Friday, August 28, 2020


Burn Baby Burn

Burn, Baby, Burn

Sick an' tired
Tired of being
sick an' tired.

Lost in the wilderness
of white america
are the masses asses?
cool said the master to the slave,
"No problem, don't rob an' steal,
I'll be your drivin wheel."

And he wheeled us into 350 years
of black madness

to hog guts, conked hair, covadis
bleaching cream and uncle thomas
to Watts.
To the streets.
To the kill.
Boommm...2 honkeys gone.
Motherfuck the police
Parker's sista too.
Black people.
sick an' tired.
tired of being
sick an' tired.
Burn, baby burn...
Don't leave dem boss rags
C'mon, child, don't mind da tags.
Git all dat motherfuckin pluck,
Git dem guns too, we 'on't give a fuck!
Burn baby burn
Cook outta sight

burn, baby, burn
in time
will learn.

--Marvin X (Jackmon)
from Soulbook Magazine, Fall, 1965

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

How to Recover from the Addiction to White supremacy (Type II)


"Marvin X is Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland."
--Ishmael Reed, Lecturer Emeritus, UC Berkeley

"Marvin X is the African Socrates teaching in the hood."
--Dr. Cornel West, Harvard University

"Marvin X has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the founders and innovators of the revolutionary school of African writing."
--Ancestor Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Black Arts Movement Co-founder

Black Bird Press has just reprinted Marvin X's classic How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy: A Pan African 12-Step Model for a Mental Health Peer Group, foreword by Dr. Nathan Hare. The police lynching of George Floyd has rocked the consciousness of human beings around the world, but the problem has existed for centuries, from the slave catchers to the police of today. And North American Africans suffer internal violence as well. It is this latter issue that concerns this manual for a mental health peer group, based on the AA 12-Step model, revised for addiction to white supremacy Type II, as described by Dr. Nathan Hare. The officer(s) who lynched George Floyd under the color of law, suffer Addiction to White Supremacy Type I, while George suffered Type II. Whites who suffer Type I must work out their problems, and North American Africans, and African throughout the Diaspora, must find the way to recover from Type II, for we are in many ways "the other white people." Blond wigs and weaves, bleaching cream and attraction to European values of materialism, reveal we are black men and women dipped in chocolate, as Marvin X was told by a young man. Marvin X revises the AA 12-Step model for our purposes, adding the 13th Step: discovery. After all, after recovery shall we attend meetings forever as if we have traded one drug for another. After recovery, we must discover our mission is the liberation of our people throughout the Pan-African world.
In Wretched. of the Earth, Dr. Fran Fanon told us, and Dr. Nathan Hare (Black Anglo Saxons) concurs that the only way the oppressed people can maintain their mental equilibrium is through radical action for true and lasting freedom from all forms of oppression, although white supremacy is the most cunning and vile drug in the world, addicting entire nations and continents.

In his Foreword, Dr. Nathan Hare says, "Who knows, but it may be that Dr. M's (as he calls Marvin X) movement of recovery from addiction to and from white supremacy is offering us a final and effective change to begin to "sit down together" to get together and get our heads together...."

Dr. Mark Christian compares Marvin X to Walter Rodney, Steve Biko, Frances Cress Welsing, Bobby Wright, Nathan Hare and Dr. E. Franklin Frazier. "What I am most impressed with is Dr. M's Pan-Africanist perspective.

How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy is not a book to read but a manual to work. As they say in recovery meetings, "It works if you work it! 

Detoxification from White Supremacy
Twelve Steps (13)
Step 1: We are not powerless over self-hatred, racism white supremacy thinking but our lives have become unmanageable
Step 2: We have come to believe that a power within ourselves can restore us to sanity
Step 3: We have made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God
Step 4:We shall make a searching and fearless moral inventory
Step 5: Admitted to God within and without the exact nature of our wrongs
Step 6: We are entirely ready to have God remove defects of character
Step 7: We humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings
Step 8: Make a list of all Africans and others we have harmed
Step 9: Make direct amends to such people
Step 10: Continue to take personal inventory
Step 11: Seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God
Step 12: Carry the message to the Pan African world and other humans in the global community
Step 13: Discover Pan African consciousness and join the cultural revolution

Also available from Black Bird Press


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Sunday, August 23, 2020

How the autobiography of a Muslim slave is challenging an American narra...

Omar Ibn Said was 37 years old when he was taken from his West African home and transported to Charleston, South Carolina, as a slave in the 1800s. Now, his one-of-a-kind autobiographical manuscript has been translated from its original Arabic and housed at the Library of Congress, where it “annihilates” the conventional narrative of African slaves as uneducated and uncultured. Amna Nawaz reports. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: Find more from PBS NewsHour at Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Follow us: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Snapchat: @pbsnews Subscribe: PBS NewsHour podcasts: Newsletters:

Wow, the recently translated Arabic autobiography of Omar Ibn Said debunks the white supremacist narrative that Africans kidnapped into the American slave system were totally illiterate and lacking culture, art and civility, that they quickly adapted to docility, passivity and sycophancy. But this reactionary, revisionist narrative can be quickly disproved by the Diaspora experience, particularly the Hausa/Yoruba Muslims brought to Brazil, who spoke several languages, including Hausa, Arabic, Yoruba and Portuguese, and thought it was beneath their dignity to be under the rule of Portuguese who were illiterate in their own language but had power over an educated population of kidnapped Africans. Thus, the Hausa and Yoruba Africans revolted to establish Palmares, an independent African nation in the Americas in the 17th Century,  that lasted a 100 years before the Haitian revolution. And ever after Palmares, there followed a series of Hausa/Yoruba Muslim revolts in Brazil that North American Africans know absolutely nothing about as victims of the white supremacist low information vibration or fake news environment. So as America praises the translated autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, imagine the possibility of a plethora of original narratives that debunk the white supremacist  narrative of the ignorant, African savage in want of Western civilization, art and culture.
--Marvin X


Malê revolt

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Malê revolt
DateJanuary 1835
ResultLegalist victory, repelled rebellion.


  • Yoruba slaves
  • Strength
    unknown, at least 3 battalion of guards+600 insurgents
    Casualties and losses
    ~7 dead soldiers+80 dead
    300 captured

    The Malê revolt (PortugueseRevolta dos Malêspronounced [ʁɛˈvɔwtɐ duz maˈle(j)s][ʁeˈvɔwtɐ duz mɐˈle(j)s], also known as The Great Revolt) was a Muslim slave rebellion in Brazil. On a Sunday during Ramadan in January 1835, in the city of Salvador da Bahia, a group of enslaved African Muslims and freedmen, inspired by Muslim teachers, rose up against the government. Muslims were called malê in Bahia at this time, from Yoruba imale that designated a Yoruba Muslim.[1]

    The uprising took place on the feast day of Our Lady of Guidance, a celebration in the Bonfim’s church’s cycle of religious holidays. As a result, many worshipers traveled to Bonfim for the weekend to pray or celebrate. Authorities were in Bonfim in order to keep the celebrations in line. Consequently, there would be fewer people and authorities in Salvador, making it easier for the rebels to occupy the city.[2]

    The slaves knew about the Haitian Revolution (1791−1804) and wore necklaces bearing the image of President Dessalines, who had declared Haitian independence.

    Islam in Bahia[edit]

    In Bahia the Hausas were primarily identified with practicing Islam because they adopted Islam before coming over to Brazil. Over time however, the Nagô slaves made up a majority of Muslims in Bahia due to the rise of Islam in Yoruba kingdoms. In fact, by 1835 most of the Malês were Nagôs. Furthermore, many of the key figures important in planning the uprising were Nagôs including: Ahuna, Pacífico, and Manoel Calafate.

    Within the Muslim community the Malês had power and prestige, especially the Muslims that had long standing. These members tried to attract new Malês. They did not do so passively, but through proselytizing and conversion.

    In the African Islamic culture in Brazil there were several external symbols that became associated with the Malês. One symbol came about through the adoption of amulets. In Bahia amulets were common because they were thought to have protective powers and were worn by both Muslims and non-Muslims. These amulets consisted of pieces of paper with passages from the Qur'an and prayers that were folded and placed in a leather pouch that was sewn shut. They were made and sold by álufas or preachers. These amulets, however, did not signify a strong commitment to Islam because they were associated with traditional, indigenous African religions. Another symbol of Islam in Bahia was the wearing of a long white frock called an abadá. In Bahia this garment was worn in private so they would not attract attention from law officials. It was only during the rebellion in 1835 that they were worn in public for the first time and were referred to as “war garments” by police. A third symbol which was used by Malês to identify themselves prior to the uprising were white, metal, silver, or iron rings placed on their fingers. However, when the Malês were defeated, these rings were no longer effective because now everyone knew what they meant.[3]

    Growth of Islam in Bahia[edit]

    The urban environment of Salvador facilitated the spread of Islam due to the greater mobility of slaves, the large number of freemen, and the networks between these two groups. All Malês, slave or free, that knew how to read and write Arabic would spread this knowledge on street corners. The houses of freedmen also provided a place for the practice of Islam, as well as slaves own quarters (in their master's house) or “private mosques” which were rooms the Malês rented out (the majority of which were in downtown Salvador). At these places Malês met to pray, memorize verses from the Qur'an, and learn how to read and write (on wooden writing slates) Arabic. The Malês also wrote matters of their faith on paper, despite its high cost.

    In Bahia the Malês had to innovate some aspects of Islam because they feared persecution by officials, but tried to maintain its basic characteristics. For example, the Malês gathered frequently to eat suppers together to represent their effort to commit themselves to the aspect of Islam to only eat food prepared by Muslim hands. They ate mutton often, which signifies ritual sacrifices. During Ramadan their diet consisted of yamsbuglossricemilk, and honey. They ended Ramadan by sacrificing a ram. In addition, the Malês celebrated main religious days such as Lailat al-Miraj, which was a sign of success in Bahia because Malês had become a well-defined segment of the Bahian black community.[4]

    The Revolt[edit]

    While the revolt was scheduled to take place on Sunday, January 25, due to various incidents, it was forced to start before the planned time. On Saturday January 24, slaves began to hear rumors of an upcoming rebellion. While there are multiple accounts of freed slaves telling their previous masters about the revolts, only one was reported to the proper authorities. Sabina da Cruz, an ex-slave, had a fight with her husband, Vitório Sule the day before and went looking for him. She found him in a house with many of the other revolt organizers and after they told her tomorrow they would be masters of the land she reportedly said, “on the following day they’d be masters of the whiplash, but not of the land.”.[5] After leaving this house, she went to her friend Guilhermina, a freedwoman, who Sabina knew had access to whites. Guilhermina then proceeded to tell her white neighbor, André Pinto da Silveira. Several of Pinto de Silveira’s friends were present, including Antônio de Souza Guimarães and Francisco Antônio Malheiros, who took it upon themselves to relay the information to the local authorities.[6][7][8] All of these events occurred between the hours of 9:30 and 10:30 pm on Saturday January 24.

    President Francisco de Souza Martins informed the Chief of Police of the situation, reinforced the palace guard, alerted the barracks, doubled the night patrol, and ordered boats to watch the bay, all by 11:00 pm. At around 1:00 am on Sunday, justices of the peace searched the home of Domingos Marinho de Sá. Domingos reported to the patrol that the only Africans in his house were his tenants. However, sensing Domingos’ fear, the justices asked to see for themselves. They went down into his basement and found the ringleaders, discussing last minute details. The Africans were able to turn the officers out into the streets and then started the revolt.

    Out on the streets, the fighting saw its first real bloodshed; several people were injured and two Africans were killed, including Vitório Sule, Sabina da Cruz's husband. After securing the area, the rebels split up to go in different directions throughout the city. Most of the groups did very little fighting because they were recruiters, calling slaves to war. However, the largest group traveled up the hill toward Palace Square (modern-day Praça Municipal), and continued to fight.[9][10]

    The rebels decided to first attack the jail, attempting to free a Muslim leader, Pacífico Licutan. However, the prison guards proved too much for the rebels, who perhaps were looking to supplement their weak supply of arms with the jailers’. Unfortunately for the rebels, the reinforced palace guard began firing on them from across the square and they found themselves caught between lines of fire in front of the jail. Under heavy fire, the slaves withdrew from the prison and retreated to the Largo de Teatro. Reinforcements arrived on the slaves' side, and together they attacked a nearby post of soldiers in order to take their weapons. They marched toward the officer's barracks, and put up a good fight, however, the soldiers were able to pull the gate guarding the barracks shut. The slaves had failed.[11][12]

    The rebels worked their way towards the Vitória neighborhood, where a number of Muslim slaves lived in the English community there. They regrouped at Mercês Convent where the sacristan, a Nagô slave named Agostinho, was a member of the conspiracy. The convent was a pre-determined spot for regrouping. A police patrol came across the rebels here, but retreated from their counter-attack to Fort São Pedro—a stronghold the rebels did not try to assault. By now the rebels numbered several hundred, but they had not been able to achieve any of their goals. They now headed towards Cabrioto, outside the city to rendezvous with slaves from plantations outside Salvador. In order to get to Cabrioto, however, they would have to pass the cavalry barracks. And when they met in Água de Meninos, the most decisive battle of the revolt took place. At about 3:00 AM, the rebels reached Água de Meninos. The footsoldiers immediately retreated inside the confines of the barracks while the men on horseback stayed outside. The rebels, who now only numbered about 50–60, did not attempt to attack the barracks. Instead, they sought a way around it.[13][14]

    However, they were met with fire from the barracks, followed by a cavalry charge, which proved too powerful for the slaves to overcome. After the rebels were completely devastated, more slaves arrived. After assessing the situation, the slaves decided that their only hope would be to attack and take the barracks. However, this desperate attempt proved futile, and the rebels quickly decided to flee. The cavalry mounted one last charge that finished them off.[15][16]


    • Ahuna - Ahuna was a Nagô slave who lived in Salvador. He traveled frequently to Santo Amaro where his owner had a sugar plantation. It has been suggested that his presence was a key factor in the timing of the rebellion.
    • Pacífico Lucatan- Lucatan was a Nagô slave who worked as a tobacco roller. He was in prison at the time of the rebellion, and one of the main goals was to free him.
    • Luís Sanim - Sanim was a Nupe slave who also worked as a tobacco roller. He ran a fund where each member contributed a day's wages for slave labor, presumably monthly, and this money was divided into three parts: one part for cloth to make Muslim garments; a part to masters' portions of slave wages—since Malê slaves did not work on Fridays; and one part to help buy letters of manumission.
    • Manoel Calafate - Calafate travelled to Santo Amaro to mobilize rebels on the eve of the uprising. He took an active part in the fighting and appears to have been killed in Palace Square.
    • Elesbão do Corma - Elesbão do Corma was a Hausa freedman who was known in the African community as Dandará. He owned a tobacco shop which was also used as a meeting place for Malês. He also traveled through the Recôncavo for his business, and brought the Muslim faith to slaves on the plantations there.[17]


    Fearful that the whole state of Bahia would follow the example of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) and rise up and revolt, the authorities quickly sentenced four of the rebels to death, sixteen to prison, eight to forced labour, and forty-five to flogging. Two hundred of the remainder of the surviving leaders of the revolt were then deported by municipal authorities back to Africa; they employed the slaver Francisco Félix de Sousa for the Atlantic journey. The deportees, who consisted of freed and enslaved Africans, were sent in stages to the Bight of Benin starting in 1835, specifically to the existing Lusophone colony in Dahomey. It is believed that some members of the Brazilian community in Lagos, Nigeria, Tabom People of Ghana are descended from this deportation, although descendants of these Afro-Brazilian repatriates are reputed to be widespread throughout West Africa (such as Sylvanus Olympio, the first president of Togo). The term "Aguda" on the other hand refers to the mainstream, predominantly Christian Brazilian returnees to Lagos who brought Roman Catholicism in their wake; which is why that denomination is often referenced in Yoruba as "Ijo Aguda" (The Portuguese Church).[18]

    News of the revolt reverberated throughout Brazil and news of it appeared in press of the United States and England. Fearing the example might be followed, the Brazilian authorities began to watch the malês very carefully. National and local laws were passed to further control enslaved people in Brazil; these included the death penalty without possibility of recourse for the murder of a plantation owner, overseer, or family members of a plantation owner. In subsequent years intensive efforts were made to force conversions to Catholicism and erase the popular memory and affection towards Islam. However, the African Muslim community was not erased overnight, and as late as 1910 it is estimated there were still some 100,000 African Muslims living in Brazil.[1][19][18]

    Many consider this rebellion to be the turning point of slavery in Brazil.[1] Widespread discussion of the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade appeared in the press. While slavery existed for more than fifty years following the Malê Revolt, the slave trade was abolished in 1851. Slaves continued to pour into Brazil immediately following the rebellion, which caused fear and unrest among the people of Brazil. They feared that bringing in more slaves would just fuel another rebel army. Although it took a little over fifteen years to happen, the slave trade was abolished in Brazil, due in part to the 1835 rebellion.[20]

    See also[edit]


    1. Jump up to:a b c Bittencourt, Circe, ed. (2007). Dicionário de datas da história do Brasil. São Paulo, SP: Editora Contexto. pp. 37–40. ISBN 9788572442961.
    2. ^ João José Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 1993. pp. 118
    3. ^ João José Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 1993. pp. 96-104
    4. ^ João José Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 1993. pp. 104-111
    5. ^ João José Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 1993. p. 74
    6. ^ "Devassa do levante de escravos occorido em Salvador em 1835," Anais do Arquivo do Estado da Bahia 38,(1968) pp. 61-63
    7. ^ “Peças processuais do levante dos males,” ibid. 40 (1971) pp. 42-43
    8. ^ Also mentioned in João José Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 1993. p. 74
    9. ^ Francisco Gonçalves Martins, Relatório do chefe de polícia Francisco Gonçalves Martins, in Etienne Ignace Brazil, "Os Malês, Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro 72 (1909) pp. 117-118
    10. ^ João José Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 1993. pp. 77-88 (battle narrative)
    11. ^ Francisco Gonçalves Martins, Relatório do chefe de polícia Francisco Gonçalves Martins, in Etienne Ignace Brazil, "Os Malês, Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro 72 (1909) pp. 117-118
    12. ^ João José Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 1993. pp. 77-88 (battle narrative)
    13. ^ Francisco Gonçalves Martins, Relatório do chefe de polícia Francisco Gonçalves Martins, in Etienne Ignace Brazil, "Os Malês, Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro 72 (1909) pp. 117-118
    14. ^ João José Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 1993. pp. 77-88 (battle narrative)
    15. ^ João José Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 1993. pp. 73–92
    16. ^ R. K. Kent, African Revolt in Bahia: 24–25 January 1835, Journal of Social History, 1970. pp. 334–356.
    17. ^ João José Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 1993. pp. 129-134
    18. Jump up to:a b Tẹríba, Adédoyin (2017). Afro-Brazilian Architecture In Southwest Colonial Nigeria (1890s-1940s) (Thesis). Princeton University. p. 2.
    19. ^ Steven Barboza, American Jihad, 1993.
    20. ^ Dale T. Graden, An Act "Even of Public Security": Slave Resistance, Social Tensions, and the End of the International Slave Trade to Brazil, 1835-1856The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 76, No. 2., May 1996. pp. 249–251.