Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Meeting, A Play about Malcolm and Martin

Hello friends, thank you for taking the time to read my invite. For the past twenty years I have been performing in Jeff Stetson’s award-winning play ‘The Meeting’—a story about an unlikely yet necessary meeting between two of America’s most important figures-- Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Thrust into extraordinary circumstances, these men of great conviction, debate strategies as they caution America to keep the promise she made to her citizens. The Meeting is delightful, informative and hard-hitting. Please join me in a command performance as we remember the lion and the lamb, the Prince and the King, Malcolm and Martin.
A King and a Prince: Malcolm X meets Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Directed by Michael Lange

In celebration of Malcolm X’s 86th birthday San Francisco’s Jazz Heritage Center- Educational & Media Theatre at 1330 Fillmore Street will host a live stage performance of Jeff Stetson’s award winning play THE MEETING on Thursday May 19th, May 20th, and May 21st at 7:30PM, respectively, and on May 22, 2011 at 3PM.

THE MEETING depicts a fictitious meeting between two of the most important leaders of the 20th Century – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. The one act play takes place a few days before the assassination of Malcolm X at New York’s Audubon Ballroom, high up in an intimate and modestly furnished hotel suite in the heart of Harlem. In THE MEETING both men’s philosophies resonate and clash as they eloquently set forth their arguments on issues of freedom, dignity and respect not only for African Americans but for all people who have suffered at the hands of injustice. It imagines what could have happened had they actually met, joined hands and pushed in the same direction.

The meeting features veteran actors Michael Lange as Malcolm X, Abbie Rhone as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and actors Dejuan Conner or Dorian Brockington as Rashad, Malcolm’s bodyguard. The play, first performed in 1984, received eight NAACP image awards including best play and best playwright. It has been reviewed as “a remarkable, intensely intimate meeting full of undisguised competitiveness, deep passion and potent reasoning. The Meeting is enthralling.”

Tickets are $20 and are on sale at Brown Paper 800-838-3006 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 800-838-3006 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Group rates - student and special prices are available. Group coordinator receives one free ticket. For more information contact Director Michael Lange 510-485-6338 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 510-485-6338 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Bob Marley Africa Unite

Friday, April 29, 2011

Black People Are Beautiful

Marvin X (Plato Negro)l, Professor of Graphics Jackson, and Aristotle Negro (Lumukanda) at Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway. Aristotle Negro now conducts classes on the North West Corner of 14th and Broadway, adjacent to City Hall.

No matter the Negrocities, Black people are the most beautiful people on the planet earth. I bear witness from being at my street ministry Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. No matter that they threatened to kill me three times last year, and said they might throw Molotov cocktails at me this year, 2011, I proclaim that black people are beautiful.

They come by in the most wretched condition imaginable and donate money to the cause. Some are homeless pushing shopping carts, yet they donate money, if only a dollar. And then those in better condition come by and extend their hand with two twenties rolled up, then go their way.

Black people are beautiful. We have now opened a second class of Academy of da Corner at the Northwest corner of 14th and Broadway, under the professorship of Aristotle Negro, aka, Lumakonda, an esteemed bibliophile and lay professor well qualified to address the myriad ills of the street people.

Response to Marvin X's Inspired Artist Award

Anthony Mays Responds to Marvin X's Inspired Artist Award

Amiri Baraka, Mentor and Advisor to Marvin X on the Cultural Revolution. Catch Marvin X in New York at the Vision Festival with Amiri Baraka, et al.

From: Anthony Mays

Sent: Fri, April 29, 2011 7:13:11 PM

Subject: RE: Black Bird Press News & Review; Inspired Artist Award

Dear Brother Marvin, I wish to congratulate you for your award at the prelude to the 25th Anniversary of the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition and Festival's Final Competition Round, and I believe that it is well-deserved. I must say, however, with all of the humility that I might muster, that I do not feel that your art should be associated with comedy. I tend to feel that your art is relevent, functional, diverse, timely, beautiful, but not comical (though comedy is often a technique used in your writing). Perhaps there will be more people at a comedy show than would attend an academic or cultural event. Perhaps I'm tooooooo serious, but just sharing an opinion witha brother whose work I respect.

Love, peace, Anthony

Marvin X Replies to Anthony:

Brother Mays, I understand your concerns, but do you think black intellectuals would award a self confessed Nigguh for life with any of their many awards, reserved for those who search eternally in failure for bones in Egypt rather than dry bones in the ghettoes of America?

They avoid dry bones like the curse of King Tut is upon them, but it is only their lethargy and passivity, the product of their white supremacy edumakation and certification.

I appreciate the Comedy Negroes for honoring me, rather than an award from the tragi-comic intelllectual Negroes in perpetual crisis as delineated by Harold Cruz fifty years ago.

I am a product of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad who only late in his mission won over the edumakated Negroes. How ironic that we must hear white people pontificate on his teachings and mythological musings on such programs as Coast to Coast Am, nightly, with their scientists confirming all his teachings,confirming how far in advance he was from the Pan African chronological wonderings and spurious speculations on our history in the universe or mutliverse. It is deeply disheartening to hear the white man smash the pontifications of these neo-colonial elite Negro intellectuals.

So, brother, my reward is with Allah. Yet I thank the Comedy Negores for recognizing me, after all, many have told me I am very very funny. Long ago when I taught at the University of Nevada, Reno, the Reno Gazzette interviewed me and said, "Marvin X has humor and he uses it well when he uses it."

I must tell you that the Los Angeles Black Book Expo did give me a lifetime achievement award, under the direction of my dear colleague Itibari M. Zulu, who, as you know, invited me to be guest editor of the Journal of Pan African Studies Poetry Issue. We appreciate him and have made my edition of the JPAS the Sacred Text of the First Poet's Church of the Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists.

Finally, my mentor, Amiri Baraka, told me don't accept the award but the "reward," which is money.
Peace and love,
Marvin X

Black Bird Press Books

Inspired Artist Award for Marvin X
Family, Friends and Colleagues, I am excited and honored to be recognized by Full Vision Arts Foundation and lajones&associates during the Inspired Artist Awards Reception and Ceremony on Saturday, May 14th, from 5pm - 7pm at the Paramount Theatre.

This special event is a prelude to the 25th Anniversary of the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition and Festival's Final Competition Round which starts at 8pm. I hope you would consider joining me for the evening to celebrate my special honor. Advance tickets are $55 per person and $100 for couples -- these tickets not only admit you to the VIP and Awards Reception, but also include admission to the Final Competition Round.

To purchase your advance tickets to the special ticketed event ... please visit if you should have questions, please contact me or LaNiece Jones at

Inspired Artist Awards VIP Reception
& Awards Ceremony 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
5:30pm - 7pm Paramount Theatre Mezzanine Level
(use Broadway entrance & pick up tickets at special VIP event will call table)
VIP table from 5pm - 6:45pm

Award Ceremony Emcee:
Nikki Thomas, Nikki Thomas Network

2011 Honorees

Amanda Elliott, Executive Director, Richmond Main Street
Don “DC” Curry, Comedian / Actor
Joyce Gordon, Proprietor, Joyce Gordon Gallery
Dorothy King-Jernegan, Proprietor, Everett & Jones BBQ
Charleston Pierce, Model Coach Philanthropist Charleston Pierce Presents
Shelly Tatum, Businessman Community Advocate
Marvin X, Prime Minister of Poetry, First Poet's Church of the Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists

Music by: Dr. Terence Elliott
Free Champagne & Appetizers No Host Bar Awards Presentation

Marvin X's Muses: The beautiful, creative, intelligent women who inspire the poet:

Fahizah, Ayo, Phavia, Tarika, Suzzette


Black Bird Press Books
2 for 1 Special.
Buy one get one free,
limited copies available. Don't delay
order these classics today!
Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way,
Berkeley CA 94702
Send $19.95, plus $5.00 for p and h.

Wish I Could tell you the truth, essays, 2005, $19.95

In the Crazy House Called America,
essays, 2002, $19.95

Review of In the Crazy House Called America

Rarely is a brother secure and honest enough with himself to reveal his innermost thoughts, emotions or his most hellacious life experiences. For most men it would be a monumental feat just to share/bare his soul with his closest friends but to do so to perfect strangers would be unthinkable, unless he had gone through the fires of life and emerged free of the dross that tarnishes his soul. Marvin X, poet, playwright, author and essayist does just that in a self-published book entitled In The Crazy House Called America .

This latest piece from Marvin X offers a peek into his soul and his psyche. He lets the reader know he is hip to the rabid oppression the West heaps upon people of color especially North American Africans while at the same time revealing the knowledge gleaned from his days as a student radical, black nationalist revolutionary forger of the Black Arts Movement, husband, father lover, a dogger of women did not spare him the degradation and agony of descending into the abyss of crack addiction, abusive and toxic relationships and family tragedy.

Perhaps because of the knowledge gained as a member of the Nation of Islam, and his experiences as one of the prime movers of the cultural revolution of the '60, the insights he shares In The Crazy House Called America are all the keener. Marvin writes candidly of his pain, bewilderment and depression of losing his son to suicide. He shares in a very powerful way, his own out of body helplessness as he wallowed in the dregs of an addiction that threatened to destroy his soul and the mess his addictions made of his life and relationships with those he loved.

But he is not preachy and this is not an autobiography. He has already been there and done that. In sharing his story and the wisdom he has gleaned from his life experiences and looking at the world through the eyes of an artist/healer.—Junious Ricardo Stanton

Other Comments

Marvin X has always been in the forefront of pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the founders and innovators of the revolutionary school of African writing. In the Crazy House is solid writing!
--Amiri Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones), Newark, New Jersey

In terms of being modernist and innovative, he's centuries ahead of anybody I know.
--Dennis Leroy Moore, filmmaker, Brecht Forum, New York

Courageous and outrageous! He walked through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal.
--from the foreword by James W. Sweeney, Oakland, CA

In the Crazy House Called America is for brothers especially. It is a book all black men should grab hold of and digest, if for no other reason than to experience just how redemptively healing and liberating being honest can be.
--Junious Ricardo Stanton, New York

Marvin X is doing the kind of thing we should be doing, bringing "psychodrama" into didactic nonfiction. Beyond that, it's good literature.
--Dr. Nathan Hare, Black Think Tank, San Francisco

The stories are heartfelt, theoretical, insightful, passionate and private, with psychosocial, political recommendations and commentary on what black folks need to do to get reparations, our "40 Acres and a Mule."
--from the Introduction by Suzette Celeste, MPA, MSW, Richmond California

"The Maid, The Ho', The Cook" was one of the most beautiful pieces about real love I've ever read. The image of "crack-heads" as scandalous and without human dignity is destroyed by Marvin's recollection of this sister with whom he fell in love.
--Lil Joe, Los Angeles, CA

One of the things that makes this book a great joy is the range of subjects vital to all types of Black folks from richest to poorest.
--John Woodford, Editor, Michigan Today, University of Michigan

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: Eight Books in 2010

The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, Volume I

If you want to learn about inspiration and motivation, don't spend all that money going to workshops and seminars, just go stand at 14th and Broadway and watch Marvin X at work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland.--Ishmael Reed

Hustler’s Guide to the Game Called Life, (Wisdom of Plato Negro, Volume II)

Mythology of Love:

Toward Healthy Psychosocial Sexuality, 416 pages.

This book is the most wanted title in the Marvin X collection.

Youth in the hood fight over it and steal it from each other.

Girls say it empowers them, and the boys say it helps them step up their game.

Mothers and fathers are demanding their sons and daughters read this. Paradise Jah Love says they fight over it as if it's black gold!

I Am Oscar Grant, essays on Oakland, $19.95.

Critical essays on the travesty of American justice in the cold blooded murder of Oscar Grant by a beast in blue uniform.

Pull Yo Pants Up fada Black Prez and Yoself

essays on Obama Drama, $19.95.

Marvin X is on the mark again with his accurate observation of the Obama era. The black community was so excited with Obama being the first Black Prez that they forgot he was a politician-not a messiah. Marvin X brings the community back to the reality of what Obama stands for-at the moment! He has not given up on Da Prez, he simply wants people to see what he stands for and what he still has an opportunity to do for our communities. Make sure you put Pull Yo Pants Up Fada Black Prez & Yo Self on your to-buy list It will be the best book you will read in 2010!--Carolyn Mixon

Marvin X, Guest Editor, Poetry Issue, Journal of Pan African Studies, 480 pages In honor of the Journal of Black Poetry, Marvin X collects poetry from throughout the Pan African world. This massive issue is a classic of radical Pan African literature in the 21st century. Amiri Baraka says, "He has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the innovators and founders of the new revolutionary school of African writing."

Notes on the Wisdom of Action or How to Jump Out of the Box

In this collection he calls upon the people to become proactive rather than reactionary, to initiate the movement out the box of oppression by any means necessary, although Marvin X believes in the power of spiritual consciousness to create infinite possibilities toward liberation.

Soulful Musings on Unity of North American Africans,

150 pages

Marvin X explores the possibilities for unity among North American Africans. Available from Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702.

Marvin X in new anthology Black California

paperback, 6x9, 384 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59714-146-8

Black California: A Literary Anthology
Edited by Aparajita Nanda

150 years of the California African American experience

Black California is the first comprehensive anthology celebrating black
writing through almost two centuries of Californian history. In a patchwork quilt pieced from poetry, fiction, essays, drama, and memoirs, this anthology traces the trajectory of African American writers. Each piece gives a voice to the resonating rhythms that created the African American literary tradition in California. These voices speak of dreams and disasters, of heroic achievements and tragic failures, of freedom and betrayal, of racial discrimination and subsequent restoration--all setting the pulse of the black California experience.

Early works include a letter written by Pío Pico, the last Mexican governor of California; an excerpt from mountain man, freed slave, and honorary Crow Indian James Beckwourth; and a poem written by James Madison Bell and recited to a public gathering of black people commemorating the death of President Lincoln. More recent contributions include pieces from beat poet Bob Kaufman, Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, comedian Brian Copeland, and feminists Lucille Clifton and June Jordan. Also included are the writings of Langston Hughes, Marvin X, Reginald Lockett, Ishmael Reed, Chester Himes, Walter Mosley, Arna Bontemps, David Henderson, Alice Walker, Al Young, devorah major, Ernest Gaines and Clarence Major, et al.

Advance Praise

"The Black California anthology is a wonderful contribution to the literature. The anthology conveniently places a hundred and fifty years' worth of writings in one volume. Additionally, this publication presents the work of obscure but nonetheless worthy authors alongside those who are more familiar to us."

—Rick Moss, chief curator at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland

"Black California pierces previous perceptions about California's political and social liberalism by presenting its racial history with honesty and human tragedy that is often ignored in the dominant narrative."

—Melba Joyce Boyd, Distinguished University Professor and chairperson of the Africana studies department at Wayne State University

"The essays, fiction, poetry, journalism, and drama Nanda has selected are as varied in tone and timbre as their authors. A fascinating and exciting anthology!"

—Shelley Fisher Fishkin, professor of English and director of American studies, Stanford University

About the Editor

Aparajita Nanda is a visiting associate professor to the departments of English and African American studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and she also teaches at Santa Clara University. A widely published scholar, she is a Fulbright faculty awardee, a Beatrice Bain scholar at UC Berkeley, and was showcased as part of the “Experience Berkeley” outreach team to students across the United States. Her primary fields of interest are African American literature and postcolonial studies.

Black California Anthology--Marvin X's Entry

Welcome to Mexi-Cali

By Marvin X

Vamanos, vamanos

the Mexicans are coming

to reclaim the land

avenge Blackfoot Cherokee Lakota

Comanche Seminole

Aztecs Mayas Incas

the Mexicans are coming

to make the yankees disappear like

civilizations of old

the guns disease greed for gold silver and blood

the Mexicans are coming

tired of poverty mud huts

washing bathing drinking dirty water in streams rivers

the Mexicans are coming

filling American cities with rivers of human beings

seeking new life love hope

after centuries of slavery oppression corruption


the Mexicans are coming

working three jobs by day stealing by night

to come up and stay up in Gringo land

Let the New Negroes arrive and take control

who will do God's will as Elijah promised

Old Negroes never got the concept

too full of pride selfishness greed

no unity no love for self no sharing

The Mexicans are coming to Cali New York Dirty South

working living loving sharing building

enjoying heaven on earth

better than hell on earth below the border

For whatever reason

the negro refused to transform the ghetto

who cares for reasons

Negro thou dost protest too much

Mexicans are coming

turning ghetto shacks into palaces

even the roaches disappear

ghetto is better'n than dirt floor shacks

no electricity no bath no clean water

Remember the Aztec vision of the Eagle on the catcus

Ahora, the catus now lands on the eagle

llike the catcus they are juice to the lazy gringos

starving for cheap labor

even the negroes are tired down to their dna

Oh, gringo, will you have mercy on the Mexican

Will the Mexican have mercy on you?


I grew up with Mexicans in Fresno, California, the central valley, the richest agricultural valley in the world. I used to pick cotton and cut grapes with my grandfather who would take my brother and I to Chinatown at 3 or 4 in the morning to board the bus to the fields. I couldn't wait to hear the Mexicans shout "Vamanos" (let's go) at the end of a hard working day in the fields. On the weekends my grandmother would send my mother and my Uncle Stan to retrieve my grandfather who was stuck in some Chinatown bar and gambling joint such as the "El Gato Negro" (the black cat).

During intermission at the show on Sundays, when we took a break from eating popcorn and finger @#%$ the girls, we made our way to the restroom to beat up Mexicans because they were the closest things we knew to white boys, although once in a while white boys made the mistake to visit White's Theatre and found themselves the object of our wrath.

And when Little Richard, Chuck Berry, The Drifters, James Brown, Sam Cooke and others came to town, our main objective was to go fight during and after the concert, and again, Mexicans were the object, unless of course, white boys wanted to rock and roll. The last thing we came to do at the dance was dance. We came to throw down with our hands and sometimes knives but not guns. When we caused a fight during the concert, the Mexicans would be waiting for us outside after it was over. We would meet on the grass and clash like mad fools with nothing better to do. Sometimes people got stabbed, kicked in the head, beat unmercifully.

At school, the Mexicans were the dumbest, according to my white English teacher, although two or three of them were in the honor society with me. For a moment, I had my eyes on a Mexican girl, but my black sisters weren't going for that. My favorite lunch was tacos from the cafe at Walnut and California streets. I can taste those tacos now, and those tamales. Mama used to make us tacos as well.

As a draft resister during the Vietnam war, I found refuge in Mexico City. My contact was revolutionary artist Elizabeth Catlett Mora and she aided me during my stay. She was the witness at my civil wedding to one of my students from Fresno State University whose education I disrupted to come on my revolutionary sojourn.

I traveled throughout Mexico, from Tijuana to Chetumal on the East coast and Oxaca on the West coast. I had no problems in Mexico, especially after I obeyed Betty Mora's warning to stay out of politics, something I didn't do when I ventured down to Honduras, but that's another story.

Mexican poverty was overwhelming, something I'd never seen before. I didn't know people lived on dirt floors watching television with Catholic saints adorning their walls. I didn't know I could have a maid for one dollar a day, that she would do all the cleaning, cooking, clothe washing and shopping for one dollar a day. And yes, even Betty Mora, my revolutionary comrade, had a maid.

I loved Chapultepec Park in Mexico City, near the Paseo de la Reforma, cerca de Metro, which was where I lived. Sundays in the park was for lovers only and families who loved. The Mexicans taught me how to love in ways different from what I was accustomed: their passion was not suppressed as in the US.

And they worked so hard. Recall what I just said about the maid. But all the people work hard or hustle hard. I never saw any lazy Mexicans. Or fat Mexicans either. Where did these ideas come from?

The first thing Betty Mora gave me after dinner was a book on the Mexican revolution. Soon I understood the determination of the people and their will to be free, and the constant sabotage by PRI, the eternal dominant political party until recently. I understood why Betty and her husband Poncho Mora could not let me stay at their house except for a few nights, since they were being watched because they were Communists and radical and non radical people were known to disappear into the night. Just before I got there, students had been massacred at the University and when their parents came to check on their children, the parents disappeared. As I said, Betty told me not to get involved in politics, although I did visit with political refugees who'd fled to Mexico City from throughout Latin America, including Black brothers from the Dominican Republic, Columbia and Venezuela, although the only thing I could say to them was "poder negro" (black power).

In spite of the repression, the poverty, I admired Mexico because at least they had their own country: they made their own soap, own clothes, shoes, own flag, own oil and hated Yankees or gringos, although I was often considered a gringo when they didn't misidentify me as a Brazilian and call me Pele. When they found out I was an American, they could not and would not believe I was without money and poor. After all, their sole objective was getting to America. They lined up around the American Embassy each day for visas. Of course many made the trip north without visas, after all, why do they need visas to visit their own land, now called California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico?

After the rise and fall of the Black Power revolt ignited resistance in other minorities, including white women, gays, grays, Native Americans, Asians and most importantly Latin Americans, the cry "Viva La Raza" was heard throughout the land, surfacing on the East coast as Puerto Rican power and on the West coast as Chicano power. Of course none of these minorities suffered like African Americans, after being named the greatest threat to national security. None had assassinated leaders the stature of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. None gained international recognition like the Black Panthers. But all of these minorities siphoned the Black energy to enjoy social/economic and political benefits after the Black Liberation movement was decimated from within and without, mainly as a result of Cointelpro, the US governments counter intelligence program to destroy the black movement and prevent the rise of a "Black Messiah."

Caesar Chavez did emerge as the leader of the poor, down trodden, exploited Mexican farm workers. And the Brown Panthers attempted to organize the Latin community. But Afro-Latin unity was short lived once Chicanos saw being too closely allied with the Blacks was a liability and furthermore, many Chicanos preferred identifying with white European culture rather than their African/Native Indian roots, although the concept La Raza suggests Native Indian mythology, including the oft-pictured Emiliano Zapata, hero of the Mexican revolution, himself of African/Indian roots, not to mention another revolutionary hero, Vincente Guerrero, the African/Indian George Washington/Abraham Lincoln of Mexico.

But as Blacks no longer worked the cotton, grape fields and orchards of the Central Valley towns, Chicanos and Mexicanos replaced them. On college campuses, Chicano and/or La Raza programs were often empowered at the expense of Black Studies. In other words, Chicanos collaborated with college and university administrations to gain power while black studies was decimated, underfunded or eliminated. There is now a Ph.D. program in Chicano Studies, a Chicano Studies Department on various campuses, but most Black Studies are absorbed in Ethnic Studies or traditional Euro Studies. Many Ethnic Studies programs and/or departments are headed by Chicanos who have no shame in looking out for La Raza, which means too hell with the Blacks.

A similar phenomenon occurs in the prison system. It is a known fact that the white administrators cause division between black and Latin prisoners, especially the prison gangs that are kept divided so they can be contained, preventing Afro-Latin unity. And again, many of the Latin prison gangs have betrayed Afro-Latin unity to align themselves with the white gangs.

A strange thing happened during a performance of my play ONE DAY IN THE LIFE before an audience of exconvicts when several of them marched out in unity because the black former inmates objected to my use of the N word and the white and Chicano excons objected to my Black hero worship. The drug program counselor had to baby-sit these inmates all night, telling them not to be so sensitive, it was only a play.

Moving into the millennium, another strange thing is happening, or perhaps it is not so strange but a demographic reality: Latinos are now the number one minority in America, eclipsing Blacks. A few years ago I was walking with poet Amiri Baraka in New York. He said let's get something to eat. I said what about some Mexican food. He said I was crazy, there wasn't any Mexican restaurants in New York City. If I wanted Puerto Rican food, that was a possibility, but not Mexican. Today, Chicanos are the largest Latin minority in New York.

In California, the ghetto is rapidly becoming AfroLatin, from Watts to East Oakland, Chicanos are moving in, buying property, renting, setting up businesses, especially Chicano grocery stores and supermarkets, also auto shops (since they are known to have ten cars per family—nice racist joke). They can be seen throughout the ghetto hustling on every corner, selling every conceivable item, including Crack and other drugs, but legitimate items Blacks would be arrested for selling or would be told to close down because they lacked various permits, especially health department permits, while Chicanos can sell tacos and burritos without any problem.

The new demographics are indeed creating cultural tensions, but I suggest Blacks learn from their new Latin neighbors who are in many instances simply utilizing the positive aspects of Latino culture, i.e., practicing economic unity, entrepreneurship, political and most of all, family unity. Blacks need to observe the Latinos hustling items other than drugs and do the same. Observe their collective unity Blacks merely talk about during KWANZA. And finally, present Chicanos with a political agenda for Afro-Latin unity that cannot be sabotaged except on the pain of death. Whether we like it or not, Chicanos are the new guys on the block, yes, the hog with the big nuts, so rather than fear them, we should unite with them for mutual political/economic progress. If we sit around playa hatin, we shall slip farther behind in the multicultural ladder and ultimately be forgotten as history marches forward with new people determined to make progress.

I must inform Blacks that employing Latinos to work in Black businesses, because they are cheap labor is no lasting solution to our economic woes. Even though they may be cheap and more reliable, their employment in soul food restaurants such as Sylvia's in Harlem or Lois The Pie Queen's in Oakland, is a disgrace with Black unemployment sky high. Young blacks can and must be found who will work for low wages to gain job training.

Welcome to Mexicali.

Marvin X is one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement and the father of Muslim American literature. The author of thirty books, eight in 2010, he recently founded the First Poet's Church of the Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists.

Black California, A Literary Anthology, edited by Aparajita Nanda, Heyday Press, Berkeley CA, 2011, $24.95, 333 pages.

Black Bird Press has a limited number of Marvin X's In the Crazy House Called America, essays, 2002, and Wish I Could Tell You The Truth, essays, 2005. Buy one, get one free. $19.95 each. Include $5.00 for postage and handling. Send money order to Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702

Bibliography of Marvin X


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, 1973)
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, BBP, 2007
How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, a Pan African 12 Step Model, BBP, Berkeley, 2008

Eldridge Cleaver: My friend the Devil, a memoir, BBP, 2009.

Mythology of Love, toward healthy psychosexuality, BBP, 2009

The Wisdom of Plato Negro, parable/fables, BBP, 2010

Hustler's Guide to the Game Called Life, (Vol. II, The Wisdom of Plato Negro), BBP, 2010

Pull Yo Pants Up fada Black Prez and Yo Self, essays on Obama Drama, BBP, 2010

Notes on the Wisdom of Action or How to Jump Out of the Box, essays, BBP, 2010

I AM OSCAR GRANT, essays on Oakland, BBP, 2010

Soulful Musings on the Unity of North American Africans, BBP, 2010

Guest Editor, Journal of Pan African Studies Poetry Issue, BBP, 2010

Works In Progress

Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, poems, BBP, 2012

In Sha Allah, A History of Black Muslims in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1954-2004 (Cherokee: Black Bird Press, 2012).

Seven Years in the House of Elijah, A Woman's Search for Love and Spirituality by Nisa Islam as told to Marvin X, 2012.

Play Scripts and/or Productions

Flowers for the Trashman, San Francisco: San Francisco State University Drama Department, 1965.

Flowers for the Trashman, San Francisco: Black Arts West/Theatre, 1966.

Take Care of Business, musical version of Flowers with music by Sun Ra, choreography by Raymond Sawyer and Ellendar Barnes: Your Black Educational Theatre, San Francisco, 1972.

Come Next Summer, San Francisco: Black Arts/West, 1966.

The Trial, New York, Afro-American Studio for Acting and Speech, 1970.

Resurrection of the Dead, San Francisco, choreography by Raymond Sawyer, music by Juju and Sun Ra, Your Black Educational Theatre, 1972.

Woman-Man's Best Friend, musical, Oakland, Mills College, 1973.

How I Met Isa, Masters thesis, San Francisco State University, 1975.

In The Name of Love, Oakland, Laney College Theatre, 1981.

One Day In The Life, Oakland, Alice Arts Theatre, 1996.
One Day In The Life, Brooklyn, NY, Sistah's Place, 1997.
One Day In The Life, Manhattan, Brecht Forum, 1997.
One Day In The Life, Newark, NJ, Kimako's Blues, 1997.
One Day In The Life, Oakland, Uhuru House, 1998.
One Day In The Life, San Francisco, Bannam Place Theatre, North Beach, 1998.
One Day In The Lifee, San Francisco, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 1999.
One Day In the Life, Marin City, Marin City Rec Center, 1999
One Day In the Life, Richmond, Unity Church, 2000.
One Day In the Life, San Jose, San Jose State University, 2000.
One Day In the Life, Berkeley, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2000.
One Day In the Life, Sacramento, New Colonial Theatre, 2000.

Sergeant Santa, San Francisco, Recovery Theatre script, 2002.


Delicate Child, a short story, Oakland, Merritt College Student Magazine contest winner, 1963.

Delicate Child, a short story, Oakland, SoulBook Magazine, 1964.

Flowers for the Trashman: A One Act Drama, San Francisco, Black Dialogue Magazine, 1965.

Flowers for the Trashman, Black Fire, An Anthology of Afro-American Writing, edited by Amiri Baraka and Larry Neal, (New York: Morrow, 1968).

Take Care of Business: A One Act Drama, aka Flowers, (New York: The Drama Review, NYU,1968)

The Black Bird (Al Tair Aswad): A One-Act Play, New Plays from the Black Theatre, edited by Ed Bullins with introduction (interview of Ed Bullins) by Marivn X, (New York: Bantam, 1969)

"Islam and Black Art: An Interview with Amiri Baraka" and foreword by Askia Muhammad Toure, afterword by Marivn X, in Black Arts: An Anthology of Black Creations, edited by Ahmed Alhamisi and Haroun Kofi Wangara (Harold G. Lawrence) (Detroit: Black Arts Publications, 1969).

"Everything's Cool: An Interview with Amiri Barka, aka, LeRoi Jones", Black Theatre Magazine, New Lafayette Theatre, Harlem, NY, 1968.

Resurrection of the Dead, a ritual/myth dance drama, Black Theatre Magazine, New Lafayette Theatre, Harlem, 1969.

Manifesto of the Black Educational Theatre of San Francisco, Black Theatre, 1972.

The Black Bird, A Parable by Marvin X, illustrated by Karen Johnson ( San Francisco: Al Kitab Sudan and Julian Richardson and Associates Publishers, 1972).

"Black Justice Must Be Done," Vietnam and Black America: An Anthology of Protest and Resistance, edited by Clyde Taylor (Garden City: Double-day/Anchor, 1973)

"Palestine," a poem, Black Scholar magazine, 1978.

Journal of Black Poetry, guest editor, 1968.

"The Meaning of African Liberation Day," by Dr. Walter Rodney, a speech in San Francisco, transcribed and edited by Marvin X, Journal of Black Poetry, 1972.

Muhammad Speaks, foreign editor, 1970. (Note: a few months later, Marvin X was selected to be editor of Muhammad Speaks until it was decided he was too militant. Askia Muhammad (Charles 37X) was selected instead.)

A Conversation with Prime Minister Forbes Burnham of Guyana, Black Scholar, 1973.


Proceedings of the Melvin Black Human Rights Conference, Oakland, 1979, produced by Marvin X, featuring Angela Davis, Minister Farakhan, Eldridge Cleaver, Paul Cobb, Dezzie Woods-Jones, Jo Nina-Abran, Mansha Nitoto, Khalid Abdullah Tarik Al Mansur, Dr. Yusef Bey, Dr. Oba T-Shaka, and Marvin X.

Proceedings of the First Black Men's Conference, Oakland, 1980, John Douimbia, founder, Marvin X, chief planner, Dr. Nathan Hare, Dr. Wade Nobles, Dr. Yusef Bey, Dr. Oba T'Shaka,Norman Brown, Kermit Scott, Minister Ronald Muhammad, Louis Freeman, Michael Lange, Betty King, Dezzie Woods-Jones, et al.

Forum on Drugs, Art and Revolution, Sista's Place, Brooklyn, New York, 1997, featuring Amiri and Amina Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Sam Anderson, Elombe Brath and Marvin X.

Eldridge Cleaver Memorial Service, produced by Marvin X, Oakland, 1998, participants included Kathleen and Joju Cleaver, Emory Douglas, Dr. Yusef Bey, Minister Keith Muhammad, Imam Al Amin, Dr. Nathan Hare, Tarika Lewis, Richard Aoki, Reginald Major, Majidah Rahman and Marvin X.

One Day in the Life, a docudrama of addiction and recovery, filmed by Ptah Allah-El, produced, written, directed and staring Marvin X, edited by Marvin X, San Francisco: Recovery Theatre, 1999.

Marvin X Interviews Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, former actor in Marvin X's Black Theatre: Berkeley, La Pena Cultural Center, 1999.

"Abstract for An Elders Council," lecture/discussion, Tupac Amaru Shakur One Nation Conference, Oakland: McClymonds High School, 1999.

Marvin X at Dead Prez Concert, San Francisco, 2000.

Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, produced by Marvin X at San Francisco State University, 2001, featuring Dr. Cornel West, Amiri Baraka, Amina Baraka, Dr. Julia Hare, Dr. Nathan Hare, Rev. Cecil Williams, Destiny, Phavia, Tarika Lewis, Askia Toure, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Rudi Wongozi, Ishmael Reed, Dr. Theophile Obenga, Marvin X, et al.

Live In Philly At Warm Daddies, a reading accompanied by Elliot Bey, Marshall Allen, Danny Thompson, Ancestor Goldsky, Rufus Harley, Alexander El, 2002.

Marvin X Live in Detroit, a documentary by Abu Ibn, 2002.

In the Crazy House Called America, concert with Marvin X and Destiny, San Francisco: Buriel Clay Theatre, 2003.

Marvin X in Concert (accompanied by harpist Destiny, violinist Tarika Lewis and percussionists Tacuma and Kele Nitoto, dancer Raynetta Rayzetta), Amiri and Amina Baraka, filmed by Kwame and Joe, Berkeley: Black Repertory Group Theatre, 2003.

Marvin X Speaks at the Third Eye Conference, Dallas, Texas, 2003.

Marvin X and the Last Poets, San Francisco: Recovery Theatre, 2004.

Proceedings of the San Francisco Black Radical Book Fair, produced by Marvin X, filmed by Mindseed Productions, San Francisco, Recovery Theatre, 2004, participants include: Sonia Sanchez, Davey D, Amiri Baraka, Sam Hamod, Fillmore Slim, Askia Toure, Akhbar Muhammad, Sam Anderson, Al Young, Devorah Major, Opal Palmer Adisa, Tarika Lewis, Amina Baraka, Julia and Nathan Hare, Charlie Walker, Jamie Walker, Reginald Lockett, Everett Hoagland, Sam Greenlee, Ayodelle Nzinga, Suzzette Celeste, Tarika Lewis, Raynetta Rayzetta, Deborah Day, James Robinson, Ptah Allah-El, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Marvin X, et al. (Note: let me please acknowledge some of the historic personages in the audience: Gansta Alonzao Batin (mentor of the Bay Area BAM, made his transition shortly after the conference), Willie Williams of Broadside Press, Detroit, Gansta Brown, Gansta Mikey Moore (now Rev.), Arthur Sheridan, founder of Black Dialogue magazine, also co-founders Aubrey and Gerald LaBrie, Reginald Major, author of Panther Is A Black Cat. Thank you all for making this event historic, ed. MX)

Get Yo Mind Right, Marvin X Barbershop Talk, #4, a documentary film by Pam Pam and Marvin X, Oakland: 2005.

Marvin X Live in the Fillmore at Rass'elas Jazz Club, A Nisa Islam production, filmed by Ken Johnson, San Francisco, 2005.

Marvin X in the Malcolm X Room, McClymonds High School, accompanied by Tacuma (dijembe and percussion, dancer/choreographer Raynetta Rayzetta, actor Salat Townsend, filmed by Eddie Abrams, Oakland, 2005.


In Sha Allah, interview with Nisa Islam, Cherokee, 2004.
In Sha Allah, interview with Nadar Ali, Fresno, 2004.
In Sha Allah, interview with Manuel Rashid, Fresno, 2004.
In Sha Allah, interview with John Douimbia, Grand Ayatollah of the Bay, San Francisco, 2004.
In Sha Allah, interview with Minister Rabb Muhammad, Oakland, 2004.
In Sha Allah, interview with Antar Bey, CEO, Your Black Muslim Bakery, Oakland, 2004.
In Sha Allah, interview with Norman Brown, Oakland, Oakland, 2004.
In Sha Allah, interview with Kareem Muhammad (Brother Edward), Oakland, 2004.
Love and War, poems, Oakland, 1995.
One Day In The Life, docudrama, Oakland, 1999.
Jesus and Liquor Stores, Marvin X and Askari X, Oakland, 2002
Wake Up, Detroit, Marvin X interviewed by Lawrence X, Detroit, 2002..
Wish I, interview with Pam Pam, San Francisco, KPOO Radio, 2005.
Wish I, interview with Terry Collins, San Francisco, KPOO Radio, 2005.
Marvin X and the Black Arts Movement, interview with Professor James Smethurst of UMASS, Oakland, 2003.

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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Academy of da Corner, Marvin X's Street Ministry

Academy of da Corner, Marvin X's Street Ministry, 14th and Broadway

Oakland CA

Plato Negro, Jackson, Aristotle Negro

photo Walter Riley, esq.


Marvin X is Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland.

--Ishmael Reed

Comments from da corner

Fuck you, Marvin X, a Negro

I might come by here and throw a molotov cocktail at you!

--a journalist

No writer writes about the street like you.

--Walter Riley

Some people don't like you. I tell them to look at the good you are doing.

--a brother

Fuck the peckerwood, fuck the peckerwood, fuck the peckerwood!

--a brother whispered in MX's ear and kept going

Can you talk to my daughter. She needs help. She's cute, got two babies, but goes out with men and come home with no money for Pampers. What's wrong with that girl?

--a Mother

Bob Marley War live

So Much Trouble in the World - BOB MARLEY

Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê - Documentary Trailer

Oakland's Imam Musa and the American Islamic Revolution

Oakland's Imam Abdul Alim Musa
and the American Islamic Revolution

Imam Abdul Alim Musa, an African-American convert to Islam, is the head of the Masjid Al Islam mosque in Washington DC and founder of Sabiqun. He advocates for an Islamic revolution in the U.S. and promotes anti-Semitism. Despite his extremist views, Alim Musa is often invited to speak to Muslim student groups, in particular at events organized by the Muslim Student Union (MSU) at the University of California, Irvine.

These events often feature a handful of radical speakers who espouse anti-Semitic rhetoric, including Imam Mohammad al-Asi and Imam Amir Abdul Malik Ali. Though he claims that some of the major Muslim organizations try to avoid him because of his ideology, Alim Musa has participated at events organized by prominent Muslim-American community organizations including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, Muslim American Society, Islamic Circle of North America and the Islamic Society of North America. He also makes regular appearances at the large annual conferences of the Muslim Congress, a Houston-based Shia community group.

At some of these events, Alim Musa has sold copies of an anti-Semitic book written by Imam Mohammad al-Asi. The book, The Ascendant Qur'an, blames Jews for conspiring against Islam.
Alim Musa has also spoken at mass antiwar rallies, including one of the largest pro-Palestinian rallies ever held in this country, which was organized by the ANSWER Coalition on April 20, 2002 in Washington, DC. Musa served as moderator.

In addition, Alim Musa is a founder and former member of the governing body of the Muslim Alliance in North America, a community organization that involves prominent American-born Muslims, mostly African-Americans. In 2004, the San Francisco Bay View described Alim Musa as "one of the highest-ranking Islamic leaders in the Black community, nationwide and specifically in the Islamic movement."

Born Clarence Reams in Arkansas, Alim Musa grew up in Oakland, California. According to his own account, as a young man in the 1960s in Oakland he was dealing with illegal drugs and later fled the country. He claims to have spent time in Algeria where he met fugitive activists in the Black Panther movement and to have also been involved in cocaine trade in Columbia. Alim Musa returned to the U.S. and was jailed in a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he converted to Islam, based on his account.

Alim Musa is a "senior" member of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), an international pro-Iranian, pro-Hezbollah Islamist think tank that distributes anti-Semitic propaganda in its magazine, Crescent International. He claims to have travelled several times to Iran, implying in various speeches that he has met with Hezbollah and Hamas representatives in Iran, as well as with groups fighting Indian forces in Kashmir during a visit to that region.

In addition, he maintains contacts with other extremist groups in the U.S. and abroad, including the anti-Semitic and racist New Black Panther Party (NBPP) and Jamaat al-Muslimeen.
Below is a sample of extremist and anti-Semitic statements that Alim Musa has made:
June 4, 2010: During a sermon at a Dallas mosque, Alim Musa argued that "the whole Western world is out against Islam" and that the U.S. government is implementing a policy that targets African-American Muslims because they are not as susceptible to intimidation as immigrant Muslims.

He argued that it was therefore the responsibility of African-American Muslims to establish an authentic "liberation-based" Islamic movement, which he describes as a "re-Africanization" and "de-Israelization of the Islamic movement in America."

January 5, 2010: Alim Musa appeared on Press TV, a state-funded Iranian TV news channel, to discuss the attempt to blow up an American airliner heading for Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. During his appearance, Musa claimed that the Israeli Mossad and the U.S. government were behind 90 percent of the terror attacks in the U.S. and abroad since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, including the Christmas Day plot.

He argued that this continuous Israeli-American terrorist campaign not only provides an excuse to launch attacks against Muslims but also allows those in power to strengthen their grip in the U.S.

July 4, 2009: Alim Musa spoke at an event organized by the Muslim Congress, a Houston-based Shia community group, in Dearborn, Michigan. At the event, which was reportedly attended by 1,200 people, Alim Musa reportedly distributed fliers that called the U.S. government "Zionist occupied" and the FBI "Gestapo." In his speech, Alim Musa reportedly "accused U.S. leaders of fabricating a Muslim threat to national security so Americans could stop the global spread of Islam."

September 26, 2008: Alim Musa spoke at an anti-Israel event at the Islamic House of Wisdom, a Shiite Muslim mosque in Dearborn, Michigan. At the event, which was held to commemorate Iranian-inspired Al Quds [Jerusalem] Day, Alim Musa sold copies of a book by Mohammad al-Asi, an exegesis of the Quran that interprets much of the Islamic holy text as a warning of a Jewish conspiracy against Islam. During his lecture, Alim Musa expressed his support for Hezbollah, stating:
"The Hezbollah…it stands to the Zionists on behalf of their Palestinian cousins."

May 9, 2007: During his appearance at an anti-Israel event that was organized by MSU at UC Irvine, "Holocaust Memorial Week," Alim Musa said:
"Who ran the slave trade…who funded [it]? You'll study and you will find out: the Jews…It was the Jewish bankers…in Vienna, with pockets full of money, funding and insuring, that's who did it…you can't tell us about no holocaust. Between the African Americans and the Native Americans, everybody else's stuff was small potatoes."

October 5, 2006: Alim Musa spoke at a protest organized by the antiwar group World Can't Wait outside the White House in Washington, DC. Claiming September 11 was a conspiracy by the American government, Alim Musa stated:
"We got to get rid of this new Hitler…Just like Hitler burned the Reichstag…to gain full power over the people…George Bush brings down the World Trade Center, blames it on us [Muslims] and then claims himself dictator over the world. So we're here to say it's all over for George."

January 2004: In an interview in the San Francisco Bay View, Alim Musa talked about September 11 and other issues. In the interview, Alim Musa stated:
"When 9/11 happened, the only people who understood it really was Black people. They know that when you have an election-stealing president that has no credibility, he needs something to make him presidential…."If you remember before 9/11, the big conference they held in Durban, South Africa, Black people was attuned to Zionism is racism—we know that as a people. Amerikkka [original spelling] needed something to take them off of the most-hated list, but it never worked."

April 20, 2002: Alim Musa served as the moderator of an anti-Israel rally, sponsored by ANSWER, during which many speakers called for the destruction of Israel. A large Hezbollah flag was on display from the stage throughout much of the event next to where Alim Musa stood.

March 22, 2002: Alim Musa spoke at an event at the National Press Club in Washington DC that was organized by the NBPP, titled: "National Opposition Town Hall Meeting." At the event, Malik Zulu Shabazz, national chairman of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), praised Alim Musa as an authentic and courageous leader. During his speech, Alim Musa hailed Hezbollah and Palestinian groups fighting Israel and berated the U.S.:
"A little group like Hezbollah, 'the Party of God'…and in the world there are only two parties: Hezbollah and Hizb-ul-Shaytan [Party of Satan]…you're either in the party of God or Satan—America, the British, the French…You're either in that party or the Party of God, the Hezbollah…

"They have caused so much trouble for the Zionists…they're getting paranoid. Zionists are shooting other Zionists…that's the way the Jews are doing…because they're paranoid…and that's the way they need to feel…because when it come to Islam and peoples' willingness to achieve martyrdom, you can't beat them….

"We don't want to be a part of the American system. We want to see it wrapped up, bundled up like they do in them garbage trucks…take it and dump it into the dust bin of history."

October 31, 2001: Alim Musa joined Shabazz for a news conference at the National Press Club. At the event, Shabazz blamed Jews and Israel for the September 11 terrorist attacks. During his speech, Alim Musa said: "America placed this sword, this cancer, this Zionist state, in the center of the crossroads of the world." He also assailed "Zionists in Hollywood, the Zionists in New York, and the Zionists in D.C." who, he claimed, "all collaborate" to oppress Blacks and Muslims.

October 28, 2000: Alim Musa spoke at a rally in Washington DC that was organized by some of the premier Muslim community organizations in the country and in which speakers expressed support for Hamas and Hezbollah. Referring to Palestinian casualties in the second intifada, which broke out the previous month, Alim Musa said:
"We celebrate our young brothers…those shuhada [martyrs]. They're not dead….The Zionists, when they get hit they're dead. They are dead and gone…But our people, when they leave this world they're headed for jannah [Paradise]."

June 2000: At a gathering in Baltimore organized by Jamaat al-Muslimeen, Alim Musa spoke about Imam Jamil al-Amin, a Muslim activist who has since been convicted for killing an Atlanta, Georgia, deputy sheriff:
"Al-Amin…turned his ideas, his belief in Islam, into practical solutions for society. And they can't stand that….the Zionist are the same today as they was then. In those days [in Arabia before the ascendance of Islam] they controlled the liquor market in Madina… and the Zionists kept the Arab leaders broke and drunk…the yahud [Jews, in Arabic] were seating back and had each one of them [Arab clans] fighting each other because the leaders was both drunken and they was all in owe (sic) to the same Yahud… he was manipulating the Arabs…then Islam came [and abolished riba, or interest]…"We're the pioneers here of Islam in America… Islam went everywhere in the world… so why can't Islam take over America… We are on the right road."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Peter Howard, Rare Book Collector, Agent Made Transition on March 31

Peter Howard, owner of Serendipity Books, dies

April 13, 2011

Peter Howard's chair at Serendipity Books.

Photo: Ken Sanders,

Ken Sanders Rare Books

Peter Howard, the eccentric and brilliant owner of Serendipity Books, and a towering figure in the world of rare books, died at home on March 31.

A Giants season ticket-holder for more than 40 years, Howard died with the opening game of the season blaring on television – while the Giants were still beating the Dodgers.
“He died at the bottom of the sixth inning,” said one of his daughters, Kerry Dahm.

Howard’s death at 72 means that there will be changes at Serendipity Books on University Avenue, but the shape of those changes is still unclear.

There are a number of people interested in buying the store and/or the inventory, according to Dahm. For now, the store is still open. “I doubt it will continue as it was,” said Dahm.

Howard died seven and a half months after the death of his wife Alison, 71, to whom he had been married for more than 50 years. The couple was able to have a 50th wedding anniversary party with close friends in June. Howard is also survived by another daughter, Esme Howard, and a number of grandchildren.

Howard and Alison met in 1958 in Alaska on a Friends service project to build houses for the Eskimos, said Dahm. After the project was over, they built a moss-covered raft and floated down the Yukon back to civilization, she said.

They both returned to college – he to Haverford and she to nearby Swarthmore – and married the weekend after they graduated. They moved to Berkeley so Howard could go to graduate school in English at UC Berkeley and Alison could be closer to her family.

Howard was teaching Subject A (entry level English) at Cal and sold a small collection of D.H. Lawrence books he had. He soon realized he got more pleasure matching good books with good owners than either owning the books or studying English. He quit school and started a small rare-book business. Soon, the family’s house on Colusa was overflowing with books. Howard opened a store on Shattuck Avenue in 1967 and moved in 1986 into an old winery on University.
Serendipity Books is crammed top to bottom with books in every conceivable location: on shelves, on table tops, on the floor, in the rafters. The books in the store are only a part of Howard’s vast collection, which he estimated last year was around 1 million volumes. There is a warehouse in Berkeley stuffed with boxes of books as well.

“There are books everywhere,” said Dahm. “There is the store. There is the warehouse with almost as many books in boxes as in the store. Then there is our house with bookshelves in every room, including the stairwell. He would often bring bags and bags of books home.”
Howard soon developed a reputation as an astute rare-book dealer. He discovered and saved many important manuscript collections, as well as collecting and valuing works by both well-known and lesser-known authors.

Howard’s collection covers many areas, including California history and western Americana. He was known for his collection of first editions of American and British literature, and has holdings of Ernest Hemingway, Henry James, Shakespeare, North Point Press, and fiction from countries around the world. Serendipity also has large collections of literary manuscripts, screenplays and little magazines.

“He was one of the major antiquarian book dealers of our time,” said Victoria Shoemaker, a literary agent, close friend, and former neighbor of the Howards’.

Howard made some notable purchases in his lengthy career as a bookseller. In the late 1990s, he bought the 18,000-volume collection of Carter Burden, a descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and a progressive New York politician and businessman. The size of the collection prompted Howard to install compact shelving, making Serendipity the only bookstore in the world to have such shelving.

In 1991, Howard was offered the archives of Thomas M. Jackson, an Oakland grocer who had served as secretary for the California chapter of the NAACP from 1910 and 1940. After Jackson died, in 1963, someone took his papers to the Berkeley dump. Someone else rescued them and asked Howard to help them find a proper home. Howard sold the papers to the Bancroft Library.

[Note: Howard also obtained the papers of Eldridge Cleaver after someone purchased them at a storage auction. Peter sold them to the Bancroft Library.

He also convinced the Bancroft to obtain the archives of Marvin X.]

Later in that decade, someone found 946 letters exchanged between two Japanese-American teenagers who met at an internment camp in Utah. Tamaki Tsubokura and David Hisato Yamate were separated for a few years during the war, and they wrote to one another frequently. These letters were also dumped at the Berkeley landfill and later rescued. Howard brokered their sale to the University of Utah.

Howard was a blunt and forthright man. After he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year ago, Berkeleyside contacted him to ask about his health and the store.

“There’s nothing to say,” Howard said by telephone. “People die. We all die. Businesses end.”
Writing on, in a section called “A Wake for the Still Alive: Peter B. Howard”, Stephen Gertz, one of his friends, described meeting Howard for the first time. ”He was standing in one of the aisles around twenty-five yards away from my vantage point and looked like an aged, unkempt and unshaven derelict marooned far too long, surviving on a diet far too short on calories,” wrote Gertz.

“He was wearing a sarong-like thing wrapped around his waist, sandals, a rumpled shirt and a knit cap with earflaps. It seemed as if he had just come off a three-day binge on arrack, the liquor made from coconut sap. It was Peter Howard, proprietor of the legendary Serendipity Books in Berkeley, California, who appeared to be shipwrecked on Book Island.”

But the gruff exterior hid a nicer side. Many of Howard’s friends characterized him as generous and helpful and willing to go out of his way to help young book dealers get set up in business.
Gary Lepper, Howard’s lawyer, said Howard helped him compile a bibliographical study of first editions, and then asked if Serendipity could publish it. That led to a lifelong friendship between the Howards and the Leppers that included many games of bridge, delicious dinners, and a friendly rivalry over the Giants, who Howard loved, and the Dodgers, who Lepper supported.
“He didn’t do well with fools, or people he thought were delicatish, but if you hung in there you got a very good friend out of it,” said Lepper.

One indication of the reverence in which he was held by the rare-book community came every two years around the time of the Antiquarian Book Fair in San Francisco. Howard would throw a huge party at Serendipity Books the Wednesday before the fair. He would clear the books in his store out of the aisles and off of the tables, tent-over the parking lot, and have Poulet cater the meal. He would have a suckling pig, and the printer, Alistair Johnson, would print up the menu, said Dahm. The party was so popular that the store and tent were jammed.

Howard was well enough to throw the party again this year in February. After it was over, he went home and never left the house again, said Dahm.

There will be a private memorial service for Howard in May, said Lepper.


We love you, Peter!

--Marvin X

Oakland and the Mack God

Oakland and the Mack God

In one eight-hour stretch in late February, four Oakland residents were shot. While none of them died, so far this year shootings across the city are up more than 60 percent. Most of those doing the shooting are involved so deeply in street life that experts say they have slipped into a kind of alternate reality in which the rules the rest of society lives by don't apply.

Their rules, in turn, wouldn't make sense to those who don't share their experiences. For many of these kids, the amorphous set of street rules that governs their behavior has a name: the Mack God.

Take Danny Samson, an Oakland teen who has been living by the code of the street since he was 13, when his mother kicked him out of their East Oakland home. (Danny's name has been changed at the behest of Rod Herbert, a Youth Alive case worker, who is concerned about his ongoing safety.)

He started robbing people at gunpoint that year. He broke into homes and began dealing marijuana. After a few stints in juvenile hall, he joined a violent East Oakland gang. It all led to the moment last fall when he found himself on the ground, bleeding from a gunshot wound and staring down the barrel of an enemy's pistol. Click.

"When they see me they shoot at me, and when I see them I shoot at them," he said. "We gotta retaliate. If we don't, they'll shoot us, kill us, and it's better them than us; that's how everybody should see life."

Danny's worldview is stark and uncompromising -- but it is also coherent in a way many people would not understand. Danny and hundreds of other youths just like him believe an ordering force governs the violence surrounding them. Surreal as it sounds, the "Mack God" is as real a power as anything else in Danny's young and relatively brutal life.

"The Mack God is in the streets, and the people doing bad things that live this life go by the Mack God," he said. "I love God, but I believe in the Mack God, and if you cross him, I believe he will get you."

Last year, Oakland had more than 500 separate shootings -- more than one per day, every day, for weeks and months on end. This year's homicide package profiles one victim of a West Oakland shooting, but hundreds more go unaccounted for, and unexplained.

Experts are taking note of how someone like Danny thinks, and say others should too.

Right and wrong

"It has a lot to do with notion of a social contract," said Christopher Layne, director of treatment and intervention development at the UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. "If the contract doesn't apply to you, what are the rules by which you rule your life and determine what is moral? What's right? What's wrong?"

Layne and others said they believe the unwritten rules of the street have created an alternate reality that is siphoning off a growing number of children each year. As more and more young men and women get sucked into the unforgiving cosmology of the Mack God, the harder it is for anyone else -- police, counselors, civic and church leaders -- to reach them. "If you stay in survival mode, you can't be a functioning member of society," said Bessel van der Kolk, director of The Trauma Center in Boston.

The Mack God sits at the center of this chaos, and while the name may be no more than a fanciful euphemism for the code of the street, the rules are anything but playful. Rapper E-40 talks about the Mack God in a video called "Mack Minister" in which several commandments are enunciated, including "do not snitch" and "do not playa hate." There are others, Danny says: loyalty to friends, common sense, more than a hint of misogynism.

"Mack" is a term that harkens to the 1970s, when so-called Blaxploitation films such as "The Mack" glorified the lives of pimps, drug dealers and gangsters who lived and died by the rules of the streets in exchange for the riches, glory and easy living that crime was thought to provide.
"The Mack God gives some order, to make everything right, to give some sense to this game," Danny said. Disobedience results in a kind of karmic vengeance.

It wasn't always this way.

"When I was coming up, you would never think about this kind of violence because of the consequences," said Rod Herbert, a case manager at Youth Alive, a Measure BB program that targets at-risk youth in Oakland. Herbert has worked with Danny, and he is worried that the rules of Oakland's streets are trumping the rule of law. "The police know who is doing this. But nobody is willing to talk," he said. "If you get the perpetrator, and the case gets to trial, the witness won't testify."

Oakland police complain about the consistent noncooperation among witnesses and victims of crimes. It not only prevents any kind of systemic justice from taking place, but also fosters a sense that at the end of the day the street will always be the final arbiter. Herbert agreed. "A lot of these guys, they're young, baby-faced guys, punks, but they're getting away with it," he said.


Herbert said he believes that as long as the community refuses to take responsibility for its youth, the violence will continue unabated. The Mack God, in other words, won't back down without a fight.

The problem doesn't just affect victims; parents, schools and police get swept into the Mack God's world. "The streets are not lawless and chaotic, no more than old West," Layne said. "These kids are growing up where the basic filial assumptions are not honored, where parents abuse or neglect them, and where the rules the rest of society live by don't apply."

Herbert said the more isolated children become, the less reach police, parents and teachers will have. "You can't blame anyone if you're not doing your part to help."

However, while the rules of the streets are real, the Mack God, others say, is not. "I doubt whether many people actually believe in the Mack God (per se)," says the Rev. Harry Williams, a pastor at Oakland's Allen Temple Baptist Church who is an author of urban fiction and an expert on contemporary youth culture. "Most people that I have met in the streets believe in a God who rewards good and punishes evil."

Williams cites the late rapper Tupac Shakur's spirituality, and his public questioning of an afterlife for a gangster. Harlem gangster "Bumpy" Johnson was also a supporter of a group of Harlem nuns, and was beloved by them. "The vast majority (of these gangsters) come from some type of faith background," Williams said.

The new generation

A 32-year-old former Sureno gang member in the Bay Area also confirmed the importance of street rules, but said he had never heard of the Mack God. "There are a street laws, and laws we're supposed to abide by them, but the new generation doesn't follow the rules," he said. "Jesus Christ is our God, even as a criminal, our God is God."

Even if the Mack God is a figment of the brain, it could mean the brain is dysfunctional, van der Kolk said. "If your brain is set to expect assault, you can't see anyone else," he said. "You're a potential predator."

As long as there's a game, however, Danny said he will continue to believe in the Mack God. "The game just keeps going and going," he said. "It's wild and out of control. People are just going crazy."

--Scott Johnson

Contact Scott Johnson at 510-208-6429. Follow him at and

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Riz Khan - Malcolm X: Who was the man behind the legend?

Oakland and the American Islamic Revolution

Oakland and the American Islamic Revolution

Imam Jamil Alamin (H. Rap Brown)
of Atlanta GA

Imam Luqman of Detroit (RIP)

Imam Musa of Oakland

Cause Célèbre Islam: Racism, Revolution, Black Nationalism
Written by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Madeleine Gruen
Friday, 20 November 2009 14:16

“We can’t just be saying, ‘O.K., everything is run by the U.S. government,’ we got to take out the U.S. government. The U.S. government is nothing but Kuffars.”
—Luqman Abdullah, imam of Masjid al-Haqq and Detroit representative to al-Ummah2

“So the goal of the government is to destroy this group [al-Ummah] and to send the message to other African Americans that the federal government will not allow any unified, organized Islamic activities to be carried out inside of the United States of America. But we have a message for them. We will not be intimidated by the government of the United States of America.”
—Abdul Alim Musa, imam of Masjid al-Islam and founder of al-Sabiqun3

The shooting of Luqman Abdullah, the imam of Detroit’s Masjid al-Haqq and a representative to al-Ummah, provided a glimpse into a movement that blends conservative Sunni Islamic practice with the legacy of black nationalism. Abdullah’s rhetoric weaves references to the Qur’an and ahadith together with the language of militant jihadism and assertions of injustice perpetrated against African-American Muslims by the U.S. government in the form of harassment, targeted raids, arrests, and “assassinations.” Other preachers similarly fuse these themes, resulting in a distinctive understanding of the faith that can be described as “cause célèbre Islam.”

For Abdullah and his followers, this doctrine provided justification for criminal behavior. In other cases, cause célèbre Islam prepares adherents for an inevitable violent revolution against the U.S. government: this revolutionary vision is at least as indebted to the ideas of men like Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, and Malcolm X as it is to more typical advocates of Islamic revolution like Sayyid Qutb. Those who share this view tend to be suspicious of outsiders, and outside influences.

Cause Célèbre: An Indigenous American Islamic Movement

The “cause célèbre Islam” movement arose from a combination of uniquely American conditions and experiences. Because many of the movement’s leaders were children of the civil rights era and were active in the black nationalist movement, or had significant exposure to members of that movement, the leaders’ rhetoric fuses black nationalist themes with conservative or militant Islamic ideas.

Antecedents of this movement include quasi-Islamic sects that catered to African-Americans by trying to frankly address the reality of racism in America, such as the Moorish Science Temple and the Lost-Found Nation of Islam. However, unlike these groups, there is nothing within the cause célèbre Islamic movement—such as the Nation of Islam’s belief in W.D. Fard’s divinity and the prophethood of Elijah Muhammad—that clearly places it outside the mainstream of Islamic theology.

This issue’s article “Jamil al-Amin” profiles a significant leader within the cause célèbre Islam movement, a man who continues to serve as an ideological inspiration and who has himself become one of its causes célèbre following his conviction and life sentence for shooting two police officers in Atlanta. Al-Amin’s supporters claim he was framed because the U.S. government feared his power and influence.

Abdul Alim Musa, originally from Oakland, CA, is an associate of Jamil al-Amin, and the leader of the Washington, D.C.-based group As-Sabiqun, which subscribes to the same cause célèbre brand of Islam as al-Ummah. Speaking of al-Amin’s trial, he commented: “You know a different America than I do. I know America coming from Arkansas of lynchings, of burning, and of torture. I don’t know an America of a fair trial. I don’t know America of a Bill of Rights. I have never seen that America. Imam Jamil came out of a generation coming up out of Louisiana.”4

He has further explained his deep admiration for al-Amin, describing him as a living legend:
You know who Imam Jamil al Amin is? I’m gonna tell you who he is. You see all these movies, a last man standing, right? A guy who goes through houses being blown up. Ran over by a train. Legs ripped off, sawed in half, buried alive. Isn’t that right? And he’d come out the last man standing. Imam Jamil al Amin, they tried to blow him up in 1967. They tried to assassinate him on several occasions. Isn’t that right? They ran him into exile in the late 60’s and the early 70’s. But he came on back. The last man standing. Martin Luther King is dead. Malcolm X is dead. Medgar Evers is dead. Isn’t that right? [Huey] Newton is dead. Eldridge Cleaver is dead. Everyone you read about in a black history book that struggled against what we used to call the “white man” is dead. Isn’t that right?5

This article now turns to the revolutionary threads and criminal threads within cause célèbre Islamic ideology.

Revolutionary Threads

Revolution and potential confrontation with the U.S. government are overarching themes within the movement’s thinking. They featured prominently in Luqman Abdullah’s rhetoric, for example. “[W]e should be trying to figure out how to fight the Kuffar,” he said. “You see, we need to figure out how to be a bullet.”6 Further, he said, “you cannot have a non-violent revolution.” 7

There are various gradations of how revolution is seen within the movement. At their most extreme, the revolutionary ideas are pegged to the notion of establishing an Islamic state within the U.S., or more ambitiously seizing the instruments of government and imposing Islamic rule throughout the nation. At other times, the idea of revolution within the movement’s rhetoric is more secularized, with “the oppressed” (and not just Muslims) rising up against the institutions that hold them back. And in their mildest form, the movement’s revolutionary ideas are inward-looking, with fighting against ignorance and addiction seen as transformative in themselves.8

The revolutionary theme fosters an “us versus them” mentality, putting the U.S. government in the role of the community’s oppressor. This can isolate members of the movement from outsiders, and also cultivate a lack of respect and trust for the government’s authority. Members of the movement will see law enforcement action that has an impact on those within their community as calculated, part of a grand strategy to keep the movement weak. One example of this conspiratorial view is an article in New Trend Magazine, an online Islamist publication, which remarked that “Muslims of America, especially African Americans, are leaderless. The government knows this and wants to keep Imam Jamil in prison on a bogus case which should have been thrown out long ago.”9

Criminal Threads

Though Luqman Abdullah and his associates were heavily involved in criminal activity, this is certainly not the case for all adherents of this brand of Islam. Indeed, many antecedents of the cause célèbre Islamic movement, such as the Nation of Islam, prided themselves in giving followers with a criminal past the self-discipline necessary to avoid lapsing back into criminality.
Many within this movement have served time in prison, but in part this may be due to the fact that Darul Islam and similar groups have systematized prison dawah programs.

Often Islam provides an attractive alternative to the violent and degrading prison environment. “Acting through the principle of freedom of worship, Islam meets these challenges and shows a remarkable capacity to redefine the conditions of incarceration,” writes Robert Dannin. “A new Muslim repeats the attestation of faith, the shahada, before witnesses at the mosque. His Islamic identity then means a fresh start, symbolized by the choice of a new name, modifications to his physical appearance, and an emphasis on prayer.”10

But not all converts to Islam leave behind their criminal past. Among other reasons, some of them may not be able to shake old worldviews and habits after adopting their new faith. Others may not even try to shake off them at all, and may in fact use their new Islamic framework to justify criminality.

Luqman Abdullah, who served two prison terms (one for carrying a concealed weapon, the other for assaulting a police officer), continued to justify theft and crimes of violence after his conversion to Islam. After his conversion, he used religious justifications to argue that such activities were legitimate; when he helped arrange for a new VIN for a truck that he believed to be stolen, he described it as an act of jihad.11 He encouraged members of Masjid al-Haqq to carry firearms, which many did even though their criminal records made it illegal.

The shooting of Abdullah now gives the movement the opportunity to establish his status as a martyr, and to create another cause célèbre to rally around. As Abdul Alim Musa has declared: “[W]hat the government is doing by assassinating Imam Luqman is it’s trying to intimidate the Muslim community, especially the black community. And I say that because the immigrant community, which is about half of the Muslims in the United States, and the African American Muslim community, which form the other half, have different views about Islam in America and how it should be fostered.”12


Certainly, one cannot draw complete analytical conclusions about a movement’s theology, doctrine, and strategy based on what is disclosed in court documents: criminal complaints and other such documents are used to support a criminal prosecution, and are not meant to provide a comprehensive history or account of the subject’s activities. Therefore, in assessing the movement’s priorities it is helpful to look beyond Abdullah, and toward an active group that is part of the cause célèbre Islamic movement.

As-Sabiqun, which is another offshoot of Darul Islam, is one such group. Group leader Abdul Alim Musa was a close associate of Jamil al-Amin, and is very active in the campaign to free him from prison. In his public statements, Musa often warns of a war on African-American Muslim converts by the FBI at the behest of a “Zionist-controlled U.S. government.”

He uses every incident involving law enforcement actions against African-American converts as an opportunity to bolster his claim. He also speaks of the need for dramatic change to the government:
[I]t is the responsibility of God-serving people to champion the right of self-determination—to alter that government, and to institute a new form of administration that is in conformity with the eternal principles and values of God’s Law; a government which is both human-friendly and earth- friendly. Prudent and just means must be employed to accomplish the establishment of such a government. The timeless prescribed methods to address tyranny are threefold: the usage of the hand (physical or military might), the tongue (to raise our voices in defense of Truth and justice), or the heart (to detest it internally and implore for God’s assistance).13

One of Musa’s favorite themes is the use of “snitches and FBI informants” as a tool of the government to eliminate the movement’s leaders. In June 2007, he delivered a lecture at his mosque entitled “How to Punk the FBI,” which included such pointers as: “How to bring the sissy out of your local FBI agent. Counter-harassment techniques (Did your mamma buy that shirt?) Laugh your fears away by laughing in your oppressor’s face.”

And in July 2009, Musa hosted another seminar to discuss the position of the African- American Muslim community toward the FBI entitled “RE-PUNK THE F.B.I.: Practitioners of Tyranny & Oppression.”

The justification for holding the meeting was described in a release issued by As-Sabiqun in June 2009. It read, in part: “The history of the Zionist-occupied United States government has been one of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an oppressive and tyrannical world order.

Prudence demands that we, the oppressed, list some of our outstanding grievances in this regard.” The release asserts that “actions, on the part of the Zionist-occupied U.S. government, has created an atmosphere of pervasive fear, that exists both nationally (via the FBI, Homeland Security, Immigration, and others) and internationally (via the CIA and its partners in crime throughout the globe).”

The announcement then asked supporters to join them at their masjid “for an afternoon of courage and clarity, where Imam Musa will, insha’Allah, give a detailed discussion on two very critical and timely topics: the Re- Africanization of the Islamic movement in North America & the De- Israelization of the global Islamic movement.”14

Many followers of As-Sabiqun are ex-convicts who converted to Islam while in prison, as did Musa, who spent several years in the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas after being convicted of charges that included drug trafficking. As-Sabiqun engages in dawah efforts directed at prison inmates, and offers them a community where they can go after their release.

According to Musa’s biography on his personal MySpace page, “His ‘street’ background helps explain part of his appeal to inner-city youths and ex-convicts, with whom he can identify through personal experience.”15 In addition, Musa travels extensively to lecture, often speaking to Muslim youth groups and Muslim student associations at U.S. universities.

As-Sabiqun’s web site is a first place to look to understand the group ideologically:Carrying on the torch lit by El-Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X) and past homegrown Islamic movements such as the Darul Islam movement and the Islamic Party of North America, As-Sabiqun aspires to:
make Islam a living force by challenging and breaking the grasp of social and political forces seeking to suppress and destroy the Deen.

obliterate the hold of jahiliyyah through moral and spiritual development.

establish Islamic homes and build model communities where Islam is lived.

work toward total economic independence.

stand up against those who oppress Muslims and all other human beings across the globe as well as the earth and Allah’s creation itself. 16

As-Sabiqun members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the writings of thinkers like Abu Ala al-Mawdudi, Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Malcolm X, and Ayatollah Khomeini. This list is telling in itself: though a number of conservative and militant Sunni Muslims were heartened by Iran’s 1978-79 Islamic revolution, they largely turned against Khomeini in the 1980s due to their problems with Shia theology. Not so for Musa, for whom being a revolutionary seems to be a top concern.

As-Sabiqun’s stated goal is to establish the “Islamic State of North America” no later than 2050. 17 However, Musa has given somewhat contradictory guidance about this aspiration. On the one hand, he tells his followers to invite people to Islam peacefully; on the other, he glorifies suicide bombers as heroes.

In a June 2008 speech delivered to a group in Dearborn, Michigan, honoring Ayatollah Khomeini, Musa said, “My enemy is the United States…. We are living under a dictatorship in the U.S.” Though he preceded these comments by telling his audience to “invite people to Islam instead of shooting,” he went on to say that “we are being harassed to a point.”10 Perhaps, then, Musa is suggesting that violence is now justifiable, given the extremes to which the Muslim community in the U.S. has been “pushed.”


The shooting of Luqman Abdullah does not eliminate potentially violent groups that fuse Islamism with black nationalist grievances. This movement, which we dubbed “cause célèbre Islam,” is broader than Abdullah, with a traceable ideological foundation based on the heritage and experience of African-Americans. It is certainly a movement that will remain on the radar of those who are concerned about the possibility of homegrown terrorism.
1Portions of this article were originally published in Madeleine Gruen & Frank Hyland, “The Threat Here—2008: As Sabiqun,” Counterterrorism Blog, July 28, 2008.return
2Gary Leone, Criminal Complaint, United States v. Abdullah, No. 2:09-MJ- 30436 (E.D. Mich., Oct. 27, 2009).return
3“Washington’s Imam Musa: FBI Assassinated Luqman Ameen Abdullah to Intimidate the Black American Muslim Community,” Press TV (Iran), Nov. 2, 2009.return
4Abdul Alim Musa, speech at Jamil al-Amin Fundraiser, University of California at Irvine, Sept. 9, 2001, accessed from the Investigative Project on Terrorism web site, Nov. 20, 2009.return
5Leone, Criminal Complaint, United States v. Abdullah, ¶ 18.return
7Ibid. See also ibid. ¶ 24, in which Abdullah states: “We are going to have to fight against the Kafir.”return
8Examples of this framework can be found in Jamil al-Amin, Revolution by the Book: The Rap is Live (Beltsville, MD: Writers’ Inc., 1994).return
9Kaukab Siddique, “Dr. Siddique Interviews Sister Karima al-Amin,” New Trend Magazine, Sept. 9, 2009.return
10Robert Dannin, Black Pilgrimage to Islam (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 175.return
11Leone, Criminal Complaint, United States v. Abdullah, ¶ 33.return
12“FBI Assassinated Luqman Ameen Abdullah to Intimidate the Black American Muslim Community,” Press TV.return
13“RE-PUNK THE F.B.I. (Practitioners of Tyranny & Oppression,” posted to Abdul Alim Musa’s Facebook page on June 24, 2009 (accessed Nov. 20, 2009).return
15This page can be accessed at (last visited Nov. 20, 2009).return
16As-Sabiqun’s web site can be accessed at (last visited Nov. 20, 2009).return
17This statement can be found at (last visited Nov. 20, 2009).return
18Video of this speech can be seen at (accessed Nov. 20, 2009).return

Imam Abdul Alim Musa
Monday, 22 March 2010 14:12

Press TV

Imam Abdul Alim Musa is a radical Muslim American activist and public speaker. Known for his openly anti-Semitic remarks, Alim Musa is a well known figure in the Muslim world.

He grew up in Oakland, California amid the drug dealing turf of East Oakland. During his serving time in prison for heroin smuggling, currency smuggling and assaulting a federal agent, Musa converted to Islam. Upon release, he established a masjid in East Oakland. Soon after, he went to Iran, where he showed his staunch support for the 1979 Iranian revolution.

During his travels, he met many top Islamic leaders and scholars.Musa is on the leading members of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, an international intellectual center promoting a global Islamic movement. He is also the founder and director of As-Sabiqun, an American organization advocating an establishment an Islamic state in the United States.Alim Musa had made many extremely anti-Semitic statements.

He has stated that the U.S. was controlled by the Jews, has glorified Palestinian suicide bombers as heroes and has claimed that the Zionist Jews were responsible for most terrorist attacks worldwide, including the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.Musa has accused the Jews of running the slave trade.

At an anti-Israel event at University of California Irvine, Musa said the following: “Who ran the slave trade…who funded [it]? You’ll study and you will find out: the Jews…It was the Jewish bankers…in Vienna, with pockets full of money, funding and insuring, that’s who did it…. you can’t tell us about no holocaust.

Between the African Americans and the Native Americans, everybody else’s stuff was small potatoes.”Despite his openly anti-Semitic views, Musa is a frequent speaker and has given speeches at events organized by such prominent Muslim-American organizations as Muslim American Society, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Circle of North America, Muslim Public Affairs Committee and Islamic Society of North America.

In addition, he has spoken at many pro-Palestinian rallies nationwide.Alim Musa is strongly associated with the Muslim Student Union at University of California Irvine, where he organization frequently disrupts Israeli guest speakers and stages anti-Israel events..As of April 2009, Musa became banned from entering the United Kingdom for supporting terrorism and propagating extremist ideology.

Imam Luqman

Detroit Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah Killed by FBI Agents in Dearborn

Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos

October 28, 200

FBI kills leader of radical Muslims; 12 charged


The leader of a local mosque who authorities also are calling the head of an Islamic fundamentalist group was killed in a shootout with federal agents this afternoon during a series of raids that resulted in charges against a dozen men.

Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, leader of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit, is accused in a federal complaint of heading a Sunni Muslim group with a mission of establishing a separate Islamic nation within the United States. Abdullah, also known as Christopher Thomas, was gunned down after firing on officers as the FBI raided a Dearborn warehouse, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

An FBI canine also was fatally shot. Raids also were conducted in Detroit."The eleven defendants are members of a group that is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years and known to be armed," a joint statement from the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office said. A 12th man was arrested late Wednesday in connection with the investigation. Three of the men charged were at large Wednesday night.

Abdullah and the others were charged with conspiracy to commit several federal felony crimes, including illegal possession and sale of firearms and theft from interstate shipments.Abdullah spoke of attacking Super Bowl XLAbdullah believed he and his followers were soldiers at war against the government and non-Muslims."Abdullah told his followers it is their duty to oppose the FBI and the government and it does not matter if they die," FBI agent Gary Leone said in an affidavit unsealed today. "He also told the group that they need to plan to do something."

Abdullah, 53, of Detroit stayed true to his word as armed FBI agents raided a Dearborn warehouse at Michigan Avenue and Miller. Authorities said he refused to surrender, opened fire and then died in a shootout in which an FBI dog also was killed. Agents also raided two Detroit homes in the 4400 block of Tireman and the 9200 block of Genessee. The affidavits and returns for those warrants were sealed today.The U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI in Detroit unsealed a 43-page document describing a sinister, radical fundamentalist group headed by Abdullah.

The document notes conversations he had with undercover agents and federal informants that ranged from talking about attacking Super Bowl XL in Detroit to blowing himself up as a final act of courage."If they are coming to get to me, I'll just strap a bomb on and blow up everybody," he said in a March 21, 2008, conversation.

Federal officials said Abdullah was the leader of a group that calls itself "Ummah, a group of mostly African-American converts to Islam, which seeks to establish a separate Sharia-law governed state within the United States."

"The Ummah is ruled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who is serving a state sentence ... for the murder of two police officers in Georgia." Brown came to prominence in the 1960s as a leader of the Black Panther Party."He regularly preaches antigovernment and antilaw enforcement rhetoric," Leone said of Abdullah in the affidavit.

"Abdullah and his followers have trained regularly in the use of firearms and continue to train in martial arts and sword fighting."Why Abdullah and his followers chose Detroit as their haven remains unknown, Detroit FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said today.Authorities said none of the charges levied today are terrorist-related. Abdullah and 11 suspects were charged with felonies including illegal possession and sale of firearms, mail fraud to obtain the proceeds of arson, theft from interstate shipments and tampering with motor vehicle identification numbers.

Seven of the suspects appeared today in U.S. District Court, one was in custody and three were still being sought.Imad Hamad, senior national adviser and regional director of the Dearborn-based Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, said he received a call from the head of the FBI's Detroit office mid-day to tell him about the raid.

Hamad said FBI Special Agent Andrew Arena told him that the case was "solely criminal" and had to do with "smuggling and fraud." He said Arena revealed few details of the investigation, but said it had been ongoing for about two years.Hamad said he didn't know the defendants."Agents were trying to chase some people," Hamad said Arena told him about the raid. "They were giving instructions to lay down. He resisted. He pulled a gun. They exchanged fire, he was shot down, killed. A dog ... was dead as well."The warehouse is near the heavily commercial intersection of Miller and Michigan.Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Arena called him as well.

Walid said he knew Abdullah."I know him as respected imam in the Muslim community," Walid said.At some point after the raids and shootout, the FBI landed a helicopter with the wounded dog at 12:25 p.m. on normally busy John R, just south of 12 Mile Road, "right in front of the hospital," Madison Heights police said.

FBI agents then carried the wounded dog into Veterinary Emergency Services at 28223 John R. There were no injuries and no traffic mishaps as a result of the unusual landing, although the police department received so many calls about the landing that Police Chief Kevin Sagan issued a written news release Wednesday explaining what happened.Shadi Saad, the owner of Wellcare Pharmacy on Oakman in Dearborn, said he stepped outside before lunchtime to see several people in FBI jackets with guns going toward the warehouse across the street. He heard noises like shots and a short time later a helicopter descended.

"It was like a movie scene for a minute," he said. He opened his business, he said, just 10 days ago. "This isn't the way I wanted it to start."Contact BEN SCHMITT : 313-223-4296 or Staff writers Bill Laitner, Zlati Meyer and Amber Hunt contributed to this report.The suspectsThe FBI targeted 12 people believed to be engaged in violent crimes over many years. After raids Wednesday, police still are searching for three of them. Killed Luqman Ameen Abdullah (a.k.a. Christopher Thomas), 53, of Detroit during the raids. He had been charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes, sale or receipt of stolen goods transported in interstate commerce, providing firearms or ammunition to a person known to be a convicted felon, possession of body armor by a person convicted of a violent felony and altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers....

Imam Jamil Al-Amin

By Askia Muhammad

Senior Correspondent

Final Call

Updated Aug 14, 2007 - 10:51:00 AM

WASHINGTON ( - From his jail cell on K-Block in the state prison at Reidsville, Ga., to his supporters all over the country—an unambiguous demand is being sounded for prison authorities and for the legal system itself, to end the unjust persecution of Imam Jamil Al-Amin.
“My husband says he feels he has been sentenced two times. He has been sentenced for a crime, number one, that he did not commit and that someone has confessed to it, and confessed shortly after the incident. And he’s been sentenced by the Department of Corrections,” Karimah Al-Amin, wife of Imam Al-Amin, told The Final Call.

In March 2002, Imam Al-Amin was convicted of murdering a Fulton County, Georgia Sheriff’s Deputy and wounding another in an incident March 16, 2000. Mr. Al-Amin steadfastly maintains his innocence. His supporters insist that he was convicted not based on the evidence, but because he is a Muslim, because of his militant past and his former association with the Black Panther Party.

There is a consensus among Imam Al-Amin’s supporters that he was convicted long before the jury announced its verdict and that prosecutors intentionally ignored the truth in order to punish someone with whom Atlanta authorities have had a long-running feud.

Law enforcement officials “know they’ve got the wrong people, but as long as they can do it in the darkness, or as long as there’s no mass protest, then they can just say, ‘Hey. We got another leader off the streets. So what if he didn’t do it. We’ve been after him since the ’60s’ COINTELPRO,’” complained Hodari Abdul-Ali, executive director of the Imam Jamil Action Network.

“What’s needed is more public awareness of the fact that he’s an innocent man. He’s a political prisoner who is serving time for a crime that he did not do. If he’s guilty, he’s guilty of fighting for the rights of African Americans and, fighting for the rights of Muslims. And trying to make America the democracy that it claims to be. Yeah, he’s guilty of that,” said Mr. Abdul-Ali.

Imam Al-Amin’s second unjust sentence, his supporters insist, is his treatment in the Georgia prison system where he has been on 23-hour lock-down since 2002, despite many public complaints, even petitions from among the Muslim population at Reidsville that he join them for Jumu’ah prayers as their Imam.

He gets one hour out of the cell to shower and also to walk around, what is considered a ‘Dog Pen’ for exercises, according to Mrs. Al-Amin. Authorities even tried recently to humiliate him by passing his meals to him through a slot on the floor, his supporters pointed out. That practice was ended after many vocal complaints.

“The [Prison] Commissioner, when questioned on the phone [recently] by [Imam Al-Amin’s] brother Ed Brown, said, ‘We’ll consider [modifying his conditions] once the situation changes.’” said Sister Al-Amin. “He was asked, ‘What is the situation?’ He could not come up with anything. He doesn’t have any infractions against him. He would be considered a model prisoner anywhere else.”

And there is the fundamental injustice of his conviction, insists Imam Al-Amin’s wife. The Imam has been a target of government harassment since the 1960s when he was the leader of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). At that time he was known as H. Rap Brown and was known for militant civil rights rhetoric.

The fiery civil rights leader was singled out individually, by name, as a threat by FBI Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) agents. “Spiro Agnew, who was then governor of Maryland said: ‘Throw Brown in the jail and throw away the key,’” Nkechi Taifa, then Director of the Equal Justice Program at Howard University School of Law told The Final Call at the time of Imam Al-Amin’s trial in January 2002.

The facts in the case also strongly support Imam Al-Amin’s claims of innocence. There was testimony during the trial that within minutes of the shootout March 16, 2000, in which deputy Ricky Kinchen died, a caller to Atlanta’s 911 Emergency Telephone line reported seeing a bleeding man a few blocks from the scene of the confrontation, begging motorists for a ride. That fact is important because both Deputy Kinchen and his partner, Aldranon English, claimed to have wounded their assailant.

There was also testimony of a trail of fresh blood leading from the scene to an abandoned house, which was not investigated by the police, according to Sister Al-Amin, and “the Imam’s fingerprints were not found on any firearm associated with the crime,” she wrote in The Weekly Mirror. When Imam Al-Amin was arrested three days after the shooting in White Hall, Alabama, after a massive manhunt, authorities were shocked that he had no injuries.

Prosecutors managed to stack the jury, said Mrs. Al-Amin, excluding Muslims, Black women who might be old enough to recall COINTELPRO involvement in civil rights and campus rights activities.

Another puzzling development is the recent appearance of an un-dated and unsigned letter, purportedly written by a Mr. Otis Jackson who in the typewritten letter identifies himself as Mr. Bey. In his confession letter, Mr. Bey writes: “I pulled out and opened fire with my 9 mm hand gun. I then went to my car and got my M-14 and fired off some rounds. Deputy Kinchen shot me two times in the arm so I shot him. I shot Deputy English as well. I remember standing over him and him telling me about his family, but I was upset and hurt and I hate cops so I shot him anyway.

“I got in my car, went to the home of [redacted] She along with [redacted] removed the bullet. One went in and came out. The one that was in there, they got it out. I went home, on the 17th or 18th I found out that they were looking for Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. So I called my parole officer and told her what I had done,” the confession letter continues. “I was sent back to Vegas. I had to beg the FBI to investigate and I was told that I was not the one that they wanted. I was told that I should be honored that I had gotten away with killing a police.”

With such potentially convincing evidence available for his legal team, why is he still behind bars?

“That’s what we’re dealing with right now,” said Sister Al-Amin. “We’ve been in court in the county where he’s being held with a habeas corpus (petition). We have two new attorneys, not the original trial attorneys. We raised 14 grounds for reversal and for him to have a new trial,” she continued.

The plight of Imam Jamil Al-Amin is not new in the persecution of freedom fighters. We must not forget, and continue to organize and mobilize our community to support, defend, and with God’s help, gain the release of our Brother, another political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been on death row in a Philadelphia, Pa. prison for the past 25 years.

Like the case of Imam Al-Amin, wicked forces do not desire to look at the truth of the evidence in his case that would free him.

The Final Call will continue to monitor, investigate and report on the legal proceedings of both cases involving Imam Jamil Al-Amin and Mumia Abu-Jamal.