Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Poem: Ain't Nothing Changed by Rudolph Lewis

Ain’t Nothing Changed

                                  --- For Ben Carson


Ain’t nothing changed but you, Brother—

searchlights, night helicopters, hunting runaways:

shock & awe sameness. Satan still enlightens, still

passes along the apple of knowing in evening

news, a veil of innocence applauding how we change

faces, how Wall Street masks its account on islands.

Heads crowned with fresh hoarfrost yet rambling

in high-spun circles as the defenseless are dragged

from their moment, from their sunny yesterdays.

We grow apart as armies conquer & occupy.

Ain’t nothing changed but you, Brother—you no

longer call me with urgency, with hot words

like NationTime! / The Revolution Is On!

Tongues sniff the air for Italian patent leather

shoes grinding like jackboots—you whipped

into dark suits & red ties, broad denture grins

for PR cameras, mirrors of error dancing in eyes

of black athletes, trapped balling for billionaires

clawing through to the bone, crawling on floors.

But you, Brother, you’re playing golf at the club

with MJ & Tiger. For you, no gunship clouds skies

raining fire on head-holding dreams, no blackness.

Scavenging birds crowd into laboring landscapes

while success prophets celebrate suburban havens.

Ain’t nothing changed but you Brother—a retiring ceo,

daylight comes, daylight goes, leveraging pyramids,

staging annual bus trips to graves of Martin & Malcolm.

Nothing but blue vertigo, barbs of steel wire enclosures

& tanks—colloquiums, councils justifying war,

flying machines crushing Gaza & Baghdad . Nothing’s

changed, Brother—we won’t give up & we won’t let go.
--Rudolph Lewis

Poem by Fritz Pointer: Heightened Awareness

Heightened Awareness
By Fritz Pointer

Where do bomber pilots worship?
Do they genuflect before boarding their bomber planes?
Do they sing “Onward Christian Soldiers Marching On To War?”
            In a Choir like I did?
Do they attend mass
            In a Cardinal Francis Spellman-like cathedral
            To hear a priest say:
            “This is a war for civilization…This is Christ’s war against…”
                        Name your enemy.
This Catholic Cardinal, this “Man of the cloth”  - as they say
            Blessed the bombs, the missiles, the guns
            That sent 2 million Vietnamese and 4 million Cambodian souls
             “To a better place”
            Sprinkled them with Holy “Shit”
            In the name of the Father, the Son and the Ghost
And, bomber pilots are not Terrorists
            Because they go to church not mosque
            Because bombing from planes is more Christ-like?
                        And such priests  represent the “Prince of Peace”
                        “With the cross of Jesus”…blah, blah, blah.
Obama sends drones to kill Muslim clerics who speak ill of America.
            Where does he go to pray before this?
            What hymn does he sing?
Je Suis Paris
I am France
Je Suis Damascus
I am Syria
Je Suis Kabul
I am Afghanistan
Je Suis Moscow
I am Russia
Je Suis Manhattan
I am New York
Je Suis Khartoum
I am Sudan
Je Suis Narobi
I am Kenya
Je Suis Beirut
I am Lebanon
Je Suis Columbine and Aurora
I am Colorado
Je Suis Tripoli
I am Libya
Je Suis Nablus
I am Palestine
Je Suis Kiev
I am Ukraine
Je Suis Charleston
I am North Carolina
Je Suis Sana’a
I am Yemen
Je Suis Newtown
I am Connecticut
Je Suis Yola and Kano
I am Nigeria
Je Suis Ciudad Juarez
I am Mexico
Je Suis Baghdad
I am Iraq
Je Suis Bamako
I am Mali
Je Suis Boston
I am Massachusetts
Je Suis N’djamena
I am Chad
Je Suis Kerawa
I am Cameroon
Je Suis Charlie Hebdo
Je Suis Amadou Diallo and Orlando Barlo, Sean Bell and Sandra Bland Oscar Grant and Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Dante Price,  Trevon Martin and Ranisha McBride, Walter Scott and Darus Simmons  Mike Brown and Freddie Gray, Andy Lopez and Ramarley Graham,  Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell …

I am Prince Jones and Samuel Dubose, Aaron Campbell and  Jonathan Ferrell, Justin Sipp and Alan Blueford  …

Hanging from an oil-stained Cross, Crescent and Star

Je Suis !  Je Suis!!  Je Suis Humanity!!!
I am!  I am!! I am Humanity!!!


Marvin X new poem: I Cannot tell you of love

I cannot tell you of love
When you do not seek love
Cannot see love roaring in the surf
In the quiet mountains
You cannot convince me
Mountains hate
Bees birds little children
Even beaten lovers love again the same night
Their pain is love
How did we get here
Through the door of love
Ancestors sustained us
With love
Black lives matters
A call to love
There is no hate 
Black lives precious sacred as
All lives
No selective suffering
When we recognize
The poor are rich in love
See the lovers pushing shopping cart
Drinking together rut gut wine
But loving
Homeless lovers
Asleep in the alley
Hugging tightly against the frozen night
But loving like the rich
Or better 
With purity not money
Sincerity not money
Not even knowledge
Except the truth of love
The actions of love
Let haters hate
Drink their vomit
Until they are no more
And lovers dance
And praise the God
Of Love.
Marvin X

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Africa, China's Second Continent!

Draft for the Black Arts Movement Founder's Concert and Awards Ceremony, TBA 2016


proudly presents

Oakland CA

Presenting the Amiri Baraka Artistic Freedom Fighter Award

Nikki Giovanni* Last Poets* Marvin X* Sonia Sanchez* Haki Madhubuti* Askia Toure'


Black Arts/Black Power Babies Awards

The New Yorker Festival 2015 - The Fire This Time 
 Author: Ta Hanise Coates

OP-ED: Ras Baraka Takes Oath of Office as Newark's Mayor - Post News ... 

Mayor Ras Baraka, Newark, NJ

... interview wit filmmaker Muhammida El Muhajir | African American News
Muhammida El Muhajir, global producer, filmmaker

Alase Oba Adefunmi Adejuyigbe

King, Yoruba African Village, Sheldon, SC

Call: 510-200-4164

Monday, November 9, 2015

Marvin X poem: I AM AMERICAN

photo Ken Johnson

I Am American

Dedicated to my brother Ollie (January 21)
daughter Nefertiti (January 29)

I am American
no citizen of the United States
gave up years ago
Toronto, 1967
protesting US in Vietnam
no Viet Cong called me a nigger!
willing to be US citizen again
will pledge. I AM AMERICAN

underground Chicago

Harlem Black Arts Movement
Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Sun Ra, Last Poets, Amiri, Askia, Haki, Barbara Ann Teer, Milford Graves, et al.

crucified at Fresno State University Black Studies
Angela Davis on the cross at UCLA, 1969

I am American
exiled second time Mexico City
exiled Americans from the Americas!
brothers and sisters
Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Columbia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil
call me Pele Pele Pele on the streets Mexico City
touch my hair for good luck

I am American
Mexico City founded by Africans
AFRICAN young men exiled
president for life regimes in the Americas
resistance MEN
women too
wife with me from US Fresno State University

mostly young men
planes landing  Chapultepec Park
cerca de Paseo de la Reforma
cerca de Metro
lovers in the park Sundays
we in love
Hasani B and me
running from American imperialism
Hasani B
pregnant with Nefertiti
beautiful one has come
"My parents were in flight when I was conceived. I am thus a freedom child."
Nefertiti El Muhajir
beautiful one in flight

I am American
cannot speak with brothers in exile
Spanish pochito pochito
Choco, Columbia
Enrique Venezuela
My Spanish pochito
muy pochito
no Portuguese
Poder Negro
Poder Negro
Black Power!

revolutionary amigos.
black power!

I am American

I flee Mexico City
Yucatan, Vera Cruz, Merida, Chetumal
land of Yanga
el Africano Mexicano
Yanga so bad the Spanish gave him a town
San Lorenzo de los Negroes
Vera Cruz

I flee against advice of Elizabeth Catlett Mora
revolutionary artist
begged me not to go
negroes in raw colonialism
she said
young hard headed
easy to lead in the wrong direction
hard to lead in the right direction Elijah said

I am American
want to hear English
tired of Spanish
basta ya!
I want to see los Negroes
in Belize
pero Negroes
yo esclavo tambien
I am American

my land the Americas
all of it
before Columbus
Maya Aztec Incas Olmec
I was here
by canoe Ghana, Mali, Songhay
land of Sonni Ali, Askia the Great
bling blingMansa Musa
thousand camels with gold on his haj to Mecca

I am American
Belize Negroes speak English
pero muy rapido pero English
Espanol tambien
I am American
Norte Americano Africano
Simon Bolivar Americano
Simon Simon Simon

I am American
North Central South American
Caribbean American
I am American
Toronto, Montreal
Georgetown, Caracas

Slums Mexico City 
shacks Belize
madness Kingston
cocaine Port of Spain
C. Eric Williams
Capitalism and Slavery
interviewed PM Burnham at his residence
Africans with AK47s at his gate
genocide of Jonestown
assassination Dr. Walter Rodney
can we forgive the reactionaries
never turn into Buddha heads
put down their butcher knives

I am American
join the revolution of Evan X and Shabazz
on trial for sedition
government games old people play
they say
this is
covered trial for Muhammad Speaks
my sin
a 1970 Wikileaks
emperor has no clothes
no water no electricity no toilet
no nothing

why I left America with no gold
they want American gold
why I leave without gold
America gold
slaves and gold

I am American
people are rich in Belize
poor rich
joy and peace, sun and land
gardens paradise
islands in the sun
I live on Gales Point
no water no electricity no bathroom
wife pregnant and happy
sand flies
mosquitoes love her blood
bathe in the river
out house on the other side of the island
catfish collect waste
people do not swim on that side of the island
do not eat catfish

I am American
people beg me teach black power
do not check in village headman

drunk man sings

day comin ta git ya in da mornin
been down here teachin dat black power
day comin in da mornin, boy
wife and I laugh
wish dat drunk nigguh git way from our door
they in the morning

I am American
get on the boat to city
five hour jungle ride
police on boat
under arrest
don't know it
police undercover
say nothing 
get to the city
say nothing
police come friends house
call me out
grab rifle
black panther shoot out
put rifle down
mulatto greets me outside
under arrest
Ministry of Home Affairs
Minister reads deportation order
presence not beneficial to welfare British Colony of Honduras
deported to United States on plane Miami

Until then under arrest.
Mulatto takes me to police station
sit down. No cell,
no handcuffs.
Black police gather around
in circle police
what's up.
broder man, teach us about black power!

I am American
police victims too
teach us broder man.
I say
Marcus Garvey came in 1923
get Queen of Englabd off yo walls.

It's 1970 and you still got that white bitch on yo walls.
Get that bitch off yo walls!
police crack up!
you all ite broder man
point out uncle tom police
black man wit white heart
black man wit white heart!

I am American
Plane come.
Mulatto pushed me on plane.
refuse to leave without wife. plane door slammed.

Fly south Tegucigalpa, Spanish Honduras.
ask asylum .
Espera un momento, Negro!
marched back to plane.

land in Miami. Two gentlemen greet me at airport. Escort me to my hotel suite Dade County Jail.
put in pit with dead, deaf dumb blind negroes.
call them brother.
we ain't yo brother, nigguh.
I am silent.
I Am American!

gentlemen come
transfer me to Miami City jail, Federal facility.

White Cuban drug dealers greet me.
What do you want, my brother?
money, food?
We send out for food to the restaurant, what do you want?
I am American

hamburger, fries milkshake!
No problema, hermano!
give money to call my wife.
She is home in America. Father sent for her.

I am American
Cubans say whatever you need let us know.

I am American
Simon Bolivar
Nat Turner
Grabriel Prosser
Harriet Tubman
Stokely (Kwame Toure)
CLR James

I am American.
--Marvin X
Now available for readings/lectures/performance

Black Power Salute Mexico City, John Carlos and Tommy Smith

Civil Disobedience

Black medallists raise fists for Civil Rights Movement

by John Gettings
Mexico City
Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos raise fists for Black Power in 1968. (Source: AP)

It was the most popular medal ceremony of all time. The photographs of two black American sprinters standing on the medal podium with heads bowed and fists raised at the Mexico City Games in 1968 not only represent one of the most memorable moments in Olympic history but a milestone in America's civil rights movement.

The two men were Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Teammates at San Jose State University, Smith and Carlos were stirred by the suggestion of a young sociologist friend Harry Edwards, who asked them and all the other black American athletes to join together and boycott the games. The protest, Edwards hoped, would bring attention to the fact that America's civil rights movement had not gone far enough to eliminate the injustices black Americans were facing. Edwards' group, the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), gained support from several world-class athletes and civil rights leaders but the all-out boycott never materialized.

Still impassioned by Edwards' words, Smith and Carlos secretly planned a non-violent protest in the manner of Martin Luther King, Jr. In the 200-meter race, Smith won the gold medal and Carlos the bronze. As the American flag rose and the Star-Span

Smith later told the media that he raised his right, black-glove-covered fist in the air to represent black power in America while Carlos' left, black-covered fist represented unity in black America. Together they formed an arch of unity and power. The black scarf around Smith's neck stood for black pride and their black socks (and no shoes) represented black poverty in racist America.
While the protest seems relatively tame by today's standards, the actions of Smith and Carlos were met with such outrage that they were suspended from their national team and banned from the Olympic Village, the athletes' home during the games.

A lot of people thought that political statements had no place in the supposedly apolitical Olympic Games. Those that opposed the protest cried out that the actions were militant and disgraced Americans. Supporters, on the other hand, were moved by the duo's actions and praised them for their bravery. The protest had lingering effects for both men, the most serious of which were death threats against them and their families.

Smith and Carlos, who both now coach high school track teams, were honored in 1998 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their protest.

An interesting side note to the protest was that the 200m silver medallist in 1968, Peter Norman of Australia (who is white), participated in the protest that evening by wearing a OPHR badge.

Blues for a child

I lost a child in America
makes me feel so bad
beautiful son
smartest child ever had
love all ma children
greatest any man ever had
love all my children
greatest a man ever had
losing my son
worst thing happen to a dad
no healing ever
no closure
no end of pain in the night
miss my son so much
yet I understand his plight
39 years old
Malcolm and Martin the same
homicide and suicide the same
Dr. Nathan Hare maintain
situational disorder my son
manic depression 
depression in the land
fight the power!
--Marvin X

White folks funny as a Gerald 2X cartoon in Muhummad Speaks Newspaper

"Of course I'll fight for my country. Soon as I'm the citizen of one."

Wish List for Black Arts Movement Cultural and Economic Districts coast to coast

Suggested Elements of the Black Arts Movement Cultural and Economic District for downtown Oakland

The following are some of my thoughts toward the establishment of a comprehensive plan for the BAM District, downtown Oakland. Please let me know your thoughts. This project is bigger than any one person. Indeed, it must be a communal plan for the next fifty to one hundred years. 
--Marvin X, Planner, BAM District, Oakland
Marvin X

1. Property in the BAM District placed in land trust to ensure longevity of district, thus not subject to developers and gentrification. District placed under immediate rent control.

2. Special residents in the BAM District housing receive life estate, e.g., chronic homeless, mentally ill, addicts in recovery, artists, senior citizens, recently released from incarceration and others with special needs.

3. Artists, business persons, vendors, meet to agree on principles of understanding for those in the district, e.g., a positive attitude must prevail at all times. Keep negativity to a minimum.

4. All persons in BAM District must attend peer group mental health sessions to recover from the addiction to white supremacy Type I and II.

5. Saturday African Market Day, including Farmer's Market and Arts & Crafts vendors. Street vendors during the week as well, as in San Francisco, Berkeley and elsewhere to enable economic stability for BAM artists and craft persons, entrepreneurs and youth to acquire business acumen.

6. Banners up immediately after declaration of BAM District, e.g., flag, icons of BAM and political heroes/sheroes, local, national and international, i.e., Pan African champions of freedom and justice.

7. A children's village at Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza.

8. Educational tour of district for all Oakland students to learn the North American African contribution to Oakland and the world.

9. Budget for planning and operating district for five to ten years.

10. Immediate pilot project between Clay and Franklin along 14th to test project virtues and flaws of business persons, vendors, artists, educators, street mental health workers, security persons.

11. Tour guides.

12. Board of Directors and bylaws for operating district.

13. Establish BAM District as tourist site.

14. Music and art display and performance along the corridor.

15. Free speech area at Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza and/or Lake Merritt amphitheatre.

16. In honor of Marvin X (Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland--Ishmael Reed) establish a permanent structure for Academy of da Corner at 14th and Broadway, Legba Square. Establish endowment fund so Marvin X can continue his mission of educating, inspiring and motivating Oakland youth and adults. "Don't spend all that money going to seminars and workshops on motivation and inspiration. Just go stand at 14th and Broadway and watch Marvin X at work. He's Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland, "says Ishmael Reed.  Bob Holman says, "Marvin X is the USA's Rumi! The wisdom of Saadi, the ecstasy of Hafiz!"  Rudolph Lewis comments, "He's a Master Teacher in many fields of thought. One of America's great story tellers. I'd put him ahead of Mark Twain!"

17. Every adult member of the BAM District must mentor at least one youth so the baton can be passed to them ASAP.

18. The BAM District should acquire and maintain a fresh spirit of radical consciousness, not one steeped in reactionary and/or conservative notions from the past. For sure, the elders should dispense their wisdom freely so youth are aware of our traditions and how to expand on it as we pass the baton to them. BAM Master Sun Ra said, "The children are the elders." Indeed, at two years old, my grandson said to me as we walked to Lake Merritt from Academy of da Corner, "Grandpa, you can't save the world, but I can!" At the Laney College BAM 50th Celebration this year, my daughter's comments went viral during the panel Black Arts/Black Power Babies, an inter-generational dialogue.
"We're ready and able, so pass the baton, Dad!"

 Nefertiti, Marvin X's oldest of three daughters, jammed him at Laney College BAM 50th Celebration, "Dad, you say pass the baton but you won't pass it. We're qualified and ready, so pass the baton!"
photo Kenny Johnson

Kujichagulia said, "Yes, I brainwashed my children to prevent them from acquiring the addiction to white supremacy Type II. Her daughter Taiwo speaks on BAM/Black Power Babies panel. Mother Kujichagulia is so proud!
photo Kenny Johnson

Hello Marvin X,
You are invited to the following event:
Black Arts  Culture and Business District - Planning Session
Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:
Monday, November 16, 2015 from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM (PST)
City Hall
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Hearing Room 3
Oakland, CA 94612

View Map

Event registration is by invitation only. Register with your email address to attend this event.
Council President McElhaney is bringing together a group of African American artists, culture keepers and downtown business owners to help craft a vision of a downtown that honors and lifts up our unique heritage and history as a center of black arts and culture.

We hope you can make it!

Erika Broyard, Assistant to Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney

The Whispers at Paramount



Calling all Black artistic freedom fighters, groups, activists, students, educators, workers, lovers of Black Art: Please confirm your presence at Oakland City Hall, Room 3, 3:30, Monday, November 16, 2015, for the Black Arts Movement Cultural and Business District planning meeting, chaired by Oakland City Council President, Lynette McElhaney. 

Let's do the BAM Thang!

For confirmation/ information, please call me 510-200-4164.


Calling all Black Artistic freedom fighters, persons, groups, activists, students, educators, workers, lovers of Black Art: Please confirm your presence at Oakland City Hall, Room 3, 3:30, Monday, November 16, 2015, for the Black Arts Movement Cultural and Business District planning meeting, chaired by Oakland City Council President, Lynette McElhaney. Let's do the BAM Thang!

For more information, please call me 510-200-4164.