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there were only three or four cows but as I began to talk with them, suddenly

the entire herd began to gather for my lecture, and as I said, they all

stood at attention as I told them they should go eat their master before he eats them



Why I Talk with Cows

By Marvin X


I talk with the cows because they listen, in fact, they stand at attention. Across the road from my writing retreat in the rolling hills of Cherokee, CA, about twenty miles from Chico, a few cows were standing around grazing on the grass as I returned from a short visit to the Feather River, down the road from where I live. 

I had taken a break from interviewing Sister Nisa Islam for her forthcoming book Seven Years in the House of Elijah, A Woman's Search for Love and Spirituality as told to Marvin X. 

The interview session was very intense, as if the ghost of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad had entered the room, so we agreed to take a break, get some air. As we returned from Feather River, I stopped my car for a chat with the cows. 

Nisa will bear witness that at first there were only three or four cows but as I began to talk with them, suddenly the entire herd began to gather for my lecture, and as I said, they all stood at attention as I told them they should go eat their master before he eats them. They seemed to nod in agreement. 

Nisa was astonished at my conversation and the rapt attention of the entire herd as they listened to my every word. I said goodbye to the cows and entered the gate of my retreat.

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After Chuck D's lecture at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club today, journalist Lee Hubbard asked me why I moved out of town. He seemed shocked and hurt when I replied, "To get away from you." After Chuck D's insightful lecture, I walked across Market Street to the Montgomery BART Station (Subway) to sell my latest books, Land of My Daughters  and  Wish I Could Tell You the Truth   

One of my brothers-in-recovery came by and since we hadn't seen each other in awhile, he asked where I lived. When I told him, he said, "Ain't that Redneck country?" I said yes, but I ain't worried bout Rednecks, I'm worried bout Blacknecks.

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From It Don't Matter, essays, 2006, by Marvin X, Black Bird Press. Pre-publication price, $9.95. Black Bird Press, 11132 Nelson Bar Road, Cherokee CA 95965.

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For those who missed Marvin X last weekend at Oakland's Laney College, along with Fred Hampton, Jr., Pam and Ramona Africa, Chuck D, Boots of the Coup and others, you will be able to catch Marvin X on Friday at the College of Alameda's Expressions Concert, beginning at 7PM. 

Why don't you invite him to your area? 510-472-9589. Marvin X has been described variously:

The SledgehammerKalamu ya Salaam

The Human EarthquakeMC Melody

A TsunamiSuzzette Celeste

Undisputed king of black consciousnessDr. Nathan Hare

A killer-dillerNisa Islam

He walked through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal.James W. Sweeney


Marvin X has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the founders and innovators of the revolutionary school of African writing.Amiri Baraka


When you listen to Tupac Shakur, E-40, Too Short, Master P or any other rappers out of the Bay Area of Cali, think of Marvin X. He laid the foundation and gave us the language to express black. male urban experiences in a lyrical way.James G. Spady


Marvin's refreshing. He's a liberator. He has freed up contemporary black public speechRudy Lewis


posted 6 May 2005

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#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 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


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
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#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
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#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what's in your heart than what's in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America's shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy can make you money, but money can't make you happy."

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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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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

Browse all issues

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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 5 February 2012




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