Friday, October 18, 2013

The parents of Marvin X, Marian M. and Owendell Jackmon, I

The parents of Marvin X were known as a Race woman and Race man, meaning they were for Black people first and foremost. They published the Fresno Voice during the 40s, one of the first Black newspapers in California's Central Valley. During the 50s, his parents moved to Oakland. His father became a florist on 7th Street. When his parents separated and divorced, his mother returned to Fresno and became a Real Estate broker, one of the first black female real estate brokers in Fresno. Many, if not most Black people in Fresno bought their first house from Marian M. Jackmon. She became a Christian Scientist, a follower of Mary Baker Eddy's religion of truth.

Marvin X, one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement, is now available for speaking and reading engagements coast to coast. Marvin X began his career in Black or African consciousness almost from birth as a result of having social activist parents. His father and mother published a Black newspaper in the central valley of California, the Fresno Voice. His parents were called a Race Man and Race woman, meaning they were dedicated to the advancement of Black people first and foremost, i.e. Black nationalism.

When Marvin attended Oakland's Merritt College, 1962-64, his Black consciousness was expanded after peer group study with fellow students Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Ernie Allen, Ken and Carol Freeman, Richard Thorne, Maurice Dawson, Isaac Moore and Ann Williams.

In 1964 he transferred to San Francisco State College/now University and became a member of the Negro Students Association. The name was soon changed to the Black Student Union. While an undergraduate in the English department, his first play, Flowers for the Trashman, was produced by the Drama department.  Marvin X dropped out, 1966, to establish the Black Arts West Theatre on Fillmore Street in San Francisco, along with playwright Ed Bullins, Duncan Barber, Ethna Wyatt, Hillary Broadous and Carl Bossiere. Danny Glover was a frequent actor at BAW.

Upon his release from prison, Soul on Ice essayist Eldridge Cleaver and Marvin hooked up to establish the Black House, a political/cultural center on Broderick Street. Marvin soon introduced Eldridge to his friends, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, who were establishing the Black Panther Party in Oakland. Eldridge joined and became Minister of Information. For more on Marvin X, see his autobiography Somethin' Proper, Black Bird Press, 1998, introduction by Dr. Nathan Hare.

For Booking, call 510-200-4164 or send a letter of invitation to

Marvin X and his comrades from the Black Arts/Black Liberation Movement will gather at the University of California, Merced, March 1-2, 2014. Be There!

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