Friday, January 2, 2015
Comrade Paul Cobb Makes A Good Point: Who is an Artist?
Post News Group Publisher Paul Cobb and Poet/producer, playwright, essayist, educator, philosopher, activist Marvin X go back to childhood in West Oakland; they were probably in Cub Scouts together. Marvin X's Mom was a Den Mother and co-partner with her husband Owendell Jackmon I in their florist shop at 7th and Campbell. Marvin X's first writings were published in the Children's Section of the Oakland Tribune, Aunt Elsie's Section. His first and most famous play is the BAM classic Flowers for the Trashman, published in Black Fire and SOS--Calling all Black People! In this pic he is across the street from his Academy of da Corner, a multipurpose space for the broken hearted, tramautized and those suffering unresolved grief and suffering. Ironically, Marvin X has observed Paul Cobb doing the same work in his office at the Post Newspaper, 14th and Franklin, downtown Oakland. Amiri Baraka said, be careful, you so patient with the patients you become a patient!
Post News Group Publisher Paul Cobb said, "Why not just a Black Arts Movement District? Do we need to say Business and Cultural District, ain't Black Arts Movement District enough?" He said, "Ain't the restaurant worker an artist? Ain't the florist an artist? Ain't the shoe shine man an artist?"
Indeed, Bob Watson, a Master Printer in San Francisco, who mentored many of the Bay Area's Black printers, including Dennis Jeffery at Oakland's Print Shop. was quoted by Marvin X saying, "Bob Watson printed several of my books; he told me about the coming era of digital color printing. But most of all, Bob Watson said, 'Marvin X, you ain't the only artist! I'm an artist too. About your book Love and War, let me think about it, let me think about the ink color and the paper texture.'"
Imagine, I played basketball against Tommy Smith, for Lemoore High, an all white school down in the Central Valley. I was on Edison High's team from Fresno. We beat Tommy's team, white boys, he the only Negro. Love you Tommy and John Carlos. --Marvin X
Marvin X and the Black Arts Movement Poet's Choir & Arkestra will appear at Laney College for the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement, of which Marvin X is a co-founder, one of the movers and shakers.