Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Memorial Day Reverie

A Memorial Day Reverie

by Rudolph Lewis, editor: Chickenbones, a journal

The night is cool. There is a pregnant half moon at midnight casting shadows on the lawn. There are breezes in the pines and the oaks. A whippoorwill is in the southern woods. A bird whistles in the dark. In the cemetery hickory nesting are mockingbirds that utter a peep every now and then. The coolness has stilled the insect symphony and the choruses of tree frogs. No rain is expected until next week. So it has been a week of cool nights and warm days, though today it got up to about 90 or so. My room was hot, so I was in and out, away from the computer and working on my website. My automobile is in the shop so I have had to wander about the house -- in and out of Mama's room watching a movie here and there.
I also sat on the porch awhile and read a chapter of The Dark Heathenism of the American Novelist Ishmael Reed by Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure, which involves Reed's literary criticisms of Eurocentric monoculturalism and violence and how he counters it with HooDoo. While there in that mindframe there were those who were visiting the dead, putting flowers on the graves of th dead and the telling of stories about them. As Marvin X reminded me with his Memorial Day poem, most of us black folk treat this holiday muck like All Soul's Day in New Orleans.
We do not deal with it as a day for the military dead. All our lives have been like a war, I suppose, especially when one lives in urban centers. I lived through the "rebellions" of 1968 while in Baltimore and in Harlem. Lived through the wars that the police made on the black community post-1968, and the rise of petty drug gangs of survival. Black youngsters filling up local prisons so that they are now bursting at the seams. Lived through the traditions of RIPs painted on abandoned houses in the slum areas.
I have escaped that world for at least a year now. Here, in the countryside, some come down from the cities to remember their dead. They bring their hoes and brooms and clean around and off the graves. This church cemetery began in 1948. There are two former slaves buried here and more sons and daughters of slaves buried here. So visitors to the cemetery wander about looking at tombstones and vaults of not just their immediate kin. This kind of activity will be going on through Monday. Of course, there are some family cemeteries as well. Some of them are overgrown with bush and trees. And some of the very old ones have been plowed under.
To while my time away, I have seen a lot of John Wayne movies, well, at least, three. One was a rendition of the Alamo Story and the last one about Wayne as a HUAC agent spying on and arresting Communists in Hawaii. I suppose if I didn't know about Du Bois, Robeson, and Langston Hughes, I would see John Wayne as very heroic. My last movie for the day was the 1933 version of King Kong. I've seen it before but experience always allows us to look at such films with fresh eyes. This time the film reminded me of 9/11 and its aftermath. It had similar props and themes: urban terrorism with white women falling from tall buildings; civilization vs primtivism; the significance of air power defeating urban terrorists; the easy defeat and exploitation of Third World peoples, cultures, and wildlife. Of course, we never get to know these people. They are wearing strange garments and dancing around fires and uttering Voodoo words.
Kong was removed from his natural habitat and carried to New York so that the lead character, a Barnum & Bailey, could exploit him as one of Nature's freaks, as the 8th Wonder of the World, exploited much like the South African woman on display in 19th century France. Kong's blind attraction to Western beauty led to his death, a fall from a high place, much like Sadaam Hussein. Maybe beauty killing the beast will be the case with Iraq as well. Our President tells us rather plainly and dryly that we can expect more death and destruction there. He's like a father. So brace ourselves for the inevitable. He assures us nevertheless that we must have faith in our military technology to do the job to bring the oil home. That the 3000 dead (so far) will be redeemed. One longs indeed to have respect for and faith in one's fathers.
Maybe it will be as Father Bush and the militarists say. I doubt it. Memorial days come and go. We will have another one next year, if we are here. Maybe the 3000 will not have doubled. But I suppose we Americans must have our hero myths, even if they are built on Hollywood actors like Ronald Reagan and John Wayne. But I think we need to explore them more deeply. We need more dancing. Have you ever seem Ron or John Wayne do the twist. But the West mocks the Sun Dance, the boogaloo, Juba, and the Congo. Our inflexible world is becoming more and more costly, socially disruptive, and deadly. We do have our military dead here at Jerusalem--from WWI, WWII. Korea, and Vietnam As far as I know we have none from the Middle East wars. Such wars are, however, endless so there is still that possibility.The moon still cast shadows. Whippoorwill stll sings his songs as the earth and the morning cool. Like most Americans I feel rather helpless in the matter of our foreign wars and our global plans to dominate the planet. That I am a registered voter seems rather meaningless. That I am thoughtful only causes my blues to have an edge. Reed says writing is fighting. But I am losing confidence in that too. I looked over the revised percentages:
30% Bush loyalists, most of whom have the tradition "slave mentality" of the white middle-class
30% Passionate true believers, but susceptible to propagands and capble of 180 degree turns
30% Fence sitters, cynics, opportunists
10% People who are capable of intelligent analysis
Well that kind of political grouping saddens me indeed. It will be difficult to get a word in edge wise with that kind of audience. I am so afraid that the John Wayne movies will win out this Memorial Day. But I still have the silence of the birds and the insects, the sacredness of the fields and forest to give me some comfort and maybe even help me to work some hoodoo. A few friends also send me their musings. So at least I am not alone in these sad times. I am glad that we have persons around like Marvin X. Even in my sadness, he makes me laugh. Maybe he will give you a chuckle too -- Rudy

Memorial Day, 2007

I am a veteran
Not of foreign battlefields
Like my father in world war one
My uncles in world war two
And Korea
Or my friends from Vietnam
And even the Congo “police action”
But veteran none the less
Exiled and jailed because I refused
To visit Vietnam as a running dog for imperialism
So I visited Canada , Mexico and Belize
Then Federal prison for a minute
But veteran I am of the war in the hood
The war of domestic colonialism and neo-colonialism
White supremacy in black face war
Fighting for black power that turned white
Or was always white as in the other white people
So war it was and is
Every day without end no RR no respite just war
For colors like kindergarten children war
For turf warriors don’t own and run when popo comes
War for drugs and guns and women
War for hatred jealousy
Dante got a scholarship but couldn’t get on the plane
The boyz in the hood met him on the block and jacked him
Relieved him of his gear shot him in the head because he could read
Play basketball had all the pretty girls a square
The boyz wanted him dead like themselves
Wanted him to have a shrine with liquor bottles and teddy bears
And candles
Wanted his mama and daddy to weep and mourn at the funeral
Like all the other moms and dads and uncle aunts cousins
Why should he make it out the war zone
The blood and broken bones of war in the hood
No veterans day no benefits no mental health sessions
No conversation who cares who wants to know about the dead
In the hood
the warriors gone down in the ghetto night
We heard the Uzi at 3am and saw the body on the steps until 3 pm
When the coroner finally arrived as children passed from school

I am the veteran of ghetto wars of liberation that were aborted
And morphed into wars of self destruction
With drugs supplied from police vans
Guns diverted from the army base and sold 24/7 behind the Arab store.
Junior is 14 but the main arms merchant in the hood
He sells guns from his backpack
His daddy wants to know how he get all them guns
But Junior don’t tell cause he warrior
He’s lost more friends than I the elder
What can I tell him about death and blood and bones
He says he will get rich or die trying
But life is for love not money
And if he lives he will learn.
If he makes it out the war zone to another world
Where they murder in suits and suites
And golf courses and yachts
if he makes it even beyond this world
He will learn that love is better than money
For he was once on the auction block and sold as a thing
For money, yes, for the love of money but not for love
And so his memory is short and absent of truth
The war in the hood has tricked him into the slave past
Like a programmed monkey he acts out the slave auction
The sale of himself on the corner with his homeys
Trying to pose cool in the war zone
I will tell him the truth and maybe one day it will hit him like a bullet
In the head
It will hit him multiple times in the brain until he awakens to the real battle
In the turf of his mind.
And he will stand tall and deliver himself to the altar of truth to be a witness
Along with his homeys
They will take charge of their posts
They will indeed claim their turf and it will be theirs forever
Not for a moment in the night
But in the day and in the tomorrows
And the war will be over
No more sorrow no more blood and bones
No more shrines on the corner with liquor bottles teddy bears and candles.
--Marvin X
25 May 2007
Brooklyn NY

for the best of marvin x, go to

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Journal of Black Poetry Festival

Notes on the Journal of Black Poetry Festival

The tentative date for the Journal of Black Poetry Festival is late September, 2007.

Purpose: to give honor and respect to Brother Dingane (Jose Goncalves), publisher and editor of the JBP.

The invited poets and planners include Amiri Baraka, Askia Toure, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez,Last Poets, Haki Madhubuti, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Amina Baraka, Eugene Redman, Rudolph Lewis, Tureeda, Ayodele Nzinga, Naru, Ptah, Marcel Diallo, Tureeda, Ishmael Reed, Devorah Major, Al Young, Jose Angel Figerora, Nefertiti El Muhajir, Muhammida El Muhajir, Larry Ukali Johnson, Reginald Lockett, Devorah Major, Marvin X.

As per funding, we should consider that the JBP was published independently without corporate or government funding. Shall we continue this tradition of do for self with respect to funding this festival, since this project is a continuation of the cultural revolution that will impact the consciousness of participants, especially the hip hop generation. And why should we beg corporations and foundations to do for us what we should do for ourselves?

If every interested poet would donate a hundred or thousand dollars, we could pull this off independently. If poets would be willing to pay their own airfare and lodging, that would be a nice chunk out of the budget. We have a tentative faciliity at Oakland's Eastside Arts Center. Laney College is nearby and we expect the students at Laney's Club Knowledge to be a part of the planning to insure the hip hop generation is represented in this intergenerational gathering.

Anyway, tell me your thoughts on funding, agenda and expected outcome.

Please respond to me at

Comment on Marvin X's Letter to Iraq's Minister of Oil

Comment on Marvin X's Letter to Iraq's Minister of Oil

by Ayaba Bey

Excellent outreach. We need to do more of this. Hands across the ocean to our affiliates and friends in other countries. Our Native American kin should be brought into the fold on these types of ideas. They have untapped resources because of a lack of funds and collaboration. They do not have to rely on American corporations to do for them, but they need developmental assistance and it is time to unify the Black, Red, Brown and Yellow people of the world, as the Whites by way of the European Union, have so boldly claimed to be doing. The rest of the world's people do not seem to see any problem with this action on their part. But it is a bold and arrogant act against the rest of the world's people to only unite with your own kind and tell the rest of the world that we are wrong for trying to do the same! Some of us are grand children of Native Americans and we need to increase our contact and support of them . Numbers mean everything.

"That which you seek is seeking you"

Freedom of Speech and Black Liberation

Freedom of Speech and Black Liberation

I declined to speak at a college recently because the subject had to do with freedom of speech in an indirect way because I was asked to talk about the Black House, the political/cultural center I co-founded with Eldridge Cleaver, Ed Bullins and Ethna X. Wyatt (Hurriyah) in San Francisco, 1967. The Black Arts Movement and the Black Liberation Movement were about freedom, including freedom of speech. BAM people went to jail or were threatened with jail if we went ahead with our productions at Black Arts/West Theatre and elsewhere, so how could I discuss the Black House which was a center for freedom, in a lecture where I would be censored. To me, this is a contradiction. Don't ask me to discuss freedom while in shackles.
Yes, students need to know the history because there are far too many revisionist versions floating around in PhD theses and other works, but we bled to write and speak the truth, in the language we saw fit. I am and shall remain out of the box. I am not concered about political correctness and sensitivity, but, as Sun Ra taught me, the low down dirty truth, yeah, the funky truth. As James Brown sang, "Ain't it funky now." And Dr. Cornel West says, "Every body wants to hide the funk, tame the funk, disguise the funk, but we are only authentic and original when the funk comes through. And that's why we love Fannie Lou Hamer, Elijah Muhammad and Martin Luther King, Jr., they kept the funk in place...."
--Marvin X
No Freedom, No Speak

Brother Marvin,

I am writing for two reasons. One is to commend you on the plan to honor the legendary Dingane in late September 2007. Although I never published any work in the Journal of Black Poetry, I consider Dingane one of my mentors. When I was preparing to self publish my poetry book "Red Sun Songs," I went to Dingane for advice and counsel. After I reached out to him, Dingane helped me and I will never forget it. He always gave me strong words of encouragement wheneverI went to see him at New Day Bookstore. Thus, you can certainly count on me to make a contribution of at least $100 for this event.

Secondly, I am writing about the speaking engagement we have discussed. I would like to bring you to campus on February 20, 2007 to participate in a seminar on Black cultural centers in the Bay Area during the1960s. The seminar will take place on February 20,2007 from 6:30-9:30 pm. It will feature two speakers, namely you and Fritz Pointer. I want you to focus your presentation on "The Black House," which you founded with Eldridge Cleaver. I want you to give us a detailed history about the Black House in terms of the who, what, when, where, how, and why. Fritz and Dave "Mudavanha" Patterson founded thePan-African Cultural Center in Oakland. Fritz has been informed that I want him to us a detailed history about the Pan-African Cultural Center in terms of the who, what, when, where, how, and why. It is important that we document the history of these two important Black cultural centers and the role they played in theBlack Arts Movement and the Black Power Movement. The seminar will be presented under the auspices ofthe W. E. B. Du Bois Lecture Series. Your honorarium is going to be $400. Please note that there can be no use of profanity or racial slurs, including theN-word. I saw that you recently wrote a piece about the use of the N-word. I hope that you can agree to these terms and I certainly want you to participate and bring your special insight on this matter. As you know, you have certainly been a mentor to me since the early 1980s. Please respond as soon as possible.
Yours in the struggle,

Note: Marvin X declined this speaking engagement and will all others without a freedom of speech clause in the contract, even for a million dollars, hmmmmmm. MX

Friday, May 25, 2007

Marvin X Live On Video

Marvin X Live On Video

Now available on DVD:

Marvin X On Domestic Violence (Morehouse College, ATL)
The Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, San Francisco State University
Marvin X at the Berkeley Black Repertory Group Theatre, Berkeley
Marvin X, In the Crazy House Called America Concert, Buriel Clay Theatre, San Francisco
Marvin X Talks With Fillmore Slim at the Black Radical Book Fair, San Francisco
Marvin X at the Barber Shop (Git Yo Mind Right)
Marvin X Live In Philly At Warm Daddies
One Day In The Life, a docudrama of addiction and recovery, by Marvin X

Available from Black Bird Press, POB 1317, Paradise CA 95967. Send $14.95, plus $5.00 for priority mailing.

Samples on
Marvin X on White Supremacy
Get Yo Mind Rite

A Dangerous Book

Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality by Marvin X

It's a dangerous book, for it reveals the inner workings of capitalist and imperialist governments around the world. It's a book that stands with and on behalf of the poor, the dispossessed, the despised, and downtrodden.
--Rudolph Lewis, Editor,
Memorial Day, 2007

I am a veteran
Not of foreign battlefields
Like my father in world war one
My uncles in world war two
And Korea
Or my friends from Vietnam
And even the Congo “police action”
But veteran none the less
Exiled and jailed because I refused
To visit Vietnam as a running dog for imperialism
So I visited Canada, Mexico and Belize
Then Federal prison for a minute
But veteran I am of the war in the hood
The war of domestic colonialism and neo-colonialism
White supremacy in black face war
Fighting for black power that turned white
Or was always white as in the other white people
So war it was and is
Every day without end no RR no respite just war
For colors like kindergarten children war
For turf warriors don’t own and run when popo comes
War for drugs and guns and women
War for hatred jealousy
Dante got a scholarship but couldn’t get on the plane
The boyz in the hood met him on the block and jacked him
Relieved him of his gear shot him in the head because he could read
Play basketball had all the pretty girls a square
The boyz wanted him dead like themselves
Wanted him to have a shrine with liquor bottles and teddy bears
And candles
Wanted his mama and daddy to weep and mourn at the funeral
Like all the other moms and dads and uncle aunts cousins
Why should he make it out the war zone
The blood and broken bones of war in the hood
No veterans day no benefits no mental health sessions
No conversation who cares who wants to know about the dead
In the hood
the warriors gone down in the ghetto night
We heard the Uzi at 3am and saw the body on the steps until 3 pm
When the coroner finally arrived as children passed from school

I am the veteran of ghetto wars of liberation that were aborted
And morphed into wars of self destruction
With drugs supplied from police vans
Guns diverted from the army base and sold 24/7 behind the Arab store.
Junior is 14 but the main arms merchant in the hood
He sells guns from his backpack
His daddy wants to know how he get all them guns
But Junior don’t tell cause he warrior
He’s lost more friends than I the elder
What can I tell him about death and blood and bones
He says he will get rich or die trying
But life is for love not money
And if he lives he will learn.
If he makes it out the war zone to another world
Where they murder in suits and suites
And golf courses and yachts
if he makes it even beyond this world
He will learn that love is better than money
For he was once on the auction block and sold as a thing
For money, yes, for the love of money but not for love
And so his memory is short and absent of truth
The war in the hood has tricked him into the slave past
Like a programmed monkey he acts out the slave auction
The sale of himself on the corner with his homeys
Trying to pose cool in the war zone
I will tell him the truth and maybe one day it will hit him like a bullet
In the head
It will hit him multiple times in the brain until he awakens to the real battle
In the turf of his mind.
And he will stand tall and deliver himself to the altar of truth to be a witness
Along with his homeys
They will take charge of their posts
They will indeed claim their turf and it will be theirs forever
Not for a moment in the night
But in the day and in the tomorrows
And the war will be over
No more sorrow no more blood and bones
No more shrines on the corner with liquor bottles teddy bears and candles.
--Marvin X
25 May 2007
Brooklyn NY

for the best of marvin x, go to

Dear Helen

Helen Davis Makes Transition

Oakland entrepreneur Helen Davis joined the ancestors earlier this week. Helen and husband Charles Davis operated the African boutique Aquarius Rising at 61st and Telegraph, Oakland. Mrs. Davis also sold items on the local cable television show. She was also an actress and board member of the Black Repertory Group Theatre. Funeral services are pending.Helen was related to poet/playwright Marvin X and the two were scheduled to hold a combinded birthday party and book party at Aquarius Rising on Monday, February 19, 3pm. The event is still happening in her honor.
Memorial Celebration
On Friday, March 9, 8pm, the Black Repertory Group Theatre will hold a memorial celebration for Helen.

The following is a letter from Marvin X:

Dear Helen,Cuz, it is with great pain and shock that I learned of your transition earlier this week. My sister Judy informed me, your sister-in-law. Having talked with you on Monday, I am happy to have had our last conversation because it was the essence of your joyful, upbeat spirit, and this is how I shall always remember you. We discussed your birthday party and my upcoming book party at your store on February 19, and I looked forward to the event. Your transition made me want to cancel my public appearances this month, but after talking with your family at the Black Rep, Dr. Scott, Sean and Paula, they assured me you would want the show to go on, after all, they reminded me, we never saw you sad, but always full of joy and happiness--so how can we be sad about your departure--and furthermore, your constant smile and positive attitude will never depart from us. You are now black history, especially the history of regal African women in the Bay.In our last conversation, you mentioned how much you appreciated my latest book BEYOND RELIGION, TOWARD SPIRITUALITY. I told you to tell your television audience every word you said to me, and you promised you would. You said you liked my essay ANCESTORS. As Dr. Nathan Hare teaches, be careful about being an elder, for next you are an ancestor. And so, my beloved sister, my royal queen, you have indeed joined the ancestors. And we shall honor you and love you for eternity.Your comments about my essay THE MEN was inspirational to me. You said you had to call a friend to read it to them. You mentioned my words about how the young men wait in the doorway for father to come home. Yes, father must leave the ho and go home, for in the end the ho will not be with him, but he shall be alone in his iniquity. I call upon all fathers to go home, repair the house, reconcile with your baby's mamas, reconcile with your children, especially your sons, but your daughters as well.Oh, Helen, you and your husband Charles were the perfect couple in my sight. You were the essence of a royal African queen and he was forever at your side as your King, not just in apparel but in fact, for he stood beside you always as you went about your daily round as market woman, selling your wares on cable television and at your boutique, Aquarius Rising.Helen, your ever loving smile, your eternal optimistic persona has blessed the Bay Area with love so desperately needed as it seeks a way out of the cycle of violence and despair due to economic and spiritual poverty.
I am so saddened by your transition, but so happy that I saw you a few days before your departure in the physical. Thanks for being an ever positive force in my life. I pray I can express your joyful, positive spirit. You have my eternal love and respect.Your cuz,
Marvin X
Helen & Charles Davis
Aquarius Raising6036 Telegraph AvenueOakland, CA 94609428-2116

Letter to Tavis Smiley from Fahizah Alim, 2007

Dear Tavis

Congratulations on your successful annual State of Black America forum earlier this month. I really wanted to be there in person. I had hoped to travel to Virginia with Mrs. West, but I was scheduled to take my son to visit Morehouse the next week and had too much on my plate. So I'll have to be content to watch you at 1 a.m.(yes 1 a.m) on our local PBS station.

I am writing this letter to introduce you to author Marvin X as a noteworthy guest on your talk shows. He has been around a long time writing provocative, insightful and brilliant prose, poetry and essays. So long infact, that he has been dubbed the "Father of American Muslim Literature." He also was one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement along with Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni, and has been writing important books for 40 years. Cornel calls him "Marvelous Marvin X."

He is a brother from the Academy and The Streets, walking as one politician said "through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal."
His writings are cathartic and healing, targeting issues that cross the spectrum of the African American experience. I have profiled him before and he is a great interview.

We have already sent you some of his books. I hope that you see what I see.

Peace and Blessings

Fahizah Alim

A Marvin X Classic: Black History Is World History


By Marvin X
Before the Earth was
I was
Before time was
I was
you found me not long ago
and called me Lucy
I was four million years old
I had my tools beside me
I am the first man
call me Adam
I walked the Nile from Congo to Delta
a 4,000 mile jog
I lived in the land of Canaan
before Abraham, before Hebrew was born
I am Canaan, son of Ham
I laugh at Arabs and Jews
fighting over my land
I lived in Saba, Southern Arabia
I played in the Red Sea
dwelled on the Persian Gulf
I left my mark from Babylon to Timbuktu
When Babylon acted a fool, that was me
I was the fool
When Babylon fell, that was me
I fell
I was the first European
call me Negrito and Grimaldi
I walked along the Mediterraneanfrom Spain to Greece
Oh, Greece!Why did you kill Socrates?
Why did you give him the poison hemlock?
Who were the gods he introduced
corrupting the youth of Athens?
They were my gods, black gods from Africa
Oh, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
Whose philosophy did you teach
that was Greek to the Greeks?
Pythagoras, where did you learn geometry?
Democritus, where did you study astronomy?
Solon and Lycurgus, where did you study law?
In Egypt, and Egypt is Africa
and Africa is me
I am the burnt face, the blameless Ethiopian
Homer told you about in the Iliad
Homer told you about Ulysses, too,
a story he got from me.
I am the first Chinese
China has my eyes
I am the Aboriginal Asian
Look for me in Viet Nam, Cambodia & Thailand
I am there, even today, black and beautiful
I used to travel to America
long before Columbus
came to me asking for directions
Americo Vespucci
on his voyage to America
saw me in the Atlantic
returning to Africa
America was my home
Before Aztec, Maya, Toltec, Inca & Olmec
I was hereI came to Peru 20,000 years ago
I founded Mexico City
See my pyramids, see my cabeza colosal
in Vera Cruz and Yucatan
that's me
I am the Mexican
for I am mixed with all men
and all men are mixed with me
I am the most just of men
I am the most peaceful
who loves peace day and night
Sometimes I let tyrants devour me
sometimes people falsely accuse me
sometimes people crucify me
but I am ever returningI am eternal, I am universal
Africa is my home
Asia is my home
Americas is my home

Amiri Baraka On Marvin X at the Baraka's House on Easter Sunday, 2007

"He arose, He arose, X arose....! Perfect!" AB
Somethin' Proper: The Life and Times of a North American African Poet.
book review
African American Review,
Spring, 2001

by Julius E. Thompson

It tells the story of the most important Muslim poet to appear in the United States during the civil rights era....

Marvin X (Marvin E. Jackmon) [El Muhajir]. Somethin' Proper: The Life and Times of a North American African Poet. Castro Valley, CA: Black Bird P, 1998. 278 pp. $29.95.

Marvin X's autobiography Somethin' Proper is one of the most significant works to come out of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It tells the story of perhaps the most important African American Muslim poet to appear in the United States during the Civil Rights era. The book opens with an introduction by scholar Nathan Hare, a key figure in the Black Studies Movement of the period. Marvin X then takes center stage with an exploration of his life's story, juxtaposed with the rapidly changing events and movements of contemporary history: the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Arts Movement, the Black Power Movement, the growth of Islam in America, and especially the influence of Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam, and the series of challenges facing black people in recent decades.

Marvin X was born Marvin E. Jackmon in Fowler, California, on May 29, 1944, and grew up in West Fresno and West Oakland, California. His early education was completed in these cities, and he later attended Oakland City College (Merritt) and San Francisco State University, where he was awarded a B.A. and an M.A. in English. He emerged as an important new poetic voice among California black poets in the late 1960s, and wrote for several of the key Black Arts Movement journals of the period, including the Journal of Black Poetry, Soulbook, Black Dialogue, Black Theatre magazine, Black Scholar, Black World, and Muhammad Speaks. He was also a key playwright of the era, working with Ed Bullins in organizing the Black Arts West Theatre in San Francisco and in founding the Black House, also in San Francisco, with Bullins, Eldridge Cleaver, and Ethna Wyatt. He also worked with Bullins at the New Lafayette Theatre in Harlem. During the last forty years, Marvin X has taught Black Studies, literature, drama, and English at Fresno State University, the University of California, Berkeley and San Diego, the University of Nevada, Reno, San Francisco State University, Mills College, and Merritt and Laney Colleges in Oakland, California.

His very active career is also reflected in a rapid-moving life style. This fact is documented by the author in twenty chapters in Somethin' Proper, followed by an appendix, which captures the life and death of Huey Newton. Marvin X was a busy man during the 1960s and 1970s. He was a Black Muslim, an associate of the key leaders of the Black Panther Party (Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and Eldridge Cleaver), an anti-Vietnam War protester (he went into exile in Canada, and later in Central America, rather than be drafted into the United States Army), and an outspoken critic of American economic, social, and cultural discrimination of African Americans at home, and of Third World peoples abroad. This theme is reflected in one of his most famous poems of the period, "Burn, Baby Burn":
Tired, sick and tired.
Tired of being sick and tired.
Lost, lost in
The wilderness of white America.
Are the masses asses?
Cool, said the master
To the slave, "No problem,
Don't rob and steal, I'll
Be your driving wheel."
And he wheeled us into
350 years of Black
Madness--to hog guts,
Conked hair, quo vadis
Bleaching cream,
Uncle Thomas, to Watts
To the streets, to the
Killllllllll ........
Boommmmm ............
2 honkeys gone.
Motherfuck the police
And Parker's sister too
Burn, baby, burn*******
Cook outta sight*******
Fineburgs, wineburgs,
Safeway, noway, burn .....
Baby, burn

Somethin' Proper also reveals Marvin X's family life, marriages, children, and friends, and notes the conflicts which he has experienced across the years with individuals, organizations, and governments. He writes in a style which captures the essence of black language, folklore, and culture in the United States, with an upscale urban beat! Marvin X notes the high and low points in his own life and that of his associates. Most potent is his analysis of the drug situation in this country, and its relationship to and impact upon the black struggle. He calls for change and reform in this area, stressing the need for continued black struggle to overcome the age-old problems of discrimination, racism, and oppression in America.
Marvin X remains an active writer today. His body of work includes Fly to Allah (1969); Black Man Listen (1969), a key work in Dudley Randall's catalogue at Broadside Press; Woman, Man's Best Friend (1973); and a play, One Day in the Life, most recently produced in 1997 in Brooklyn and Newark, New Jersey. His most recent books of poetry are Love and War (1995), Land of My Daughters, poems, 2005.

He remains a very interesting voice from the Black Arts Movement, continuing to write and to challenge contemporary readers to think and to act, and to assess the past, the present, and the future.
COPYRIGHT 2001 African American Review
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group

The Psychopathology of White Supremacy

The Psychopathology of White Supremacy

From The Ramparts*

By Junious Ricardo Stanton

*Psychopathic Babble*/“psychopath: 1. an individual suffering from a mental disorder, 2 an individual with a personality disorder not psychotic in nature, which is lacking a manifest anxiety and involves inadequate social adjustment.”/ Dictionary of Psychology

Our venerated ancestor Amos N. Wilson reminded us the true psychology of the European is not found in their psychology books or their intellectual dogma, rather their real psychological nature and functioning can best be discerned by looking at their history and present behaviors. Looking at the history of the Indo-European offers a clear indication that something is amiss with them mentally and spiritually. Their collective behavior towards themselves and humans worldwide indicates a collective (cultural) mental and personality disorder. From the perspective of their interactions with the humanity Europeans clearly exhibit inadequate social adjustment! “History as seen through the clear eyes/vision of the knowledgeable and culturally connected AfriKan, has made it apparent that the misrule of the European (including his Arab/Semitic brothers/sisters) has been one characterized by an avalanche of murders, the desacrelization of the human spirit, the defilement of nature, the perversion of human development and the denial and domination of his feminine twin self. This is the legacy of ‘Western Civilization’”. The Sankofa Movement ReAfrikanization and the Reality of War by Kwame Agyei and Akua Nson Akoto Page 202Looking at Europeans (those there and their invader/settler kin around the world) in this light and from this perspective it is easy to see Europeans present a very real and imminent danger to both humanity and the natural ecosystem. It is from this vantage point we must view the European ruling elites’ push for continuous war,ecological devastation and subverting of the natural order as a modern continuation of their millennial behavior patterns of incessant internecine tribal wars, invasions and assaults on Non-Europeans and an ongoing desecration of nature. The Bu$h administrations War on Terror is nothing more than them doing what they have done for thousands of years only now they conduct their looting, pillage and plunder as high tech barbarians.Africans being the first humans and the first civilized beings recognized the importance of speech and language. Our ancestors also realized as great a tool as language is for communication, speech also carried with it a moral responsibility to speak truth and be of true word. From an African perspective speech is a metaphysical tool, it is divine aspect of our nature to be used as co-creators with Omniety. “Indeed speech is the gift of the Creator. The often repeated formula whereby the Creator in the form of one of the divine aspects (e.g. Ptah) proclaims, ‘Words Spoken I have given all Life, Power and Health’, implies that not only did the Creator give those particulars, but also the words that convey the message, Medew Netcher or Divine Speech, thus encompasses what the Europeans designate as metaphysics, the branch of philosophy that deals with origins.” Jacob H Carruthers_* MDW NTR Divine Speech A Historical Reflection of African deep Thought from the Time of Pharaohs To The Present*_ Page 40

Looking at speech from an African perspective we can see how the Europeans use speech is a clear indication of their collective mental and personality disorders (psychopathy). Europeans have a natural aversion to telling the truth, to using speech in a positive fashion. They lie so much it is to the point you cannot believe much of anything they say. Their greatest industries and institutions are those the specialize in lying: advertising, religion, education and politics. The Native Americans observed this about the pale faces, and said succinctly “The White Man speaks with forked tongue.” From this perspective when the Bu$h cabal: Bu$h, Cheney, Powell, Wolfowitz, Rice, Rumsfeld et al and their NeoCon/Zionist cohorts in the mass media and Think Tanks lied about 9-11, lied about regime change in Haiti, lied about Osama bin-Laden, lied about the Taleban, lied about Saddam Hussein, lied about Social Security, lied about low unemployment, lied about the state of the economy and lied about the war in Iraq they were merely exhibiting a coordinated and deliberate form of psychopathic behavior. They are what our African ancestors would call workers of *Isfet* (chaos, deceit, injustice) the very opposite of *Ma’at* (Divine Order, Justice Balance, Harmony, Truth, Righteousness and Reciprocity). *Ma’at* was the guiding principle of not only the ancient Nile Valley cultures but we find these notions of propriety, rectitude and harmonious social relationships practiced throughout Africa and most of the non-Indo-European world even today. Some theorize the melanin deficiency within Caucasians is one of the root causes of their inability to tell the truth or use language in an uplifting manner.Contrast the African position on speech and righteousness with the past and recent history of Europeans and you begin to discern a fundamental difference between whites and humanity. From an African perspective where speech is seen as a divine tool we can see the speech of the Bu$h cabal also initiated universal metaphysical principles. However true to their barbarism, more war, more death, more destruction of human lives, physical infrastructures and the planet’s ecosystem have resulted from their use of the tool of speech. This is a clear reflection of their consciousness or lack thereof. It is not a case of them not knowing better ( there is a saying if they knew better they would do better). That is not the case. Europeans have a cultural pattern of lying, lying about themselves by creating a false and inaccurate self-image (white supremacy is a form of mental illness) and lying about non-Europeans (Xenophobia is also a form of mental illness). Their mental and spiritual maladies, their lack of self-control and self-restraint have resulted in social cannibalism, incessant wars and genocide, psychological damage and ecological devastation everywhere they’ve set foot on this planet. This history has been duly documented and is irrefutable. No matter what they say, their actions speak louder than their babble. And their behavior and babble are signs of their deep seated and worsening psychopathy.

Message from Dr. Nathan Hare to Doc Marvin X


Maybe we should start calling you Doc Marvin. I remember the Old West character, Doc Holliday or somebody; and I once met an impressive brother (a member of the school board or high up there in Kansas City, Missouri, circa late 1980s), who was known as Doc Ross, though his name was something else and he didn’t have no white man’s doctorate. Sure wish I could give one (or both) of mine away.

I’ve been keeping up with your goings and doings back East, and you continue to amaze me with the way you live and promote the life you write about. And the harder I try these days the more you brothers’ blogs and computerizations keep getting ahead of me.

The Queen Bee is doing fine – you know her. No doubt she would sting me for even thinking of taking time away from my soon to be mythical (imaginary? but I’m getting there) book! Luckily she’s on the phone right now, as usual, so instead of asking permission, I’ll just beg forgiveness. After all, if she’s “the queen bee,” I’m the king bee.

But you’ve just given me an offer I can’t refuse. Not only is it an honor and an opportunity to “do good in the world,”
it’s fitting and proper (or “somethin’ proper”). Plus you already blessed me beyond measure in the beginning of the text. And I tell Julia all the time that “I like people who ACT like they like me.”

“But they can be shucking you; they just using you. ”

“I don’t care what they think. Just keep on using me till you use me up.”

How long should the forward be etc?

I’m rushing to get out early this morning, but I got a look at the twelve steps and your blog. Don’t know if I saw all of the manuscript or if you are still writing on it or what, “heading South.”

Let me know. In any case, back to you later.


Toward A Pan African Mental Health Peer Group to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

Without going through a healing process to recover from the addiction to white supremacy as I am suggesting in my work in progress: How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy: A Pan African 12 Step Model, it is doubtful any good will come of meetings, conferences, festivals, simply because we are suffering from an addiction and must enter detox, recovery and discovery. It is doubtful we can eat dinner together without some of the poisons of white supremacy spoiling the dinner. Recently I had to stop inviting brothers out to breakfast or dinner because they consistantly spoiled the meal with their white supremacy mentality, so we can't go around the corner together without submitting to a Pan African mental health program. But keep on pushing the rock up the hill like Sisyphus. Long live Africa.--Marvin X

Please go to the archive article: How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

Shani Baraka and the Politics of Life and Death

Don't worry if the sun burns you black like the earth
Fly to Allah and be safe in the caves of your mind....

Remembering Shani Baraka

By Marvin X

When will the murdering end
in the land of murder
when will it end?
when will the talk and marching make sense to fools even?
Poets are not safe in this land
even their children are not safefrom the death angel
who walks through fire untouched
until the white house turns black
murder will reign in the world
no families are secure
Baldwin said, "The murder of my child will not make your child safe!"
Connect the dots, America
arms merchant of the world
whose guns pollute the hood
shrines to death and eternity stand on every corner
candles, teddy bears and tearsnotes of pain and love, RIP
and the shrines return to the same corners every full moon
when death does her dance in the moonlight of our madness
is it too much to ask for sanity in this blood soaked land
is it too much to ask for a moment of clarity and peace?
Woe to America, she has become the habitation of devils
the haven for every filthy, unclean bird.
Fly to Allah. seek refuge from the blood of the beast
who devours the souls of men, women and children
from Palestine to Newark, from Liberia to Congo
from Soweto to Hunters Point in Frisco
Fly to the mountains of peace, t
ake refuge in the trees
feed the cows and horses
see how they run to you,
happy to see you with the hay?
plant the corn with your fingers
don't worry if dirt is in your pretty nails.
Don't worry if the sun burns you black like the earth
Fly to Allah and be safe in the caves of your mind
away from the evil one who walks through fire.
who seeks to devour the children we do not protect
so the big bad wolf blows the house down
we stand wondering how and why and who.

I told Shani to take me to the ocean and she said OK
but we never went
she was busy and so was I
I told her to come to Cali
she said OK but never did
She told her Mama, "Marvin X is the only man I like!"
And I liked her bow legs. point guard. room full of trophies
I didn't think about challenging her in a game of one on one.
I wasn't going to embarrass myself since I wasn't in shape
I fixed her breakfast
She said she never saw a man cook before.
No, not her father nor her brothers
Maybe that's why she liked me.
I was drunk one night and invaded Amiri's study
I told him I wanted to marry Shani
He told me the next day,"Marvin, you get drunk and say the damnest things!"
Her mother said, "Take her!"but I never did.
so Shani lived her life with her girls.
Her brothers said, "Shani just mannish! She be all ite."
Last time I heard, she had joined church and coached basketball.
The little point guard with the bow legs.
The feminine spirit of Baraka.
We love you, Shani.
You and your girl, Rayshon.

When Parents Bury Children

By Marvin X

a pain nothing can kill
no words suffice
no tears complete
we are numb
but dead inside
walk with pride
that hides open wounds
only you can see
others try
some are true
but do they really know
the painof loss
a child so young
so bright
now the emptiness
except the memory
of all the yesterdays
from birth to now
thoughts of joy confound
yet make us smile
if only for a moment
like eternity
and is gone
into the night of foreverness
and so we walk crippled yet brave
each daywondering
the price of life and love
the cost of moments lost yet found again
as we walkand talk to the spirit world
where death does not enter
only living water flows
as we flow
between life and spirit
which are one.

The Politics of Life and DeathBy Marvin X

Speaking at the funeral of his beloved sister Shani, Ras Baraka cried out, "Why couldn't we save her in all of our blackness, our prayers, our revolution talk, our [healing] conferences?" This is a most profound question that should rattle the hearts and souls of all activists, radicals, and revolutionaries. Indeed, how can we save the world yet neglect our families? Although my oldest son is forty years old, he still feels abandoned and neglected because I was fighting for freedom during the 60s. He told me I should have been home taking care of him and his mother, even though my struggle to teach at Fresno State University reportedly made things better for the whole town. After my fight, even black policemen admitted they were able to police white sections of town they were previously not allowed to enter.Nevertheless, the cries of my child cannot be dismissed as the wail of an "ungrateful bastard." The cry of Ras Baraka must be considered so that in our struggle, our fights, our poems, our conferences, we do not neglect our families, no matter how ungrateful we might think they are. One problem is that they often become alienated from us when they see contradictory behavior, so we must first of all resolve contradictions.Harlem radical Elombe Brathe commented on my play ONE DAY IN THE LIFE, "The reason Marvin's daughter Nefertiti became a Christian was because she saw the contradictory behavior of her father and wanted no part of his revolution or his Islam." This is the sad truth. And after some time for healing, the Barakas must ask themselves why did Shani become a Christian after growing up with Communist parents?Of course her Christianity has nothing whatsoever to do with her tragic death and that of her partner, but I am responding to Ras's comments that have to do with revolutionary struggle and our families. Often we miss the point of struggle: to first unite our families.It is our families that slavery destroyed. It is our families that have been ravaged by street violence, domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, ignorance, and immorality. Save the family, save the nation.I was recently told that I could not save the world. This was shocking news to me. My whole life has been dedicated to saving the world. I was told to come off the battle field sometime and just be me, drop the X and just be Marvin, carrying that X is a burden that can be overwhelming. I was told I had already made a great contribution to my people, me and my generation, had indeed, made things better, so relax and enjoy life, enjoy your family.Only a few days ago, one of my daughters told me to stop thinking of myself all the time and think about her and her needs, even though she is an adult, she was crying out for my love, not my poetic love, revolutionary love, simply fatherly love!I let her know I would come out of my ego trip and revolutionary pursuits to engage her, to spend time with her in an attempt to heal the trauma of her childhood, even though she has entered full womanhood. Will this not be a revolutionary act on my part? Will this not help strengthen the community, advance the world struggle against racism, sexism, and economic exploitation?

Mumia Abu Jamal On Marvin X: Live from Death Row


Little may be known in the mainstream of poet/writer/teacher Marvin X but within circles of radical and independent artists and thinkers, he remains an icon!

Political prisoner/activist, Mumia Abu Jamal recently included an excerpt from a Marvin X essay in his internationally syndicated column. The article entitled, HOW 'BLACK' IS OUR HISTORY MONTH written live from death row, explores the true spirit of Black History Month. ----Katrina -- the ravages, not of weather, but of government, as Black Arts Movement poet, playwright, and essayist Marvin X put it so eloquently in his recent Beyond Religion -- Toward Spirituality: Essays on Consciousness (Cherokee, CA: Black Bird Press, 2006): "We have tried their sham democratic elections to no avail, as we saw in the 2000 general election when our votes were discounted. Between our treatment in the 2000 election and Katrina, what else do we need to know about American democracy? What part of no don't you understand? Both events revealed America to be nothing more than a banana republic with respect to us: we were treated worse than dogs in both respects." [p. 192] " To read the full article: {HOW 'BLACK' IS OUR HISTORY MONTH?}

Flowers for the Trashman, 40 Years Later

Brother Marvin,
I am very excited to hear that you are going to produce your class play, "Flowers for the Trashman." Although I have never seen the play, I first read itin the anthology, "Black Fire," when I was about 15 years-old. It will be an honor to witness the 40th year celebration of a play that helped launch the Black Arts Movement. I plan to come your talk tomorrow at Your Black MuslimBakery. I am also looking forward to the program tohonor Dingane and, as I told you before, you cancount me in as one of the poets who will give money to pull it off. I think that it is extremely importantto give Dingane his flowers while he is alive.

Long live Marvin X!
Long live Dingane!
Yours in solidarity,


one-act play Flowers for the Trashman, about the> father/son relationship. While a student at San> Francisco State College/University in 1966, Marvin> wrote the play for his English professor and> novelist, John Gardner, because he was flunking> Gardner's class. Gardner urged the drama department> to produce it and they did. The play became a> classic of the Black Arts Movement and has been> performed in Black theatres across America and even> Europe and Africa. It was first published in Black> Dialogue Magazine and later in the 60s anthology> Black Fire, edited by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) and> Larry Neal. Black Classics Press will soon release a> new edition of Black Fire.> > Kenneth Rexroth called Marvin X the best> playwright to hit San Francisco State, and he is> still on the move. His docudrama One Day In The Life> is the longest running black play in the Bay Area> and Northern California. > > Marvin has interviewed two hip hop poets, Rebel> and President Davis, about the doing the main roles> in Flowers, and the Berkeley Black Repertory Group> Theatre will be the venue.> > On Sunday, March 11, 5pm, Marvin X will read from> his latest book Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality> at Your Black Muslim Bakery, San Pablo and Stanford,> Oakland.> > His East coast tour in shaping up, including> readings in Harlem, Brooklyn, Newark, Philly and> Washington, DC. For tour schedule, contact his East> coast agent, Suninleo Productions.> > MUMIA quotes MARVIN X> Little may be known in the mainstream of> poet/writer/teacher Marvin X > but within circles of radical and independent > artists and thinkers, he remains an icon!> ">Marvin X has decided to produce his classic one-act play Flowers for the Trashman, about the father/son relationship. While a student at San Francisco State College/University in 1966, Marvin wrote the play for his English professor and novelist, John Gardner, because he was flunking Gardner's class. Gardner urged the drama department to produce it and they did. The play became a classic of the Black Arts Movement and has been performed in Black theatres across America and even Europe and Africa. It was first published in Black Dialogue Magazine and later in the 60s anthology Black Fire, edited by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) and Larry Neal. Black Classics Press will soon release a new edition of Black Fire. Kenneth Rexroth called Marvin X the best playwright to hit San Francisco State, and he is still on the move. His docudrama One Day In The Life is the longest running black play in the Bay Area and Northern California. Marvin has interviewed two hip hop poets, Rebel and President Davis, about the doing the main roles in Flowers, and the Berkeley Black Repertory Group Theatre will be the venue.

On Sunday, March 11, 5pm, Marvin X will read from his latest book Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality at Your Black Muslim Bakery, San Pablo and Stanford, Oakland. His East coast tour in shaping up, including readings in Harlem, Brooklyn, Newark, Philly, Boston, Hartford,and Washington, DC. For tour schedule, contact his East coast agent, Suninleo Productions.

The Secret or Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality

The Secret or Marvin X's Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality

The Secret may be a best seller on the New York Times list, but in the hood it's Marvin X's essays on consciousness Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality that is hard to keep on the shelves at limited outlets in the SF/Oakland Bay Area. After 40 years, the masses have discovered the writings of Marvin X, or, as one bookseller put it, "They have known about you, they just didn't know where to get your books, now they know."

In the Bay, his books are available at Aquarius Rising, 6036 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. De Lauer's News, 14th and Broadway, downtown, and Your Black Muslim Bakery, San Pablo and Standford. YBMB has five titles: Something Proper, autobiography, 1998, In the Crazy House Called America, essays, 2002, Wish I Could Tell You The Truth, essays, 2005, Land of My Daughters, poems, 2005, and Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, 2007. Marcus Books doesn't do Marvin X.

The poet/essayist will hit the east coast in April: on Good Friday he will be hosted by Philly's most famous female poet, and Easter Sunday he will be hosted in Newark by their most famous poet. Contact Marvin's agent for details: suninleo. com.

In a letter from death row, Mumia Abu Jamal told Marvin, "Beyond Religion is an encyclopedia of knowledge. You are a griot if there ever was one."

Look for Beyond Religion to be a bestseller in the hood. Order direct from the publisher:
Black Bird Press, POB 1317, Paradise CA 95967, $19.95, postage included.

Forgiving Mother Africa

Forgiving Mother Africa

…it is the women of a country who help to mold its character, and to influence if not determine it's destiny… Frances E. W. Harper, 19th Century

We must be willing to overcome our very real feelings of rejection, self loathing and bitterness due to the selling of our ancestors by our own people. Further, we have to be able to separate fact from fiction as it pertains to what we have been taught about our history as the descendants of Africans. Forgiving Mother Africa for the circumstances which led us to the auction blocks and on to the plantations is no different than forgiving anyone else for trespasses against us, including those who came to her shores looking for bodies to work their fields.

Mother Africa, through the Traditional Rulers of Benin is asking Diasporic Africans to forgive them for their role in the genocide of African People. Much effort and planning has gone into developing restoration and reconciliation models that will facilitate the healing of Africans in the Diaspora. Moreover, the Traditional Rulers and the government of Benin stands ready and willing to do all in their power to restore Diasporic African by providing immediate citizenship and land, among other things. The Traditional Rulers and Tribal Chiefs in West Africa have carefully assessed the damages which were imposed upon their family members in the Diaspora. At this time, the approach is to restore our people, rebuild the communities which were destroyed by slavery and empower each individual who returns. Much effort and planning has been done by the Traditional Rulers and Tribal Chiefs over the past few years, awaiting our return. We are continuing to work toward the goal of insuring the message of reconciliation with Mother Africa is transmitted throughout the African Diaspora and that each of you knows within your heart that you are not Motherless children.

I have assembled a global team of outstanding individuals to assist and advise me on matter pertaining to our resettlement in Africa . These advisors are also working on an economic model which will allow returning Africans to be economically independent. We have everyone from Scholars to grassroots organizers to assist in this most important project. I've been told that I provide a wonderful perspective and approach to the issues facing Diasporic Africans and our brethren at home.

The African Diasporic Reconciliation Project is also preparing to host a conference on our resettlement in Benin sometime in 2008. Our team of global African women will also host a Congress in Benin in 2009 to address all issues concerning African women, worldwide. Your input and volunteers are needed. Language is no barrier.

For me personally, the issue that comes to the forefront is the urgent need for educating all of our children throughout the world on what happened to us during slavery and colonization. Education implies the most direct means of empowering our children, and we must dedicate much of our efforts in this direction and show more commitment to the purpose. We all need to know what occurred after we left the shores of our beloved mother. Africans on each side of the water suffered horribly and we must educate those who come behind to pick up our banners one day.

Another issue is gaining the confidence of Diasporic Africans and rid them of their fear of losing their individuality and ability to make their own decisions. We encourage self determination and the cultural identities of each Diasporic nation. This is important because any collaborative venture with our Motherland would succeed only if we all properly appreciate the efforts of the other and don't regard resettlement in Benin as an intrusion into your individuality and threatening to communal values already in place.

The success of the African Diasporic Reconciliation Project depends upon the implantation of sound policies on both sides that aids in the empowerment of both Diasporic Africans and their continental African counterparts, without compromising anyone's self determination. Any solution must not end up creating a segregated section of people totally disconnected from the Beninese people. Each issue or concern any of you have must be carefully considered before negotiations begin to frame any new social policies for empowerment and a sustainable Africa . If we all succeed in achieving this balance, including economic success of Diasporic Africans and contribute to the economy of Benin in the process, as well as preserving each cultural heritage, we can rest assured that our efforts will be fruitful and that our resettlement will bring us nothing but joy.

One aim, one goal, one Africa
Her Royal Grace, Princess Adinasse
Omo Oba, Alaketu
(Daughter of the King of Ketou)




Poem: I Release You

I Release You
for SCJ

You said release you
I chanted I release you
three times
then you called with emergency
save your nephew
the boyz in the hood want his head
so I gave him refuge in the mountains
manhood training
a labor of love for you and him
since he is you and you are him
but my whole life is saving youth
what is the revolution about exceptsaving
the next generation
keeping them from getting caughtriding dirty
especially the brothers marked for extinction by society
with no use for them
except encaged
no thinkers wanted
no freedom fighters
no conscious poets and rappers
so I did my job can I get a little love a hug a kiss
no matter you have someone new
We feed you for Allah’s pleasure only
we desire neither reward nor thanks, Al Qur’an.
marvin x 4.3.07

Who In the Hell is Marvin X?

I am Zaahir Muhammad of Newark NJ. I was listening to a commentary by Mumia Abu Jamal and he mentioned your name. I was like "who the hell is Marvin X?" so I searched and came across some of your history and comments. I would just like to say; THANK YOU. I always love to hear from the pioneers of our sojourn here in the Americas and want to tell that your sacrifice and struggles have not been in vain. I know that we are not a militant today (compared to the perception if not reality of the 60's and 70's) but I have met some strong Brothers and Sisters who are dedicated to change and are raising children who reflect that desire. If you are appearing on the East coast this year please let me know where. I would be honored to break bread with you. Thank you again,
As Salaam Alaikum
Zaahir Muhammad

Marvin X Told to Stay Out of Town

Oakland Post Newspaper to Marvin X: Stay Out of Town

Okay I will do an article in next week's edition only if you send me a different clear color photo
If the picture is good enough I will put it on the front page---
In other words we will promote anything that takes you out of town.

Paul Cobb,

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Response to Poem What If

Response to Poem What If

by Dana Rondel

My Thoughts:

On Saturday, April 7, 2007, I had the opportunity to hear Marvin X
recite his poem, “What If,” live in Philadelphia. The poem served as the
preface for the readings from his book, “Beyond Religion, Toward

I have shared only a portion of his poem within the preceding section,
but to hear it in its entirety, each word, from beginning to end, left my
heart filled with an emotion that I have yet to find an expression for.
Perhaps the best that I can say at this time is, what I felt is
indescribable. During the reading I found myself nodding my head and
saying, “yes, that’s right. Yes, that’s right. What if God is all
of these things? What if?”

After the poem was completed, I had much to say about all that I’d
heard, but I remained silent. I was compelled by my spirit to be still and to
reflect. I reflected mostly on the language, the words. “What if God
is…What if God is….” I thought about the duality of language. The
art of language. The power of language. I thought about definitions, symbolism
and metaphors.

As a writer and lover of language, I traveled back through my mind
remembering the phrases of the poem that most moved me. As I thought
about them I asked myself: Was it the words themselves that opened me up,
touching my heart and stimulating my mind? Did I come alive while
feeling the vibrations, the rhythm, and listening to the poetry and song of
language? Did I, as well, begin to feel guilty, because of what I had
just heard, the broader definition of God? I was reminded that at times
I’ve either forgotten or had not known that all is God? Did I forget or had
I not known that all that I’ve hated, cursed and feared were, too, God?
The language, the words that were spoken, had on one hand reminded me that
I am still a prisoner of my own ignorance and guilt, but the words had,
too, created for me a deeper awareness that had also set me free.

The mother that I have at times hated, the father that I have at times
resented, the boy, the girl, the man, the woman that I’ve neglected
to love without conditions, the alcoholic, drug addicts and dealers and
abuser that I have feared, too, are God. What if God is the look of
hope or the look of hopelessness we have seen in the eyes of every woman,
man and child, but refused to recognize, because too many of us have been
taught that God is not human? What if God is?

What if there were no words to describe God? There was no oral language
for what exists? What if life and all that is could be identified only
by a feeling, by the energies that move us, by the breath we breathe?
Would we then more easily recognize our sameness? What if God is all and all
is God? If God is all and all is God then why does the word God separate

The duality of language. It is an art, it is poetry, it is song, it is
vibrations and rhythms that have the power to move us toward or away
from one another.

As we reflect more deeply on the words of the poem, as we come to
better understand its language, in the end, we learn that God has no
definition. God simply is…

Rap and Spirituality

Rap and Spirituality
By Marvin X

Rap poetry and spoken word originated in Africa at the dawn of civilization, in the Nile Valley and the classical West African cultures. The poets were the priests, the magicians, the shamans, the scholars, the prophets and warriors. These poets were found in Moorish Spain, Arabia, Iraq and Persia, geographical areas infused with African culture and civilization.
In America, the African poetic mind emerged during the 19th century, but more prominently during the Black renaissance of the 1920s with Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Countee Cullen, and during the 50s with the poets Bob Kaufman, LeRoi Jones, Ted Joans, Margarete Walker, Gwen Brooks and others.
Conscious rap is the direct descendant of the 1960s Black Arts Movement: Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Askia Touré, Last Poets, Haki Madhubuti, Nikki Giovanni, Marvin X, and others.
The Black Arts poetry was short lived and conscious rap as well. Both were anathema to the US sham democracy and were replaced by academic muddle and street pussy and dick rap and pseudo gangsta rap. From a cursory viewing of current rap videos, one would think blacks are the world's greatest lovers, pimps and gangsta, and black women are sexual freaks, whores and gangsta bitches.
For revolutionary rap, one must check out the Palestinians and Muslim fundamentalist poets. They have the energy and message the blacks originated but were forced to abandon by record company pimps and low mentality black rappers. The BET music awards opened with Waylans joking about deaf, dumb and blind rappers—but it is no joke.
In the name of freedom of speech, we shall not condemn any lyrics for we are absolutely against censorship and abhor black bourgeoisie culture police who espouse the moral high ground while they wallow in conspicuous consumption and crass materialism that is as morally decadent as that of the rappers and hip hoppers they decry.
But for sure, the negative images in rap videos and abrasive lyrics (and I am known to use motherfucker, bitch and ho, on occasion) are a desecration of our culture, actually an insult to our ancestors who were paraded butt naked at slave marts from New York's African village (Wall Street, still a slave mart) to New Orleans and throughout the South, throughout the Americas for that matter: Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia, and elsewhere.
Of course language is a weapon in the cultural revolution, it can assault the enemy and free the slave from linguistic bondage. The oppressor and his lackeys cannot determine the language of the oppressed, that is our human right, part of our struggle for self determination. Ultimately, we determine and define the terms of our existence.
We determine what is profane and obscene. But what is more profane and obscene than poverty, ignorance and disease? Don't use language as a scapegoat for the continued exploitation and blood sucking of the poor.
But the rap videos are the modern coon shows, minstrel shows and battle royals of the antebellum South. What progress have we made from the slave mart moans to rapping about it's hard out here for a pimp? Think of all the brothers who were lynched for looking at a white woman. Snoop Dog can pimp white women on TV because she is the last weapon in the white man's arsenal against the black nation, as Elijah taught.
While you fought for freedom, suddenly the white woman jumped out of the box like jack to claim minority status and win rights and privilege rightfully deserved by black men and women. Keep pimpin, hustle and flow with your trailer house trash white girl, but you will never be anything until you embrace your black woman and stand with her, no matter how sick she is or how sick you are—go to the doctor together. Don't disgrace your mother with alien women. Remember Samson and Delilah.
Unconscious rap derives from the animal plane and must advance to the divine or spiritual plane if it is to be beneficial to our people. I must admit that I appreciate Christian rap in spite of lyrics based on juvenile mythology glorifying the after life and suggesting Jesus is God. If Jesus is God who was God before Jesus was born?
At least Christian rap is better than raps on the pussy and dick theme, glorifying crass materialism that reveals poverty consciousness— people who have money don't flash. How can anyone in their right mind glorify diamonds and gold that Africans died to procure for De Beers and others, Africans who had their arms and hands cut off in wars for filthy diamond merchants in Europe, Israel and New York?
Yes, better to rap about Jesus and pie in the sky than sista got a big ole butt. In the words of ancestor Paul Robeson, rappers must become artistic freedom fighters or give up the game, for rather than pimps, they are whores for the record industry, the filthy capitalist bloodsuckers of the poor.
Muslim rappers know their duty is to teach the uncivilized. They know they shall suffer a severe chastisement if they fail to perform their duty.
As descendants of Nile Valley poets, the poets of classical West African civilization, the poets of Arabia, of Persia, of Moorish Spain, whose poems and science brought Europe out of the Dark Ages into the Renaissance, and the poets who inspired our people with the sorrow songs and songs of inspiration to endure and transcend the terror of slavery and pseudo Reconstruction, segregation and civil rites opportunism, we must continue our radical tradition or be cursed by our ancestors and God Almighty.


Hartford, CT: Black Bourgeoisie Host Marvin X

Hartford, Conn: Black Bourgeoisie Host Marvin X

Marvin X's East coast book tour came to Hartford, Conn last Friday. Hartford is midway between Boston and New York, thus a hot real estate market, so the poet learned from his host, a mortgage company owner, and other guests who were real estate brokers and investors. The event was catered and the bar tender a nice white woman who asked the poet what happens at a book party. Apparently she wasn't the only one who didn't know as many guests came without cash and had to borrow money from the host to purchase his books. Co-host Dana Rondel, a young novelist, introduced the poet and what followed was the most intense discussion of spirituality during his tour. A Christian brother talked about belief as central to religion but was corrected by brother Sabu, a physics professor, who explained that belief doesn't count, only knowledge. It can be a bright sunny day outside but the believer is convinced it is raining.

The next day at a private reading, Nikki Miles, member of the Hartford Queen Afua circle, said religion is for followers, spirituality for leaders.
Dana, the young novelist, was able to do the impossible with Mr. X: not only did she take him out to dance at a local club, but made him take a walk for exercise. He did so kicking and screaming, but he walked.

The poet ends his tour on Friday at Sista's Place in Brooklyn and in Washington DC on Saturday at the Umoja Gallery, 5pm and Harambee Radio anniversary celebration, 8pm.

Response to Black Sisyphus

Most of us have never known who God is. We were told, and shown, that is was/is a white man, suffering, and hanging from a cross. Most of our people, children included, still hold onto that false idea.

A return to our Spirituality is critical to our overcoming this condition of mental enslavement. To do so, we must learn to meditate, contemplate, create our reality inside ourselves, then, spring it on the world.The study of history will reveal to us who and what we truly are, spiritual beings.

Maat Hetep


Re: Black Sisyphus


You're absolutely correct! Iwish I had a good response to your
comments, but the turth is I don't. Today I sat in court and watched
the judge take about 6 children from their parents. One woman 23 had
three children three different daddies and did not have a place to live.
This is the reason my sister and I have started promote strong, black
families. Because we are losing too many of our children to the system.

I have had a loooooooong day! Too long to write about the condition of
our people. The problem is spiritual--- Many of us have forgotten who
God is.

Brenda Sutton

More On the Black Sisyphus Syndrome

More On Black Sisyphus

The process of creating strong black families must be part of our overall war strategy. But first we must understand we are in a state of war and the goal is national liberation, not integration. To become an American is to become the enemy of the world for we cannot only blame the government because the people are responsible for the government. If the people do not remove the no good government, then the people are guilty of crimes against humanity as well.

To fight a war, we must be mentally prepared. We think this is a game because we send our children to the enemy for education, we embrace an alien religion or religions, we support consumerism and materialism, not spirituality. JC told us to be in this world but not of this world--but to the contrary we are in this world and of this world. We embrace any and all fads, trends, slogans, flags, economic scams such as sub prime loans leading to foreclosures; we are duped by the latest black savior--never do we plan for war or teach our children we are in a state of war, thus when they are slaughtered before our eyes in the hood, all we do is continue weeping and mourning, but no action to counter the slaughter coming from preachers, teachers and politicians who are mostly part of the problem, not part of the solution, for they have no solution to get us safely out of the box, out of the danger zone. And thus at the end of day we are at the bottom of the hill with rock in hand.

--Marvin X

Dr. Nathan Hare Responds to Black Sisyphus

Good God, Marvin,

Great God A' mighty!"

www.blackthinktank. com


From: Blacklines@yahoogro [mailto:Blacklines@yahoogro] On
Behalf Of Marvin X
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:43 PM
To: Blacklines@yahoogro
Subject: [Blacklines Magazine] Black Sisyphus

Black Sisyphus

Unless and Until we address our myriad problems as self-directed leaders,
spiritually protected by the Armour of God, there is no hope for us. We are
indeed like Sisyphus and shall continue rolling the rock of justice and
freedom up the hill, but it shall surely fall down again and we with it.
--Marvin X

Response to Poem for Marvin X

That's nice, I know that makes you feel wonderful, special. I think
everyone needs a poem for themselves every once in a while. It's like
flowers or chocolate or other things that make people feel warm inside.

Nefertiti el Muhajir

Poem: Street Spirits (for Marvin X)

Street Spirits (Poem for Marvin X)

under a red sky

you have roamed

the streets of San Francisco

rapping about homeless blues

in your poetry

in your life

in your spirit

under a red sky

i saw you

once selling the Poetry Flash

to rich tourists and wondered

whether you would become

the next Bob Kaufman

under a red sky

you have roamed the beaches

of the Golden State
praying here and there

remembering your sweet Sherley

confessing your sins and mistakes

under a red sky

you have remembered

that a poet is full

of great feelings

of love

for God

for self

for others

whether the poet

is homeless

or not

under a red sky

you have helped me

to embrace

the street spirits

and the rays

of a red sun

with your poetry

with your life

with your spirit.

by J. Vern Cromarte

Poem: Elegy for Sweet Paula Shular

Elegy for Sweet Paula Shular

For you, Paula

Who handled yo bizness

Who enjoyed the best of life

The joy and the pain of it all

What else is life about: joy and pain

Sun and rain

Some want the sun all the time

They run from the rain

But no cross no crown.

You suffered the cross

So now you shall wear the crown of eternity

There is no death in eternity,

Somebody say ache, amen.

The Africans say the only death is to be forgotten

Sweet, Paula, you shall never be forgotten

Your smile, your laugh, your joy, your love

Shall be with us always and forever

You did the best you could with what you had

Who can ask for anything more

A true trooper

You know how we used to do it

Coast to coast

Frisco, Oaktown, Berkeley , New York , Newark , Philly
When I did the show, you did the show bizness

I didn’t have to worry, you paid the musicians, got them in the limo

Leroy had your back

Remember that Night in Newark at the Baraka’s house

You and Leroy heard them talking late into the night

Amina told Amiri, “Don’t mess us up! Don’t mess us up!”

Yeah, she told him to handle his bizness.

We gonna miss you soldier

But you remain forever a sweet memory

A little angel chile
Who came down from heaven only for a moment

Then returned home

Surely we are from Allah and to Him we return.

For Leroy who caught you at the bus stop

when you were young and tenda

Better know he loves you

He loves you and honors you in life and death

You helped him find the many mansions in His Father’s house

You know that nigguh was a fool for you

Don’t you ever doubt it, Sweet Paula

You gave him that wonder child, Yusef

We don’t know what he gonna be

But he Gemini

So you know he gonna be something else

Ride on, Sweet Paula

Ride into eternal life

Ride into the sun

Dance upon the sea upon the waves

Walk upon the water like Jesus

Tell the water, tell the waves, tell the wind

Peace be still

Peace be still

Peace be still.


--Marvin X, Minister of Poetry, 8-25-05


Movie Review: Mangamizi


Review by Marvin X

Mangamizi is a film in the genre of Daughter's of the Dust and Sankofa, it even stars BabraraO from 'Daughter's of the Dust. So let's get to point of this film that has won awards at several international film festivals, though few have heard about it.

I have long maintained that before African Americans can heal the trauma of White Supremacy they must make peace with their southern roots, the pain of slavery in all it vicissitudes. This film justifies me thesis that we must indeed come to peace with the terror of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and the rest of the south before we can truly be healed. Whatever the south mean to us or means to us now, we must come to grips with it before we can deal with Mother Africa.

It the film the African American psychiatrist (Barabra O) goes to Tanzania to work in a mental hospital, but she cannot heal the Africans until the Africans come to terms with who she is as long lost daughter and she cannot deal with Africans until she is woman enough to confront the terror of African American oppression, there is a leit motif of lynching to allow us to see her suffering, even though she is a doctor on a mission to heal her African brothers and sisters.
But she cannot heal her primary patient until the patient understands that the doctor from America is her salvation, not in a medical sense but in a spiritual sense.

After the African sister is traumatized by seeing her father burn her mother to death in a hut, the child refuses to speak until the wise woman Manzamizi (also grandmother) entreats her to connect with her African American sister, that is her salvation.

But as I said above, the African Americans must heal from the terror of America, not their disconnection with Africa as usually told African Americans. Supposedly, we cannot be healed until we come to terms with our Africanity, but this film flips the script as many revolutionaries and radicals have discovered: we must come to terms with our Americanity it all it vicissitudes. amd we will have no problem with Africa.

With their attitude of jealousy and envy as expressed in the film, clearly, it is Africans who must adjust to African Americans. The film showed our African brothers and sisters as the playa haters of African Americans, and certainly the star patient had reservations about reconecting with her African American sister, but the was the point of the film: that until Africans come to terms with African Americans, no healing can come to Africa, even though she has her neo-colonial problems with religion, Western religion, Christianity, the father being so dogamatic and savage that he burns his wife alive because her daughter is supposedly under witchcraft when it is clear the father is a devil under the power of a pseudo-Jesus. What Jesus told him to burn his wife alive in the granery hut?

The most powerful scene is the father in hell begging his daughter for forgiveness. And she forgives him, thus transcending the pseudo-Christianity of her father, to the objection of her wise woman, grandmother, Manzimizi, who said to hell with the father, let him burn in hell for dissing the ancestors in favor of Christianity.

Poem: When I Think About the Women In My Life

When I Think About the Women In My Life

When I think about the women in my life
I can say that there have been no women in my life
They have all been angels who blessed me with love
Flowing from the rivers of life freely
There is no measure to their love there is no equal
I cannot compare one love to another
How can one compare the angelic
This angel did that or that angel did this
I won’t compare
Look at the mothers of my children
Look at the gifts they gave me
So precious and sweet I would never compare
I will only say thank you mothers for the fruit of your womb
I have seen the fruit of your womb flower and be great in the land
And I am humbled
And to the other angels who shared so many years
My revolutionary sisters who battled with me and gave me guidance
When I was in the dark
Who talked of building cities while I wrote poems
I extend my love to you my eternal love for your vision and dreams
That even I couldn’t see
You were the nationalist I was the poet so you showed me the way
And I followed kicking and screaming
To the sex workers who showed me love in the night
I salute you because you told me I was too rough to be a pimp
I could never be a pimp you said I was simply too rough
Learn to be more gentle you said
And I tried and thank you for serving me in the night
For Patricia for my sons
For Nisa for my daughter
For Hasana for Amira and Nefertiti
I salute you forever and ever
For Marsha who suffered with me on crack and died before I recovered
I know you see me now in Cherokee where you said I needed to be
In a place proper for a classic black man artist
I love you Marsha and think of you always knowing there is only one place
An angel can dwell but in heaven
No sweeter angel ever came on God’s earth
No one more beautiful with brown eyes and unconditional love
A Berkeley Girl
Smart and hot as fire and willing to give beyond all

For Pamela in the Valley
Who like Khadijah financed my come up
Who worries more than I want to know
Relax my sister
There are very few things in life of importance
Rumi told you it don’t matter
If you come to the garden
If you don’t come to the garden
It don’t matter
For God is
God is all and all is God
Nothing else matters.
You came to me and never left me as I came to you
Your fears are not my fears so I won’t go there with you
There is no fear in love there is only love In love
If there is something else in love it is not love but fear
And I do not go into the room where fear lives
If you come from the room of fear you will find love everlasting
Come from fear and see the sun of love
What you love belongs to you and you alone
No one can take love from you what God has granted
Hurriyah is my warrior woman from my youth
Who shared my revolutionary days my dreams my fears
A million years cannot tare me from your love
You can be with a million men but I am still yours
That’s how love is somebody better get a healing
Up in here.
And Celeste
Yes, another angel from Berkeley
Watch out for those Berkeley girls
Hot and smart like no other
So now you know me
Better act like you know me
Cause this is it girlfriend
I’m willing if you willing
If you willing to come to garden
I’m willing but it don’t matter
If you ain’t willing to come to the garden
I’m willing
But it don’t matter.
Let the people say Ache. Amen. As-Salaam-Alaikum.

Marvin X


Eddie Huff Responds to Marvin X

Response to Marvin X's London Bridges Falling Down


With all due respect, this is Bull Crap! First of all, the millions of Muslims living in England were not forced there as were Black Africans and they are not now being held there against their wills. If it is so horrible there, allow them to migrate back to their preferred land.

Why should the British, or Americans, or any nationality be expected to change their culture to adapt that of a migrant minority vs. the other way around. Try that any where else, and the same people screaming foul here will go bizerk.

In fact, let us use Mexico for example. We hear how we need to understand the needs of hard working people trying to make a better way here, but try that down there. Try having a traffic accident and no insurance. Try sneaking in from another Central American nation. Asking them to accommodate your inability to speak the language, give you free medical, free education, and welfare. No, you will be arrested, and if you are lucky deported back to where you came from.

You say this is not based upon religious fanaticism, but I beg to differ. It has everything to do with that. We allow Muslims to live and visit here practicing their faith openly without question. They are in a war to remove all western influence from their lands. So, they want to be able to come here and spread their beliefs, but block the same in their lands. They wish to create a Mecca like (Christian/Hebrew free) state throughout the middle east, and then beyond. I say it ain't gonna happen. They will get the Jihad they seem to long for, and it will not be pretty.

Eddie Huff

Black Reconstruction or How To Recover From the Addiction to White Supremacy, A Peer Group Session

The Esteemed Dr. Nathan Hare
Every Wednesday, 6-7:30PM, 133 Golden Gate
Marvin X and the Last Poets
at Recovery Theatre, Friday, July 4, 8PM

Black Reconstruction Week Two

By Marvin X

I got into San Francisco around five PM, an hour before the group session and 45 minutes before I was to pick up Dr. Hare. I was hungry, so I thought about that Tenderloin Arab chicken that tastes so good nigguhs swear the Arabs put dope in it to make you keep coming back.
So I went to the funky liquor store and got some chicken wings, even though I know I should not be eating funky chicken if I want to live, so I must be suicidal, since I'm overweight and refuse to exercise. Anyway, if I can't save myself, maybe I can save somebody else.
As I was getting out of my car I saw this little white woman coming up the street and recognized her. She was Mona. I knew her from my dope fiend days in the Tenderloin, San Francisco's multiracial ghetto, next to downtown, a block from the Cable Car line. I knew Mona's husband, now deceased from crack. He was called Red and he reminded me of Malcolm X, Red was just shorter, but he could pass for Malcolm. Mona had sent Red home to Mississippi to recover but when his retroactive disability check came, she sent for him and he returned to San Francisco to immediately kill himself on crack.
Before he went to Mississippi, their child had picked up some crack crumbs off the floor and went into seizure. He was taken to the hospital and after cocaine was found in his system, the child protective services took the child. The sad thing about Mona is that she wasn't a crack addict but the codependent. I could see that time and the pain of life has almost destroyed her, so I begged her to come to the group meeting. Years ago, she surprised me when she showed up at a performance of my play ONE DAY IN THE LIFE. She came all the way to East Oakland and Frisco people don't come to Oakland--it's too far, being only ten minutes away.
Mona pointed out her stepson down the block standing with some crack heads. I remembered the boy when he was about seven, now he was 21. I asked her how he was doing, she shook her head. So I walked down to greet him. He said he remembered me when I used to sell incense near the Cable Car but that I had gained quite a few pounds since then. He said he was a poet--all hip hop youth are poets, if you didn't know, so I invited him to the Last Poets concert at my Recovery Theatre, July 4. He said he'd try to make it. Now he looked like a white boy with blue eyes, but he was a soul brother--one drop of black blood makes him that, right?I went inside the liquor store to get my chicken wings and walked to my car, standing eating on the street like the common dope fiend I used to be. A negro walked up to me and began telling me his life story, as if I knew him for a thousand years. He said his wife had his two cars because he didn't want to get anymore speeding tickets. He said he would help me pass out flyers about the Last Poets but he won't promise to come because he didn't want to be a hypocrite. When I asked him to come to the group meeting, he said no because he had crack in his pocket and again, didn't want to be a hypocrite.
I threw my chickenbones to the pigeons and proceeded up the block pass Glide Church, heading to Dr. Hare's office. At Ellis and Jones, I saw a Muslim dope fiend, put the car in reverse and called him over. First thing he said was he needed five dollars. I told him to get his motherfucking ass in the car and come with me. He repeated his dying need for five dollars. I told him to shut the fuck up and get in.
He submitted, wanting to know where we were going. I told him I was taking him to a meeting, but first I had to pick up Dr. Hare. I could tell he wanted to jump out the car to continue his mission for his five dollar bump of crack. We picked up Dr. Hare and proceeded to Recovery Theatre.
Dr. Hare told us the story of how he discovered black studies when he was five. The teachers put him in a room full of black children's literature and he read everything in the room. We got to the theatre and went inside. The Muslim dope fiend continued begging me for five dollars and I told him to take his ass back inside and sit next to Dr. Hare, which he did and finally calmed down and stayed for the entire meeting, telling the group it was the best thing that ever happened to him in a long time.

Al Jazeerah: Wondering and Wandering In Baghdad by Marvin X

Wondering and Wandering In Baghdad
by Marvin X

As the latest bombing in Iraq shatters the minds of those concerned about the war ravaged land, one wonders what exactly are the Americans doing, other than siphoning off oil and blood sucking the American tax payers to compensate Halburton and Bechtel to the tune of almost three billion dollars although little oil is flowing and Iraqis are still without electricity and clean water. Additionally, American tax payers are being charged one billion dollars per week for a fabricated war to preemptively attack someone clearly not a threat, since no weapons of mass destruction have been found.
The Americans did not secure the Jordanian embassy, the UN building, and now the Masjed in the Holy City of Najaf has suffered destruction, with over 100 people dead, including the grand Ayatollah Al Hakim.
So what are the Americans securing? Sadly, they cannot secure themselves. More have died than before the Bush devil declared the war over on May 1. What is really going on? It appears to be a bad case of greed. They want to control the military, the politics and the economics, refusing to share power with anyone, including and most importantly the Iraqi people, who've been granted an American appointed advisory council, as if the people who are the originators of human civilization have no idea how to govern themselves. Yes, the people who invented the first code of law, Hammurabi, are now devoid of the intelligence to select a provisional government.
How can the almighty Americans construct a new society without members of the old regime? It seems impossible since the old regime permeated all social institutions: army, police, intelligence, media, education, etc.
How can they call for a democracy yet declare a Shiite Islamic State will not be allowed, despite the Shiite majority population? Perhaps only America is qualified to define a democracy, although America's last presidential election resembled a Banana Republic more than a civilized democratic society. Let us not forget when Iraq's neighbor, Iran, had a democratically elected leader, he was deposed by the CIA and the Shah "elected" to replace him.
It appears the blind, greedy, ignorant Americans have fallen into an Indiana Jones snake pit. Ironically, they are the snake, the serpent who deceived the world, yet they perceive not. Clearly, they have become sitting ducks for Jihadists who practiced fighting the infidels in Afghanistan and were successful in defeating the Russians, albeit with American training and weapons. Perhaps if they had not abandoned their students in Afghanistan, they would not be facing them today in Iraq. Yes, America is facing Islamic freedom fighters who love death more than the thirsty love water. How can one defeat such people, especially when one's ideology is predicated upon pure greed, racism and archaic fundamental Christianity, more backward than the Taliban, witness the Alabama judge and his ten commandment stone? America's hypocritical illogic is seen in the fact that while separation of church and state is preached, "In God We Trust" remains on money printed by the state.
If America had been honest and truthful, she would have never attacked Iraq, now she must reap what she has sown. Poverty, disease and ignorance give rise to so-called terrorists, so until one is sincere about eradicating the causes of terrorism, the problems shall remain, deconstructing and destabilizing the very core of so-called civilized society. One man cannot eat in peace while another starves, especially when the man eating has robbed and stolen from the hungry man.
Iraq was a great tragedy under the regime of Saddam Hussein, but it remains to be seen whether it shall be an even greater tragedy under American imperialism. Peace in the Middle East appears as much a conundrum to me as it did in 1948 or shortly after, for although I was only four or five years old, I recall and can never erase from my mind, the newsreel footage at the theatre showing thousands upon thousands of Palestinians fleeing their homes across the bridge into Jordan. Over a half century later, I see the same suffering people fighting for their homeland. And now the people of Iraq are doing the same. I am not certain if I shall see the day when Palestinians achieve their state, nor is it clear when or how long the people of Iraq will exercise freedom in theirs.
And let me not close without a prayer and hope for African American self determination, reparations and liberation from wage slavery and mental slavery.

Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.