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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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You know the ritual: even before the first drink someone is angry, then the drink, then another

and another until the wrong word is said and its on. But the alcohol was the devil who forced up old issues



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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Partner Violence and Spirituality

By Marvin X

I beat her because she loved


Any semblance of partner or domestic violence is antithetical to spirituality. No person who beats another can claim spiritual consciousness, rather they should claim animal consciousness. And no matter what any scripture says, I say domestic violence or partner violence must be outlawed totally and absolutely, no matter where it exists anywhere on the planet earth, simply because it does no good whatsoever, and ultimately drains the sand out the hour glass of love and respect between human beings.

It has a traumatic effect on the mate and children, thus it must be avoided at all cost. To beat another human being is the height of savagery and men, in particular, must rise above savagery and step up to their divinity.

I speak as one who was such a savage and it was all to no avail. In the end, the sand was indeed drained out of the hour glass of love and respect. I subjected my family to great pain, literally, and suffering, and many times it was due to my altered state of mind, i.e., drugs and alcohol. Too much domestic and partner violence is initiated when one or both partners are in an altered state of mind, so we must be advised to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

You know the ritual: even before the first drink someone is angry, then the drink, then another and another until the wrong word is said and its on. But the alcohol was the devil who forced up old issues that were supposedly resolved, old pain, wounds, treachery, sexual improprieties, money, anything, even jealousy between mates, or some other evil thought or suggestion due to the altered state of mind. Yes, loose lip sink ships, and we can be very loose with the devil juice or some other drug that diminishes any possibility of anger management.

Before we know, what started out as a beautiful evening turns into a nightmare: blood is flowing, bones broken, police in the house, somebody goes to jail, another goes to the hospital or morgue, children are taken to child protective services. The mental damage is irreparable.

I wrote a play (In the Name of Love) about my madness which my ex-wife and daughter came to see. After the play my daughter asked me why did I need to tell all that stuff about how I beat her mother. I told her it was for the healing of myself and the community.

Years later I gave a reading and my ex-wife was there. A poet requested I read the poem about domestic violence (Confession of An Ex-wife Beater, see Dr. Julia Hare's How to Find A BWM, chapter, The Violent Male) that was in the play. At first I resisted because the poem had been in the play that my wife and daughter had seen, and since my ex had come to the reading to support me, I certainly didn't want to upset her. But the poet insisted I read the poem, so I did. And it did indeed upset my ex--when we got to her house, she claimed she'd never heard the poem before. I couldn't convince her that she had, and furthermore, she said I had never apologized for beating her, so I apologized, and of course it ruined our evening since her suppressed memory was jolted. But some healing occurred so I thank the poet for forcing me to read the poem, Lamont Steptoe.

We can't imagine what we do to each others psyche with partner violence, let alone what it does to us physically. And things go from bad to worse, so if we don't' get started we won't need to stop.

I suggest therapy at the first sign of physical violence because it is possible to save relationships with therapy before police or relatives intervene.

Dr. Nathan Hare suggests couples need not break up due to violence, but I say it is unacceptable and must not occur for one moment because things go from bad to worse, and certainly, people professing spiritual consciousness must be above physical abuse, although emotional and verbal abuse is just as bad.

We are a people in need of much healing before we can come together, far too many times we come together and don't know a damn thing about each other, then all hell breaks loose, we discover we're in the house with a monster, a devil, a beast. Then we have babies by the monster, the beast. And it's possible we're both monsters, neither one can claim a clean bill of health.

But let us renounce violence at the outset, then proceed to process the emotional issues, since we know we come together far from a state of divinity and have much healing work to do before we can claim spirituality.

posted 29 June 2006

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Marvin X has given permission to Harvard University to publish his poem "For El Haji Rasul Taifa" from Love and War: Poems by Marvin X (1995). The poem will appear in The Encyclopedia of Islam in America Volume II, Greenwood Press, edited by Dr. Jocelyne Cesari of Harvard's Islam in the West Program. Mr. X is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Muslim American Literature, University of Arkansas Press, edited by Dr. Mojah Khaf. He is also in the forthcoming Muslim American Drama, Temple University.

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign.  The Economy

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Sex at the Margins

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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 29 March 2012




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