Marvin X is one of the co-founders of the National Black Arts Movement and Oakland Black Arts Movement Business District that extends along the 14th Street corridor from the Lower Bottoms to Lake Merritt and four blocks north and south. It was approved by the Oakland City Council on January 19, 2016. The BAMBD is part of the City of Oakland's Downtown Plan for the next 25 to 50 years.
Today, Sunday, May 20, 2018, I am proud Oakland Blacks occupied Lake Merritt in a return to our valiant, radical tradition as America's City of Resistance to racism and white supremacy, not to downplay other cities who resisted domestic colonialism during Jim Crow days, the Civil Rights era and the Black Power Movement. Oakland's Black Panther Party resisted with blood the abuses of America's white supremacy, although we ultimately suffered a military defeat by the USA military and intelligence agencies, COINTELPRO. Like Fallujah, the city of resistance in Iraq, . Black Oakland was devastated and Black bodies and minds were destroyed by political repression, in spite of three Black neo-colonial mayors, Lionel Wilsom, Elihu Harris and Ronald V. Dellums. America's drug war put the icing on the death of Black liberation in Oakland when Crack was introduced along with germ warfare in the form of STDs and HIV. In my play One Day in the Life, the preacher says, "Crack was worse than slavery. Didn't the slave love his Mama, his god, his woman and children? Not the Crack slave, the Crack slave is a dirty, funky slave...." AC, i. e., After Crack, the ensuing years further deteriorated our mental equilibrium and expedited the now pervasive gentrification, although it began with socalled redevelopment or Negro Removal, and ironically much of the removal was done by the black bourgeoisie administrators of redevelopment agencies. Ask Harlem who were the chief Negro leaders who expedited the gentrification of Harlem? Ask San Francisco, ask Oakland, ask Fresno and other cities where Negro removal was administrated by the black bourgeoisie! At least San Francisco Mayor Joe Alioto apologized for destroying the cultural and economic vitality of the Fillmore. The Black bourgeoisie sings Silent Night! The road of Oakland's Black people or North American Africans now living in tents was paved long ago as I just described.
The blame for Black Oakland's woes are not totally the orchestration of former Mayor Jerry Brown, now Governor, and his mentee Mayor Libby Schaaf. FYI, I support Cat Brooks in the upcoming mayoral election. And since I have bi-coastal relations, I support the reelection of Ras Baraka in Newark, New Jersey.
As per Black Oakland and Bar-b-Que Becky, she may be the single spark that caused a prairie fire. Over the last years and months, people have asked me what shall we do, where do we go from here? I reminded them of the mantra we used to chant at high school football games, "Push 'em back, push 'em back, way back!"
On Sunday, Black Oakland pushed 'em back by standing up to sick white supremacy in the persona of a woman whom we suspect thought she was doing the right thang. But as we honor the birthday, May 22, of Sun Ra, our master philosopher, he taught me, "Marvin, you can be so right you wrong." So we say to Bar-B-Que Becky, "You so right you wrong! (See my letter Dear White Folks).
When the masses of Oakland's North American Africans occupied Lake Merritt, the day after Malcolm X's birthday, and the day after the Bay Area celebrated the transition of our revolutionary sister Kiilu Nathsha, we occupied our land. FYI, Lake Merritt is part of Oakland's Black Arts Movement Business District, established by the Oakland City Council, January 19, 2016. BAMBD extends from the 14th Street corridor of the Lower Bottom to Lakeorni Merritt, and four blocks north and south along 14th. Thus, Lake Merritt is park of the Black Arts Movement Business District and as per the future of the lake, we shall demand a voice in the planning and rules and regulations of Lake Merritt. Those who plan to make our presence at the Lake a regular affair, should understand the lake is already part of our turf and we should approach City of Oakland officials from a position of power and equity, especially since our BAMBD District is party of the City's Downtown Plan for the next 25 to 50 years.
I arrived late in the afternoon, still there were thousands of Blacks at the lake, bar-b-quin, drinkin', smokin', lovin', resistin', liberatin', they passed by me after I set up my Academy of da Corner Lake Merritt, Lakeshore and Hanover Streets, down the block from my apartment and near the spot where we dumped my brother's ashes. He lived up the street on Hanover, around the corner from me. A lifetime criminal, he wanted his remains in the Lake. He wanted no funeral and didn't want, "Nobody to say a mothafuckin thang about him." I loved my oldest brother, Ollie, one year older than myself, and missed him dearly since he spent most of his life incarcerated, from California Youth Authority to his tour throughout California's Department of Correctional centers of rehabilitation, Soledad, San Quentin, Folsom, et al., including Washington State's McNeil Island.
I am taking the same attitude as my brother: throw my ashes in Lake Merritt, and don't say a mothafuckin thang about me, after all, ain't no funeral or memorial service gonna help me! And ain't nobody bout to do the last rites I want: 100 naked black warriors with AK47s and 100 naked warrior queens with Ak47s marching and dancing from the Lower Bottom of 14th to Lake Merritt. Now chew on dat! Otherwise, don't say a mothafuckin' thang bout me.
]t appears we have liberated Lake Merritt, a space we could not occupy while growing up in West Oakland. As I remember, Blacks were only allowed at the lake on holidays like the 4th of July, otherwise, you might get your ass kicked by racist white boys. My brother informed me we were allowed a certain section of the lake. I didn't know that!
I made it down the street to the lake when I got a call the revolution was at the Lake. A day or two before, Dr. Nathan Hare had left me a voicemail that said, "Where is the revolutionary when the revolution needs him?"
After the call, I packed propaganda to distribute, along with my books and the books of Drs. Nathan and Julia Hare.
The brother who called me told me the lake was full of us and smoke from bar-b-que and marijuana. He said Lakeshore Ave. was jammed with traffic and I should not drive down to the area. Ignoring his advice, I packed my car and proceeded to the lake. Soon as I arrived at Hanover and Lakeshore, a friend of mine was departing so I told him hold up, I want his space. He did so, and I parked next to another hustler friend who was selling plants. Since it was after four o'clock, he told me he had made his money and was packing up. But while doing so, he observed me asking for donations as I passede out my Movement Newspaper and copies of Dr. Hare's The Black Agenda. My plant selling friend observed me "take" a twenty dollar donation from a brother, simply by asking for it. He was mystified when the brother handed me a twenty dollar bill, but the brother said he was blessing me because it was Ramadan and he knew he was going to receive a greater blessing!
Manhood Training at Lake Merritt
We never know what the the Creator of the Universe has for us. Some think our mission in life is to make money, but Master Teacher Joseph Campbell has taught us to follow our own bliss, our mission and purpose. I went to the lake to do propaganda and seek donations as I most often do in the community. The day before I was at the Malcolm X Jazz Festival doing my usual. Writers often live in solitude in order to do their work. But I realized long ago that after living in my imagination, I needed to touch down with reality or with people on the ground, thus my Academy of da Corner allows me to come out of my imagination and deal with the reality of my people. And it is a wretched reality. On the first of this month, I returned to my Academy of da Corner at Oakland's 14th and Broadway. I had been absent for months, so the people had missed me and showered me with donations. I wish you knew how beautiful Black people are. For years, I've given out credit for books to those without money. I have never kept a record, but 99% of our people pay me without me saying one word. This is the beauty of our people, and you need to know this. At 14th and Broadway and gaelsewhere coast to coast, when I am vending on the street and tell the brothers/and sisters to pull up their pants, they do so without hesitation or comment. Of course the one per cent is a devil and responds, "Nigga, you ain't ma daddy, so don't tell me a motherfuckin thang." the
Ok, today at the lake I am doing my thang: selling and giving out free literature, my Movement Newspaper and the works of Drs. Julia and Nathan Hare, that Dr. Hare instructed me to do. Whatever you can get is fine with me, Marvin."
Most often, I am up the block on Lakeshore Avenue since it is a Yuppie and Buppie gathering of North American Africans and multiculturals, mostly especially integrated folks. I deal with all people, no matter my Black Nationalist leanings, after all, my family is a United Nations, and I will say no more because they don't appreciate me talking about them and when I come into the room at family gatherings, they tell each other to shut up, Marvin is here and you know he will have us in his books. Everybody feels this way about me. Professional friends inform me from the outset, "Marvin, this conversation is off the record.":
At the lake, I was blessed to serve the people. Mao said don't be among the people and don't do propaganda work, i.e., spread the truth. Before I tell you of my mission at Lake Merritt, I must tell you what happened a few days before at my usual Academy of da Corner on Lakeshore, next to Peet's Coffee and Trader Joe's.
Marvin X executes Manhood Training at Lake Merritt and along Lakeshore Avenue
As a teacher of Black history, culture, art and literature for half a century, a few days ago, I received the shock of my teaching career, from the street to the academy. I was devastated by the ignorance of a young man who asked me if Marcus Garvey was an NBA player.
I was so hurt I could not reveal my pain to the young man. I gave him a nano lecture on Garvey, the millions who joined his movement, the flag, red, black and green, he created after hearing the white racist song "Everybody got a flag, cept a Coon." The Red, Black and Green flag (Red for the blood we've shed worldwide under White racist colonialism and white supremacy mythology, from Africa to the Americas; Black for the Aboriginal peoples of Africa and the World; Green for the land of Africa, Motherland, but the world is the Black Man's Land. We are the Aboriginal Asiatic Black Man and Woman of the earth, god and goddess, according to the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. His Message to the Black Man is Black Studies 101 for the Hood.
For the sake of conversation, let us say the level of our people's ignorance is mild, moderate and severe. The young man said he had been in prison. Some men take advantage of prison, some do not. Surely if he was in prison and connected with conscious brothers, he would have known Marcus Garvey was not an NBA player but one of the greatest Black leaders of all times, teaching Black Nationalism and Pan Africanism, ,"Africans for Africans, those at home and those abroad; one god, one aim, one destiny."
Manhood Training at the Lake
As I was vending, many people came by who knew me. A sister parked in front of me and when she got out with her girlfriend, she recognized me and made me remember she was in my play One Day in the Life at Oakland's Uhuru House when she was 13, that was 1996. She went on with her girl but when she came back to her car, I let her know I remembered her. Yes, she portrayed my daughter in my play and her father made me agree that she could be in the play only if I secured her return home after performance, which I did. But one night she jumped in a van full of niggas and didn't return home til 5 in the morning. Her father blamed me and took her out of my play. She was astonished I remembered the events of her 13 year old escapades.
Another sister came by who informed me she was the daughter of people who had worked with me at the time Sun Ra worked with me. Her parents helped me transport the Sun Ra Arkestra from point to point. They were alcoholics but down with the cause. When Sun Ra performed they danced in their drunkenness until Mama's wig fell off on the dance floor. I informed the sister that I was in regular contact with one of her siblings although she was not sure who he was, but when I said he was in Oklahoma, she acknowledged she had relatives in that state.
Manhood Training at the Lake
After thousands of people passed my table at the lake, including Theo with his Samba Funk band who shouted out to me as he passed toward the main area, a young man stopped when I shouted at him as he passed on his bike. He turned around and came to my Academy. He was a young man who stopped at my Academy of da Corner at 14th and Broadway and the Berkeley Flea Market. Sincee he hadn't seen me in awhile, he wanted to know what I had new. When I showed him my recent pamphlet Notes on da Nigga Debate, he wanted a copy but didn't have cash, so we exchanged my book for marijuana, although I don't really do marijuana these days, after smoking it 24/7 during the 60s. We began to talk on sexual matters. When I told him I had given up sex because I didn't like to use rubbers, also, I had stopped hooking up with prostitutes because most often I didn't get a nut but for sure I got an STD and was tired of getting shots in my ass for STDs. He was shocked I would rather be celebrate than use a rubber, yet he told me when he lied to the girls he was using a rubber, he didn't hear back from them.
I told him maybe they got pregnant and hated him for getting the pregnant. I told him even though I was married, my wife/wives didn't find it necessary to tell me they had an abortion.
Our manhood training conversation went on and when he saw my pamphlet Mythology of Pussy and Dick, he traded me more weed because he really wanted to read it. He told me he liked those big ladies but I informed him I like "chicken wings" but to each his own, if he liked breasts and thighs.
Then the conversation went deeper. When he told me of the women in his life, I asked him did he know them, did he know their families, did he know the DNA of the women he was about to deposit his sperm? I told him he needed to know this, otherwise, after the nut, then what? He needed to know where he was depositing his seed. I told him he needed to know a background of the women he met before he had sex with them. I said, look, brother, some of these girls are from families of dope dealers, murderers, pimps, ho's, robbers, you need to know. I told him Chile and other cultures, your friends do a search for you of the person you want to hook up with, then bring you back the information so you can make a decision.
The conversation went on but I felt I was doing my duty as an elder. Lastly, I told him of my experience in the Crack house and how I contracted multiple diseases, including Lock Jaw and a perianal abscess, not from vaginal sex but oral sex. When I asked the nurses how I might have contracted it, they said they did not know but it could have been from the girl's saliva infecting a hair follicle. I told him he should make the girl and himself get a certificate from the health department before they have sex.
Massive anti-racism party in park where woman called police on blackr family’s BBQ