Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Black Bird Press News & Review: Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, A Love Song

Black Bird Press News & Review: Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, A Love Song

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Marvin X at Wellness Boot Camp, Hunters Point, San Francisco



Wellness Coach Alfredo Ennis assists Marvin X and woman work out. On Thursday Marvin X participates in the BV/Hunters Point Black Men's Wellness Day. He will discuss Transcending Black Rage.

photo Michael Bennett, Wellness Director, BV/Hunters Point YMCA

"The most revolutionary thing a Black man can do is lose 30lbs!"
--Geoffery Grier, San Francisco Recovery Theatre

FREE One-Day Health Day for Men
sponsored by the BVHP YMCA Physical Activity and Nutritional Wellness Program
Thursday, July 25, 2013


All Adult African American Men are invited to attend
Joe Lee Recreation Center and Gymnasium
1395 Mendell Street, San Francisco
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
10:00 am – Sign-In and Fitness Activities in the Gymnasium
·        basketball
·        gym boot camp
11:15 am – 12:00 pm – Healthy Lunch,  Guest Speaker 
12:00 – 2:00 pm – Discussion:
·        Transcending Black Rage to Black Wellness
·        Ten steps to being a Man and Finding Spiritual Balance
·        Health screenings’ for high blood pressure
·        What to eat (and not eat) as a diabetic
·        Preventing prostate cancer
PLEASE JOIN US à  and Bring a Friend à Come and participate in this Wonderful Opportunityà Benefits include Male Camaraderie, Healthy Lunch and Invaluable Health Tips that May Save Your Life

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Healing and Hope, Friday at Geoffrey's Inner Circle


 
Dear Friends and Family,
Please join us on Friday, July 26th, 6pm at Geoffrey's Inner Circle, 410-14th Street, Oakland for an opportunity to share your feelings and get involved in addressing the crisis of our time.
 

Let your friends and family know about this event...Bring information about actions and initiatives that you are working on that address education, housing, jobs, spiritual practice and any other solution to what is tearing our community apart. Blessings to you!
 
As the nation and Oakland demand justice for Trayvon Martin, The Brotherhood of Elders, an Oakland-based inter-generational cadre of Black men (from 18 to 80) working for social justice and empowerment, is sponsoring a very special community forum & healing circle about solutions to gun violence in our community. Tragic and senseless violence in our communities MUST stop and we are the ones to stop it.

The evening will feature youth & elder voices, spoken word performances, short films, and a specific Anti-Violence Action Steps to transform our community.

Let's turn this moment into our movement!

CONTACT:
Gregory Hodge
KHEPERA consulting

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I Am Oscar Grant: Marvin X reviews the film Fruitvale




I did not attend the Oakland rally for Trayvon Martin, instead I set up Academy of da Corner at the Berkeley Flea Market. I'm getting old now and marches and rallies never attracted me, no matter that so much has happened in Oakland at the very site of my classroom, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. I began Academy of da Corner around 2005, occupying the corner in spite of police harassment until they realized I wasn't going anywhere, only then did they leave me alone, maybe after they realized they were dealing with a personality who was associated with the Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam and the Black Arts Movement, someone who knew North American Africans had shed blood to be on the streets of Oakland.

Even though people have told me my presence at 14th and Broadway has made things better, I have not been in my official classroom for months, not since my east coast book tour of late last year and early this year. And too my Community Archives Project has taken much of my time, so I've been content to let my classroom "students" do peer teaching. Actually, I have now expanded my peripatetic academy to the homes. I've long said we must, in the manner of Master Fard Muhammad, knock on the doors of the people, in a kinder/gentler manner than when the police go door to door looking for suspects, kicking in doors. My model is to be invited into the homes and very diplomatically go about teaching, yes, somewhat in the manner of the Platonic dialogues. People have recognized my method as being ministerial, especially after I have them read passages from my work then explain or comment on it. I have been invited into their bedrooms and when I say I am tired and would like to stop the conversation, they insist that I not depart to my room but continue talking. At this point I have had to get loud and say, "Nigguhs, class is over. I want to go to bed. Good night!"

At the Berkeley Flea Market today, I was asked by several people, what must be done because they are highly upset and want to do something beside attend a rally and march. My response was to call upon them to organize  secret societies to defend North American Africans. I told one brother to Google If We Must Die by Claude McKay, that 1920s poem from the Black Renaissance that inspired Winston Churchill in WWII and was the poetic national anthem of the Black Power Movement. The brother Googled the poem on his cell phone and thanked me, then scraped up enough money for a used copy of the 60s bible Black Fire, which he had no knowledge about.

I departed the Flea Market early to attend a viewing of Fruitvale, the film about the murder of Oscar Grant by the BART police on New Year's Day. I attended the film with my friend and her 9 year old twin boys. After stopping for dinner, we got inside the theatre a few minutes after the movie started.

After it was over, we all decided we didn't need to wait around to see the little part we had missed. We exited the theatre in a somber mood, as the film intended us to do, or shall we say as the story would have us do.

Although we are thankful to those who made the movie possible, it seems to me it deleted a powerful element in the Oscar Grant story which is the masses of people who mobilized, marched and rallied, yes, at my classroom, 14th and Broadway, and Frank Ogawa Plaza, renamed Oscar Grant Plaza by the
people.

Although I appreciated the focus on Oscar Grant, leaving out the mass response was like leaving
out the chorus in a classic Greek play. After all, it was the people, the masses, who came alive after his murder by the white racist BART police, who spent eleven months in jail for killing a Black man while America was happy to see quarterback Mike Vick spend five years in prison for killing dogs! Alas, America has always cared for and  treated its dogs, animals and pets better than it has treated North American Africans. During slavery we were fed a diet of animal food now called Soul Food that is the cause of our obesity and resulting diseases such as high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and a host of other illnesses.

The film let us know Oscar Grant was not a Boy Scout, that he had a criminal past, yet he was trying to uplift himself and be a responsible father of a half Latina daughter. The depiction of Afro-Latina relations should help ease some of the tension between Blacks and Latinos. The new demographics suggest a more positive relationship is possible between individuals in these two ethnic groups while tension may remain in the political/economic arena. We are not so romantic as to think because there are interracial marriages or relationships between Blacks and Latinos that all is well or shall be well, just as interracial marriages between Blacks and Whites has not fundamentally changed racial disparities or
racial harmony. Alas, my sister married a white man who called her his "Nigger bitch."

We know those same so called liberal whites who marched and rallied for Trayvon Martin in Oakland today and across the country will simultaneously cause gentrification or "Negro Removal" from San Francisco to Harlem and have no shame about it! Remember Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail, "I'd rather be with the KKK than phony white liberals!"

After we departed the Grand Lake Theatre and stopped by Lake Merritt for a much needed breath of air, one of the nine year twins said Oscar Grant should not have resisted. His mother chided her son for seemingly taking the side of the police or right wingers. But I told his mother, on one level, her son is right because it's about the Tone Test when stopped by the police, not to mention when in a situation with another Black man as well. But as per the police, the Tone Test says one of three things can happen when a Black man is stopped by the police: (1) killed, (2) arrested, (3) released. All this is determined by the Black man's tone of voice. Years ago, an Oakland police officer revealed there was a tone test in the Oakland Police Department. The officer, a former student of mine at Mills College stated this in the Oakland Tribune, but the Chief (Hart) denied it.

The murder of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin are clear indicators that North American Africans are at war with America and until this battle is resolved there shall be thousands of Oscars and Trayvons, after all, they are casualties in a war, not about drugs, but about human beings who have every right to live as full human beings, to pursue happiness, freedom and, most of justice!

We appreciate the producers of this film, although it was not all that we wanted, but it is most certainly better than nothing and it brings Oscar Grant out of the dustbin of history, while so many other Oscar's shall languish there, yes, the many thousands gone that we shall never hear about.

Let us end with the mystical: Oscar Grant died on New Year's Day, the most dreaded day in the life of a North American African slave: it was the day slaves were auctioned, bought and sold, separated from mother, father, family, a day of horror and dread. Thus this is a day North American Africans should never celebrate but should sing sorrow songs for our ancestors who were bought and sold on this day.

On the other hand, the metaphysical had a answer for the New Year's Day murder of Oscar Grant. On March 23 or the Spring Equinox, i.e., the African New Year's Day, that same year of Oscar's murder,
Novell Mixon killed four Oakland police in a shootout that took his own life. Fritz Pointer, brother of Oakland's famed Pointer Sisters, said on the Mixon shootout, Oakland masses received an "obscene pride" after years of police abuse under the color of law. I AM OSCAR GRANT!
--Marvin X
7/20/13
Oakland






Friday, July 19, 2013

Prez Jimmy Carter: America has no functioning democracy!


‘America has no functioning democracy’ – Jimmy Carter on NSA

L
Published time: July 18, 2013 12:15
Edited time: July 19, 2013 10:39
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)

Carter lashed out at the US political system when the issue of the previously top-secret NSA surveillance program was touched upon at the Atlantic Bridge meeting on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia. 
Former US President Jimmy Carter lambasted US intelligence methods as undemocratic and described Edward Snowden’s NSA leak as “beneficial” for the country.

"America has no functioning democracy at this moment," Carter said, according to Der Spiegel.

He also believes the spying-scandal is undermining democracy around the world, as people become increasingly suspicious of US internet platforms, such as Google and Facebook. While such mediums have normally been associated with freedom of speech and have recently become a major driving force behind emerging democratic movements, fallout from the NSA spying scandal has dented their credibility.

It’s not the first time Carter has criticized US intelligence policies. In a previous interview with
CNN, he said the NSA leaks signified that “the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far." He added that although Snowden violated US law, he may have ultimately done good for the country.  

"I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive, so I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial."
 
Jimmy Carter was President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. After leaving office, he founded the Carter Center, an NGO advocating human rights. The ex-president’s human rights credentials won him Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

Carter has frequently criticized his successors in the White House. Last year, he condemned the Obama administration for the use of drone attacks in his article "A Cruel and Unusual Record" published in the New York Times. 

Link to Marvin X Harambee Radio interview of Friday, July 19, 10pm EST.

Here is the link to the Marvin X interview with Dalani Aamon on Harambee Radio

 https://www.yousendit.com/download/bWJxb3BKQk5WRDhsYzhUQw


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Marvin X and students in anthology Stand Our Ground, for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander


Stand Our Ground: New Global Poetry Anthology Raising Funds for Justice!

StandOurGroundFrontCover-sm

Title: Stand Our Ground:Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander

Publisher: FreedomSeed Press (Philadelphia, PA)
Paperback, 272 pages
Publication Date: April 22, 2013 

ORDER NOW!

$25.00
All proceeds will be shared with the families of Martin and Alexander to aid in their respective pursuits of justice.
For more information on the book: StandOurGroundBook.com.

In Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander 65 poets from all over the world join together in one voice for justice, freedom and peace. Stand Our Ground is the definitive testament of a revolutionary generation. In this historic collection Black Arts Movement legends Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haki R. Madhubuti, Marvin X  and Askia M. Toure’ are joined by poets of all ages from across the United States and around the world representing countries in Africa, Asia, Europe as well as North and South America and the islands of the Caribbean.
The cases of Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander expose the duplicity of an American justice system that remains rooted in racism and sexism. Stand Our Ground is an effort to raise funds for both families to aid in their pursuit of justice even as it raises the consciousness of a generation toward the pursuit of a movement of justice for all!
The book’s editor, Ewuare X. Osayande, is a poet, educator and activist. The author of several books including Blood Luxury with an introduction by Amiri Baraka (Africa World Press) and Whose America?: New and Selected Poems with an introduction by Haki R. Madhubuti (Black Proletariat Press). He is an adjunct professor of African American Studies at Rutgers University.
In the introduction for Stand Our Ground Osayande writes, “This book has been a labor of love. My love for my people. My love for humanity. I acted because I knew it was not enough for me to just march, or write an editorial or to just allow myself to sit and simmer in the face of wrong. I acted because I knew that there were others like me. I knew that if I acted, others would join with me, and, together, we could create a work that would simultaneously raise collective support for these two families and raise the collective consciousness of our generation. So in the Summer of 2012 the call went out and this is the result. A collection of poems. But not just any collection of poems. Herein are contained –
Death-defying poems
Injustice-decrying poems
Poems that speak truth to power
Poems that break chains in freedom’s name
Poems that confront abuse
and provide sanctuary for the bruised
Poems that escape from cells
Poems that provide a pathway back from hell
Poems that refuse to be silent
Poems more just than the judge’s gavel
Poems that have tasted cop’s mace
stared down the barrel of a gun in defiance
Shackled poems trying to break free
Poems picking the locks on our minds
Poems that transcend place and time
that tell the histories and herstories
that have been banned from the textbooks
Poems that refuse to look the other way
Poems that say what needs to be said
Poems that resurrect the dead
Poems that refuse to sell their souls
Poems that revolt and rebel
that holler, scream and yell
Poems that leave us speechless
that tell us truths we don’t want to hear
Poems that leave the status quo
quivering in fear
Poems that know that justice is like rain
to the seeds of peace
Poems that move us to act
like you know
Marching poems
Chanting poems
Ranting poems
Poems sick and tired of being sick and tired poems
Poems that inoculate us against ignorance
Poems that make us think
Poems on the brink
Poems that challenge us to see
the world as it could be
as it should be
Poems in love with freedom
Poems that resist
that resist
that resist
that resist racism and sexism
that refuse to be conned
Poems for a mother named Marissa
and a young brother named Trayvon.”

Available for purchase exclusively at http://standourgroundbook.com/.

Free Marissa Alexander!

Dear Friend,

Please join the Free Marissa Now Campaign. The terrible injustice of the not-guilty verdict for Trayvon Martin's killer has brought Marissa Alexander's racist and sexist treatment by Florida courts to center-stage of U.S. and world attention. It is infuriating to think how Stand Your Ground was used to avoid any penalties for killing a Black teenager, while a Black woman is serving a 20-year sentence for firing a warning shot that injured no one to stop an attack by her abusive husband.

As the national Free Marissa Now campaign has stated: "The dramatically different outcomes of these cases is a lesson in how the criminal justice system routinely fails to support black people who defend themselves from violence on the streets, in their homes, and from institutions."

Over the last year Radical Women has collaborated with other organizations to build a massive outcry to win justice in this case. Lead organizers of the Free Marissa Now Campaign include: African-American/Black Women's Cultural Alliance, INCITE!, New Jim Crow Movement, Pacific Northwest Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander, Radical Women, and Southern Freedom Movement. The campaign has worked in close collaboration with Marissa Alexander and Marissa’s mother, Ms. Helen Jenkins.

The Free Marissa Now Campaign issued an excellent statement about the Zimmerman verdict that you can find on their facebook page or watch a videoof Radical Women Organizer Helen Gilbert reading it at a 7/14/13 protest in Seattle. For more information about the how the dynamics of race and sex come together in Marissa Alexander's case, read the Radical Women statement issued June 2012.

What you can do immediately:
  • Visit the Free Marissa Now facebook page; "like" the page and be part of updates and discussions.
     
  • Join conference calls to build an international mobilization to free Marissa.  Email freemarissanow@gmail.com to receive information about the next conference call.
     
  • Sign and forward the online petition.
     
  • Donate to Marissa’s legal defense via Paypal at the websitewww.justice4marissa.com.
  • Write to Marissa to let her know that she has supporters working for her release. Send messages to:
    Marissa Alexander #2012033887
    500 East Adam St.
    Jacksonville, FL 32202
In solidarity,
Anne Slater
National Organizer, Radical Women


Statement from Free Marissa Now Campaign

July 12, 2013
Free Marissa Now Statement:

The political climate created by the George Zimmerman trial has shed light on the opaque imaginations of what some think is a post-racial nation. We are heartbroken for Trayvon Martin's family, who have demonstrated brave resolve throughout this ordeal and we hold them in our thoughts as we move forward. We send strength to the family of Jordan Davis, another unarmed Black male Florida teen murdered by a white male who claimed Stand Your Ground, and many others who are gearing up for their journey through these same halls of due process. As long as the Florida justice system has a double standard for identifying criminal behavior, it breaches our core right to safety. The Zimmerman case is about the freedom to safely walk the streets without being profiled and pursued as a criminal based on reemerging Jim Crow codes, especially in the south. Paradoxically, this trial has been juxtaposed to the Marissa Alexander case; a black woman who stood her ground in her home to defend herself from domestic violence and was consequently sentenced to twenty years in prison when no one was physically injured by her actions.  The dramatically different outcomes of these cases is a lesson in how the criminal justice system routinely fails to support black people who defend themselves from violence on the streets, in their homes, and from institutions.

The Free Marissa Now Campaign is organizing to win freedom for Marissa Alexander, a proud African American mother of three with an MBA and a survivor of domestic violence. In August 2010, Marissa fired a single warning shot in the ceiling to halt her abusive partner during a life-threatening beating in her home. Marissa's husband, who has previously landed Marissa in the hospital after beating her, admitted in a sworn statement that he was the aggressor, threatened her life and was so enraged that he did not know what he would do.  Despite the fact that Marissa caused no injuries and has no previous criminal record, and despite the fact that Florida's self-defense law includes the right to Stand Your Ground, she was arrested by Jacksonville police, charged with aggravated assault, and sentenced to twenty years in the Florida criminal correctional system.

We must take a stand against the criminalization of all survivors of domestic and sexual violence.  Marissa's case is one of many that shows us how Black women and other marginalized people are especially likely to be criminalized, prosecuted, and incarcerated while trying to navigate and survive the conditions of violence in their lives. Freeing Marissa is a social justice action against intimate partner and systemic violence against all women, and an urgent call for the end of mass incarceration and support for truly transformative solutions to violence.

The Free Marissa Now Campaign is calling for the grassroots community to stand your ground about your right to give voice to this situation and not be complacent. Our hope was to see justice done for the death of young Brother Trayvon Martin, who couldn't tell his side of the story, and for his family. We grieve deeply with them and for others whose lives have been impacted by violence with no opportunity for redress. We will continue to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to defend themselves without fear of criminalization and to tell their stories. We see this as another defining moment for racial and gender justice that comes on the heels of the rollback in voting rights.

There is justifiable cause for rage and protest of the violence of racism embedded in the Florida criminal justice system. This is not the time to shut down but show up and turn rage into resistance through organized and peaceful protests.  We need to build a movement to stop racist murder and race and sex bias in the courts. We encourage people to use their resources to organize and voices to speak truth to power to create change.

We are standing our ground for peace and justice.  We encourage organizers and survivors to share in our collective power and take action to Free Marissa Alexander!

Join us online at facebook.com/freemarissanow andfreemarissanow.tumblr.com and contact us at freemarissanow@gmail.com

Donate to Marissa Alexander's legal defense fund at www.justice4marissa.com

Sign the petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/florida-governor-rick-scott-free-marissa-alexander

More ways to take action: http://freemarissanow.tumblr.com/action

Join Radical Women  you are needed! Connect with a chapter near you or contact the Bay Area chapter at baradicalwomen@earthlink.net.

You can learn more about RW through The Radical Women Manifesto, an exhilarating exploration of Marxist feminist theory and organizing methods, buy a copy or read it on Google Books. Find other fiery Radical Women writings atwww.RadicalWomen.org.

Donations are appreciated! As a grassroots group, Radical Women is sustained by support from people like you. Please contribute online or mail a check, payable to Radical Women to 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118.

Radical Women, Bay Area Chapter
747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: 415-864-1278 * Fax: 415-864-0778

baradicalwomen@earthlink.net
www.RadicalWomen.org