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 Marvin X was asked about education. He said Johnny and Johnnymae can sell dope,

weigh dope, package dope, count dope money, but the teachers tell us Johnny

and Johnnymae can't do math, can't read, can't do chemistry. This is a lie

 
 

Marvin X's National Book Tour Report 2002

Human Earthquake Rocks New York City

 

New York City was rocked yesterday by the Human Earthquake, Marvin X, who spent two hours ranting on Pacifica radio's WBAI, hosted by Louis Reyes Rivera, whose guests included John Watusi Branch of the Afrikan Poetry Theatre in Queens. Marvin X discussed everything under the sun, including the suffering people endure when loved ones make the transition. "We are forced to suffer alone, in silence because no one wants to hear about it, " the poet said. On the movement of the 60s, "We had many contradictions. We talked black power but went home to beat our wives and neglect our children in the name of revolution."

That evening the poet rocked Queens at the Afrikan Poetry Theatre, telling his audience many of us have a poverty consciousness, we don't want nothing, we have our fists balled up at God so that He cannot bless us even if He wanted to and He wants to bless us. Some of us are living in shelters because we rejected the mansions in our Father's House. Yet the whole world is trying to get to America to get some of the pie we created. The Chinese and Koreans come to our community and get rich selling rice, but we want to charge ten dollars for a bowl of rice and beans and wonder why no one supports our businesses. We are Block Man--we block our own good--yes, many times we are our worst enemy, not the white man.
If we stood up and took authority the white man would be gone in an instant. The million man marchers should have stayed in DC until freedom was secured. Our women were smart enough to set up the Million Man Mansion in Newark--the men don't have a million man mansion--but when the sisters execise their intelligence we want to knock them upside the head.

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Ok, New York City, catch Marvin X at Sista's Place on Sunday, 4 PM, 456 Nostrand Ave. @ Jefferson, Brooklyn. He's be in Manhattan on Tuesday, October 29, 7PM at the Brecht Forum, 122 W. 27th St., between 6th and 7th Aves, 10th floor.

Amiri Baraka will host the Earthquake on Wednesday, October 30, 7PM in Newark at his home, 808 S. 10th Street, Newark, NJ. Marvin X will also appear with Amiri Baraka and Umar Bin Hasan of the Last Poets at the Bowery Poetry Club, Sunday, November 3, 9PM.

Sonia Sanchez will appear with the poet in Philadelphia on Friday, November 1, 7PM at the Women's Y, 5820 Germantown Ave.@ Chelten. Marvin will premier the Crazy House Band under the direction of Elliot Bey. Guest musicians include Jamal Khan, Kesh, Rufus Harley (bagpipes) and Sun Ra's legendary Marshall Allen. Set designer Pat Lewis has created a monster set to suggest the Crazy House Called America. Sonia Sanchez will video the event for a documentary she is doing on the Black Arts Movement.

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Marvin X Live in Philadelphia at Warm Daddies

 

With the next governor of Penn, the Eagle's $100 million quarterback and the 76ers GM in the house, Marvin X and the Crazy House band rocked Warm Daddy's, a hip hop night club in Philadelphia Monday night. The event was a recording session for a CD and DVD to go along with X's book IN THE CRAZY HOUSE CALLED AMERICA.

The poet pulled together members of Sun Ra's band, Marshall Allen--the world's greatest alto sax, Danny Thompson and Noel, also bagpipe master Rufas Harley, drummer Alexander El, jembe master Ancestor Goldsky (former drummer with Patti Labell) and keyboard master Elliott Bey, music director and cofounder of Recovery Theatre East. The poet opened with a monologue to Philadelphia Negroes, accompanied by the healing sounds of Elliott Bey on synthesizer. With the full band, the poet read FOR THE WOMEN; the band went crazy on NIGGUHS ARE CRAZY. In the best tradition of Sun Ra, his men went throughout the house, wailing and screaming--the audience appeared to have lockjaw. Rufas Harley introduced PALESTINE with bagpipes. Marshall Allen gave a screaming intro to BLACK HISTORY IS WORLD HISTORY, then the band joined for a musical tour of the world as the poet read his classic.

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The set ended with THE PARABLE OF BLACK MAN AND BLOCK MAN. I failed to mention the Danny Thompson (flute) Rufus Harley duet--historic. If you can't make the next appearance of Marvin X and the Crazy House Band tentatively scheduled for San Francisco's Loraine Hansberry Theatre in January, send for the CD/ VHS and/or DVD to BLACK BIRD PRESS, 3116 38th Ave., Suite 304, Oakland, CA 94619. Send $19.95, plus $5.00 for priority mail. Credit card holders go to www.paypal.com, credit xblackxmanx@aol.com. The poet is now in the dirty south at the Penn Center Heritage festival on St. Helena island, South Carolina. His book tour ends next week at the University of Houston and at citywide rally for reparations. There will also be a Houston screening of his videodrama ONE DAY IN THE LIFE at the National Black United Front headquarters, 2428 Southmore St., Houston.

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Human Earthquake Hits Houston, TX

 

Dr. Conyers, chair of African American Studies at the University of Houston, said when he drove Marvin X to campus to speak, the poet was quiet, almost silent, but once he stepped to the lectern, "All hell broke loose. The guy went mad." After reading and speaking with students in a seminar, the poet was asked by the chair if he wanted to return to teaching, since he clearly loves the classroom. Marvin X said he would consider a visiting professorship, but quit teaching twenty years ago. "I've been escorted off campus more than once--been escorted out of countries for that matter."

The poet was also asked to establish Recovery Theatre South by his Houston host, brother Omawali of the National Black United Front. On Friday, NBUF screened Marvin X's video THE KINGS AND QUEENS OF BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS, which features Amiri and Amina Baraka, Dr. Julia Hare, Dr. Cornel West, Phavia Kujichagulia, Destiny, Tarika Lewis, Elliott Bey, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Ishmael Reed,
Askia Toure, Rudi Wongozi, Rev. Cecil Williams, Marvin X and others. The poet read and answered questions for nearly two hours on every topic under the sun: the black arts movement, role and mission of youth in today's struggle, lack of unity, lack of reconciliation among 60s progressives and its effect on youth of today; will there be revolution without family unity; conflict between Panthers and other groups and within the Panthers, e.g. the conflict between Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver; between US and the Panthers. The poet said the rappers of today are our children, their behavior a direct reflection of our behavior during the 60s, 70s and 80s. They have our toxic waste.

He said the hip hop poetry readings are therapeutic for youth--peer counseling and a good thing but they must move to a revolutionary consciousness, get beyond the personal, although it is good to hear youth try to heal some of their wounds since many are without fathers and mothers--although they must come to terms with the fathers and mothers who abandoned them before any healing will take place. His daughter Nefertiti agreed with her dad that revolution must include caring for the family, the first unit of the community, although this reality was often forgotten during the 60s. We thought the family could be neglected for the abstraction called freedom.
We were dead wrong. We had it twisted.
 

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The poet will speak again on Saturday, November 16, 4pm at the Citywide Reparations Forum, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, 5801 W. Montgomery St., Houston. Before leaving Houston, the poet will go into the recording studio of his son-in-law, Attorney Eric Rhodes, mixing his CD: MARVIN X LIVE IN PHILADELPHIA WITH ELLIOTT BEY AND THE CRAZY HOUSE BAND, FEATURING MARSHALL ALLEN, DANNY THOMPSON AND NOEL OF SUN RA's ARKESTRA, RUFAS HARLEY and others. The band is now available for bookings. Call Marvin X @ 510-798-9155, or email him @ xblackxmanx@aol.com.

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MARVIN X CALLS FOR A GENERAL STRIKE


On Saturday at Houston's Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, the National Black United Front hosted a forum on reparations. Keynote speaker was Att. Deadra Pellman who filed a lawsuit against corporations who benefited from slavery, including insurance companies. Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee presented a paper entitled "Making the Case for Slavery Reparations." Also on the panel was a sister who is a direct descendent of slaves and she told an eloquent story of her genealogy. In attendance were Mrs. and Mr. Omari Obadele, legends of the reparations movement and founders of N'Cobra, the organization that has spearheaded the call for reparations. The Nation of Islam was present, along with the New Black Panther Party of Houston.

Marvin X called for a general strike to go along with litigation and legislation--mass action to keep the pressure on the American people until we achieve self-determination and sovereignty. He said we should demand reparations for our ancestors if no one else. The poet described his train ride from South Carolina to Houston: as he looked out at the trees, the woods, the swamps, the marsh, the rivers, he thought about the many thousands gone, bones buried deep in the clay, in the creeks. He thought about the slaves who tried to escape but failed and the ones who did make it to freedom. For all these people, we must fight for reparations, and as Brother Kofi of NBUF noted, we must fight for compensation for the vestiges of slavery: our deplorable mental and physical health, our poor housing and now gentrification, lack of economic parity and educational opportunities. On another level, Marvin X noted that we are the 16th richest nation in the world (GNP), so even without reparations we have enough money to come up, if we use it wisely. We must take authority over our economic resources. The forum ended with Marvin X reading his poem "When I'll Wave The Flag."

Later that evening, the poet's daughter, Nefertiti, hosted a book party for her father, but because of the ENRON disaster many of the lawyers and MBAs present were unemployed and unable to purchase his book of essays, but they listened attentively as he read.

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Marvin X Speaks to the Gullah Nation

 

Last evening, poet Marvin X arrived late for Brother Jabari's radio show in Gullah country, Beaufort, South Carolina. When he finally arrived at the station, he told Gullahland listeners he was late as a result of being caught up in "negrocities," borrowing a term from Amiri Baraka who is writing a book about NEGROCITIES. During the course of the interview Marvin defined the term as an ailment caused by an inflamation of the Negroid gland at the base of the brain.

Brother Jabari, publisher of the Gullah Sentinel, questioned Marvin X page by page about his book IN THE CRAZY HOUSE CALLED AMERICA, starting with the suicide of his son on March 18 of this year. The poet said his pain was cushioned by the fact that so many of his friends have lost sons and daughters to homicide. Dr. Nathan Hare has written that homicide and suicide are two sides of the same coin. Marvin's son suffered mani-depression which the late revolutionary Dr. Franz Fanon called a "situational disorder" caused by oppression." Of course, Dr. Fanon, author of the classic WRETCHED OF THE EARTH, said finally that revolution was the solution to the mental health problems of the oppressed.

When Jabari turned to Marvin's essay THE INSANITY OF SEX, the poet read the first paragraph of the essay but refused to go further on the Christian owned radio station, although he noted that while sitting in the shade of a tree during the Gullah Nation's Heritage Festival on St. Helena island, he was soon joined by a group of church women who--after X showed them his book, immediately turned to THE INSANITY OF SEX and agreed with his opening paragraph one hundred per cent. Jabari, one of the sole lights in the Gullahland house of darkness, asked X about the culture of the crack house.

The poet said "The crack house is like a third world country: there is no electricity, no running water, no bathroom, no toilet paper, no food, no love. It is the worse thing since slavery." He then had the engineer play track ten of his CD version of ONE DAY IN THE LIFE, the drama of his addiction and recovery. In this "Preacher Scene" the minister describes the horrors of crack culture, ending with the lines, "Crack is worse than slavery. Didn't the slave love his Moma? His God? His Woman? His Children? Not the crack slave, the crack slave is a dirty, nasty, funky slave...."

X then said, "I want to say this to the Christian community: see, I lived in Reno, Nevada while teaching at the University of Nevada and the preacher in Reno never said anything against gambling and prostitution--which are legal. Now, members of the audience who have watched my play wanted to know why the pastors in the community never preach a sermon like the preacher in my play. On more than one occasion, a member of the audience stood to testify that many preachers cannot give a similar sermon because the church is compromised due to the fact that mothers in the church have sons and daughters who are contributing money from the drug trade to the church and if the preacher said anything he wouldn't have a congregation in many urban centers. And maybe in rural centers as well."

Marvin X was asked about education. He said Johnny and Johnnymae can sell dope, weigh dope, package dope, count dope money, but the teachers tell us Johnny and Johnnymae can't do math, can't read, can't do chemistry. This is a lie and the fact that youth remember hours of rap songs word for word is a testament to their intelligence. Marvin X spent his final day in Gullah land swimming in the Atlantic ocean off the coast of St. Helena Island. He listened to the pain of a mentally disabled Gullah woman who was camping near the ocean and was a friend of his host, Sister Hurriyah Amanuel, a landowner in Gullah country who is one of the Queens of the Black Arts Movement, having been a key player at Black Arts West Theatre in San Francisco and at the Black House/Political/Cultural Center, visited by the likes of Amiri and Amina Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Bunchy Carter, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Lil Bobby Hutton, Eldridge Cleaver, Askia Muhammad Toure, Sarah Webster Fabio, Chicago Art Ensemble, and others.

When black clouds appeared, Marvin X knew the hour had arrived for him to depart Gullah country. After all, he had enjoyed the people, the land, the sea, the creeks, the chickens, geese, goats, calves, and dogs. Being a country boy from central calif, he talked to the animals and they to him. But he leaves Gullahland with a heavy heart, for if the ancestors have given the descendents of slavery any part of America, it is this beautiful land, these islands in the sun.

And he has vowed to return to this heaven on earth. Sister Hurriyah was the glue of the West coast black arts movement. And in the new epoch, she is showing the way to heaven on earth. If ever a man shall follow a woman, it is now, for she has created heaven on earth. --Marvin X, November 12, 2002, Beaufort, South Carolina.

 Monday night. The event was a recording session for a CD and DVD to go along with X's book IN THE CRAZY HOUSE CALLED AMERICA.

The poet pulled together members of Sun Ra's band, Marshall Allen--the world's greatest alto sax, Danny Thompson and Noel, also bagpipe master Rufas Harley, drummer Alexander El, jembe master Ancestor Goldsky (former drummer with Patti Labell) and keyboard master Elliott Bey, music director and cofounder of Recovery Theatre East. The poet opened with a monologue to Philadelphia Negroes, accompanied by the healing sounds of Elliott Bey on synthesizer. With the full band, the poet read FOR THE WOMEN; the band went crazy on NIGGUHS ARE CRAZY. In the best tradition of Sun Ra, his men went throughout the house, wailing and screaming--the audience appeared to have lockjaw. Rufas Harley introduced PALESTINE with bagpipes. Marshall Allen gave a screaming intro to BLACK HISTORY IS WORLD HISTORY, then the band joined for a musical tour of the world as the poet read his classic.

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Marvin X Book and Screening Tour 2002


August 25, Richmond, CA, 57 Bissel Street
August 31, Marcus Garvey's Liberty Hall, 1485 8th St., West Oakland
September, Jahva House, Oakland
October 12, Rochester, NY
October 15, Screening of video drama of addiction and recovery One Day In The Life by Marvin X, Women's Y, Philly, 7 p.m.
October 19, Rochester, New York

October 24, Afrikan Poetry Theatre, Queens, NY, 7pm,
October 26, Kimako's Blues, Newark, New Jersey

October 27, Sista's Place, Brooklyn, New York,
October 28, St. Peter's Church, New York (signing will follow dialogue with Dr. Cornel West and National Writers Union panelists, moderated by Marvin X)
October 29, Brecht Forum, 27th St., NY
October 30, Amiri Baraka's house, 808 S.10st., Newark, NJ
November 1, Reading/book signing with Sonia Sanchez and the Recovery Band under the direction of Elliot Bey,Women's Y, Chelton St., Philly, 7pm
November, No Pork Cafe, Beaufort, South Carolina
November, National Black United Front, Houston, TX
November, New Orleans, LA
November 15, National Black United Front, Houston, TX December 15, Detroit, MI

December 8-15, Detroit, MI

November, No Pork Cafe, Beaufort, South Carolina

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Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America

 Woman: Man's Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

Marvin X on YouTube   Marvin X Table

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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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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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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

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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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ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

 

 

 

 

 

update  18 January 2012

 

 

 

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