Monday, June 29, 2015

UC Merced Global Arts Studies Program prresents Voices of the revolutionary theatre collective: Amiri Baraka, Marvin X, et al.

We congratulate UC Merced professor Kim McMillan for keeping the flame of liberation alive. Ishmael Reed said, "If not for the Black Arts Movement, Black culture would be extinct!"

Art is the life blood of culture, the images, rhythms, sounds, words, colors, dances, songs, myths and rituals are reflections for the Man/woman in the Mirror, Michael told us. Remember the Time? Art and Culture is the collective memory bank. Continue your work, Kim. I love your students!
--Marvin X

Dear Marvin,

My students love you.  I have eighteen students who have never acted before.  They are performing excerpts from your work, Amiri Baraka, Robert Alexander, Ben Caldwell, Carolyn Rodgers, George C. Wolfe, and closing the show with Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On."  We open the show with Amiri Baraka's "SOS - Calling All Black People." A reporter from the Merced Sun-Star showed up today.  I think he was a bit surprised by my students.  The class consists of two bi-racial students, 13 Chicano/Latinos, and three Asians.  One of the young men is reciting Dudley Randall's "Ballad of Birmingham."  He told the reporter that when he first choose the piece the killing of innocent churchgoers in Charleston had not happened. He felt saddened that a poem written so long ago would sadly be so relevant.  The students said their work stands as a testament that "Black Lives Matter" and all lives matter.  One student broke down why Amiri Baraka's Dutchman was so important now.  I was so proud of them.  They told me how much they had learned from you.  Thank you for coming to Merced and speaking to my students.  It meant a great deal to them.


Marvin X during a recent lecture/discussion at the University of California, Merced. Students in Kim McMillan's Theatre and Social Responsibility class read to him Flowers for the Trashman, his first play written while an undergrad at San Francisco State University, 1964. The Drama Department produced Flowers for the Trashman. It appears in the anthology Black Fire and the BAM reader SOS.

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