Saturday, November 14, 2009

Marvin X Reads My friend the Devil, Eldridge Cleaver

On Saturday, November 21, 8pm
Marvin X reads and discusses
his memoir of Eldridge Cleaver--
My Friend the Devil
intro by Amiri Baraka

Readers include: Ayodele Nzingha, Suzzette Celese, Geoffrey Grier,
Ptah Allah El, Eugene Allen, James W. Sweeney, Charlie Walker
Musical accompanient by Rashidah Mwongozi
Dance Linda Johnson, Raynetta Raynetta

Eastside Cultural Center
2277 International Blvd,
call 510-533-6629
donation $10.00

"This is the funniest book of 2009.
The more you know about black
history, the funnier it is.
--Dr. James Garrett

Marvin X is one of America's
great story tellers. Maybe second
only to Mark Twain. Of course I'd place
Marvin X ahead of him even.
--Rudolph Lewis, editor,

Hallelujah! MX is reminiscing, I must say, entertainingly,
about his historic dalliance w/shaitan.
--Amiri Baraka, from intro

Thank you Marvin...get it all out, write it out, dance it out,
cry it out, swear it out, walk it out, work it out, thank you
for sharing. --Tarika Lewis, violinist, activist and first Black Panther female

Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley 94702
To book Marvin X at colleges and universities:

If you missed the Marvin X Production of Amiri Baraka's 75th Birthday Celebration at San Francisco's Jazz Heritage Center Monday afternoon, please don't miss his reading this Sat., Nov 21, 8pm at Eastside Culture Center, 2277 International Blvd. The Jazz Heritage Center event was an explosion of black spiritual consciousness produced by the co-founder of the Black Arts Movement. In 1966, along with playwright Ed Bullins, Ethna Wyatt (Hurriyah Asar), Duncan Barber, Hillary Broadous and Carl Bossiere, Marvin X established the Black Arts West Theatre at Fillmore and Turk, in an abandoned theatre around the corner from Dr. Carlton Goodlett's Sun Reporter newspaper office. Black Arts West was the west coast counterpart of Amiri Baraka's Black Arts Repertory Theatre in Harlem. Marvin later came to Harlem and joined Ed Bullins at the New Lafayette Theatre. Marvin was associate editor of Black Theatre Magazine, a publication of the New Lafayette. He also contributed to Black Dialogue, the Journal of Black Poetry, Soulbook, Negro Digest/Black World, Black Scholar and Muhammad Speaks. In Harlem he worked with Askia Toure, Milford Graves, Mae Jackson, Amiri Baraka, Sun Ra, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Haki Madhubuti, the Last Poets, Barbara Ann Teer and others.

On Saturday he will read from his memoir of Black Panther Minister of Information, Eldridge Cleaver, author of the 60s bestseller Soul on Ice. Marvin X met Cleaver when the staff of Black Dialogue visited the Soledad Prison black culture club, 1966. Upon his release from Soledad, Cleaver hooked up with Marvin X and they organized Black House, a political/cultural center on Broderick Street in San Francisco. Black House associates included Ed Bullins, Hurriyah Asar, Willie Dale, Samual Napier, Emory Douglas, Chicago Art Ensemble, Amiri and Amina Baraka, Avotcja,Sarah Webster Fabio, Lil Bobby Hutton and others. After a dispute with the cultural workers, Black House transformed into the San Francisco headquarters of the Black Panther Party.

Marvin X had introduced Eldridge Cleaver to Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, his classmates from Oakland's Merritt College. Cleaver immediately joined the BPP and became minister of information. The Panthers tried to recruit Marvin but he joined the Nation of Islam and later fled into exile to Toronto, Canada because he opposed the war in Vietnam. He returned underground to America but after he was denied a teaching position at Fresno State University, 1969 (at Gov. Ronald Reagan's request) and was found guilty of refusing induction, he fled into exile a second time, this time to Mexico City and Belize, Central America. Marvin was deported from Belize and returned to the US. He spent five months in Federal prison, Terminal Island. After his 1968 shootout with Oakland police (Lil Bobby Hutton was murdered in cold blood by the OPD), Cleaver followed Marvin X into exile, fleeing to Cuba,
Algeria, France, the Middle East, North Vietnam, North Korea and China.

On Saturday, Marvin, along with Ayodele Nzingha, Geoffrey Grier, James W. Sweeney, Ptah Allah El, Eugene Allen,Suzzette Celeste, (with music and dance accompaniment by Rashidah Mwongozi, Linda Johnson, Raynetta Rayzetta), will read from his memoir of Eldridge Cleaver. This narrative is black liberation history, black arts movement history and radical American literature.

Marvin's narrative covers his relationship with Cleaver from the 1966 Soledad prison meeting to his death, May 1, 1998. Marvin officiated his memorial service in Oakland. When Cleaver returned from exile, Marvin organized his ministry to Born Again Christians, Mormons and Moonies. He was Cleaver's chief of staff, secretary, editor of his newsletter, body guard and driver. In the docudrama One Day in the Life, Marvin recounted his crack addiction along with Cleaver and Huey Newton. One critic says My Friend the Devil is as much an autobiography of Marvin X as it is a biography of Eldridge Cleaver.

No comments: