Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Please sign the petition to Oakland Mayor Libby Shaaf requesting her support for a concert benefiting The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra

Skyline of Oakland at sunrise (Getty Images)
Hotep,

On January 19, the Oakland City Council passed legislation establishing the Black Arts Movement Business District. We thank them, especially City Council President Lynette McElhaney and Moveon.org. It is time for the BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra to hit the road to complete the 27 City BAM Tour ancestor Amiri Baraka suggested to continue our cultural revolution and united front of progressive people.

That's why I created a petition to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, which says:

"We call upon Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to support a benefit concert for Straight Outta Oakland, The Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour, featuring the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra. We suggest the benefit concert happen at the Paramount Theatre with the Oakland Symphony performing with the BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra. "

Will you sign my petition? Click here to add your name:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/straight-outta-oakland?source=c.fwd&r_by=15569191

Thanks! 
Marvin X,
Producer/Director, Straight Outta Oakland, BAM 27 City Tour
Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, Co-producer/director 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Abstract for Straight Outta Oakland, the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour

While in Philadelphia participating in the 60th Birthday Celebration for imprisoned journalist Mumia Abu Jamal, Marvin X recruited a Dream Team of artists, activists, educators and promoters for the 27 City Black Arts Movement Tour. The following are a few of the persons who tentatively agreed to join the BAM Tour:

Dr. Cornel West, educator
Dr. Tony Montiero, educator
Dr. Muhammad Ahmed, educator
Fred Hampton, Jr., activist
Preston Muhammad, promoter
Alfie Pollitt, musician, arranger
Elliot Bey, musician
Pam Africa, activist
Maurice Henderson, producer
Abiodun, the Last Poets
Umar Bin Hasan, the Last Poets



The BAM Poet's Choir and Arkestra performed at the Black Arts Movement Conference, University of California, Merced, Feb 28 thru March 2, 2014.


Abstract for the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour
 
The mission of the Black Arts Movement’s 27 City Tour is to continue the cultural revolution we initiated during the 1960s.  This cultural revolution is still needed because for a variety of reasons the Black Arts Movement was aborted due to the radical nature of our task which was the liberation of our people in harmony with the political movement.  Today, the need to address the political condition is critical, yes, even with the election of a non-white president, though this president has done little to address non-white issues, especially the high unemployment of youth, the high incarceration rate of 2.4 million  and the deportation rate of two million so called illegal immigrants since President Obama took office.

But more than the political and economic situation is the cultural condition, some of the reactionary values in hip hop culture, especially unconscious rap poetry, and even the socalled conscious poetry is, in the words of my daughter, an expression of the pseudo conscious, for words are not followed by the right action. As we know, talk is cheap! Sonia Sanchez would say the contradictions in hip hop were inherited from the Black Arts Movement contradictions. "Brothers talked Black Power but went home to beat their wives and partners. BAM children, i.e., the Hip Hop generation observed our behavior and emulated it."
But most important is the overall lack of mental health wellness in our community nationwide, to say nothing of physical wellness. The high rate of homicide among young North American African men is symptomatic of a lack of manhood training or the infusion of traditional values that inspire and motivate people to be the best they can be, to give honor and respect to their elders and ancestors. 
The 50%  or more drop out rate of students in our schools is partly the result of our dire mental health condition. Alas, it is said not only is there a critical need for a positive curriculum and teachers with an undying love for our children, but the mental health condition of our children requires mental health counselors with radical  values of wellness  based on a holistic approach to solving our myriad psycho-social and economic issues.   
We are dumbfounded to learn the USA  (Bush and Obama) promised the young men in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere (except in the USA) three items if they stop their violence and pledge allegiance to the constitution of their lands: education, jobs and housing. Why not offer education, jobs and housing for the boyz and girls  in the hood? 
The BAM tour will address some of these issues through the medium of art, i.e. poetry, drama, dance, music, graphics. While art therapy has been used in traditional cultures, and was utilized in the Black Arts Movement, there must be a concerted effort to make use of art in the healing of our people. Throughout the years, we have seen the power of art in changing destructive personalities. We recall the production we did of Amiri Baraka’s play Dutchman in Fresno CA. The local pimp loaned us  a wig for the female character Lula. When he viewed the play and saw her stab the young North American African male, Clay, this rocked the pimp’s world and he threw in his pimping towel, joined the Nation of Islam and eventually became an imam and made his haj or pilgrimage to Mecca. Thus we see the power of art to heal broken, self destructive and economically damaged personalities.

Many times we heard Amiri Baraka speak about the need to reach our people in the 27 major cities we inhabit in large numbers—to reach out and touch them with healing Black Art that can restore our mental and physical wellness.  In honor of ancestor Amiri Baraka, we propose to conduct a 27 city tour with concerts and wellness workshops to aid in the recovery of ourselves. Our special focus shall be on young Black men, although we cannot  and will not ignore young black women, nor will we avoid adult and parental responsibility. Thus, this will be an inter-generational experience. Sly Stone told us, "It's a family affair!" And the O'Jays said it is a Family Reunion. When we come together as family and embrace with the words "I appreciate you!" the revolution is victorious!
We estimate the overall budget for this project will be 2.7 million dollars at $100,000 per city, including  artist fees, promotion, advertisement, rental of venues, insurance, security, lodging, food,transportation and documentation. Since many of the Black Arts Movement workers are elders, the timeline would be at least three years to complete this project,  including planning and production.

BAM workers in each community will be recruited to participate and we would like to establish a BAM House or cultural center in each city, no matter if it is a 50 seat theatre as Amiri Baraka suggested.  A staff of educators,  mental and physical health workers must be a part of this project so that we more effectively deal with our wellness in a holistic manner.
Sincerely,
Marvin X, Project Director
The Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour
Philadelphia PA
4/23/14
510-200-4164


National Advisory Board Members
Mrs. Amina Baraka
Sonia Sanchez
Askia Toure
Mae Jackson
Rudolph Lewis
Maurice Henderson
Emory Douglas
Troy Johnson
Kalamu Ya Salaam
Eugene Redman
Kim McMillan
Ayodele Nzinga
Geoffery Grier
Nefertiti Jackmon
Muhammida El Muhajir
Jessica Care Moore
Paul Cobb
Conway Jones
John Burris
James Sweeney
Fahizah Alim
Nisa Ra
Aries Jordan Billy X Jennings
Sam Anderson

Marvin X, Producer/Director, Straight Outta Oakland, Black Arts
Movement 27 City Tour
photo Pendarvis Harshaw

For information and/or booking, contact:
Marvin X
jmarvinx@yahoo.com
510-200-4164 




 Marvin X and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
(FYI, that's spilled coffee on MX's shirt, aka Messy Marv)

Mayor Schaaf said she will use her power as Mayor to support the BAM 27 City Tour by contacting mayors in other American cities. We urge her to do so ASAP. Even better, Madam Mayor please give BAM 27 City Tour a benefit concert at the Paramount Theatre with the Oakland Symphony joining the BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra. We think Symphony Conductor Michael Morgan is ready to do the BAM Thang!


 
Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra Producer/Director Marvin X and Oakland Symphony Conductor Michael Morgan agreed to join their talents in a concert. Let it be the Straight Outta Oakland, BAM 27 City Tour, benefit concert. We'll invite some of the BAM icons like Danny Glover,  Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Askia Toure, Last Poets. For sure, the Bay Area Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra will do the BAM Thang!
 
photo collage Adam Turner
The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra 
Malcolm X Jazz/Art Festival,
2014

Straight Outta Oakland
Skyline of Oakland at sunrise (Getty Images)

Straight Outta Oakland, the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour, has been invited to perform at Oakland's Flight Deck Theatre on Broadway, downtown Oakland. Executive Director Anna Shneiderman emailed BAM Tour producer Marvin X: Hi Marvin. I'd love to see this concert happen at The Flight Deck.  Please let me know if you think that makes sense and if so, what time of year you're thinking about.
Bests,
Anna

Anna Shneiderman
Executive Director
Ragged Wing Ensemble & The Flight Deck
510-858-7383
www.raggedwing.org
www.theflightdeck.org

CUBA first stop on 27 City Tour?

Members of the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra  informed producer Marvin X they would like to initiate the tour in Cuba rather than end in Cuba as Marvin had planned. BAM artists from coast to coast have suggested Cuba first, so we shall see. Since the BAM icons are elders, their schedules and health will determine how many will be able to do the 27 city tour. Poet Sonia Sanchez, 80 years old, told the producer, "Marvin, the very idea of a 27 city tour makes me tired."
 
Black Arts Movement Icon Sonia Sanchez Returns to Lexington
 BAM poet Sonia Sanchez

Straight Outta Oakland, BAM 27 City Tour is estimated to cost about 3 million dollars @ $100,000.00 per city, plus the Cuba Concert. We are seeking donations to make this tour a reality. What is the purpose? Ancestor Amiri Baraka would say, "It's about beauty and truth! It's about advancing the cultural revolution. It's about a United Front of all progressive people." For information or booking, email jmarvinx@yahoo.com. 510-200-4164.

Amiri Baraka Dead: Controversial Author And Activist Dies At 79  
Amiri Baraka, BAM Chief architect (RIP)

Straight Outta Oakland
The Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xfoPuGyfJp8/U4ZPg14COKI/AAAAAAAAKhA/GSvS9mBVdes/s1600/o-MAYA-ANGELOU-900.jpg
 
Amiri Baraka and Maya Angelou doing the BAM BAM (RIP)
Graphic design by Adam Turner
Now that the Oakland City Council has approved the Black Arts Movement Business District, the time has come for the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra to hit the road and complete the 27 City Tour envisioned by ancestor Amiri Baraka.  AB told BAM artists to tour the 27 cities with large populations of North American Africans and spread radical cultural consciousness. He said we should at least establish a fifty seat theatre in each city based on the BAM concept of the artistic freedom fighter. Long live the spirit of AB!

 
Amiri Baraka (RIP) and Marvin X enjoyed a 47 year friendship as movers and shakers of the Black Arts Movement

The Black Arts Movement was/is the most radical artistic and literary movement in American history, sister of the Black Power Movement. Our mission is to spread radical cultural consciousness throughout the land. We thank the citizens of Oakland for establishing the first Black Arts Movement Business District in America.

Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro American Writing

The defining work of the Black Arts Movement, Black Fire is at once a rich anthology and an extraordinary source document. Nearly 200 selections, including poetry, essays, short stories, and plays, from over 75 cultural critics, writers, and political leaders, capture the social and cultural turmoil of the 1960s. In his new introduction, Amiri Baraka reflects — nearly four decades later — on both the movement and the book.

 
 BAM co-founder Marvin X and Lynette McElhaney, President of the
 Oakland City Council
photo Adam Turner

 Marvin X speaking at Oakland City Hall's Black History Celebration, Feb. 24, 2016
Marvin X referred to Madam President as African Queen!
 
flyer-obhmr-potp-2016-700-full size

We especially thank Oakland City Council President, Lynette McElhaney, for pushing through legislation establishing the Black Arts Movement Business District. Also, thanks to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Laney College President Elnora T. Webb for celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement at Laney College.

Mayor Schaaf said she will use her power as Mayor to support the BAM 27 City Tour by contacting mayors in other American cities. We urge her to do so ASAP. Even better, Madam Mayor please give BAM 27 City Tour a benefit concert at the Paramount with the Oakland Symphony joining the BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra. 

We think Symphony Conductor Michael Morgan is ready to do the BAM Thang! Let Oakland be the model for other cities. We ain't goin' into no town half stepin', we first class, that's the only way we travel. We represent Oaktown fada git down! You gotta git in town and outta town. We Straight Outta Oaktown!

 
Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra Producer/Director Marvin X and Oakland Symphony Conductor Michael Morgan agreed to join their talents in a concert. Let it be the Straight Outta Oakland, BAM 27 City Tour, benefit concert. We'll invite some of the BAM icons like Danny Glover,  Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Askia Toure, Last Poets, et al.

 
Left to Right: Mrs. Gay Plair Cobb, Marvin X, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Laney College President, Dr. Elnora T. Webb, Dr. Nathan Hare, Paul Cobb, Publisher of the Oakland Post News Group

We would like the BAM 27 City Tour to end in Cuba with a grand concert featuring the BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra, Francisco Mora's Afro Horn, Sun Ra Arkestra and David Murray. We need sponsors, promoters, booking agents to make this happen. If you or your city has a venue for the 27 City US tour, please contact Marvin X: 510-200-4164 ASAP.

Sincerely,

Marvin X,
Producer
BAM 27 City Tour
jmarvinx@yahoo.com

Straight Outta Oakland
The Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xfoPuGyfJp8/U4ZPg14COKI/AAAAAAAAKhA/GSvS9mBVdes/s1600/o-MAYA-ANGELOU-900.jpg
 
Amiri Baraka and Maya Angelou doing the BAM BAM (RIP)
Graphic design by Adam Turner
Now that the Oakland City Council has approved the Black Arts Movement Business District, the time has come for the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra to hit the road and complete the 27 City Tour envisioned by ancestor Amiri Baraka.  AB told BAM artists to tour the 27 cities with large populations of North American Africans and spread radical cultural consciousness. He said we should at least establish a fifty seat theatre in each city based on the BAM concept of the artistic freedom fighter. Long live the spirit of AB!

 
Amiri Baraka (RIP) and Marvin X enjoyed a 47 year friendship as movers and shakers of the Black Arts Movement

The Black Arts Movement was/is the most radical artistic and literary movement in American history, sister of the Black Power Movement. Our mission is to spread radical cultural consciousness throughout the land. We thank the citizens of Oakland for establishing the first Black Arts Movement Business District in America.
Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro American Writing

 
 BAM co-founder Marvin X and Lynette McElhaney, President of the
 Oakland City Council
photo Adam Turner
 

 Marvin X speaking at Oakland City Hall's Black History Celebration, Feb. 24, 2016
He referred to City Council President Lynette McElhaney as African Queen!
 
flyer-obhmr-potp-2016-700-full size

We especially thank Oakland City Council President, Lynette McElhaney, for pushing through legislation establishing the Black Arts Movement Business District. Also, thanks to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Laney College President Elnora T. Webb for celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement at Laney College. Mayor Schaaf said she will use her power as Mayor to support the BAM 27 City Tour by contacting mayors in other American cities. We urge her to do so ASAP. Even better, Madam Mayor can give BAM 27 City Tour a benefit concert at the Paramount with the Oakland Symphony joining the BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra. We think Symphony Conductor Michael Morgan is ready to do the BAM Thang!
 
 
Left to Right: Mrs. Gay Plair Cobb, Marvin X, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Laney College President, Dr. Elnora T. Webb, Dr. Nathan Hare, Paul Cobb, Publisher of the Oakland Post News Group

We would like the BAM 27 City Tour to end in Cuba with a grand concert featuring the BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra, Francisco Mora's Afro Horn, Sun Ra Arkestra and David Murray. We need sponsors, promoters, booking agents to make this happen. If you or your city has a venue for the 27 City US tour, please contact Marvin X: 510-200-4164 ASAP.

Sincerely,

Marvin X,
Producer
BAM 27 City Tour
jmarvinx@yahoo.com



Icons of the Black Arts Movement
invited to join the 
BAM 27 City Tour

Askia Toure

Black Arts Movement Icon Sonia Sanchez Returns to Lexington

Sonia Sanchez
Marvin X and Danny Glover
 nikki giovanni photo: Nikki Giovanni Smiles 20090511-nikki.jpg
Nikki Giovanni
https://s.yimg.com/fz/api/res/1.2/KxzCX9hWVlUTw0ixX.a6kw--/YXBwaWQ9c3JjaGRkO2g9MzAwO3E9OTU7dz00MzY-/http://blackstonian.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/last_poets.jpgl
The Last Poets 
Felipe Luciano, Last Poets
Haki Madhubuti
Amina Baraka
Mrs. Amina Baraka
Marshall Allen, Sun Ra Arkestra
 Danny Ray Thompson, Flute, Sun Ra Arkestra in album people
Danny Thompson, Sun Ra Arkestra

... the creative work of drummer, composer Francisco Mora Catlett
Francisco Mora Catlett, Afro Horn
David Murray
FYI, David Murray, Berkeley native,  now living in Paris, France,  invites the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra to a European tour ASAP! Thank you, David! We be dare directly!
The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra
The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra 
University of California, Merced
BAM 50th Celebration, 2014
 
Marvin X, David Murray, Earle Davis
Marvin X reading DOPE by Amiri Baraka (RIP)
Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra
Malcolm X Jazz/Arts Festival
Oakland, CA.
2014
Featured artists of the Bay Area 
BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra
Tureada Mikell, Michelle LaChaux, Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, Tarika Lewis
Tacuma King Leading Children in Flight in Performance
Tacuma King
Kujichagulia

Paradise Jah Love
f
Choreographer Linda Johnson, Val Serrant, Raynetta Rayzetta
<b>Destiny</b> <b>Muhammad</b> playing harp in the Grove. Photo by Jay Yamada.
Destiny Muhammad 
... Tarika Lewis, violin, Earl Davis, trumpet, <b>Tacuma</b> <b>King</b>, percussion
Earle Davis
Zena Allen, 2013
Zena Allen 
 
Aries Jordan
Marvin X
TOWARD THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT 27 CITY TOUR
University of Chicago 
presents 
Sun Ra Conference, May 21-22, 2015
l
 
 
Sun Ra


Marshall Allen, 91 years old, now leader of the Sun Ra Arkestra (He said, "Marvin I'm not 91, I'm 19." Marvin X says, "And he plays like he's 19!" Danny Thompson and Marvin X at University of Chicago, Sun Ra Conference, 2015. They performed and discussed the teachings of BAM Master Sun Ra and their relationship with him as fellow artists. All three are dedicated to the teachings of Sun Ra. FYI, all of us BAM artists were/are students of Sun Ra, students and/or associates of Sun Ra, the POPE of BAM, AB the High Priest. David Murray and Francisco Mora Catlett performed and were infected with the Ra doctrine. RA RA RA!

marvin x and sun ra his mentor and associate at x s black educational ... 
The Gemini twins: Marvin X and Sun Ra. These "Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists" (Sun Ra term) worked together coast to coast. Marvin X worked with the Arkestra in New York, Philly and the Bay Area. Both men taught in the Black Studies Department at University of California, Berkeley, 1971-72. The above pic is outside Marvin's Black Educational Theatre, San Francisco, 1972. Sun Ra arranged the music for Marvin's play Take Care of Business, aka Flowers for the Trashman. They produced a five hour concert (without intermission) at San Francisco's Harding Theatre on Divisadero. The production had a cast of fifty, including Marvin's actors, Sun Ra's Arkestra and the dancers of choreographers Ellendar Barnes and Raymond Sawyer, living legends of Bay Area BAM dance. See SF Sun Reporter archives for review. See Youtube for Sun Ra lectures at University of California, Berkeley, 1971-72.

Juan Felipe Herrera, currently, US Poet Laureate, performed with the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra at the University of California, Merced, 50th Anniversary Conference, produced by Kim McMillon and Marvin X.

h
Poet Ginny Lim, member of The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra 
Left to Right: Zena Allen, Kora player, poet Marvin X, Tarika Lewis, violinist
Linda Johnson, choreographer/dancer

Many of the movement’s leading artists, including Ed Bullins, Nikki Giovanni, Woodie King, Haki Madhubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Askia TourĂ©, Marvin X and Val Gray Ward, remain artistically productive today. Its influence can also be seen in the work of later artists, from the writers Toni Morrison, John Edgar Wideman, and August Wilson to actors Avery Brooks, Danny Glover, and Samuel L. Jackson, to hip-hop artists Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Chuck D. SOS—Calling All Black People includes works of fiction, poetry, and drama in addition to critical writings on issues of politics, aesthetics, and gender. It covers topics ranging from the legacy of Malcolm X and the impact of John Coltrane’s jazz to the tenets of the Black Panther Party and the music of Motown. The editors have provided a substantial introduction outlining the nature, history, and legacy of the Black Arts Movement as well as the principles by which the anthology was assembled.








 
Dr. Cornel West and Marvin X
Cornel supports and will participate in the
Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour
"Marvelous Marvin X!"--Cornel West
 

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