Thursday, April 29, 2010

Final Lineup for May 15th Benefit for Black Bird Press

Is Marvin X a Parable or Fable? I doubt Marvin X exists! I double doubt there is a Plato
--Amiri Baraka
o Kamau Amen Ra

Quite extraordinary! Who else in America publishes two and three books a year? Who else within the Black Community engages our folks daily to liberate themselves in real and cyberspace?
Congratulations! on your wondrous achievements.
--Rudolph Lewis, founding editor, Chickenbones, A Journal

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

Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality, essays on consciousness

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…. 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.

Rudolph Lewis, Editor, ChickenBones: A Journal

Wish I Could Tell You The Truth, essays

….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, San Francisco Black Radical Book Fair); 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 Journal

In The Crazy House Called America, essays

…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

Land of My Daughters, poems

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

The African American Museum Library
14th and Martin Luther King, Jr., downtown Oakland

a benefit for Black Bird Press
celebrating the release of Marvin X's
The Wisdom of Plato Negro

Parables and Fables

Saturday, May 15, 2pm
Donation for book $100.00
(one hunid)
Admission to event:

(give a donation)

The Linda Johnson Dance
will perform Parable of the
Woman in the Box. Alona Cli
fton will read.

Alona Clifton has 35 years of activism and engagement in political, social and economic grassroots efforts. Her activism centers on providing better access, opportunity, and equity to African Americans in particular and to the greater community as a whole. Her desire to be involved and to be an active participant in social justice was shaped in the movements of the 1960’s during her teenage years.

is a Bay Area living legend in poetry.
His selection is Parable of the Penguin.

Novelist Timothy
will perform Parable
of the Pit bull.
photo by
Kamau Amen Ra

August Collins will
open show. He was
recently inducted
in the the Blues
Hall of Fame and
signed with Sony.

Phavia Khujichagulia
is an ethno-musicologist,
poet, trumpet/coronet,
dancer, historian. She
will read Parable of
the Green Revolution.

San Francisco Bay View Newspaper writer,
professor Wanda Sabir will read Parable
of the Heart.
photo by Kamau Amen Ra

Dr. J. Vern Cromartie is
chair of the Sociology Department
Contra Costa College. He is a
Marvin X scholar and
Parable of the Hustler will be his

Geoffrey Grier
of San Francisco
Recovery Theatre will read Parable of the Poor Righteous Teacher.
Eugene Allen and Ptah Allah El will perform also.
photo by Kamau Amen Ra

Mr. James W. Sweeney
will read Parable of the
Preacher's Wife. Mr. Sweeney
is a long-time associate and adviser
to Marvin X

Mechelle LaChaux, actress, singer, will perform Parable of the Cell Phone along with Baron Cope.

James Moore, Jr
. produces the Annual Kwanza Show in Oakland, among other produciton. He will read Parable of the Good Children.

Rasheeda Sabreen will perform material from
upcoming CD The Language of Love, her original
songs with poetry read by Marvin X. Rasheedah Sabreen has been singing as long as she has been talking. She received her first acoustic guitar at the age of fifteen. Rasheedah's creative expression includes singing, acoustic and electric guitar, dancing,visual art, and short story writing.

Ramal Lamar will read Parable of the Parrot. He is a math teacher and will obtain his M.A. in Logic from Cal State U. East bay in May. He is an associate of Academy of Da Corner.
photo by Kamau Amen Ra

Charlie Walker
author, businessman,
activist will read
The Parable of what right?
photo by Kamau Amen Ra

Reginald James will read the Parable of Black Man and Block Man. Reginald James is an independent journalist. He hosts the internet radio show, The Black Hour."

Hunia Bradley
is an educator/activist/actress. She will read Parable of the Woman at the Well.

Ayodele Nzingha
is a c0-founder of Recovery Theatre and established her own theatre in West Oakland, the Lower Bottom Playazs. Poet, playwright, director, actor, she is one of Marvin X's brightest students. Ayo will read The Parable of the Real Woman.
photo by Kamau Amen Ra

Malcolm Shabazz Hoover. He will preface Parable of the A Students.

Academy of Da Corner Reader's Theatre


Musical interlude, Augusta Collins
Greetings, Veda Silva
Biography of Author, Carolyn Mixon
The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Introduction by Ptah Allah El
Parable of Love, Marvin X
Parable of the Heart, Wanda Sabir
Parable of the Real Woman, Ayodele Nzingha
Parable of Black Man and Block Man, Reginald James
Parable of the Woman in the Box, Alona Clifton,
choreography by Linda Johnson

Parable of the Penguin, Paradise
Parable of the Hustler, J. Vern Cromartie
Parable of what right? Charlie Walker
Parable of the Poor Righteous Teacher, Geoffery Grier
Parable of the Parrot, Future
Parable of the Black Bird, Lumukonda

15 Minute Intermission

Musical interlude, Rasheedah Sabreen and Marvin X
Parable of the Cell Phone, Michelle LaChaux and Baron Cope
Parable of the Rooster and the Hen, Fuad Satterfield
Parable of the Pitbull, Timothy Reed
Parable of the Preacher's Wife, James W. Sweeney
Parable of the A Students, Ramona Massey, Malcolm Shabazz Hoover
Parable of the Good Children, James Moore, Jr.
Parable of the Donkey, Gregory Fields
Parable of the Woman at the Well, Hunia Bradley
Parable of the Green Revolution, Phavia Khujichagulia
Parable of the Madpoet, Kiwi da Beast
Parable of Desirelessness, Marvin X

Q and A
Book signing

This event is a project of the Academy of the Corner Reader's Theatre and Black Bird Press, in cooperation with San Francisco Recovery Theatre and the Lower Bottom Playaz.

Thanks to the African American Museum Library, Greg Bridges of KPFA radio, Terry Collins of KPOO radio, Paul Cobb of the Oakland Post, Wanda Sabir of San Francisco Bay View. Thanks to the crew documenting this event: photographers Gene Hazzard and Kamau Amen Ra; videographers Ken Johnson, Adam Turner, Khalid Wajjib and Gregory Fields.

order the book from
Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702.
send a donation ASAP.
Marvin X is available for booking:


  1. Oh my Marvin! I WISH I wish I could be there. I would love to read from your book of parables. Nonetheless, I will send a donation...

  2. Thank you butterfly tribe queen. Bring us to Las Vegas for a read-in/teach-in book party!

  3. Oh,Yeah! Let's go to Las Vegas!!!!1

  4. Dad the book was in the mail on yesterday. You know, no one else does it like you do. It is a beautiful book in its design. I love you for being so dedicated to your craft. I drafted a response to one of your parables and I was going to send it to you, but I will email it to you after your event this weekend.

    I am so very proud of you and it is beautiful to be in the place where God called you to be and to walk there daily, confident in that knowledge.