Above: Eldridge Cleaver and Marvin X, circa 1978
Bio of Marvin X
Marvin X was born May 29, 1944, Fowler CA, nine miles south of Fresno in the central valley of California. In Fresno his parents published the Fresno Voice, a black newspaper.
Marvin attended Oakland’s Merritt College where he encountered fellow students how became Black Panther Party co-founders Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. They taught him black nationalism. Marvin’s first play Flowers for the Trashman was produced by the Drama department at San Francisco State University, 1965. Marvin X dropped out to established his own Black Arts West Theatre in the Fillmore, 1966, along with playwright Ed Bullins. Months later Marvin would co-found Black House with Eldridge Cleaver, 1967.
Marvin introduced Eldridge Cleaver to Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Eldridge immediately joined the Black Panther Party. Huey Newton said, “Marvin X was my teacher, many of our comrades came from his Black Arts Theatre: Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas and Samuel Napier.”
One of the movers and shakers of the Black Arts Movement (BAM) Marvin X has published 30 books, including essays, poetry, and his autobiography Somethin’ Proper. Important books include Fly to Allah, poems, Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, essays on consciousness, and How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, a manual based on the 12 step Recovery model.
Marvin received his MA in English/Creative writing from San Francisco State University, 1975. He has taught at San Francisco State University, Fresno State University, UC Berkeley and San Diego, Mills College, Merritt and Laney Colleges in Oakland, University of Nevada, Reno. He lectures coast to coast at such colleges and universities as University of Arkansas, University of Houston, Morehouse and Spelman, Atlanta, University of Virginia, Howard University, Univ. of Penn, Temple Univ., Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, UMASS, Boston.
For speaking, readings and performance, contact Marvin X @ email@example.com,