"We doubted a Marvin X existed. We double doubt there is a Plato Negro." --AB Introduction *by Ptah Allah El To all seekers of truth living in the post modern world, this volume of literature is your pragmatic hustler’s guide and intellectual syllabus for success. Some people found it strange when scholar Ishmael Reed first compared Marvin X, the son of Owendell and Marian Jackmon to the classical Greek Philosopher Plato (427 B.C.), son of Ariston and Perictione.
No one can argue that both Plato and Marvin X have proven in their dialogues/writings to be great thinkers and critics of their respective eras. Although separated by over two thousand years of history and clearly two distinct worldviews, research proves that these poet/philosophers strangely share similar souls. Recently while reading about the Dialogues of Plato, I came across a quote by William Chase Greene, former Professor of Greek and Latin at Harvard University. Greene describes Plato’s works by profoundly stating, “In yet another field the Platonic Philosophy seeks to find an escape from the flux.
Those poets and artist who are content to record the fleeting impressions of the senses, or to tickle the fancies and indulge the passions of an ignorant people by specious emotional and rhetorical appeals, Plato invites to use their art in service of truth.”
These are timeless words describing Plato’s classic works, yet if you simply replace Plato’s name with Marvin X in the above quote, and review Marvin’s work over the past 40 years, you won’t be surprised why he has adopted the title “Plato Negro”.
In this classic volume Marvin X truly becomes Plato personified, as we see him
transcend from master poet to philosopher. Plato was once a master poet until
the death of his teacher Socrates in (399 B.C.). This marked a turning point in Plato’s life causing him to fully convert to philosophy. The same can be said now with Marvin X who recently lost his master teacher John Douimbia and has since elevated beyond poetry, reincarnating as the philosopher “Plato Negro”.
These “New Dialogues” of The Wisdom of Plato Negro provide a post modern Gorgias, Sophist, Symposium of Laws, on how to hustle and survive in the new Obamian American Republic. It is clear that Marvin X has become the true Platonist of the day by demonstrating his Platonic love for the people, taking us on a symbolic trip through the parable of the Cave, where all true analysis takes place, inside the true self.
As an African Philosopher, as ironic as it sounds, 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. What Plato’s works did to inspire classical Greece and the European generations to follow, we hope this brilliant piece of literature from “Plato Negro” will shed light on Africans today and future generations to come. Write on “Plato Negro”. --Ptahotep A. El (Trace 101) Minister of Education, Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com