Friday, January 15, 2016

Why not invite Marvin X for Black History Month--He's Living Black History!

Marvin X reading, accompanied by David Murray, Earl Davis and the Black Arts Movement Poet's Choir and Arkestra, Malcolm X Jazz/Art Festival, Oakland CA 2014
photo Adam Turner

Comments on Marvin X 

When you listen to Tupac Shakur, E-40, Too Short, Master P or any other rappers out of the Bay Area of Cali, think of Marvin X. He laid the foundation and gave us the language to express Black male urban experiences in a lyrical way.
--James G. Spady, Philadelphia New Observer Newspaper

 Marvin X is the USA’s Rumi…He’s got the humor of Pietri, the politics of Baraka, and the spiritual Muslim grounding that is totally new in Englishthe ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi….

--Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club, New York City


Still the undisputed king of black consciousness!

 —Dr. Nathan Hare, Black Think Tank, San Francisco

Declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because by re-contextualizing it will add another layer of attention to Marvin X’s incredibly rich body of work. Muslim American literature begins with Marvin X. (Note: The University of California , Berkeley, Bancroft Library, acquired the archives of Marvin X.)

--Dr. Mohja Kahf, Dept. of English  & Middle East & Islamic Studies, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


In terms of modernist and innovative, he’s centuries ahead of anybody I know.

 Dennis Leroy Moore, Brecht Forum, New York

Marvelous Marvin X!

Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University

Courageous and outrageous! He walked through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal.

James W. Sweeney, Oakland CA


His writing is orgasmic!

Fahizah Alim, Sacramento Bee


Jeremiah, I presume! ...Highly informed, he speaks to many societal levels and to both genders—to the intellectual as well as to the man/woman on the street or the unfortunate in prison—to the mind as well as the heart. His topics range from global politics and economics to those between men and women in their household. Common sense dominates his thought. He shuns political correctness for the truth of life. He is a Master Teacher in many fields of thought—religion and psychology, sociology and anthropology, history and politics, literature and the humanities. He is a needed Counselor, for he knows himself on the deepest of personal levels and he reveals that self to us, that we might be his beneficiaries..

--Rudolph Lewis,


He’s Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland. His play One Day In the Life is the most powerful drama I’ve seen.

 --Ishmael Reed

One of the founders and innovators of the revolutionary school of African writing.

Amiri Baraka
Marvin X's autobiography Somethin' Proper is one of the most significant works to come out of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It tells the story of perhaps the most important African American Muslim poet to appear in the United States during the Civil Rights era. The book opens with an introduction by scholar Nathan Hare, a key figure in the Black Studies Movement of the period. Marvin X then takes center stage with an exploration of his life's story, juxtaposed with the rapidly changing events and movements of contemporary history: the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Arts Movement, the Black Power Movement, the growth of Islam in America, and especially the influence of Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam, and the series of challenges facing black people in recent decades. ...An outspoken critic of American economic, social and cultural discrimination of African Americans at home and Third World peoples abroad.
-- Dr. Julius E. Thompson, African American Review
Although Marvin X emerged from an extremely politicized era and enthusiastically confronted the issues of the day, his work is basically personal and religious and remains most effective on that level. It should remain relevant long after issues are resolved, if ever, and long after slogans and polemics are forgotten.
—-Lorenzo Thomas, Dept. of English, University of Houston, Texas

Black History Is World History


Marvin X

Before the Earth was
I was
Before time was
I was
you found me not long ago
and called me Lucy
I was four million years old
I had my tools beside me
I am the first man
call me Adam
I walked the Nile from Congo to Delta
a 4,000 mile jog
I lived in the land of Canaan
before Abraham, before Hebrew was born
I am Canaan, son of Ham
I laugh at Arabs and Jews
fighting over my land
I lived in Saba, Southern Arabia
I played in the Red Sea
dwelled on the Persian Gulf
I left my mark from Babylon to Timbuktu
When Babylon acted a fool, that was me
I was the fool
When Babylon fell, that was me
I fell
I was the first European
call me Negrito and Grimaldi
I walked along the Mediterranean from Spain to Greece
Oh, Greece!Why did you kill Socrates?
Why did you give him the poison hemlock?
Who were the gods he introduced
corrupting the youth of Athens?
They were my gods, black gods from Africa
Oh, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
Whose philosophy did you teach
that was Greek to the Greeks?
Pythagoras, where did you learn geometry?
Democritus, where did you study astronomy?
Solon and Lycurgus, where did you study law?
In Egypt, and Egypt is Africa
and Africa is me
I am the burnt face, the blameless Ethiopian
Homer told you about in the Iliad
Homer told you about Ulysses, too,
a story he got from me.
I am the first Chinese
China has my eyes
I am the Aboriginal Asian
Look for me in Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand
I am there, even today, black and beautiful
I used to travel to America
long before Columbus
came to me asking for directions
Americo Vespucci
on his voyage to America
saw me in the Atlantic
returning to Africa
America was my home
Before Aztec, Maya, Toltec, Inca & Olmec
I was hereI came to Peru 20,000 years ago
I founded Mexico City
See my pyramids, see my cabeza colosal
in Vera Cruz and Yucatan
that's me
I am the Mexican
for I am mixed with all men
and all men are mixed with me
I am the most just of men
I am the most peaceful
who loves peace day and night
Sometimes I let tyrants devour me
sometimes people falsely accuse me
sometimes people crucify me
but I am ever returning I am eternal, I am universal
Africa is my home
Asia is my home
Americas is my home

Suggested reading list

The complete works of J.A. Rogers
The World and Africa, W.E.B. DuBois
Stolen Legacy, George M. James
The African Origin of the Major Religions, Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan
Message to the Black Man, Elijah Muhammad
They Came before Columbus, Ivan Van Sertima
"African Explorers in the New World, " Harold Lawrence,
Crisis, June-July, 1962. Heritage Program Reprint, p. 10
The Destruction of African Civilization, Chancellor Williams.
The Cultural Unity of Africa, Cheikh Anta Diop.
Man, God and Civilization, John G. Jackson

Harlem, New York reception for Marvin X at the home of Rashidah Ismaili, 2014

Marvin X at New York University memorial for poets Amiri Baraka and Jayne Cortez, 2014
photo Joyce Jones
Marvin X
photo Joyce Jones
  BAM poets at NYU memorial for Amiri Baraka and Jayne Cortez
Front row seated: Quincy Troupe, Ted Wilson, Rashidah Ismaili, Sandra Esteves
Standing: Arthur Pfister, Haki Madhubuti, Askia Toure, Marvin X, Henry Grimes
photo Joyce Jones

  Students listen attentively to Marvin X at the University of Houston, Africana Studies Department
 Marvin X addressing graduate seminar at University of Houston, Africana Studies Department

University of California, Merced students after hearing Marvin X lecture on Black Arts Movement Theatre. Students wanted him to hear them read his first play Flowers for the Trashman. Students are in Kim McMillan's class on Theatre and Social Activism.

A live dog is better than a dead lion!--Holy Bible

Marvin X is now available for readings/speaking coast to coast.

In 2015 Marvin X rocked America coast to coast!

 Marvin X accepts life-time achievement award from PEN Oakland. Right: Al Young, MC, poet, novelist, California Poet Laureate emeritus 
photo Wanda Sabir

Poet/playwright  Marvin X with fellow poet/playwrights  Opal Palmer Adisa and Ishmael Reed

 Ishmael Reed and Marvin X. Ishmael Reed says, "Marvin X is Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland." Marvin X appears in two of the latest books by Ishamel Reed: The Complete Muhammad Ali and Black Hollywood unChained

 Marvin X
photo Wanda Sabir

 Marvin X, MCs Jack Foley and Al Young
photo Wanda Sabir

Marvin X at the mike. The mike is often snatched from him by the PC Culture Police, not this time.
photo Wanda Sabir

Marvin X is now available for readings/speaking engagements coast to coast. Send letter of invitation to Call 510-200 4164.

"If you want motivation and inspiration, don't spend all that money going to workshops and seminars, just go stand at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, and watch Marvin X at work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland."--Ishmael Reed
At his Academy of da Corner, Marvin X mentors many Hip Hop youth who question him about their addiction to the plethora of isms and schisms, especially the Youtube "scholars".  They ask him who is God? He answers God is you, look in the mirror! You are in God/God is in you! He refers them to his mentors Elijah Muhammad and His Holiness Guru Bawa. If you ain't ready for the reality of God, don't ask me shit!

Fans of Marvin X
photo Kamau Amen Ra

BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra at University of California, Merced, 2014

 The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra at the Malcolm X Jazz/Art Fest, Oakland, 2014
photo collage Adam Turner

Marvin and BAM comrade Danny Glover
photo Kenny Johnson

Marvin X in "Nigguh Heaven" (In the presence of intelligent/beautiful revolutionary Black women)
BAM 50th Anniversary Celebration, Laney College, Oakland, 2015
photo Kenny Johnson

Left to Right: Black Panther Party Chairwoman Elaine Brown, BAM dancer/choreographer Halifu Osumare, BAM/BPP member Judy Juanita, writer Portia Anderson, BAM Bay Area multitalented Kujichagulia, BAM Baby Aries Jordan
photo Kenny Johnson
 To invite Marvin X to your venue,
send letter of invitation to
Marvin X

Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland--the Most dangerous classroom in the world: the Oscar Grant Rebellion, Occupy Oakland, Ferguson, Black Lives Matter.
Academy of da Corner is part of the Black Arts Movement Business District.
photo Adam Turner


 My Life in the Global Village--
Notes of an artistic freedom fighter

If my memory is correct, the Black Panthers were at the Black House, San Francisco, when the first issue of the Black Panther Newspaper hit the press. Eldridge Cleaver and I had founded the Black House as a political/cultural center on Broderick Street, 1967,  and after I introduced him to Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, co-founders of the BPP and he became Minister of Information, the Black House morphed into the San Francisco Headquarters of the BPP. The Black House as a cultural center collapsed from ideological differences so the artists eased on down the road, including playwright Ed Bullins, Ethna Wyatt and myself. Ed Bullins fled to New York as did many artists, especially musicians, whom I discovered, especially when I hit Harlem myself, were more politically astute than the so called politicos, especially the Panthers who did not recover from their anti-art or war against "cultural nationalists" stance until they attended the Pan African Cultural Festival in Algeria.

But before I departed Black House, I saw the BPP newspaper being laid out in Cleaver's room adjacent to mine. The BPP trip to Sacramento was  planned at Black House. I could hear their planning session from my bedroom that Mrs. Amina Baraka described as Spartan compared to Eldridge's that was "high tech", i.e., he had a speaker phone! She was pregnant with the Baraka's first child, Obalaji, while at the Black House that was visited by such artists and politicos as Sonia Sanchez, Askia Toure, Sarah Webster Fabio, Avotcja, Emory Douglas, Samuel Napier, Judy Juanita, Chicago Art Ensemble, Reginald Lockett, Ellendar Barnes, George Murray,  and a host of others too numerous to remember, including Alprentice Bunchy Carter, Cleaver's close associate from Soledad  Prison.
 Eldridge Cleaver and his lieutenant in the prison movement and later ...Bunchy Carter was a story I've never forgotten. Do your math if you ...

Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter(born 1943; died January 17, 1969, Los ...

Alprentice Bunchy Carter

Carter was one of most handsome Black men
in the BLM, a former leader of the seven thousand member
Los Angeles Slauson Street gang, poet
and Cleaver's co-chair of the Soledad Prison
Black Culture Club that was the beginning
of the American Prison Movement.


The Black Dialogue Magazine brothers who visited the Soledad Prison
Black Culture Club, chaired by Eldridge Cleaver and Bunchy Carter, 1966.

Left to Right: Aubrey LaBrie, Marvin X, Abdul Sabrey, Al Young, Arthur
Sheridan (founding editor of Black Dialogue) and Duke Williams. Most of
us were students at San Francisco State College/University when we visited
Soledad Prison. There was thus a unity in the Black Liberation Movement between students, prison inmates, Black intellectuals, artists and activists. There can be no revolution until all sectors of the
community unite and become one fist, i.e., youth, students, workers, intellectuals,
artists, women, progressive bourgeoisie and the spiritual leaders.

The staff of Black Dialogue Magazine visited the club
at Cleaver's invitation that we received from
his lawyer/lover Attorney Beverley Axelrod,
to whom he dedicated Soul on Ice and promised
to marry upon his release.  She smuggled his manuscript
out of Soledad in her legal papers. She won a percentage of
royalties by default after Cleaver went into exile from America.
Ironically, a few days before I performed his memorial service
in Oakland, her Pacifica house slid down the hill in a mudslide.
I didn't know she was at the memorial until years later when I
viewed the video of the memorial.

Bunchy was killed in the BSU meeting room on the campus of UCLA, along
with BPP member John Huggins, supposedly by members
of Ron Karenga's US organization, although Geronimo Pratt
absolves US of this twin murder. For sure, it was a Cointelpro affair,
have no doubt about this. See Senator Church's hearings on Cointelpro
and the Black Movement, including the Civil Rights Movement.

John Huggins - Email, Address, Phone numbers, everything! www ...
Comrade John Huggins

Black Panthers in Sacramento

The climax in my relationship with Cleaver and the Panthers occurred when I got into a confrontation with Lil' Bobby Hutton over the youth club in the basement. True, the youth were out of control and Hutton told me,"The Supreme Commander, i.e. Huey Newton, said close it down because it could be an excuse for the pigs to raid Black House." Of course Lil' Bobby and the BPP were correct, I was being emotional. We had received information from some progressive Black bourgeoisie sisters that the Black House was indeed going to be raided as they had information the police knew the youth were taking liberties with women or young girls, playing hookie from school and partying in the basement. Years later though, I met those youth who were grown and quite conscious culturally, and they thanked me for their Black House experience.

Bobby Hutton and Bobby Seale inside the Sacramento Capitol building ...

<b>bobby</b> <b>hutton</b> | Tumblr

I identified with the youth and was their mentor, so I told Hutton, "Fuck the Supreme Commander! I'm not closing down shit!" I could see in his eyes, Hutton wanted to get me that instant but restrained himself, saying, "We'll deal with you later, dude!" That night all I heard was the click of 45 automatics outside my door. I wasn't intimidated and didn't give a fuck. I knew I was just as crazy as Huey, Bobby and Eldridge, but shortly after the incident,  Eldridge evicted Ed Bullins, Ethna and myself. Ethna and I joined the Nation of Islam. After dropping out of San Francisco State College/now University, I was drafted but under Panther and Nation of Islam influence, I fled to Toronto, Canada, later Mexico City and Belize, from which I was deported and spent five months in jail and Federal prison at Terminal Island. The Panthers said, "We must not only resist the draft but resist arrest as well! Actually, no matter where I was, whether in exile or prison, the task was the same, i.e., to teach the deaf, dumb and blind the reality of our condition. So I did so in Toronto, Mexico City and Belize, Central America. And for doing so, one can be killed, exiled or jailed.
Somehow God saved me to tell this story. Years later, San Francisco County Jail Sheriff Charles Smith (who threw Muhammad Speaks newspaper in my cell during the three months I spent in jail at 350 Bryant Street) told me he attended a Interpol Conference in Belize at which they discussed my presence in Central America.

The killing of Denzil Dowell in Richmond was the first case of pigs killing North American Africans the BPP tackled. Fifty years later, where are we and the police? It seems another Denzil Dowell is murdered by the pigs every day coast to coast. Fifty years ago the Panthers took up arms to defend the community. Before them were brothers in the South such as the Deacons for Defense and Robert Williams in North Carolina (Negroes With Guns).

Since the BPP took up arms, many pigs were killed and many many Black Panther Party members were murdered by the pigs. When Eldridge Cleaver returned from exile as a Born Again Christian, I traveled with him throughout the Western hemisphere, America, Canada, Jamaica. After giving his testimony about finding Jesus Christ in the moon, the white Christians would embrace him and confessed they used to hate him and Blacks in general but since they were Born Again, they no longer hated him nor Blacks. On one occasion the police confessed they had murder squads who killed Panthers in particular and Blacks in general.  The pigs and Cleaver embraced, both exclaiming, "Praise the Lord!"

Because the Born Again pigs and Cleaver confessed their new found love for each other, do not think they trusted him one iota. Before he had me organize his ministry independent of the whites, there were white Born Again Christians who traveled with us to maintain their surveillance of him. After all, he was the Black superstar on the white Born Again Christian circuit. Charles Colson of Watergate was the other, along with Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Bone, Jim and Tammy Baker, et al. I met most of them on more than one occasion. Since Black Christians were mortally afraid to work with Eldridge, as his chief of staff, I hired a crew of fearless Black Muslims that he fronted off as "heathens" he'd converted to Christianity. After giving his testimony, we'd usually have dinner with the white Christians (for a long time, he didn't deal with Black Christians), and they would ultimately turn to me with the question, "Marvin, when did you find the Lord?" And being an actor from Black Arts Movement Theatre, answered, "One Tuesday night!" The Christians would also ease up to me with the question, "Marvin, is Cleaver for real, did he really see Jesus Christ in the moon?" Of course I said yes. They also wanted to know if I was his bodyguard, even though he was twice my size at the time. I told them I was his just his travel companion and photographer, although he did provide me with a 45 automatic I carried in my camera bag.

When he went to Vancouver, Canada for a speaking engagement, they shook us down at the airport returning to the US and shook us down a second time when we arrived at San Francisco airport. They weren't sure Cleaver was truly Born Again and might still be a Communist dedicated to destroying America.

But it was a different feeling having the police greet us in a friendly manner when we arrived at the airport of various cities and accompany us to his engagements. I recently had a positive experience with the police while in Newark, New Jersey for the funeral of Amiri Baraka and also when I returned for the inauguration of his son, Ras Baraka, as Mayor of Newark NJ.

During the funeral, the police were all over the Baraka house as friends and security. Even before becoming Mayor, Ras had told me, "Marvin, we got brothers with legal guns on our side!" Indeed, many Black police supported the Baraka family, the "first family" of Newark, NJ.

Mrs. Amina Baraka told me that since her son became Mayor, the killing of Blacks by the police has stopped. Now it is only Blacks killing Blacks. During the time I was in Newark, I called California to tell friends there was a more positive relationship between the people and the police. They said I was crazy, this was unimaginable. I was tripping, they said. But it was true none the less, the antagonistic relationship between the people and the police in Newark was subsiding.

In Oakland, I recently asked my childhood friend, Paul Cobb, one of the elders in Oakland politics, are there any Black police on our side? He was not able to answer the question. In my mind, there must be some Black officers on the side of the people. They can't all be pigs, devils, beasts in blue uniforms. We know some of them can be won over to the cause of the people. We saw this in Egypt during the short lived Arab Spring. For a moment, the police and people became one.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party, we need to think about how we can come to a more civilized relationship with the police, even if it is symbiotic, it need not be totally negative. But the police cannot be allowed to continue their murder of Black people and other minorities under the color of law. Every human being in American has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And every human being has the right to self defense. Must we conclude the police are constitutionally unable to restrain themselves from killing us? Or is it possible for them to reach a higher level of understanding than the beast plane? If they can do it in Newark, they can do it in Oakland and Ferguson. Isaiah said let us reason together.

We know we cannot outgun the police. We saw in the 60s and we see now, the police have plenty back up, i.e., National Guard, Army, Air Force, Navy, FBI, Homeland Security, CIA, snitches and agent provocateurs. Yes, the Panthers in particular and the Black community in general suffered a military defeat during the 60s and 70s. Guns weren't the only weapon: there was disinformation, chemical (drugs)  and germ warfare(HIV/STDs), toxic food and water.

Isn't it time to do something that works? Shall we continue doing the same thing but expect different results, the mark of insanity?

Fifty years later, it is almost impossible for me to attend rallies against the police for murdering our young men and women. I applaud  people like Oakland's Cat Brooks,Chepus Johnson and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Thank God they have the energy. After fifty years, I'm emotionally and mentally drained, especially after losing my own son to suicide. Imagine, on psycho drugs, he walked into a train, a brilliant young man who graduated from UC Berkeley, attended Harvard and studied in Syria at the University of Damascus. Dr. Nathan Hare says suicide and homicide are but different sides of the same coin, often situational disorders caused oppression. Often homicides are suicides because the person didn't have the never to kill himself so he made someone else do the job. Franz Fanon said the only way the oppressed can regain their mental health is by engaging in revolution to end oppression. Revolution is seizing power. Ras Baraka has demonstrated this in Newark, NJ. And he was blessed with revolutionary parents, so he is well trained for his mission to transform Newark, NJ, a city much like Oakland.

Newark, NJ Mayor Ras Baraka and Marvin X

For sure, we are at war with the oppressor and the police are his first line of defense. Many of us are in denial we are at war until one of our children are killed. The tragedy is that there is no Black family in America that has not been impacted by police actions under the color of law, not to mention incarceration.

We know for a fact police behavior is quite different in the white community than in our community.
I've lived among white people in Castro Valley and they don't even treat Black people the same as they treat us a few miles away in Oakland. The son of a rich friend of mine was repeatedly stopped for speeding and driving without a license in Castro Valley. Did the police kill the boy? No. Did they give him a ticket? No. They called his father to come get the car and his son. Yes, they knew the father was a rich Black man so they treated him with respect. Once the youth had a party that got loud so neighbors called the police. Of course the youth were drinking and smoking. When the police came, they only wanted to know if there was an adult at the house. When I came to the door, the police said, "Are you the adult here, Sir?" I said, "Yes, Sir." The police said, "Good night, Sir."

Now we know money ain't gonna save you all the time, ask Harvard's Skip Gates! But we know if those armed white men in Oregon were Black, they would have surrendered or they'd be dead by now. Still we must make a way out of no way. We cannot continue going to funerals of our children from police homicide under the color of law or Black on Black homicide due to our addiction to white supremacy. We must arise from this morass of savagery. We must regain our self respect and demand others respect us.

I have called for the Red, Black and Green flag to fly up and down the Black Arts Movement Business District along the 14th Street corridor, downtown Oakland. Saluting the flag should help us regain our mental equilibrium and make others, including police, recognize we are a nation of people and must be respected as such. I often give the example of the gay/lesbian flag that flies down Market Street in San Francisco as one goes toward the gay/lesbian community. By the time one gets to the  community, one gets the feeling that we must have respect for this community and not engage in homophobic language and behavior. It should and must be the same in the BAM Business District. This must be a sacred space that we must respect. And this vibration must spread throughout our community. I suggest the Red, Black and Green fly throughout our community to let ourselves and the world know we are a people with cultural consciousness, who originated from the womb of civilization. It will help us understand when we kill our brothers and sisters, we kill ourselves. When others kill us, they kill themselves as well. James Baldwin said, "The murder of my child will not make your child safe!"
--Marvin X

Marvin X is a poet, playwright, essayist, organizer, one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement. He attended Oakland's Merritt College along with Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. He introduced Eldridge Cleaver to the Black Panthers. He was a member of the Negro Student Association/Black Student Union at San Francisco State University, 1964. Marvin co-founded Black Arts West Theatre, San Francisco, 1966, Black House, San Francisco, 1967, and was a member of Harlem's New Lafayette Theatre, 1968. He taught at Fresno State University, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, San Francisco State University, Mills College, Laney and Merritt Colleges, Oakland; University of Nevada, Reno. He lectures at colleges and universities coast to coast. Marvin is prolific: he's written 30 books. His current project is the Black Arts Movement Business District, downtown Oakland.  He is in the Black Panther film Vanguard of the Revolution directed by Stanley Nelson. See his memoir of Eldridge Cleaver: My friend the Devil, Black Bird Press, 2009, Berkeley CA.

City of Oakland endorses the Black Arts Movement Business District

We are happy to announce that today, January 12, 2016,  a committee of Oakland City Council members passed the resolution designating the 14th Street corridor as the Black Arts Movement Business District. The resolution was introduced by Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney. For their vote to officially establish the name Black Arts Movement Business District, they receive the BAM Gold Fist Award for Excellence:

Council President Lynette McElhaney, Marvin X, Duane Deterville; Middle row: Gerry Garzon (Oakland Public Library), Tureeda Mikell, Jaenal Peterson, Aries Jordan, David McKelvey, Eric Murphy (Joyce Gordon Gallery); Back row: Eric Arnold, Kwesi Wilkerson, Charles Johnson, Alicia Parker (Oakland Planning Department), Shomari Carter (Supervisor Keith Carson's Office). Far right: Elder Paul Cobb, Publisher, Oakland Post News Group.
For more information on the Black Arts Movement Business District, stay tuned to 

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