Thursday, May 15, 2008

Black Radical Book Fair II

“Will your book free us?”
--Sonia Sanchez, poet

We honor elder Warren Wilson, social activist/philanthropist, Joe Goncalves, editor of the Journal of Black Poetry, Marcus Books, Dr. Nathan Hare, chair of the first ethnic studies department at a major university, Chauncey Bailey, and the rank and file veterans of the Black Liberation and Black Arts Movement.

The first black radical book fair was produced by Marvin X at his Recovery Theatre in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, 2004. It featured such well known authors as Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Drs. Nathan and Julia Hare, Ishamel Reed, Marvin X, Askia Toure, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Al Young, Devorah Major, Opal Palmer, Reginald Lockett. And there were unknown writers such as pimps-in-recovery Jimmy Starr, Rosebud Bitterdose, Mickey Moore, Fillmore Slim, Gansta Brown and others.

Black Radical Book Fair II will bring together some of those who were in the first, but will present other writers of consciousness, especially local authors such as Cecil Brown, Aeeshah Kokomon, Jerri Lange, Charles Blackwell, Angela Davis, Alice Walker, et al.

We especially want to honor with life-time achievement awards Warren Barrios Wilson, Jose Goncalves and Marcus Book. At 87 years old, Warren Barrios Wilson just released his Memoir of a Creole Son: Dark, Light and Almost White. He is a lawyer, social activist and philanthropist. Jose Goncalves edited and published the bible of the 60s revolution, the Journal of Black Poetry. One must read the Journal of Black Poetry to find the poetic writings of the black revolution, the source of today’s conscious hip hop spoken words. Single handedly, Joe worked silently but consistently to produce the JBP. We honor and love him for his effort. Marcus Books mentored many of the social activists who visited the store and held dialogue with Mr. and Mrs. Richardson. Julian Richardson made his press available to the black liberations, publishing such magazines as the Journal of Black Poetry and Black Dialogue. He published such authors as Marvin X, Larry Neal, Janice Cobb, Jon Ecols, and others. Julian also published such classics as Stolen Legacy by George M. James and Marcus Garvey’s Philosophy and Opinions. He also distributed the Crusader by Robert F. Williams. We want to honor (in memoriam)Chauncey Bailey for seeking truth, no matter the price.

The rank and file of the Black Liberation/Black Arts Movement have never been recognized and honored for their sweat and blood during the valiant struggle of the 60s.
Whether they were members of the Black Student Unions at Merritt, UC Berkeley,
San Francisco State University, or comrades in the Black Panther Party, or soldiers in the Nation of Islam, we appreciate their effort to spread consciousness and advance the fight for liberation.

With the appearance of Barack Obama, we are forced to examine racism in America. And with the current economic crisis, the sub-prime loan mess, the decline of the dollar, high gas and food prices, we must begin to plan an independent future not tired to the umbilical cord of the United States. Our treatment during Katrina was message enough that we must have our own emergency plans, and so the task of Black Radical Book Fair II is to find ways out of our morass in the Wilderness of North America. Baraka has described the Sisyphus Syndrome, but we must finally find a way up the mountain that is foolproof and defies obstruction by the enemy.

Aside from a conversation on Race, we cannot avoid a discussion of homicide, youth prostitution, police brutality, inferior education and lack of economic opportunity in Oakland. Perhaps our beloved mayor Ronald V. Dellums will find time to address some of these issues at Book Fair II.

Requested sponsors and supporters of Black Radical Book Fair II: Post Newspaper Group, Marcus Books, Black Bird Press, Geoffrey’s, OCCUR, Vanguard Foundation,
Barrios Trust, San Francisco Foundation, City of Oakland, Eastside Culture Center,
African American Library/Museum, Malonga Center, Marcus Garvey Hall and Black New World.

Black Radical Book Fair II will consist of book vendors, readings, workshops, exhibits,
music concerts and dialogue.

Invited planncers:Michael Lange, Walter Riley, Cecil Brown, Ayodele Nzinga, Hunia,
Elena, Dr. Mona Scott.

Project Director: Marvin X

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