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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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A friend whispered to me that African culture in the only culture in America. I remember

James Baldwin  telling me in a 1968 interview, "We're the only thing

that happened here, nothing else happened here except us!"

 

 

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 Rocks Crowd At Oakland's Malcolm X Jazz Festival

A Marvin X Report

 

Saturday was a hot day in the Bay, perfect for the annual Malcolm X Jazz Festival in the multicultural Fruitvale District, produced by the East Side Arts Alliance. When I arrived the Welfare Poets were on stage. They have developed and expanded over the years, adding vocals to their spoken word.

I wasn't officially on the program, so I had to Bogart my way to the mike with the Barakas. I told Amiri, "I'm gong on with you." He said, "Do I have a choice?" I said, "No." Amina read and then Baraka introduced me as his grandfather. I read What if There Is No God But God. There was a deathly silence in the crowd, except for the lady dancing on the grass in front of the stage.

I could see the holy ghost in her eyes and body movement. As I read and looked at her, I said to myself, "Oh, shit, I didn't plan for all this." Something told me what I was reading had nothing to do with me., the Higher Power was speaking, I was just a vehicle. When I came off stage, one of the organizers said, "You seemed a little angry." I said, why not be angry," but to myself, I knew it wasn't about my anger, it was all about the Ghost.

One white woman thanked me for saying the poem. When I asked her if she wanted me to send her a copy, she said, "No, I don't need a copy, the poem is in my heart."

The sun and the great jazz had the crowd in a mellow mood. The music seemed to have a very calming effect on the people. There were no incidents. It was a great day to be alive in the Bay. It was especially great to meet Mabel Williams, widow of my revolutionary hero, Robert F. Williams. Brother Robert had inspired the Black revolution with his little book Negroes With Guns and his propaganda track The Crusader.

On the hip hop stage, Marcel Diallo of Black Dot reminded the crowd about the bounty on Asata Shakur's head. We wonder if the Post-Fidel government of Cuba will give her up to gain concessions with the US gringos. It won't happen if a million Africans march in her defense.

Black Panther Minister of Culture, Emory Douglas informed me he had just come from a Black Panther reunion in Seattle, Bobby Seale was there also. He said Geronimo is between here and Africa where he lives and works with Panther Pete O'Neil and his wife who have been in exile since the 60s in Tanzania.

Some hip hop poets asked me to assist them in getting a group of Bay Area poets to New York. I told I them I would, although I don't see any need to impress New York. When the Panthers revolted here in Oakland, the East Coast heard about it soon enough and picked up the banner.

The festival ended about 6PM with a closing act by Tracie Bartlow and her African dancers.

Yes, we needed to be reminded we are Africans. A friend whispered to me that African culture in the only culture in America. I remember James Baldwin telling me in a 1968 interview, "We're the only thing that happened here, nothing else happened here except us!"

posted 23 may 2005

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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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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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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. 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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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 / 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 18 January 2012

 

 

 

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