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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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So even though the American people had clear evidence George Bush was a liar and murderer, the more

he lied and murdered, the better his ratings in the polls. His actions got good to the deaf, dumb and blind Americans,

who defied the peoples of the world that were clearly against the preemptive war in Iraq   


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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Toward A Radical Spirituality
By Marvin X, project director
 The University of Poetry


A Project of the Black Arts Movement


Radical spirituality transcends traditional orthodox religiosity, with its byproducts of dogmatism, sectarianism, racism, gender discrimination, and general narrow mindedness, including archaic and juvenile mythological notions. Radical spirituality embraces the concept of God/man/man/God, also the idea of consciously being in harmony with the universe or flowing with the flow. A radically spiritual person is progressive, socially conscious and active, thus someone who is committed to eradicating poverty, ignorance and disease from the planet, committed to world peace, love and understanding.

A radically spiritual person is not caught in a religious box, but is able to connect with all the peoples of the world striving for righteousness and human dignity, no matter what faith, whether Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu or Communist.

Most importantly, a person subscribing to radical spirituality seeks knowledge of the Divine in himself and without, not limiting himself to said holy books, but sees holiness in all things, for all things embrace God and reflect God. The negative is but a reflection of the positive as darkness reflects the absence of light.

The recent election reflects a need for spirituality in the radical community, not religiosity, but spirituality, and the community must let its light shine as a bright sun for all mankind, not as a private matter. Clearly, no matter how hypocritical the opposition, they had no fear in letting their light shine, even if their light was in truth darkness of the most hypocritical kind. We see, in their ignorance, the people will go for anything, like a man who quite mistakenly finds himself with a transvestite, he continues the act because it appears to be the real thing, and even when he discovers it is not what he assumed, he continues because it feels as good as the real deal. 

So even though the American people had clear evidence George Bush was a liar and murderer, the more he lied and murdered, the better his ratings in the polls. His actions got good to the deaf, dumb and blind Americans, who defied the peoples of the world that were clearly against the preemptive war in Iraq that with each passing moment smells of Vietnam, looks like Vietnam, tastes like Vietnam, therefore.... 

But we know the people have been hoodwinked and bamboozled, therefore, it is the mission of the truly spiritually conscious to step to the front of the line and represent, not hide in the closet and let the masquerade continue. Stop crying crocodile tears and get busy projecting a new spiritual vision. We have been told to seek yea first the kingdom of God and all things, yea, even political and economic things will be added unto yea.

Rather than simply and solely condemn the Christians, Muslims, Hindus and other religious people for retrograde ideas, we must go to their houses of worship and embrace them in the spirit of the prophet who said, "Let us reason together." But do so also in the spirit of Mao who taught, "Cure the sickness to save the patient, don't doctor the patient to death." If we use the highest form of diplomacy, we may find friends and brothers rather than enemies. For as we discovered with the Vice President's gay daughter, there are gays and lesbians in all communities that are denied until it is revealed they are one of our own, then we are compelled to embrace them. 

We know with an absolute certainty the Church is full of gays from the pulpit to the choir to the deacon board to the usher board to the congregation, so one day the church will submit to gay marriage. And we know the Church and other religious communities are hypocritical about abortion because we are aware of girls eleven, twelve and thirteen who are pregnant yet in the church, many having abortions while in the church, so let us cast away illusions and denials; yea, let us face the truth so we can be healed of all demons in our midst, yea, within our souls. 

Even though we may be against abortion, including Muslims, for the prophet said "Do not kill your children for fear of poverty," but we know it may be necessary to give our children a chance to rise out of poverty. Children having children is not the road to progress, even if we agree with Mother Teresa who said, "Abortion is the first murder, after which all other murders are possible." We suggest the manhood training rite of the Gikuyu people of Kenya (See Jomo Kenyatta's ethnography Facing Mt. Kenya) wherein the young men are taught not to ejaculate in the young girls. 

We think men who are against abortion should not ejaculate in women they know might kill their seed, because after the seed is planted in the woman's womb, it is indeed her body and her right to do as she pleases. The man abrogated his right upon ejaculation. After that point the ball, rather the seed, is in the woman's court and we must respect her right to her body.


The above ideas are not dogma and are open to discussion. We know such issues are of the most serious nature, involving spiritual matters, as well as matters of the heart, body and soul. For this reason, we are planning a Radical Spirituality Conference. All persons of good will are invited. Again, let us reason together, for our future is at hand, the future of our children and our nation.

The Radical Spirituality Conference will be held at Recovery Theatre, 133 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA. 

 The following is a Tentative Program Outline.

Interested persons may contact me at: or call me at 510-472-9589.


A Celebration of Radical Spirituality
Honoring Howard Thurman

Dr. Julia Hare, the Most Dynamic Black Woman In America
Mistress of Ceremonies

Speakers and Topics

Overview by Marvin X, author Toward Radical Spirituality

Keynote Address by Ray Taliafero of KGO Radio
"Spirituality or Religiosity, Healing the Divide"

Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial Methodist Church
"Spirituality and Social Activism: The Glide Model"

Rev. Dorsey O. Blake of the Church for the Fellowship of All People
"The Spirit Man Howard Thurman"

Nisa Islam, former National Captain of NOI
"Living in the House of Elijah"

Rev. Elouise Oliver of the East Bay Church of Religious Science
"The Science of God/Man/Man/God"

Rev. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Allen Temple Baptist Church, “Jesus Was Against Religion”

Dr. Nathan Hare, "Spirituality and Mental Health"

Father Louie Vitale, St. Boniface Church
"Liberation Theology in the City"

Imam Shuaib, Oakland
"Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Three prophets, One Truth"

Luisa Teish, Yoruba Priestess "Why Traditional African Religion"

Sam Hamod, poet, professor, former director of the
Islamic Center, Washington, DC
"Spirituality, Terrorism and Imperialism"

Imam Al Amin of Masjid Warithdin,
"Spirituality And Violence In the Hood and in the Home"

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#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
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#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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#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

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#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
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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. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

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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—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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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 February 2012




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