Friday, November 14, 2014

Oakland Post Publisher's Vision for the Bay Area Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Celebration

Special to the Post Newspaper Group

 Post Newsgroup Publisher Paul Cobb and poet/activist/educator Marvin X are childhood friends from West Oakland. Paul says to youth, "Crack a book before you're booked for Crack!"
photo Walter Riley, Esq.

 Necola Adams photo; Kalamu Chache's graphics

As the Bay Area prepares for the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement (BAM), the most radical artistic and literary movement in American history, Paul Cobb gave fellow writer and festival producer Marvin X his vision for the celebration.“My interest is putting books in the hands of young men and women who attend this celebration,” Cobb said. “I said long ago, Crack a book before you’re booked for Crack, so if we focus on high risk young people, lifting their literacy and literary pursuits, I will support this BAM celebration. Otherwise, I don’t have time to sit listening to old men and women pontificate about revolution.” He added, “I will help raise money for books, not honoraria for speakers.”

Marvin X said, “When Paul is right, I acknowledge this. I consider him part of the progressive bourgeoisie. He has been more consistent than some of my so-called revolutionary friends and comrades. He usually does what he says. In the past, he has put his ten newspapers at the disposal of my projects, such as the Tenderloin Black Radical Book Fair we produced in 2004."

Bay Area Black artists/authors/activists celebrate the life of slain Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey. Group gathered at the Joyce Gordon Gallery, downtown Oakland, a few blocks from where Chauncey was assassinated in broad daylight.  We learned recently Chauncey was slain with guns from the Oakland version of the US government's Fast and Furious program. Government guns were "walked" into the hood, just as they were given to Mexican drug gangs. This information disputes the white supremacy Chauncey Bailey Project that refused to seriously consider Paul Cobb's editor was slain because he was investigating City Hall and OPD corruption.--Marvin X

Through a series of articles in The Post, Cobb promoted the San Francisco Tenderloin Black Book fair and will do the same for the BAM celebration. This article is the beginning of a series on the BAM celebration. Participating artists and critics are encouraged to contribute to this series leading up to the Bay Area-wide celebration, tentatively scheduled for next year, probably around June-July, 2015.

Marvin X says, "I agree with Paul on the books project. We think a book fair must be part of the BAM celebration. We know Dr. Nathan Hare’s Black Think Tank Books and my Black Bird Press will arrange for books to be given to youth and adults to raise their level of cultural consciousness. We call upon other authors and publishers to donate some of their books in the hood." If you would like to help plan, participate or promote the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement, contact Marvin X or (510) 200-4164.

 The Black Arts Movement Poet's Choir & Arkestra at the BAM conference, University of California, Merced, produced by Kim McMillon and Marvin X, Feb-March, 2014

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