Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Marvin X Speaks, autographs books at Marin City Juneteenth

Marvin X speaks and autographs Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter at 
Marin City Juneteenth, Saturday, June 29, 2019

 Marvin X speaks, Third Baptist Church, San Francisco
photo Adam Turner


Saturday, June 29, 2019- 10am-6:30pm

A Special Place

The Marin City Festival is special. Set in a natural grove of trees, intimate yet dynamic. A perfect place to get out of the race.  A  time to relax with friends. Bring a lounge chair and blanket. Support local merchants.  Celebrate our theme:


Our Food Vendors serve up a diverse selection of delicious meals, beverages and desserts.


Delicious Food...Art...Fashion & More

Jewelry, fashion, crafts, music, local & celebrity talent, Childcare with games, jumping tent and more. We encourage attendees to support our local businesses by spending, a minimum of $25 on food and $100 for goods.

Inspirational Entertainment

Talented performers share Spoken Word and historical tributes. An "Open Mic"provides space for locals to shine, along with our Juneteenth Vendor "commercials" which will compel you to purchase their goods & services over corporate competitors.

There is no cost to attend the Festival

However, we offer VIP seating for those desiring a catered experience. 

Reserved seating, meal/beverage voucher
Wait service and a reserved parking space. 

$125 per couple. $75 Single.

Treat yourself or a beloved elder with special needs.

Theme: Economic Connections-International

Juneteeth is a holiday commemorating the political end to over 400 years of legalized mass enslavement, an institution that created a legacy of systemic economic imbalance.  
We aspire to heal this imbalance by creating an African Marketplace where goods and services are lovingly offered in a spirit of  Pan-Africanism and Economic Liberation.  


Marin City Juneteenth Community Festival

A Project of the Marin City Community Services District



530 Drake Avenue. Marin City, CA. 94965
 Behind Rocky Graham Park.  Parking available on site or nearby.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Review by Marvin X: Last Black Man in San Francisco

 Danny Glover, grandfather

 The Nigga Greek Chorus

 Jimmy Fails as Jimmy and co-writer

 Jimmy Fails and Johnathan Majors as Jimmy and Mont

 Tichina Arnold as Aunti

Last weekend, writer Cecil Brown stopped by my Academy of da Corner, Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, and asked if I'd seen Last Black Man in San Francisco? I replied that I hadn't and he said he hadn't either, but from what he'd heard, it was the gentrification of gentrification, referring to the white director,Joe Talbot, although co-written by Rob Reichert and Jimmy Fails, also the co-star. Cecil Brown was saying the process of the  production itself was gentrified, and it certainly was, e.g., European music dominated the soundtrack of a film essentially about hip hop characters, although the film was definitely inter-generational, including a mythic ancestor grandfather, who supposedly built a Victorian house in the 1940s when the wave of North American Africans migrated West to work in the war industry and replaced Japanese in the Fillmore when they were put in concentration camps.

Jonathan Majors and Jimmie Fails are the main characters, Mont and Jimmy respectively. Like many North American Africans disconnected from their history, we often construct mythology to placate our psychological trauma that transcends amnesia which assumes we forgot, but Dr. Nathan Hare says we simply never knew, as any victim of physical trauma is unable to recall what happened to them. Jimmy comes to believes, or rather constructs the myth that his grandfather built the house but eventually deed history reveals it was constructed a hundred years before, as a tour guide attempted to tell his group.

During probate by the white owners, Mont and Jimmy occupy the house but are forced to move when a "friendly" real estate agent puts it up for sale. Before they depart, Mont produces a play in the house that reveals the myth Jimmy has been living by at which point Jimmy declares he must be the last black man in San Francisco because all his relatives are living precariously or have departed.

This film about brotherly and family love has value as North American Africans are being gentrified coast to coast. But as Tina Turner said, "What's love got to do with it?"

We don't expect film writers to be sociologists and city planners, so although we appreciate the film, it presents the problem but no solution, and perhaps there is none when the median cost of a home in San Francisco is 1.4 million dollars. Will any amount of creative financing solve problem of affordability? Most certainly, a livable wage won't!

And most especially, a communal problem will not be solved with an individual solution. We know films must be focused, and although we can deduct from the specific to the general, we need to see that the severity of the problem is communal.

We recently celebrated the memorial of Wade "Speedy" Woods, and I titled my story on him as "The Last Fillmore Revolutionary Negro". Ironically, as per this film, Speedy headed WAPAC, the Fillmore or Western Addition
Project Area Committee, a redevelopment agency that tried to save, and did save, many of the Victorians like the one depicted in Last Black Man in San Francisco. If I were to write a film on Speedy, it would reveal his efforts to save community as opposed to a narrative of him as an individual. He did have a team! And WAPAC save some elements of the Fillmore, but we must note that years later as the Fillmore, aka, Harlem of the West, suffered gentrification, former Mayor Joe Alioto publically apologized for "destroying the cultural and economic vitality of the Fillmore."

Left to write, SFSU BSU co-founders Mar'yam, Danny Glover and Marvin X.
Danny portrayed Jimmy's grandfather in Last Black Man in SF.

As was noted in the Rolling Stone review, Last Black Man floated between fantasy and documentary, or mythology and reality, and this is okay, except our condition is so critical, do we have time for fantasy? We are being moved on and thus we are on the move. The film revealed our desperate straits, from family members to the hopeless Greek chorus on the corner in the hills of Hunters Point, to the sick white people in downtown San Francisco who want nudity as a normality. They have even opened a cafe where they can enjoy rats as they eat and drink!

SF Mayor London Breed at SF Juneteenth in the Fillmore
photo Marvin X

As we came off the Bay Bridge into San Francisco, we noted the skyscrapers under construction, then wondered how city planners can approve these constructions without giving equity to the displaced with affordable housing and living wages? Nevertheless, our beloved Mayor London Breed spoke at the Fillmore Juneteenth and assured the crowd of North American African we would not suffer the fate of the Last Black Man in San Francisco! We shall survive, the Mayor assured  the crowd!
--Marvin X

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Update: Dr. Cornel West/Marvin X Conversationj

Update: Dr. Cornel West/Marvin X Conversation on Critical Issues
Local, National, International
December, 2019
Date, Time, Place TBA

 Dr. Cornel West and Marvin X in Philly at the 65th B-Day of Mumia Abu Jamal

The December, 2019 on-stage conversation between Dr. Cornel West and Marvin X is rapidly taking shape although the date, time and place has not been finalized, but Berkeley will likely be the city. Berkeley Juneteenth board member, Delores Noche, has confirmed as a sponsor. B-Tech Math instructor, Ramal Lamar, has confirmed the B-Tech PTA as a sponsor. Paul Smith of the Bay Area Jazz Society will be music director. Co-producer will be Dr. Ayodele Nzinga of Oakland's Lower Bottom Playaz and the Black Arts Movement Business District, CDC.

The event is a conversation between two of America's greatest minds. While Dr. Cornel West is a well known public intellectual, Marvin X has been a force in the black revolutionary underground as co-founder of the Black Arts Movement and unofficial recruiter of the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam.

 Left to right: Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, co-founders of the BPP

In the introduction to his latest book, Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X, Dr. Nathan  Hare writes, "With the return of 'white nationalism' to the international stage and the White House and new threats of nuclear war, the black revolutionary occupies a crucial position in society today. Yet a black revolutionary of historic promise can live among us almost unknown on the radar screen, even when his name is as conspicuous as Marvin X (who may be the last to wear an X in public view since the assassination of Malcolm X)...."
Ishmael Reed calls him, "Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland." Bob Holman says, "He's the USAs Rumi...." Dr. Mohja Kahf says, "He's the father of Muslim
American literature." Next week, Duke University Professor Ellen McLarney is flying into Oakland to conduct a three-day interview with Marvin X for her book on Black Islamic influenced writers. She has chapters on Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez and will include a chapter on Marvin X.
Left to right: Mrs. Amina Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Marvin X and Amiri Baraka, RIP, at the memorial for Dr. Betty Shabazz, Riverside Church, NYC.
Photo Risasi

Professor McLarney was so humbled the poet agreed to be interviewed, she told him, "What shall I call you? I cannot just call you Marvin X?" When one of his students heard of her remarks, he said, "I don't care what people say, Marvin X is my Sheikh!"
 Marvin X and his mentor/associate in BAM, Master Teacher Sun Ra, Father of Afro-futurism (Octavia Butler is Mother). Marvin and Sun Ra taught in the Black Studies Department, UC Berkeley, 1972.

Minister Khalid Muhammad (RIP) told Marvin X repeatedly whenever they met, "I studied your writings in college. I love your early writings influenced by the Nation of Islam!" Marvin X says, "I shall forever love and respect Khalid. He came to Oakland searching the Crack houses trying to save Huey Newton and myself. I was so deep into Crack addiction, when Muslim brothers told me Khalid was looking for me and Huey, I didn't know who the fuck they were talking about. Who in the fuck is Khalid, I remember saying!"

Left to right, fellow BSU founders at SFSU: Mar'yam Wadai, Danny Glover and Marvin X
photo Adam Turner

Marvin is one of the founders of the Black Students Union at San Francisco State University and has taught at Fresno State University, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, San Francisco State University, Mills College, University of Nevada, Reno, and elsewhere. He appears in the film: Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution, directed by Stanley Nelson. His archives were acquired by the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.

 Black Panther, Vanguard of the Revolution Director Stanley Nelson,
Marvin X, Fred Hampton, Jr. at the San Francisco Film Festival

Left to right: Marvin X, grandson Jahmeel, Director Stanley Nelson, MX's daughter, Attorney Amira Jackmon and daughter Naeemah at Berkeley screening of film.
The poet has been commissioned by the Austin, Texas Black Cultural District, Six Square, to write and produce a dramatic work on the 400th Anniversary of our presence in the American slave system, November, 2019.

Marvin X is the author of thirty books, most of which are out of print. This event is a benefit to enable Black Bird Press to reprint his catalogue of writings.

The poet/playwright/essayist turned 75 on May 29. His radical career began in 1962 at Oakland's Merritt College where he became friends with fellow students Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, and others of the neo-black intelligentsia as Bobby Seale described their coming into black consciousness at Merritt College on Grove Street/MLK, Jr. Drive.

He introduced Eldridge Cleaver to Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale. Cleaver immediately joined the BPP and became Minister of Information.

Among the topics Dr. Cornel West and Marvin X will discuss include:
gentrification and homelessness, health issues of senior citizens, incarceration, 2020 elections, immigration, reparations, religiosity vs. spirituality, the MeToo Movement, Black Lives Matter, Pan Africanism, including Blaxit, and other critical issues. A Q and A will follow. Cat Brooks has been invited to be moderator.

The last time these two gentlemen were on stage together was 2001 at San Francisco State University when Marvin produced the Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness Concert.

This conversation will surely be an historic event you won't want to miss. Tickets will be available soon as a date, time and place are finalized.

For more information, stay turned to www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com
Call 510-575-7148. We need sponsors, supporters and generous donations. Your donations can be tax deductible.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Marvin X Tribe: Jazmin Jackmon graduates from University of Oregon, drafted by Houston Dash, Women's Professional Soccer Team

Congratulations on your graduation from the University of Oregon and joining the Houston Dash, Women's professional soccer team. Love you granddaughter Jazmin.
--Marvin X (Jackmon)

FYI, like all families, my family has suffered much trauma and grief, yet we rise, we rise, we rise. Ache!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

General Kumasi orders Black August soldiers to read Marvin X's Notes

 George Jackson, Messiah of the Black Prison Movement
Assassinated by prison guards at San Quentin Prison

Black August founders,organizers and participants, left to right: Mama Efia Nwangaza, Human Rights Advocate, Greensville, SC,Shaka Al Thinin. Back left: Kumasi and Marvin X  
photo Wanda Sabir, SF Bayview Newspaper

Brother Kumasi, Black August Prison Movement co-founder and undisputed griot (historian) of the Black and American Prison Movement has issued orders to all Black August soldiers to read Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X!  ASAP! After reading the book twice, Kumasi says it is a narrative from the horse's mouth. Marvin X visited Soledad Prison's Black Culture Club, the beginning of the Black and American Prison Movement, 1966. The club was chaired by Eldridge Cleaver and Alprintice Bunchy Carter, When Eldridge Cleaver was released from prison and came to the Bay Area, Marvin X was the first person Cleaver hooked up with. They established a political/cultural center called Black House, 1967. Marvin introduced Eldridge to Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, his classmates from Oakland's Merritt College. Other soon to be members of the BPP also came through Black House: Samuel Napier, became Minister of Distribution of the Black Panther Newspaper. George Murray became Minister of Education. Emory Douglas became Minister of Culture.

Marvin X also recruited for the Nation of Islam., "fishing" Nadar Ali, who became Director of Imports. He mentored writer Fahizah Alim who wrote for Muhammad Speaks and the Sacramento Bee. More recently, his star student from his Laney College Drama class founded her own theatre and is founder of the Black Arts Movement Business District, CDC, Dr. Ayodele Nzinga.

Master Teacher Marvin X and his star student, Dr. Ayodele Nzinga
photo Adam Turner

All the above history is covered in Notes. Again, General Kumasi says it is a must read for radical activists.

 Marvin X and Nadar Ali, Marvin's "fish" for the Nation of Islam. Nadar became director of imports and was responsible for importing the Whiting fish Muslims sold by the boatload from Peru. On a business trip to Chile, Nadar was on the balcony of his hotel when Chile's President Allende was overthrown.

Panel of woman discussing the Black Arts Movement on the 50th Anniversary of BAM at Laney College, Oakland. Left to right: Elaine Brown, Halifu Osumare, Judy Juanita, Portia Anderson, Phavia Kujichagulia and Aries Jordan. Marvin X was producer, 2015
photo Ken Johnson

 Amiri Baraka and Marvin X, co-founders of the Black Arts Movement coast to coast. They enjoyed 47 years of friendship and revolutionary art projects.

MX and Fahizah Alim. Mentored by MX, she became a writer for Muhammad Speaks and is Writer Emeritus of the Sacramento Bee. Marvin considers her his muse.
MX and his mentor and associate, Dr. Nathan Hare, considered the Father of Black and Ethnic Studies. Hare was first chair of Black Studies at San Francisco State University and founding publisher of the Black Scholar Magazine.
photo Adam Turner

Marvin X met Eldridge and Bunchy on a visit to Soledad Prison's Black Culture Club, 1966.
Shorty after Bunchy and Huggins were assassinated in the BSU meeting room at UCLA by members of the US organization, on a speaking tour of Los Angeles colleges and universities during his fight to teach black studies at Fresno State University, Marvin X spoke at UCLA and was shown the BSU meeting room with the blood of Bunchy and John still on the walls. He was also shown the headquarters of the Black Panther Party that was site of a BPP/LAPD gun battle with bullet holes on the facade.

Founding members of the SFSU Black Students Union: Benny Stewart, Mar'yam Wadai and Marvin X. Benny was a strike leader, but before the strike Benny was a performer in Amiri Baraka's Communication Project that radicalized students with plays from the Black Arts Movement, including the works of Jimmy Garrett,
Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Ben Caldwell and Marvin X.
photo Adam Turner

SFSU founding members Mar'yam Wadai, Danny Glover and Marvin X. Danny performed at Black Arts West Theatre, founded by Marvin X and playwright Ed Bullins.
photo Adam Turner

Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, co-founders of the Black Panther Party.
Bobby, Huey and Marvin X were students at Oakland's Merritt College. Prior to co-founding the BPP, Bobby Seale performed in Come Next Summer, Marvin X's second play, circa 1965. Bobby portrayed a young black man trying to find himself, discover his revolutionary black consciousness. Huey Newton said, "Marvin X was my teacher, many of our comrades came through is Black Arts Theatre and The Black House.e.g., Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, George Murray, Samuel Napier, Judy Juanita, JoAnn Mitchell, Ellendar Barnes, et al.

The only known picture of Eldridge Cleaver and Marvin X. Pic is outside the house where BPP and OPD had shootout in which Lil' Bobby Hutton was murdered in cold blood by the OPD
photo Muhammad Kareem

Order your copy from
Black Bird Press
339 Lester Ave., Suite #10
Oakland CA 94606
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Marvin X, Bay Area Juneteenth book tour

As Marvin X signed books at San Francisco Juneteenth, he noticed a "fine" black female officer standing a few feet from him with a white officer. Aside from her beauty, he noticed she had a Muslim name. He called her over and asked if she would arrest him. She replied, "No, because there are too many black people already in jail", and returned to her post. 

Is Marvin X under surveillance? A few weeks ago when he boarded the Amtrak to Fresno, an Oakland police officer got on board behind him and came to his seat. The Black uniformed officer said loudly, "Oh, I see we have a celebrity on board this morning!"   

For Fresno Juneteenth, Marvin X and Dr. Nathan Hare donated five boxes of books from their libraries to give out to his hometown folks (he grew up in Fresno and Oakland; in 1969 he attempted to lecture in the Black Studies Department at Fresno State University but was removed on orders of then Governor Ronald Reagan, who also removed Angela Davis from teaching at UCLA the same year). 

Marvin later taught at UC Berkeley, 1972, San Francisco State University, 1974, UC San Diego, 1975, University of Nevada, Reno, 1979. He has authored and/or edited 30 books and has received writing awards from Columbia University and the National Endowment for the Arts; planning grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is honored in the African American Museum at the Smithsonian, Washington DC. 

As one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement (the most radical artistic and literary movement in American history), Marvin X was recently praised by George Miles, a fellow alumni of Harlem's New Lafayette Theatre, "HONORS. Our Own Very Very Very Dear and Beloved Friend/Brother/Man, Supreme Warrior, Activist, Advocate Poet, Essayist, Author, Educator and Honored New Lafayette Alumni Marvin X (Jackmon). HONORS!"

His archives were acquired by the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Berkeley Juneteenth

Berkeley Juneteenth 

At Berkeley Juneteenth, Berkeley's Chief of Police stopped by Marvin X's booth. The chief said he was drawn to the poet's booth by a sign "White Awake, Challenge Racism." Marvin told the chief it is a movement. He could Google it.

FYI, Marvin X's friends used to shoot police, e g., Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, Huey Newton, and other members of the Black Panther Party.
And the police used to kill Panthers.

Marvin X recalls when he traveled with Cleaver during his Born Again Christian days, on one occasion the former BPP Minister of Information gave his testimony before a group of white Christians, including police who confessed they had murder squads killing black people in general and Panthers in particular. The police told Cleaver that since they had found the Lord, they no longer hated black people. Cleaver and the police embraced and the audience shouted praise the Lord, hallelujah. 

Marin City Juneteenth
On Saturday, June 29, Marvin X will speak at the Marin City Juneteenth Festival. Aside from speaking and autographing his latest book Notes of Artistic Freedom Fighter Marvin X, he will be interviewed by Duke University Professor Ellen McLarney for her book project on Muslim writers in America. Marvin X is considered the father of Muslim American literature (Dr. Mohja Kahf). Ishmael Reed calls him, "Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland." Bob Holman says, "He's the USAs Rumi...the ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi, the politics of Baraka, the humor of Pietri...."

Coming Soon
save the date
Dr. Cornel West and Marvin X
A Conversation

Dr. Cornel West has agreed to an on-stage conversation with his dear friend, Marvin X, December, 2019. Date, time and place to be arranged. If you would like to be a sponsor or patron of this event, please call 510-575-7148. 

"Can't wait to see you both together again!"
--Clifton West

for more information or to invite Marvin X to speak and/or read from his works