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
Call 510-575-7148. We need sponsors, supporters and generous donations. Your donations can be tax deductible.

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