Saturday, January 29, 2011

Marvin X Now Available for Booking Nationwide

Marvin X Now Available for Booking Nationwide

poet, playwright, lecturer, producer, organizer, essayist, editor, publisher One of the founders of the Black Arts Movement, considered the father of Muslim American literature, spiritual visionary, male/female relations counselor, radical social activist

He is a Master Teacher in many fields of thought—religion and psychology, sociology and anthropology, history and politics, literature and the humanities. He is a needed Counselor, for he knows himself, on the deepest of personal levels and he reveals that self to us, that we might be his beneficiaries…. --Rudolph Lewis, Editor, Recent engagements: California College of the Arts, San Francisco State University, Laney College, Oakland, Yoshi's, San Francisco, Howard University, Temple University, Medgar Evers College, Schomburg Library, Harlem, University of California, Berkeley, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, University of Virginia, Morehouse, Spelman, Berkeley City College, Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Tentative Schedule, 2011 January Yoshi's, San Francisco February FEB 19th, Joyce Gordon Gallery, producer of Journal of Pan African Studies Poetry Festival and Chauncey Bailey Book Fair Feb 23 San Francisco State University March Alameda County Juvenile Hall March 19, Producer of Women's Rite of Passage, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland CA

March 27, Speaks at Center of Hope Church, Oakland CA April African American Museum/library, Oakland Fresno State University Gullah Sentinel Book Signing, Beaufort, South Carolina May University of Houston Howard University, Washington DC Umoja House, Washington, DC Temple University, Philadelphia PA Schomburg Library, Harlem



Center of Hope Women's Conference Marvin X in St. Louis at Akhbar Muhammad Book Fair

Invite Marvin X for Black History Month

He's living Black History! He makes history 24/7 While you sleep, he's working! James Sweeney says, "He's the most free black man in non-free America!" Journalist Charlie Akins says, "He's the soundest thinker in America." Marvin X has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the innovators and founders of the revolutionary school of African writing. --Amiri Baraka Marvin X is the USA's Rumi!--Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club, New York City He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland. If you want to learn about inspiration and motivation, don't spend all that money going to workshops and seminars. Just go stand at 14th and Broadway and watch Marvin X at work.--Ishmael Reed He’s the new Malcolm X! Nobody’s going to talk about his book, HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE ADDICTION TO WHITE SUPREMACY, out loud, but they’ll hush hush about it. —Jerri Lange, author, Jerri, A Black Woman’s Life in the Media If you want to reshape (clean up, raise) your consciousness, this is a book to savor, to read again and again—to pass onto a friend or lover. ….Malcolm X ain’t got nothing on Marvin X. Still Marvin has been ignored and silenced like Malcolm would be ignored and silenced if he had lived on into the Now. Marvin’s one of the most extraordinary, exciting black intellectuals living today—writing, publishing, performing with Sun Ra’s Musicians (Live in Philly at Warm Daddies, available on DVD from BPP), reciting, filming, producing conferences (Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, 2001,San Francisco Black Radical Book Fair, 2004, Journal of Pan African Studies Poetry Festival and Chauncey Bailey Book Fair, 2011); he’s ever engaging, challenging the respectable and the comfortable. He, like Malcolm, dares to say things fearlessly, in the open (in earshot of the white man) that so many Negroes feel, think and speak on the corner, in the barbershops and urban streets of black America…. —Rudolph Lewis, Editor, ChickenBones: A Journa

…People who know Marvin X already know him as a peripatetic, outspoken, irreverent, poetic “crazy nigger,” whose pen is continually and forever out-of-control. As a professional psychologist, I hasten to invoke the disclaimer that that is in no way a diagnosis or clinical impression of mine. I have never actually subjected this brother to serious psychoanalytical scrutiny and have no wish to place him on the couch, if only because I know of no existing psycho-diagnostic instrumentality of pathology of normalcy that could properly evaluate Marvin completely. —Dr. Nathan Hare, Black Think Tank, San Francisco The Black Arts Movement at Yoshi's, San Francisco Last night at Yoshi's in the Fillmore, Amiri Baraka and Roscoe Mitchell performed a concert partially devoted to the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Baraka photo Kamau Amen Ra Baraka is godfather of the Black Arts Movement or BAM, and Roscoe Mitchell of the Chicago Arts Ensemble is a BAM Master as well. They were joined by poet Marvin X who opened both sets with a poem. Marvin X's Black Arts West Theatre, 1966, was a block or two down from Yoshi's at Turk and Fillmore. With playwright Ed Bullins, essayist Eldridge Cleaver (Soul on Ice) and Ethna X, companion of Marvin X, they established the political/cultural Center called Black House. The Black House on Broderick Street was the center for radical culture in the Bay Area, 1967. Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Toure, Emory Douglas, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Lil Bobby Hutton, Sarah Webster Fabio, Avotcja, Samuel Napier, Ellendar Barnes, Dezzie Woods Jones, Bennie Ivy, Norman Brown, Walter Riley, Rosco Proctor, and numerous arts and politicos congregated at Black House. The Chicago Arts Ensemble had performed. Roscoe remembers the Black House, especially the food. Ethna X (Hurriyah) and Amina Baraka created the food. Tonight was the rare coming together of BAM artists from three regions, although BAM was bi-coastal. Baraka from Newark, New Jersey, Roscoe from Chicago and Marvin X from the San Francisco Bay. Marvin X also worked at the New Lafayette Theatre in Harlem and with Sun Ra. Sun Ra created music for two musicals of Marvin's Take Care of Business (aka Flowers for the Trashman) and Resurrection of the Dead. After Marvin's opening poem, Roscoe began with percussion work. He tinkered with bells and other sounds, preparing the way for Baraka, but this opening was himself at his greatest. Calmly he went about his musical work. A musician who accompanies a poet must be humble to the word, he cannot become self-consumed so that we do not hear the word. Such a musician is thus highly conscious of the word as he is of himself. But the focus is on the word and he respects the word and wants to enhance the word, accent the word. Roscoe is the man for the job. The first set he was reserved, it was a kind of rehearsal, though there is a natural harmony between the poet and musician, most especially with Amiri Baraka, who highly appreciates music and musicians. This is the BAM tradition. At Black Arts West Theatre on Fillmore, we used to let the musicians be free. They asked to be free. During our productions they might roam the stage, the audience and go outside on the street to join the sounds of the street traffic and cars, often doing a call and response with car horns: Dewey Redman, Donald Rafael Garrett, Monte Waters, Earl Davis, BJ, Oliver Johnson, were some of the Black Arts West musicians. Baraka joined Mitchell with tales and poems of his childhood in Newark, what a weird child he was, reading Japanese poetry and coming up with Lowku, the Negro version of Haiku Ku because we don't have time to count syllables. Baraka is the court jester, the comedian, the joker who is more than serious, for he is too bright to be taken lightly, the opposite of the people in one of poems, white racists, who are too ignut to understand what's happening to them, too ignut to be white even. Baraka began his tribute to MLK with the wedding of MLK and Coretta Scott. He weaved his narrative by chronicling major events of MLK and the Civil Rights Movement. It was a history lesson every child should know, the dates, the events, the names of warriors, martyrs and devils Rosa Parks, Bull Conners, Black Power, Freedom Riders, Student Sit-ins, Black Power, Non-violence. Baraka, 77 this year, transformed from poet to actor, playwright, singer, doing all the parts of blacks and whites. He sang all the freedom songs throughout his narrative, revealing his knowledge of black Christian culture, for it was the foundation of the Civil Rights Movement, after all, non-violence is a Christian concept, born of Jesus Christ, although at one point Baraka mentioned that Christians need do a body count as a result of their religion. It was interesting to hear and see Baraka tell the story of MLK from his perspective, a participant/observer, analyst, organizer, living historian, walking history himself. He told the time MKL knocked on his door in Newark, during the Poor People's campaign, Martin had a stubble beard with no tie on. The King said to the king, Le Roi, you don't look like such a bad fellow! Baraka does not attempt revisionist history, but tells it like it was, even free of strident ideology, propaganda, just the story. All the time Roscoe is dancing from horn to horn, never upstaging but accenting always, a call and response in the African and BAM tradition, which are one. Only after Baraka ended the King narrative with his assassination did Roscoe take off on his horns, and this was especially during the second set. He took us to a lyrical land of sound and beauty, letting us know he is one of the true Masters of creative sound. The audience gave the brothers much applause and appreciation. Ninety per cent of those present were whites. A brother whispered to me in the lobby, "Man, I never heard or seen anything like this in my life!" Baraka could have used some help reading all the parts. Indeed, after the last set, he asked me rhetorically, Marvin why didn't you help me do this? --Marvin X 1/18/11

Baraka and Marvin at Yoshi's photo Julian Carroll Catch Marvin X and poets in the Journal of Pan African Studies, Poetry Issue, edited by Marvin X, during Black History Month: Saturday, February 19, 3-6pm, Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th and Franklin, downtown Oakland. Marvin X on Danny Glover and the Black House DANNY GLOVER: ... But interesting enough, the first time that I saw Huey P. Newton and had any idea who the Black Panther Party was in 1966, when he came to the Black House and was reading poetry at the Black House. Huey P. Newton—that’s some footage we should have had—reading poetry at the Black House. And at the Black House, Ed Bullins lived. Eldridge Cleaver lived at the Black House. They were two people who lived at the Black House. So, there was—you could see this, and now we’re looking—certainly looking back in retrospect, but you could see this emerging movement happening around, really, what I believe was extraordinary moments of, as I said before, redefining and reimagining democracy, organizing, using those skills. Stokely was an organizer. Those members of SNCC were organizing. So, the Black Power movement was about extending that whole sense of organizing and community organizing. Playwright Ed Bullins The Black House by Marvin X The Black House was organized by Marvin X and Eldridge Cleaver. Around the same time Cleaver was released from Soledad Prison, late 1966, Marvin X and his partner, Hurriyah (Ethna X) were escaping chaos at Black Arts West Theatre, co-founded by Marvin, Ed Bullins, Hurriyah, Duncan Barber, Hillery Broadous and Carl Bossiere. Art Sheridan had suggested Marvin hook up with playwright Ed Bullins. Marvin's first play had been produced by the Drama Department at San Francisco State College, now University. Ed had some plays going in North Beach, so they hooked up and started Black Arts West near Turk and Fillmore, around the corner from the Sun Reporter Newspaper office, owned by Dr. Carlton Goodlett. Black Arts West Theatre produced the plays of Bullins and Marvin X. Two of the actors were Danny Glover and Vonetta McGee (RIP). Danny performed the role of Papa in a play by Dorothy Ahmed, Papa's Daughter. Vonetta performed in How Do You Do, a play by Ed Bullins. When Marvin left Black Arts West Theatre, he soon hooked up with Eldridge Cleaver--the first person Cleaver got with after his release. With Cleaver's advance from his best seller Soul on Ice, he and Marvin rented a Victorian on Broderick Street and established Black House, a political/cultural center. They were soon joined by playwright Ed Bullins and singer Willie Dale, who'd done time with Cleaver at San Quentin. Black House became a kind of half-way house for persons who got black consciousness from the arts and went into the political movement, especially the Black Panther Party. Emory Douglas came through and became BPP Minister of Culture. Samuel Napier came, got juiced on culture and became the BPP Minister of Distribution of the newspaper. George Murray got his consciousness performing in Baraka's black arts communication project at SF State and black house. George became BPP Minister of Education. Bobby Seale had gotten consciousness at Merritt College in Oakland, along with fellow students Marvin and Huey P. Newton. Bobby performed in Marvin's second play Come Next Summer before founding the BPP. Marvin tried to get Huey in his theatre but Huey declined. Yet Huey claimed he learned from Marvin. Maybe his reading poetry at Black House can be attributed to Marvin's influence. For sure, the politicos learned from the artists. For this reason, Marvin X says the arts was the mother rather than the sister of the political movement. Larry Neal calls the Black Arts Movement the sister of the political liberation movement. Henry Louis Gates says the Black Arts Movement was short-lived, but time and influence are different matters. The Black Arts Movement fundamentally altered art and literature in America, far beyond the influence and impact of the earlier Harlem Renaissance. Black House fell from differences between the artists and politicos. Even before the Black Panthers called anyone who wouldn't pick up the gun reactionary, there were ideological differences. For example, Amiri Baraka and Eldridge Cleaver were at Black House but never talked, partly due to Cleaver's Marxism and Baraka's so-called Cultural Nationalism. Ironically, Baraka became a Marxist and Cleaver a spiritualist. The fall of the Black House was insured after Marvin rejected an order delivered by Lil Bobby Hutton from Huey Newton that the youth clubhouse in the basement must be closed due to out of control youth. Marvin told Lil Bobby, "Fuck the Supreme Commander!" Shortly after this, the artists were evicted and Black House became the San Francisco headquarters of the BPP. Before the artists were evicted, those who performed included Sarah Webster Fabio, Avoctja, Chicago Arts Ensemble, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Toure, Ed Bullins, Reginald Lockett, Marvin X, Willie Dale and students from Baraka's Communications Project at SFSU, including Jimmy Garrett, Benny Stewart, George Murray, Ellendar Barnes, Jo Ann Mitchell, et al. For more on Black House, see: Marvin X, Somethin' Proper, autobiography of Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 1998. Marvin X, Eldridge Cleaver, My friend the Devil, Black Bird Press, 2009. Eldridge Cleaver, Post-Prison Writings. More Comments About the Author/Activist Marvin X has been a witness to history. He shows that an excellent minority writer can raise issues that the mainstream publishers and book reviewers find hard to grapple with…. He, Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver and others were also casualties of the chemical attack on African Americans in the form of Crack and alcohol waged by corporations and a government that placed questionable foreign policy goals above the health of its citizens…. Many of those who inspired the cultural revolution of the 1960s remain stuck there. This volume shows that Marvin X has moved on. —Ishmael Reed, novelist, poet, essayist, publisher, Oakland Iraq…how did we get there and how do we get back? The consciousness-altering book of poems that tells the tale, in no uncertain terms and yet always via poetry, is the astonishing Land of My Daughters: Poems 1995-2005 by Marvin X. Marvin X is the USA’s Rumi, and his nation is not “where our fathers died” but where our daughters live. The death of patriarchal war culture is his everyday reality. X’s poems vibrate, whip, love in the most meta- and physical ways imaginable and un-. He’s got the humor of Pietri, the politics of Baraka, and the spiritual Muslim grounding that is totally new in English—the ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi. It’s not unusual for him to have a sequence of shortish lines followed by a culminating line that stretches a quarter page—it is the dance of the dervishes, the rhythms of a Qasida. —Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club, New York City

Marvin X Writes Eight Books in 2010

The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, Volume I

If you want to learn about inspiration and motivation, don't spend all that money going to workshops and seminars, just go stand at 14th and Broadway and watch Marvin X at work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland.--Ishmael Reed

Hustler’s Guide to the Game Called Life, (Wisdom of Plato Negro, Volume II)

Mythology of Pussy and Dick, toward Healthy Psychosocial Sexuality, 416 pages.

This book is the most wanted title in the Marvin X collection. Youth in the hood fight over it and steal it from each other. Girls say it empowers them, and the boys say it helps them step up their game. Mothers and fathers are demanding their sons and daughters read this. Paradise Jah Love says they fight over it as if it's black gold!

I Am Oscar Grant, essays on Oakland, $19.95. Critical essays on the travesty of American justice in the cold blooded murder of Oscar Grant by a beast in blue uniform.

Pull Yo Pants Up fada Black Prez and Yoself, essays on Obama Drama, $19.95.

Marvin X is on the mark again with his accurate observation of the Obama era. The black community was so excited with Obama being the first Black Prez that they forgot he was a politician-not a messiah. Marvin X brings the community back to the reality of what Obama stands for-at the moment! He has not given up on Da Prez, he simply wants people to see what he stands for and what he still has an opportunity to do for our communities. Make sure you put Pull Yo Pants Up Fada Black Prez & Yo Self on your to-buy list It will be the best book you will read in 2010!--Carolyn Mixon

Marvin X, Guest Editor, Poetry Issue, Journal of Pan African Studies, 480 pages

In honor of the Journal of Black Poetry, Marvin X collects poetry from throughout the Pan African world. This massive issue is a classic of radical Pan African literature in the 21st century. Amiri Baraka says, "He has always been in the forefront of Pan African writing. Indeed, he is one of the innovators and founders of the new revolutionary school of African writing."

Notes on the Wisdom of Action or How to Jump Out of the Box. In this collection he calls upon the people to become proactive rather than reactionary, to initiate the movement out the box of oppression by any means necessary, although Marvin X believes in the power of spiritual consciousness to create infinite possibilities toward liberation.

Soulful Musings on Unity of North American Africans, 150 pages

Marvin X explores the possibilities for unity among North American Africans. To Book Marvin X: Now available on DVD Marvin X at Yoshi's San Francisco Marvin X at San Francisco State University, 09 Marvin X On Domestic Violence (Morehouse College, ATL) The Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, San Francisco State University Marvin X at the Berkeley Black Repertory Group Theatre, Berkeley Marvin X, In the Crazy House Called America Concert, Buriel Clay Theatre, San Francisco Marvin X Talks With Fillmore Slim at the Black Radical Book Fair, San Francisco Marvin X at the Barber Shop (Git Yo Mind Right) Marvin X Live In Philly At Warm Daddies One Day In The Life, a docudrama of addiction and recovery, by Marvin X Available from Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA94702 . Send $14.95, plus $5.00 for mailing.

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