Friday, May 13, 2016

Marvin X interviewed by KPFA Radio's Aqueila M. Lewis

The Aqueila Lewis interview with Marvin X will play
on After Hours Radio, KPFA, 94.1FM, 1AM --5AM
Sunday, May 15, online
After broadcast, show will be in KPFA archives

Poet/journalist Aqueila  M. Lewis finally interviews
Marvin X. KPOO's Donald Lacy took almost five years
to interview the poet. Aqueila is a close second. But she
got him on Friday, May 13, 2016. Or did he get her? Please
note when you look at the monkey in the zoo, the monkey
is looking back at you!

lol chuckling to myself. I never had another journalist that I've interviewed write about the interview! This clever man as I always knew would do just that, Marvin X beat me to the punch! Look forward to Part II and more. And stay tuned to my Radio and written interview in several media outlets coming soon!--Aqueila Lewis, KPFA Radio

On Friday, May 13, 2016, KPFA Radio's Aqueila M. Lewis interviewed poet/philosopher/activist/organizer Marvin X. He invited her to his apartment up the street from Lake Merritt and treated her to breakfast. When she asked him if she could help with breakfast, he told her to sit down and get ready for her interview. She did as ordered and when the breakfast was put before her she wanted to take a picture of it and after savoring the meal, suggested he open a restaurant. He declined to consider her suggestion. His last wife used to say, "When Marvin say he's going to cook, I don't even ask what, I just sit down because I know it's going to be something out of this world." Aqueila said what his "last wife" used to say, "I should have stayed in the kitchen to see how you did what you did, the ingredients." Breakfast was turkey bacon, scrambled eggs with pepper jack cheese and potatoes with green and red peppers, garlic and onions, and carrot juice. When the care provider arrived and saw the meal cooking, she wanted some so there was no seconds.

After the care provider finished her duties and departed, the interview began with the poet discussing his autobiography (see Somethin' Proper, the autobiography of a North American African poet, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 1998, introduction by Dr. Nathan Hare). He told of growing up in the Central Valley, born in Fowler, raised in Fresno by parents who sold real estate and published the Fresno Voice, a Black newspaper. "My earliest memories are sitting on a desk at the typewriter while my father typeset the newspaper. I remember him type setting by  inserting the words  backwards. When I was five or six (born May 29,1944), I remember going to the corner of F and Fresno Streets and selling the paper or giving it away.

My parents were political so the most often repeated word from my childhood is N double A CP. That word rang in my ears and yet it was years before I knew the full meaning of NAACP. Today I am honored to have had conscious parents or what they called in those days of the late 40s and early 50s, Race Man and Race Woman, i.e., Black men and women who were for the national upliftment of our people.

In the interview, Marvin did not include the fact that his maternal great grandfather, Ephraim Murrill,  was a Race Man in the Central Valley who lived the first twenty years of his life as a slave who saw Abraham Lincoln and died in Madera at 99 years old in 1941. The Fresno Bee Newspaper gave him a long obituary declaring he was well liked by Blacks and Whites.

After telling Aqueila his personal and communal history of North American Africans, especially in the Bay Area (although Aqueila informed him about is frequent use of the term Negro in his description of North American Africans--Marvin's proper term for us as delineated in his treatise The Psycholinguistic Crisis of North American Africans)--he just likes the term Negro, after all, he recalled during  the interview, "When we were Negroes, we had Seventh Street in West Oakland, Fillmore in San Francisco, Harlem in New York, South Side in Chicago--now we Black, we African, Pan African, Kemites, and ain't got SHIT!"

In truth, Elijah Muhammad called us so-called Negroes, but he said we are the Aboriginal Asiatic Black Man of the Planet Earth. Elijah taught,"Wherever you go on the planet earth you will find the Aboriginal Asiatic Black man or evidence he was there first! If you haven't read Message to the Black Man, you don't know a Goddamn thing about Black Studies, Africana Studies or none of that bullshit!"

Marvin gave Aqueila a history of Black consciousness in the Bay Area, especially the birth of it at Oakland's hotbed of Black Nationalism at Merritt Collage, including the role of Donald Warden's Afro American Association that gave birth to the Black Panther Party, the Bay Area Black Arts Movement and Black Studies. He told her about the critical national journals published in the Bay Area during the 60s such as SoulBook, Black Dialogue, Journal of Black Poetry and The Black Scholar, to say nothing of the Black Panther Party Newspaper, equal to Muhammad Speaks, two of the most disseminated newspapers in North American African history.

Marvin X at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland.
"Marvin X is Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland!" according the Ishmael Reed.
He told Aqueila,  "This is not only my Academy, it is a crisis center where I deal with traumatic stress, not post but full blown traumatic stress in the now. People get in my face eyeball to eyeball to make sure I'm listening to them tell their "horror"  stories. Who wants to hear the blues of a Negro? Every Negro got his own goddamn blues! Even our psycho doctors ain't qualified to heal our people because they must be certified by the white man and for sure if you are a victim of white supremacy you cant be cured by doctors certified by white supremacy!"

Aqueila asked him about the Black Arts Movement Business District along the
14th Street corridor. He gave her a short tour of the corridor from the lower bottom to
Lake Merritt, but said he has passed the baton of the Black Arts Movement Business District to
his chief student, Dr. Ayodele Nzinga who is holding a Town Hall Meeting tonight, Friday, May 13, 2016, at East Side Arts Cultural Center, 23rd and International Blvd, 6pm.

All questions regarding the BAMBD should be directed to Dr. Nzinga. 510-457-8999. She is the point person locally and nationally. She has the full support of Mrs. Amina Baraka, widow of BAM chief architect Amiri Baraka. Dr. Nzinga will produce the Black Arts Movement Theatre Festival at the Flight Deck where her theatre is in residence. The BAM Theatre festival will include productions of The Toilet by Amiri Baraka, Flowers for the Trashman by Marvin X, Bathroom Graffiti Queen by Opal Palmer Adisa, and other works. The BAM festival is scheduled for August/September. Marvin X will perform the opening monologue for Don Lacy's Color Struck at Laney College Theatre in Aug/Sept. Stay turned for date and time.

There is more and more and more that Marvin X dropped on Aqueila. She begged him for another interview that will include breakfast at his place!

Stay turned to Black Bird Press for the date and time this interview will be heard on KPFA radio's After Hours, 1AM to 5AM, Saturdays. 94.1FM.

No comments:

Post a Comment