Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Art of Deception in the Middle East

The Art of Deception in the Middle East

The Middle East is the prime area on the planet for the play out of deception in the political arena.

Of course, it is original home of the the Assassins, those Medieval hashish smoking Muslims who killed Christians during the Crusades. And since we are in the midst of the neo-Crusades, including the Jewish occupation of Palestine, the US occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, we should look for a repeat of the art of deception in geo-politics. And we find the practice in full bloom. Imagine, the majority hijackers of 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, yet it has not been attacked. Alas, the Bin Laden family members were able to fly out of America when no other plans could fly. The Saudis have not been bombed, though clearly 9/11 was a Saudi theological and mythological adventure. The Saudis are deeply involved in the Iraq Sunni insurgency as well as the Afghanistan Taliban jihad, in coordination with Pakistani Intelligence and USA complicity. Of course in the geo-politics, India is involved to keep the Pakistanis off guard in Kashmir .

So the Saudi offer to mediate the political stalemate in Iraq is subterfuge and political chicanery at best, for Saudi Arabia has no intention whatsoever to allow a functional Shia government in Iraq, especially under the tutelage of Iran, although it is what it is, as they say in the hood.

As per the future, look toward Iran and Turkey to play a vital role, for they are the best answer to any regional solution, even with Iran's present theo-political crisis and its mythological president, though he is no more mythological than the Zionists, the Crusader Americans and the Sunni reactionaries.

Clearly, the time has come for Shia rule, no matter their heretic tendencies. Sunnis, get over it! Swallow the bullet, for the Shias have the guns and shall not give them up any time soon. And war is politics by other means!

We know for a surety that Sunni Muslims have no love for Shia Muslims, never have and never will, for the Shia are heretics of the first order, according to Sunni Muslims, thus, they can be killed at will for heresy, as they killled Hallaj who merely cried Anna Al Haqq or I am the Truth, thus I am Allah--one attribute of Allah is The Truth.

And now the Shia have the grand opportunity to rule in Iraq, across the border from their Shia brothers in Iran, creating a Shia pathway from the Tigress and Euphrates to the Mediterranean.
Hezbollah protects their gateway or "sirata al mustaqim" to the sea.

The Sunnis is Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf States have conspired with America and the Israeli Zionist entity to insure the destabilization of Iraq if the Shia government refuses to share power with the Sunni. And why should they do so after centuries of Sunni oppression of the Shia?

Yes, the March election has been in a quagmire because the USA, in conspiracy with the Sunni regional powers, have every intention to prevent the installation of a continued Shia regime.

In truth, America doesn't give a damn about Sunni or Shia, all he wants is oil and geo-political domination as required of white supremacy mythology, in unity with Zionist mythology.

And so the latest call for a conference of all parties in Saudi Arabia is but the latest scheme in the diabolical attempt to further the destabilization of the area, mainly to keep the Shia from weiding the power history has blessed them with.

According to intelligent sources, it is indeed Shia Iran and Turkey that shall exercise power in the region, especially since they have a history of democratic institutions. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf States are Stone Age creatures who are not about to institute democratic reforms. And America is their best buddies as they tread the path of reaction.

We need only recall that in Iran a democratically elected prime minister was overthrown by the CIA and the Shah reinstalled. The Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini ran the Shah out, but then came the Iraq/Iran war that caused the death of millions on both sides, with America supplying the poison gas and other war materials to the Iraqis. Thus America is in no position to play a fair broker. She plays, as they say in hood, dirty pool!

Iraqi Shia bloc rejects Saudi offer - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Iraqi Shia bloc rejects Saudi offer - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Khalid Muhammad on Donahue Part1

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Politics of War and Tricknology

The Politics of War

and Tricknology

Isn't it absolutely amazing we are in three wars: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, yet the elected politicians, the media magicians, the left, are in total silence about the wars, blood and bones on both sides, the billions missing from reconstruction funds in Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely such terror and looting should be the subject of political discussion. But the Americans are such deaf, dumb and blind dupes for twiddle dum and twiddle dee, they will vote for persons, Democratic and/or Republican who have presented nothing in terms of a policy agenda to address the global wars, the unemployment problem, foreclosures, immigration, education, amnesty for prisoners.

Obama has presented nothing useful on behalf of his party, nor have the Republicans or their sycophants, the Tea Party goers. We wonder are these politicians brain dead or simply full of chicanery to the degree they know the ignorant will vote, no matter what, for they are easily hoodwinked and bamboozled.

And so the wars continue going nowhere except for the wasted blood, bones and billions of dollars for the cause of the military/corporate/university complex. Like a drug addict who has hit rock bottom yet continues his addiction in utter denial, America has no intention of leaving Iraq, or allowing a functional government in Iraq, after all it has been since March that elections were held, yet there is no government--yes, in the great democratic society America has established in the Middle East. But seven billion of nine billion dollars in reconstruction money has disappeared in Iraq, no one can explain where it went! In Afghanistan, eighteen billion in funds for contractors has evaporated into thin air according to US Government auditors.

Yet, the American public is not concerned that they have been robbed in broad daylight and left half dead on the roadside. They shall celebrate Halloween this weekend, in costumes of ghosts and goblins, taking their children on trick or treat missions. But their very lives are a trick, for they live in a state of tricknitis, victims of tricknology by the devil. Have we not been tricked out of employment with Global outsourcing, tricked out of homes by the subprime loan scam, tricked with religiosity that has one believing pie in the sky after you die; tricked to send children to public schools where they are dumbed down into nothingness and dread. Alas, 50% of them drop out or are pushed out of school each year, and those who do make it to colleges and universities are edumaked into a higher degree of white supremacy mythology that allows them to beat their mates into submission if they rebel against chattel slavery or personal property slavery and domination wherein they actually believe they own each other's sexual organs, so they endure physical, verbal and emotional violence until their lives became a matter of the criminal justice system. The mates are forced into anger management, the children into foster care, the women into battered women shelters. This is the other war politicians will not speak about, for they are participants in this marital and/or martial drama.

The war on drugs is but another sham and scam involving billions of dollars. There are at least ten thousand drug/gang related deaths in the US each year, and in the last few years, ten thousand people have died below the border in Mexico. And after imprisoning tens of thousands of young black and Latino men and women for drug offenses, California is about to pass legislation to legalize marijuana. Imagine, as we write, white boys and girls are legally selling weed at their clubs, but blacks and Chicanos are arrested and jailed each day for selling the same marijuana on the street. War!

And so the global wars continue, as well as the war in the hood that has impacted almost every family: there are no families who have not lost sons, daughters, cousins, nephews, fathers, mothers and friends in this hell hole. War and rumors of war!

Parents know not what to tell their children as they depart the house each day. The mothers are in stress and trauma until their children, especially their sons, return home safely. The parents do not tell them to put on the amour of God or utilize spiritual consciousness, otherwise known as common sense. After two homicides at a barber shop in the hood, I must find another shop. This is common sense. Vote for me, I'll set you free!
--Marvin X (Plato Negro)
Academy of da Corner
14th and Broadway
Downtown Oakland

Academy of da Corner
14th and Broadway
Downtown Oakland

Thursday, October 28, 2010

And the real enemy is ... - Features - Al Jazeera English

And the Real Enemy is....

Ahmadinejad received a rapturous welcome on his first visit to Lebanon since taking office in 2005 [EPA]

No sooner had Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, left Beirut last week, than Jeffrey Feltman, the US secretary of state for Near East affairs, arrived in the Lebanese capital.

Washington wasted no time in seeking to counter what it views as Iran's growing influence across the Arab world and Ahmadinejad's message of resistance to Israel.

But it is precisely that message that has so far foiled the US' relentless efforts to form a regional security pact to isolate and confront Tehran. Washington has failed - and will continue to fail - to convince Arabs that Iran, not Israel, is the real enemy.

A sectarian formula

This does not mean that Iran's agenda in the region has been entirely palatable to Arab states. It has been complicit in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, where its position remains opportunistic and deeply sectarian.

But Washington has no issue with that aspect of Iranian foreign policy. It was, after all, the US invasion that fed sectarian divisions within Iraq. And Washington has been happy to champion Shia political parties within the country in order to suppress its rich pan-Arab identity - all while being opposed to the Lebanese Shia group, Hezbollah.

That Washington does not have a favourite sect is not evidence of its commitment to secularism. It supports different sectarian formulas in Iraq and Lebanon to guarantee that neither country poses a threat to Israel.

In Lebanon, sectarianism has been employed to prevent national unity. And when that has not been sufficient Israeli wars have been used to quell resistance - whether by a Palestinian coalition with Lebanese leftists and pan-Arabists in 1982 or by Hezbollah in 2006.

But these wars backfired: The 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon created Hezbollah, while the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000 and the 2006 war anointed the movement as the only Arab force to defeat Israel in a major battle.

Marginalising Palestine

Through Hezbollah's triumphs, Iran has consolidated its influence in Lebanon and enhanced its image as the region's counter power to Israel. For in Iran, just as in the Arab world, confronting Israel helps to legitimise a regime.

The Iranian regime stepped into this role almost immediately after the 1978 revolution that transformed the country from a gendarme for US interests and an Israeli ally into a champion of the Palestinian cause.

Even the Iran-Iraq war failed to unanimously rally Arabs against Tehran, as evidenced when a 1981 US-backed summit intended to form an axis against Iran was boycotted by most Arab parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). The majority of Arabs simply refused to see Iran as posing a greater threat than Israel.

In fact, the eruption of the first intifada in 1987 came about partly as a reaction to another US-backed summit, which sought to establish Iran as the main enemy of the Arab world - and in so doing to marginalise the Palestinian cause.

Yasser Arafat, the then PLO leader, was snubbed by the Jordanian hosts of the summit and by other Arab regimes, prompting him to boycott the official dinner and to declare that Palestine remained the core issue for the region. This attempt to humiliate the PLO provoked visible anger in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - a sentiment that was openly expressed during the intifada when it erupted less than a month later.

Fake peace process

But the US did not learn its lesson. More than two decades later it is still trying to create an Arab axis against Iran, while expecting Arabs to ignore Israeli occupation and aggression. And while a US-backed so-called 'moderate' axis comprising Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Kuwait does exist - brought together by legitimate and fictional fears of Iranian meddling in their affairs - none see a bigger threat to regional stability than Israeli expansionism.

These countries have often urged the US to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace in order to enable them to effectively help in countering Iran. But consecutive US administrations have instead pushed a fake peace process focused more on solidifying Israeli supremacy than addressing the root causes of the conflict. The current administration's 'enthusiasm' for a resumption of the stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks is no different and is motivated more by a desire to provide a cover for its drive against Iran than achieving a suitable and just settlement to the conflict.

Israel is now openly lobbying the West to either declare war on Iran or to support an Israeli strike against the country - or at least its nuclear facilities. It uses the Iranian president's rhetorical threats to justify this, but for all Ahmadinejad's words it is Israel that is engaged in the real and systematic destruction of lands and lives.

But the US and Israel do not fear that Iran poses a real, existential threat. It is the deterrence Iranian power represents that they seek to eliminate, thus allowing Israel to freely pursue its aggressive expansionist policies.

For its part, the US is opposed to the existence of a regional power that it does not consider an ally. So when Ahmadinejad was warmly welcomed in Beirut, Feltman made an unscheduled visit to protest against "Iran meddling in Lebanon's affairs".

The former US ambassador to Lebanon, known for his constant meddling in Lebanese affairs, was declaring Lebanon - and with it the Arab world - to be within the US' sphere of influence.

Vying for influence

This is not to say that Iran is not also vying for regional influence - something stressed by an Iranian parliamentarian who declared that Ahmadinejad's visit asserted "Iran's supremacy". And there is no doubt that Iran's agenda is not always compatible with Lebanese or, more broadly, Arab interests. But its support for Hezbollah in its battles against Israel has elevated its status among the Arab public in a way that no anti-Iranian Arab axis can deny or top.

The real problem is that US meddling and support for Israel obstructs any critical discussion of Iran's role in the region. The US has no interest in such a discourse because it simply expects Arabs to endorse its own agenda, including normalising ties with Israel even as it continues to suppress Palestinian rights.

But none of the US' Arab allies would dare - or could afford - to follow the American line completely, particularly if this includes a strike against Iran. For Arab governments would then be pressed to explain their support for a war against Iran, when they have so clearly failed to confront Israel.

The US-led war against Iraq shattered any illusions that the US could bring stability or democracy to the region - a fact that even its staunchest Arab allies are aware of. And there is a growing awareness that both Iran and the US - and in a different way, Turkey - have been vying to fill a political gap resulting from Arab weakness.

But Washington is truly delusional if it thinks it can defeat Iran by convincing Arabs that its pro-Israeli agenda could bring peace and stability, let alone justice to the region.

Lamis Andoni is an analyst and commentator on Middle Eastern and Palestinian affairs.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

Marvin X's Uncle and Aunt Coming to Town

Eastside Arts Alliance Presents

Amina and Amiri Baraka

November 12, 2010 7:00pm:
We Insist! feat. Amiri Baraka
-Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Max Roach & Abbey Lincoln album We Insist! Freedom Now Suite, and also featuring Amina Baraka and the Freedom Now Band


Contact: Greg Morozumi or

Elena Serrano


Amiri Baraka Pays Tribute to the Freedom Now Suite, Max Roach & Abbey Lincoln

Joined by Amina Baraka and The Muziki Roberson Quartet

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12th 2010 • 8:00 PM


2277 International Blvd./ 23 Av. Oakland

On the 50th anniversary year of the historic recording, Freedom Now Suite, the great jazz singer Abbey Lincoln transitioned to join the Ancestors, as did her long-time collaborator, the Master drummer Max Roach, three years ago. The venerable writer/ activist Amiri Baraka, “The Last Poet Laureate of New Jersey”, comes to Oakland on Friday, November 12 to celebrate their contributions to African American classical music and the cause of Black liberation. Accompanying him will be his activist performer and wife, Amina Baraka, along with The Muziki Roberson Quartet.

We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite was a landmark collaboration in 1960 which conjoined the diasporic Black struggles against white supremacy and apartheid in South Africa and the U.S. at the very moment of the Greensboro, N.C. sit-ins and the bloody Sharpesville Massacre in South Africa. The Freedom Now Suite moves from slavery to Emancipation Day to the contemporary Civil Rights struggle and African independence.

It was also a momentous turning point in Abbey Lincoln’s singing career, as her haunting call and response to Roach’s drums signified a liberating moment, unleashing rage and anger as protest through music. The critical musical collaboration included the lyricist Oscar Brown Jr., tenor Coleman Hawkins, percussionist Michael Olatunji, the dynamic young trumpeter Booker Little, among others.

Amiri Baraka goes back many years with both Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln, from his early (and later) jazz reviews and the beginnings of the Black Arts Movement. Baraka performed together with Roach on numerous occasions, and even wrote a biography of the master drummer (unpublished). Both he and Amina have remained close and devoted to Abbey Lincoln throughout her career, never missing an occasion to hear her sing live. This will be a deeply felt poetic tribute to masters of contemporary American culture who have most profoundly defined the power of love and struggle in our times. It is an event not to be missed.

Friday, November 12th, 2010 • 8:00 PM

EastSide Cultural Center: 2277 International Blvd. Oakland 510/533-6629

Elena Serrano

EastSide Cultural Center
2277 International Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94606

Black Plays at Eastside Arts

Marvin X
Opal Palmer Adisa


Two Black Plays at Eastside Arts Alliance

We are happy to announce two black plays will be performed at Eastside Arts Alliance: Opal Palmer Adisa's Bathroom Graffiti Queen and Marvin X's classic Flowers for the Trashman. The plays are produced and directed by Ayodele Nzingha, founder of the Lower Bottom Playaz of West Oakland. Ayodele portrays the Queen in this one-woman production that stole the show at the recent San Francisco Theatre Festival at Yerba Buena Center.

Flowers for the Trashman is Marvin X's first play, produced in 1965 by the drama department at San Francisco State University while he was an undergrad. It is a timeless story of the father-son relationship. It is a classic of the Black Arts Movement and was published in Black Fire, the anthology of BAM, edited by Larry Neal and Amiri Baraka, 1968.

These two plays will provide an evening of powerful theatre by two of the Bay Area's greatest writers, Opal Palmer and Marvin X. Ayodele's role will give the audience a chance to see a great actress deliver a high quality performance. The young brothers in Trashman are equally skilled after performing the play for some time. It is refreshing to see young men doing something positive.

The Eastside Arts Alliance is located at 23rd and International Blvd., Oakland. Dates: November 19.20,21, donation $5.00. 8pm.

Events Coming Up At Eastside Arts: Amiri Baraka

November 12, 2010 7:00pm:
We Insist! feat. Amiri Baraka
-Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Max Roach & Abbey Lincoln album We Insist! Freedom Now Suite, and also featuring Amina Baraka and the Freedom Now Band

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Umass Black Arts Conference

Art & Power in Movement

An International Conference Rethinking the Black Power and Black Arts Movements

Conference Program (subject to change)


4.00 pm Melba Boyd talk on Dudley Randall and Broadside Press at Du Bois Library
8:00 pm Randy Weston Concert


8.00-8:30 am LINCOLN CAMPUS CENTER, Auditorium Lobby
Registration, Coffee/Tea & Fruit/Pastries
8:30-8:45 am Opening Amilcar Shabazz
Concurrent Sessions Round I
8.45-10.00am Amiri Baraka Panel
Emahunn Raheem Ali Campbell, UMass “Specters of Marxism: The Marxian Influence on Amiri Baraka’s Cultural Nationalist Poetry”
La Donna L. Forsgren, Defying Death: A Search for Black Manhood and the True Black Woman in Amiri Baraka’s Madheart and Martie Charles' Where We At?
Mohammad Aljayyousi, Indiana University of PA “Poems That Scream: Orality / Aurality as a Form of Radicalism and Militancy in the Poetry of Amiri Baraka”
8.45-10.00am International Panel
Grace Hampton and Mark Alan Herrin, Penn State “Festac 77 - A Cultural Milestone”
Elizabeth Kai Hinton, Columbia University “Nixon’s War on Drugs and the Militarization of the Los Angeles Police Force: 1968-1973.”
Robeson Frazier, University of California, Berkeley “The Limits of Tricontinental Solidarity”
Samir Meghelli, Columbia University “The Battle From Algiers: Transnational Solidarities and The End of Black Power Abroad”
Matthew Birkhold, SUNY Binghamton “Nothing But Negation: Black Power, New Communism, and the World-Economy”
8.45-10.00am BAM and Genre Studies
John P. Bowles, University of North Carolina “The African American Performance Art Archive: Documenting Collaboration Collaboratively”
Lloren Foster, Western Kentucky University ‘Consciousness and the Short Story”
Aimee Glocke, University of Wyoming “Is the Black Aesthetic Dead?: Positing the Black Aesthetic as the Foundation for the Black Novel”
Lars Lierow, George Washington University “The “Black Man's Vision of the World:” Rediscovering Black Arts Filmmaking and the Struggle for a Black Cinematic Aesthetic
Plenary Session
10.15-11.45am Music Roundtable
John Bracey, moderator
Randy Weston
Glen Siegel
Terri Jenoure
Frederick Tillis
Luncheon Plenary
12.00-1.45pm Malcolm X Roundtable
Bill Strickland
Sonia Sanchez
Rickey Hill
James Turner
Haki Madhubuti
2.00-3.15pm SNCC Plenary
Ekeueme Michael Thelwell
Judy Richardson
Charlie Cobb
Concurrent Sessions Round IV
3.30-4:45pm Women and BAM/Black Power
Zahra Caldwell, UMass, “Black Power Foremother: Abby Lincoln, Music, Image, Representation And Black Womanhood in the 1960’s”
Julie Burrell, UMass “A New Nation: Alice Childress Re-scripts Black Nationalism”
Renee M. Kingan, College of William and Mary “Taking It Out!”: Jayne Cortez’s Collaborations with The Firespitters
Luo Lianggong, Central China Normal University “Grow to Be a BAM Womanist”: Sonia Sanchez’s Evolution in the Black Arts Movement
3.30-4:45pm Ideology, Politics, and Aesthetics
Vanessa Fabien, UMass “The Black Arts Movement: The Performance of An Environmental Ethic Post Civil Rights”
Donald Geesling, UMass “Survival Kits on Wax": Gil Scott-Heron, The Black Arts Movement, and the Poetics of Resistance in the Age of Nixon”
Gary Holcolmb, Ohio University “Audre Lorde’s Queer Black Marxism: Reimagining Black Arts”
Charles Nero, Bates College “The Black Arts Movement and the Black Gay Generation of 1986: The Case of Melvin W. Dixon; Poet, Scholar, Novelist “
3.30-4:45pm Black Power, BAM, and Ethnic Studies
Kedong Liu and Li Fu, Harbin Institute of Technology “Attitudes toward Tradition in North American Ethnic Literature”
Matthew Calihman, Missouri State University “Ishmael Reed and White Ethnic Revivalism”
Markeysha Davis, UMass “Implicating Whiteness: Black Arts Movement Poetry and the Attack on the White Ideal?
5:00-6:00pm CAMPUS CENTER, Amherst Room (#1009)
Keynote Address: Amiri Baraka
Theatre reading of BAM Plays


8.30-9.00am LINCOLN CAMPUS CENTER, Auditorium Lobby
Registration, Coffee/Tea & Fruit/Pastries
Concurrent Sessions Round V
9.00-10.15am BP/BAM on Campus
Martha Biondi, Northwestern University “The Black Revolution on Campus”
Stefan Bradley, St. Louis University "Black Student Power at Columbia University, 1967- 1969."
Tina Pierce, Denison University “A Call for Black Power: A Political Analysis of Black Student Insurgency at The Ohio State University from 1969 to 1970”
Dexter Blackman, Loyola Marymount “We are men first, athletes second”: Black Student- Athletes and the Black Students Movement in the Age of Black Power
9.00-10.15am RNA Panel
Amilcar Shabazz, UMass
Ahmed Obafemi, Community Activist
Christian Davenport, Notre Dame
Akinyele Umoja, Georgia State University
Edward Onac, University of Illinois
Paul Karolczyk, Louisiana State University
Concurrent Sessions Round VI
10.30-11.45am New Scholarship Panel
Peniel Joseph, Tufts University
Margo Crawford, Cornell University
William Strickland, UMass
Ibram H. Rogers, Rutgers University
Chair: James Smethurst, UMass
10.30-11.45am Print Culture I
Jonathan Fenderson, UMass “Renovating the Black World: Afro-Modern Festivities & Black Arts Internationalism, 1966-1977”
Seth Markle, Trinity College “Reading for the Revolution: Drum and Spear Bookstore, Africa and Black Power Constructions of Popular Memory”
Chris Tinson, Hampshire College “Harlem, New York! Harlem, Detroit! Harlem, Birmingham!” – Liberator Magazine and the Chronicling of Translocal Activism, 1963-1967”
Brian Purnell, Bowdoin College “Agitate, Educate, Organize:” Black News and the Intersection of Black Art and Black Power Politics, 1969- 1983”
Luncheon Plenary
12.00-1.45pm CAMPUS CENTER, Amherst Room (#1009)
Concurrent Sessions Round VII
2.00-3.15pm Local People
Candy Tate, Clark Atlanta University “Visualizing Cultural Politics: Atlanta’s Neighborhood Arts Center (1975-1990)”
Rickey Hill, Mississippi State Valley “The Bogalusa Movement: Self-Defense and Black Power In the Civil Rights Struggle”
Kenneth R. Janken, University of North Carolina “The Several Faces of Black Power in Eastern North Carolina: The Case of the Wilmington Ten,”
Ashley Farmer, Harvard University “Working Towards the Community is Our Full-Time Focus: Muriel Snowden, Black Power, and the Freedom House, Roxbury, MA”
2.00-3.15pm Continuing the Legacy: Artists and Aesthetics of the Black Arts Movement in Dialogue with Contemporary African American Artists and Artistic Practice
Lydia Diamond, Boston University
Kirsten Greenidge, Playwright
Marcus Gardley, UMass
Djola Branner, Hampshire College
Priscilla Page, UMass
Michael Simanga, Fulton County Arts Council
2.00-3.15pm Print Culture II
Zachary Manditch-Prottas, Columbia University “The Revolution Will be Published: The Role of Prison Literature within the Black Power Movement”
Ryan Burt, University of Washington ‘We publish black … for Africans here’: Amiri Baraka, Maulana Karenga, Haki Madhubuti and the Creation of an African Public Sphere”
Tim Robinson, Old Dominion University “Society of Umbra and Umbra Magazine”
Trevor Joy Sangrey, UC Santa Cruz “Politics on Paper: Origins and uses of pamphlet literature in the Black Power Movement”
Tribute to Writers & Poets Session
3.30-5:00pm CAMPUS CENTER
Authors giving readings & book signings
5:00-6:15pm Plenary Panel: Legacies of Black Power and Black Arts
Judy Richardson
Amiri Baraka
Sonia Sanchez
Nelson Stevens
Eugene Redmond
DINNER On Your Own

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010



4 teens held in Berkeley, Oakland shotgun holdups

4 teens held in Berkeley, Oakland shotgun holdups

Markell Glover

Keiarris Hall

(10-21) 09:56 PDT BERKELEY --

Four men allegedly responsible for a rash of holdups in Berkeley and Oakland have been arrested and charged, police said.

Keiarris Hall, 18, of Antioch, Brynell Polk, 19, of Berkeley and twin brothers Michael Anthony Glover and Markell Antwan Glover, both 18 and from Richmond, used a shotgun to rob victims in different parts of Berkeley, police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.

The four robbed a victim on the 1300 block of Cedar Street in North Berkeley about 7:50 p.m. Oct. 13 and robbed another person at Russell and Wheeler streets about two hours later, Kusmiss said.

Also that night, a person was robbed by shotgun-toting suspects at Hudson Street and Boyd Avenue in North Oakland. A witness in that holdup gave police a description of the robbers' car as well as a partial license plate number, Kusmiss said.

On Oct. 14, Berkeley police Sgt. Brian Wilson and Officer Peter Lee spotted a car at Prince and King streets that matched the description of the car from the North Oakland holdup. They arrested the suspects and found property belonging to the robbery victims inside, Kusmiss said

Response from those who know them:

(Teacher) Response#1
I am from Oakland and I taught four of these young men as their teacher in Berkeley. It's so easy to look from the outside in and make sweeping judgements. As someone who has interacted with these men, I am here to reveal a little secret: All of them are polite and respectful. They came to visit me and some of the other teachers earlier this year. One of them I used to playfully call "my son." I looked out for him (and the others) to the best of my ability. They, like you, like me, and like any other person in this world, made choices based on their understanding or misunderstanding about life and themselves. They didn't murder anyone. ( In fact, they never got into a fight at school. ) They will likely be punished more severely than their caucasian peers in a similar situation. That ought to be consolation for those who judge their blackness as part of their crime. As for me, I see their humanity and know that they are still beautiful people.

(Student) Response#2
Okay now i dont know this boys, but i feel like yall going blowing this way out of proportion, and you guys are being some hypocrites, just because some young African Americans do something bad they have to be from Oakland, Im from Oakland as well as my brother is from Oakland but we not all criminals. These four young men made a mistake but dont everybody make a mistake i mean everybody isnt perfect. I say help them learn from what they have done. They should pay for thier consequnces but they shouldnt be tortured. Thats all i have to say, really you guys should just fall back and leave these young males alone.

(Teacher) Response #3
I know all four of these young men personally. In fact we here at B-Tech High School are in the building. We in the library right now reviewing all y'alls racists ignorant and retarded comments. This is the reason we label all of you Nazi's. The youth know how y'all feel about them and its Fonk forever. I'm confident that the younger people will make this world a better place, regardless what y'all think.

(Student) Response #4
I'm speaking as a student at B-Tech High School , and I find this very offense towards the young men especially because of the color of their skin. People have done worse than what these four have done and you guys are saying they should be tortured over a robbery?. Really you guys find something better else to do than blame the color of their skin and their backgrounds against what they have done. And answer this...if you are speaking up saying what were not doing , then what the hell are you doing to help us?

(Teacher) Response #5
Shame on all of you who threw these kids out a long time ago. You gave up on them as children. Your hatred and racism demonstrate that you don't know any of these kids at all. As a teacher who works with these kids every day, I know the good in them. I also know that you abandoned them a long time ago. I suppose they were left with the feeling, What the hell? -- if you can't join them, rob them. They committed horrible crimes but you all did too. You prejudge, give up, run scared, name call and bate today's youth of color and then act surprised by their actions. In my mind, you are as rotten as they are!

(Student) Response #6
you people are acting like they killed some one. i bet y'all wasn't say these awful things about Johannes Mehserle when he killed innocent (OSCAR GRANT) this is sooooo terrible. i Cant believe im in a world with all these wicked people. wishing and hoping gross and hurtful thing on young People..brain washers!!!!!!!!

Viva Palestina convoy reaches Gaza - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Viva Palestina convoy reaches Gaza - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Preview #18, Journal of Pan African Studies, Poetry Issue

Preview #18, Journal of Pan African Studies, Poetry Issue

Guest Editor, Marvin X

Darlene Roy, East St. Louis IL

BAM Baptized

Considering the impact of the

Black Arts Movement (BAM)

Words filter’d through bluesy, jazzy and gospely

truths, flowed like lava from radical tongues

of born again scribes. Loosed from bowin’

heads or steppin’ back, BAM poets rose

as bold, black lights show-casing our

thangs and gains, blowin’ open doors to

let our real-nest come oozin’ out.

Darlene Roy

©February 12, 2010


Mother, retired social service administrator, East St. Louis native, Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club’s co-founder and President, Darlene Roy is an associate editor of Drumvoices Revue; and designer/ co-convener of literary programming. Her poetry having appeared in numerous publications, with two poems featured on Metro Link, she has authored one chapbook, Soon One Morning and other Poems. Roy has performed on radio, television, at universities and conferences throughout the United States.

BAM poet Nikki Giovanni will be in the Bay this Saturday, October 23 for the Marcus Books 50th Anniversary at the Black Repertory Group Theatre along with J. California Cooper. Reception at 5pm.

BAM Poets: The Last Poets and Marvin X, joined by Ayodele Nzingha

of the Lower Bottom Playaz in West Oakland

Pious Okoro, Chicago IL


I plead to be heard

I too am a brother

The one, who was spared

The sea experience

But made it to the land

By air, not scared of heights

The brother oft interrupted

With the question

Where are you from?

Oft complimented by others

With words that are pregnant

I like your accent

And from the ones not schooled

Can you speak English?

I am the brother

Still holding on to his name

After everyone has dropped theirs

Sentenced to the same question

Over and again

How do you pronounce your name?

© Pious Okoro

I am a poet, art illustrator and an educator with the Chicago public school, whose works have been published in journals and newspapers in the USA, Europe and Nigeria. Also, I won the Gwendolyn Brooks poetry awards in 1998.

Anthony Spires, Oakland CA


There’s a plague in the land,

And it’s killin’ like cancer,

I’ve searched high and low,

Haven’t found an answer,

After all we’ve been through,

I deserve an answer,

Why do we hold our own people to

The Coldest Double Standard?

How they make us “do” us?

What’s that-a lame excuse?

“How they make us “do” us?

It’s psychological abuse-

What’s the use?

Where’s the proof,

That we can’t stand up against it?

We fall for the okey-doke

Time and time again,

You laugh at their nigger jokes,

And still want to be their friend,

Where’s it end?

How can we win-goin’ out like that?

They treat us like rats without cages,

Don’t need no traps,

I’m a poet, but I wish I could rap,

Cause I’d probably save more people,

If I could, I’d holla’,

Make em’ open wide and swalla’

Make them pop their collas’ and dance,

But this is how I do it,

I’m takin this chance.

Big incentives for a brutha

To do business with the utha,

Not with his own folks,

Who put a hot one in hope’s head?

Drug him to a ditch,

And left him there for dead?

You heard what I said,

No use tryin’ to save him,

Cause bruthas’ been warned,

Like we were born foreign,

In the very place we call home-

Yo, leave me alone,

While I try to clear my head,

Meanwhile, hope is nearly dead,

From what they called “a misunderstanding,”

He refused to be misled.

While the children of light sleep,

They’re up plottin’ and plannin’,

Doin’ you rotten, chillin’ and tannin’

Mom’s a nervous wreck,

She knows what they’ll do,

To keep you in check,

To keep you in pocket,

Why you tryin’ that door?

I told you-they locked it,

Now you’re in the open,

It’ll take more than soap ‘n’

Water to make their hands clean,

Don’t jump in front of that car

Like a dope fiend,

You’re makin’ it too easy,

For them to finish you off,

You can scoff

At this game if you want to.

(But I wouldn’t if I were you)

See, I tried walking through the door,

But somebody locked it on me too,

How you gonna’ do me worse,

Than they do you?

Than you would treat an enemy,

You even charge higher interest,

When you lend to me,

Just like they do,

No, you do me worse,

A multi-generational curse,

Of underestimation,

But I thought it was us who built this nation?

We’re dying from cultural starvation,

Deadlier than his promises

or his invisible, poisonous chains,

But you know they lookout for their own-

I’m makin’ it as plain as I can-

You manage the bank

Won’t give me a loan,

Left me out here on my own,

If you can’t do me right-

Just leave me alone,

I’ll make it without you,

But I wish we’d collabo-

Let me holla at you, bro,

We’d go farther together,

Ever been on a team?

I have a scheme,

I want it to sound positive,

But I have nightmares-not dreams,

It’s been this way from jump,

But now it’s more diabolical,

I wasn’t put on this earth to get chumped

Down by those who would put me to sleep.

See, the deck’s been stacked against us,

From the first day they saw us,

Saw our Motherland,

Saw us kickin’ it in the tropical sands,

Our beaches, our Pyramids,

Our glorious African ports,

They came and built forts…

Where we shipped Civilization to all mankind,

Somebody said, “No Child gets left behind,”

Well, I’m grown,

So how about me?

What’s the plan to “give me free?”

We give them mad respect and more,

Assuming I work for him,

Not knowing the score,

Couldn’t he work for me?

I may not be free,

But I can sign a check,

And make sure that it’s good,

Just because I’m from the hood,

Don’t knock my hustle, pimpin’,

Don’t disrespect my gansta,

The dap we give him,

Let’s give to each other,

You know me,

I’m your brother,

But it don’t seem to matter,

We stayin’ lean,

They straight gettin’ fatter,

Cause we put them first,

Before our own,

I know I just told you to leave me alone,

I know I just told you, “ you Negro, I’m grown!”

But I still need my people,

I’d rather deal with my own,

I still need my blood-

Gotta stop draggin’ our family,

Through somebody else’s mud.

There’s a famine in the land,

And it’s killin’ like cancer,

I’ve searched high and low,

Haven’t found an answer,

After all we’ve been through,

I deserve an answer,

Why we hold our own people to

The Coldest Double Standard?

© Anthony D. Spires aka Phruishun 12/10/06


A graduate of San Francisco State University, Tony Spires is a filmmaker, longtime theatre artist, award-winning playwright, critically acclaimed director and co-writer of the NAACP Award nominated, “Ali: The Man, The Myth, The Peoples’ Champion. Tony’s feature films include: The Pan African Film Festival’s Best Feature nominated “Tears Of A Clown,” starring Don “D.C.” Curry and the gritty, urban crime drama “Two Degrees.” He’s the Founder/Executive Producer of The Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival and Founder/creative force behind Oakland, CA-based youth performing arts organization, Full Vision Arts Foundation.. His poetry has been published nationally and has been performed in numerous professional stage plays and musical productions. He’s a self-taught musician and a long-time live event producer and personal manager to some of comedy’s brightest talents. He’s also the featured columnist for Humor Mill Magazine.