Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mother's Day at Geoffrey's Inner Circle



We spent Mother's Day evening enjoying jazz and dinner at Geoffrey's Inner Circle, the first class venue in Oakland's Black Arts Movement Business District. I invited my associate, Nur Jehan, and my patron, Hasan James and his wife. We were entertained by Dr. David Hardiman's Sextet. Guest vocalist Nina Causey was outstanding with her renditions of Stormy Weather, My Funny Valentine and other Black classical tunes. Dr. Hardiman channeled Miles Davis when he accompanied Nina with a muffled trumpet on My Funny Valentine. 


Photo Art by Gene Hazzard






As usual the food was excellent and reasonable. Where else can you enjoy live jazz, aka, black classical music, for $10.00 and dinner for $10.00? This is every Sunday from 6-10PM. Geoffrey's Inner Circle is located at 410 14th at Franklin Street, downtown Oakland. 
--MARVIN X
www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

San Francisco's Sun Reporter Newspaper celebrates 75 years by Marvin X, photos Adam Turner 5/9/19


When Sun Reporter Publisher, Amelia Ashley-Ward, invited Dr. Nathan Hare and myself to the 75th anniversary of San Francisco's preeminent North American African newspaper, it didn't dawn on me until tonight that the date coincided with my 75th birthday, May 29, 1944. Coincidentally, when I was born my parents were publishing their black newspaper in the central valley, The Fresno Voice. So one can say I was born into journalism, thus the Sun Reporter has been a part of my life indirectly and directly since my writings have appeared in its pages off and on over the last half century. In 1966, we opened Black Arts West Theatre on Fillmore Street at Turk, around the corner from the Sun Reporter. We would encounter Sun Reporter Publisher, Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett from time to time, also managing editor, Tom Fleming and political editor Edith Austin. After Amelia Ashley's graduation from San Jose State University and her internship at the Sun Reporter, she eventually became the Editor and Publisher.


US Senator Kamala Harris
photo Adam Turner

Left to right: Pam Moore, Amelia Ashley-Ward, Senator Kamala Harris, SF Mayor London Breed
photo Adam Turner


US Senator Kamala Harris, running for next president of the USA
photo Adam Turner


 San Francisco Mayor London Breed
photo Adam Turner


Sun Reporter Publisher Amelia Ashley-Ward and SF Mayor London Breed
photo Adam Turner




Left to right: Rev. Cecil Williams, Janice Mirikitani, Marvin X, Dr. Nathan Hare
photo Adam Turner


 Left to right: Rev. Cecil Williams, fans of Dr. Nathan Hare, Dr. Nathan Hare
photo Adam Turner

Left to right: Dr. Nathan Hare, poet Marvin K, Minister of Celebration, Glide Church, poet Marvin X
photo Adam Turner

Tonight at the San Francisco Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, 800 guests from throughout this nation, paid tribute to the Sun Reporter. The event began with News Anchor Pam Moore as MC. After a few opening remarks, Pam called three women of power to the stage: San Francisco Mayor London Breed, US Senator Kamala Harris and Sun Reporter Publisher Amelia Ashley-Ward. As the product of a strong black woman, we appreciate strong black women. The only thing my mother hated was ignorance. I can't imagine how proud she would have been to see those three intelligent, powerful women on stage tonight. Mayor Breed gave honor and praise to the Sun Reporter for being the voice of truth in our community. She noted that there was no way Willie Brown would become the first African American mayor or she would become the first black female mayor without the support of the Sun Reporter.


Evan Carlton Ward
photo Adam Turner

Amelia's son, Evan Carlton Ward, had the honor of introducing Senator Kamala Harris, now running for president of the United States. Senator Harris began with a praise song for Amelia as single mother who has raised a young man now serving as a communication officer in Mayor Breed's administration. Keynote speaker Senator Harris praised the Sun Reporter for her successful run to become D.A. of San Francisco. Although there were doubters that she could win, she noted that Amelia had total faith in her victory. The possible next president of the US decried the present occupant of the White House and contradicted the Trumpian narrative that America is on the road to be great again. She noted that most US workers don't have a $400.00 emergency fund. As per education, she vowed to support pay raises for teachers with low salaries yet often pay for school supplies from their meager checks. She called for gun control that would include identity checks. Most importantly, she called for a media that has truth as its primary mission which has been the tradition of the Sun Reporter.

The Honorable Mayor Willie Brown said he became aware of the Sun Reporter after arriving from Texas. He praised Publisher Dr. Carlton Goodlett for altering the course of San Francisco with his radicalism and entrepreneurial expertise. Alas, as Mayor, Willie Brown renamed the street in front of San Francisco City Hall Carlton Goodlett Way.

And then we heard from my main man, Rev. Cecil Williams, Pastor Emeritus of Glide Church, the legendary radical church in the wretched Tenderloin District. Cecil and his wife, poet Janice Mirikitani recalled their association with Publisher Goodlett. Cecil recalled his weekly conversations with Dr. Goodlett who demanded Cecil maintain his radical stance. He note how he and Goodlett supported the 1968 student strike for Black and Ethnic studies at San Francisco State University.
Jan noted how she was Cecil's 25 year old secretary when she met Dr. Goodlett and had little understanding of his radicalism that was igniting the fire of Cecil who would become her husband.
FYI, Jan once noted it was the poetry of Marvin X that forced her to become conscious of her ethnicity. Before the event began, Jan insisted on a pic with herself, Marvin K, current Minister of Celebration at Glide, and Marvin X. Minister Marvin K assured Marvin X he will be speaking and reading at Glide Church ASAP.

Detroit Journalist Dorothy Leavell, Chair of the National Negro Press Association, made it plain that the Sun Reporter and its Publisher Dr. Carlton Goodlett took the NNPA to a higher level with his Renaissance Man mind, whose influence was not only local, national but international.

Our concern was that if the Sun Reporter will continue another 75 years, why were the next generation of Bay Area journalists not in attendance? Nevertheless, thank you, Tom Fleming,
Dr. Carlton Goodlett, Edith Austin, Amelia Ashley-Ward, et al., who made the first 75 years possible.
Let us now prepare for the next 75!
--Marvin X
www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com

Sunday, May 5, 2019

On the mental health status of North American Africans, et al.

As a lay mental health street worker, I was inundated today at my Academy of da Corner, Berkeley flea market. I was scheduled to attend the Bay Area Book Fair in Berkeley, but the Holy Spirit told me to go to the Ashby Flea Market. The Spirit told me to forget the money I possibly would have made at the Book Fair and set up shop at the Flea Market. After all, the last two days at my Academy of da Corner Lakeshore, my Angel had blessed all those who stopped by and wanted to purchase my latest book but didn't have money. Due to gentrification, the Berkeley Flea Market is bleak these days so when I arrived there were many vacant stalls. No matter, I set up shop, more so because I was very upset with white people for their banning of my friend from Facebook, Minister Farrakhan, as many North American Africans are as I write. My day began with a young man who had been given my books by a 93 year old Professor emeritus, Dr. Stillman, in Sacramento. The young man was honored and humbled to be in my presence. He had come to the Flea market on another mission but was overwhelmed to meet me. As we talked, a black conscious white boy arrived that I call John Brown. I believe he was once a white supremacist but had somehow been converted to a essentially a "black supremacist" in a positive way. He has studied Black culture and philosophy and was sincerely trying to recover from racist white supremacist notions of history and reality. He shared his knowledge with the younger and less informed black brother. He even purchased one of Drs. Nathan and Julia Hare's books for the young man. His acts of kindness deflated my anger at White people. No matter how angry I was, he showed me there is hope for white people. He departed when a sister arrived with mental health issues herself and a severely mentally ill son suffering from situational disorders as Fanon, Hare and others have noted. The mother bemoaned that her son was not the son she knew and she felt helpless. A short time later another sister arrived and when I asked about her mother's health, proceeded to tell me about the mental state of her sister and niece suffering manic-depression. She noted their situation was complicated by homelessness partly the result of gentrification. Enough. I departed the Flea Market but not before purchasing three pies from the Nation of Islam brothers, and I don't eat very many sweets, but I wanted to support the NOI.
--Marvin X
5/4/19

Friday, May 3, 2019

Marvin X's magnum opus, Mythology of Pussy and Dick, Poetic Notes on the Human Condition in the #MeToo Era

"His love poems will resound as long and as deeply as any love poems ever written by anyone, e.g., Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonia Sanchez, Maya Angelou or any others."--Fahizah Alim, Editor Emeritus, Sacramento Bee Newspaper

"He is father of the genre known as Muslim American literature...."--Dr. Mohja Khaf, Professor of English and Islamic Literature,
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

"Marvin X is one of the innovators and founders of the revolutionary school of African writing."--Amiri Baraka (RIP)

"One of the blackest men to walk this earth in consciousness if not complexion...."--Dr. Nathan Hare, Father of Black and Ethnic
Studies in America; First Chair, Black Studies, San Francisco State University, 1968



Commentary


I admit the title turned me off-no man would ever lay his hands on me with that kind of
language, but you have plenty to say and you say it like it is --even if it makes you feel
uncomfortable.
--C. Mixon

-
Don't send me anything vulgar like this. My mother didn't talk like this.

--D. Jackmon


-
Take me off your mailing list.
--Dr. Ernest Allen, UMass



I want my son to read this with a man, not with me.
--Rashidah


I wish I'ad this when I was 18. It would have saved me a lot of trouble with women.
I would have recognized who they are and who I am as a spiritual being.
--Reginald J.




Marvin, you and I should have read this when we were 17. Would have saved women a lot
of hell.
--Lumukanda


Do you have a brown bag? I can't take this back to work, might get fired.

--Anon


I put it in the trunk of my car--can't take it in the house, my wife will kill me.
--Conway J.



This book empowered me. I didn’t know I had that much power!—Young sister


It helped me step up my game!—Young Brother


Thank you, thank you, for writing this. I am going to make my son and daughter read it.
—A Mother


And youth who otherwise don't read, do read this book and even squabble over ownership,
as if it were black gold!—Paradise Jah Love




This book will be a great source by which young people can come to grips with their troubling sexuality.
It will help move the internal conflicts from below the solar plexus to above the neck. For many young
people, especially black men in their 20s and 30s, there is little more than hot amorphous vapor in that
region. So-called urban lit is their bible in coming to grips with the violent urgings of their penis. I used
to conceal my own risings with a jock strap. It took me sometime to train myself to sit still: running after
a woman, any attractive woman, was an addictive impact on the soul. Your teachings in this matter is a
kind of how-to book, much needed within our oppressed communities where inordinate violence is turned
within, on our women, on our children, and our reckless unfulfilled manhood.
--Rudolph Lewis, Editor, Chickenbones.com




Brother and comrade Marvin,
As an artist i.e. truth teller-trailblazer,  you have always been cutting edge both in what you lived,
experienced and the naked truth you bare in "emptying of Spirit out of itself" (as Hegel would put it) as
did Trane's Offering. Very rare, and whether we all recognize it now or not we are fortunate to witness
such openness and honesty, though it makes the smug uncomfortable in their fake comforts; show is the
unessential masquerading as essential and therefore art as truth ripping off masks is often seen as
dangerous expose


II was reading Delores Nochi's Introduction to your new contribution, Mythology of Pussy and Dick:
Toward Healthy Psychosocial Sexuality, and thinking of what she observed: "Mythology of Pussy and
Dick is a compilation of everything Marvin X has written on sexuality in America and the world. There
are those who will miss this opportunity to receive wisdom from our brother because of the language he
uses to describe the male and female anatomy, and his perceived objectification of women and men, and
this is a tragedy because this information is crucial for men and women who are suffering from a
psycholinguistic crisis “inflicting actual violence upon lovers in their male/female and same gender
loving relationships. These dysfunctional interactions are witnessed by children who are the next
generation of couples....I agreed with her and at the same time recalled the fate of those who preceded
you in this undertaking - for instance the social scientist and psychologist Wilhelm Reich e.g.
The Function of the Orgasm, Sexual Revolution and Sex-Pol [he was thrown into an American federal
prison and his books burned in 1956, he died in an American prison in 1957
http://en.wikipedia/wiki/Book_burning#Wilhelm_Reich.27s_publications_.28by_U.S._Food_and_Drug_
Administration.29
Also I thought of Lenny Bruce: Bruce served in the navy during World War II (1942-45) and began
performing stand-up comedy in 1946. As he gained popularity in New York night clubs, his brand of
comedy shifted from impersonations to free-wheeling monologues satirizing religion and politics. He
released several comedy albums and appeared occasionally on TV, especially as a guest of Steve Allen
and Hugh Hefner. In 1961 he was arrested after a performance in San Francisco and charged with
obscenity. Bruce was acquitted, but for the next few years he was frequently in trouble with the law
for using raw language on stage -- a no-no back then. In 1964 he was convicted of obscenity in New
York and jailed for a few months (in 2003 Governor George Pataki posthumously pardoned him).
http://www.answers.com/topic/lenny-bruce .


Delores' take on the depth and honest language of your work also made me remember the radical 60s
and the writings of early contemporary feminists, such as the analysis of sexual biology by Anne Koedt
The Myth of Vaginal Orgasm http://www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/CWLUArchive/vaginalmyth.html
But more directly your artistic style and the Avante-Garde revolutionary love and rebellion poetry
and music of Archie Shepp - in particular his Blase http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpE9SN81H6E
So! Your latest contribution here is evidence that the struggle continues! Thanks and stay strong!
--Lil Joe


"Marvin X says some wild, wild things!"
--Attorney John Burris
"He deals in hyperbole to the max!"
--Martin G. Reynolds, former Editor, Oakland Tribune
"I support his March for Men who need multiple wives and unlimited ho's (sex workers)."
--Empress Diamond
"I will march with him!"-- Paradise Jah Love
"I will hold the banner!"--Eugene Allen
"He has my support!"--Keith X Carlisle
"Son, you don't need a wife! You need a maid, secretary and mistress."
--Marian M. Jackmon, Mother of Marvin X
"Oh, Marvin, you never cease to amaze me!" Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland
"Courageous and outrageous! He walked through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal."--James W. Sweeney, Esq.
"In terms of being modernist and innovative, he's centuries ahead of anybody I know."
--Dennis Leroy Moore, Brecht Forum, New York City


Bro Muhajir
Another thing that can be said in your behalf is that you had good DNA to transmit to your children. And
you selected good mothers to nurture your seed and rear your children while you were out and about
struggling with your Nafs al-Ammara Bissu' (demons). Allah is the Best Knower. If you hadn't descended
into "Hell" you wouldn't be able to understand the depth of the despair and desperation that encompasses
so many of our Black Men, which also allows you to reach out to them and speak FOR them. Most often, it
is the one who has experienced the most intense of life's experiences who is best able to produce great art
that touches the heart. Can you imagine Aretha Franklin being able to sing " I Never Loved a Man" without
having her heart crushed? To quote one appropriate old gospel hymn: "Must Jesus bear the Cross alone and
all the World go Free? No, there's a cross for Everyone and there's a Cross for me."--Fahizah


People write this word on the wall as if it is something dirty and nasty. How can the organ through which
life is created be something nasty, not to be mentioned, as if it is vile?
And It ain't his--he don't have a pussy! When will men get this simple point?
We want to see people learn this information about themselves because there's other things to do in this
world, responsibilities, other people depending on them--men need to stop thinking about how many
pussies they can get with--how many women they have played when they have only played themselves--
start doing what real men do--start constructing their place in the world--be there for their children--
just as you are doing now, Muhajir (Marvin), helping your daughter with your grandson.
--Nisa Ra




Dear Marvin x,
It is not often that I write commentaries but you asked for some feedback.
You will not remember me because so many people must have come by your table. However, the title of
your book destabilized me so much so that I returned on Sunday - drove all the way from Delaware to
purchase the $5 mythology series. I strive not to use graphic language in my speech so it is jarring to see it
in text. I strive to avoid most graphic communicative language as much as possible, so I was surprised to find
myself intrigued and captivated by the boldness of the title. It was awkward experience to visit your table.
Perhaps because I am researching female circumcision in Africa which was a rite of passage ritual for me at
age 9.
We are a people coming to the truth too late. We have taught each other that one can only stand guard
over their own soul and that we are unable to be our communities keeper . I speak to my daughter and two
sons about the choices available to them today. I tell my children that they have absolute freedom of choice
to do whatever action they desire. But I also tell them that what they do not have is the freedom to choose
the consequences of those choices whether deliberate or unintentional. The laws of the universe; the laws of
nature; and also the laws of society determine the consequences of our choices. I tell them the truth not so
much that they will change the world but that they can protect, guard and armor themselves. Ultimately, we are all individually responsible for whatever choices we make.
Slavery and its aftermath did not happen in a vacuum. In Africa, Africans sold Africans into slavery;
colonialism was only able to flourish because African chiefdom's worked against themselves and each other
(then and now); its African women who accept and engage in polygamy (then and now); its African women
who circumcise the girl child (then and now); it’s a black women beauty industry that mutilate ’s African hair
(then and now); and the list could go on…... It’s not that I am without hope but it’s a lonely place to be
when one can see past the rhetoric. Traumatized and broken we are a people coming to the truth too late.
In many, many areas of our lives the “horse has already left the barn.”
Perhaps there should be a Mythology Eight that attempts to address what could be done after the horse has
left the barn…..?
Kenya
Kenyalyn Makone-Anunda


Beloved Ones,
Forty years ago, I had a very backward, chauvinistic view of women, and battered and abused some good
sisters. Like all such gender criminals, I projected my insecurities on my victims. Since then, I turned my
hypocritical life around, but found that the obscene damage that I had done left deep scars. Many times we
cry out in our contemporary pain,
after waking up and realizing our transgressions. But we must understand that there are laws in this grand
Universe which operate whether we realize it or not. Eastern philosophy defines these laws as Karma. Yes,
it is wonderful that we come to our senses, over many decades, and discover true maturity. However, that
which was done in the Past might still affect our lives in the Present. I hope that we brothers all realize our
past heinous acts were no better than the oppressors we continue to struggle against today. Many of us
have been forgiven by our former mates. But can we forgive ourselves by walking a different Walk in this 21
Century New World? The youths and kids need us healed, and healing as fathers, brothers, uncles, elders and loving friends.
Truly we are the leaders that we have been hoping and praying for!
In Love and Struggle


Askia Toure

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