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 Everyone must become the central command, every man and woman must

be about the business of teaching new values, new ways of thinking

and acting that are not harmful to the human soul and the human condition.

 

 

Books on Pan-Africa

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa  / Walter Rodney Speaks  / Capitalism and Slavery / How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America

Africa's Discovery of Europe / Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World

 

How to Stop the Killing in the Pan African Hood

By Marvin X

"The reactionaries will never put down their butcher knives,
they will never turn into Buddha heads."
Mao

We are talking about a condition in the hearts of men, an evil sore festering and stinking like rotten meat, to use that Langston Hughes metaphor. It is a spiritual disease more prevalent than HIV, for it consumes whole countries, not only Pan Africa, but it may be said to originate in Europe because lying and murder is the great theme of this culture, and Africa and Africans throughout the Diaspora are victimized and suffer this malady equally with their colonial Mother. See how Europe butchered the butcher's sons in Iraq, or is this the democratic way of life she is bringing to the sand nigguhs?

The problem is how to throw off the vestiges of colonialism to become the New Man and New Woman. Of course, we must first recognize how sick colonialism has made us throughout Pan Africa. Somehow we must bow down and ask forgiveness of our Higher Power, the ancestors, the living and the yet unborn. There must be a cleansing ritual performed until the mud and slime of Western culture is purged from our minds, bodies and souls.

The Western gods must be destroyed, crushed to the earth and stomped into eternity, for they have blessed us with ignorance, superstition, greed, lust and pure evil, allowing us to become worse than beasts in the field, committing the worse atrocities, yea, even worse than all the teaching of our colonial masters.

No doubt Africa is paying for the great sin of sending her sons and daughters into slavery. Has Africa asked forgiveness of herself, yet she wails for apology from the slave master's children. Has she given reparations to her descendants lost in the wilderness of North America? Has she ever sent a symbolic ship or plane to bring them home? So Pan Africa lives a slow death because she allows corrupt, boastful, arrogant leaders to control her  nations, her leaders shelter each other, covering their multiple sins, protecting themselves from people's justice who would rightfully hang them like Mussolini and his wife.

Like jack in the box, Pan Africa must jump out of her iniquities, she must call forth the divine energy within the bowels of her soul and step into the New Day of light, breath and health. She cannot allow her children to devour her from coast to coast, sea to sea, from America to Africa, but children only mock the behavior of adults, so we cannot blame them, children are children, so adults must step to the front of the line, no matter how busy they are doing nothing, for they are surely doing nothing if the village is in chaos, security being the top priority of civilization.

Everyone must become the central command, every man and woman must be about the business of teaching new values, new ways of thinking and acting that are not harmful to the human soul and the human condition. The world is so full of wisdom it escapes us because our quest is for the trivial, the low things of life, not the things in the upper room, but those in the basement, in the gutter of our minds and hearts, that is were we dwell, that is our focus and this is why we suffer. Kobe gives his wife a four million dollar rock, but will it placate her soul, will material things correct a spiritual problem of faith and trust?
The West has a sordid history buying people as Pan Africa can attest, but everyone is not for sale, those of integrity will jump ship, will eat the whip and the gun, for persecution is worse than slaughter, the Qur'an teaches.

No, physical weapons cannot solve the problem. Look at Israel, she has the all the modern weapons but she cannot defeat the spirit of a people determined to be free. So Pan Africa's children can and must be disarmed by a new consciousness. Even Fidel Castro has said the new weapon is consciousness! Like Johnny Appleseed, we must go about spreading consciousness, teaching unconditional love and forgiveness, sharing knowledge and wealth with the poor and ignorant, the brokenhearted and oppressed. I am not trying to be sentimental, but we can and must flip the script as they say in the hood. 

Again, like Jack, we must jump out the box of mental and physical oppression by taking a new look at reality, by stopping a moment to wonder at the pleasure in the sun, the trees, the sea and mountains, the glory of being alive each moment to share human love, being grateful we have a moment on this earth to whisper truth to children that they may rise and be a pleasure to the ancestors watching from everywhere. Yes, we must transcend block man and block woman, the block within ourselves even, and reach forth into the realm of new possibilities, not allowing evil and her brothers and sisters to control the air and sun that comes each day blessing us with another moment to walk in the light, escaping the darkness of ignorance, greed and lust and violence.

Black men, go into the hood and take the guns from your sons, yes the sons you abandoned, neglected and rejected, the sons who look like you although you deny this, the sons who walk with sad hearts, hardened because they long for you, for your love and guidance, for your wisdom and strength, after all, Mama did all she could to raise her manchild in the promised land.

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A Response to "Killing in the Pan Africa Hood"

By Rudolph Lewis

 

Marvin, there is great wisdom that should be heeded in your essay "How To Stop The Killing in the Pan African Hood."  I am aware that a new set of values (though possessed by our enslaved ancestors but now abandoned under the "new world order") and a new perspective of our place in the world, of our past and future are earnestly needed in these dire times.

The most important of these new perspectives is couched in your paragraph that reads as follows: 

Has Africa asked forgiveness of herself, yet she wails for apology from the slave masters' children. Has she given reparations to her descendants lost in the wilderness of North America? Has she ever sent a symbolic ship or plane to bring them home? So Pan Africa lives a slow death because she allows corrupt, boastful, arrogant leaders to control her nations, her leaders shelter each other, covering their multiple sins, protecting themselves from people's justice who would rightfully hang them like Mussolini and his wife.

In short, you suggest our critical sword should have a double edgethat is, the slave trade involved African nations and European nations collaborating for the purposes of wealth and power. They got rid of their "niggertrash." Many of those descendants of the tribal kings and chiefs who sold millions of slaves still play significant roles in the politics of today's African nations. And they will sell us again and their people again in the 21st century, if the World Bank and other internationalist (globalist), corporatist agencies offer the right price. (Check out Paul Kingsnorth's essay on South Africa and the ANC A Shattered Dream.)

In the contest for wealth and power, "black" and "white," however, are not real distinctions but illusions, a means for escapism or sidetracking those who wish to do the "good." I know "evil" has become a popular theme in the discussion of international politics and the resistance to corporate imperialism, especially from the bully pulpit of the presidency. So-called righteous men love to stand behind such symbolic bulwarks. I hope we do not become agents of such trite rhetoricit indeed will lead us astray. It is necessary that we keep on the straight and narrow and keep both edges of our sword whetted sharp.

At no time must we sink back into mythologizing the world for the sake of political convenience, to hear merely the rhythm of our own voices. Beneath most Pan-African rhetoric (from the 19th century to the present), there is this underlying notion of Africa as paradise into which Satan (the white man) introduced evil. I recommend strongly that all Pan-Africanists and sympathizers and all other petty-bourgeois, pseudo-revolutionaries read the Malian Yambo Olouloguem's novel Bound to Violence. Or any non-romantic account of Africa before European trade began. Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart will provide some evidence even in the "wholeness" of tribal life, all was not well. Even though there was a sense of justice, and right and wrong. There were some practices or acts that were just horrid, unnecessary, and "evil."

If true be told, there was more evil in Africa than one could shake a stick at. The process of empire building  in Africa by Africans themselves and the perennial struggles for power and the retention of power included the wholesale slaughter of tribes (genocide), butchery, debauchery of every sort (religious, political and social), cannibalism, incest, and so onall these acts of evil existed before modern Europe stepped onto the soil of Africa or worked out its first deal for a cargo of slaves. The emperors, kings and queens, and chiefsto whom we have become so inured (and want to imitate by dress, manners, and religion)did not achieve those aristocratic titles by their sweetness and benevolence but by the same means we are familiar with today in those who strive to rule and conquer. That is, they did it the old-fashioned wayby violence, exploitation, and oppression..

The aberrations we see in Africa and at home are not new. This violence for wealth and power is just as old as the first time one brother killed another for his wife or his ass. This contest for dominance has always been bloody and this violence and evil were not invented by Europe or whites. We must do away with this myth—the white man alone as incarnate Devil. Otherwise, in a perverse way, we make Africans less than humanwe make them into externally corrupted angels.

There is no sanctity in having a black skin or in Africanity. This type of mythologizing gives our leaders too much credit and too much room for collaboration with corporate power and  a means of duping the masses of the poor and the black working classes. It is no longer sustainable that we ask or recommend that the masses of "Pan-Africa" to live vicariously by distant observation and/or proximity to power and wealth. That an elite should live in comfort and security while the great masses attend them hand and foot with all their hearts and souls is no longer acceptable if we truly have egalitarian goals for our society. . 

That kind of barbaric nobility is no longer proper in a civilized world in which democracy and human rights have been given revitalized meanings in which every man is a king and queen, or at least be acknowledged with that kind of respect, integrity, and dignity.

Our critical sword should not only land on the heads of the great aberrations of societythe likes of a Idi Amin, a Mobutu, a Bokassa, or a Sgt. Doe or a Charles Taylor, but also those respectable heads of state like Mbeki, Obasanjo, and the other African leaders who smilingly welcomed Bush to Africa and are ever-ready to make their deals with globalization. Such African leaders with such narrow interests sold our ancestors into the Americas. 

And not only those African leaders there, but also here at home, we should do some swinging at our black elected and appointed officials (city councilmen, legislators, cabinet secretaries), yes and also corporate and ecclesiastical functionaries, and other notable heads, such as the leaders of  civil rights organizations like the NACCP, whose board is ruled by corporate executives or such flunkies and running dogs. They too must be made to pay for their sins of neglect and moral blindness.

If we lapse into the anti-white, anti-American, anti-Western rhetoric, we will sorely miss the point and provide more fuel for these black elites to further misdirect the energies of the masses of Pan-Africa along lines of escapism and support for the status quo.

If we are to make real changes within our communities some of our petty bourgeois aspirations must be abandoned. We can no longer naively defend black middle-class sellout politicians and preachers. We must recognize a real change in the face, rhetorical aspirations, and the present corporate ties that our leaders have established. It is fine to cite Walter Rodney's How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, as some  Pan-Africanist Marxists  tend to do. That is well indeed. I am far from a white apologista corner in which some may want to paint me. But I do not want to be a black apologist, either -- I was not taught that way.

The NAACP is headquartered here in Baltimore and they just had a conference and they had nothing to say about the 40% unemployment rate here among black males (18-35); the high murder rate (about 300 a year, mostly young black males); a 50% drop-out rate from high school; neighborhoods in which only 25% of adults have a high school diploma. Brothers and sisters are paraded to jails like our ancestors to Goree Island!!! Whatever the justification for their apprehension is inadequate and should cause some shame to those who run this city and those who support the powers to bewhich here in a majority black city, means a black middle class and those who work government jobs or receive money from corporate elites

Damn, brother, we have grown ass men on the corner selling single cigarettes for 35 cents a piece. What kind of enterprise is that? And it is not just a few. Is that any way to gain a livelihood? And our shit-head leaders are worrying about whether Bush or democratic presidential candidates come to their meeting. Ain't that a matter to be indignant and upset about? But it seems we are so spiritually sick we take it as a norm the misery and the downtrodden state of the poor (black and white). That the oppressed  are overlooked and allowed to continue to sink into the abyss is a grand betrayal by our leaders.  Murder and mayhem is not just coming from the bottom dregs of society. We have a general slavery and devastation in which silence and passivity is imposed by poverty, the gun, and prisons?  

With these reservations, I support heartily the sentiments contained in your plea for earnest black work, black renewal, and black progress.

Marvin X has taught English, African American literature, journalism, creative writing, drama, technical writing at various colleges and universities, including: University of California, Berkeley and San Diego, San Francisco State University, University of Nevada, Reno and elsewhere.

For more writings by Marvin X, go to www.blackthinktank.com, www.marvinx.com.In The Crazy House Called America, essays by Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 2002, $20.00, plus $5.00 for postage and handling. Black Bird Press: 3116 38th Ave., Suite 304, Oakland, Ca 94619.

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books

 

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#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

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

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

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

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

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

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#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

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

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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Ratification

The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

By Pauline Maier

A notable historian of the early republic, Maier devoted a decade to studying the immense documentation of the ratification of the Constitution. Scholars might approach her book’s footnotes first, but history fans who delve into her narrative will meet delegates to the state conventions whom most history books, absorbed with the Founders, have relegated to obscurity. Yet, prominent in their local counties and towns, they influenced a convention’s decision to accept or reject the Constitution. Their biographies and democratic credentials emerge in Maier’s accounts of their elections to a convention, the political attitudes they carried to the conclave, and their declamations from the floor. The latter expressed opponents’ objections to provisions of the Constitution, some of which seem anachronistic (election regulation raised hackles) and some of which are thoroughly contemporary (the power to tax individuals directly). Ripostes from proponents, the Federalists, animate the great detail Maier provides, as does her recounting how one state convention’s verdict affected another’s. Displaying the grudging grassroots blessing the Constitution originally received, Maier eruditely yet accessibly revives a neglected but critical passage in American history.—Booklist

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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)  / Gil Scott-Heron & His Music  Gil Scott Heron Blue Collar  Remember Gil Scott- Heron

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

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update 17 April 2012

 

 

 

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Related files: The Pain of Violence and Death In the Hood