Dr. Cromartie was one of Marvin X's students when he taught Theatre and English at Oakland's Laney College, 1981. J. Vern, also a poet, is now co-chair of the sociology department at Contra Costa College. He has presented a paper on Marvin X's brief tenure as a lecturer in Black Studies at UC Berkeley, 1972.
As we rode back to the Library, J. Vern asked Dr. Hare what were his latest titles? Hare replied he is working on his autobiography. Approaching 80 years, Dr. Hare told Marvin X to finish his book if necessary!
By the time we arrived back at the library, it was time to start the book fair. Dr. Hare told Marvin X to MC, so I followed orders, of course it was a labor of love. We are brothers in struggle, both of us were rejected by academia for being too black and too radical. Around the same time they were removing Dr. Hare from San Francisco State University, Gov. Ronald Reagan was banning me from teaching at Fresno State. He had the court issue me a restraining order banning me from entering the campus, 1969.
The book fair began with authors speaking on their titles. I discussed my Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables/fables, also How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, noting that Dr. Hare wrote the foreword. I told them if they can get pass Dr. Hare's foreword, they'll be on the rode to recovery. Hare said we suffer from White Supremacy Type II, i.e., self hate!
Dr. Hare took the stage and spoke on the Black Think Thank Book fair. Somewhat frail, the former boxer turned sociologist and clinical psychologist, noted that today is Langston Hughes birthday and
the day of the SFSU strike. He also noted that April 9 is his birthday as well as Paul Robeson's, another banned person in the USA.
Captain Les Williams and his Daughter Penny were up next with their title Victory: Tales of a Tuskegee Airman. At 93 years old, Capt. Williams spoke on what is was like being a national hero.
Many whites and blacks couldn't believe he deserved the honor of a national hero. They convinced him to believe he wasn't a national hero so he stopped telling people about his feat and that of his comrades. He daughter said she had no idea her father was a national hero, a bomber pilot during WWII.
He has credits in the movie Red Wing, but none of the airmen got a dime for consulting on the movie.
Jan Batiste Adkins discussed her book Images of America: African Americans of San Francisco.
She told of early blacks in San Francisco, including one man who earned enough money to buy his family out of slavery. She noted California is named after a black woman.
Mama Ayanna Mashama of the Malcolm X Grassroots Committee told of her community work and family tragedy. She read a poem dedicated to one of her son who was murdered in Oakland. Yes, so many parents are burying their children these days. We live under the shadow of death. Mothers with sons are in mortal fear every time their sons leave the house.
I followed Mama Ayanna with my poem What If, a pantheistic definition of God that transcends religiosity and in the African tradition that God is everywhere and in all things.
Although unable to attend, Dr. Julia Hare stole the show when the video of her classic performance on Tavis Smiley's State of Black America was shown. She is known as the female Malcolm X! Marvin X asked the audience to please pray for Mother Julia Hare and Dr. Nathan Hare as well.
The event was videoed by Johnny Burrell.