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 The boy rapped on the subject, “Why?” He asked several questions about life ending with why.

He reminded us of those child preachers who are totally poised and confident,

who speak with authority far beyond their years.

 

 

Books by Marvin X

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

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Boy Steals Show At Marvin X Concert

A Report on Black Repertory Theatre Reading

 

(On Sunday, August 27, 2006, Marvin X gave a dramatic reading from his forthcoming book, Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality, accompanied by musicians and some of the most powerful Bay Area poets. The event happened at the Black Repertory Theatre in Berkeley. For excerpts from the unpublished work, please go to www.nathanielturner.com.)

Marvin X was concerned he would be upstaged by the Bay Area’s woman warrior poets, Opal Palmer Adisa, Tureeda and Ayodele Nzinga, and they were awesome. Opal Palmer’s reading accompanied by musicians Elliott Bey on synthesizer, Earl Davis on muted trumpet and Tacuma King on percussion was in the tradition of Kind of Blue.

Opal told the audience, “Isn’t it nice when the men lead you on,” after telling the brothers to play her something romantic that she could read behind. They accommodated her most gracefully.

Not all musicians know how to play behind the spoken word or vocalists for that matter. Too often the musicians are too loud to the point of drowning out the speaker or singer. The Chaka Khan band at the Berkeley Jazz Festival is an example. But the musicians Marvin X assembled knew exactly what Doctor X ordered, after all, Earl Davis has performed with X since the Black Arts West Theatre in San Francisco, 1967.

Tacuma King has done percussion work with the poet since he taught drama at Laney College, 1981, and Elliott Bey has played keyboards with him since the late 80s, providing the music for Marvin’s docudrama One Day In The Life. So these gentlemen knew what to do even though they had not performed together nor had they rehearsed.

Marvin read again from  Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality, then  brought on Tureeda,  who rocked the small, intimate crowd with her Holy Ghost poems. A long time friend of Marvin’s seated in the audience whispered to the poet, “It’s really something to see how intelligent these women poets are!” Indeed they are. Marvin had quoted to the audience a line from poet Phavia Kujichagalia, "...If you think I'm just a physical thing, wait til you see the spiritual power I bring."

Marvin read “What If ” and next up was Ayodele Nzinga, dressed in army gear with a voice so powerful it can awaken the dead, and she did, if there were any dead in the house, which is doubtful since her predecessors had worked the field.

Brother John Hughes read a great poem on spirituality, followed by musician Earl Davis who shared his poem on the Blues, or rather who owns the blues, white people or blacks.

Tacuma tried to accompany him on the harmonica but Earl wasn’t having it. He had the sound man play his own music that was, well, jazz. Earl’s original jazz was nice but Tacuma’s harmonica was perfect, but he faded into the background, especially when Earl seemed disturbed.

Poet Ptah Allah-El was to end the set, and although Ptah, author of the poetic Ghetto Tales, was absolutely great representing hip hop, his act did not end the show. As Ptah passed the mike to Marvin, a young boy came on stage and asked Marvin could he read a conscious rap. Marvin was taken aback by the boy who appeared to be between ten and  twelve  years old. But when this child took the mike, the audience was astounded, including the older musicians and poets. The boy rapped on the subject, “Why?” He asked several questions about life ending with why. He reminded us of those child preachers who are totally poised and confident, who speak with authority far beyond their years.

And so he ended the evening, stealing the show from his elders, male and female alike. We didn’t get his name, but think of Jesus teaching in the temple as a child. Perhaps it is best we don’t reveal his name. Peace. -- Marvin X (28 August 2006)

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Addendum

I have just been informed by poet Ptah Allah-El that the boy who stole the show at my concert last night experienced a transformation as the result of hearing his elders. Ptah said he talked with the boy's mother for nearly thirty minutes after the show and she was in shock that her son went on stage and said what he said. She couldn't believe what was coming out of his mouth. She had brought him to the show because she wanted him to hear something different from the 50-cent and TI that he listens to all the time.

She didn't know he had any conscious rap in him, so it appears his rap was free-style based on what he'd absorbed during the concert. She was shocked but elated that we had elicited such a positive response from her son. She and her son were overjoyed when Ptah told them the boy is now a member of the University of Poetry and Hug A Thug Book Club. The boy told Ptah he wants to be a conscious rapper when he grows up.

Ptah said he overheard Earl Davis tell a brother there is no generation gap. It was obvious the entire family or village was represented on stage last evening, from the children to the hip hop (Ptah)  to the women to the elders (Earl Davis is 70).

If the boy absorbed consciousness that quickly, there is hope for the race. And we must move expeditiously to spread the light of truth. MX

posted 5 August 2006

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what's in your heart than what's in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America's shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy can make you money, but money can't make you happy."

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 10 January 2012

 

 

 

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