co-operative' ?How did the clans in Africa manage to survive, except by all available members working collectively, communally, to provide for all members of the clan ?They managed to provide not only for the working ones, but also for the old and the childen.Gangs are a product of the lumpen proletariat, the de-classed dregs at the base of society, not of the working class.There is a great gap that has grown between the 'Black Americans' and the 'African Americans', who themselves, obviously, are in the minority relative to the two groups.The only way any class is defined, is by its ability to oragnise and build organisations, the libaries are full of studies of co-operatives, and the hood in full of 'no brainers'.But one things comes of the violence, at least when they go to prisons, they are given an 'adult education'', the prisons being the best universities they will ever go to, and there they can learn all they need about exploitation.

Marvin X -- Many of the insurgents are farmers who cannot till the soil at a living wage, so they join Al Queda and the Taliban.

Gerald Ali:Prior to the invasion, they could all earn living wages, they are not joining criminal gangs, they are trying to remove an imperialist army.




Marvin X -- Yet, there is no national solution from the black bourgeoisie political, religious, or intellectual leadership.




Gerald Ali: Most definitely there is no 'National solution'', the American capitalist class is not going to share the capitalist structure in the USA, or internationally, that was never part of the plan, but they will and do fully involve in 'training' a new capitalist class for Africa, as and when the 'black bourgeois' get it through their thick skulls, that is where they're all going. Plus any who want to go with them, all highly trained as ex gang members, ex convicts. Economic collapse often brings in its wake, emigration.




Marvin X -- If jobs cannot be provided, why not micro loans so the young men and women can become entrepreneurs?




Gerald Ali: Have they volunteered to go to Africa now ? That's when they get the hand outs.




Marvin X -- if America continues her present policy of do-nothingism, she will sow the seeds of her destruction from within, for one day the boys and girls in the hood shall discover a revolutionary solution to their problems




Gerald Ali: All boilers have safety valves, they let out the excess steam, stop it from exploding, simple answer. The people who have joined the American army, on the excuse of poverty, they needed a job, they kill Afghanis and Iraqis, Vietnamese, anyone, but fight their own government, well it's humorous.




Marvin X -- Must we have a poor people's march on Washington-- a march of the unemployed and homeless, including the mothers and fathers of slain children?




Gerald Ali: So Marvin proves he can think, best he's come up with for a long time, everyone should give it serious consideration.




Marvin X -- My friend, Dr. Cornel West says we must protect, respect and correct our president.




Gerald Ali: Children are taught to respect adults, teachers, public figures, but when one grows up, the same people have to 'earn respect'', unless all are expected to stay in an infantile stage of development.--Constantly producing the begging bowl has only produced a population that doesn't listen anymore, why expect the government to do anything ? After all the conditions that exist now are their doing. They've had the basis for change all along, the reason there in no 'change' is because its what they want it to be. A 'revolutionary' act would be for someone to announce call for migration, not to Africa but to certain sate/s, with the intent of gaining a majority in the populations, then we will see how 'black Americans' can run a state. G.A.

Marvin X Replies to Gerald Ali
Gerald Ali, thank you for your response. Let me first say something that was told to me on a personal level, yet it can be applied on the communal level. Firstly, a white man told me he could not help me because I was not part of "the family." If he could find some way to make me part of "the family," he could help me. More recently, a progressive black bourgeoisie member told me he could not help me because I wasn't a mulatto. He said mulattos are a priority, so I would need to wait a little while. But when I ask the grass roots, the common, low class lupen, they help me in a generous way. And so maybe it is only on the communal level that we can survive, the people must help each other, and maybe the crabs can crawl out the barrel together. But speaking collectively, a brother asked me to attend a meeting of peole who wanted to invest money. I told him I would not come because it would be a waste of time unless and until the people subject themselves to the mental health peer group to recover from the addiction to white supremacy. I told him unless we go through this process, there will only be chaos and conflict one the money is collected, simply because there is no trust, no love, jealousy, envy and most of all, fear in the brotherhood and sisterhood. We fear something is going to run off with the money, or run off with somebody's girlfriend and/or wife. So in this mental state, no progess can be made, economically or otherwise. We must first detox, then recover from the addiction to white supremacy, only then can we work together, only then can we organize for survival and thrival. Your comment on people who receive a reward for turning in someone who informs the police a person is carrying a gun is quite absurd. Breaking the law? What law? We live in a jungle, or call it the Wild Wild West. When I was in New York, a barber told me his co-worker turned in the beautician because she had a gun. She had a gun because she was from Queens and the shop was in Brooklyn, so since she didn't know the people in Brooklyn, she wasn't going to get caught naked. I agree with her, although I travel all over America without a weapon, but I have a conscious policy to be careful at all times because I know one wrong move, one wrong word that upsets someone, can be a cause for violence, and especially in the South where everyone is packing, even the women (of course Up South is catching up with the Dirty South in this regard--they say the girls have more guns than the boys Up South, these days.) So in this atmosphere of violence, people have a human right to bear arms for their safety or to level the playing field. Why should a student at a high school or university be subjected to a madman who comes to school with a gun to massacre everyone while they are helpless? Yes, it is a sad society that reaches this state, but this is the present situation. Even the black bourgeoisie are allowing their children, especially the boys, to go about armed so they won't get caught naked. So the only law operating is the law of the jungle. As per the police, they are the judge, jury and executioner. If they can avoid it, they take no prisoners in the hood. Lately here on the West Coast, the brothers are taking out police rather than return to prison. Last year four police were killled in Oakland and another four in Seattle. As per your final statement that blacks should establish their own state or states, I maintain that it is our state of mind that prevents us from establishing a state. We are defacto in control of many cities and states at this hour. With four million blacks in New York, it is to me The Republic of Pan Africa, yet the blacks exist in a kind of stateless condition, devoid of political power, economic and military power. They are actually under police occupation, especially since 9/11. And the Pan Africans from throughout the diaspora suffer a full blown addiction to white supremacy that prevents organizing for statehood or even community control. I see no progress being possible until we deal with our serious mental health issues. Of course, we were taught by Dr. Fanon that the process of revolution is therapy for the oppressed. Only through social action can we regain our mental equilibrium, but we must first detox. No fighter gets into the ring without training and discipline. Almost every day, people ask me how to write a book. When I tell them they must still themselves, forget about pussy and dick for a moment, they get quiet. When I tell them to write a page per day, they say ok, but most never do it. So without discipline, there shall be no co-operative economics (you only hear this term at Kwanza time) or any of the other seven principles. No self determination because this only comes about through the process of thinking and thinking involves having the correct information to think with, followed by the right action, as the Buddhists teach, not just action but the right and correct action. We know the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over, yet expect different results.
Marvin X is now available for speaking engagements. Email him at jmarvinx@yahoo.com




Writings by Marvin X


In the Crazy House Called America, essay, 2002


Land of My Daughters, poems, 2005


Wish I Could Tell You The Truth, essays, 2005


Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, 2006


How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, 2007


Eldridge Cleaver, My friend the Devil, a memoir, 2009


Mythology of Pussy, 2009


The Wisdom of Plato Negro: A Hustler’s Guide to the Game Called Life, 2010




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Comments about Marvin X




Malcolm X ain’t got nothing on Marvin X. Still Marvin has been ignored and silenced like Malcolm would be ignored and silenced if he had lived on into the Now.Marvin’s one of the most extraordinary, exciting black intellectuals living today—writing, publishing, performing with Sun Ra’s Musicians (Live in Philly at Warm Daddies, available on DVD from BPP), reciting, filming, producing conferences (Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, San Francisco Black Radical Book Fair); he’s ever engaging, challenging the respectable and the comfortable. He like Malcolm, dares to say things fearlessly, in the open (in earshot of the white man) that so many Negroes feel, think and speak on the corner, in the barbershops and urban streets of black America….






Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality by Marvin X is a dangerous book, for it reveals the inner workings of capitalist and imperialist governments around the world. It's a book that stands with and on behalf of the poor, the dispossessed, the despised, and downtrodden. He’s a needed counselor, for he knows himself on the deepest personal level and he reveals that self to us that we might be his beneficiaries. --Rudolph Lewis, editor, Chickenbones






People who know Marvin X already know him as a peripatetic, outspoken, irreverent, poetic “crazy nigger,” whose pen is continually and forever out-of-control. As a professional psychologist, I hasten to invoke the disclaimer that that is in no way a diagnosis or clinical impression of mine. I have never actually subjected this brother to serious psychoanalytical scrutiny and have no wish to place him on the couch, if only because I know of no existing psycho-diagnostic instrumentality of pathology of normalcy that could properly evaluate Marvin completely.—Dr. Nathan Hare, Black Think Tank, San Francisco







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






He’s Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland.—Ishmael Reed, essayist, Oakland






His writing is orgasmic!—Fahizah Alim, Sacramento Bee






Consciousness-altering, astonishing -- Marvin X is the USA’s Rumi & his nation is not “where our fathers died” but where our daughters live. X’s poems vibrate, whip, love in the most meta- and physical ways imaginable and un-. He’s got the humor of Pietri, the politics of Baraka, and the spiritual Muslim grounding that is totally new in English –- the ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi.--Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club, NYC





He’s the new Malcolm X! Nobody’s going to talk about his book, HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE ADDICTION TO WHITE SUPREMACY, out loud, but they’ll hush hush about it.—Jerri Lange, author, Jerri, A Black Woman’s Life in the Media






Declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because by re-contexualising it will add another layer of attention to Marvin X's incredibly rich body of work. Muslim American literature begins with Marvin X. --Dr. Mohja Kahf, Department of English, Middle East and Islamic Studies, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville






Marvin X's autobiography Somethin' Proper is one of the most significant works to come out of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It tells the story of perhaps the most important African American Muslim poet to appear in the United States during the Civil Rights era. The book opens with an introduction by scholar Nathan Hare, a key figure in the Black Studies Movement of the period. --Julius E. Thompson, African American Review








He has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the innovators and founders of the revolutionary school of African writing. --Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)



I welcome reading the work of a “grassroots guerilla publicist” who is concerned with the psychological/intellectual freedom of his people. I think of Walter Rodney as the “guerilla intellectual” who was organically connected to the grassroots. Key book here would be The Groundings With My Brothers [and sisters]. Or Steve Biko’s I Write What I Like. I think though that Dr. M. is closely affiliated with Frances Cress Welsing’s Isis Papers: Keys to the Colors (along with Bobby Wright’s thesis). Of course we need to also consult that classic: The Black Anglo Saxons, and Frazier’s Black Bourgeoisie. What I am most impressed with is Dr. M’s Pan-Africanist perspective. We all need to “Detox” as Dr. M states, wherever we are in this world. So the Pan-African element is important. Du Bois knew this, and many of the other giants. Even though they were also, ironically, “infected” like most of us in some way today. I think this citation from Step I is important: “…We are only powerless when we deny who we are and do not recognize we exist in harmony with the universal spirit of peace, justice and mercy. White supremacy is an illusion in the minds of those who believe it and those who accept the scam”….
--Mark Christian, PhD Associate Professor Sociology & Black World Studies Miami University (Ohio)