Friday, February 28, 2014

Marvin X rocks University of California, Black Arts Movement Conference

Marvin X told the audience at the BAM reception to lighten up on conference planner Kim McMillan.  He first declared BAM is a revolutionary movement and must be seen in this light, not as some art for art sake or Negro Renaissance that patronized white people. He thanked UC Merced for having the nerve to bring a group of uppity Blacks to the little country town of Merced. This was a bold move on their part and we congratulate them but they put too much pressure on Kim. He told how other sisters were destroyed by the hostile environment of the UC system, including, e.g., UC professors VeVe Clark, Barbara Christian, June Jordan and Sherley Ann Williams, all deceased. So don't mess with Kim, he told the mostly white audience. Don't make me bring the BAM army back to UC Merced.
While in Harlem for a reception in his honor, Marvin X told the folks that UC was stressing out Kim. We got Kim on the phone and a brother told her to stand tall because she was standing on the shoulders of the ancestors. The BAM conference begins at 9am on Saturday and runs through Sunday afternoon.

UC Professor/author Sherley Ann Williams, deceased

 UC Professor VeVe Clark, deceased

UC Professor Barbara Christian, deceased

UC Professor/BAM poet June Jordan, deceased

 UC Merced graduate student and BAM project director, Kim McMillan

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Holloway Series in Poetry - Amiri Baraka joined by Marvin X

Black Bird Press News & Review: Safi interviews Marvin X onthe upcoming Black Arts Movement Conference, KPOO radio

Black Bird Press News & Review: Safi interviews Marvin X onthe upcoming Black Arts Movement Conference, KPOO radio

Black Bird Press News & Review: Davey D interviews Marvin X on the Black Arts Movement, Tuesday, February 25, 8am, KPFA, Berkeley, 94.1FM,

Black Bird Press News & Review: Davey D interviews Marvin X on the Black Arts Movement, Tuesday, February 25, 8am, KPFA, Berkeley, 94.1FM,

Black Bird Press News & Review: Voices of the Black Arts Movement Gala, Friday, Feb 28, 2014, University of California, Merced

Black Bird Press News & Review: Voices of the Black Arts Movement Gala, Friday, Feb 28, 2014, University of California, Merced

Black Bird Press News & Review: Black Arts Movement Conference Program Highlights, UC Merced, Feb 28 thru March 2, 2014

Black Bird Press News & Review: Black Arts Movement Conference Program Highlights, UC Merced, Feb 28 thru March 2, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Lumumba makes transition to ancestors

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba has died.


He was admitted to St. Dominic Hospital Tuesday morning with chest pains. 
Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart says he was pronounced dead around 4:55 p.m. 
Lumumba won the Mayor's office in June 4, 2013, pulling 86% of the vote and defeating independent candidates Francis P. Smith, Jr. , Richard C. Williams and Cornelius Griggs.
Mayor Lumumba was born August 2, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. He is the second of eight children born to Lucien and Priscilla Francis Taliaferro.
Mayor Lumumba earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

He later finished first in his law school freshman class before graduating cum laude from Wayne State University Law School.

Prior to his election as Mayor, Mr. Lumumba served as Jackson City Councilman for Ward 2. 
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant released this statement: 

"Deborah and I are shocked and saddened by the news of Mayor Lumumba's passing and are praying for his loved ones. Just a short time ago, I had the opportunity to join the mayor in a church pew as we welcomed a new development to the city. His enthusiasm for Jackson will be deeply missed."
Visit The Harambee Radio & Television Network at:

Davey D interviews Marvin X on the Black Arts Movement, Tuesday, February 25, 8am, KPFA, Berkeley, 94.1FM,

Marvin X interviewed in Philadelphia at the Black Power Babies Conference produced by his daughter, Muhammida El Muhajir. This morning, Pacifica radio's Davey D will talk with the poet on the upcoming Black Arts Movement Conference at the University of California, Merced and his friendship with ancestor poet Amiri Baraka.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Herman Fergusn: 49 years ago at the Audubon Ballroom when Malcolm X was assassinated

Herman Ferguson: 49 years ago at the Audubon Ballroom

Amsterdam News story   

Herman Ferguson Nosayaba Odesanya Photo
In an exclusive AmNews interview, Baba Herman Ferguson, an original member of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), detailed witnessing the Feb. 21, 1965, assassination of Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom.
“A number of people in the Nation of Islam followed Malcolm into the OAAU. There was a lot of strain the last part of Malcolm’s life,” reflected the 93-years-young activist. “It was a dangerous situation on both sides. There were other forces at work stirring up turmoil—the police, FBI, CIA—all trying to remove Malcolm from the scene. It was difficult to know who to trust.

“Malcolm knew that Thomas Johnson and Norman Butler were FOI [Fruit of Islam, the security force of the Nation of Islam] enforcers. He told us, ‘These are dangerous brothers … if either of them comes to our affairs, they are not to be admitted in!’ He was specific about them. At Malcolm’s assassination, there were brothers who would’ve recognized them. I did not recognize them as the men that I saw as part of the assassination team.

“Malcolm ordered that nobody bring guns to OAAU meetings and nobody be searched … shortly after that, Malcolm was assassinated. The police had to have told the assassins: ‘We can guarantee to get you out of there … nothing will happen to you.’ [It was] only because Rueben Francis [Malcolm’s bodyguard] disobeyed Malcolm and brought his pistol that the getaway was thwarted.
“During the assassination, the first thing that happened was … a commotion broke out in the crowd, a chair was heard thrown to the floor, the scuffling of feet … Right across from where I was sitting, these two fellas, one of them said … ‘Get your hand outta my pocket, n—r!’ … The other guy was backing off from him.
“Malcolm was standing behind the rostrum, having greeted the audience: ‘As-salaam-alaikum brothers and sisters!’ Malcolm stepped forward, totally exposed, raised his hand and said, ‘Cool it!’ Then there was a boom … a shotgun rang out, and Malcolm straightened up. Then other shots rang out, a whole fusillade … his hand still up in the air. Finally, he toppled over backward; the back of his head hit the floor with a thud.

“Then the gunfire stopped; it got quiet. Before that, you could hear people screaming, shouting and scrambling to take cover … I was still watching.

“Three men stood right across from me. You could see a gun’s barrel, possibly a shotgun one was carrying under his coat … the other two stood quietly. Then suddenly, as if someone had signaled to them, they ran toward the back of the ballroom.

“Gunfire broke out again. I learned later that that was Rueben trying to stop these guys … shooting one in the leg [Thomas Hagan]. That guy reached the head of the stairs, bumped into someone, falling down the stairs. Outside, the crowd grabbed him … the wound in his leg prevented him from getting away … they were pulling him apart. The police fired a shot [and] the crowd fell back. The police put him in a squad car and drove away.

“I saw the second person that Rueben shot … Within seconds, another police car came from around the corner, turned onto 166th Street, passed the Audubon, part of it still on Broadway. There had been no police presence during all this time.

“Within seconds, this policeman came back, supporting someone who was obviously in great pain, holding his midsection. The policeman brought him to the car, opened the rear door, put him in, slammed the door, got in the front seat [and] told the driver; ‘Get out of here!’ They drove past the Audubon, down the hill, out of sight. I never found out who that guy was. The police were in a hurry to get him out of there.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Professor Anthony Monteiro re-ignites protests within African American Studies

Ousted professor re-ignites protests within department

Anthony Monteiro, protesting his contract not being renewed, involves union, community.
The employment of one instructor is again the subject of controversy within the African American studies department after Anthony Monteiro, a non-tenured professor in the department, issued a letter of grievance against Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Teresa Soufas for choosing not to renew his contract. 
Monteiro delivered a statement to the press at the 1199C Hospital Worker’s Union on Feb. 12, calling on President Theobald to reverse Soufas’ decision and renew his annual contract. Monteiro alleged that the decision not to renew his contract was an act of revenge – a direct response from Soufas to his outspokenness during heated discussions last year between the dean and department faculty and students over the filling of the department chairmanship.

Soufas said Monteiro’s allegations had “no truth whatsoever,” adding that the decision not to renew Monteiro’s contract was made by Department Chairman Molefi Asante based on the changing structure of the department.

“The African American studies department right now is rethinking and making new plans for the curriculum,” Soufas said.

Asante declined to comment, citing ongoing discussions between the groups.

Monteiro was a supporter of Kariamu Welsh, a tenured member of the dance department at the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Welsh’s nomination for chair of the African American studies department by the department’s faculty was rejected by Soufas in Spring 2012 on the grounds that she was not a member of the department. 

More than a year of controversy followed when, instead of appointing Welsh, Soufas appointed then-Vice Dean Jayne Drake, a white woman, to a one-year interim term. Students of the department, community activists and faculty members then rallied behind Asante, who chaired the department from 1984 to 1997, advocating that he should return to head the program.

After several public protests and a formal nomination by the department faculty in April 2013, Soufas confirmed Asante as department chair. Monteiro said he and other members of the department have been continually harassed in a racist manner by Soufas.

“It is her getting back at me for my standing up to her bullying, pointing fingers at black men,” Monteiro said in a statement.

Soufas said Monteiro has not approached her to discuss the matter, but “would be happy to talk with him.” Non-tenured and non-tenured-track faculty members are hired by the university and their respective departments on a contract basis that must be renewed every year.

Senior political science major and African American studies minor Sabrina Sample, a former student of Monteiro’s who took his Black Intellectual History in the 20th Century course, said she thinks it would be “a really big mistake” for the university to let go of Monteiro.

“For the African American studies department [especially], I know a lot of students come to Temple in particular to hear Monteiro lecture,” Sample said.

Senior media studies and production major Ryan Hallas, another former student of Monteiro’s, said that while he generally found Monteiro’s Race in America class enjoyable, he found the lectures unorganized and didn’t leave the class with “any new knowledge.”

“I also [believe] that he was trying to come off as a pretentious person by the way he would pronounce his words,” Hallas said. “I believe he even made some words up.”

Monteiro has made several demands along with his reinstatement, including the end of the alleged harassment and a formal apology from Dean Soufas.

John Moritz and Erin Edinger-Turoff can be reached at

Marvin X performs at the BAM Conferece, UC Merced, with Tarika Lewis, violin, Earl Davis, trumpet, Tacuma King, percussion


 Marvin X and violinist Tarika Lewis

 Earl Davis, trumpet master, performed in Marvin X's Black Arts West Theatre, San Francisco, 1966

Tacuma King, percussionist

♫ Time after time / Miles Davis Group

I wanna be like Miles Davis
I wanna tell a motherfucka to kiss my black ass
like Baraka in the Dutchman, kiss my black unruly ass
but like Miles I want to say, Padna, git out of my face
and take that silly bitch witcha!--MARVIN X

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Miles Davis Kind Of Blue Full Album

Lecture by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Watch the USTREAM link Sunday February 23rd 9:15-11am

Visit our website                                      Please support
Berkeley Community Media

Come to the Studios:
2239 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley, Ca 94704


dinah washington"you dont know what love is"

Marvin X returns home to West Fresno

 Marvin X was removed from teaching Black Studies at Fresno State University, 1969, because he refused to fight in Vietnam. He eventually served time in Terminal Island Federal Prison.


West Fresno residents left the Hinton Community Center inspired and motivated after hearing Marvin X reading and in conversation with Fresno City College professor emeritus Kehindi Solwazi. Marvin X was raised in West Fresno and reunited with many of his childhood friends at the event sponsored by the local NAACP, headed by his longtime friend Pamela Young-King, president. The event opened with prayers by a Christian minister and the local Imam who recited in Arabic but explained in English. Many had never head the Muslim prayer explained and they appreciated the imam's remarks. A young African dance troop performed and the audience joined. A young lady sang the Black national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing.

Marvin X was introduced by Professor Solwazi who praised the poet's classic Black History is World History and his book How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy. "Marvin's poem is one of the best ever written on Black History. And his How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy is awesome! I read it on the plane to Mississippi and was blown away."

Marvin gave out copies of Black History is World History and asked the audience to read along with him. He also asked them to repeat the lines when he read his pantheistic What If, a poem that suggests that the Divine force is in all things, which is consistent with African religion or spirituality.
For the older residents of West Fresno, he recited a poem about the Hole in the Wall, a hang out at Plumas and Whitesbridge.

Professor Solwazi and Marvin X engaged in dialogue on such issues as the low intensity war against  North American Africans, youth behavior, male/female relations. "As per youth, if you tell them to pull their pants up, 99% will do so, only 1% will respond in the negative. We cannot allow children to terrorize adults in our community. We must be brave enough to stand up to them and guide those who have lost their way."

On male/female relations, he said, "My mother told me I would never have good luck as long as I abused women, especially the mothers of my children. I think I have changed my behavior and my luck has changed. Most of the persons who helped me on my recent visit to the east coast were women. Women are in charge of a lot of things these days so we men better be nice to them so we can receive our blessings."

On Monday, Feb 24, 11am, X will read at Fresno City College and dialogue with Professor Solwazi.
He will participate in the Black Arts Movement Conference at University of California, Merced, Friday, Feb 28 thru March 2. You are invited! Call 510-200-4164 for more information. On Monday, Marvin X will be interviewed on Berkeley's Pacifica station, KPFA, 8am, by Davey D, on his role in the Black Arts Movement and his 47 year friendship with poet Amiri Baraka.


Mrs. Solwazi, 72 year old athlete, brings more medals home to Fresno CA

72-Year-Old Local Athlete Brings More Medals Home to Fresno

Kemisole Solwazi Looks Back at Unexpected Start in U.S. Olympics

By Kyra Jenkins
The California Advocate —
Kemisole Solwazi Above, Kemisole Solwazi is shown with Olympic medals. As a 54-year-old exercise amateur in training, Kemisole Solwazi wasn't looking to be anything more than 'healthy' when a group of Olympic athletes approached her at the YMCA. They asked if she would be interested in training to be a sprint runner, something Solwazi thought was a joke, but she accepted their offer reasoning she had nothing to lose because at least she would get fit. Now over 16 years later with 10 world medals and too many U.S. medals to count, it seems the joke was on her. (Photo by California Advocate)
As a 54-year-old exercise amateur in training, Kemisole Solwazi wasn't looking to be anything more than 'healthy' when a group of Olympic athletes approached her at the YMCA.
They asked if she would be interested in training to be a sprint runner, something Solwazi thought was a joke, but she accepted their offer reasoning she had nothing to lose because at least she would get fit. Now over 16 years later with 10 world medals and too many U.S. medals to count, it seems the joke was on her.
"I knew nothing about distance, how to come out of the blocks [block training], I knew nothing.
I was what my coach considered to be 'raw talent on a junior high school level.' He decided to enroll me at city college, so the coach there could train me. I earnestly started working out…they said she's fast enough she can probably go to the master's competition."
Solwazi said after her Coach Randy Huntington saw she was competition, he put her on a track and distance running team called Kaiser Olympic. She first competed in the Central Valley Conference against women distance athletes and came in 10th out of over 200 runners back in 1996. "It was natural; I'm what they call a 'genetic athlete.'"
"My friend said genetic athletes are built by nature to do what they are capable of doing, it might be tennis, or running but by genes they are given an ability; mine was at a late stage," said Solwazi.
Within months, she competed at the U.S. national competition in New York where 82 countries were represented and she received gold medals in her first major competition.
Once she began to seriously train and compete against professional athletes who were in the running longer than she was, her family couldn't help but question her decision.
"I didn't think I was going to be a professional runner…some thought I was having a mid-life crisis."
Now 72-year-old Solwazi said she made the decision for her well-being and let the awards speak for themselves. She believes all things are designed to move and when you stop moving you're like a car sitting on blocks and you rust.
"I always tell people, it's not [the] medal or any kind of accolades, it's about my health. If it becomes unhealthy for me I will stop. If I don't do this I will be like my siblings with diabetes…the medals just come along with it. It's not ego or anything like that, it's a side line," said Solwazi.
Solwazi recently returned from Indiana where she competed in the U.S. Track & Field national competition. She returned in March with one gold medal and five other silver medals. She received silver medals for the 60 meter race, 2 mile race, one mile race, 200 meter race and 800 meter race. But the gold medal she proudly carried home was from the 400 meter race.
"The best race I had was the 400 meter because it was first and that's when I almost broke the record."
The competition presented a new challenge because she had never run indoors before; her coach told her in the past it was too steep.
"It did take an adjustment because of the curves and it slowed me down a bit but I came in second and that was OK. My specialty is 200 and 400 but this coach stretched me out. It was the first time I ran indoors ever. I ran from a 60 meter to 2 mile. I ran 60 meters in 10 seconds, but I can run it faster."
She was so excited during the competition that she received a yellow flag for starting too quickly. Solwazi said her feet just carried her to the finish line before she could realize it. "I calmed down and popped out and before I knew it I was at the finish line. The cameramen were right up on me, I had to jump to miss them."
She came in second place in the one-mile race against competitors in her age group.
Solwazi said she feels nervous before competing but she doesn't allow it to impact her performance.
"I feel a little nervous but I have a tendency to calm down right at the start, it's a focus. It's not the nerves that people talk about. It's more of a determination, kind of a fire, a strength..and I feel like I do whatever I have to do."
To Solwazi, competition does not have a face, name or place in the race; the only competition she faces is time because that's what decides the win. She said pure determination pushes her forward.
"No one else is important, there's just me and the clock. I have been trained to run 200 [meters] in 33 seconds, and make it in 32 seconds. Let me see if I can beat that clock. I don't see anyone."
The retired teacher from the west Fresno School District spends her time gardening and training when not not competing.
When back home her regimen consists of working out 5 days a week.
"I work out five times a week in distance running and track, and then two days at the gym. I try and give myself one or two days to rest in between."
Solwazi trains all over Fresno at a site called Killer Hill in Woodward Park.
"Once you run it you know what I'm talking about. You can start at the bottom of the hill and go straight up, even the high school goes there for training. It's called 'Killer Hill' because it almost kills you when you get up there."
Solwazi said she has been a runner all her life but was searching for an opportunity to live out her potential because she recognized it at a young age.
"There were tracks at Black high schools in Saint Louis where I grew up, but when I got to a white school they were hesitant about women running, so there wasn't a track team."
But nothing could keep her from competing in street races and also racing against her dog.
"I would beat the guys. Barry Minson never forgave me, he thought he was fast. He stayed mad at me for a long time."
Although Solwazi started her athletic career later in life she doesn't look back or wish she became an Olympic runner any sooner than the age of 54.
"I don't have any regrets, it [your dreams] may not be when you want it but it's right on time…I've learned your only as strong as your spirit and mind. Your body you can work with but what you are in your spirit and mind, nothing surpasses that," said Solwazi.
Solwazi is now looking forward to her upcoming competition in August

Safi interviews Marvin X onthe upcoming Black Arts Movement Conference, KPOO radio
has sent you some files
Greetings, Marvin--

Thank you so much for joining me in-studio at KPFA to discuss the upcoming Black Arts Movement Conference and our beloved Imamu Amiri Baraka. Attached is an .mp3 audio file -- 53.09 minutes. Hope all is well, and C U next week. By the way, do you have an audio recording of the Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness you presented at SFSU? May I have a copy of that? No justice, no peace...
DownloadAvailable until 1 March, 2014
Files (97.3 MB total)
Can't see the download button?
You can still download your file.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fresno City College presents Marvin X in conversation with FCC professor emeritus Kehindi Solwazi, Monday, Feb 24, 11am

A conversation with the elders
Fresno City College
Room OAB 251
Monday, February 24th
11am - 1 pm

- Kehinde Solwazi
- Marvin X
A conversation between Mr. Solwazi and Marvin X on history, men's roles and unity in the community

Letter from Harvard Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. on the Black Arts Conference at University of California, Merced

To those attending the UC Merced Black Arts Movement Conference, February 28-March 2,2014, I write to salute you for a timely and important event. I grew up in Merced and attended elementary, Middle and High School classes before graduating from Merced High School in June 1971.I learned a lot about the struggle for justice and equality in Merced and throughout California and around the United States.
I was deeply influenced by people like Amiri Baraka and the global struggle they fought for decades. I owe all of these women and men everything for paving the way for me. Amiri died much too soon but his writings, teachings,and words of wisdom continue to inspire us today. As we celebrate his life we must also celebrate so many like him, including President Nelson Mandela, Dr.Martin Luther King Jr, Fanny Lou Hamer, Queen Mother Audley Moore, Rosa Parks and so many others who opened doors for us to pass through during critical times in our lives.
If we firmly believe in the mandate of each one teach one, then the legacy of Amiri Baraka will continue.
Yours in the struggle.
Professor Charles J.Ogletree Jr.,
Harvard Law School

Jesse Climenko Professor of Law

Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Voices of the Black Arts Movement Gala, Friday, Feb 28, 2014, University of California, Merced

Voices of the Black Arts Movement Gala
Merced Multicultural Center
645 W. Main Street
Friday, February 28 Program
Black Box Theatre
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Kim McMillon
Thank you to supporters, and introduction of
veteran television journalist Belva Davis
Belva Davis
The Black Arts, Film, Theatre, and Community
Greg Morozumi
Voices of the Black Arts Movement Curator
The Black Arts Movement Pioneers
Askia Toure
Marvin X
Umar Bin Hassan
Emory Douglas
Juan Felipe Herrera
Genny Lim
Eugene Redmond
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM Show
Hosted by Belva Davis
Acknowledging the Ancestors
Poetess Kalamu Chaché and Lakiba Pittman
Performance by
Avotcja (Percussions)
Tarika Lewis (violin)
Tacuma (Drums)
Vocalist Michelle Alison
To Be Young Gift and Black written by Nina Simone and Weldon Irvine Jr.
(Poetry) by Marvin X, Tarika Lewis (violin), Tacuma King (percussion)
Earle Davis (Trumpet)
Umar Bin Hassan
The Last Poets
Judy Juanita
reads the poems of Carolyn M. Rodgers, a seminal poet of the Black Arts Movement
Genny Lim
Performs poetry with percussionist Marshall Trammell
UC Merced Hip Hop Movement
Dance and Rap Homage to Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement
K.E.V. and Donjuan of Nu DeKades
Conscious Rap
Paul Harper 
Merced Rapper

DJ and Music

Africa in Brazil, Merritt College teach-back

Black Arts Movement Conference Program Highlights, UC Merced, Feb 28 thru March 2, 2014

Welcome from African Diaspora Student Association

Welcome to 50 Years On: The Black Arts Movement and Its Influences. This event is the result of the work of many people with a profound vision of black identity that moved past boundaries, limitations, and old belief systems of what it meant to be a Black American. We are standing on the shoulders of Larry Neal, Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, Rhonda White-Warner, Lorraine Hansberry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Harold Cruse, and the ancestor spirits that have gone before to pave our way. This conference brings the living legends of the Black Arts Movement together
to stand in righteous fervor as we speak about a time in history from 1965 to
1976 that is representative of the Black Arts Movement. Through scholarship, literature, art and the power of the spoken word, this conference explores the Black Arts Movement as our past, present, and future. The ancestor spirits are calling,

“Be moved by the art, literature, culture, and our presence.” This conference is dedicated to those ancestral spirits guiding us all to the light.

Kim McMillon, President


Dr. Susan Amussen Dr. Christina Lux

2014 Academic Committee

Dr. Gregg Camfield Dr. Robin DeLugan Dr. Nigel Hatton Dr. Sean Malloy
Dr. Manuel Martin-Rodriguez

2014 Planning Committee

Necola Adama
Nadia Ahmed
Violet Barton
Gail Benedict
Devonyo Bills
Rocco Bowman
Jaron Brandon Alejandro Bunag Danielle Bermudez Poetess Kalamu Chache Tamara Cobb

Jim Crawford LaTriece Crawford Leighia Fleming Sylvia Fuller Jennifer Guerrero Eden Hailu
Nigel Hatton Brian Hernandez Demonte Hughes
Jefferson Kuoch-Seng Christina Lux
Wanda Lax
Kim McMillon

Katie Pham
Laura Phillips
Lakiba Pittman
Onar Primitivo 

Shellee Randol 
Jerome Rasberry, Jr. 
Juan Roman
Loretta Spence 
Kathryn Sunahara 
Jamie Sweet 
Shelby Takenouohi 
Ismael Verduzco 
Tena Williams 
Marvin X
Jared Zisser

2014 Keynote Speakers

Marvin X | Saturday Keynote Address

Poet, playwright, essayist, director, and lecturer, BA, MA, English, San Francisco State University, 1974-75. Marvin Ellis Jackmon was born on 29 May 1944 in Fowler, California. He grew up in Fresno and Oakland. Marvin X and Ed Bullins founded the Black Arts/West Theatre in San Francisco in 1966. In 1967, Marvin X and Eldridge Cleaver founded Black House, a political/cultural center in San Francisco.  Several of his plays were staged during that period in San Francisco, Oakland, New York, and by local companies across the United States. He was associate editor of Black Theatre Magazine, a publication of the New Lafayette Theatre, Harlem NY. His one-act play Flowers for the Trashman, first staged by the Drama Department at San Francisco State College, now University,1965, was included in the anthology Black Fire (1968); a musical version, Take Care of Business, was produced in 1972, music arranged by Sun Ra at Marvin's Black Educational Theatre, San Francisco.
Take Care of Business was published in The Drama Review, edited by Ed Bullins. Marvin X's most recent play is One Day in the Life, produced at his Recovery Theatre, San Francisco, 1996 thru 2002, the longest production of a Black Play in Northern California history. Ishmael Reed said, "It's the most powerful drama I've seen." In 1970 Marvin X was convicted, during the Vietnam War, for refusing induction and fled to Canada; eventually arrested in Honduras, he was returned to the United States, and sentenced to five months in prison. In his statement on being sentenced—later reprinted in Black Scholar (1971) and also in Clyde Taylor’s anthology, Vietnam and Black America (1973) - he argues that: “Any judge, any jury, is guilty of insanity that would have the nerve to judge and convict and imprison a black man because he did not appear in a courtroom on a charge of refusing to commit crimes against humanity, crimes against his own brothers and sisters, the peace-loving people of Vietnam.”

Ishmael Reed | Sunday Keynote Address

Ishmael Reed is the winner of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (genius award), the renowned Los Angeles Times Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and finalist for two National Book Awards, he is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley; and founder of the Before Columbus Foundation, which promotes multicultural American writing. The American Book Awards, sponsored by the foundation has been called The American League to the National Book Awards’ National League. He also founded PEN Oakland which issues the Josephine Miles Literary Awards. PEN Oakland has been called “The Blue Collar PEN” by The New York Times. Ishmael Reed is the author
of over twenty titles including the acclaimed novel Mumbo Jumbo, as well as essays, plays and poetry. Titles include: The Freelance Pallbearers; The Terrible Threes; The Last Days
Of Louisiana Red; Yellow Back Radio Broke Down; Reckless Eyeballing; Flight To Canada; Japanese By Spring, and Juice! 
He is also a Jazz pianist who has performed at Yoshi’s in San Francisco and producer of the CD “For All We Know,” which features David Murray and Roger Glenn. The late Max Roach called Reed “The Charlie Parker of American Fiction.” Though he wasn’t affiliated with the Black Arts Repertory Theater 
in Harlem, he has published the works of its founders, Askia Touré, and Charles Patterson. He published two books by the late Amiri Baraka.

Panel Session
Black Power and Black Arts Roundtable

Dr. Nigel Hatton, University of California, Merced
Askia Toure 
Marvin X
Eugene Redmond

Umar Bin Hassan 
Judy Juanita

Dr. James Smethurst
Mike Sell

Women of the Black Arts Movement COB 102
Moderator: Belva Davis Panelists:
Judy Juanita
Poetess Kalamu Chaché Tarika Lewis
Dr. Ayodele Nzinga

Lakiba Pittman

Beginnings of the Hip Hop Movement
COB 120
COB 116
Rap/Freestyle Workshop
Umar Bin Hassan K.E.V
The Last Poets 
Nu DeKades

Richard Pryor, King of Comedy
Speaker: Cecil Brown
Cecil Brown breaks new ground detailing Pryor’s involvement in the Berkeley and Oakland political scene in the late 60s and his breakthroughs to a new, more improvisatory style of comedy.
“Although Richard Pryor is perhaps the most celebrated comedian in the history of the United States, few people know anything significant about

his life, particularly the time period that took him from Bill Cosby-type comic to the real Richard Pryor who taught us so much about the world and ourselves.”

Academic Panels

“Comprehended by My Permission:”
Emulating the Poetry of the Black Arts Movement in Diverse Classroom
Chair: Lauren Muller, City College of San Francisco
2:45PM - 4:05PM
COB 114
Lauren Muller City College of San Francisco. Maurisa Thompson University of California, Riverside.
Word, Sound and Power -
The Black Arts Across Media
COB 110
Chair: Dr. Anna Everett, University of California, Santa Barbara
Aldon Lynn Nielsen

Geoffrey Jacques Langston Hughes Dr. Anna Everett
Pennsylvania State University, “Sounding the Black Arts: Amiri Baraka on Record.”
University of California, Santa Barbara,
“‘Toward Freedom’s Goal’”:

The Panther and the Lash, and the Black Arts Movement.
University of California, Santa Barbara,
“The Black Arts Revolution Was Televised (and Filmed too).”

Women and the Black Arts Movement COB 127
Chair: Dr. De Anna J. Reese, California State University, Fresno
La Donna L. Forsgren Kelsey Winiarski
Jasmine Marshall Armstrong
University of California, Merced, “Sherley Anne Williams: The Subaltern Woman Speaks Catharsis in the Black Arts Movement.”

Academic Panels (continued) 2:45PM - 4:05PM Diáspora, Racismo y Mestizaje: COB 113
Presencia del Black Arts Movement en el Mundo Artístico y Literario Latinoamericano (Spanish Speaking)
Chair: Dr. Manuel Martín-Rodríguez, University of California, Merced
Mabel Orjuela Bowser
Gloria G. Durán Juana Rosas
University of California, Merced, “Opresión y lucha de la diáspora africana en los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica, en los textos de Manuel Zapata Olivella.”
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, University of California Merced, “Adrian Piper: por si no se había dado cuenta, soy negra.” California State University, Fresno, “La reivindicación de la mujer africana y su influencia en la ideología del mestizaje mexicano.”

Reading Black Arts in Words and Music COB 129

Chair: Dr. Nigel Hatton, University of California, Merced
Dr. J. Vern Cromartie 
Contra Costa College, “Black Social Movements Past and Present: A Comparative Analysis of the Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement.” 
Paul S. Rauch, Independent Scholar, “ISAs at Work in Institutional Racism: Reading William Attaway’s Blood on the Forge in Louis Althusser’s Ideological Critique.”

Interactive Workshops, Poetry & Panels 4:15PM - 5:45PM

Black Arts Poets COB 102
Moderator: Marvin X
Askia Toure, Umar Bin Hassan, Juan Felipe Herrera, Eugene Redmond, Genny Lim, Judy Juanita, Charlotte Hill O’Neal (aka Mama C), Poetess Kalamu Chache, Lakiba Pittman, Ayodele Nzinga
Music by: Tarika Lewis (Violin), Earle Davis (trumpet), Tacuma King (percussion)

Art, Politics, Culture and the Black Panther Party COB 114
4:15PM – 5:05PM Speaker: Emory Douglas
Emory Douglas was politically involved as Revolutionary Artist and then Minister of Culture for the Black Panther party, from February, 1967 until the Early 1980’s. Douglas’s art and design concepts were always seen on the front and back pages of the Black Panther Newspaper, reflecting the politics of the Black Panther Party and the concerns of the community.

The Beginnings of the Black Arts Movement COB 114
5:10PM – 6:00PM Speaker: Askia Touré
Askia M. Touré is recognized as one of the original articulators of the Black Arts movement. From the late 1960s through the mid 1970s, he served in various capacities: as a contributing editor for the magazine Black Dialogue, as an editor at large for the Journal of Black Poetry, and as a staff writer of Liberator Magazine and Soulbook with activist-playwright Amiri Baraka, and fellow poet-activist Larry Neal.

A Second Portrait of the Lion: COB 105
Amiri Baraka & the Education of Historically Black College
& University (HBCU) Students in the 21th Century (2 hours)

Moderator: Professor Malcolm Cash, Central State University
HBCU students critically examine Amiri Baraka’s writings of the Black Arts Movement on African American experience and their contemporary pertinence to the 21th century.

Activating the Actor: Bring Your Monologue! SSB 130
Actor: Adilah Barnes
This acting workshop intensive will give actors an opportunity to share their prepared monologues to gain feedback and direction. Focus will be given to intention, characterization, rhythm, transitions, blocking and interpretation of the text.

Theatre Night, COB 102 7:30PM - 9:30PM

Ras Baraka “The Poetry of Amiri Baraka”
Excerpt from Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman performed by San Francisco Recovery Theatre
Oaktown Blues Performed by Avotcja
Woman on the Cellphone by Marvin X, performed by Ayodele Nzinga

Excerpt from Counter Terrorism by Judy Juanita performed by Jacqui Pagobo
From the Pyramids to the Projects written and performed by Askia Toure Excerpt from I’m Black When I’m Singing, I’m Blue When I Ain’t
by Sonia Sanchez performed by Adilah Barnes
Excerpt from Mother Hubbard by Ishmael Reed, the song, “A World Without Men”performed by Mary Wilson


Sunday, March 2, 2014
Arrivals & Registration 8:30AM – 11:30AM
Going Home Ceremony
9:00AM – 10:15AM
Vocalist Michelle Allison and poet Avotcja perform a Ceremony honoring the Ancestor Spirits of the Black Arts Movement
Musicians and audience are welcome to participate

Panel Sessions and Workshops
10:15AM – 11:30AM
11:45AM – 1:00PM
Panel Sessions and Workshops
1:15PM – 2:45PM
Closing Ceremony
3:00PM – 3:30PM

Academic Panel Sessions 10:15AM - 11:30AM
Urban Space and Place in the Black Arts Movement
Chair: Robin DeLugan, University of California, Merced
COB 127
Gloria Jean Sewell-Murphy
Jasmine A. Tillman John H. Houchin
Aesthetics of Blackness
Founding Executive Director, Oakland (Municipal) Arts Council, “To Administer the Arts as Central to Life: Cultural Democracy, Renewal and the Black Arts Movement.” Georgia State University, “The City Too Busy to Create?: The Impact of Atlanta-Style Politics on Black Arts Institutions in Atlanta.”
Boston College, “Robert Macbeth, the New Lafayette Theatre and the Politics of Aesthetics in the Black Arts Movement.”

COB 129
Chair: Dr. Gregg Camfield, University of California Merced
Casey Rocheteau
Kim Bobier
Rev. Damon A. Powell
The New School for Social Research, “Black Death: The Long Riotous 1960’s, Henry Dumas, and Creative Rebirth.”
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, “Angela Libre: A Matrix of Mass Cultural Expression.”

Independent Scholar, “The Aesthetics of Blackness: The Significance of Theology, Aesthetics, and Blackness in the Black Arts Movement.”
Remixing Black Arts in the 21st Century COB 110
Chair: Cecil Brown, University of California, Berkeley
Rasheed Shabazz Kimberly McNair
University of California, Berkeley, “#BlackPower: Technology and the Black Arts Movement via Social Media.”
University of California, Berkeley,
“Black T-Shirt Culture in Social Movements From the Black Power Movement to the Obama Era.”

Theatre & Poetry Workshop 10:15AM - 11:30AM

William Grimes, the Runaway Slave COB 116
Written by Regina Mason and performed by Michael Lange
Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave is the first fugitive slave narrative in American history. Because Grimes wrote and published his narrative on his own, without deference to white editors, publishers, or sponsors, his Life has an immediacy, candor, and no-holds-barred realism unparalleled in the famous antebellum slave narratives of the period. Grimes’s autobiography represents a historic partnership between noted scholar of the African American slave narrative, William L. Andrews, and Regina Mason, Grimes’s great-great-great-granddaughter.
Oxford University Press, USA; Revised edition (July 31, 2008)

Black Arts, Poets, and Poetry
Interactive Workshop
Poetess Kalamu Chache
Charlotte Hill O’Neal (aka Mama C) Lakiba Pittman
K.E.V. /Nu Dekades
Donjuan/Nu Dekades

Multiculturalism – What Does It Really Mean?
COB 116
COB 105
Chair: Dr. Manuel Martin-Rodriguez, University of California, Merced
Juan Felipe Herrera Genny Lim
Al Young,


1:15PM - 2:00PM
COB 102
Interactive Workshops, Poetry & Panels 1:15PM - 2:45PM
The Black Panther Party & the Black Arts COB 116
Chair: Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture
Billy Jennings 

Tarika Lewis 
Marvin X
Judy Juanita Charlotte O’Neal (Mama C)

The Battle for Black Studies COB 102
Chair: Cecil Brown, University of California, Berkeley
Jerry Varnado
Terry Collins
James (Jimmy) P. Garrett 

Dr. Nathan Hare, Father of Black Studies/Ethnic Studies
Eugene Redmond,
Poet Laureate of East St. Louis