Saturday, April 30, 2016

Marvin X, Notes of an Artistic Freedom Fighter: Why are North American Africans Reactionary?

Gordon Parks - <b>Black</b> Muslim <b>Protest</b> | African <b>Americans</b> - The journ… 

It appears to me most of our activity is in reaction to our social environment. We wonder when will we become proactive rather than reactionary, such as protests against the police. After 50 years of dealing with police murder under the color of law, we seem to not understand the police are the front line in the war against North American Africans. In war, there shall be soldiers who fall on the battlefield, martyrs whom we must honor and praise, but the war shall continue until victory. We are not qualified for a frontal attack on the police, for we don't have the arms or the reinforcements they can bring to the battlefield. The only way we can deal with the police is with a secret society.

Here in Oakland, after the 1979 killing of 15 year old Melvin Black by the OPD, a police review board was established, but to no avail. The killings under the color of law by the OPD have continued, so the review board will not suffice, and most certainly will not give justice. The courts cannot give justice because the DA and the police are one. Again, as per revenge or retaliation, this is the job of the secret society. After the 1979 killing of Melvin Black, we rallied five thousand people at the Oakland Auditorium, but we were mocked by one of our elders who said retaliation should have been immediate and to hell with a rally and protest, even though the rally included Minister Farrakhan, Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver, Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour (Donald Warden) et al.

FYI, after the rally the police killing did stop but was soon followed by the introduction of UZIs, drive by killings and Crack, perhaps in the reverse order. Of course, through the years police murder under the color of law has resumed down to the present moment, in Oakland and coast to coast.

Again, I ask why are we reactionary if we truly understand this is war, perhaps, low intensity, but war none the less. Surely the strategy and tactics of war must go beyond protest. I've written elsewhere about working with the mothers who lost sons in drive by killings and police murder under the color of law. I have told how my own son lost his life by walking into a train due to mental illness. But, alas, we know that many of the homicides in our community are, in fact, suicides because often the person doesn't have the will to commit suicide so he/she puts themselves in a position so someone else can kill them. So the net effect is the same as my son walking into a train. Of course it is pure homicide in too many cases, especially with encounters with the police, and even Black on Black homicide, often due to sexual improprieties, gambling and petty turf battles. If you own turf, why do you run when popo comes?

The police are often simply as Minister Farrakhan called them, "Brute beasts in blue uniforms." If we read the text messages of the San Francisco Police officers that were recently released, we know these officers are indeed  brute beasts in blue uniforms who operate and  kill under the color of law because of their pervasive addiction to white supremacy (see my manual How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2007).

Nevertheless, we cannot isolate police from the society they represent--surely they do not represent us. They represent the ruling class and we should know they do not treat the ruling class neighborhoods as they treat us in the hood or down here on the ground. Some of us would be totally shocked to learn the different treatment accorded middle and upper class neighborhoods.

For sure, we must get it in our thick skulls that we are in war and the police are the occupying army of the oppressor. And we must also battle with the enemy within that is often in collaboration with the police. I'm speaking here of drug gangs who often operate with the permission and coordination of the police and other government agencies. We found this out during the Crack era when it was revealed government agencies supplied Crack to drug gangs, along with guns. Even merchants were part of the conspiracy because they allowed drug dealers to operate outside or inside their businesses.

And even the church plays a critical role because it accepts tithes from the mothers of drug dealing children. Often the preachers know if they talk against drugs, they will have no tithes from the many mothers of drug dealing children. After all, the drug dealer is the number one employer of our youth. As per preachers, I recall them  in Reno, Nevada, 1979. When I taught English at the University of Nevada, Reno, preachers, including Black preachers, did not talk against gambling or prostitution for the same reason as preachers in Oakland and elsewhere do not preach against drug dealing.

So as we learn to make the very necessary move from reaction to action, we must be cognizant of all the forces allied against us. And we cannot make war unless and until we are prepared to make war. Study the Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Most importantly, we should understand our children and adults shall suffer causalities  on the battlefield. Again, we must honor the martyrs, honor the families of soldiers who paid the ultimate price on the battlefield, especially the innocent unaware of the battlefield. But we must have the necessary strategy and tactics for a continuation of a centuries old war for our liberation. It will not end in our lifetime, but we must do all we can to advance the struggle, then pass the baton to the next generation and make sure they do not need to reinvent the wheel of freedom.We applaud Black Lives Matter Movement.

Finally, as per the politics of 2016, we must get a consensus on our agenda that may be entirely different from the American agenda, whether Democratic or Republican. What do we want, even better, what do we need? We must put forth our plan for the next 50 to 100 years, for sure, they have their plan and it transcends the Democratic and Republican parties which are one. America is in a critical moment, especially after Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have exposed contradictions in the ruling class.

I don't understand why we are protesting Donald Trump. He's a white nationalist trying to save his people. You should and must be a Black Nationalist trying to save your people. If you are trying to save your people, why and how did you get time to protest what white people are doing? Again, as I said at the outset, you are a programed reactionary and have little or no desire to be proactive. Why are you concerned about Latino immigration? FYI, Latinos/Latinas have taken over this land or shall do so very soon. If you think they haven't, take a ride from Sacramento to Los Angeles through the Central Valley and see who has political power. Who had the power to issue driver's license to illegal aliens. Who had the power to make sure everyone can have health care, including so called illegal persons?

I suggest North American Africans be concerned about your own black asses and have a proactive agenda rather than a reactionary one centered on protest rallies and marches. I suggest you do like many Latino/Latina communities have done throughout the Central Valley: they have taken over the city halls, police departments, school boards, planning commissions. They are proactive and the immigration issue is a false flag because they have achieved de facto political power. As per North American Africans, study the regime of Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka. If you are grounded in revolutionary ideology, you can indeed seize political power without selling out as many if not most Black elected politicians have done, causing us to wallow in the present morass of madness and dread.

It doesn't matter that your first Black President has sent two million persons back across the border. There are more than enough still here to establish La Raza, La Raza, La Raza.

As per your President, his situation put North American Africans in a quagmire  quite similar to the stress we endured during  the O.J. Simpson trial. A friend said OJ stressed out the entire nation of North American Africans. We have indeed been under similar mental stress by the pure, unadulterated hatred and venom  that has been directed on the persona of President Obama day after day for eight years. As an agent of Globalism, he often deserved the criticism from those addicted to white supremacy as well as from those of us North American Africans who were forced to remove our rose colored glasses and admit he was merely a puppet of global white supremacy. And now we shall face the wrath and reaction of the white supremacy forces as they reclaim the White House and attempt to put the Niggers back in their place!

Yes, we need the United Front of all progressive people and ethnic groups because the Globalists care nothing about ethnic groups or national groups, and most certainly not gender groups. The globalists are about divide and conquer, so while we must unite with our fellow brothers and sisters suffering  oppression, we must come to the table with our own agenda as others will do. We, as they shall do, must come with an action plan, not a reactionary agenda in response to a battlefield incident, of which there shall be many more until victory is won. What did Malcolm X tell you, the only bloodless revolution is the Negro revolution; the only landless revolution is the Negro revolution!

I say, be proactive not reactionary. Plan for the next 50 to 100 years, but get a consensus on the plan so that we need not reinvent the wheel of freedom and we can pass the baton to our children without shame and guilt.
--Marvin X
4/29/16

Thursday, April 28, 2016

How to recover from the addiction to WHITE SUPREMACY, Part Two BY MARVIN X

Black Bird Press News & Review: Coming soon from Black Bird Press: Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, New and Selected Poems by Marvin X

Black Bird Press News & Review: Coming soon from Black Bird Press: Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, New and Selected Poems by Marvin X, Foreword by Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

Foreword by Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD: Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, New and Selected Poems by Marvin X


 



 

 

Marvin X
photo Kamau Amen Ra 







Foreword: Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, New and Selected Poems by Marvin X

By Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

I have known Marvin X for decades. We go back to “In the Name of Love”( a poetic drama, Laney College Theatre, 1981) when he taught theatre at Laney, and we go forward in the name of love. He is my teacher. A teacher expands a student’s world, offers them a foundation to grow on or to push against. It is the duty of a student to learn, to comprehend and overstand the journey of the teacher.

A teacher can open doors, mentor and launch you into the world of creativity to carve your own path. It is an artist's dream to be a part of the inner-circle of those whose work you admire most.  I find myself at the table with my betters because Marvin X cleared a place for me. Through Marvin I have met some of the greatest North American African creators  of this or any other time. I have sat with him exchanging ideas with Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Ed Bullins, Eugene Redmond, Ishmael Reed, Askia Toure and other artistic intellectuals and freedom fighters.  For that I am eternally grateful and indebted to pay it forward and hold high the banner of BAM that gave movement to the world as my standard.

It is my great honor to offer this foreword to his latest collection of poetry, Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice. The book is delicious, the work superior, and the writer at the top of his poetic form. Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice is raw, beautiful, painful, low-down, funky and uplifting: like hearing Nat Turner has risen.

Marvin X is the West Coast (actually bi-coastal) Black Arts Movement Impresario. He is credited with being the father of Muslim American Literature. He is an icon of the Black Arts Movement, whose ever growing body of work, belies the end of the most prolific era in American Literature. X is one of our living depository on the history of the Black Arts Movement. He should be recognized as one of the most accessible public intellectuals, noted for his Plato like open air class rooms called Academy of da Corner at 14th and Broadway, Lakeshore Avenue,Oakland, and the ASHBY Flea Market, Berkeley. But he sets up his Academy of da Corner coast to coast. A young brother from Oakland was shocked to see the poet on the streets of Philadelphia. Before setting up shop in Brooklyn, he got permission from the numbers runners on the corner.

The style may be reminiscent of Plato, but as Ishmael Reed notes in his review The Sayings of Plato Negro, there is distinct Yoruba flavor to X’s work. He has been called the Rumi of the USA, compared to Hafiz and Saadi,  but at the end of the day he is himself, a collection of fine points, bright light and wisdom gleaned from a full life.   His philosophy of love, truth and funk, has made its way into the world view of many travelers looking for signs of life, proof of humanity, and a reason to carry on in times that try the soul.

I am John Coltrane, a soaring manifesto and a fitting frame for the sublimity of what follows. Christian Terrorist, an example of the low down dirty truth promised here; it, like other poems, scrapes you bare, leaving only the essential right and wrong to deal with.

Marvin X is lover, assassin, terrorist and shaman, shining in his divinity and profoundly common, he is with his genius, and his genius is awake and slaying what you thought poetry could do. This is poetry for the struggle of finding your humanity, poetry to go to war with, poetry to love by. Marvin is a poet who writes with his own blood, shares his dark truth and spiritual enlightenment.

Often he is the Master teaching what he himself needs to overstand, sometimes he is the pilgrim dragging us where we have not quite dared to venture, mostly he is a humanist in deep reflection on the experience of being human. Don’t read these poems if you don’t want to be saved because you might catch the holy ghost by accident. The poet has often said if he were a Christian, he would be a member of the Church of God in Christ or COGIC. He married and/or partnered  spirit filled women, some from COGIC. There are ample love poems to and about these women in Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice.
His favorite song is Nature Boy, "The greatest thing you will ever learn is to love and be loved in return...."

Don’t read these poems for comfort because some of them will terrify you. Read these poems if your soul is hungry and you need sustenance. Read these poems if you are terrified of the dark, for they will comfort you with their black heartened illumination of real life with its funk and glory behind ‘the black wall’.

Read these poems if you are black and bruised; this is a love song for you.  If you don’t know, I will tell you, Marvin X loves Nigguhs. That comes across in his work: a love song for his Nigguhs, my Niggas, them niggers, and the Negroes among us. It is a conversation for us, about us, but I don’t think he cares if others listen.  His mother, may she rest in peace, tried to release him of the burden of loving Black folks, but to our great benefit he ignored her. He writes about that conversation in The Negro Knows Everything, "Marvin, leave dem Nigguh's alone!..." She also told him, "You don't need dem Nigguhs, Marvin, dem Nigguhs need you. They just using you! Use the mind God gave you and leave dem Nigguhs alone!"  That’s a Marvin thing, if you manage to get his attention and you tell him something, it may well end up in a book. Nothing is safe, nothing is too sacred, and nothing too profane for Marvin’s pen. Dr. Julia Hare said, "He writes with venom in his pen. If there was ink in his pen, one could recover, but you cannot recover from the venom!" She also said, "When he calls you to do something or jump, you can only say how high? It's like God calling!"

Marvin has poured himself into Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice and distilled it into a love song for his people. Marvin is in love with love and I am in love with Sweet Tea/ Dirty Rice. It is a collection of the best of X spanning earlier collections and riveting new work. Marvin has been declared the finest of modern revolutionary writers by the most revolutionary writer, scholar/poet of our time, Amiri Baraka.

I call him my teacher, mentor, Baba. He watered me when life was a desert and the gift of my art could have turned to chafe. He gave me the gift of choosing to become a North American African, a divining rod under which I have come to understand us, a new tribe here in the belly of the beast, with a mishmash of customs gleaned from throughout the Diaspora, made whole cloth in the wilderness of North America, forming the foundation on which we stand.

Marvin stands on that foundation and urges us to see clearly, love as if our existence depended upon it, and reach towards the firmament of American Africanness to organize the stars in the black space above and around us. That is a call for expanded consciousness to those who can hear and follow – space is the place.  He, following Sun Ra, transcends some of the shackles that bind us collectively.  He often tells me he is bored to tears here and awaits a bigger adventure. I am grateful he is still here and that his gift is as sharp as an old school Harlem hustler’s double edge razor, the kind that cuts both ways. His work cuts both ways extolling us to a higher self by addressing our ignorance.   He has been instructive in both his positive contribution of his best mind, in his unparalleled honesty about his own dark spaces, the embodiment of his flaws, and his unending reach for his higher self amid the funk of this life.



Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice

 New and Selected Poems  

Marvin X

 

Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice is raw, beautiful, painful, low-down and funky, uplifting like hearing Nat Turner has risen.--from the introduction, Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, BAM Oakland, founder, Lower Bottom Playaz


He has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the founders and innovators of the revolutionary school of African writing.

--Amiri Baraka   


Marvin X is the USA’s Rumi...X’s poems vibrate, whip, love in the most meta- and physical ways imaginable and un-. He’s got the humor of Pietri, the politics of Baraka, and the spiritual Muslim grounding that is totally new in English –- the ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi.   

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

His love poems will resound as long and as deeply as any love poems ever written by anyone: Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonia Sanchez, Maya Angelou.

--Fahizah Alim

...This is more than poetry--it is singing/song, it is meditation, it is spirit/flowing/flying, it is blackness celebrated, it is prophecy, it is life, it is all of these things and more, beyond articulation....

--Johari Amini (Jewel C. Lattimore)

With respect to Marvin X, I wonder why I am just now hearing about him-I read Malcolm when I was 12, I read Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez and others from the BAM in college and graduate school-why is attention not given to his work in the same places I encountered these other authors? Declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because recontextualizing it will add another layer of attention to his incredibly rich body of work.He deserves to be WAY better known than he is among Muslim Americans and generally, in the world of writing and the world at large. By we who are younger Muslim American poets, in particular, Marvin should be honored as our elder, one who is still kickin, still true to the word!

--Dr. Mohja Kahf, Professor of English and Islamic Literature, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


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


Contents

I Am John Coltrane
Christian Terrorists
The Negro Knows Everything
Little African Woman
I Am American
Party of Lincoln Sinking
To Mexico With Love
Don't Let My Son Look Like This
Talkin Ignut
What is Love
I Will Go into the City
For the Women
I Don't Want to Know Your Name
I Release You
Funny thing I Already Knew
Fly Like a Hawk
Oh, Mighty Kora
Poem for Unresolved Grief
You Don't Know Me
It is Fine to Dream
If Only You Knew How Beautiful You Are
Wish I could fly like hawk
African Blues Ain't Blue
Oh, Mighty Kora
Again the Kora
Empire
Don't ask, don't take

Something is Goin on up in here
Post Black Negro
Remembering Dad
And We Wonder
And then there are Angels
Cyberspace Dead
Memorial Day
Dream Time 2
I Am John Coltrane
If I Were A Muslim In Good Standing
Old Warriors
In the Temple of X
There Was an Island
A Street Named Rashidah Muhammad (Dessie X)

Poem for Clara Muhammad
Prayer for Young Mothers
This
Yes, it’s all there
When I think about the women in my life
Letter to dead negroes in cyberspace
We’re in love but you don’t know me
Growing up
In my solitude, for Duke
A Day we never thought
Mama’s bones
Love is for the beloved
Lesbian
Poem for unresolved grief
Song for Reginald Madpoet
Benazir Bhutto
Dis Ma Hair
Ancestors II
Facing Mt. Kenya
O, Kora, Elegy for John D
Who are these Jews?
For Jerri Jackmon
When Lemmie Died
And then the end
How does it feel to be a nigger
No black fight
Praise song for Askia Toure
Bank the Bankers
Don't dream bout ma man 
Ah, air so fresh 
I Am a Revolutionary 
Do you want to see me tomorrow 
Can you feel the spirit 
My people were never slaves 
Poem #3 for R 
Poem #2 for R 
O, Malcolm X
Fathers sing blues too 
To Egypt with Love 
Letter to my grandson, Jahmeel 
Closure 
Kamau 
Don't Say Pussy 
What If 
Too Funky in Here 
Same Lover/Different Name 
Baraka/Blessed 
Beyond Love 
Apology to my higher self 
Let a Million Men March 
Two Poets in the Park 
Rain in the Valley 
Testimony, A Love Song
Moment in Paradise 
How to love a thinking woman
How to love a thinking man or Never Love A Poet
Ancestors III 
Remember Shani Baraka
When Parents Bury Children 
In the Name of Love 
Those of you who appreciate the work of Marvin X, especially those who have been enjoying his writings and productions for a half century, we urge you to pre-order his book for $15.00. Send to Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702. We have the Square: for credit card orders, call 510-200-4164.
Marvin X
photo Pendarvis Harshaw 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Abdul Sabry, Black Dialogue Magazine Editor, Black Student Union founding member, joins ancestors


Black Dialogue Magazine editors/contributors, Left to Right: Aubrey LaBrie,
Marvin X, Abdul Sabry (Gerald LaBrie), Al Young, Arthur Sheridan, Duke Williams

Black Dialogue, the second of the California little magazines to materialize, emerged from a rivalry its supporters had with the editors of Soulbook. In the fall of 1964, black students at San Francisco State founded their own campus organization and decided that one of its primary objectives would be the creation of a revolutionary little magazine. Many of the students disagreed with some of Bobb Hamilton's and Kenn Freeman's understandings of black journals. Wanting a periodical which could serve a wide variety of opinions, they labeled their own effort "Black Dialogue" in an attempt to provide a forum for open discussion of literary and political questions. 

They secured the following staff, which released the first issue of Black Dialogue in the spring of 1965: Arthur A. Sheridan as editor; Abdul Karim (Gerald Labrie), as managing editor; Edward S. Spriggs as New York editor; Joseph Seward as African editor; Aubrey Labrie as political editor; Marvin X as fiction editor; and Joe Goncalves as poetry editor.

Marvin X's Grand Vision for the Bay Area Celebration of the 50th ...
 Abdul Sabry (Gerald LaBrie), a leader of the Bay Area Black Arts Movement


We received word today that Abdul Sabry (Gerald LaBrie) has joined the ancestors. Surely we are from Allah and to Him we return!

When we graduated from Oakland's Merritt College and transferred to San Francisco State College/University, 1964, Abdul was a member of the Negro Students Association that soon became the Black Student Union. The founding editor of Black Dialogue Magazine was Arthur Sheridan but he was eventually replaced by Abdul Sabry when Black Nationalism became the magazine ideology.


Eldridge Cleaver and Alprintice Bunchy Carter, former
Soledad Prison inmates, co-chairs of the Black Culture
Club at the prison, upon release joined the Black Panther
Party.


Abdul was part of the Black Dialogue staff that visited Soledad Prison's Black Culture Club, chaired by Eldridge Cleaver and Bunchy Carter. According to prison movement historian or griot Kumasi, the club was the beginning of the American Prison Movement.

Abdul was an early follower of Imam Warith Din Muhammad when he turned from the teachings of his father, Elijah Muhammad, and became a Sunni Muslim.

Jitu Sadiki (Black August Los Angeles) Speaks on Hugo Pinell April 23, 2016

Black Bird Press News & Review: Coming soon from Black Bird Press: Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, New and Selected Poems by Marvin X

Black Bird Press News & Review: Coming soon from Black Bird Press: Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, New and Selected Poems by Marvin X

Monday, April 25, 2016

Time Wise and Sam Anderson on How to Recover from White Supremacy, Type I and II


Unfinished Business: Freeing Ourselves of Racism Forum at All Souls
Tim Wise                                             Sam Anderson
 
Media Contact: Bernadette Evangelist 646-765-3639

Unitarian Church on Tuesday, May 17 –
AN EVENING TO EXPLORE HARD TRUTHS ABOUT OUR ROLE IN PERPETUATING RACIAL INJUSTICE

New York, April 25, 2016 - In these troubled times of mass incarceration, police brutality and
blatant racism, how can we understand our own racism, examine entitlement, and take a larger
role in creating a truly just society?
 
Anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise; and activist, teacher, writer and founding member of the Black Panther Party, Sam Anderson, will help explore these issues.
 
Unfinished Business: Freeing Ourselves of Racism
7 P.M. Tuesday, May 17,
 the All Souls Unitarian Church
Lexington Avenue at 80th Street
New York City

There will be reports by some who have been affected by systemic racism. Lurie Daniel Favors,
Esq., General Counsel, Center for Law & Social Justice, Medgar Evers College, will moderate
the program.

This extraordinary event is presented by Big Apple Coffee Party, a group of New York City
grass roots activists, and All Souls Peace & Justice Task Force. It is co-sponsored by New
York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC), and Occu-Evolve
(OWS).

For more information, email bigapplecoffeeparty.org
or call 212-252-2619.
Admission is free
Refreshments will be served. Donations appreciated.

 
 
 

This Is Why The Saudi's Are So Scared Of Trump And The 28 Pages

Coming soon from Black Bird Press: Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, New and Selected Poems by Marvin X






Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice

 New and Selected Poems  

Marvin X


Foreword: Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice, New and Selected Poems by Marvin X

By Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

I have known Marvin X for decades. We go back to “In the Name of Love”( a poetic drama, Laney College Theatre, 1981) when he taught theatre at Laney, and we go forward in the name of love. He is my teacher. A teacher expands a student’s world, offers them a foundation to grow on or to push against. It is the duty of a student to learn, to comprehend and overstand the journey of the teacher.

A teacher can open doors, mentor and launch you into the world of creativity to carve your own path. It is an artist's dream to be a part of the inner-circle of those whose work you admire most.  I find myself at the table with my betters because Marvin X cleared a place for me. Through Marvin I have met some of the greatest North American African creators  of this or any other time. I have sat with him exchanging ideas with Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Ed Bullins, Eugene Redmond, Ishmael Reed, Askia Toure and other artistic intellectuals and freedom fighters.  For that I am eternally grateful and indebted to pay it forward and hold high the banner of BAM that gave movement to the world as my standard.

It is my great honor to offer this foreword to his latest collection of poetry, Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice. The book is delicious, the work superior, and the writer at the top of his poetic form. Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice is raw, beautiful, painful, low-down, funky and uplifting: like hearing Nat Turner has risen.

Marvin X is the West Coast (actually bi-coastal) Black Arts Movement Impresario. He is credited with being the father of Muslim American Literature. He is an icon of the Black Arts Movement, whose ever growing body of work, belies the end of the most prolific era in American Literature. X is one of our living depository on the history of the Black Arts Movement. He should be recognized as one of the most accessible public intellectuals, noted for his Plato like open air class rooms called Academy of da Corner at 14th and Broadway, Lakeshore Avenue,Oakland, and the ASHBY Flea Market, Berkeley. But he sets up his Academy of da Corner coast to coast. A young brother from Oakland was shocked to see the poet on the streets of Philadelphia. Before setting up shop in Brooklyn, he got permission from the numbers runners on the corner.

The style may be reminiscent of Plato, but as Ishmael Reed notes in his review The Sayings of Plato Negro, there is distinct Yoruba flavor to X’s work. He has been called the Rumi of the USA, compared to Hafiz and Saadi,  but at the end of the day he is himself, a collection of fine points, bright light and wisdom gleaned from a full life.   His philosophy of love, truth and funk, has made its way into the world view of many travelers looking for signs of life, proof of humanity, and a reason to carry on in times that try the soul.

I am John Coltrane, a soaring manifesto and a fitting frame for the sublimity of what follows. Christian Terrorist, an example of the low down dirty truth promised here; it, like other poems, scrapes you bare, leaving only the essential right and wrong to deal with.

Marvin X is lover, assassin, terrorist and shaman, shining in his divinity and profoundly common, he is with his genius, and his genius is awake and slaying what you thought poetry could do. This is poetry for the struggle of finding your humanity, poetry to go to war with, poetry to love by. Marvin is a poet who writes with his own blood, shares his dark truth and spiritual enlightenment.

Often he is the Master teaching what he himself needs to overstand, sometimes he is the pilgrim dragging us where we have not quite dared to venture, mostly he is a humanist in deep reflection on the experience of being human. Don’t read these poems if you don’t want to be saved because you might catch the holy ghost by accident. The poet has often said if he were a Christian, he would be a member of the Church of God in Christ or COGIC. He married and/or partnered  spirit filled women, some from COGIC. There are ample love poems to and about these women in Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice.

Don’t read these poems for comfort because some of them will terrify you. Read these poems if your soul is hungry and you need sustenance. Read these poems if you are terrified of the dark, for they will comfort you with their black heartened illumination of real life with its funk and glory behind ‘the black wall’.

Read these poems if you are black and bruised; this is a love song for you.  If you don’t know, I will tell you, Marvin X loves Nigguhs. That comes across in his work: a love song for his Nigguhs, my Niggas, them niggers, and the Negro’s amongst us. It is a conversation for us, about us, but I don’t think he cares if others listen.  His mother, may she rest in peace, tried to release him of the burden loving Black folks, but to our great benefit he ignored her. He writes about that conversation in The Negro Knows Everything, "Marvin, leave dem Nigguh's alone!..." She also told him, "You don't need dem Nigguhs, Marvin, dem Nigguhs need you. They just using you! Use the mind God gave you and leave dem Nigguhs alone!"  That’s a Marvin thing, if you manage to get his attention and you tell him something, it may well end up in a book. Nothing is safe, nothing is too sacred, and nothing too profane for Marvin’s pen. Dr. Julia Hare said, "He writes with venom in his pen. If there was ink in his pen, one could recover, but you cannot recover from the venom!"

Marvin has poured himself into Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice and distilled it into a love song for his people. Marvin is in love with love and I am in love with Sweet Tea/ Dirty Rice. It is a collection of the best of X spanning earlier collections and riveting new work. Marvin has been declared the finest of modern revolutionary writers by the most revolutionary writer, scholar/poet of our time, Amiri Baraka.

I call him my teacher, mentor, Baba. He watered me when life was a desert and the gift of my art could have turned to chafe. He gave me the gift of choosing to become a North American African, a divining rod under which I have come to understand us, a new tribe here in the belly of the beast, with a mishmash of customs gleaned from throughout the Diaspora, made whole cloth in the wilderness of North America, forming the foundation on which we stand.

Marvin stands on that foundation and urges us to see clearly, love as if our existence depended upon it, and reach towards the firmament of American Africanness to organize the stars in the black space above and around us. That is a call for expanded consciousness to those who can hear and follow – space is the place.  He, following Sun Ra, transcends some of the shackles that bind us collectively.  He often tells me he is bored to tears here and awaits a bigger adventure. I am grateful he is still here and that his gift is as sharp as an old school Harlem hustler’s double edge razor, the kind that cuts both ways. His work cuts both ways extolling us to a higher self by addressing our ignorance.   He has been instructive in both his positive contribution of his best mind, in his unparalleled honesty about his own dark spaces, the embodiment of his flaws, and his unending reach for his higher self amid the funk of this life.

 

 

Sweet Tea/Dirty Rice is raw, beautiful, painful, low-down and funky, uplifting like hearing Nat Turner has risen.--from the introduction, Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, BAM Oakland, founder, Lower Bottom Playaz


He has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the founders and innovators of the revolutionary school of African writing.

--Amiri Baraka   


Marvin X is the USA’s Rumi...X’s poems vibrate, whip, love in the most meta- and physical ways imaginable and un-. He’s got the humor of Pietri, the politics of Baraka, and the spiritual Muslim grounding that is totally new in English –- the ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi.   

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

His love poems will resound as long and as deeply as any love poems ever written by anyone: Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonia Sanchez, Maya Angelou.

--Fahizah Alim

...This is more than poetry--it is singing/song, it is meditation, it is spirit/flowing/flying, it is blackness celebrated, it is prophecy, it is life, it is all of these things and more, beyond articulation....

--Johari Amini (Jewel C. Lattimore)

With respect to Marvin X, I wonder why I am just now hearing about him-I read Malcolm when I was 12, I read Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez and others from the BAM in college and graduate school-why is attention not given to his work in the same places I encountered these other authors? Declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because recontextualizing it will add another layer of attention to his incredibly rich body of work.He deserves to be WAY better known than he is among Muslim Americans and generally, in the world of writing and the world at large. By we who are younger Muslim American poets, in particular, Marvin should be honored as our elder, one who is still kickin, still true to the word!

--Dr. Mohja Kahf, Professor of English and Islamic Literature, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


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
photo Kamau Amen Ra 


Contents

I Am John Coltrane
Christian Terrorists
The Negro Knows Everything
Little African Woman
I Am American
Party of Lincoln Sinking
To Mexico With Love
Don't Let My Son Look Like This
Talkin Ignut
What is Love
I Will Go into the City
For the Women
I Don't Want to Know Your Name
I Release You
Funny thing I Already Knew
Fly Like a Hawk
Oh, Mighty Kora
Poem for Unresolved Grief
You Don't Know Me
It is Fine to Dream
If Only You Knew How Beautiful You Are
Wish I could fly like hawk
African Blues Ain't Blue
Oh, Mighty Kora
Again the Kora
Empire
Don't ask, don't take

Something is Goin on up in here
Post Black Negro
Remembering Dad
And We Wonder
And then there are Angels
Cyberspace Dead
Memorial Day
Dream Time 2
I Am John Coltrane
If I Were A Muslim In Good Standing
Old Warriors
In the Temple of X
There Was an Island
A Street Named Rashidah Muhammad (Dessie X)

Poem for Clara Muhammad
Prayer for Young Mothers
This
Yes, it’s all there
When I think about the women in my life
Letter to dead negroes in cyberspace
We’re in love but you don’t know me
Growing up
In my solitude, for Duke
A Day we never thought
Mama’s bones
Love is for the beloved
Lesbian
Poem for unresolved grief
Song for Reginald Madpoet
Benazir Bhutto
Dis Ma Hair
Ancestors II
Facing Mt. Kenya
O, Kora, Elegy for John D
Who are these Jews?
For Jerri Jackmon
When Lemmie Died
And then the end
How does it feel to be a nigger
No black fight
Praise song for Askia Toure
Bank the Bankers
Don't dream bout ma man 
Ah, air so fresh 
I Am a Revolutionary 
Do you want to see me tomorrow 
Can you feel the spirit 
My people were never slaves 
Poem #3 for R 
Poem #2 for R 
O, Malcolm X
Fathers sing blues too 
To Egypt with Love 
Letter to my grandson, Jahmeel 
Closure 
Kamau 
Don't Say Pussy 
What If 
Too Funky in Here 
Same Lover/Different Name 
Baraka/Blessed 
Beyond Love 
Apology to my higher self 
Let a Million Men March 
Two Poets in the Park 
Rain in the Valley 
Testimony, A Love Song
Moment in Paradise 
How to love a thinking woman
How to love a thinking man or Never Love A Poet
Ancestors III 
Remember Shani Baraka
When Parents Bury Children 
In the Name of Love





Marvin X speaks on theatre and social responsibility at University of California, Merced, May 25, 2016




A scene from Marvin X's BAM classic Flowers for the Trashman, produced by Kim McMillon's theatre students at University of California, Merced. On May 25, 2016, Marvin X will dialogue with her students on art and social activism.

Jose Caballero, 20, far right, a UC Merced management major, leads a group of actors in a call and response Monday for the rehearsal of the Voices of the Revolutionary Theatre Collective. The group will perform two free shows, which feature a number of scenes from plays written during the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s.

Read more here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/local/education/uc-merced/article25833373.html#storylink=cpy
l

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Miles Davis & Chaka Khan: Human Nature (live in Montreux 1989)

San Francisco Chronicle: Black Panthers at 50 Years Old






50 years on, Black Panthers honored
 
Steve McCutchen, left, who joined the party in 1968; Timothy Thompson, who joined in 1970; Elaine Brown, former chair; Melvin Dickson, who joined in 1969; 
Bobby McCall, who joined in 1970; and Malik Edwards.

As a high school senior in Sacramento, James Mott cut class to watch the Black Panthers march into the state Capitol in their leather jackets and berets, carrying shotguns.

Mott couldn't resist falling in behind them, and now he is at the front of the line as the Black Panther Party cranks up to mark its 50th anniversary celebration, beginning with an all-day symposium Saturday at Laney College. "

The Black Panthers were the single greatest effort by blacks in the United States for freedom and self-determination," he said, as keynote speaker for a news conference Friday at the Oakland Museum of California. The museum will be the site of a three-day conference on the Panthers that will take over the entire 7.5-acre museum compound for three days, Oct. 20-23. The symposium will coincide with the museum exhibit "All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50," which will include original Panther berets and rarely seen photographs of day-to-day life among the Panthers, taken by party members. The marquee item, borrowed from Stanford, will be the original draft of the Panther "10 Point Platform and Program" written by hand by party co-founder Bobby Seale. Seale noticeably absent

Seale, who has written a screenplay about his life in the Panthers, was noticeably absent from Friday's event. That's because he is putting on his own 50th anniversary events on behalf of the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party, which he says will draw more than 200 Panthers to the Bay Area in October. Also absent was David Hilliard, founding member and chief of staff of the Panthers. He was on the schedule but called in sick. This left it to several later members, led by Mott, who now goes by the name Saturu Ned, 67, and Elaine Brown, 73-year-old former chairwoman of the Black Panther Party. Brown, an activist and one-time presidential candidate, arrived with her right arm in a sling, the result of a much-publicized dustup with Oakland City Councilwoman Desley Brooks, in an Oakland soul food joint. Brown has filed suit against the city and Brooks for $7 million, claiming injuries that required surgery.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was on hand for the news conference to claim her own link to the Panthers. This is based on the fact that Schaaf is also 50 and is the 50th mayor of Oakland. "Growing up in Oakland with the Black Panther Party gave me a skeptical eye," Schaaf began her remarks, later concluding them by declaring October to be Black Panther History Month in the city of Oakland.

There was no specific event that launched the Black Panther Party, but the generally agreed-upon date is Oct. 15, 1966. The one person who does not agree on that date is Seale, who was reached by phone Friday, as his plane landed after a speech at the University of Oregon. Seale said the founding date was Oct. 22, 1966, which was his 30th birthday and the day he and the late Huey Newton finished the "10 Point Platform and Program" for the Black Panther Party for Self Defense (as it was originally called). 

When will the Zionist announce Gaza is no more?

  When will the Zionist announce Gaza is no more When will the Zionist announce Gaza is no more When will the Fake USA Zionist media CNN, A...