ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Young actors, in order to really be successful and avoid some of the pitfalls of BAM

(the Black Arts Movement) must not only be skilled actors but must detoxify and decolonize their

minds of white supremacy notions, such as egotism which is the tragic flaw of artists everywhere



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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Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam

Marvin X Play in New York


Marvin X’s one-act play (with co-author Ed Bullins) Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam, has been running at Woody King’s New Federal Theatre since October 23. It ends Sunday, November 16. Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam is a scene from X’s full length docudrama of his Crack addiction One Day In The Life, performed coast to coast during the late 90s.Ishmael Reed says One Day In the Life is the most powerful drama he’s seen.

After viewing the current production of Salaam, Huey Newton, Marvin X says it is powerful beyond my expectations. The dramatic structure provided by Ed Bullins, the direction of Mansoor Najee-ullah, and most of all the acting of Harrison Lee as Huey P. Newton, Michael Alcide as Young Brother and Gano Grills as Marvin X was high quality which took my writing to another level. Even the mixed media prologue with a historical video and sound track was excellent. It was great to see Elijah Muhammad in proper perspective within the black liberation movement. We see clips of him speaking, pictured with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.. And there were clips of Kwame Toure, Angela Davis, Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver, Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton.

But have no doubt, this play says more about Marvin X than Huey Newton. Yes, we see Huey in his last days as a drug addict in conversation with Marvin X at a West Oakland Crack house, scene of their last meeting before Huey was murdered by a youth. It is indeed ironic that Young Brother repeatedly told Huey how much he respected him, yet it was a young brother who murdered Huey for allegedly taking his Crack. Huey was known to shake down Oakland Crack dealers. His last days were the tragic end of a revolutionary who nevertheless made a profound contribution to black liberation.

But the prophetic words of Marvin X dominate the play, challenging the audience to recover from our myriad addictions and afflictions as a result of white supremacy. Thank you, Woody King for making this production possible.

Two other one-acts fill the evening: Amarie by Hugh L. Fletcher, about adult sexual abuse and Amiri Baraka’s classic The Toilet, which deals with the theme of racial homophobia.

Both are excellent productions which add to an evening of black power theatre, letting us know the Black Arts Movement is still relevant. Wednesday night’s performance was attended by Mr. and Mrs. Baraka, along with actors Glenn Thurman and John Amos. These veterans of theatre applauded the cast and praised them as the next generation of theatre “magicians,” the term used by veteran director/actor Hampton V. Clanton who directed The Toilet.

Marvin X’s remarks ended the evening when he said,

“These young actors, in order to really be successful and avoid some of the pitfalls of BAM (the Black Arts Movement) must not only be skilled actors but must detoxify and decolonize their minds of white supremacy notions, such as egotism which is the tragic flaw of artists everywhere.”

Photos by Rechel S. Williams in order of appearance: Gano Grills (as Marvin X), Marvin X, and Amiri Baraka; Glen Thurman, Gano Grills (as Marvin X), and Amiri Baraka; Hampton V. Clanton, Sherise Pruitt (as Amarie), John Amos, and Carsey Walker, Jr (as Armand Rock); pictured with John Amos are Raushanah Bashir and Rechel Williams


posted 14 November 2008

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Hip Hop on Happy Birthday Huey Newton
By Devismama


Marvin X was my teacher. Many of our comrades came through his Black Theatre: Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas, Sam Napier.—Dr. Huey P. Newton

Happy Birthday Huey P. Newton! Co-founder of The Black Panther Party an African-American left-wing organization working for the right of self-defense for African-Americans in the United States. The Party achieved national and international impact and renown through their deep involvement in the Black Power movement and in politics of the 1960s and 1970s, as the intense anti-racism of the time is today considered one of the most significant social, political and cultural currents in United States history. The group’s “provocative rhetoric, militant posture, and cultural and political flourishes permanently altered the contours of American Identity.”

unfortunately, the young black people who have a media platform today are mainly rappers/artists. and as much as i love hip hop, although the majority of rap artists ‘portray’ the confidence, fearlessness, badass attitude of the panthers, the content, intellectualism, or politicism is non-existent. huey & the panther crew were college educated young men/women (aging in range from 16 - 25). they were well read. according to writer marvin x who studied with huey & co at merritt college in oakland, their independent reading list comprised of:

Black Bourgeoisie, E. Franklin Frazier
Facing Mount Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta
Wretched of the Earth, Franz Fanon
History Will Absolve Me, Fidel Castro
Neocolonialism, the last stage of Imperialism, Kwame Nkrumah
Negro Slave Revolts, Herbert Apteker
Myth of the Negro Past, Melville J. Herskivits

i contend that being a rapper/artist/in the public eye does not make one conscious politically or active socially but you’d hope that after gaining a certain level of celebrity, you’d take it upon yourself to read some books, do some learning at least if for nothing else you sound smart if you’re given a platform such as oprah/charlie rose/bill maher etc. perhaps if a certain artist had read a few of the books on the list, he might have been better able to articulate sentiments such as ‘george bush doesn’t like black people’! and even though wiz khalifa’s new song ‘huey newton’ has absolutely NOTHING to do with the newton’s life/legacy perhaps it will inspire a few kids to google him just to find out who the hell wiz is talking about.

Source: BlackBirdPressNews

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Huey Percy Newton (February 17, 1942 – August 22, 1989) was an American political and urban activist who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. . . .

There are many references to Huey Newton in popular music, including in the songs "Changes" by Tupac Shakur, "Welcome To The Terrordome" by Public Enemy, "Queens Get The Money" by Nas, "Sunny Kim" by Andre Nickatina, "Just A Celebrity" by The Jacka, "Same Thing" by Flobots, "Dreams" and "911 Is A Joke(Cop Killa)" by The Game, "You Can't Murder Me" by Papoose, "Police State" by Dead Prez, "Propaganda" by Dead Prez "We Want Freedom" by Dead Prez, "Malcolm, Garvey, Huey" by Dead Prez, "SLR" by Lupe Fiasco, "Bill Gates Freestyle" by Fabolous feat. Paul Cain, "Huey Newton" by Wiz Khalifa & Currensy,"Hiiipower" by Kendrick Lamar, "My Favorite Mutiny" by The Coup, and "Dream Team" by Spearhead. In the comic strip and cartoon show The Boondocks, the main character Huey Freeman, a ten year-old African-American revolutionary, is named after Newton; another reference comes when Freeman starts an independent newspaper, dubbing it the Free Huey World Report. In 1996, A Huey P. Newton Story was performed on stage by veteran actor Roger Guenveur Smith. The one-man play later was made into an award-winning 2001 film directed by Spike Lee.Wikipedia

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Revolutionary Suicide

By Huey P. Newton, Ho Che Anderson (Illustrator), Fredrika Newton (Introduction)

Eloquently tracing the birth of a revolutionary, Huey P. Newton's famous and oft-quoted autobiography is as much a manifesto as a portrait of the inner circle of America's Black Panther Party. From Newton's impoverished childhood on the streets of Oakland to his adolescence and struggles with the system, from his role in the Black Panthers to his solitary confinement in the Alameda County Jail, Revolutionary Suicide is smart, unrepentant, and thought-provoking in its portrayal of inspired radicalism.

Huey P. Newton (1942-1989) was an activist and inspirational leader of the Black Panther Party. Fredrika Newton joined the Black Panther Party as a youth member in 1969 and married Huey P. Newton in 1984. She established the Huey P. Newton Foundation, a non-profit educational organization, in 1993. Ho Che Anderson was born in London in 1969 and named after the Vietnamese and Cuban revolutionaries Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara. He is primarily known for his comic books King, I Want to Be Your Dog, Wise Son, and Scream Queen.

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Malcolm X

A Life of Reinvention

By Manning Marable

Years in the making-the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties.

Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

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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 2 March 2012




Home   Marvin X Table

Related files: Black Man as Victim  The Revolutionary Theatre   Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam   A Look inside Baraka's Toilet

Way Of Liberation Manifesto  The Defection of Eldridge Cleaver   Demythologizing Huey Newton   Revolutionary Suicide   Manning Marable's Malcolm X Book