ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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"We must jump out of the box like Jack, " he said, "Jump out of religious boxes, strive toward

spirituality. Religiosity keeps us going up the mountain like Sisyphus, only to fall

 down to begin again, never reaching the top where God awaits.

 

 

Marvin X Gives Barefoot Lecture on Radical Spirituality

By Marvin X

 

Poet Marvin X opened his reading on Radical Spirituality by revealing to the audience he had left home without shoes. He had on flip flops but by the end of his performance, his shoes arrived via his daughter Nefertiti. Also in the audience was his daughter Amira, grandson James and niece Ariana. Also present were his friend/companion Suzzette Celeste, her mother and brother. His performance opened with the essay “Love and Spirituality,” accompanied by the music of Elliott Bey who provided the healing sounds for the poetic essays, including “Ancestors” and “Prison.” 

He also talked about sectarianism and transcending religiosity to embrace radical spirituality. "We must jump out of the box like Jack, " he said, "Jump out of religious boxes, strive toward spirituality. Religiosity keeps us going up the mountain like Sisyphus, only to fall down to begin again, never reaching the top where God awaits." Later he was corrected by Suzzette Celeste, who informed him even the process up the mountain is a divine effort.

The voice of X and the sounds of Bey could be heard throughout the African American Museum/Library, bouncing off the walls of the Paul Robeson exhibit, the artistic freedom fighter with whom Marvin X identifies one hundred percent.

This was the first reading of Toward Radical Spirituality, the latest manuscript by the poet. Later Saturday evening, Marvin X and Elliott Bey exploded again at the Berkeley Art Center. According to venue operators, the energy had never been so high.

The following is an email Marvin X received from a person who attending the Berkeley performance:

Hello Dear Brother:

I have had a chance to read the first few chapters of your book, "Wish I Could Tell You The Truth," after seeing you perform at the Berkeley Art Center last night. You are truly a prophet and a treasure! Your honesty is exhilarating and scary. I am thankful that you survived hell to return to talk about it. 

However, I sense that you need a community of people holding you up in prayer every minute of every day. Consider me one of them. Thank you for generously giving me copies of your poems that you read from. I re-read the poems, and pulled out "For the Women," but was unable to find much elaboration on the title, although "In Search of My Soul Sister" did continue that theme. Your commentary on "Nigguh" was right on! I am looking forward to reading your next book. It was a pleasure to have met you in person!

Blessings, Delores

posted 29 June 2006

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Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

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

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#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

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#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

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#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 Great Divergence

America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It

By Timothy Noah

For the past three decades, America has steadily become a nation of haves and have-nots. Our incomes are increasingly drastically unequal: the top 1% of Americans collect almost 20% of the nation’s income—more than double their share in 1973. We have less equality of income than Venezuela, Kenya, or Yemen. What economics Nobelist Paul Krugman terms "the Great Divergence" has until now been treated as little more than a talking point, a club to be wielded in ideological battles. But it may be the most important change in this country during our lifetimes—a sharp, fundamental shift in the character of American society, and not at all for the better. The income gap has been blamed on everything from computers to immigration, but its causes and consequences call for a patient, non-partisan exploration.

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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 New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

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

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

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

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Ancient African Nations

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

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

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

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

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update 23 May 2012

 

 

 

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