Saturday, May 26, 2007

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

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