Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Marvin X: the Human Earthquake rocks NYU tribute to poets Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka

 New Yorkers turned out tonight at the NYU tribute to ancestor poets Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka. A second room was opened after the first filled to capacity to hear poetic tributes to fire spitter Jayne Cortez and the legendary chief architect of the Black Arts Movement, Amiri Baraka, aka LeRoi Jones. They were praised as poets and revolutionary activists.

Askia Toure

Poets who read included Sandra Maria Esteves, Askia Toure, Felipe Luciano, Haki R. Madhubuti, Arthur Pfister, Quincy Troupe, Ted Wilson, Ras Baraka, Linton Kwesi Johnson (all the way from London) and Marvin X. Marvin X, accompanied by bassist Henry Grimes, read poems praising both Amiri and Amina Baraka. The audience was shocked to hear his rendition of Mrs. Baraka's speech rhythms and acid truths. Many in the audience were shocked simply because they had  read the poet's works over the decades but never heard him in a live reading. Felipe Luciano was amazed to hear him accompanied by bassist Henry Grimes who performed with Amiri Baraka since the 60s.

Marvin X and bassist Henry Grimes
photo Joyce Jones

Amiri Baraka and Henry Grimes

Marvin X
photo Joyce Jones

Marvin X
photo Joyce Jones

 Front row seated: Quincy Troupe, Ted Wilson, Rashidah Ismaili, Sandra Esteves
Standing: Arthur Pfister, Haki Madhubuti, Askia Toure, Marvin X, Henry Grimes
photo Joyce Jones

Askia Toure and Marvin X
photo Joyce Jones

Amina and Amiri Baraka

Poet/educator/city councilman Ras Baraka, next Mayor of Newark, NJ

Ras Baraka rocked the house reading a poem by his mother and one of his own. Other outstanding poets included Felipe Luciano who claimed Amiri Baraka as his father, as did Arthur Pfister and Marvin X. The audience praised him for the eulogy he delivered at his father's last rites.

Third World Press publisher Haki Madhubuti called for writers to submit material for his anthology dedicated to Amiri Baraka, poetry, prose, drama, fiction and non-fiction is acceptable.

The tribute was sponsored by the Institute of African American Affairs. Originally organized by Amiri Baraka, poet/author Rashidah Ismaili completed the project.

This Saturday, February 8, 7:30, Harlem's Schomburg Library will host a tribute to Amiri Baraka, moderated by producer Woody King and organizer Ted Wilson. The event is a benefit for the Baraka family. Marvin X will perform, again accompanied by bassist Henry Grimes who was outstanding at NYU.

Marvin X returns to the west coast next week to finish organizing the Black Arts Movement Conference at the University of California, Merced, Feb. 28 thru March 2. Participants include Askia Toure, Ras Baraka, Pam Africa, Ishmael Reed, Al Young, Dr. Nathan Hare, Sonia Sanchez, Umar bin Hasan and Abiodun of the Last Poets, Judy Juanita, Belva Davis, James Smethurst, et al.
Co-producer is Kim McMillan.

Marvin X Speaks in Fresno, Ca. at the Hinton Community Center and Fresno City College

Marvin X speaks at Fresno City College, Tuesday, February 24, 11am 

Book Marvin X: 510-200-4164

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