Several students met Marvin X today at Oakland's Black Expo at Frank Ogawa Plaza, aka Oscar Grant Plaza. But Marvin is growing weary of mentoring because students want to tell him their agenda rather than following his. If you want to follow your agenda, you don't need me, go do your thing, don't take up my time. I have no illusion my time on earth is short, so let me do my thing and you do yours, he told students recently. Rashad Wiley and his wife came by today seeking knowledge, both graduates of San Jose State University. Marvin told them to do for self on the economic level, but Rashad seemed puzzled, saying he had to prepare to go to his job on Monday. Marvin advised, you must find a product to sell, almost anything will do. The lowest hustler in Harlem will sell toothpicks and get over. Bring me to San Jose State University, Marvin told Rashad, I want to speak at a rally near the statute of John Carlos and Tommy Smith! Rashad thought it was a great idea. Before he and his wife departed, Olympic Gold Medalist Jimmy Hines came by. Marvin told Rashad who he was. Ask him what his gold medal was for, he told Rashad. Hines told him for the 100 yard dash, Mexico City, 1968. Rashid could only say Wow! Hines told Marvin he will be calling him as he might need some help on his autobiography. Marvin is in conversation with Mrs. Amina Baraka about writing her biography.
Marvin X and oldest daughter Nefertiti on the Black Arts Movement/Black Power Babies Panel at Laney College's 50th Anniversary Celebration of BAM. She told her father, "Dad, you say pass the baton, but you don't pass the baton. We're qualified and ready, so pass the baton!" Yes, he's mentored his children well, i.e., they all have smart mouths!
photo Southpark Kenny Johnson
After discovering he was a co-founder of BAM and his friends were Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Amiri Baraka and Sun Ra, et al., she got around to asking if he mentored people. He replied that he was rethinking his mentoring program since, as Elijah Muhammad said, "The Negro is hard to lead in the right direction, easy to lead in the wrong direction, being stiff necked and rebellious." He told her one of his students described his mentoring as "The wild, crazy ride called the Marvin X experience." She replied, "That's what I'm looking for, a wild, crazy ride!" We'll talk about the mentoring, he told her. Before she departed, another young lady came and said she wanted to be mentored. When he told her about his wild, crazy ride, she too said, "That's what I'm looking for, a wild crazy ride with no seat belt, no air bag." We'll see, the poet said. The two ladies touched each other in agreement they both wanted the Marvin X Experience. Stay tuned! Catch the Wild, Crazy Ride of the Marvin X Experience at Oakland's Art and Soul, next weekend, August 1st and 2nd. Call 510-200-4164 for his booth location.