Plato Negro Returns to his classroom/clinic
Since his successful boycott of De Lauer's Newsstand in downtown Oakland, the Oakland Police and the "Merchant Police" have said little to Plato Negro who returned to his classroom/clinic at 14th and Broadway. The common people of Oakland, including workers in the few stores, have been grabbing Mythology of Pussy at a rapid rate, not only young people but mature women/mothers who had demanded their sons and daughters read the pamphlet. Young women with men in prison are sending it to them. People will no money take the pamphlet and return with money a few days later. They drive up in cars to get Plato's manual on manhood and womanhood. In his forty years of writing, nothing has had such an electrifying affect as Mythology. There are still those petit bourgeoisie and pseudo conscious intellectuals who refuse to read it since the title is so politically incorrect. But Plato Negro has a job to do and will continue his work, despite the detractors-- even
Plato's friend, Paul Cobb, publisher of the Oakland Post, says he will not mention the pamphlet in his newspaper. But all day Friday, people came to either buy the pamphlet because they saw somebody else with it or they stopped by to give a donation because they were over joyed after reading it.
It has definitely taken second stage to Plato's memoir of Eldridge Cleaver, My friend the devil. Beyond the literature, Plato classroom/clinic was lined up with people on Friday, wanting to say a word and be listened to by the poet. They came with problems such as paranoia, believing the Masons were spying on them. A brother couldn't come to Plato's book signing because he was fighting with relatives over rights to spend time with his nieces and nephews. Although he listened patiently, Plato was trying to close shop to attend the opening of the James Baldwin exhibit at the Joyce Gordon Gallery at the end of the block, 14th and Franklin. The exhibit is by poet, photographer, painter, Ted Pontiflet. Plato escaped to the gallery and had high praise for the exhibit. As he viewed the exhibit, he recalled how Baldwin described his father as an African king in his autocratic rule of the house. When he went to Africa, he saw his father in action. Looking at the
photographs of Baldwin, especially the graphic work with Baldwin against an African sculpture, one could see he was a beautiful African man--although if one is addicted to Eurocentric aesthetics, one would say Baldwin was an ugly motherfucker.
With the Baldwin exhibit that followed Plato's book signing of his Cleaver memoir at the gallery, and the people's reaction to Mythology--it is really something to see people, young and old, walking down Broadway reading this pamphlet--and the Post Newspaper's promise to help connect writers and artists with the people, maybe media queen Jerri Lange is right when she said this might be the beginning of a black Renaissance in the Bay.
The Post is planning a mini-book fair for September in San Francisco, tentative site is Marcus Bookstore on Fillmore. Interested writers should contact Marvin X, Paul Cobb or Charlie Walker.
Plato departed the Baldwin exhibit with James W. Sweeney who will host a book party for him in Sacramento on Saturday,August 22,3-6pm. They stopped by the home of Judge Henry Ramsey who was out of town so they talked with his beautiful wife Eleanor Mason. They told her to tell the Judge he's is invited to the coming book fair, since he has released his massive autobiography. The Ramsey home is a virtual art gallery with a good number of paintings and sculpture by revolutionary artist Elizabeth Catlett Mora, including a painting by her famous husband, Poncho Mora.
--Marvin X (Plato Negro)