Monday, May 21, 2007

Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality Book Tour, 2007

Marvin X Book Tour Report
Marvin X's East coast book tour got off to a unfortunate note when Poet
Sonia Sanchez had to postpone hosting her book party for Marvin because
she suffered a fall and was hospitalized a few days before the
scheduled event. So the tour began with a reading (accompanied by Elliot Bey on
piano) at the University of Penn's WEB DUBOIS center, sponsored by
African American Studies, African American Resource Center and the Women's
Center. The event was a poetry reading by local spoken word artists,
especially those connected with Maurice Henderson's National Black
Poetry Tour. Marvin was asked to join the tour, and he agreed, especially
after hearing the poets. "The poets who read today have renewed my faith
in the power of poetry to free our people. In the beginning was the
word--if these poets and others like them can get their message to the
people, it will cause a paradigm shift in the hood--things will never be
the same, just as the Black Arts Movement helped change
consciousness in the 60s. Conscious spoken word and poetry can refocus our people on
liberation, personal and political, as opposed to the bitch, ho and
motherfucker message of much rap."
Later than evening at Robbins Book Store, Marvin X was given a proper
introduction by poet Lamont Steptoe, winner of the Pew award. He quoted
from an interview by Lee Hubbard, Marvin X Unplugged, see and 
www.nathanielturner .com. He also
quoted from the preface to Marvin's collection of essays, In the Crazy
House Called America, which called for a national general strike. 
The poet dialogued with hip hop journalist Justin Soul One Bedford, a
Philly native, who recently interviewed Spike Lee. But much of Marvin's
comments were directed to the two young males traveling with him, aged
16 and 25. "All that I am doing now is to save these young men and
others like them. We must surround them with love to save their lives. We
have formed a dream team to save them, composed of their mother, uncles
and aunt." He suggested other parents, relatives and community members
do the same with their young males. As per young females, Nisa Ra,
Marvin's friend, former wife and mother of his daughter, Muhammida, is
consulting with him to write a book on how she raised their daughter, a
Howard University graduate, entrepreneur and filmmaker, Hip Hop: The New
World Order, go to
Muhammida is filming her father's tour for a documentary on the Black Arts
Movement and Hip Hop. On Thursday, she will dialogue with her father at
the Medgar Evers College film series, 7pm. It is possible there will be
a screening of Marvin's film THE KINGS AND QUEENS OF BLACK
CONSCIOUSNESS, a video documentary he produced from the 2001 concert at San
Francisco State University, featuring Amina and Amiri Baraka, Dr. Cornel West,
Julia and Nathan Hare, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide
Church, Ishmael Reed, Askia Toure, Marvin X and many others. 
Marvin was totally surprised to learn one audience member was his
comrade from the 60s liberation struggle, Muhammad Ahmad (Max Stanford,
Jr.), leader of RAM or the Revolutionary Action Movement. Marvin was
totally humbled when Muhammad introduced himself and exchanged his recently
published WE WILL RETURN IN THE WHIRLWIND, a history of Black Radical

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