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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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 Marvin X is a playwright in the true spirit of the BAM. His

most well-known BAM play, entitled Flowers for the Trashman,

deals with generational difficulties and the crisis of the Black intellectual

as he deals with education in a white-controlled culture.

 

 

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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Marvin X 

A Biographical Sketch

 

Marvin X—born Marvin Ellis Jackmon on May 29, 1944 in Fowler, California—attended Fresno at Edison High, Oakland City College (now Merritt College) receiving an associate degree in 1964.  Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the founders of the Black Panther Party, were fellow students at Oakland City College. Marvin also received a BA and MA in English at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University). 

As part of Black Arts Movement (BAM), Marvin X is most well known for his work with Ed Bullins in the founding in 1967 of Black House and The Black Arts/West Theatre in San Francisco Fillmore district. Black House served briefly as the headquarters for the Black Panther Party and as a center for performance, theatre, poetry and music.

Marvin X is a playwright in the true spirit of the BAM. His most well-known BAM play, entitled Flowers for the Trashman, deals with generational difficulties and the crisis of the Black intellectual as he deals with education in a white-controlled culture. Marvin X's other works include, The Black Bird, The Trial, Resurrection of the Dead and In the Name of Love.

Marvin X's first play Flowers for the Trashman  was also produced with an alternate title, Taking Care of Business. The play's protagonist, Joe Simmons, an African American college student, finds himself in jail with Wes, whom the playwright describes as "his hoodlum friend."  

He currently has the longest running African American drama in the San Francisco Bay area and Northern California, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE, a tragi-comedy of addiction and recovery. He is the founder and director of RECOVERY THEATRE. 

Marvin X has continued to work as a lecturer, teacher and producer. He has taught at Fresno State University; San Francisco State University; University of California - Berkeley and San Diego; University of Nevada, Reno; Mills College, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland. He has received writing fellowships from Columbia University and the National Endowment for the Arts and planning grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Marvin X has taught at such colleges and universities as Fresno State University, San Francisco State University, University of California -- Berkeley and San Diego, University of Nevada, Reno, Mills College, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland. 

Marvin X spoke from a Muslim perspective on race relations in America in his play The Black Bird (Al Tair Aswad).

Marvin X's most recent production, One Day in the Life, performed by his Recovery Theatre, provides a comprehensive view into his own life as a black man using crack cocaine as well as the devastating sphere of hurt, death, and destruction that came to many loved ones in his life. 

Chronology of Marvin X (El Muhajir )    Bibliography of Marvin X  marvinxspeaks.blogspot.com

For more on Marvin X at Fresno State University, check out the archives of Gov. Ronald Reagan and FSU President Frederick Ness. Google has ample entries for Marvin X. Visit his blog: www.marvinxwrites.blogspot.com  . Email him at: jmarvinx@yahoo. com. His books are available from Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94702, $19.95 each. For speaking engagements, call 510-355-6339

 

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Journal of Pan African Studies is OnlineVolume 4 • Number 2 • 2010

We humbly dedicate this poetry issue of the Journal of Pan African Studies (JPAS) to theHonorable Jose Goncalves, publisher and editor of the Journal of Black Poetry (JBP), the poetic Bible of the 60s Black Liberation/Black Arts Movement. No other journal in the history of American literature published so many poets. No other journal was more eclectic and democratic in its editorial policy. We thank Rudolph Lewis (a virtual reincarnation of Goncalves in his dedication to black literature in the electronic age) for compiling this summary of the work of Dingane and the Journal of Black Poetry. One day soon we plan to honor Dingane with a Journal of Black Poetry Festival.BlackBirdPressNews

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Parable of the Cellphone (Marvin X)

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Ishmael Reed talks about this book with Phil Taylor of the Taylor Report (audio)

Listen to interview with Ishmael Reed on KPFA Berkeley (min 32-60) (audio)

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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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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest.

Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind.

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America.

This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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No Easy Victories

African Liberation and American Activists over Half a Century, 1950-2000

Edited by William Minter, Gail Hovey and Charles Cobb Jr.

Tell no lies; claim no easy victories—Amilcar Cabral, 1965. African news making headlines in the U.S.A. today is dominated by disaster: wars, famine, HIV/AIDS. Americans who respond from Hollywood stars to ordinary citizens are learning that real solutions require more than charity. This book provides for the first time a panoramic view of U.S. activism on Africa from 1950 to 2000, activism grounded in a common struggle for justice. It portrays organizations, individual activists, and transnational networks that contributed to African liberation from colonialism and from apartheid in South Africa. In turn, it shows how African struggles informed U.S. activism including the civil rights and black power movements. Intended for activists, analysts, students, researchers, teachers, and anyone concerned with world issues, the authors draw on interviews, research and personal experience to portray the history and stimulate reflection on international solidarity today.

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The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story

of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

By Eric Liu and Nick Hanaper

American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: The economy is not an efficient machine.

It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest. We’re all better off when we’re all better off. The model of citizenship depends on contagious behavior, hence positive behavior begets positive behavior.

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The Long Affair

Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800

By Conor Cruise O'Brien

In The Great Melody, O'Brien wrote a masterful study of one of the great early opponents of the French Revolution, Edmund Burke. Now he applies his counterrevolutionary principles to an examination of Thomas Jefferson, reevaluating Jefferson's thought and correcting some scholarly misinterpretations. But while the book will appeal to anyone interested in Jefferson and his pivotal role in American politics, the themes are less well-developed than in The Great Melody, and the book is ultimately disappointing. Through plentiful direct quotations from his subject and his own effective analysis, O'Brien demonstrates that Jefferson's support of the French Revolution began to wane after such support no longer furthered his domestic political aims and when he came to see it as a threat to slavery. Because of his support of slavery, says O'Brien, Jefferson is no longer appropriate as an icon for an increasingly multiracial American society.

He points out that racists on the right have begun to claim Jefferson as a prophet, but O'Brien seems to repeat their mistake of evaluating him only through his views on race. Though Jefferson may indeed have been a racist and did not intend the Declaration of Independence ever to apply to blacks, the brilliance of the document was that it could be expanded over the years to include groups previously excluded. Though one would not want admiration of Jefferson's principles to lead to support for white supremacy, neither would one want rejection of white supremacy to lead to disbelief in the revolutionary idea that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.

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On the Road to Freedom

A Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail

By Charles E. Cobb

This in-depth look at the civil rights movement goes to the places where pioneers of the movement marched, sat-in at lunch counters, gathered in churches; where they spoke, taught, and organized; where they were arrested, where they lost their lives, and where they triumphed. Award-winning journalist Charles E. Cobb Jr., a former organizer and field secretary for SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), knows the journey intimately. He guides us through Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, back to the real grassroots of the movement. He pays tribute not only to the men and women etched into our national memory but to local people whose seemingly small contributions made an impact. We go inside the organizations that framed the movement, travel on the "Freedom Rides" of 1961, and hear first-person accounts about the events that inspired Brown vs. Board of Education.

An essential piece of American history, this is also a useful travel guide with maps, photographs, and sidebars of background history, newspaper coverage, and firsthand interviews.

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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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Negro Digest / Black World

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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

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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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posted 21 March 2009 

 

 

 

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