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What a picture! You and Imamu Baraka, at the corner of 14th and Broadway,

boldly and coldly pushing Barackphernalia and your books, banners and buttons on brothers

 who hadn't read since high school as well as to curious whites



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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On Driving While Black in Post Racial Texas

By Marvin X

19 March 2009


I wouldn't think of driving in Texas, just as I wouldn't think of driving down Oakland's International Blvd. late nights because of the checkpoint Charlie's at every turn. No matter California or Texas, you can and will, more often than not, be stopped for driving while black. This is the reality of post-Black America even with a Black president, or perhaps because of a Black president. Even the right wing in the Democratic party is surging to oppose Obama at every turn, not to mention the die-hard Republicans and right-wing talk show hosts who've vowed to destroy our first black prez.

I imagine only a second civil war will destroy the vestiges of white supremacy in this land, and at the conclusion of which blacks will need to remain armed for the foreseeable future, just as Hezbollah and Hamas know better than to disarm in light of the permanent Zionist threat.

In America white supremacy may have eased on the surface but remains rock hard in the deep structure of American culture. No white person desires to willingly give up white privilege. As my white literary agent told me, "I am not, nor are my friends, trying to recover from white supremacy. We love white privilege and we will bomb the world to keep it."

In the great liberal city of Berkeley, CA, an English instructor at Berkeley City College informed me she was denied tenure for using my book How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy in her classroom. This book is not advocating hatred but it is a manual to recover from American's number one addiction, prescribing a 13 step approach based on the 12-step model of Alcoholic Anonymous, but whites are terrified of this book and blacks are fearful to be caught with it, especially on the job.

A black woman in San Francisco's financial district said she wanted the book but was mortally afraid to take it back to work on her lunch break. Another brother told me he would not buy the book from me on his lunch break but would get it on his way home. In Oakland a brother bought the book but made me assure him he wouldn't be fired if he returned from lunch with it.

The irony is that the book's first step is overcoming fear to recover from the addiction to white supremacy. When I completed the manuscript in South Carolina and went to make a copy, the sister at Staples saw the title and said, "You ain't from here!" I asked why she said that. She said because we don't use that word "white supremacy" down here, that's you California nigguhs coming down here talking that shit, upsetting these white folks, then you leave but we got to stay here to deal with them.

The new Attorney General, Mr. Holder, was on the money when he described Americans as racist cowards.

Houston, Texas

Order How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, A Pan African/12 Step Model, by Dr. M/Marvin X, foreword by Dr. Nathan Hare, afterword by Ptah Allah-El, Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702, $19.95. Not available in bookstores.

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Driving through Tenaha, Texas, doesn't pay for some—A lawsuit alleges that the town's police pull over motorists—especially African Americans—and extort money and valuables by threatening criminal charges or worse. . . . Reporting from Tenaha, Texas — You can drive into this dusty fleck of a town near the Texas-Louisiana state line if you're African American, but you might not be able to drive out of it -- at least not with your car, your cash, your jewelry or other valuables.

That's because the police here allegedly have found a way to strip motorists, many of them black, of their property without ever charging them with a crime. Instead they offer out-of-towners a grim choice: Sign over your belongings to the town, or face felony charges of money laundering or other serious crimes.

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thanx for keeping me on your mailing list ... i'm looking forward to reading your book . . . like your agent, white privilege has always worked for me . . . nevertheless [following my death of course] i'd like to see whiteprivilege abolished since all my children and grandchildren are of the black persuasion . . . thanx much for reconnecting me with jimmy garrett! . . . looking forward to eventually contacting isaac moore as well peace and power—g

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Mr. George Killingsworth's comments are quite revealing, if you read the deep structure. He is willing to give up white privilege after his death--of course he has no choice then. Does he also speak for whites in general with his "die hard" position? What did Mao used to say about imperialists, "They will never put down their butcher knives, they will never turn into Buddha heads." And of course even his deep racist mentality did not prevent him from having interracial children so, in the words of Elijah, he can be grafted back into the black nation, thereby extending his life. But then his children will extend white supremacy because of their divided loyalties (tragic mulatto syndrome) or as Chancellor Williams taught us, they will identify with their white father against their black mother, the reason for the Destruction of African Civilization 6,000 years ago in Kemet.—Marvin X

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Baraka and Marvin X Converse at 7000 Feet

Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 11, 2009, Amiri Baraka  and Marvin X, both poet/playwrights and co-founders of the Black Arts Movement, conversed before an audience of seven hundred, sponsored by the Lannan Foundation. Marvin X opened the program with a poetic introduction of Baraka. The audience of mostly whites was delighted at his poetic intro, something they never seen or heard before. His intro included the poems "When Parents Bury Children," "Poetics 2000" and "What If." "When Parents Bury Children" is about the murder of Shani Baraka, but it is a poem for all grieving parents who've lost children.

When Parents Bury Children

                 By Marvin X

a pain nothing can kill
no words suffice
no tears complete
we are numb
but dead inside
walk with pride that hides
open wounds
only you can see
others try
some are true
but do they really know
the pain
of loss
a child
so young
so bright
now the emptiness forever
except the memory
of all the yesterdays
from birth to now
thoughts of joy confound
yet make us smile
if only for a moment
like eternity
and is gone
into the night of foreverness
and so we walk crippled yet brave
each day
the price of life and love
the cost of moments lost yet found again
as we walk
and talk to the spirit world
where death does not enter
only living water flows as we flow
between life and spirit
which are one.

"Poetics 2000" is a lesson on creative writing, including a mention of how Baraka's mother named him LeRoi (the King) but he wanted to be Amiri (the prince). The question is why a so-called Negro would want to be a prince rather than a king, as if his mother didn't know what she was doing. Marvin X concluded his intro with What If, telling the audience this poem reveals the contrast between the two poets. Baraka sees God in nothing, Marvin X sees God in everything.
Baraka came on to read for forty-five minutes, then their conversation for twenty-five minutes, which included discussion of the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat and Black Art Movements, Obama, and the global economic meltdown. The audience was ecstatic. Foundation president, Pat Lannon, asked Amiri and Marvin to do something that had never been done in the history of the Lannon Foundation. He asked the two poets if they would continue their conversation after dinner, which they did, discussing events in Cuba and Latin America. Santa Fe will never be the same.

The next day Marvin X addressed students at a local high school, urging them to get to know each other before becoming intimate and avoid partner violence at all costs. Also, be aware of the tone test when stopped by the police: the cops can do one of three things when they stop you: kill you, arrest or release you, depending on the tone of your voice. Most of the students had been at the previous night’s event, but they asked Marvin to again read his poem "What If."  The poet gave free copies of his books to the students and signed autographs, most of whom were Native American and Latin American. The Lannon Foundation promised Marvin X that Santa Fe has not heard the last of him.
Marvin X's book tour continues to Houston, South Carolina, Washington, DC, Philly and New York. In Philly he will participate in the conference Black Studies Forty Years Later at Temple University, May 1-3, along with Muhammad Ahmed (Max Stanford, chair), Amiri Baraka, John Bracey, Jr., Sonia Sanchez, Dr. Ron Walters, Dr. Nathan Hare, Dr. Jimmy Garrett, et al.
He may not return to the West Coast until his birthday celebration at the Black Repertory Group Theatre, May 29. In South Carolina's Gullahland, he will finish work on his next book: "Up From Ignut or Pull Yo Pants Up fa da Black President," Black Bird Press, Berkeley, May, 2009. To book him for Dirty South and East coast engagements, call 510-355-6339, email: , .

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Marvin X  Celebrates His 65th Birthday

On May 29, 2009

Marvin X is founder of San Francisco’s Recovery Theatre in the Tenderloin, located at Theatre St. Boniface, 133 Golden Gate Avenue. Thousands of Bay Area addicts and alcoholics saw his docudrama of addiction and recovery One Day In The Life. In the ten years since he began his recovery, Marvin X has written five books, including Love and War, poems, 1995, Somethin Proper, autobiography, 1998, In the Crazy House Called America, essays, 2002, Wish I Could Tell You The Truth, essays, 2005 and Land of  My Daughters, poems, 2005. On June 10, 2005, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles Black Books Exposition. For talks/readings, call 510-472-9589.

On May 29, Marvin X, one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement and the father of Muslim American literature, will celebrate his 65th birthday. His students, comrades and friends are organizing a celebration in Oakland. The following are hereby drafted to the committee.


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 Marvin X Birthday Committee

Please contact: Dr. J. Vern Cromartie ASAP:

Abdul Sabri

Alona Clifton

Amina Grant

Amira Jackmon

Aubrey Labrie

Ayodele Nzinga


Benny Stewart

Bernard Stringer

Carolyn Mixon

Cecil Brown

Danny Glover

Destiny and Chris Muhammad

Earl Davis

Elliot Bey

Fahizah Alim

Jerri Lange

Jerry Vernado

Dr. Julia Hare

Geoffrey Grier

Ishmael Reed

Lil Joe

Margot Dashiel

Michael Lange

Nathan and Julia Hare

Paul Cobb

Peter Labrie

Ptah Allah El

Ramal Lamar and Hajr

Rashid Easley

Ron Bentley

Ron Dellums

Sister Sukura

Tarika Lewis

Terry Collins

Veda Silva

Wanda Sabir

Walter Riley

Wilson Riles

Zahieb Wongoz

If you would like to help organize this event, contact Dr. Cromartie:

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Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing

Edited by Amiri Baraka and Larry Neal

Black Classic Press (February 28, 2007). 680 pages

Paul Cobb's reply regarding Marvin X

Marvin Jackmon:

Since we started in kindergarten together, I will be happy to serve on your surprise birthday committee and will donate some space, time and money--at least $65.00, that is. I will also find a way to present you and your accomplishments on at least one whole page in all 7 editions of the Post and maybe a brief mention in El Mundo.

We do not, nor never will, have sufficient space to acknowledge all of your prolific flourishes and prodigious writings.

We marvel at you Marvin for your marvelous ability to focus your energies on your masterful musings.

You have fought the good fight.

You have kept the faith.

And, in the face of blistering pessimism, you kept us all focused on getting Barack Hussein Obama in the White House. I must say that when most of us doubted that event would occur in our lifetime, you never did. Most of all you seemed to will us all into its acceptance. You saw and felt it coming.

What a picture! You and Imamu Baraka, at the corner of 14th and Broadway, boldly and coldly pushing Barackphernalia and your books, banners and buttons on brothers who hadn't read since high school as well as to curious whites who dared not pass you by without purchasing your FANONical Black&White skins and masks covered booksthe "Black Man's Ice was finally colder."What a coup!

Both of you, progenitors of the Black Arts Movement, artfully dealing still!

Since we are all at least 65 and alive, now maybe we can create a social security blanket of mutual support. I hope everyone on the committee will pop for $65 each to buy your books to be sent to juvenile hall and/or the "correctional?" institutions—now that's a stimulus package to stimulate us. And, since I shined shoes and sold watermelons with my cousin Roy Overall, in front of your family's floral shop on seventh street, 55 years ago, just as boldly as you still do too, I will present  you your flowers and a" letter from home" on May 29.

Happy Birthday to ya!

Paul Cobb

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Marvin X Replies to Paul Cobb, Oakland Post Editor

Paul, thank you for your kind letter of support. I've never had a birthday party that I recall, so I hope I will know how to act. I just want you to know this afternoon I had an earthshaking experience on our old turf, West Oakland. Ayodele Nzingha's Lower Bottom Players presented my first play Flowers for the Trashman at their theatre, 10th and Peralta, across the street from Prescott Elementary and the former St. Patrick's, both of which I attended. As I told the audience, I can still feel the pain of the Nuns beating me across the top of my hands because I wouldn't pay attention. But it was mind blowing to see the young men performing my play that was written about our old hood.

Of course I wanted to be a writer even then. I used to write in the Children's section of the Oakland Tribune. Did you think you would be publisher of the Oakland Post? I told the young actors how proud I was to see them on stage doing something positive. And a young man in the audience told how inspired he was at seeing the performance. Writer Wanda Sabir was there also. Someone said they could see the young brothers knew their lines. This play must be part of my birthday celebration, along with Ayodele's Death by Love and Geoffrey Grier's The Spot.

These writers came out of my Recovery Theatre and have gone on to establish their own. Geoffery is director of San Francisco Recovery Theatre. These plays are about healing and love, a much needed subject for discussion. As I told the audience, African drama and for that matter, World drama, began in Egypt with the Osirian drama of Resurrection, ten thousand years ago. And we are yet today continuing the myth-ritual drama of resurrection. As my student/colleague, Ptah Allah El says,"We have gone from Warrior to Trashman (Flowers for the Trashman).

We consider ourselves trash, we eat trash and think trashy thoughts. We live in a trashy society. Yet we must arise from Trashman to Warrior man and woman." Thank you again for your support and lifelong friendship.

Any donations should be sent to

Amira Jackmon, Esq., 1220 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702

Marvin X Jackmon (El Muhajir)

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 Ayodele Nzinga's reply regarding Marvin X


Yo X,

Praises to you Baba, and to  Paul Cobb and all the brothers who have reached the grand young age of maturity; a cool six five. I love seasoned warriors. I hearby acknowledge my adopted Baba as a living legend and the source of my overstanding. Baba you are living history. You are the shoulders on which many of us stand. I recognize the honor it is to pay homage to the air I breathe.

I am because we are.


I pledge the requisite $65.00 plus the rounding of the sum to a Big Face (100) in recognition of the space you have helped to create for me to struggle on to embody the legacy you have painstaking maintained and propagated. Flowers for you while you can smell the scent of your legacy living; are you due.

Now Baba, let the folk honor you. Don't talk too much trash. Be patient with those slow to re-member they are the breath of creation and the only hope for salvation as they pause to thank you for the flowers you have given us all for over half a century.

I see you shining. Thank you for hearing but not listening to your Mama who told you to leave us sorry niggers alone. We see you Baba. And for some of us your shine has been among the few sources of light on a dark planet. We all we got; blessing to you and those who see the unquiet desperation, the eternal optimism and the relentless determination in us.

Happy early solar return Baba. Shine on.

Your humble student,

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Marvin X Birthday Celebration

“Maybe we can create a social security blanket of mutual support.”—Paul Cobb, Publisher, Oakland Post

Tentative Schedule

Day 1

Proclamation from City of Oakland, Mayor Ron Dellums
Appointment of  Distinguished Lecturer, Elihu Harris
Message from the People, youth and adults
Marvin X the Poet with Tarika Lewis on vioilin, Destiny on  harp and Tacuma King on percussion  joined by an open mike reading from the poetry of Marvin X
Healing Session on How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy
Day 2
The Black Arts Movement in the Bay Area
Panel on the Politics of the Bay
Intergenerational discussion
Marvin X Video Productions 
In the Name of Love
One Day in the Life
The Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness
The Barber Shop or Get Yo Mind Right
Live in Philly
New York Tour
Interview with Bobby Seale
Discussion after each video
 Day 3
Huey Newton Scene from One Day in the Life
Gano Grill from New  York production of Salaam
Flowers for the Trashman
Student Productions

The Spot, Geoffrey Grier
Death by Love, Ayodele Nzinga
 Donations should be sent to

Amira Jackmon, Esq., 1220 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702

African American Library/Museum and Black Repertory
Group Theatre, Berkeley
Laney College, Berkeley City College, San Francisco State Univ.

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Call for papers

Critical Papers (five page max) on the writings of Marvin X are requested. Please submit a one-page abstract of your paper by April 1, 2009. If accepted, you will present your paper at the morning session. Suggested topics: the poet, the dramatist, the essayist,

the performer, the mental health worker, the activist, the philosopher, the self-publisher, the motivator, the street teacher. Papers should be sent to Marvin X Committee, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702.

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Up from Ignut Or Pull Yo Pants Up Fa da Black President:  The Soulful Musings of a North American African. By Marvin X. Black Bird Press / 1222 Dwight Way / Berkeley CA 94702 / Pre-publication price: $10.00

posted 24 February 2009

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#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 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


#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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Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

By Derrick Bell

In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination. Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. —Publishers Weekly /  Derrick Bell   Dies at 80

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What Orwell Didn't Know

Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics

By Andras Szanto

Propaganda. Manipulation. Spin. Control. It has ever been thus—or has it? On the eve of the 60th anniversary of George Orwell's classic essay on propaganda (Politics and the English Language), writers have been invited to explore what Orwell didn't—or couldn't—know. Their responses, framed in pithy, focused essays, range far and wide: from the effect of television and computing, to the vast expansion of knowledge about how our brains respond to symbolic messages, to the merger of journalism and entertainment, to lessons learned during and after a half-century of totalitarianism. Together, they paint a portrait of a political culture in which propaganda and mind control are alive and well (albeit in forms and places that would have surprised Orwell). The pieces in this anthology sound alarm bells about the manipulation and misinformation in today's politics, and offer guideposts for a journalism attuned to Orwellian tendencies in the 21st century.

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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 Hanauer

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.

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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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