Truth will not make you rich, but it will make you free.
--Francis Bacon

Black Bird Press News


Monday, October 20, 2014

Parable of the Pit Bull by Marvin X

There was a pit bull who lived in the city. A man wanted to buy him and raise him for protection, so he met with the owner and got the pedigree. He investigated the history of the dog and his family connections, to make sure he was a pure bred. Once he was clear the pit bull came from a legit line, he paid for the animal and brought it home. He was happy to have a nice pet, especially one so pure and not polluted like a mutt, a cross breed or mongrel, a mutation whose DNA was of questionable nature. 

He loved his pit bull and the animal loved him. He trained the dog for fighting, and he was a great fighter, a champion who won many battles. 

And then the man met a woman he really liked. He knew almost nothing about her, but he hooked up with her and eventually she moved in with him. He didn't know where she came from, nothing about her family roots, her friends, her education and work history, whether she was psychotic and/or neurotic, suicidal and/or homicidal, whether she was radical, revolutionary or reactionary. 

He didn't know she had been raised in a foster home, and later an orphanage, that she had seen her mother stab her grandmother, that her mother had a nervous breakdown and was confined to an institution for life. He didn't know any of this. He didn't know she had been a prostitute, homeless and a drug addict. 

But he loved her and married her. And when he found out about her past life, he didn't give a damn. Since he was rich, a baller, big willie, he gave her the best of everything, just as he treated his pit bull, even better. He dressed her in the finest clothes and took her to eat in the finest restaurants and party in the VIP section of clubs. 

And then one day she disappeared. He didn't know what happened to her. Worried to death, he hired a private investigator to search for her. The private eye found her in a two dollar motel with a trick. 
The man told the private eye not to disturb her, leave her where she was. 

--Marvin X

from The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, Black Bird Press, 2012, donation $19.95.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Plato Negro and the Woman at the Well

By Marvin X
A woman asked Plato why are the youth out of control ? He replied that youth are out of control because adults are out of control and youth observe then emulate their behavior. Even during the revolutionary 60s, the militants, who are the fathers and mothers of today’s youth(some are grandparents) were guilty of contradictions, or saying one thing but doing another. They talked black power but went home to beat their wives and women. They preached discipline but were guilty of drug abuse and abuse of power. Much of our behavior was patriarchal white supremacy actions that debased women, considering them less than human. Of course we learned this behavior from our white supremacy socialization. True enough, there were many good things we learned and achieved during that time, and many sincere and honest people gave their lives for the cause of freedom. But if we had been more sober minded, we would have been able to detect agent provocateurs and snitches. We would have been able to see through the US Government’s counter intelligence program or Cointelpro. With sobriety and discipline, we might have been able to show our children better examples of male/female relations, and perhaps today’s youth would be more respectful of women, elders and peers.
The woman asked Plato what can be done today to reconnect with our children? Plato said we must embrace them with unconditional love and do not abuse them, physically, sexually or emotionally. Do not show them contradictory behavior, saying one thing but doing the opposite. We must not say we are about freedom, yet make their mothers slaves in the home, treating them with abuse that the children observe and then act out in their relations with their mates and friends.
Many children have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. They are without mother or father. Many are living in foster homes, the result of parental drug and sexual abuse. Adults must stop being predators and instead be mentors and guides. The youth want and seek our wisdom, but we must reach out to them because many are terrified of us just as we are terrified of them.
It is communal insanity when we allow children to rule our community, making us afraid to go outside at night, afraid to go to the store. But we can only take back control of our community by reconnecting and embracing our children, no matter how painful it is for us and them. We must make amends to them for our wickedness and then demand of them the same. Yes, they must apologize to the elders they have harmed and disrespected. What we are talking about is the urgent need for a healing session between youth and adults, a time and space where we can gather to admit our mistakes and promise to do better now and in the future.
We must, youth and adults, swallow our pride and reconnect. We cannot allow the chaos to continue because we know things go from bad to worse, if we do not address the issues. Nothing is going to change until we change our thinking and actions. We must rise up from animal to divine. The tide is turning because you are turning the tide!
Mothers and fathers who are separated must come together for the sake of their children, if only for a moment. When children see parents reconciling, they will do likewise. No matter the pain of the past, adults must show the way to community unity. Why shouldn’t youth resort to violence, after all, they see adults resolving their conflicts with violence.
Adults cannot get out of our responsibility to show the way, to guide and mentor. Every youth is our child, thus our responsibility to show the right way.
Give youth a chance, support them when they are selling items other than dope, such as DVDs, CDs, gear and other items to get their hustle on in a legal way. At least they are not killing to make a dollar, so reach out to them. Hug a thug before the thug hugs you!
The woman at the well seemed to understand the wisdom of Plato. Although she was without husband and frustrated to the max, she said she would try to reach out to youth, rather than simply complain about their behavior and shortcomings. She promised to cast away her fears and take authority over her children.
This parable appeared in the Oakland Post News Group. It is in The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, Black Bird Press, Berkeley.

Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale interviewed by Marvin X

    Marvin X and Bobby Seale discuss their days at Merritt College, how they were self educated into Black consciousness to become the Neo-Black intellectuals; how Bobby performed in Marvin's play Come Next Summer; Bobby recites his favorite Marvin X poem "Burn,Baby,Burn" about the 65' Watts rebellion; how Bobby and Huey evolved into Black Panthers. Interview reveals Bobby's excellent memory of black history down to the minute, second, microsecond. Get it from the horse's mouth rather than swallow revisionist history told by muddle headed academics and intellectuals in perpetual crisis.--Marvin X

    Bobby Seale interviewed by Marvin X 2000 [Video: 64 min]

Poem by Marvin X: The Negro Knows Everything

Marvin, leave dem nigguhs alone, please. You don't need den nigguhs, Marvin Dem nigguhs need you! They just using you. Use the mind that God gave you, boy! Leave dem nigguhs alone! And you don't need a wife! You need a maid, secretary and mistress, but not a wife. And you're never going to have good luck as long as you abuse women, especially the mothers of your children. --Marian M. Jackmon, Mother of Marvin X (RIP)
The Negro Knows Everything
Marvin X

The Negro knows everything, don't tell him nothing
Cause he knows everything
History of the atom
Construction of the pyramids
Exact location of Bin Laden
How to grow marijuana with air
Einstein's teacher
The Negro
He knew the world was round trillions of years before the white man
He was with God in the beginning
He knows how to be a loyal slave like no other
His drugs are holistic
He doesn't need treatment, but more drugs
What would a Negro be without drugs, his morning wake up
Start the day right
Ask him which way is east or west
He'll have a nervous breakdown
Wanna fight
Insulting his intelligence
But he knows everything
Does he have an exit plan
Just in case America falls and FEMA is closed?
Does he have water, food, guns?
Of course he does
Think the Negro is stupid
He knows everything
Don't tell him nothing
Leave him alone
He's dangerous to your healthâ?¦..
say peace when you see him.
On her dying bed, my Moma said,
"Marvin, leave them nigguhs aloneâ?¦.."
but I love dem nigguhs, Mama
Mama, I love dem sick crazy
hog eatin liquor drinkin
jesus lovin white man creation
Mama, I can't stay way from dem nigguhs
dem all nite party get down funky
ugly lookin wig wearin weave headed dreg locked dead locked nigguhs
Dem black african bilalian afro pan centric endemic nigguhs
anti freedom fightin job loving hate doing for self scared fearful
fearless when fightin for the white man
killling each other beatin they wife ass but never touch the white man
cowardly nigguhs
Mama but I
Please, Mama can I
I love
Mama dem nigguhs
And Mama died........
and I love dem nigguhs................
and Mama died and I love dem nigguhs
and Mama died and I love dem nigguhs
and Mama died
and I love dem nigguhs.


Marvin X in conversation with Amiri Baraka, Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2009

Amiri Baraka and Marvin X, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2009

Amiri Baraka with Marvin X, 11 March 2009 – Audio
Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 11, 2009.

Audio from this Event

Amiri Baraka with Marvin X | Duration: 1:20:25 | Download this

Amiri Baraka (left) read from his work and joined in conversation with Marvin X at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. Photo: Don Usner
Amiri Baraka, (née Everett LeRoi Jones) author of over 40 books of essays, poems, drama, and music history and criticism, is a poet icon and revolutionary political activist who has recited poetry and lectured on cultural and political issues extensively in the USA, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. With influences on his work ranging from musical artists such as John Coltrane and Thelonius Monk, to the Cuban Revolution, Malcolm X, and world revolutionary movements, Baraka is renowned as the founder of the Black Arts Movement in Harlem in the 1960s. His recent books includeSomebody Blew Up America and Other Poems and Tales of the Out & The Gone.

Marvin X (née Marvin Ellis Jackmon) is a poet, playwright, essayist, director, and lecturer. Under the influence of Elijah Muhammad, he became a Black Muslim and has published since then under the names El Muhajir and Marvin X. His recent books include Land of My Daughters: PoemsWish I Could Tell You the Truth: Essays, In the Crazy House Called America, Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, How to Recover from White Supremacy, Eldridge Cleaver: My friend the Devil, and the Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables, fables.
You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website.
Additional photos from this event are available on Flickr.

Amiri Baraka
Amiri Baraka read from his work and then joined with Marvin X in a conversation as part of Lannan Foundation's Reading and Conversation Series live at the Lensic Theater.

Wednesday March 11 2009
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Learn more about this event here.
Subscribe to Lannan Podcasts here.
Photo copyright Don Usner.
10 photos | 34 views
items are from 11 Mar 2009.

Marvin X

Marvin X

Amiri Baraka with Marvin X

Amiri Baraka with Marvin X

Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka with Marvin X

Amiri Baraka with Marvin X

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola: President Obama and Minister Farrakhan--which one is right?

The Administration's Response to Ebola


An Ebola update from President Obama
Today, President Obama spoke to the nation about Ebola -- how the Administration is responding, and what you should know.
The Ebola virus is a public health and national security priority, and the President has directed the Administration to continue to take aggressive measures at every level of government.
President Obama reiterated that, while Ebola is a serious disease, Americans need to understand the facts and be guided by the science: Ebola is not easily transmitted. And we know how to fight it.

President Obama: What You Need to Know About Ebola

"I want people to understand that the dangers of you contracting Ebola, the dangers of a serious outbreak are extraordinarily low. But we are taking this very seriously at the highest levels of government. We are going to be able to manage this particular situation, but we have to look towards the future. And if we are not responding internationally in an effective way, and if we do not set up the kind of preparedness and training in our public health infrastructure here in the United States, not just for this outbreak, but for future outbreaks, then we could have problems."
Ebola continues to be a public health and national security priority, and President Obama and his administration continue to take aggressive measures to respond.
The United States continues to help lead the global response to stop the Ebola outbreak at its source in West Africa, while enhancing our preparedness here at home.
Get the latest CDC updates on the current outbreak, and continue reading to see what the U.S. is doing to end this epidemic.

Understand the Facts

  • It’s not transmitted through the air like the flu.
  • According to public health authorities, the only way a person can get Ebola is by coming into direct contact with the body fluids (urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk and semen) of someone who is already showing symptoms.
  • If the person does not have symptoms, they are not contagious.


In response to frequently asked questions about Ebola, here's what our public health officials are saying.
Q: What is Ebola, and what are the symptoms?
A: Ebola virus is the cause of a Ebola virus disease. Symptoms include:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abnormal bleeding
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus though 8-10 days is most common.
Q: How is Ebola transmitted?
A: Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of an infected symptomatic person or though exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
Q: Can I get Ebola from a person who is infected but doesn’t have any symptoms?
A: No. Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. In order for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms or has died of the disease.

What’s Happened So Far

In March 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the West African country of Guinea. Additional cases have since been reported in the countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as Nigeria and Senegal. The cases reported in Nigeria and Senegal are considered to be contained, with no further spread in these countries, but new cases continue to be reported from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. To date, there have been more than 9,200 reported Ebola cases in West Africa, with more than 4,500 deaths.
In September 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States, in a person who had traveled from Liberia to Dallas, Texas. The patient passed away on October 8, 2014. Two health care workers at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the patient has also tested positive for Ebola, and have since been isolated and are receiving care.

What We’re Doing at Home

Clinicians in the United States have been key to our safety here at home by:
  • Identifying patients with both a history of travel from West Africa or contact with someone with a confirmed case of Ebola and symptoms indicating they might have Ebola
  • Immediately isolating these patients
  • Consulting their local or state health departments
  • Getting these patients tested as needed
We have also been responding to new information to adapt and enhance our response. The following five U.S. airports — which receive more than 94 percent of travelers coming to the United States from countries affected by the Ebola outbreak — are also implementing new Ebola screening measures to help stop the spread of the disease:
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport - New York, NY
  • Washington Dulles International Airport - Washington, D.C.
  • Newark Liberty International Airport - Newark, NJ
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport - Chicago, IL
  • Jackson Atlanta International Airport - Atlanta, GA

What We’re Doing Abroad

The U.S. strategy to combat the Ebola outbreak abroad consists of four key goals:
  • Controlling the epidemic at its source in West Africa
  • Minimizing the secondary impacts of the epidemic that aren't directly caused by the disease
  • Leading a coordinated international response
  • Building a robust global health security infrastructure so we're prepared over the long run to confront epidemics such as the Ebola epidemic
CDC, USAID, and other U.S. officials have been deployed to the West Africa region to assist with response efforts — including surveillance, contact tracing, data management, laboratory testing, and health education — and CDC experts have been deployed to non-affected border countries, including Cote d'Ivoire, to conduct assessments of Ebola preparedness in those countries. This deployment constituted CDC’s largest overseas mission to date.
The President announced in September a scaled-up response that calls upon the unique capabilities of the U.S. military to support the civilian-led response. The United States already has committed more than $350 million toward fighting the epidemic in West Africa, including more than $111 million in humanitarian aid, and the Department of Defense (DoD) is prepared to devote more than $1 billion to the whole-of-government Ebola response effort. As a further indication of our prioritization of this response, the United States convened a special U.N. Security Council session on the epidemic, and President Obama called the world to action during a subsequent U.N. session called by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. These U.S. actions have galvanized millions of dollars in international funding and in-kind support.

A Coordinated Effort

CDC is assisting with exit screening and communication efforts in West Africa to prevent sick travelers from getting on planes, and is working with airlines to address crew and airline staff concerns while ensuring the ability of humanitarian and public health organizations to transport assistance into the affected countries.
In addition to implementing new Ebola screening measures in the five U.S. airports that receive more than 94 percent of travelers coming to the United States from countries affected by the Ebola outbreak, CDC is also working closely with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other partners at ports of entry (primarily international airports) to use routine processes to identify travelers who show signs of infectious disease. If a sick traveler is identified during or after a flight, CDC will conduct an investigation of exposed travelers and work with the airline, federal partners, and state and local health departments to notify them and take any necessary public health action.
In the United States, CDC is working to prepare U.S. health care facilities for managing patients that are suspected to have Ebola. U.S. health care workers can find updated infection control guidance on theInformation for Health Care Workers page. CDC communicates with health care workers on an ongoing basis through Health Alert Network (HAN)Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA), and a variety of existing tools and mechanisms.

Related Links

Minister Farrakhan: Ebola made by the white man for Africans

Farrakhan: Whites Invented Ebola to Kill Off Blacks
Fox News reports:
Firebrand Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s latest racially-charged claim is that Ebola – the deadly disease ravaging parts of Africa and now diagnosed on American soil – was designed by white scientists specifically to kill off blacks.
The 81-year-old leveled the charge in his organization’s newspaper, The Final Call,insisting the disease is man-made and cooked up in a laboratory as a means of population control. He underscored the claim on his Twitter page, which has 308,000 followers.
“There is a weapon that can be put in a room where there are black and white people, and it will kill only the black and spare the white, because it is a genotype weapon that is designed for your genes, for your race, for your kind,” Farrakhan wrote.
Farrakhan has previously made similar claims about AIDS. This time, he cited a 2000 research paper by the now-defunct think tank Project for the New American Century which predicted “advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes, may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”

The first known case of Ebola dates back to 1976, but outbreaks have occurred, mostly in Africa, in the decades since. The current outbreak began in Guinea last December and spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal and is now responsible for more than 3,300 deaths. The disease, which has a mortality rate of between 50 and 90 percent, is spread by contact with body fluids and no credible medical authority believes it affects races differently.
The first diagnosis on U.S. soil associated with the current outbreak came on Wednesday and involved a Sierra Leone man who flew to Dallas.
But Farrakhan is not alone in his suspicions about Ebola. Villagers in remote areas of Africa have alleged the disease is a Western plot and has even killed aid workers. And in the U.S., Delaware State University agriculture professor Cyril Broderick wrote a letter to a Liberian newspaper charging Ebola was created by the U.S. military and pharmaceutical companies who are intentionally spreading the deadly disease in Africa.
“The U. S., Canada, France, and the U.K. are all implicated in the detestable and devilish deeds that these Ebola tests are,” wrote Broderick.