Friday, June 19, 2009

Black Dialogue Brothers Tour

They came together at the 65th birthday party of Marvin X, a group of men who ignited black liberation on the West coast during the 60s while students at San Francisco State University, namely Abdul Sabri, Aubry Labrie, Duke Williams, Arthur Sheridan and Marvin X. Also Saddat Ahmed and Joe Goncalves, who went on to publish the bible of 60s poetry, the Journal of Black Poetry.

The group traveled to Soledad prison to present and perform at the black culture club, chaired by Eldridge Cleaver and his lieutenant Alprentice Bunchy Carter. Arthur Sheridan had been contacted by Cleaver's lawyer Beverley Axelrod to make the Soledad prison visit.
Black Dialogue was Art's idea and he became the founding editor.

This culture club was the beginning of the black prison movement in America, and when Black Dialogue met the club, it established a unity between the prison movement and black students who were also members of the budding black arts movement. Black Dialogue and the Journal of Black Poetry were major publications of BAM with influence coast to coast. These journals, along with Soulbook ( a RAM publication) and John H. Johnson's Negro Digest/Black World, the New Lafayette's Black Theatre, were critical publications of the neo-black intellectuals nationwide, spreading radical consciousness into the black liberation movement in general.

It was Art Sheridan who told Marvin X he might consider hooking up with a playwright named Ed Bullins and the two formed Black Arts West Theatre in the Fillmore, 1966, a West coast version of what LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Askia Toure, Larry Neal, Sun Ra and others were doing in Harlem.

On Thursday night, Black Dialogue brothers came together to present at a poetry venue hosted by Arthur Sheridan in Sausalito, a mostly white community near San Francisco, where Arthur is the Black Prince who lives in a houseboat in the Bay. California's Poet Laureate Al Young was the featured poet. Al also contributed poetry to Black Dialogue and acknowledged Art for showcasing his early work, as did Marvin X. Duke Williams also read, although Duke was modest since he is a singer as well. Marvin read from his memoir Eldridge Cleaver, My Friend the Devil.

The Brothers agreed to continue their Black Dialogue tour. Al Young agreed to join them. They will co-sponsor and perform at Marvin X's August 1st book signing and conversation ( with James W. Sweeney) at the Joyce Gordon Gallery, 14th and Franklin, downtown Oakland.
Ladies watch out! Marvin's sister Debbie said she didn't know her brother had such handsome friends. Call 510-355-6339 for more information. Catch Marvin X classic play Flowers for the Trashman at the San Francisco Theatre Festival in July.

Flowers for the Trashman

The Lower Bottom Playaz invite you to support the San Francisco Theater Festival.
We are proud to offer three selections for your viewing pleasure.

Mama at Twilightby WordSlanger
directed by A. Nzinga
Screening Room, from 12:20 pm to 12:50 pm
Bathroom Graffiti Queen
by Opal Palmer Adisa
directed by A. Nzinga
Screening Room, from 3:50 pm to 4:20 pm
Flowers for the Trashman
by Marvin X Jackmon
directed by A. NzingaScreening Room, from 2:05 pm to 2:35 pm

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