Monday, October 25, 2010
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State of New York
2007 total: 58
2010 total: 68
Total institutions in state: 134
Percent with Black Studies: 50.74%
Please send corrections to H-Afro-Am
Black Studies in New York
* Adelphi University, African, Black, and Caribbean Studies minor, http://academics.adelphi.edu/artsci/abcs/index.php
* Bard College, Africana Studies Program, http://africana.bard.edu/
* Barnard College, Africana Studies, http://www.barnard.edu/africana/
* City University of New York - Baruch College, Black and Hispanic Studies, http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/wsas/areas_of_study/social_sciences/african_american_studies.htm
* City University of New York - Borough of Manhattan Community College, Ethnic Studies, http://www.bmcc.cuny.edu/ethnic-studies/index.jsp
* City University of New York - Brooklyn College, Africana Studies Department, http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/pub/Department_Details.jsp?div=U&dept_code=01&dept_id=77
* City University of New York - City College, Black Studies Program, http://www1.ccny.cuny.edu/prospective/socialsci/blackstudies/index.cfm
* City University of New York - College of Staten Island, African American Studies, http://www.csi.cuny.edu/catalog/undergraduate/3581.htm
* City University of New York - Graduate Center, Africana Studies concentration (previously listed as African Diaspora in the Americas and the Carribean), http://web.gc.cuny.edu/africanastudies/
* City University of New York - Hostos Community College, Black Studies Unit- Humanities, http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/oaa/hum/afsunit.htm
* City University of New York - Hunter College, (note name change) Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/blpr/
* City University of New York - John Jay College of Criminal Justice, African American Studies, http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/africanamerican/
* City University of New York - Lehman College, African and African-American Studies, http://www.lehman.edu/academics/arts-humanities/african-american-studies/index.php
* City University of New York - Medgar Evers College, Interdisciplinary Studies, http://www.mec.cuny.edu/academic_affairs/libarts_ed_school/ids_dept/ids_home.asp
* City University of New York - New York City College of Technology, African American Studies, http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/academics/deptsites/aastudies/
* City University of New York - Queens College, Africana Studies, http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Academics/Degrees/DSS/AfricanaStudies/Pages/default.aspx
* City University of New York - York College, African American Studies, http://www.york.cuny.edu/academics/departments/social-sciences/programs/copy_of_african-american-studies-ba
* Colgate University, Africana and Latin American Studies Program, http://www.colgate.edu/academics/departments/africanaandlatinamericanstudies
* College of St. Rose, African American Studies minor in American Studies, http://www.strose.edu/academics/schoolofartsandhumanities/americanstudies
* Columbia University, African-American Studies Institute, http://www.iraas.com/
* Cornell University, Africana Studies & Research Center, http://asrc.cornell.edu/
* Daemen College, Black Studies Minor, http://www.daemen.edu/academics/divisionofartssciences/historygovernment/undergraduateprograms/Minors/Pages/BlackStudiesMinor.aspx
* Empire State College, African American Studies concentration (in Cultural Studies), http://www.esc.edu/aos
* Fordham University, African and African American Studies Department, http://www.fordham.edu/academics/programs_at_fordham_/african_and_african_/
* Hamilton College, Africana Studies Department, http://www.hamilton.edu/academics/departments?dept=Africana%20Studies
* Hartwick College, Ethnic Studies minor, http://www.hartwick.edu/x1829.xml
* Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Africana Studies Program, http://www.hws.edu/academics/africana/curriculum.aspx
* Hofstra University, Africana Studies (search for "Africana"), www.hofstra.edu/pdf/2003/ho2003000122.pdf
* Ithaca College, African Diaspora Studies minor, http://www.ithaca.edu/cscre/minors/africandiasporaminor/
* Manhattanville College, African Studies, http://www.mville.edu/AcademicsandResearch/AcademicDepartments/AfricanStudies/Default.aspx
* Nazareth College, Multicultural Studies (search for "Multicultural"), http://www.naz.edu/cas/departments-and-programs
* New York University, Africana Studies, http://africanastudies.as.nyu.edu/page/home
* Niagara University, Africana Studies Program (previously listed as Black Family Studies), http://www.niagara.edu/africana-studies
* Pace University, African and African-American Studies minor, http://web.pace.edu/page.cfm?doc_id=21302
* Sarah Lawrence College, Africana Studies, http://www.slc.edu/undergraduate/study/africana-studies/index.html
* Siena College, Multicultural Studies, http://www.siena.edu/pages/3411.asp
* St. John Fisher College, African American Studies minor, http://www.sjfc.edu/academics/arts-science/departments/afam/
* St. John's University, Africana Studies minor (search for "Africana"), http://www.stjohns.edu/academics/undergraduate/liberalarts/programs/minors
* St. Lawrence University, African American Studies Program (previously listed as United States Cultural and Ethnic Studies), http://www.stlawu.edu/academics/programs/african-american-studies
* State University of New York - Albany, Africana Studies, http://www.albany.edu/africana/
* State University of New York - Binghamton, Africana Studies, http://www.binghamton.edu/bulletin/1998-99/africana.html
* State University of New York - Brockport, African and Afrrican-American Studies Department, http://www.brockport.edu/aas/
* State University of New York - Buffalo, African and African American Studies, http://www.buffalo.edu/departments/details?id=332
* State University of New York - Buffalo State College, African and African American Studies interdisciplinary unit, http://www.buffalostate.edu/africanamericanstudies/
* State University of New York - Cortland, Africana Studies Department (previously listed as African American Studies), http://www2.cortland.edu/departments/africana/
* State University of New York - Fredonia, African American Studies minor, http://www.fredonia.edu/department/interdisciplinary/african_american_studies.asp
* State University of New York - New Paltz, Black Studies, http://bree.newpaltz.edu/blackstudies/index.html
* State University of New York - Oneonta, Africana and Latino Studies, http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/africlat/
* State University of New York - Oswego, African/African-American Studiesprogram, http://www.oswego.edu/academics/colleges_and_departments/departments/interdisciplinary/african-american.html
* State University of New York - Plattsburgh, Africana Studies minor, http://www.plattsburgh.edu/academics/africana/
* State University of New York - Potsdam, Africana Studies program, http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/interdisciplinary/africanastudies/index.cfm
* State University of New York - Purchase, Global Black Studies program, https://www.purchase.edu/coursecatalog/2008-10/AcademicPrograms/LAS/Interdisciplinary/GlobalBlackStudies/default.aspx
* State University of New York - Stony Brook, Africana Studies, http://www.stonybrook.edu/afs/?home
* Syracuse University, African American Studies Department, http://aas.syr.edu/
* Union College, Africana Studies Department, http://www.union.edu/academic_depts/africana_studies/
* University of Rochester, African and African-American Studies Institute, http://www.rochester.edu/college/aas/
* Vassar College, Africana Studies Program, http://africanastudies.vassar.edu/
* Wells College, African American Studies concentration, http://www.wells.edu/academic/american_studies.htm
* Canisius College, African American Experience Program, http://www.canisius.edu/oishei/dierenfield.asp
* City University of New York - Bronx Community College, Africana, Latino & Native American Studies option, https://www.bcc.cuny.edu/DegreePrograms/?page=Display_Degree_Program&curBronxCode=537
* Dominican College, Ethnic Diversity Studies minor, http://www.dc.edu/academics.aspx?id=320
* Marist College, African Diaspora Studies minor, http://www.marist.edu/liberalarts/history/africandiasporaminor.html
* Monroe Community College, African American Studies Program, http://www.monroecc.edu/etsdbs/mccatpub.nsf/56f69934f9a0559685257020006ed4f7/132c63f599ad7a04852572f700577bd4?OpenDocument
* Nassau Community College, Africana Studies Department, http://www.ncc.edu/Academics/AcademicDepartments/AfricanaStudies/
* Onondaga Community College, African-American Studies minor, http://www.sunyocc.edu/academics.aspx?id=1499
* Rochester Institute of Technology, Minority Relations in the United States concentration, http://www.rit.edu/cla/concentrations.php?code=mrl
* State University of New York - Geneseo, Black Studies/Africana Studies, http://www.geneseo.edu/~abs/
* State University of New York - Old Westbury, African American Studies minor, http://www.oldwestbury.edu/dept/history/majors.cfm
Institutions in New York without Black Studies
Adirondack Community College, http://www.sunyacc.edu/
Alfred University, http://www.alfred.edu
Broome Community College, http://www.sunybroome.edu/
Cayuga County Community College, http://www.cayuga-cc.edu/
City University of New York - Kingsborough Community College, http://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/
City University of New York - LaGuardia Community College, http://www.lagcc.cuny.edu/
City University of New York - Queensborough Community College, http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/
Clarkson University, http://www.clarkson.edu/
Clinton Community College, http://www.clinton.edu/
College of Mount Saint Vincent, http://www.mountsaintvincent.edu
Columbia-Greene Community College, http://www.sunycgcc.edu/
Concordia College, http://www.concordia-ny.edu/
Corning Community College, http://www.corning-cc.edu/
Dowling College, http://www.dowling.edu
Dutchess Community College, http://www.sunydutchess.edu/
Erie Community College, http://www.ecc.edu/
Finger Lakes Community College, http://www.flcc.edu/
Fulton-Montgomery Community College, http://www.fmcc.suny.edu/
Genesee Community College, http://www.genesee.edu/
Herkimer County Community College, http://www.herkimer.edu/
Hilbert College, http://www.hilbert.edu/
Houghton College, http://www.houghton.edu/
Hudson Valley Community College, https://www.hvcc.edu/
Iona College, http://www.iona.edu/
Jamestown Community College, http://www.sunyjcc.edu/
Jefferson Community College, http://www.sunyjefferson.edu/
Keuka College, http://keuka.edu/
Le Moyne College, http://www.lemoyne.edu/
Long Island University, http://www.liunet.edu/
Manhattan College, http://www.mancol.edu/
Medaille College, http://www.medaille.edu/
Mercy College, https://www.mercy.edu/
Mohawk Valley Community College, http://www.mvcc.edu/
Molloy College, http://www.molloy.edu/
Mount Saint Mary College, http://www.msmc.edu/
New York Institute of Technology, http://www.nyit.edu/
Niagara County Community College, http://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/
North Country Community College, http://www.nccc.edu/
Orange County Community College, http://www.sunyorange.edu/
Polytechnic Institute of New York University, http://www.poly.edu/
Pratt Institute, http://www.pratt.edu/
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, http://rpi.edu/
Roberts Wesleyan College, http://www.roberts.edu/
Rockefeller University, http://www.rockefeller.edu/
Rockland Community College, http://www.sunyrockland.edu/
Saint Joseph's College, http://www.sjcny.edu/
Schenectady County Community College, http://www.sunysccc.edu/
Skidmore College, http://cms.skidmore.edu
St. Bonaventure University, http://www.sbu.edu/
St. Thomas Aquinas College, http://www.stac.edu/
State University of New York - Alfred State College of Technology, http://www.alfredstate.edu/
State University of New York - Canton, http://www.canton.edu/
State University of New York - Cobleskill, http://www.cobleskill.edu/
State University of New York - Delhi, http://www.delhi.edu/
State University of New York - Farmingdale, http://www.farmingdale.edu/
State University of New York - Morrisville, http://www.morrisville.edu/
State University of New York Institute of Technology, http://www.sunyit.edu/
Suffolk County Community College, http://www3.sunysuffolk.edu/index.asp
Sullivan County Community College, http://www.sullivan.suny.edu/
The King's College, http://www.tkc.edu/
The New School, http://www.newschool.edu/
The Sage Colleges, http://www.sage.edu/
Tompkins Cortland Community College, http://www.tc3.edu/
Ulster County Community College, http://www.sunyulster.edu/
Utica College, http://www.utica.edu/
Westchester Community College, http://www.sunywcc.edu/
Friday, March 26, 2010
People’s Tribunal: Women of Color and Healthcare
When asked who I am, I'd love to tell a lie,
But truth is I am Black (colored) and a woman, so despised.
When asked why I claim to have minority status in a world filled with people (colored women) just like me,
I bring up politics and big businesses ran by the world "minority."
The power holding majority
And that's where it counts!
Who has all the power?...
The question to which it all amounts.
Who controls our resources, social institutions, and education?
Who controls the government and language in this nation?
The answer: Certainly not I!
I'm not a man. I'm not white, so how could it be me(?)
When our world is governed by the laws of racism and patriarchy.
But what does this all mean?
Well, Patriarchy is a system where men make the rules and women don't matter
Because it's highly unlikely that they'll be allowed to climb the social ladder.
And racism is hatred based on differences between cultures and extreme prejudice
And in a society like this everybody's gotta be sick...
Physically, spiritually, and in every other way,
Which brings us to the topic of the day...
Women of Color and health care in the U.S. of A.
Now, we all know Healthcare is not for people like me…
A woman…of color… plus, I’m poor, you see!
“Our” healthcare system is a tool to keep more of the same:
Classism, Racism, Sexism, Capitalism, Patriarchy, and White-Supremacy
For goodness sake it’s one of the top 3 U.S. most profitable industries!
Now, to make it all clear for those who don’t see
“Our” system perpetuates classism through capitalism, patriarchy through sexism, and white supremacy through racism. Do you feel me?
No?...Well, life goes on…
Forced sterilizations of Latinas, Natives, and Blacks!
There is a history here of these horrid acts
Remember Tuskegee, Tennessee?
Men haven’t been the only “lab rats” since the slaves where freed
These are the acts that embody the “mainstream” sentiment for women of color…
Even in healthcare
And No! It AIN’T fair!
If you don’t know, now you’ve been introduced
Look it up in a library or on youtube
Now back to healthcare and what it includes, and what it should be, and what we should do
Healthcare, for me, means “taking care of health”
Of the individual, the family, the society, and whatever else
The children of the colored shouldn’t be forced to assimilate
We have cultures of our own…Lets learn, accept, and appreciate!
OR we could keep teaching our children that all that is white is right…white supremacy (hint, hint)
That our children should grow to “talk like them”, “walk like them”, “dress like them”, “BE like them”…
Because what they have is good…and how they got it doesn’t matter
“They” the mainstream, white-american “norm”
The myth that even white folks can’t live up to
But what does the myth do anyway/
It tears at our pride and the self-esteem of our youth
And a system that keeps producing sick people like this
Needs to be destroyed, so something better can exist
A healthcare system that cares so little about whether it’s recipients are being fed adequately, clothed, housed, educated, or happy to be alive
Should do like we can’t help but do and DIE, DIE, DIE!
To be honest we don’t have to stop there
Let’s get rid of this whole capitalist, classist, racist, white-supremacist, patriarchal system!
First we must observe, tear down, then rebuild in order to progress
Even if that means saying good bye to old things
And hello to hard-work and stress!
“How could the devil take a brother if he’s close to me?” A Tupac quote
Let’s work from love like Che said revolutionaries do
Saying goodbye to the current system means a step forward towards a healthier YOU
In more ways than one
Let’s stop being afraid of challenging old ways, of hurting feelings, of disagreeing
Let’s stop being afraid to make a stand and start changing the world!
November 11, 2009
Women of Color
Simone Lockhart is now an intern at the Academy of Da Corner. She submitted this poem as a writing sample.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
We rejected the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in his classic book Message to the Black Man, so today the white man, yes, the white devil, Yacub’s grafted being, is teaching his people from Message to the Black Man. On the popular AM radio show Coast to Coast Live, recently featured on the TV show Nightline, for years, the white man has been talking about many of the notions Elijah tried to tell us in his book and Supreme Wisdom. At least the hip hop generation has a version of Supreme Wisdom in the Five Percent philosophy so popular with rappers.
We must say that even the blacks, including and especially, the followers of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad may have gotten Supreme Wisdom but they didn’t get it, they didn’t believe it and didn’t try to implement some of his practical do for self teachings that went beyond mythology and capital accumulation but toward nation building.
Eighty years after the birth of the NOI, we should be closer to realizing our national aspirations but talk of Nation Time is far from the lips of nationalists, revolutionary nationalists, Pan Africanists and any others with pretence of nationalism. In fact, nationalism is a dirty word, and even those who espouse any degree of nationalism are considered narrow minded, especially if they don’t give priority to Pan Africanism or the multi-culturals, the last term considered the new word for failed integration by Dr. Julia Hare.
We have gone from Black Studies to Diaspora Studies, since the focus on Black Studies gave priority to the so-called Negro and the white man has no intention to permit his certified Negro scholars to address the critical issues of mis-education, disparities in health care, post-slavery trauma and unresolved grief, economic parity, incarceration and the need for a general amnesty since 80% of inmates are dual diagnosed, i.e., suffer drug abuse and mental illness. And more importantly, would be free if they had proper legal representation during their trials.
But night after night, month after month, a white version of Message to the Black Man is being taught and discussed by white authors, scholars, and scientists, and even common white people give their testimonies to verify the teachings that range from extra-terrestrial
beings on earth and how their space craft enter on a constant basis, abducting humans at will and subjecting them to experiments, including sexual intercourse and giving birth to earth/ET creatures that are and have been a part of earth’s population for trillions of years.
As Elijah taught, the Message to the White Man people claim the only so-called humans who shall remain on earth are the aboriginal Africans, all others must depart the planet because they were only here for a lesson and they have failed to learn it, so their time is up. They shall leave earth for some other planet where they must continue to study civility but they shall not be allowed to live on earth.
Message to the White Man people are to be congratulated for at least getting the truth to their people. After all, very few blacks listen to AM radio, even though Coast to Coast Live is on late nights when blacks are up partying and bullshitting, as the Last Poets taught us.
Authors, scholars, scientists and other experts give one, two, and three hour discussions
On how the US Government has suppressed information about inter space travel, and UFO’s and ET’s being in and out of here for trillions of years, along with man himself.
Of course, such information is beyond western history or even mythology, but is quite familiar to anyone with an iota of Supreme Wisdom. Elijah told us the Aboriginal Asiatic Black man has been here trillions of years, at least since the moon separated from the earth 66 trillion years ago.
As per UFO’s, last year whites in Texas claimed they saw a space ship with dimensions of one mile by a half mile, the exact dimensions of the Mother Ship described in Message to the Black Man.
In the Myth of Yacub, Elijah told you how the white man was created by genetic engineering, by separating the dominant gene from the recessive gene until the humans reached the final color stage of white or colored. Yes, the colored man is the white man. Now tell that to the NAACP and other foolish blacks calling themselves colored to be in harmony with the multi-culturals.
Yet, for ages animals have been cloned, such as the horse into mule and donkey, and we know the whites in their bio-tech labs have cloned animals and humans—of course they will disclose the human cloning to you at the appropriate time. Just as they have kept knowledge of the UFO’s from you because that would reveal your national security was breached and thus the trillion dollar defense budget is a sham or scam as it was revealed on 9/11. Do you really believe some ignorant Arabs could fly airplanes undetected up and down the east coast with the US Air Force unable to attack and destroy them? Well, what might you do if you were told alien beings enter the earth in general and the US in particular on a nightly or daily basis, at will and unobstructed, unable to be prevented by any planes or missiles or devices known to man? You might flick your bick! You might have a panic attack and die. You would certainly not believe you were secured by your government.
For years, Coast to Coast has discussed UFO’s and ET’s. Common people have reported being abducted and taken aboard space crafts for examinations and even sexual intercourse, and some persons claim to have given birth to human/alien beings. In short, there are many ET’s walking our streets appearing in the guise of human beings.
Message to the White Man scholars have totally smashed and destroyed the traditional Western chronology of history and time, just as Message to the Black Man Supreme Wisdom transcended and made obsolete Black Studies, Africana Studies, Pan African Studies, Diaspora Studies, or whatever it is so-called Negroes are certified to teach. As the Message to the White Man scholars noted, knowledge is based on whatever regime is in power. With White Supremacy in power, all knowledge must be approved by the White Supremacy rulers, including politicians, preachers and teachers; they all agree on the validity of information—let us not fail to mention the media witch doctors.
But Western history and this includes Black Studies or more precisely, Flat Studies—Black Studies is a few trillion years behind Supreme Wisdom, for the academic master’s only allow the Blacks, Africans or whatever they are, to pontificate a chronology that is only a few thousand or million years longer than that taught by their master’s. Thus, white history is a fict and most of what is taught as black history. To say our history is mainly American slavery and African civilization is yet a mis-education of the so-called Negro, since it is a fact, not a fict (Dr. Nathan Hare’s fictive theory that everything is a fiction until proven to be a fact) that, as Elijah taught, everywhere we go on the planet earth we find evidence of the Aboriginal Asiatic Black man and woman. Standard research claims we are four million years old, but Elijah debunked this and the Message to the White Man scholars as well.
Both white and black traditional scholars have been exposed for the pitiful teachers of Miller Lite White Supremacy knowledge. Message to the White Man scholars have essentially validated Elijah’s Supreme Wisdom which should have been the foundation of Black Studies, but the so-called Negroes were so smart they outsmarted themselves.
When I taught Black Studies at Fresno State University, 1969, one of my texts was Message to the Black Man. My journalism students were required to read Muhammad Speaks newspaper.
But of course, in order to be certified by the White Supremacy powers, so-called Negro professors could not nor would not teach from Message to the Black Man and/or Supreme Wisdom. Elijah’s teachings were considered poppycock, while we now see it is Western and Black Studies that is poppycock. As my junior colleague Ptah Allah El (Tracy Mitchell) says, “Black Studies when to college and never came home.” Yes, forty years later we are now considering the original mission of Black Studies: to uplift the community and to teach an alternative pedagogy than the white supremacy curriculum.
Black Studies or whatever names its called to satisfy the white colonial masters, is either going to jump out of the box of “the earth is flat” studies or follow the Message to the White Man scholars and approach the philosophy of Supreme Wisdom, whether they like it or not, whether they believe it or not, for with each passing moment it is approaching actual fact rather than fict!
Take for example, the concern with the coming end of the world, 2012. Even our youth are living in fear the end of the world is only two years away. But Elijah taught us the Aboriginal Black man’s history is written every twenty-five thousand years, a cycle of time based on the distance around the earth. Thus, 2012 is a new era or time cycle, an era of Divine or God consciousness rather than the previous cycle of animal or human consciousness. All thinking other than Divine, all behavior other than Divine, shall be prevented. All those not on the Divine plane shall get up outta here—don’t matter where they go. The innocent shall be removed as well. They were told in the Bible they would be destroyed for lack of knowledge, so ignorance shall be no excuse. Flat Studies shall get you nowhere but outta here. The party’s over, and you gotta go somewhere, for sure, you gotta get outta here!
The philosopher, mystic, poet, musician, Sun Ra, tried to tell you we were originally from somewhere else—and this is contrary to the Message to the White Man people, because as I noted above, they claim we are the aboriginals of earth, but we know the Message to the White Man people are just getting a grip on what’s really going on in the universe. But Sun Ra taught when our people sang Swing Low Sweet Chariot; they were speaking of space ships, for what kind of chariot can swing low? And for sure, no Africans flying airplanes have landed to make even a symbolic gesture to return us to Africa. We have yet to see Nigerian Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Egyptian Airlines or Air Jamaica land with the express purpose of swingin low to take us home. Only thing we know is that a young Nigerian brother boarded a plane without a passport to arrive here on Xmas day to blow us up!
It should be clear as we enter the new age of the next 25,000 year cycle, the old wisdom is exhausted, obsolete and must be abandoned, and that a new body of knowledge is required, new thinking and most of all, new acting, as we enter the post-black, post 9/11 and post-2012. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Boston: Askia Toure Steals Show From Marvin X
Marvin X’s East coast book tour took him to Boston this past Saturday. He was greeted by comrades from the Black Arts Movement, poet Askia Toure and playwright Ed Bullins. Prior to the book signing at the African America Masters Art Gallery in Jamaica Plain, the trio did two radio interviews. On Sister Soul’s show, Marvin X astounded the sister with his reading of What If and the essay Language from his latest collection Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality. She was only the first interviewer to be left breathless after his reading.
Ed Bullins and Askia also addressed the radio audience on the history and nature of the Black Arts Movement, stressing the importance of it in the literary, political and academic radicalization of America, then the trio departed for another interview in Quincey, an affluent suburb of Boston. Marvin X again left the interviewer , sister Victoria, literally breathless and unable to speak. The air was charged with the holy ghost.
Then it was Askia’s turn at the mike. The elder statesman of BAM was not to be out done by his junior comrade from the West coast. Askia spit out one of the most powerful free style poems in the history of BAM. The energy in the room was as if a bomb had been exploded. Everyone was shocked at Askia’s free style, delivered in his well known grandiose manner. Even Askia appeared shocked at himself, as he was a few years ago at Atlanta’s Spelman’s college when he read his poem on Venus And Serena, causing the audience of mostly women to explode with deafening applause.
Later that evening at the African American Gallery, a facility supported by UMASS, professor Tony Van de Meer introduced the poets and they continued the momentum begun that morning, in harmony with the gathering storm outside. The audience included high school and university students, professors, activists and community folks who defied the storm to attend.
Marvin X will appear in Hartford, Conn. on Friday, April 20, 6pm, 265 Oxford Street, hosted by novelist Dana Rondel.
He will appear in Brooklyn at Sista’s Place on Friday, April 27, 6:30pm. On April 28 he will sign books at the Umoja Gallery in Washington DC, 2015 Bunker Hill Road, NE.
Harlem residents can catch him on May 19 at the Malcolm X Writers Panel, along with Amiri Baraka, Kevin Powell and others, Schomburg Library, 3-6pm.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org/718-574-6331
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Parable of the Baby Carriage
There was a young couple arguing on the street, downtown Oakland. Two young girls were with them, one in a baby carriage and the other tagging along in silent terror. As they crossed the street, an old white woman was shouting at the young man to stop talking so disrespectfully to the woman who appeared to be his wife or partner, she was obviously the mother of the children, but it is not clear he was the father, more than likely he was the father of maybe one child, but we don't know for sure.
The man turned around to tell the old white lady to stay out of his business, that he was talking to "his woman," and she needed to get out of his mix. The old white man was persistent: she continued telling him not to be so disrespectful with his speech.
After crossing the street, she went her way as the couple continued fussing and cussing at each other, with the children along for the roller coaster ride they appeared accustomed.
At one point the man tried to take off with the baby in the carriage, but the woman snatched the baby out the carriage and grabbed her other little girl by the hand, leaving the man standing with the empty carriage.
Now that she had herself and the children safely in hand, we thought she would go her way. But she immediately got on her cell phone and called him. He had gone down into the BART station with the baby carriage.
On the phone, she begged him to bring back the carriage because she had her baby's Pampers in it. She told him she wished he would quit tripping and acting stupid because she didn't have time to play, she had to pick up her son at school in a little while. She told him she couldn't understand why he was tripping and that if he came over more often he could call the shots. For now, would he please bring the carriage with the Pampers so she could go handle her business.
Though she begged and pleaded, the man never returned with the carriage. He didn't know that not only were the baby Pampers in the carriage, but her little money was stashed there as well--or maybe he did, maybe that's why he took the carriage.
She walked up the street, baby in one arm, holding the hand of the little girl. She knew she couldn't waste much time with her "man" because she had to pick up her son from school, and if she were late again, the school had warned her they were going to call Child Protective Services who might take her son.
She disappeared up the street, torn between getting her money out the carriage and getting her son from school. We don't know if she ever caught up with "baby daddy" or her "man."
A story from Plato Negro's classroom, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland.
Parable of the Man
With the Gun in Hand
Once there was a man with a gun in his hand; he came to a land and made the native people slaves. The natives had lived on the land since the world began, but now they were slaves. "And," said the man who came to the land, "they shall be slaves 'til they are in their graves."
The land was ripe with everything: diamonds and gold, wealth untold--the land was fit for Kings and Queens. But the man with the gun in his hand wanted everything.
The natives did not know he had no soul, they even called him "brother." Even though the man with the gun in his hand had lynched their fathers and raped their mothers, they still called him "brother."
"Do you call a snake your brother?" one native asked another. "But I have a dream!" said the other, "even this snake is my brother."
"You are a fool," said the first, "you see this snake crawling all over the earth!"
So the man with the gun in his hand not only had the natives working for nothing, but he also had them fighting instead of uniting, while he stood in the corner laughing.
Time passed. The man who came to the land grew fat. "Look, he is a pig!" one native said. The next day this native was dead.
"Look, he is a pig," said another, and the next day they found him dead. No, the man with the gun in his hand didn't like being called a pig. Yes, he knew he was wrong for taking their land and working them down to the bone, but he was a pig doing his gig, so he went right on.
Now out in the bush a native said, "My brothers, the time has come! The time has come to seize our land from the man with the gun in his hand. The time has come. I know you are blind, deaf and dumb, but I have been raised from among you to show you the way. I have studied the nature of the man with the gun in his hand; he has the nature of a devil; his history is full of evil--surely he is a devil!
But do not fear, he is not so powerful. It is we, the people, who are really powerful. We know God helps those who help themselves, so let us rise up and do for self!
Unite! Stop fighting each other, stop fighting your friends for your enemy. Brothers, we are all victims of this beast. What can you lose, you are already on the bottom? Wake up! Stand on your feet. The time has come to stop being food for the pig to eat!"
Parable of the Man with the Gun in His Hand was first published in Black World Magazine, June 1970. It later appeared in Woman, Man's Best Friend by El Muhajir/Marvin X, Al Kitab Sudan Press, 1973.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Plato Negro on the Cell Phone
And the last thing a woman needed was a cell phone. She walks talking, sits talking, sleeps talking, eats talking, screws talking, on the toilet talking, in the bathtub talking. She will be in her coffin talking on the cell phone.
Yeah, these nigguhs is here at my funeral. Yeah, that bitch is here. Now you know I don't like that bitch. I should get out this casket and beat her motherfuckin ass. How dare she come to my funeral after I caught her and my man fucking. They can fuck forever now cause I'm outta here.Yeah, I'm gone baby girl. But did you hear that other bitch sing that song I don't like? Yeah, how dat hoe gon sing a song I don't even like at my funeral. I should get out this casket and whip her ass too.
These nigguhs is too much for me. I'm so glad I'm outta here. And my man sittin there cryin crocodile tears. You know he gon be at one of his other bitches house tonight. She gon be feelin all sorry for him. I should send my spirit over her house and bust up they shit. Know what I mean. I should just command my spirit over her place and fuck it up.
Now bout this heaven shit, Girl. We go see when I get there. Better be some fine nigguhs up in heaven or I'm goin down to hell. I am not gonna be where no mud duck lookin nigguhs is. And I gotta be there for eternity. Hell to the naw. Cause I know I'm cute. Did you see what I had on at my wake last night. Yeah, was I cute, girlfriend? I told dem funeral people don't be makin me look like no damn ghost wit all dat gray ass makeup. Have me lookin cute leavin here.
Well, girl they bout to close the casket. I'm so sorry you couldn't make it but everybody got up and said they little piece. They didn't stop nobody from saying what they thought about me, but you know it was all lies. Nigguhs oughta stop lyin like that. Half them nigguhs hated my guts.You shoulda seen that hoe came dressed like mother Hubbard, crying all over my casket, bout to knock me ova. I started to raise up and slap dat bitch, but I kept my cool. I just kept lookin up at the ceiling.
Girl you take care. I hope they got some damn cigaretts in heaven, and they better have some Hennessey, I swear, or I'm going straight to hell.Let me get off dis phone. Later, girl.
The cell phone is a new addiction and thus detox and recovery are in order. Go sit somewhere and listen to the inner self, don't be afraid, let self talk with self! You do have a self, right?Most importantly, the cell phone may be a danger to our health, causing brain damage from radiation. In Europe, pregnant women are banned from using the cell phone. And with the I-phone and U-phone, Black Berry and Red Berry, the multi-uses include greater radiation. So keep talking, Mr. and Mrs. Negro, African, Aboriginal.But let's talk without talking.
We have a prescription for full blown Armageddon. Let the fundamental Christians rejoice along with the 12vers in Iran who joyfully and anxiously await the return of the 12th Imam or Mahdi, while the Christians savor the return of their Messiah with the destruction of Jerusalem, or with a more dramatic total destruction of the Middle East. And so we now await the final Holocaust to usher in the new era of peace in the world.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
neighborhoods announcing a site of a Peripatetic lecture. These could be held in parks
Dr. Hare to Dr. Rodney Coates
From an institutionalized brother…
--Rodney D. Coates, Professor
He put water on the top of the pile and the flames seemed to subside. He continued pouring water on the top of the pile until he thought the fire was out, since he didn't see anymore flames. He went inside and went to sleep. While he was asleep the smoldering fire underneath began to burn again until the flames could be seen by neighbors who called the fire department. They rushed to the scene. When the man heard the fire trucks he got up and ran outside to see the pile of weeds flaming high with embers going up into the night sky.
The firemen put out the fire and told the man to get out of the way so they could finish the job he had half done. He did as told and the firemen extinguished the fire, including the smoldering weeds on the bottom.The firemen told him to never forget the fire underneath that can smolder for days and flame up periodically, depending on the wind. Just because you put water on the top, don't think the fire is out. Remember the smoldering flames underneath that must be suppressed.
The condition of the American economic and financial crisis is analogous to the Parable of the Fire. The fire took place in the back yard of the White House. The President was the man trying to put the fire out. He applied the socalled conservative voodoo trickle down theory to the fire, starting at the top as the President did with his bailout of the banks, insurance companies and corporations. While the trickle down theory did assuage the meltdown, the crucial factor was not at the top but the fire smoldering underneath.
But being so smart he outsmarted himself, the President proclaimed a victory over the crisis, even though the fire underneath was yet burning with unemployment, mortgage debt, homelessness and growing anger among the people since many were also starving for they were without money for basic survival.
The President even continued sleeping without addressing the issue at hand, jobs, jobs, jobs, rather he focused on health insurance that even if passed would be unaffordable since people are unemployed. Like the man putting out the fire, his energy was misplaced though well meaning.The neighbors who called the fire department are all those who were for him initially and even those who were against him.
The fire is causing a symbiotic unity among the people that will likely cause his removal from the White House. Yes, dissatisfaction brings about a change, real change. It appears the President will be evicted from the White House after his first term. The winds are gathering to sweep him from office. The winds of war are yet blowing in the East, costing him trillions of dollars.
There are even little fires in the fields nearby caused by the embers blowing in the wind. The global financial system is yet burning. Greece is on fire and other nations are no out of danger. There is the fire of the drug war on the President's border.
Seven thousand murders in the last few years. Even inside the border there is fire in the cities, with thousands murdered in the inner cities, yet we hear nothing from the sleeping President. He promises to address the problem of education, housing and employment with the avowed enemies of his country before addressing the smoldering fire of discontent in his backyard.
Plato Negro on Suicide
"My life and death are all for Allah."
Your body is the Temple of God. Will you destroy God's Temple? By what right, since you did not give yourself life and breath?
How can one comprehend the need or desire for self-destruction? Is it brought on by a conviction that life is hopeless, that there is no possibility of over coming the obstacles in ones path? Does it occur when one is overwhelmed, seeing no way out, no exit, from the dread of life?
Since life is finite, why not go now rather than later, thus applying a quick fix to alleviate the pain and suffering of the diminished mind that has convinced itself it cannot overcome, cannot transcend?
And then there are acts of shame that bring about suicide, a broken love life, death of a lover, a failed business, the sudden end to a promising career. There are no end of reasons to make the cowardly action of self-destruction. We cannot imagine that a sane or normal person would perform such action, anymore than we can imagine a sane or normal person would commit homicide. And yet suicide and homicide happen with such frequency we want to call them normal and sane acts of a society claiming to not be abnormal.
Yet something tells us such actions are not normal but emanate from depraved minds--as if such minds exist in a vacuum, disconnected from the greater society, aberrations they are called. To come away from denial would be too great of an indictment of society, how can it admit it is the guilty party for the self-destruction of its citizens?
But we know self annihilation occurs when hope and dreams are not realized, when people who are oppressed and exploited see no way out. Even the oppressor comes to realize his bestiality, that he has too long robbed the people, and if this is not a self discovery, it may be because he has been discovered or exposed, which can cause the same pain, shame, and horror experienced by the oppressed. Short of suicide is the Sado-masochists who want to experience the pain they have inflicted on others. And when masochism does not suffice, suicide is the ultimate and final solution.
We wonder at the cause of unhappiness and dread in man, but we also know materialism is the great possibility bar none. Things, contrary to the consumer driven capitalist society, cannot replace love. But things become the addiction to the illusion, leading us to the precipice of dread and nothingness, pushing us headlong into the chasm of self-annihilation.
Only by embracing spiritual consciousness and social activism can we avoid the chasm of dread and nothingness, emanating from the delusion of materialism that ultimately takes us down the road to suicide or its cowardly opposite, homicide, though homicide is often merely a disguise for suicide. The brother put himself in a situation where another brother or the police could take his life since he was too cowardly to take his own life.
Yuba City Jail
from The Wisdom of Plato Negro: A Hustler's Guide to the Game Called Life, by Marvin X, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2010. Publication date, late 2010. Read it online at http://www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com/
In 2002, Marvin X lost his son to suicide at 39 years old. His son suffered mani-depression, a situational disorder caused by oppression, occording to Dr. Franz Fanon and Dr. Nathan Hare. His son was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley in Arabic and Near Eastern Studies. He studied in Egypt and Damascus, Syria, and did graduate study at Harvard. Peace be upon him, Abdul El Muhajir (Darrel Jackmon).