The living legend, the myth, the ritual, the human earthquake, the sledge hammer, the lover, the confessionist, the teacher, the poet, Marvin X will autograph his latest book The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, Black Bird Press,2012, $19.95. Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, 3-6pm, at the Joyce Gordon Gallery, 14th and Franklin, downtown Oakland.
Marvin X. Jackmon is a product of West Oakland, attended McFeely, Prescott, St. Patrick's and Lowell Jr. High. He graduated with honors from Edison High in Fresno, then returned to Merritt College where his classmates were Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. He was turned on to Black Nationalism by Huey and Bobby who were influenced by Donald Warden's Afro-American Association.
Marvin Transferred to San Francisco State University and his first play was produced by the Drama department, Flowers for the Trashman, 1965. In 1966 he dropped out of college to found his own theatre, Black Arts West, in San Francisco's Fillmore, along with playwright Ed Bullins, Hillery Broadous,
Duncan Barber, Carl Bossiere and Ethna Wyatt. In 1967 he hooked up with Eldridge Cleaver and they founded Black House, a political/cultural center in San Francisco.
This reading/book signing is sponsored by The Post Newspaper Group, OCCUR, Golden Gate Locksmith, the West Oakland Renaissance Committee/Elders Council, Black Bird Press. Proceeds benefit Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway.
Donation $20.00, includes signed copy of book and refreshments. Call 510-200-4164 for more information.
If you want to learn about motivation and inspiration, 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
He's the USA's Rumi! The Wisdom of Saadi, the ecstasy of Hafiz.--Bob Holman
Marvin X was my teacher. Many of our comrades came through his Black Arts Theatre: Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas, Samuel Napier.--Dr. Huey P. Newton, co-founder, Black Panther Party, Oakland
Is Marvin X a parable or fable? We doubt a Marvin X exists. We double doubt there is a Plato Negro.--Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)
I am sure these parables are a first in America exploiting this literary category. People will wonder where to place these parables and fables. You have expanded contemporary literature. I suspect there is nothing like them in post-modern American literature.--Rudolph Lewis, Founding Editor Chickenbones: A Journal
The works of "Plato Negro" prove to be a major contribution to the field of African philosophy. These works provide a model for a standard approach toward reflective thinking and critical analysis for African people, still trying to define their own philosophical worldview. Write on Plato Negro. --Ptah Allah El (Tracy Mitchell), from the introduction