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

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Exhibit Marvin X Opens with Lecture by Ayodele Nzinga, MA, MFA

Saturday, February 4th, 7-10pm


Ayodele Nzinga, MA, MFA, will discuss her thirty year artistic relationship with Marvin X. Ayodele directed Marvin X's 1981 production In the Name of Love at Laney College. She also directed his One Day in the Life, 1996-2001, the longest running Black drama in Northern California. Ayo is founder, producer and director of West Oakland's Lower Bottom Playaz.


As a student and associate of Marvin X, Ayo has suffered his "ordeal by fire" but will confess he has made her a better artist and woman. Although she has said he is the most misogynistic man in the world, she must confess he is known to surround himself with some of the most powerful women artist/activists in the Bay Area.
Phavia Kujichagulia


Last March he produced Women's History Month at the Joyce Gordon Gallery (Joyce Gordon is a powerful woman herself). The event titled Mythology of Love, A Womanhood Rite of Passage, included Ayo, Hunia Bradley, Phavia Kujichagulia, Tureada Mikell, Jerri Lange, Michelle LaChaux, Taliba, Aries Jordon, et al.


Jerri Lange

Dr. Julia Hare


Hunia









Alona Clifton





Revolutionary artist, Elizabeth Cattlett Mora

Ayo is well able to discuss the poet's personal and artistic life. Aside from the work of Marvin X, Ayo has produced the plays of Shakespeare, Opal Palmer Adisa, August Wilson and her own.

Exhibit Marvin X officially opens Saturday, Feb 4, 7pm, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley, off San Pablo Ave. Call 510-575-2225. Donation Adults: $20.00, Seniors/students $10.00, no one turned away but reservations only, space limited.
Marvin's Muse, Fahizah Alim



With his favorite musician,
Tarika Lewis

















Exhibit Marvin X Lecture Series continues

Saturday, February 11th


Dr. J. Vern Cromartie


will deliver a paper on Marvin X's brief tenure at University of California, Berkeley. He was a student of Marvin X's at Laney College, 1981. Dr. Cromartie, a poet, is Chair of the Sociology Department at Contra Costa College, Richmond CA.

Saturday, February 18th

Dr. Oba T'Shaka

San Francisco State University Professor emeritus, Dr. Oba T'Shaka, and community organizer, Norman Brown, will discuss Marvin X's mentor, the Honorable John Douimbia. The John Douimbia papers are part of Exhibit Marvin X.

Norman K. Brown










Saturday, February, 25th



Marvin X
will read from his selected writings, along with Aries Jordan and Toya Carter. Mechelle LaChaux will perform Marvin X's Woman on the Cell Phone.




Poets Toya Carter, Marvin X and Aries Jordan perform at memorial
for Geronimo Ji Jaga at Defermery Park.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Living Black History: Exhibit Marvin X


Marvin X organized Bay Area Writers/
Chauncey Bailey Book Fair at Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland

photo Adam Turner and Gene Hazzard






Another MX production was the 75th birthday celebration for poet Amiri Baraka at the Fillmore Jazz Heritage Center. Dancers Linda Johnson, Raynetta Rayzetta and drummers Val Serrant and Tamani gave Baraka a praise dance, local poets praised him in poetry. "Black Studies went to college but never came home" was the theme of a panel discussion, participants included Dr. Jimmy Garett, Abdul Sabry, Rev. George Murray,
Dr. Dorothy Tsuruta, Amiri Baraka, Marvin X and Cecil Brown.










The Poet performed at Alameda County Juvenile Hall for
Xmas, 2011, along with Rev. Blandon Reems, Aires Jordan and Toya Carter.
photo Adam Turner




Ever since graduating from high school in 1962, Marvin X has been on the war path for black liberation. After graduation, he enrolled at Oakland's Merritt College where his classmates were Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, co-founders of the Black Panther Party. They turned Marvin onto Black Nationalism, although his parents were publishers of the Fresno Voice, a black newspaper in Fresno, the central valley town between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Suzzette Celeste, MSW, MPA, friend
and associate. Along with Dr. Nathan Hare,
Suzzette facilitated Black Reconstruction,
a mental health peer group, the prototype for
Marvin X's How to Recover from the Addiction
to White Supremacy mental health peer group
based on his manual How to Recover from
White Supremacy, A Pan African, 12 Step Model.




His father was a Race man, a social activist involved with the NAACP and other social organizations such as the Masons and American legion. His dad had fought in WWI and while in Los Angeles, saw Marcus Garvey. His mother became a follower of Christian Science, a disciple of Mary Baker Eddy. There was no medicine cabinet in his mother's house. She believed the "truth" would set you free of all
dis-ease.






Marvin's earliest memories are sitting in his parents newspaper office pecking at the typewriter and selling the Fresno Voice on the street. He later sold the Pittsburgh Courier, Chicago Defender and Detroit Black Dispatch. The family moved to Oakland when his father lost his real estate license due to gambling(with other people's money) . His father became a florist immortalized in Marvin's first play Flowers for the Trashman. The family lived in the back of the florist shop on 7th and Campbell in West Oakland. Marvin attended McFeely, Prescott, St. Patrick and Lowell Jr. High.

Poet, Critic, Professor Sherley Ann Williams
(RIP)


He graduated with honors from Edison High in Fresno, along with poet/critic Sherley A. Williams (RIP), who was his girlfriend and the woman his mother said he should have married. But he fell in love with a Catholic school girl, Patricia Smith, mother of his two sons Marvin K. and Darrel (RIP).


At Merritt College he made the basketball team and won a short story contest, but more importantly, he received a heavy dose of black nationalism from Huey, Bobby, Richard Thorne, Ernie Allen, Ann Williams, Kenny and Carol Freeman, all of whom were associated with Donald Warden's African American Association. Since there was no Black Studies, Marvin and his comrades did independent study in peer groups, often rapping on the steps of Merritt College and at conscious parties. They studied such texts as Facing Mt. Kenya by Jomo Kenyatta, Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon, Black Bourgeoisie by E. Franklin Frazier, History Will Absolve Me by Fidel Castro, Neo-colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism by Kwame Nkrumah. Of course, Malcolm X was their hero. Marvin heard him speak before seven thousand students at UC Berkeley's Sproul Hall, 1964, and later than night at the mosque on Henry Street in West Oakland.

Although he didn't know it, his comrades recognized his writing talents and were bemused at his intelligence and wisdom at a young age. But in his first private meeting with Huey Newton, Newton asked him, "What is your program?" This meeting took place at Richard Thorne's room when Richard showed Huey Marvin's writings. Marvin had no idea what Huey was talking about since he was a budding writer, not a theoretician. Ironically, Huey would later claim the poet as one of his teachers who brought several BPP leaders into the BPP, including Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas and Samuel Napier.

As recruiter, Marvin also influenced the Nation of Islam when he was asked to fish his friend, Bobby Jones, into the Nation. Bobby Jones became director of imports. Elijah renamed him Nadar Ali.

He transferred to San Francisco State College, now University, in 1964, joining the Negro Student Association, renamed Black Student Union, and helped lay the ground for the first Black Studies program on a major white college campus. It came about in 1968 after the longest student strike in American history, although Marvin was in Harlem in 1968, now a mover and shaker in the Black Arts Movement, having dropped out of college in 1965 to establish his own theater in the Fillmore, along with playwright Ed Bullins and others.

Black Dialogue editors: Aubrey Labrie, Marvin X, Abdul Sabry, Al Young, Arthur Sheridan, Duke Williams

On a visit to Soledad prison in 1966, he met Eldridge Cleaver and Bunchy Carter when the staff of Black Dialogue magazine addressed the black culture club. This club was the beginning of the modern prison movement in America. Upon his release from prison, Marvin was the first person Eldridge Cleaver hooked up with and they organized Black House, a political/cultural center.
Bobby Seale attended Marvin X's
Black History event at the Joyce
Gordon Gallery, Oakland, Feb. 2011.
Gene Hazzard photo



Bobby Seale simultaneously blames Marvin for keeping Eldridge from the BPP and for dumping Eldridge on the BPP. See Bobby Seale's Seize the Time, Eldridge's Post-Prison Writings and Marvin X's My friend the Devil, a memoir of Eldridge Cleaver.





Eldridge Cleaver and his best friend, Bunchy Carter who,
along with John Huggins, was assassinated in the BSU
meeting room at UCLA by members of the US organization.




Fly to Allah, Marvin's first collection of poetry, is now considered the beginning of modern Muslim American literature. Just as the poets in the Harlem Renaissance were influenced by Marcus Garvey, the Black Arts Movement was deeply influenced by the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X.

When Eldridge Cleaver returned from exile, Marvin helped organized his Born Again ministry, traveling with EC throughout America, Canada and Jamaica. Eldridge, Huey Newton and Marvin X became addicted to Crack. Marvin's play, One Day in the Life, documents his last meeting with Huey in a West Oakland Crack house. When Eldridge made his transition, Marvin officiated his memorial service in Oakland. Eldridge had died, May 1, 1998, the same day Marvin's autobiography Somethin' Proper was released. Somethin' Proper is a classic autobiography of the Black Arts Movement, along with Amiri Baraka's and Haki Madhubuti's.

Since recovering from Crack, Marvin has written at least twenty books, produced events such as the Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, 2001, at San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Black Radical Book Fair,2004. His latest drama is Mythology of Love, produced in 2011 at Oakland's Joyce Gordon Gallery. His Academy of da Corner Reader's theatre also performed The Wisdom of Plato Negro at the San Francisco Theatre Festival.

Hurriyah Asar, Marvin's
longtime friend from the
Black Arts Movement



Other projects include Recovery Theatre, Academy of da Corner (he occupies the northeast corner of 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland), First Poets Church of the Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists (in planning) and the David Blackwell Institute of Art, Math and Science ( in planning).

Oakland Post Publisher Paul Cobb and Marvin X have been friends since childhood. Both grew up in West Oakland.
They are standing at Marvin X's Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. Ishmael Reed calls him "Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland."
Paul and Marvin say the chief role of the Oakland Police Department in the murder of Post Editor, Chauncey Bailey, was thrown under the rug at the trial. As publisher of the Post, Paul was never called to testify on the work his editor was doing, which included investigating the police and City Hall under Mayor Jerry Brown, now Governor.


Exhibit Marvin X runs Saturdays, 7-10pm, through February. It is located at 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA. Please make reservations, space is limited. No one turned away for lack of funds.




Black Bird Press Publishing House
1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA
94702









Exhibit Marvin X Lecture Series

Tentative Schedule


Saturdays, 7-10pm, during February

During February, students and associates of Marvin X will discuss their relationship with the poet and read from his selected writings and their own. The poet will entertain questions from the audience on his life and times.


There will be a special lecture/discussion on Marvin X's mentor, the Honorable John Douimbia, founder of the Black Men's Conference, 1980. The exhibit will display the John Douimbia papers. He was a Bay Area legend who played a critical role in shaping the Bay Area Black Power movement in general and the Black Men's Movement in particular. Professor emeritus Oba T'Shaka and Norman Brown will discuss John Douimbia, an associate of Malcolm X during their hustling days in Harlem. Malcolm asked John to help expand San Francisco Mosque #26. John agreed but also wanted a secular organization of Black men. Marvin X became the chief planner for John's 1980 Black Men's Conference at the Oakland Auditorium, 15 years before the Million Man March.


As we know, when Malcolm departed the Nation of Islam, he understood the need for John's secular organization, thus he formed the OAAU or Organization of African American Unity. Norman Brown, also an associate of Mr. Douimbia, will join Professor Oba T'Shaka's lecture/discussion.




Elijah and Malcolm X



Saturday, February 4th
, 7-10pm


Ayodele Nzinga, MA, MFA, will discuss her thirty year artistic relationship with Marvin X. Ayodele directed Marvin X's 1981 production In the Name of Love at Laney College. She also directed his One Day in the Life, 1996-2001, the longest running Black drama in Northern California. Ayo is founder and director of West Oakland's Lower Bottom Playaz.



Saturday, February 11th

Dr. J. Vern Cromartie


will deliver a paper on Marvin X's brief tenure at University of California, Berkeley. He was a student of Marvin X's at Laney College, 1981. Dr. Cromartie, a poet, is Chair of the Sociology Department at Contra Costa College, Richmond CA.

Saturday, February 18th

Dr. Oba T'Shaka

San Francisco State University Professor emeritus, Dr. Oba T'Shaka, and community organizer, Norman Brown, will discuss Marvin X's mentor, the Honorable John Douimbia. The John Douimbia papers are part of Exhibit Marvin X.

Norman K. Brown










Saturday, February, 25th



Marvin X
will read from his selected writings, along with Aries Jordan and Toya Carter. Mechelle LaChaux will perform Marvin X's Woman on the Cell Phone.










510-575-2225
for reservations, space limited. Group rates available for schools, colleges, organizations.

Admission: Adults $20.00/Seniors/Students $10.00. No one turned away for lack of funds.

1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley, between San Pablo and Sacramento Avenues. In the rear.






Berkeley High Students (B-Tech) Enjoy Exhibit Marvin X

The life and times of a North American African Poet









L to R: Muhammad Ali, Hon. Elijah Muhammad, Dr. Angela Davis, professor, author, activist



Marvin X joined the Nation of Islam in 1967, Mosque #26, San Francisco. Along with Muhammad Ali, Marvin X resisted the draft to Vietnam. Marvin X went into exile, then Federal Prison.

In 1969, Angela Davis was banned from teaching at UCLA. The same year, Marvin X was banned from teaching at Fresno State University by Gov. Ronald Reagan, who told the State College Board of Trustees to get Marvin X off campus by any means necessary! Ironically, in 1972 he was hired to lecture in Black Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.





Hosts Aries Jordan and Toya Carter read from
the selected writings of master poet Marvin X.
He is their mentor and published their
collections of poetry Journey to Womanhood, Aries Jordan, and
I'm Already Famous, Toya Carter, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2011.




Marvin X has been ignored and silenced like Malcolm X would be ignored and silenced if he had lived on into the Now. He's one of the most extraordinary, exciting black intellectuals living today. --Rudolph Lewis, Editor, Chickenbones.com



The USA’s Rumi!—Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club, New York City

Still the undisputed king of black consciousness! And it is gratifying in an era of the sellout, the faint hearted and the fallen, to see that Marvin X is one black man who met the white man in the center of the ring and walked with him to the corners of psycho-social inequity, grappling with him through the bowels of the earth, yet remains one black man the white man couldn't get!
—Dr. Nathan Hare

One of the founders and innovators of the revolutionary school of African writing.
--Amiri Baraka

His writing is orgasmic!—Fahizah Alim, Sacramento Bee

His language is so strong it will knock the socks off old ladies!—Wanda Sabir,
San Francisco New Bay View Newspaper

Marvin X! Marvin X! Marvin X! Marvelous Marvin X!
--Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University

Muslim American literature begins with Marvin X.—Dr. Mohja Kahf, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

He’s Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland. -–Ishmael Reed

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 experiences in a lyrical way.
—James G. Spady, Philadelphia New Observer

Marvin X is the poorest famous person I ever met.—Toya Carter

He is the most free black man in non-free America! He walked through the muck and mire of hell but came out clean as white fish and black as coal.—James Sweeney

Marvin X was my teacher! Many of our comrades came through his Black theatre, e.g., Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas, George Murray, Samuel Napier...."
--Dr. Huey P. Newton, co-founder, Black Panther Party





Students are shocked to hear the funky style of Marvin X.
"His language is so strong it will knock the socks off old ladies."
--Wanda Sabir, San Francisco New Bayview Newspaper





Black Arts West
banner signals Marvin X's role in
the Black Arts Movement on the West coast, although
he was also in Harlem in1968, working with playwright
Ed Bullins at the New Lafayette Theatre. His associates
included Askia Toure, Amiri Baraka, Sun Ra, Nikki Giovanni,
Sonia Sanchez, Larry Neal, Milford Graves, Haki Madhubuti,
Last Poets, et al. Marvin was also associated with the Black
Panther Party, Nation of Islam, Black Student Union at San
Francisco State University and Black Studies.



















Students Listen intently as
Marvin X narrates his Exhibit















Shanika facing
camera, Marlene
with back turned





















Left to right: Marlene, Ramal, Jordan, James, Marvin, Jahkyl, Tee-Tee, Shanika, Julian, Janye, Aries.



Exhibit Marvin X opened on Friday, January 13, with students from Berkeley High (B-Tech). They enjoyed the exhibit, hosted by Marvin X's student writers, Aries Jordan and Toya Carter. The students were accompanied by Math teacher Ramal Lamar, a student at Marvin X's Academy of da Corner. Ramal is a graduate student in Math at Cal State Eastbay. The Master Poet narrated his exhibit. Aries Jordan and Toya Carter read from his selected writings.

Exhibit Marvin X is open by appointment during January. It officially opens in February on Saturday evenings 7-10pm, reservations only, space limited. Call 510-575-2225.

This is a rare opportunity to view the archives of an internationally known poet called "USA's Rumi," and one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement, the most radical artistic and literary movement in American history. Marvin X was associated with the Black Panthers, the Nation of Islam, the Black Student movement and Black Studies. The author of 30 books, his early writings appeared in the major black radical publications during the 60s, i.e., Soulbook, Black Dialogue, Black Theatre, Journal of Black Poetry, Negro Digest/Black World, Black Scholar and Muhammad Speaks. From time to time he writes in the Oakland Post newspaper and maintains several blogs on the internet. His archives were acquired by the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Exhibit Marvin X feature his personal archives and will be shown at Black Bird Press Publishing House, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley.


Exhibit Marvin X

Living Black History

The Life and Times of a North American African Poet ( Born May 29,1944--)


The archives of poet, playwright, essayist, educator, producer, organizer, activist Marvin X
on exhibit at Black Bird Press Publishing House 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley. Refreshments, Q and A, and book signing included.

Schedule

During February, the students and associates of Marvin X will discuss their relationship with the poet and read from his selections writings and their own.

February, Saturdays, 7-10pm

4th

Ayodele Nzinga will discuss her thirty year artistic relationship with Marvin X. Ayodele directed Marvin X's 1981 production In the Name of Love at Laney College. She also directed his One Day in the Life, 1996-2001, the longest running Black drama in Northern California. Ayo is founder and director of West Oakland's Lower Bottom Playaz.

11th

Dr. J. Vern Cromartie will deliver a paper on Marvin X's brief tenure at University of California, Berkeley. He was a student of Marvin X's at Laney College, 1981. Dr. Cromartie, a poet, is Chair of the Sociology Department at Contra Costa College, Richmond CA.

18th

Dr. Oba T'Shaka, professor emeritus at San Francisco State University, and community activist Norman Brown will discuss the Honorable John Douimbia.
Ancestor John mentored Marvin X, Oba T'Shaka, Norman Brown and many other Bay Area activists. He was a friend of Malcolm X in his Harlem hustling days. Marvin X is displaying the John Douimbia Papers as part of Exhibit Marvin X.

25th

Marvin X will read from his selected writings. Mechelle LaChaux will perform Marvin X's Woman on the Cell Phone.
Saturdays, 7-10 pm

510-575-2225 for reservations, space limited. Group rates available for schools, colleges, organizations.

Admission: Adults $20.00/Seniors/Students $10.00. No one turned away for lack of funds.




Exhibit Marvin X


Biography

Marvin Jackmon, aka Marvin X, El Muhajir, was born in Fowler, CA, May 29, 1944 and grew up in Fresno and Oakland. He attended Merritt College and San Francisco State University where he received a BA and MA in English. He taught English, African American literature, drama, journalism, creative writing, technical writing, etc. at Fresno State University, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, UC San Diego, University of Nevada, Reno; Mills College, Merritt and Laney Colleges. He is one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement and considered the father of Muslim American literature. He teaches at Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. He claims to travel with ten people at all times. These people are invisible.

Awards and Honors

Columbia University writing fellowship
National Endowment for the Arts fellowship
National Endowment for the Humanities planning grants
San Francisco Arts Commission
Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission
Marin County Board of Supervisors grant
Lifetime Achievement Award from Los Angeles Black Book Expo
Inspired Artist Award from the Full Vision Foundation

Chronology

1944
Born May 29, 1944, Fowler, CA. Parents Owendell and Marian M. Jackmon, who published a Black newspaper in the Central Valley, The Fresno Voice. Siblings include Ollie, Donna, Judy, Debbie, Ann, Gayle, Suzzette, Tommy.
1962 Graduated with honors from Edison High, Fresno. Childhood friend: poet, critic, professor Sherley A. Williams (RIP)
1962 First son, Marvin K, born to Patricia Smith. Marries Patricia Smith.
1962 Attended Oakland’s Merritt College with Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, founders of the Black Panther Party.
1964 Attended San Francisco State University, first play produced by the drama department, Flowers for the Trashman. Studied under novelist John Gardner and Leo Litwak. Beat Poet Kenneth Rexroth called him “the best playwright to hit San Francisco State.”
1966 Drops out of college to establish Black Arts West Theatre in the Fillmore with playwright Ed Bullins, Ethna Wyatt, Duncan Barber, Hillery Brodous, Carl Bossiere. Actor Danny Glover performed at his Black Arts West Theatre. Bobby Seale performed in his play Come Next Summer.
1967 Established Black House, political/culture center with Eldridge Cleaver, Ed Bullins, Ethna Wyatt. Flees to Toronto, Canada to resist draft to Vietnam war.
1968 Returns underground to Chicago, Harlem, New York. Joins Ed Bullins at New Lafayette Theatre. Key mover and shaker of the Black Arts Movement, along with Amiri Baraka, Sun Ra, Askia Toure, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Haki Madhubuti, Last Poets. Associate Editor of Black Theatre magazine, Soulbook, Black Dialogue, Journal of Black Poetry. Contributed to Muhammad Speaks newspaper, Negro Digest/Black World, Black Scholar.
1969 Arrested returning from Montreal, Canada, returns to California to stand trial for refusing to fight in Vietnam. Attempted to lecture in Black Studies at Fresno State University, removed on orders from Governor Ronald Reagan.
1970 Flees into second exile, Mexico City and Belize. Marries FSU student Barbara Hall in Mexico City. Deported from Belize to US, convicted of draft evasion, spends
Five months in San Francisco County Jail and Terminal Island Federal Prison.
1971 First daughter, Nefertiti born.
1972 Establishes Black Educational Theatre in San Francisco’s Fillmore, works with Sun Ra’s Arkestra; lectures at UC Berkeley. Daughter Muhammida born to UC student, Nisa El Muhajir (Greta Pope), marries Nisa in Muslim tradition.
1972 With NEA fellowship, travels to Guyana, South America, interviews Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, published in Muhammad Speaks and Black Scholar.
1973 Daughter Amira born to Barbara Hall.
1974 Graduates from San Francisco State University, BA in English. Lectures in Black Studies, Radio and television writing.
1975 Earns MA in English. Visiting professor at UC San Diego.
1977 Becomes Eldridge Cleaver’s chief of staff, organizes his Born Again Christian ministry.
1979 Lectures at University of Nevada, Reno: English, Creative writing, Technical writing. Planner for Community Services Agency.
1979 Organizes Melvin Black Human Rights Conference to stop Oakland Police from killing black men. Invites Minister Farakhan, Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton. Five thousand attend. Police killing stops, drive by killings begin, introduction of Crack cocaine by US Government.
1980 Organized Black Men’s Conference at Oakland Auditorium. Mentored by John Douimbia.
1981 Taught Drama and English at Merritt and Laney Colleges. Produced play In the Name of Love at Laney. Meets Marsha Satterfield (RIP). Lectures at Kings River College, retires from Academic teaching with 97% student retention rate.
1984-95 Addicted to Crack Cocaine. Recovery assisted by Rev. Cecil Williams at Glide Church, San Francisco. Transition of Marsha Satterfield at 41.
1995 Published poems, Love and War.
1996 Establishes Recovery Theatre with Geoffery Grier and Ayodele Nzingha. Writes and produces One Day in the Life, docudrama of addiction and recovery, longest running African American drama in the Bay. Includes scene of last meeting with Black Panther Huey P. Newton in Oakland Crack house. Playwright Ed Bullins writes one-act play of this scene Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam, produced in New York by Woody King, Jr.
1998 Published autobiography Somethin’ Proper, a classic of the Black Arts Movement.
Performs memorial service for Eldridge Cleaver. Meets Suzzette Johnson, social worker.
2001 Produced Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness Concert at San Francisco State University, included Askia Toure, Amiri and Amina Baraka, Julia Hare and Nathan Hare,
Dr. Theophile Obenga, Dr. Cornel West, Rev. Cecil Williams, Rev. Andreatte Earl, Ishmael Reed, Kalamu ya Salaam, Phavia Khujichagulia, Ayodele Nzinga, Destiny, Tarika Lewis, Marvin X, et. al.
2002 Suicide of son, Darrel P. Jackmon (RIP), suffered manic depression. Marvin X flees to mountain retreat, spends five years in solitude. Writes In the Crazy House Called America, Wish I Could Tell You the Truth, essays, Land of My Daughters, poems, Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality.
2004 Produced Black Radical Book Fair in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco.
2006 Archives acquired by Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
2007 Writes How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy in Beaufort, South Carolina at home of Ethna X. Wyatt (Hurriyah Asar) from BAM. Assassination of journalist Chauncey Bailey by OPD and Black Muslim Bakery brothers.
2009 Writes memoir of Eldridge Cleaver, My Friend the Devil, in three weeks. Published each chapter on the internet daily.
2010 Writes eight books.
2011 Produces shows at Joyce Gordon Gallery: Black History, Women’s History, drama Mythology of Love. Mentors poets Aries Jordan and Toya Carter. Daughter Muhammida produced Keyshia Cole Day in Oakland. Daughter, Attorney Amira Jackmon, gives birth to Marvin’s seventh grandchild, Naeemah Joy. Daughter Nefertiti writes essay in Oakland Post on father’s 67th birthday. Marvin X in anthology Black California. Performs at Alameda County Juvenile Hall. Paul Cobb and the Oakland Post Newspaper pays Bay Area Black Authors for 150 books donated to Juvenile Hall. His Academy of da Corner has occupied 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, for five years: a free speech zone, sacred space, mentoring center, mental health center, micro loan bank. Ishmael Reed says, “If you need inspiration and motivation, don’t spend all that money attending seminars and workshops, just go stand at 14th and Broadway and watch Marvin X at work. He’s Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland.” Marvin X maintains 20 blogs on the internet. Search Google. He is presently establishing the First Poets Church of the Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists and the Charles Blackwell Institute of Art, Math and Science.

2012 Planned books include Who Killed Chauncey Bailey, Revolution from Egypt to the Americas, Sweet Tea and Dirty Rice, poems, and Musings on Economics.

Bibliography

Sudan Rajuli Samia (Fresno: Al Kitab Sudan Publishing, 1967)
Black Dialectics (Fresno: Al Kitab Sudan, 1967)
Fly To Allah: Poems (Fresno: Al Kitab Sudan, 1969)
Son of Man: Proverbs (Fresno: Al Kitab Sudan, 1969)
Black Man Listen: Poems and Proverbs (Detroit: Broadside Press, 1969)
Woman-Man's Best Friend (San Francisco: Al Kitab Sudan, 1972)
Selected Poems (San Francisco: Al Kitab Sudan, 1979)
Confession of A Wife Beater and Other Poems (Fresno: Al Kitab Sudan, 1981)
Liberation Poems for North American Africans (Fresno: Al Kitab Sudan, 1982)
Love and War: Poems ( Castro Valley: Black Bird Press, 1995)
Somethin Proper: Autobiography (Castro Valley: Black Bird Press, 1998)
In The Crazy House Called America: Essays (Castro Valley: Black Bird Press, 2002)
Wish I Could Tell You The Truth: Essays (Cherokee: Black Bird Press, 2005)
Land of My Daughters: Poems (Cherokee: Black Bird Press, 2005)
Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, Black Bird Press, 2007
How to Recover from White Supremacy, Black Bird Press, 2007
My Friend the Devil: A Memoir of Eldridge Cleaver, Black Bird Press, 2009
The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, Volume I,BBP, 2010
Hustler’s Guide to the Game Called Life, (Wisdom of Plato Negro, Volume II), BBP, 2010
Mythology of Love: Toward Healthy Psychosocial Sexuality, BBP, 2010.
I Am Oscar Grant, essays on Oakland, BBP, 2010
Pull Yo Pants Up fada Black Prez and Yoself, essays on Obama Drama, BBP, 2010
Journal of Pan African Studies Poetry Issue, Guest Editor, Marvin X, BBP, 2010
Notes on the Wisdom of Action or How to Jump Out of the Box, BBP, 2010
Soulful Musings on Unity of North American Africans, BBP, 2010

The permanent archives of Marvin X are deposited at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Description

The Marvin X Papers document the life and work of playwright, poet, essayist, and activist Marvin X during the sixties, nineties and the first decade of the 21st Century. The papers include correspondence; Marvin X's writings; materials related to the Recovery Theatre; works by his children and colleagues; and resource files. Correspondence includes letters, cards, and e-mails; correspondents include Amiri Baraka, Dr. Nathan Hare, and other prominent African-American intellectuals. Marvin X's writings include notebooks, drafts, and manuscripts of poetry, novels, plays, essays, and planned anthologies. Documents from the Recovery Theatre include organizational and financial records and promotional material. Writings by others include essays, scripts, and academic papers by his three daughters. Resource files include academic articles, e-mails, flyers, news clippings and programs that contextualize and document Marvin X's involvement as an activist, intellectual, and literary figure in the African American community in the Bay Area in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Photographs include snapshots of family, friends, colleagues, and productions at the Recovery Theatre.

Background

Poet, playwright and essayist Marvin X was born Marvin E. Jackmon on May 29, 1944 in Fowler, California. He grew up in Fresno and Oakland, in an activist household. X attended Oakland City College (Merritt College), where he was introduced to Black Nationalism and became friends with future Black Panther founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. X earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from San Francisco State University and emerged as an important voice in the Black Arts Movement (BAM), the artistic arm of the Black Power movement, in the mid-to-late Sixties. X wrote for many of the BAM's key journals. He also co-founded, with playwright Ed Bullins and others, two of BAM's premier West Coast headquarters and venues - Oakland's Black House and San Francisco's Black Arts/West Theatre. In 1967, X joined the Nation of Islam and became known as El Muhajir. In the eighties, he organized the Melvin Black Forum on Human Rights and the first Annual All Black Men's Conference. He also served as an aide to former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver and attempted to create the Marvin X Center for the Study of World Religions. In 1999, X founded San Francisco's Recovery Theatre. His production of "One Day in the Life," the play he wrote about his drug addiction and recovery, became the longest-running African-American drama in Northern California. In 2004, in celebration of Black History Month, X produced the San Francisco Tenderloin Book Fair (also known as the San Francisco Black Radical Book Fair) and University of Poetry. X has taught Black Studies, drama, creative writing, journalism, English and Arabic at a variety of California universities and colleges. He continues to work as an activist, educator, writer, and producer.

Extent

Number of containers: 8 cartons, 1 box Linear feet: 10.2

Restrictions

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94270-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.

Availability

Collection is open for research.
Youth reading at Academy of Da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. Gene Hazzard photo

Please support the many projects of the Marvin X Ministry with a generous donation, especially Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. Send your generous donation to Marvin X, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94702. Call 510-575-2225. email:jmarvinx@yahoo.com. www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Marvin X on Wall Street Part 1 WBAI Interview


In this 2007,WBAI (New York) interview Marvin X discusses the Black Arts Movement and reads poetry. After the interview, the poet walked down Wall Street and read in front of the Stock Exchange, see Marvin X at Wall Street on youtube.