Monday, July 30, 2018

Can we get pass all this human bullshit?

Marvin X classic: How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

Can we get pass human bullshit
white folks shit
worse than dog shit
more you clean
more it stinks
stay outta white folks business
leave dem 'lone
dey crazy
ain't white supremacy
it white lunacy crazy
don't drink the Kool Aid
ok, drink a little
puke it out
white lunacy
fake news
fake constitution
fake religion
They ain't talkin' bout Mary's baby
ain't talkin bout
Cross and Lynching tree
crazy white folks
they love children so much
don't separate children from parents
they so concerned
concerned with North American African children
concerned on New Year's Day 400 years
auction day care
selling men women children down the river care
don't drink the Kool Aid
just a little bit

White folks
My teacher Sun Ra say
You so evil
devil don't want you in hell!

but you care about dogs
whales owls elephants
global warming
Jesus called you liars and murderers
you can't protect your own children at school
can't protect your border
for every filthy unclean bird

Do Mexicans have walls around their houses?
You must ain't been to Mexico. Violate your visa in Mexico.
Tell 'em don't separate me from my wife and kids
Don't drink the Kool Aid
just  little bit

I ain't no human. I try to be like Jesus said
In this world but no of it!

If you of it
you drank the Kool Aid

---Marvin X

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Poem for my Reluctant Lover

Poet Marvin X reading
University of Chicago, 2015

Poem for my Reluctant Lover

She said I could pick her out in a crowd
And so I did one day
thousands of people passed
just a coincidence I was looking
when she passed
it wasn't her face
her body
our energy connected that instant
Oh, the power of Divine
I called her name
she turned and came into my arms
said she would come my way tomorrow
maybe spend a moment or two
reluctant lover
black velvet goddess
high priestess of my soul
have we denied our Lord
What commandments of my Lord
shall I deny
Oh, Black Queen goddess
if you deny me on earth
I shall meet you in heaven
will you deny me in our Father's House?

Let love flow like water 
sacred springs
let rivers of love flow between two spirits
let steel sharpen steel
let honesty and truth come together
let intelligence, beauty wisdom unite
let us shake the universe with our love
if only for a moment
what is life but moments
a collection of moments
some moments are lighter than a feather
some moments are higher than Mt. Kilimanjaro.  
--Marvin X

Black Bird Press
339 Lester Ave. Suite 10
Oakland CA 94606

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Nia Wilson and the Joy and Sorrow of Oakland's Black Revolution, 2018

 Nia Wilson, RIP

Rapper/activist Alia Sharief rocks crowd at rally for Nia and Latifa Wilson. When Marvin X praised her speech, she said, "Marvin X, I am just your student!"

Power to the People!

North American Africans in Oakland are in pain, grief and sorrow at the cold blooded murder of Nia Wilson and the stabbing of her sister Latifah at the BART station. Ironically, Channel Two television tried to debase Nia by showing her with a gun at some earlier time.

Obviously, if she'd had the gun on her person, she might be alive today. At least she would have been able to exercise self defense. I've told my three daughters to pack. I don't want them in no situation where they cannot defend themselves and their children! One daughter told me the other day, "Daddy, I'm strapped!"

Signs throughout the BART tell riders to "Be aware of your surroundings!" The Boy Scout motto is Be Prepared! In the hood we say, "Stay strapped!" The time is such that America's low intensity war against North American Africans is escalating so we must be aware of our surroundings at all times and never get caught napping. We cannot pretend we will be treated as other human beings when this has not occurred in the 400 years we've been in the wilderness of North America. We have been treated as savages along with the indigenous people. And we are killed today as if we were savages or animals, although the Euro-Americans have always treated their animals, especially their dogs, far better than they've treated Africans kidnapped into the "American slave system" (Ed Howard term).

This morning's rally of Black Artists expressing their grief and sorrow at the murder and stabbing of the Wilson sisters, quickly morphed into a manhood/womanhood rite of passage. Men were given their marching orders to upgrade their respect for women and men. Speakers urged the men to stop calling women bitches and ho's and to assist women when they need protection and not seek sexual favors for their role as protectors of the family, tribe and community. Men expressed their sorrow for not being able to save our sisters from the savage attack. We can't say the white culprit was mentally ill because we have no knowledge of his medical records. We do know it was a totally unprovoked attack by a white person upon two North American African females.

Some speakers recalled the shameful actions of NAA men who were standing with phones in hand, although the stabber has a prison record so we know he knew how to move quickly upon his prey, almost before anyone had time to intervene.

There was a call for the religious community to march with the people as protection since ministers are known to be a shield from the brute force of police who attacked protesters.

If we recall the incident in Los Angeles when the LAPD attacked the Nation of Islam's Mosque and Minister Malcolm X pleaded with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad for a swift retaliation, HEM told Malcolm to chill because in any war there shall be causalities, and so it is with the Wilson sisters. They are causalities of war but we must pick the right time to retaliate. Forget about justice in the courts! In war the warriors give justice to the enemy.

Frankie Beverly sings of joy and pain, sunshine and rain. Wars have tragedies and victories. As we mourn the death of Nia Wilson, consider her a martyr for freedom. Consider Latifah a soldier in the Black Liberation Army.

As we mourn and celebrate the death of Nia, let us also celebrate the victory we enjoy with the occupation of Lake Merritt. One of the speakers was from the Bar B Que Becky Revolution that  continues every Sunday at Lake Merritt on Lakeshore Avenue. It is a beautiful demonstration of Power to the People. Revolution is the seizure of power as we have done with the Sunday occupation of Lake Merritt, a space we were banned from while I grew up in West Oakland. Those who don't know need to know it happens every Sunday with vendors and our people enjoying themselves in a space we have liberated. A cultural worker came by my book stand and said, "Marvin, the people just took the Lake, huh?" I said, "Yes, we just took the motherfucka!"

The vendors begin setting up around 6AM so they can secure vending space and parking space. There has been little police presence and little need for security. I know of no incidents, thus revealing how beautiful we are when in full control of our space. The occupation of Lake Merritt is thus a political, cultural and economic revolution that can and must be expanded along the entire length of the Black Arts Movement Cultural District from Lake Merritt along the 14th Street corridor to the Lower Bottom  and along East Oakland's International Blvd. to deep East. This space must be part of any economic and cultural parity package. Just know life is joy and pain, sunshine and rain!
--Marvin X
Black Arts Movement
Black Arts Movement Cultural District

Monday, July 23, 2018

Please help Drs. Nathan and Julia Hare with medical expenses

Angela and Fania Davis. Fania made a donation to the medical expenses of Dr. Julia Hare. You can too!

CONTRIBUTE to Let Freedom Ring

Although there has been no public announcement on the grapevine, many of you are no doubt aware that Dr. Julia Hare has been living with Alzheimer’s for several years and was diagnosed with the End Stage of the condition during the Christmas/Kwanzaa holidays. However, she subsequently served notice that rumors of her demise are just a bit premature. 

Her health providers refused to treat her on an outpatient basis without confinement (which is one thing if you will stay in a facility; but if you are determined to leave and expressly “go home,” they label you a “wanderer” and lock the door as they would if you had killed the preacher). 

Though she had never read "The Medicalization of Everyday Life," by Dr. Thomas Ssazz. M.D., psychiatrist, she too called confinement against your will “incarceration.”  When I would go to see her in her locked situation, at the end of the visiting hour I would have to conspire with the staff to distract her in order for me to ease out the door and slip away without her. On the other side of the slamming door, secured by the loud click of the prison-like lock, I would hear her realizing my exit and banging on the door and calling my name, like Maria calling Roberto at the end of “For Whom the Bells Toll.”

I took a physician and a lawyer as well as a retired judge and a community activist with me and went out and brought her home. Almost as soon as we got home somebody observed that she was getting better already.

Although most of her medical costs are now being paid by her health insurance company, the cost of caregivers is staggering and relentless.

Four years ago when we were blindsided by this diabolical and incurable condition, several persons whose opinion I respect suggested that I let it be known and accept donations to help preserve the freedom and dignity of the proud and inimitable lady I promised, fifty-seven years ago, to protect and “To Love and to Cherish” (Essence magazine). See also Ebony and Black Male/Female Relationships.

So I am now following their advice and posting this donation request. Although we are advised by the Good Book to share and share alike, keep in mind that it’s the little things that count and, as one of Aesop's fables reminds us, no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
She Always Stood By Me: In Praise of Julia Hare
By Dr. Nathan Hare, 
In Praise of Dr. Julia Hare`

I had seen her singing and dancing but didn’t know her – call her Julia, the name I gave her, her mother named her Julia Ann – when my high school principal took our senior class to the Tulsa, Oklahoma Booker T. Washington High School’s legendary annual production of “Hijinx.” I remember I was sitting in the upper balcony, far out of reach of her, and didn’t pay her that much mind. It was all a dream world. White folks called the balcony “Nigger Heaven,” but there were no whites around in those days of Jim Crow segregation, Hijinx was nevertheless put on downtown in the city of Tulsa’s Convention Hall, the place where the state militia less than three decades earlier had detained over six thousand black men for their safety, after more than 800 were hospitalized and an estimated 300 killed during the bombing of Black Wall Street, the only time whites have bombed blacks from the air in American history.

But, two years after I saw her for the first time, I was walking across the all-black campus of Oklahoma’s Langston University with a friend one afternoon when I suddenly stopped and told him: “There’s that l’il ol’ skinny girl who was playing that piano last night, and won first prize in the Freshman Talent Show; I think I’ll take her to the movie.” And he laughed and bet me a dollar she wouldn’t go to no motion picture show with me, but he didn’t know she had made eye contact with me in the Dining Hall the year before when she came to visit her pal sister for Homecoming Week and, no sooner than she left to go back home, her sister slipped me a note from her, and I answered  it, telling her I would like to get to know her better too; but my letter somehow fell into the hands of her over-protective mother, who was hoping to save her from the unhappy experiences with men that had befallen her older sisters. So that was the end of that. 

I myself was just a country boy, at the top of my class scholastically but born and raised on a farm forty miles from Black Wall Street, outside of Slick, Oklahoma, while Julia Ann Reed (eventually Dr. Julia Hare) was a city girl with personality and sass. So when we took up with each other, everybody said our relationship wouldn’t last, that even our sun signs didn’t match.

But in less than two months I had given her a birthday gift of a recording of Nat King Cole’s hit song, “Unforgettable,” because I had seen she liked it so. I could see that she was thrilled to high heaven that I had even given it to her; and she would play it over and over on the juke box, and she and I would sometimes slow-dance together.  But, while I could slow dance alright, especially in dark and familiar but unchaperoned places, and halfway jitterbug -- I didn’t know how to huckle buck at all, let alone to Suzie Q -- but Julia was a dancing queen.

Sometimes when everybody was on the dancing floor in the Student Union Building, a gay artistic dancer, say, might take her hand and they would do the tango around the edge of the crowded dancing hall while we all stopped what we were doing and watched them go.  And she was equally adept at the ballroom and the waltz.  Students eventually voted her “Best Girl Dancer” campus-wide, as well as “Most Popular Girl”; and “Most Talented Girl.” For, not only was she one of the best piano players on the campus, in time she would become the regular university organist.

When I graduated and left Langston on a Danforth Fellowship to study for the Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, a pretty big thing there in those days, Julia soon went to California in her childhood dream of someday making it in the music and entertainment world, and to help her older sister, an impregnated high school dropout with five children, whose husband had gone down to the drug store one night to get some medicine for one of their sick children and just kept going, never to be heard from until he turned up trying to make it in the jazz world in New York.

Suffice it to say it was after considerable agony and ambivalence that Julia tabled her dreams for fame and fortune and rendezvoused with me in Tulsa and we were married in her mother’s house two days after Christmas when we were all of 23. Then in Chicago, rather than get by on my budgeted fellowship and a part-time job as a statistical clerk, Julia got a job as a substitute teacher.

I used to feel sorry for her when she would get up winter mornings and cook me eggs and waffles and pancakes and bacon in time for her to be ready when her teachers van came in the cold to take her from the Southside of Chicago to teach unruly children in the Westside slums on the other side of the windy city. 
Soon her girlfriends and female coworkers began to cock their heads to the side and crow that they “wouldn’t work while no man went to school.” The reason I know she wasn’t lying is one of my sisters and her teacher friend upstairs told her that in my presence, to my face. They quipped that I was getting a Ph.D. while she was getting a PHT (Putting Hubby Through) and then go on to warn her that as soon as I got the Ph.D., I was going to leave her for a younger woman -- never mind that we were still in our twenties. 
But Julia stuck by me and persevered. Julia was the kind of woman who would stand by her man until he was headed in a better direction and she could get in front of him.

I got the idea of persuading her to study for a master’s degree herself, so they would be jealous of both of us and by the time I got the Ph.D. she had earned an M.M.ED. from the music department of what is now Roosevelt University’s College of the Performing Arts.  Although she would later also pick up a doctorate in educational psychology, an Ed.D., she was always fond of saying that she was proudest of her MRS, allowing that she had had to work so much harder for the MRS.

When we left for Washington D.C., in part so I could join with E. Franklin Frazier, though he would end up dying before the end of  the school year. Julia still had her own ambitions on hold, and she was taken aback when we got to D.C. and, in spite of her years of teaching experience in Chicago, plus one year each in Virginia and Oklahoma, the Board said she wasn’t qualified to be a substitute teacher in D.C., compelling her to commute in winter weather to teach in a white school in Maryland for a year before the black Board in D.C. deigned to hire her to teach in the black schools in the slums of the District.

Yet In just four years, she would go on to win the Outstanding Young Educator Award (teachers 35 years old and under) from the Junior Chamber of Commerce collaborating with World Book Encyclopedia, with the expert judgment of the Department of Education at American University to recognize her as the most commendable teacher thirty-five and under for every grade level for all of the city of Washington, D.C.
But the following year, I myself was fired from Howard University, along with another black professor and five white ones, for so-called “Black Power activities.” I returned to boxing, this time under my own name – I had quit before when two world champions were killed in the ring one year apart and she had already been getting the heebie-jeebies over the boxing, making big mirations over some cut lip or bloody nose. I’d tell her you ought to see the other guy. Then, after promising her I was going to quit, and did, two weeks later on All Fools Day, I took a shot or two of vodka and went down to the old Capitol Arena to see a friend fight, and was visiting in the dressing room, when  somebody’s opponent didn’t show up and ,I agreed to take the fight, which was an easy win, but two deans recognized me fighting under the name of Nat Harris, and the top dean called me in in a day or two and gave me an ultimatum which almost motivated me to return if I hadn’t promised Julia. Anyway, I had one fight in the comeback under the name of Nathan Hare, winning by a knockout in the first round, before I was asked to become the Coordinator of Black Studies at San Francisco State University.

Now Julia was not a conscious herself at that point, but a bourgeois lady suddenly challenged to become a revolutionary’s wife and drown her dreams in a revolutionary life. But San Francisco had always been her favorite city, and her two older sisters were still living in the Bay Area, and her school teacher coworkers had sometimes been snide to her about  the things they read in the newspaper about me and Howard, and she had never wanted me to box anyway, let alone under my own name and everybody was waiting to see me on my back on the front page of the Washington Post with my feet sticking up -- so she pushed me, like most other people did, to accept the offer from San Francisco State.

After closing out our apartment and her job as a laboratory teacher headed for the Board of Education, she came to San Francisco  and went down to the Board of Education here, armed with the citywide award from Washington, D.C. and thirty units beyond the master’s degree and a passing score on the National Teachers Exam, only to be told that in order to be a substitute teacher in San Francisco, she would have to take a course in Teacher’s Arithmetic and another in California History.
Makes you wanna holler.

She declined the psychotic suggestion and within a couple of months the Director of the Oakland Museum preparing to reopen happened to be in the audience when she, unemployed, was speaking on a panel at the Black Today conference I was chairing at San Francisco State, and the museum director recruited her as Director of Education. She had worked the previous summer in a program directed by one of the bigtime museums in New York City.

Julia was in her element at the Museum, and got on well with the society set. Aside from her interest  in the arts, she was in her dream world social element, as she had come to admire Jackie Kennedy and was always studying the women’s and the fashion magazines, even before she worked at the Oakland Museum, and had a Saks card but was not a spendthrift and loved to shop anywhere, including the thrift stores, using Jackie Kennedy once  more as an inspiration. She knew how to put what little clothes she had together. Sometimes her affluent friends would be affronted when they would throw down big money for something they saw in a clothing store window, then get to an occasion and everybody would be praising Julia’s outfit from the thrift shop, though, like I said, she was not averse to using her Saks card. One night we wound up at a high level reception where a blue collar woman I happened to know was also taken with thrift stores and also appeared to me to be an unusually creative dresser.  I determined to introduce them to each other, but before I could do so, they had spied each other from across the room, though total strangers, and introduced themselves to each other.

But that was the way she was.

She worked at the Oakland Museum maybe a year while it was preparing to reopen and she and the white multimillionaire Director got the idea of making it a people’s museum and carry the art like Meals on Wheels to the people in the community. This horrified he museum’s docents, who had discovered her connection to me and hence the five-month strike for Black Studies raging at San Francisco State. For instance, one night Julia sat with the Director and his wife waiting for me for dinner at a downtown restaurant when they looked up and saw me getting arrested on the Walter Cronkite CBS Evening News, along with five hundred and fifty seven predominantly white Black Studies strikers at San Francisco State. The Oakland Museum Director was fired and eventually became President of the California Historical Society, but meanwhile I backed Julia’s wish to resign.

Julia’s black consciousness also took a leap when James Baldwin’s sister, Dr. Rena Karefa Smart, invited me to speak to the Conference on Racism put on by the World Council of Churches in London in the spring of 1969, and I took Julia with me, stopping at St. Louis University on the way to pick up her fare, impressing her at the Custom’s window by nonchalantly counting and talking of pounds and shillings. She enjoyed the week in London, where I also took part in a demonstration with the daughters of Richad Wright, Rachel and Julia Wright. When we returned to San Francisco, Julia announced to me that she was going to start wearing an Afro.

Her next job was as Public Information Director of the West tern Regional Office of the National Association Against Discrimination in Housing. Then, after two years she beat out seventy finalists for Community Affairs Director of Cowboy Gene Autry’s radio station in San Francisco, KSFO, where she flourished for all of ten years, including eventually some on-air broadcasting time in a sidekick role in the morning drive, until she ran into trouble with a new manager and took a part-time job as a talk show host with the number one talk show station in San Francisco. ABC’s KGO. However, in spite of the fact that she appeared to be one of the very best they had, they would not give her air time in the day time on weekdays, so she eventually sued the station for harassment and her three year contract was not renewed.

Despite picking up a course for a while in the broadcasting department at the City College of San Francisco, unemployment at forty-eight was her darkest hour. Plus she was a people’s person, a performer, and didn’t like sitting at home, while I was a thinker and a writer and would have loved to change places with her as it was no accident that she became a radio talk show host and had married a psychotherapist, for whom listening had achieved the status of both an art form and a healing art.

It hurt me to see how hard she was taking her fate. At the time, I was going around the country on the chitlin college lecture circuit pushing a male/female relationships movement on the wind of an incredibly popular editorial I had written for Ebony magazine, speaking out for a better black family based on Kupenda (Swahili for “to love”) black love groups I had been experimenting with at the time. I thought that it would be natural and nice to have a couple speaking on black male/female relationships instead of a solo spouse. I also was inspired by the fact that we had made our own poem rhyme as a couple, and wanted to share the love, so I asked her to come with me, and she agreed, and I named her “National Executive Director” of the Black Think Tank I was running at the time.

Julia had always been a very good speaker – she’d won the award in “Auditorium” in the third grade in Tulsa, and the experience as a radio broadcaster and talk show host also seemed to augment her impromptu facility. Plus, people didn’t know she was farsighted and could see the copy standing back from the podium while also exploiting her radio broadcaster’s ability to read-talk off of next to nothing, causing it to appear that she wasn’t using any notes or anything at all.

Having time all day, she used the time and worked hard learning the sociological material and preparing and practicing her speeches and was soon being hailed as “one of the most sought after motivational speakers in the country.” She spoke to most of all of the black women’s groups and even men’s groups, especially the mentoring conferences and began to be included in selections of distinguished black women. For instance she became a regular at the annual Essence Cultural Festival in New Orleans, but she spoke to all the leading black women’s groups and they all seemed to think a lot of her.

Then, though not at her best when she appeared on the Tavis Smiley’s State of the Black Race Conference at Plymouth Rock in 2008, her comments went viral and seemingly all at once she got more than a million hits from around the world; but later, I stood perplexed after the widest circulating newspaper in Great Britain, “Black Voices,” gave her the two-page centerfold, under the headline, “The Female Malcolm X,” and offered to bring her for a tour of Europe, but she declined, saying she was afraid to fly over the ocean.
Then, she began to forget and lose important and familiar things; which should have alerted me, but I was blinded by psychological denial as well as a lack of knowledge and familiarity with Alzheimer’s, up close and face to face. I should have been alerted because she had never gotten over the fact that her mother put her father in the rest home after he went and got a rifle to her and her mother fell and injured her foot and couldn’t keep up with him.

But I was not there, though I visited him with her briefly in the rest home, but he always had a quiet and retiring disposition, a man of very few words, and I had no idea of the difficulties a demented elder can present, how unmanageable some can be, and how to relate to them and manage their behavior. 
But by 2011, it was clear that something was wrong with Dr. J, despite her trying to hide it, and such a good actor at that. Her mother didn’t know that and drove her to play the piano, but her talent was more in her voice box and her being than her fingers. Plus, she had always relied on me for information, seeing me as a fountainhead of knowledge (she said she thought I was a “genius”). So I continued to play the role, but she wound up in confinement, with me duped by the medical establishment and conventional wisdom and custom.

First it was 72 hours for her safety and mine, then it’s two weeks for hers when I opt out, then a month. They told me I’d have to have a “power of attorney” to make any decisions over her niece and them, but by then I had seen how oppressive involuntary confinement was to her: involuntary because most people will stay and just be bored and lonely, because after a while people don’t visit that much. Sometimes I would leave the office for visiting hours and be the only one there visiting anybody in the “Acute Psychiatric Ward,” for they have a mixture, which is demoralizing in itself to be in a place of the openly and acutely insane – like how did I come to this? – and people bellowing and moaning, sometimes in a different language, so you don’t know what they’re saying they will do to you, all day long. One night the house psychiatrist came out unsolicited by me and opined that I shouldn’t visit so often, but I paid her no mind.

And yet, I admired how the staff could handle her, though she was the hardest patient of all for them to handle in a locked up condition. They liked her nevertheless and brought in a portable piano and allowed her to to entertain the other inmates anytime she wanted to. One night in casual conversation with me, she referred to her situation as “incarceration.” I knew for a fact she had never read Psychiatrist Thomas Ssazz, though I had, but even I hadn’t read his “The Medicalizaton of Everyday Life,” in which he independently called involuntary confinement of patients “incarceration.”

Each night when the visiting hour was over, I would have to conspire with the staff to distract her while I sneaked out the door without her; but, by the time I would hear the  ominous prison-like click of the closing of the door, the nonchalant staff would have turned her loose and I would hear her sorrowfully knocking on the door and desperately calling out my name to help her, like Maria calling Roberto at the end of “For Whom the Bells Toll.”

I thought of the marital vows when I had stood with my hand on a Bible and promised to love her and protect her until death do us part. I also wondered and imagined what she would have done if they would lock me up against my will for medical treatment of a condition they admit they can’t cure or rightly treat and don’t really even know what causes it.

What would she have done if I was the one on the other side of the door of sanity in an insane world, where the  most powerful man in existence is collectively described as mentally ill by thirty top psychiatrists and such. I recalled how she would sometimes say in other random but serious circumstances and idle speculation: “If anybody ever bothers you [or do harm in any way], no telling what I would do; I will tear up this town.”

The next morning I woke up early from a largely sleepless night and called some of the  San Francisco State College BSU leaders from the 1960s Black and Ethnic Studies Strike: including a physician who consults worldwide on Alzheimer’s, a retired judge, a retired lawyer or two, a community organizer in San Francisco and another visiting from the East Coast, and went out and brought her home.

That was almost six years ago, when she was diagnosed in the late moderate stage. However, my collaborators had noted and remarked on Julia’s visible improvement after an hour of freedom. But later she would develop a bed sore and go through hospice, at home under a visiting clinic, indeed two, as the one who refused before now wanted to come in under new Medicare guidelines from Obamacare. They brought in the death apparatus and stored it in the apartment in full anticipation. A physician sat for at least twenty minutes explaining to me why the bedsore wouldn’t heal, but it did, though I do believe that if Julia had been confined again she would have died, literally, under categorizing and caring staff prescript.

Mind you, they’re good in what they do, they just need to do it in the home and community.. We have the technology to do so: computers, internet and social networks, cars. S.U,B’s, bicycles, scooters, cellphones with cameras in the back while pointed at you. It would be cheaper as well, for people in their home are already paying rent.

In any event, I did what I had to do: stand by my wife who had stood by me; but more than that, it just seems there is something wrong with incarcerating a proud and dignified lady in the final stage of her life cycle, against her will, don’t care if she has never had so much as a parking ticket in her life.
Mental Health Is Tied to Social Health

I have learned on a deeper level that mental health is tied to social health, and I am gratified and impressed by the way people are getting behind the movement to deal with the Alzheimer’s epidemic and coming pandemic. I liked it when Barack Obama called for a cure by 2025, and it looks to me if interest keeps mounting as it has in recent years, we will meet that goal; but though it would be a blessing to so many others, it won’t do Julia any good or mend a broken heart.

I want to acknowledge that I could not have stood by Julia in her present ordeal, if so many people hadn’t stood by me, or the few hadn’t stood by me so well. While it is true, and has been said, that most people, especially the ones you’d most expect, will not lift a finger to help a flea, I have been amazed by the quality and the quantity of help and the quantity of the quality of help Julia and I have received from too many to mention. I must find a way some day to thank them in a circumstance that might prevent leaving somebody out.

When I jumped out with promises and parachutes that didn’t open or got snagged, I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was so ignorant of Alzheimer’s it’s a shame. Partly because people had been prone to hide the demented in the closet, so to speak, or put them away altogether, lock them away if necessary. 
I often stand and look back now and realize how many people I encountered in the past  who had Alzheimer’s and I didn’t know it: we just lumped them in the loose category of “senile,” a net big enough to encompass almost anybody elderly individual. Two things people think about an old person they meet: they are senile and got some money or something of value under the mattress or somewhere, and the young person is going to try to get it if  they can; not that they necessarily need it, just so they can get it and have it.
As for Julia, I regret to say that at this point she is going down slow, fast. She is doing well in her physical health and emotionally but Alzheimer’s is a progressively deteriorating disease, and you can see her going down in a cognitive way, something like month by month.

She has lost much of her ability to speak and function by now, but I can tell that she knows more than she can say.

People ask me if she still remembers me, if she knows who I am, and I am compelled to quibble, but I say yes, on her current level, she has forgotten much of the old me but she knows me as she knows me now, and of course what is more important, is I know who she is.

She still knows herself well enough to answer to her name, if you are trying to get her attention, though you can usually get her attention without calling her name, say by simply using the remote to raise or modulate the volume on the cablevision, or by playing her one of her favorite songs on the computer, something I do for an hour or two on many an evening after the sun goes down, and you can tell she is exceedingly gratified, just to have the attention but she will use her hand to direct the music in the air. When we were 24 years old and I was teaching for a year at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia, she was the Minister of Music, including choir director, for the oldest black Baptist church in America, the Harrison Street First Baptist Church, which still exists. At one point, needing more male voices, she even recruited me to sing in the choir and once gave me a solo part to sing. I just acted like I was in the shower.

So I know there will inevitably come a time when she will have forgotten me altogether without a doubt, but I will remember her: that she sometimes gave me a hard time in good times but always stood by me in times of trouble, always took my side.

She continues to live at home with Alzheimer’s and find exquisite enjoyment in the instrumental music on 24/7 cablevision, as she was a pianist by background and training and by temperament a dramatist but became a scholar primarily as my longest and most continual student. Though going down slow these days in a cognitive sense, she is doing well physically and emotionally, enjoying interacting with her caregivers and me and the special attention I try to give her because maybe I didn’t always love her quite as often as I could have when times were good, little things I should have said and done but didn’t take the time. So I just try to fill her life with whatever joy I can and always love her all the time.

So, even when it comes to the point that she no longer remembers me, I will remember her, and I will recall that she was unforgettable and thought I was unforgettable too.
Marvin X Jackmon
0 mins ago
Since all my aunts and uncles joined the ancestors, cerca 2001, I adopted Drs. Nathan and Julia Hare as my uncle and aunt. I love them dearly and Nathan, at 85, works with me on many projects as he is able. He is presently editing my next book of essays, Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X. We urge all of you who know him as the Father of Black and Ethnic studies, and one of our greatest revolutionary scholars and writers, Howard University, San Francisco State University, Sociologist, Clinical Psychologist, possessor of two PhDs, and founding publisher of Black Scholar Magazine, to donate whatever you can to his Gofundme campaign to cover the medical expenses of his wife of 60 years, Dr. Julia Hare, featured in a Great Britain newspaper as The Female Malcolm X (see her speech at Tavis Smiley's Black Forum). Last week at my Academy of da Corner, Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, we were happy that Attorney Fania Davis came by and made a generous donation for the Hare's medical expenses.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

When God speaks to you

Left to right: Marvin X's son, Ancestor Abdul El Muhajir, aka, Darrell Jackmon; MX's father Owendell Jackmon I (RIP), and Marvin K. Jackmon, Hakim El Muhajir, oldest child.

When God speaks to you
His name won't matter
Allah, God, Jesus, Jehovah, Jah, Krishna, Nigga
but you will know it is God
for the wisdom He spits into your ears
so powerful, you know for sure
it is the voice of God/Allah
Sami Allahu liman hamida
God hears those who praise Him
Rabbana laka al hamd
Our Lord to Thee is due all praise!
God speaks through men and women
God/Allah appears in the person of man
speaking loud clear in your ears
Today God/Allah spoke,
"Your son is a martyr. He died the death of a martyr."

This was shocking to me, rocking my world
a puzzle
it putting his life in the sacred space of my mind heart soul
special child
far beyond the crowd
took my travels higher
he went to
Egypt, Jerusalem, Damascus, London
Brazil Japan
then he was gone to eternity at 39.
I am so grateful for the 39 years I knew him
I couldn't understand why he walked into a train
manic depression
white man drugs depression
situational disorder oppression
God/Allah told me today he entered martyrdom
I am satisfied.
warrior son

--Marvin X/El Muhajir

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Marvin X: Kidnapped, Incarcerated 1970

Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X
Marvin X Kidnapped, Incarcerated
 Marvin X, University of Chicago Sun Ra Conference on Afro-futurism
Notes for Black August 2018
FYI: Marvin X speaks coast to coast live,  this Tuesday, July 17, 8pm EST, 5PM PST.
 Stay tuned for details.

As part of Black August National Conference in Oakland, 2018, he will speak and read on his experience with incarceration.
Marvin X: Kidnapped, Incarcerated 

Marvin X, Harlem NY, 1968

He was part of the founding members of the Black Arts Movement, e.g., Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Toure, Larry Neal, Last Poets, Nikki Giovanni, Don L. Lee, Sun Ra, Milford Graves, Barbara Ann Teer, Ed Bullins, Robert Macbeth and the Lafayette Theatre, Oba Olatunji, et al. 
photo Doug Harris

In 1970, he was deported from British Honduras, now Belize, Central America for teaching Black Power and reporting on the sedition trial of Black Power leaders Evan X. Hyde and Ishmael Shabazz as Foreign Editor of Muhammad Speaks Newspaper. After his arrest and appearance before the Minister of Home Affairs who read his deportation order: Your presence is not beneficial to the British Colony of Honduras, therefore you are under arrest until your flight departs for Miami, Florida at 4PM. "I was taken to the police station and told to sit down in the lobby. I was not handcuffed and after a short time I was surrounded by Black police officers and when the circle was full, one asked me to teach them about Black Power. It was surreal but I replied that from my study of Belize history, Marcus Garvey came here in 1923 and told you to get the Queen of England off your walls. It is 1970, get that white bitch off your walls. The brothers cracked up and said I was all ite. They couldn't understand why the government was deporting me for teaching Black Power, after all the hippies came to Belize and smoked their weed and did other drugs, but they were not deported. When an uncle tom black officer came into the room but did not join the circle, the officers said he was a black mon wit white heart, black mon wit white heart!

I was taken to the airport for the 4pm departure to the USA, and but when I resisted getting on the plane because my wife was five hours up the river, pregnant with no knowledge of my arrest and deportation and I wanted her to leave with me, I was thrown onto the plane and the door shut.

The flight back to USA first went south over Cuba to Spanish Honduras, Tegucigalpa, the capital.  I though about hijacking the plane over Cuba but declined after recalling Cuba's troubling history with North American African revolutionaries Robert F. Williams and Eldridge Cleaver, especially when Cleaver discovered the Afro-Cubans ignited the revolution and identified with them although at the time the Cuban revolution said we are one people, yet it later recognized its African heritage when Cuban decided to assist the African revolution in Angola, South Africa and elsewhere, sacrificing the blood of Afro-Cubans in the African revolution.

FYI, in truth, I can't recall if we crossed Cuba on the way to Tegucigalpa or on the way back, but when the plane landed in Tegucigalpa for a short stop, I got off the plane and even though the airport looked like an American military airport, I walked off the plane and told the soldiers I wanted refuge. One said, "Espera un momento, por favor." He soon returned and marched my black ass back onto the plane and we eventually arrived in Mimai, Florida where two US Marshals met me and delivered me to Dade County Jail in a cell with Niggas who, when I called them my brother, replied they were not my brothers, so I took the silent mode until I was transferred to the Federal facility at Miami City Jail, wherein the white Cuban prisoners, mainly dope dealers, welcomed me with open arms. In contrast to the treatment of my deaf, dumb and blind brothers in Dade County Jail, the white Cubans exclaimed that I was their brother and whatever I needed and wanted, all I had to do was ask them. Did I need any money, they asked. I said yes because I needed to check on the status of my pregnant wife stuck on an island Gales Point. I was able to call her family and learn my father in law had sent for her and she was home. The white Cuban dope dealers asked what I wanted to eat since they were sending out for restaurant food. After being in exile from America, what do you think I asked them to order for me: a milkshake, hamburger and fries!

The Cuban dope dealers treated me with so much love I was depressed when I recalled my treatment with my Niggas so deaf, dumb and blind at Dade County Jail. Truly, it hurt me that the white Cubans showed me so much love but my brothers showed me so much hate!
Each day at Miami City Jail, I watched the Cuban dope dealers go to court and return with 17 years, no matter guilty or innocent. They informed me who was innocent and who was guilty as the white Cubans returned from court. When they were busted, they said a white hippy knocked on their door. They called the police and told them white hippies were at their door, alas, the white hippies were the police.
During my stay in Miami, it was announced there was an attempted prison breakout in Marin at the courthouse. I was joyful about the courthouse shootout to free George Jackson and others of the Black revolutionary prison movement. Actually, as a student at San Francisco State University and on the staff of Black Dialogue Magazine, we made a visit to the Soledad Prison Black Culture Club, 1966, chaired by Eldridge Cleaver and Alprentis Bunchy Carter. We shared our publication and they shared their writings that we published in Black Dialogue, including Cleaver's essay My Queen I Greet You, his love letter to the black woman although much of his Soul on Ice was mostly a praise song of the white woman, especially his white lawyer/lover, Beverly Axelrod, who smuggled his manuscript out of prison.
Most importantly, we now know the Soledad Prison Black Culture Club was in fact the beginning of the Black and American Prison Movement (See the lectures of Prison Griot Kumasi for his minute by minute history of the Black Prison Movement. See my first play Flowers for the Trashman for references to my brother who was in another section of Soledad Prison at this time yet I learned he was part of the prison liberation movement. Kumasi notes, "It was kill or be killed, there was no other choice. You guys had your revolution on the outside, we had ours on the inside and it was kill or be killed!"

Meanwhile in Miami, one morning two gentleman came to deliver me to San Francisco. We stopped in Nashville and I played a game of pool with these US Marshall's. Being a  poor shark from West Oakland, I beat them and then we continued our flight to San Francisco County Jail on Bryant Street where I spent three months going to trial for draft resistance and fleeing from prosecution (see my Court Speech in Black Scholar Magazine, issue on Black Prisoners,1970).

As a political prisoner, I was not allowed to infect the general population on the main line so soon I was moved to C Block or the isolation section for political prisoners, nuts on the way to Napa Mental Hospital, murder suspects and homosexuals. I was put in a cell with a mental patient on his way to Napa. In the next cell was a murder suspect who'd been awaiting trial for over two years and hadn't had a visitor. We became friends and I arranged for my wife's best friend to visit him. Eventually he beat his murder charges and he hooked up with my wife's friend long enough to have a child who is now an international lawyer.

I couldn't understand how copies of Muhammad Speaks Newspapers were dropped in my cell. I soon learned the Black Sheriff Charles Smith, a lieutenant at the time, dropped them in my cell at the request of my Black Arts Movement partner Ethna X, aka Hurriyah Asar. Charles Smith was a Sheriff and also a playwright, so he was sympathetic to Black liberation and especially the Black Arts Movement. Years later Sheriff Smith said he attended an Interpol Conference in Belize at which I was a topic of discussion.

Anyway, after three months in SF County Jail which was a nano dot from hell: I saw black sheriffs abuse black inmates to "prove" themselves to their white comrades. Does it matter if the hangman is white or black?
After writing my court speech on toilet paper and handing it to my P.D. (public pretender), I went to court to discover I'd beat my case on a technicality but the judge said, "Sir, the USA spent a lot of money trying to apprehend you, over five years. We must convict you for something so how much time would you like for avoiding persecution?
I thought about (I'd already served three months), "Your honor, I will do five months." Yes, I gave myself my time!

The judge sentenced me to five months in Federal Prison, with three months served in SF County Jail.
I was sent to Terminal Island Federal Prison, San Pedro, California.

Soon as I arrived in San Pedro, fish factory town, I noticed the fish smell. But once inside Terminal Island Prison, the Muslim brothers informed it was not the fish smelling but the smell of deaf, dumb and blind dead niggas, including fake ass Muslim niggas.  But more importantly, the first thing they told me was don't get sick, whatever you do, brother, don't get sick. We got a prison graveyard full of niggas who got sick in here!
Depending on one's education, one is assigned a job. Some brothers did factory work or hard labor. Since I could type, they assigned me to the Yard Office, yes, from which the big yard and the entire prison is controlled. My job was to call the prisoners when they had a visit, if they did not respond, I would go to their dorm and let them know. Each dorm had a lobby with bookshelves. When I went to tell brothers they had a visit, I would peruse the dorm book collection and take books I wanted to my locker.

One day my dorm buddy, a bank robber named Arthur Ratliff, took it upon himself to announce, "Listen up, everybody, Marvin X got all the best books in the prison in his locker. Any book on any subject you want, just come to his locker. Alas, I also had books in the prison library stamped contraband, meaning if caught with them there would be consequences. I didn't care, some of those contraband books I took with me when I departed Terminal Island, including J.A. Rogers classic deconstruction of White roots, Africa's Gift to America.
One day on the big yard the Nation of Islam held an election. There were three of us but the election organizer was a brother named Marcellous 15X Bey Lee who I observed exercising in chains shortly after I entered TI. That day on the big yard, he said, as per the NOI election, "Marvin X, you the smartest, you the minister." He told the other brother he was the Secretary and he, himself,  was Captain. We did not contest the election results but held our first service in the chapel that Sunday. My lecture was on Black History. A Chicano brother in attendance told me it was the best lecture he’d ever heard. Well, after all, I was coming from Africa’s Gift to America by J.A. Rogers. No one can go wrong citing Rogers, recommended by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and W.E.B. DuBois.
We soon heard that Elijah Muhammad's grandson, Elijah, aka Sonny, was caught smuggling marijuana across the border and was in Lompoc Federal prison. We were told when the brothers tried to bow down to Sonny because of his bloodline, he told them he was just a nigga like them and didn't need any praise or special treatment. I had met Elijah, aka Sonny, during my Mexico City second exile. When I grew impatient for my Fresno State University student, Barbara Hall, to join me in exile, Elijah let me use his birth certificate to cross the border to snatch my wife to be and mother of our daughters Nefertiti and Amira. But when I got pass the US border as Elijah Muhammad and arrived in San Francisco where Barbara was staying, she was in Mexico City at the home of  my Mexico City contact, the painter/sculpturalist Elizabeth Cattlett Mora. When I returned to Mexico City and united with Barbara, Betty Mora educated me, "Marvin, when a woman says she is coming, she is coming!"
--continued in Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 2018.