Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sent: Monday, March 2, 2009 4:57:52 PM
Subject: Marvin X Celebrates His 65th Birthday


What a picture! You and Imamu Baraka, at the corner of 14th and Broadway,

boldly and coldly pushing Barackphernalia and your books, banners and buttons on brothers

who hadn't read since high school as well as to curious whites.

--Paul Cobb, Publisher, Oakland Post

Recent Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man's Best Friend / Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality /

How To Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

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Marvin X Celebrates His 65th Birthday

Marvin X is founder of San Francisco’s Recovery Theatre in the Tenderloin, located at Theatre St. Boniface, 133 Golden Gate Avenue. Thousands of Bay Area addicts and alcoholics saw his docudrama of addiction and recovery One Day In The Life. In the ten years since he began his recovery, Marvin X has written five books, including Love and War, poems, 1995, Somethin Proper, autobiography, 1998, In the Crazy House Called America, essays, 2002, Wish I Could Tell You The Truth, essays, 2005 and Land of My Daughters, poems, 2005. On June 10, 2005, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles Black Books Exposition.

On May 29, Marvin X, one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement and the father of Muslim American literature, will celebrate his 65th birthday. His students, comrades and friends are organizing a celebration in Oakland. The following are hereby drafted/invited to the committee.

* * * * *

Marvin X Birthday Committee (Invited)

Please contact: Dr. J. Vern Cromartie ASAP:

Abdul Sabri

Alona Clifton

Amina Grant

Amira Jackmon

Aubrey Labrie

Ayodele Nzinga


Benny Stewart

Bernard Stringer

Carolyn Mixon

Rev. Cecil Williams

Charlie Walker

Norman Brown

Nicole Cole

David Glover

Marcel Diallo

Ise Lyfe

Bernard Stringer

Suzzette Johnson
Cecil Brown

Danny Glover

Destiny and Chris Muhammad

Earl Davis

Elliot Bey

Fahizah Alim

Jerri Lange

Jerry Vernado

Dr. Julia Hare

Geoffrey Grier

Davey D

Oba T'Shaka

Dr. Wade Nobles

Sunni Shabazz

Majidah Rahman

Phavia Khujichagulia

Tureeda Mikal

Raynetta Rayzetta
Ishmael Reed

Lil Joe

Margot Dashiel

Michael Lange

Nathan and Julia Hare

Paul Cobb

Peter Labrie

Ptah Allah El

Ramal Lamar and Hajr

Rashid Easley

Sean Scott

Dr. James Garrett

Pat Brown

Philip Johnson

Dr. Lige Dailey

Betty Bromfield

Christopher Muhammad

Robert Woods
Ron Bentley

Ron Dellums

Sister Sukura

Tarika Lewis

Terry Collins

Veda Silva

Wanda Sabir

Walter Riley

Wilson Riles

Zahieb Wongozi

Lanice Jones

Dr. Mona Scott

Nefertiti El Muhajir

Muhammida El Muhajir

Dr. Fritz Pointer

Minister Keith Muhammad

Imam Alamin

If you would like to help organize this event, contact Dr. Cromartie:

* * * * *

Paul Cobb's reply regarding Marvin X

Marvin Jackmon:

Since we started in kindergarten together, I will be happy to serve on your surprise birthday committee and will donate some space, time and money--at least $65.00, that is. I will also find a way to present you and your accomplishments on at least one whole page in all 7 editions of the Post and maybe a brief mention in El Mundo.

We do not, nor never will, have sufficient space to acknowledge all of your prolific flourishes and prodigious writings.

We marvel at you Marvin for your marvelous ability to focus your energies on your masterful musings.

You have fought the good fight.

You have kept the faith.

And, in the face of blistering pessimism, you kept us all focused on getting Barack Hussein Obama in the White House. I must say that when most of us doubted that event would occur in our lifetime, you never did.. Most of all you seemed to will us all into its acceptance. You saw and felt it coming.

What a picture! You and Imamu Baraka, at the corner of 14th and Broadway, boldly and coldly pushing Barackphernalia and your books, banners and buttons on brothers who hadn't read since high school as well as to curious whites who dared not pass you by without purchasing your FANONical Black&White skins and masks covered books—the "Black Man's Ice was finally colder."—What a coup!

Both of you, progenitors of the Black Arts Movement, artfully dealing still!

Since we are all at least 65 and alive, now maybe we can create a social security blanket of mutual support. I hope everyone on the committee will pop for $65 each to buy your books to be sent to juvenile hall and/or the "correctional?" institutions—now that's a stimulus package to stimulate us. And, since I shined shoes and sold watermelons with my cousin Roy Overall, in front of your family's floral shop on seventh street, 55 years ago, just as boldly as you still do too, I will present you your flowers and a" letter from home" on May 29.

Happy Birthday to ya!

Paul Cobb

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Marvin X Replies to Paul Cobb, Oakland Post Editor

Paul, thank you for your kind letter of support. I've never had a birthday party that I recall, so I hope I will know how to act. I just want you to know this afternoon I had an earthshaking experience on our old turf, West Oakland. Ayodele Nzingha's Lower Bottom Players presented my first play Flowers for the Trashman at their theatre, 10th and Peralta, across the street from Prescott Elementary and the former St. Patrick's, both of which I attended. As I told the audience, I can still feel the pain of the Nuns beating me across the top of my hands because I wouldn't pay attention. But it was mind blowing to see the young men performing my play that was written about our old hood.

Of course I wanted to be a writer even then. I used to write in the Children's section of the Oakland Tribune. Did you think you would be publisher of the Oakland Post? I told the young actors how proud I was to see them on stage doing something positive. And a young man in the audience told how inspired he was at seeing the performance. Writer Wanda Sabir was there also. Someone said they could see the young brothers knew their lines.. This play must be part of my birthday celebration, along with Ayodele's Death by Love and Geoffrey Grier's The Spot.

These writers came out of my Recovery Theatre and have gone on to establish their own. Geoffery is director of San Francisco Recovery Theatre. These plays are about healing and love, a much needed subject for discussion. As I told the audience, African drama and for that matter, World drama, began in Egypt with the Osirian drama of Resurrection, ten thousand years ago. And we are yet today continuing the myth-ritual drama of resurrection. As my student/colleague, Ptah Allah El says,"We have gone from Warrior to Trashman (Flowers for the Trashman).

We consider ourselves trash, we eat trash and think trashy thoughts. We live in a trashy society. Yet we must arise from Trashman to Warrior man and woman." Thank you again for your support and lifelong friendship.

Any donations should be sent to

Amira Jackmon, Esq., 1220 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702

Marvin X Jackmon (El Muhajir)

* * * * *

Ayodele Nzinga's reply regarding Marvin X

Yo X,

Praises to you Baba, and to Paul Cobb and all the brothers who have reached the grand young age of maturity; a cool six five. I love seasoned warriors. I hearby acknowledge my adopted Baba as a living legend and the source of my overstanding. Baba you are living history. You are the shoulders on which many of us stand. I recognize the honor it is to pay homage to the air I breathe.

I am because we are.


I pledge the requisite $65.00 plus the rounding of the sum to a Big Face (100) in recognition of the space you have helped to create for me to struggle on to embody the legacy you have painstaking maintained and propagated. Flowers for you while you can smell the scent of your legacy living; are you due.

Now Baba, let the folk honor you. Don't talk too much trash. Be patient with those slow to re-member they are the breath of creation and the only hope for salvation as they pause to thank you for the flowers you have given us all for over half a century.

I see you shining. Thank you for hearing but not listening to your Mama who told you to leave us sorry niggers alone. We see you Baba. And for some of us your shine has been among the few sources of light on a dark planet. We all we got; blessing to you and those who see the unquiet desperation, the eternal optimism and the relentless determination in us.

Happy early solar return Baba. Shine on.

Your humble student,

* * * * *

Marvin X Birthday Celebration

“Maybe we can create a social security blanket of mutual support.”—Paul Cobb, Publisher, Oakland Post

Tentative Schedule

Friday, May 29, 2009

Black Repertory Group Theatre


Presentation of Marvin X Papers




Proclamation from City of Oakland, Mayor Ron Dellums
Marvin X Video Collage

Flowers for the Trashman (Lower Bottom Playaz)
Message from the People, youth and adults

Open Mike Reading from the writings of Marvin X
Marvin X, the Poet, with Tarika Lewis on violin, Destiny on harp and Tacuma King on percussion

Healing Session on How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

Donations should be sent to

Amira Jackmon, Esq., 1220 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702


Black Repertory Group Theatre, Berkeley

Call for papers

Critical Papers (five page max) on the writings of Marvin X are requested. Please submit a one-page abstract of your paper by

April 1, 2009. If accepted, you will present your paper at the morning session. Suggested topics: the poet, the dramatist, the essayist,

the performer, the mental health worker, the activist, the philosopher, the self-publisher, the motivator, the street teacher. Papers should be sent to Marvin X Committee, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702.

* * * * *

Up from Ignut Or Pull Yo Pants Up Fa da Black President: The Soulful Musings of a North American African. By Marvin X. Black Bird Press / 1222 Dwight Way / Berkeley CA 94702 / Pre-publication price: $10.00

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