Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Y.E.S. event

Deborah Day, Laney College President Dr. Elnora T. Webb, Almaz Yihdego, Marvin X at Y.E.S. event

The Y.E.S. (Youth Empowerment Services, an after school program in the planning stages) event was not what planners intended, but sometimes events take on a life of their own.  A fund raising project can turn into a healing session such as the Y.E.S. event this past Sunday at Oakland's Humanist Hall. Laney College President Dr. Elnora T. Webb gave the keynote address. Marvin X introduced her with a reading of his Parable of Yes. Sandra Pitts Johnson, an Alameda County Probation Officer, told Marvin later, "Marvin X, you are coming to Juvenile Hall. Your books are coming to Juvenile Hall."

But Marvin's Parable  was no match for the testimony of Laney College President, Dr. Elnora Tina Webb. Dr. Webb said she had no prepared speech but would speak from the heart.
Dr. Webb told how she survived as the child of a 13 year old mother. She never knew her father; she recalls six foster homes; was told she was nothing and would never be something, she was trash, garbage, throw away child, yet she persisted to defy all detractors. In high school she was told to forget college prep, go get a job at McDonald's. The counselor didn't know she was already working at McDonald's. But she wanted to go to college because she learned you could get student housing and that was her primary concern since she was 17, almost 18, and would be out of foster care and homeless. But she persisted. She liked math because it was logical, not emotional, i.e., two and two equal four, no debate, no thought, no emotion. So she excelled. A recluse. She participated in drama, sports and other events so no one needed to question her. "Please don't question me, I have no feelings. I am just trying to survive as a human being who has been treated as nothing." Imagine how many children have a story similar to Dr. Webb's, well, their narratives will be similar if they get the support and have the inner strength of Dr. Webb. Y.E.S.
--Marvin X

Parable of YES

by Marvin X
No, no, no! That is all you say. Everything about you is no. Your lips say no, your eyes, your heart, your mind, your arms, your legs, your feet. You are a no person. I run from you. You say no to God. I am afraid of your no touch. I cannot expand my mind around no people. You will kill my spiritual development. No no no no!

When you say yes to life you open the world of infinite possibilities. I understand no part of no, only infinite possibilities. No does not exist in my world, only yes. Yes to love. Yes to success, yes to hope, yes to truth, yes to prosperity, yet to divinity, yes to resurrection, yes to ascension, yes to eternity. I am the language of yes. If you cannot say yes, get away from me. I run from you, want nothing to do with you. There is no hope for you until you open your mouth to yes.

Cast away the yes fear. Let it go, let God. Yes. No matter what, yes. No matter how long, yes.
No matter how hard, yes. Let there be peace in the house, yes. Let there be love between you and me, yes. Let there be revolution in the land, over the world, yes. We will try harder, yes, we won't give up, yes. We shall triumph, yes. Yes is the language of God. Yes is the language of Divinity, Spirituality.

All the prophets ssaid yes. Adam said yes, Abraham said yes. Moses said yes. Solomon said yes.
Job said yes. Jeremiah, Isaiah said yes. The lover in Song of Solomon said yes. David said yes.
John and Jesus sasid yes. Muhammad said yes. Elijah and Malcolm, Martin and Garvey, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth said yes. Fannie Lou and Rosa Parks, Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott ssaid yes.
Mama and daddy said yes. Grandma and grandpa said yes. All the ancestors said yes. Forevermore, let go of no and say yes. Dance to yes. Shout to yes!
--Marvin X
from Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2007

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