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Marvin X on YouTube

Marvin X 

Table of Contents

Get your pre-publication copy, now of Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality Essays on Consciousness



Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man's Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

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Marvin X—born Marvin Ellis Jackmon on May 29, 1944 in Fowler, California—attended Fresno at Edison High, Oakland City College (now Merritt College) receiving an associate degree in 1964.  Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the founders of the Black Panther Party, were fellow students at Oakland City College. Marvin also received a BA and MA in English at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University). More

Chronology of Marvin X (El Muhajir )  Marvin X Bio   Bibliography of Marvin X

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Who can speak to me about Ancestor Elizabeth Cattlett Mora, she was like my mother, my comrade, my mentor, my advisor. She gave me refuge in Mexico City when I fled the Us from refusing to be a running dog for US imperialism in Vietnam. No Viet Cong called me a nigguh! She was the witness at my wedding in Mexico City, her and her husband Poncho, when I married Barbara Hall, mother of my children Nefertiti and Amiri. She warned me not to travel to British Honduras, but I was hard headed and ignored her then soon after I entered British Honduras I was deported and thrown upon a plane to Miami FL, then eventually spent five months in Federal Prison, Terminal Island, CA. What else can I say about my comrade, my elder, my ancestor? She was a revolutionary artist supreme. This is why I cannot accept bourgeoisie art in any form, shape or manner.

When I walked into her casa in Mexico City she was working on a piece dedicated to the Black Panther Party. All her life she was a revolutionary, so how can I accept bitch ass nigguhs with their Miller Lite art so they can make a dollar and fifty cents then sell out for five dollars to make three dollars? As President Clinton said, it's not arithmetic!—Marvin X Jackmon (14 October 2012)

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The Human Earthquake Hits University of HoustonMarvin X smashed through the "Veil" at the University of Houston's Africana Studies Department. He addressed students in Dr. Conyers' Sociolinguistics class, followed by speaking with students in Dr. Malachi Crawford's Introduction to African American Studies. Marvin X read from his assorted writings then took questions. For the Sociolinguistics class, he opened with his essay "The Psycholinguistic Crisis of the North American African," describing how we endured the transformation from Kunta Kinti to Toby, a psycholinguistic crisis of major proportion, with the attendant trauma and colonization of the black mind, the initial destruction of the self. He then read several poems using language from the Black Arts Movement. Amiri Baraka taught us if you mean "get off the sidewalk," then say "get off the sidewalk." Nothing subtle here, no metaphor, innuendo, circumlocution. As Clay told Lula in Baraka's Dutchman, "

If Bessie Smith had killed some white people, she wouldn't have needed to sing the blues!" "All the hip ofays talk about Charlie Parker, but they don't know Charlie Parker was saying, "Up your ass, motherfucker, up your ass."blackbirdpressnews

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Am I Black, Am I White?

Amiri Baraka and Marvin X Rock UC Berkeley Poetry Reading

Baghdad by the Bay

Barbara Boxer: In Search of My Soul Sister

Belafonte Whited Out in Oakland

Beloved Black Poet Determined to Fight New Jersey

Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality (review)

Nature and Spirituality  Language and Spirituality   Sectarianism and Spirituality  Ancestors and Spirituality  


Love and Spirituality  Death and Spirituality   Prison and Spirituality   Pimpin and Spirituality * Toward A Radical Spirituality  Militant and Spirituality  


Partner Violence and Spirituality*   Global Violence and Spirituality     Technology and Spirituality 


Street Violence and Spirituality  Rap and Spirituality    Future and Spirituality   Teacher and Spirituality    Myth and Spirituality 


Black Bourgeoisie Defend 

Black Reconstruction Week Two

Black Reconstruction #7

Black Scholars in Crisis?   

Bridging the Racial Gap in Education

Colin Powell

Cornel West As Angry Black Man (book review)

The Complexity of Iraq

Death from the Loss of Desire *

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Dr. Yusef Bey Transcends

The Education of Jah Amiel

Farrakhan's Final Call

Farrakhan's Last Hurrah Come Out

Foreword to How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy (Nathan Hare)

The Green Revolution

How to Stop Killing

Imagine A Black Nation

Islam Needs a Martin Luther 

Jazz and Blackness

The Journal of Pan African Studies

Land of My Daughters

London Bridges Falling Down  (Responses

A Look inside Baraka's Toilet *

Manifesto of The University of Poetry

Marvin X: A Critical Look at the Father of Muslim American Literature (planned book)

     Introduction  Dedication Contents The Contributors   Bibliography of Marvin X        Marvin X Gives Barefoot Lecture on Radical Spirituality

Marvin X and Fresno State University

Marvin X Speaks at San Francisco State

The Meaning of Black Reconstruction

Muslim Imam Warithdin Muhammad Makes Transition

My Friend the Devil: Memoir

Mythology of Pussy and Dick

No Woman No Cry . . . For Phyllis Lee Moore

Negro Psychosexuality in the Post Crack Society

Nigguh Please

Oakland, Toward Radical Spirituality (on Lovelle Mixon and Oscar Grant)

Of Men Beast, Ancestors and Nature

Of Monks and Ministers

On Dr M’s Movement to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

On the Death of Osama bin Laden

Open Letter to Dr. Hussein Shahristani

Oscar Grant articles-- Oakland, Toward Radical Spirituality  /  Parable of July 4, 1910

The Pain of Violence and Death in the Hood

Plato on Obama Drama

Poetic Mission: a Forum

The Politics of Life and Death (on Shani Baraka's death)

Preface to Letter from Curtis Muhammad

The Reactionary Negro

Report: BAM Conference

The San Francisco Anti-War March 

Thoughts on Jena & the Dirty South

Toward A Radical Spirituality  

Toward A Reader's Theatre

Understanding London A Review of My Son The Fanatic

VIP Nigguhs and Rape

Welcome to Mexi-Cali Poem & Creative Essay

When Jazz Ain't Jazz (performance review)

Why I Talk with Cows  

Why We Hate Marvin X by Anonymous X

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Marvin X Jet (video)

Marvin X Exhibits Personal Archives of Black Arts Movement at Berkeley Juneteenth, Sunday, June 26

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A Dialogue on the Afro American Situation

This program features the living legend Donald Warden, aka Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour, Paul Cobb, publisher of the Oakland Post and founding member of the African American Association along with Donald Warden. One of the hosts is Afrif Khatib, also a founding member of the AAA.

This organization was the pivotal group that gave black consciousness to students at Oakland's Merritt College, including Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Ernie Allen, Mamadou Lumumba, aka Kenny Freeman,  and Marvin X. The AAA thus influenced the founding of the Black Panther Party, Black Studies and the Black Arts Movement. Maulana Ron Karenga was the Los Angeles representative of the AAA. The Kwanza ritual came out of the AAA in Oakland.

A white view of Dr. Khalid

A native of Texas, Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour earned a bachelor's degree from Howard University and a law degree from UC Berkeley. Today he is an attorney who has sat on numerous corporate boards, including those of the Saudi African Bank and the Chicago-based LaGray Chemical Company. Mansour made headlines in 2008 when it was revealed that he had formerly been a patron of a young Barack Obama, whom he recommended for admission to Harvard Law School in 1988. 
It is likely that the two first met at Columbia University in the early 1980s, when Obama was a student there and Mansour was a guest lecturer. 

Before converting to Islam, Mansour (whose original name was Don Warden) was heavily involved in San Francisco Bay Area racial politics as founder of the African American Association in the early 1960s. He also served as a personal mentor to Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, helping the pair establish the Black Panther Party; a subsequent falling-out, however, caused Mansour to end his association with them.

In the mid-1970s, Mansour met and became an advisor to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Tatal, who today is best known for having offered a $10 million donation toward 9/11 relief efforts in 2001—an offer that was rejected by New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani when the prince suggested that the terrorist attacks were an indication that America “should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause.” Not long after meeting the prince, Mansour in 1977 was introduced to the king of Saudi Arabia and became his attorney.

A friend of the late professor Edward Said, Mansour—a black nationalist—is an outspoken hater of the United States, Israel, and white people generally. In recent years he has accused the U.S. of plotting a "genocide" designed "to remove 15 million black people, considered disposable, of no relevance, value or benefit to the American society." He has told fellow blacks: "Whatever you do to [white people], they deserve it, God wants you to do it, and that's whether you cut off the nose, cut off the ears, take flesh out of their body, don't worry. God wants you to do that." Alleging further that Palestinians in Israel "are being brutalized like savages," he accuses Israel's Jews of "stealing the land the same way the Christians stole the land from the Indians in America."

Mansour's has written numerous books, including such titles as The Destruction of Western Civilization as Seen through Islam and Will the West Rule Forever?blackbirdpressnews

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ChickenBones Poetry Book 2005

Land of My Daughters 

Poems 1995-2005

by Marvin X

Reviewed by Rudolph Lewis


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A Fictional Interview with President Barack Obama

Interview with Ed Bullins

Marvin X Unplugged -- An Interview  (Lee Hubbard)



A Drunkard in Denial  

At Fitnah

Baghdad By the Bay: The Surge Is Working

How To Love A Thinking Man (poem) *

How to Love a Thinking Woman (poem) *

I Thought (poem)

The News Ain't News

Remembering Shani Baraka  When Parents Bury Children

The Surge Is Working

Tom Feelings  

We're in Love, But You Don't Know Me *

What if there was no God but God

When I Think About the Women in My Life  *  

Where's Fats Domino

White Power

Journal of Pan African Studies is Online (Edited by Marvin X)

Parables and Fables


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Africa or America  On Cecil Brown's Hey, Dude, Where's My Black Studies Department

Akeelah and the Bee (film)

America Is Still the Place (Charlie Walker)

Ayodele Nzinga Reviews Essays on Consciousness by Marvin X 

Barefoot Lecture

Beyond Religion toward Spirituality ( (Ayodele Nzinga review) 

Bobby Mcferrin's  Beyond Words

Gospel of the Game (Film directed by Rosebud Bitterdose)

How to Find and Keep A BMW (Book by Julia Hare)

In The Crazy House Called America 

              Crazy House Contents   Crazy House Introduction (Suzzette Celeste Johnson)

Land of My Daughters (Review by Rudolph Lewis)

Lumumba (a film by Raoul peck)

Maangamizi (the Ancient One) (film review)

Marvin X as Plato  

Marvin X Offers a Healing Peek into His Psyche  (Junious Ricardo Stanton)

My Son The Fanatic (film)

Nothing But the Truth, as Told by Marvin X (By Nathan Hare)

Protest of Artist as Revolutionary (film)

The Pursuit of Happyness (film review)

Renaissance of Imagination (Lewis)

Salaam, Huey Newton, Salaam

Somebody Blew Up America (By Amiri Baraka)

The Sisyphus Syndrome: A Jazz Opera (By Amiri Baraka)

Toward A Radical Spirituality

Wish I Could Tell You the Truth (Review by Rudolph Lewis)

Wounded in the House of A Friend  (Poems by Sonia Sanchez)


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Related Material

Amiri Baraka Table 

Amistad 2 


Askia Muhammad Touré 


Ayodele Nzinga

Related files:  Duet for The Godfather (Wordslanger)  Blessings Are Due  (Ayodele Nzinga)  Leonard Peltier: Letter to a Relative  Beyond Religion toward Spirituality


BAM Conference at Howard Boycotted

A BAM Roll Call (Baraka) 

Black Art

Black Arts Movement (Kalamu) 

Black Immigrants Deported

Black Poetry 1965-2000 

The Black Poets (Dudley Randall) 

 Blessings Are Due  (Ayodele Nzinga) 

The Claude McKay--Romare Bearden 

Diary of Zena al Khalil

Don’t Say Goodbye to the Pork Pie Hat 

Duet for The Godfather (Wordslanger) 

Fifty Influential Figures

Glide Memorial United Methodist Church

The Ground on Which I Stand 

Haki Madhubuti 

The Image of the Black Criminal

Larry Neal Bio

Larry Neal Chronology

Larry Neal Interview in Omowe 

Larry Neal Speaks 

Marvin X on the Streets (Daniel King)

Message from Amiri Baraka 

Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance 

New Negro Poets U.S.A. (Hughes)

Omowe Interview (Larry Neal) 

The Poetry of Don L. Lee  

The Problem of "Settling"

Report: HU BAM Conference (Marvin X)

Response to Shaquille O’Neal 

The Revolutionary Theatre 

Somebody Blew Up America (Baraka poem)

Status and Standard Language

Teaching Diaspora Literature

Tenderloin Report

Toward a Feminist Theology

To White Women Who Think     

White Anti-Racist is an Oxymoron

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My Friend the Devil

A Memoir of My Association With Eldridge Cleaver

By Marvin X

Marvin X  Celebrates His 65th Birthday On May 29, 2009 /  contact:

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Finding Aid to the Marvin X Papers, 1965-2006, bulk 1993-2006

The Marvin X Papers document the life and work of playwright, poet, essayist, and activist Marvin X during the nineties and the first decade of the 21st Century. The papers include correspondence; Marvin X's writings; materials related to the Recovery Theatre; works by his children and colleagues; and resource files. Correspondence includes letters, cards, and e-mails; correspondents include Amiri Baraka and other prominent African-American intellectuals. Marvin X's writings include notebooks, drafts, and manuscripts of poetry, novels, plays, essays, and planned anthologies. Documents from the Recovery Theatre include organizational and financial records and promotional material. Writings by others include essays, scripts, and academic papers by his three daughters. Resource files include academic articles, e-mails, flyers, news clippings and programs that contextualize and document Marvin X's involvement as an activist, intellectual, and literary figure in the African American community in the Bay Area in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Photographs include snapshots of family, friends, colleagues, and productions at the Recovery Theatre. Online Archive of California

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The university of poetry is now academy of the corner, a multi-purpose free speech zone/free thought space, micro-credit bank/mental health peer group. Presently located at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland and online at:  and   and  

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Up from Ignut Or Pull Yo Pants Up Fa da Black President  

The Soulful Musings of a North American African.

By Marvin X.

Black Bird Press / 1222 Dwight Way / Berkeley CA 94702 / Pre-publication price: $10.00

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Parable of the Man Who Left the Mountain / Meaning of Black Reconstruction  /   Negro Psychosexuality  / Parable of King Tut


The Wisdom of Plato Negro: Parables / Fables

By Marvin X

Book Release Party for Marvin X / Saturday, May 15, 2pm

There will be a reading and book signing for Marvin X's / The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/Fables / African American Library/Museum, / 14th and Martin Luther King, Jr., / Downtown Oakland / For more information contact Veda Silva, Museum Project Coordinator, 510-637-0199.  Book price $100.00 / 309 pages / If you can't make the party, the book is available from: Black Bird Press / 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702 . Marvin X will be / accompanied by Rashidah Sabreen on vocals and guitar. If you missed them on KPFA, go to the archives at, transitions in tradition, this past Monday. Refreshments by GET JERKED! Please support one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement.

Advance the cultural revolution!

Parables and Fables of Marvin X  / The Education of Jah Amiel  / My Friend the Devil  / Marvin X  Celebrates His 65th Birthday

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Report: Dr. J. Vern Cromartie at Exhibit Marvin X—‏On Saturday, February 11, 2012, poet/sociologist Dr. J. Vern Cromartie presented a lecture/reading at Exhibit Marvin X. He gave a summary of the paper he presented on Marvin X's brief tenure as a lecturer in black studies at University of California, Berkeley, noting the poet taught there with only an A.A. degree from Merritt College. Along with the black studies faculty, Marvin was purged by the administration and more pliant Negroes were hired. Dr. Cromartie recalled Cecil Brown's book What Happened to My Black Studies Department? to suggest an even more sinister move wherein blacks are brought in from the Pan African Diaspora and given tenure because they are even more accommodating to white supremacy academia, the local radical academics being regarded as dangerous to the status quo.

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 After dark, mobs form, smash windows, loot  / The right verdict in Mehserle case

Parable of July 4, 1910

By  Marvin X

Obama may take the final punch for Jack Johnson  / What To The Slave Is 4th of July?

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Parable of Purple—In Oakland, we grew up playing the dozens, rapping about another brother's mother, trying to "cap" or best the brother in desecrating our sacred Mother Goddess. The winner said the most hurtful things, and yes, the contest often ended with a fight because the loser felt ashamed and humiliated. The hip hop generation has upped the game. On a recent Monday night, half a block from Academy of Da Corner at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, two young men had a rap contest on the street while a large crowd listened attentively. When Craig, aka Purple, won the contest, the loser, Mike, felt humiliated and ashamed, especially because Purple had rapped about catching Mike in a homosexual encounter. Amiri Baraka's 60s play The Toilet dealt with a similar encounter. According to reports, Mike fired off two rounds into the ground and urged Purple to shut up, but Purple persisted, claiming he had the power of the Logos. He continued slamming Mike with crowd approval. Mike aimed his gun at Purple's chest and fired twice. "Told you to shut up, nigguh. Told you to shut up!" Purple stumbled into De Lauer's bookstore next door and fell dead. There must be some significance to his dying in a bookstore, a place of light in a world of darkness. Such is life: sometimes we win only to lose.—Marvin X–9/11/10

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Journal of Pan African Studies is OnlineVolume 4 • Number 2 • 2010

We humbly dedicate this poetry issue of the Journal of Pan African Studies (JPAS) to theHonorable Jose Goncalves, publisher and editor of the Journal of Black Poetry (JBP), the poetic Bible of the 60s Black Liberation/Black Arts Movement. No other journal in the history of American literature published so many poets. No other journal was more eclectic and democratic in its editorial policy. We thank Rudolph Lewis (a virtual reincarnation of Goncalves in his dedication to black literature in the electronic age) for compiling this summary of the work of Dingane and the Journal of Black Poetry. One day soon we plan to honor Dingane with a Journal of Black Poetry Festival.BlackBirdPressNews

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Marvin X has given permission to Harvard University to publish his poem "For El Haji Rasul Taifa" from Love and War: Poems by Marvin X (1995). The poem will appear in The Encyclopedia of Islam in America Volume II, Greenwood Press, edited by Dr. Jocelyne Cesari of Harvard's Islam in the West Program. Mr. X is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Muslim American Literature, University of Arkansas Press, edited by Dr. Mojah Khaf. He is also in the forthcoming Muslim American Drama, Temple University.

The Works of Marvin X    Other Works By Marvin X    

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Books  available from

 Black Bird Press, POB1317, Paradise CA 95967 or

De Lauer’s News, 1310 Broadway at 14th, Oakland

To book Dr. M for speaking and readings, call 510-355-6339 /

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How to order

BLACK BIRD PRESS, 11132 NELSON BAR ROAD / CHEROKEE CA 95965 / 510-472-9589,  mrvnx@YAHOO.COM


Books  Available:

In the Crazy House Called America, essays, 2002, $19.95.

Land of My Daughters, poems, 2005, $19.95.

Wish I Could Tell You the Truth, essays, 2005, $19.95.

Audio/Videos Now Available:

Wish I, reading/interview with Marvin X by Pam Pam of KPOO Radio, SF., 2CD, 2005, $19.95.

Marvin X Live in the Fillmore, Rass’ellas Jazz Club, San Francisco, DVD, a reading, filmed by Ken Johnson, produced by Nisa Islam, 2005, $19.95.

Get Yo Mind Right, documentary of Marvin X’s Barber Shop Talks, 2005, a PamPam/Marvin X production, DVD, $19.95.

Love and War, poems by Marvin X, CD, 2000, $19.95.

Live in Philly at Warm Daddies, DVD, Marvin X accompanied by Elliot Bey, keyboards, Rufas Harley, bagpipes, Danny Thompson, flute, Marshall Allen, alto sax, Ancestor Goldsky, djembe, Alexander El, drums, 2002, $19.95.

Marvin X Live at the Berkeley Black Repertory Theatre, accompanied by Destiny, harpist, Tarika Lewis, violinist, Tacuma, percussion, Kele Nitoto, percussion, Raynetta Rayzetta, dancer/choreographer, DVD, $19.95.

How To Order:

Send check/money order to Black Bird Press, 11132 Nelson Bar Road, Cherokee CA 95965. Add $5.00 for priority mailing and handling.  All mail orders get 50% discount. For booking call 510-472-9589.

Black Bird Press is an imprint of the Marian M. Jackmon Foundation.

The Mission of the Marian M. Jackmon Foundation is to preserve and disseminate the writings of Marvin X. Also, to establish grants and scholarships for men and women entrepreneurs of spiritual consciousness. Feel free to make a generous donation to the Marian M. Jackmon Foundation. Your donation can be tax deductible.

Marian M. Jackmon Foundation, P.O. Box 1317, Paradise CA 95967. Call 510-472-9589 /

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Eldridge Cleaver: My Friend the Devil

A Memoir of My Association With Eldridge Cleaver

By Marvin X

How to Order

BLACK BIRD PRESS, 11132 NELSON BAR ROAD / CHEROKEE CA 95965 / 510-472-9589,

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Notes on the Journal of Black Poetry Festival

Marvin X, Chief Planner

Tentative date for the Journal of Black Poetry Festival: late September, 2007.

Purpose: Honor and respect to Brother Dingane (Jose Goncalves), publisher and editor of the JBP

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Reading Africana

Jamaica Upheaval by Lloyd D. McCarthy 

Definition of Negro 1910-1911 (Asa G. Hilliard III)

Parable of Zionism and National Insanity

Toward A Reader's Theatre  / Parable of the Religious Haters 

Bobby Mcferrin's "Beyond Words"  / Imagine A Black Nation

Fifty Years Ago  (Chuck Siler )

Framework for African Students (Biblio) / Charles E. Siler Bio  / Gnarlins '07 

Chuck Siler Response to Katrina  / Holiday Cards


*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
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#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
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#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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No Easy Victories

African Liberation and American Activists over Half a Century, 1950-2000

Edited by William Minter, Gail Hovey and Charles Cobb Jr.

Tell no lies; claim no easy victories—Amilcar Cabral, 1965. African news making headlines in the U.S.A. today is dominated by disaster: wars, famine, HIV/AIDS. Americans who respond from Hollywood stars to ordinary citizens are learning that real solutions require more than charity. This book provides for the first time a panoramic view of U.S. activism on Africa from 1950 to 2000, activism grounded in a common struggle for justice. It portrays organizations, individual activists, and transnational networks that contributed to African liberation from colonialism and from apartheid in South Africa. In turn, it shows how African struggles informed U.S. activism including the civil rights and black power movements. Intended for activists, analysts, students, researchers, teachers, and anyone concerned with world issues, the authors draw on interviews, research and personal experience to portray the history and stimulate reflection on international solidarity today.

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On the Road to Freedom

A Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail

By Charles E. Cobb

This in-depth look at the civil rights movement goes to the places where pioneers of the movement marched, sat-in at lunch counters, gathered in churches; where they spoke, taught, and organized; where they were arrested, where they lost their lives, and where they triumphed. Award-winning journalist Charles E. Cobb Jr., a former organizer and field secretary for SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), knows the journey intimately. He guides us through Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, back to the real grassroots of the movement. He pays tribute not only to the men and women etched into our national memory but to local people whose seemingly small contributions made an impact. We go inside the organizations that framed the movement, travel on the "Freedom Rides" of 1961, and hear first-person accounts about the events that inspired Brown vs. Board of Education.

An essential piece of American history, this is also a useful travel guide with maps, photographs, and sidebars of background history, newspaper coverage, and firsthand interviews.

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In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience

By  Howard Dodson

Always on the move, resourceful, and creative, men and women of African origin have been risk-takers in an exploitative and hostile environment. Their survival skills, efficient networks, and dynamic culture have enabled them to thrive and spread, and to be at the very core of the settling and development of the Americas. Their migrations have changed not only their world, and the fabric of the African Diaspora but also their nation and the Western Hemisphere.
Between 1492 and 1776, an estimated 6.5 million people migrated to the Americas. More than 5 out of 6 were Africans. The major colonial labor force, they laid the economic and cultural foundations of the continents. Their migrations continued during and after slavery. In the United States alone, 6.5 million African Americans left the South for northern and western cities between 1916 and 1970.

With this internal Great Migration, the most massive in the history of the country, African Americans stopped being a southern, rural community to become a national, urban population.

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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest.

Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind.

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The River of No Return

The Autobiography of a Black Militant and the Life and Death of SNCC

By Cleveland Sellers with Robert Terrell

Among histories of the civil rights movement of the 1960s there are few personal narratives better than this one. Besides being an insider's account of the rise and fall of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, it is an eyewitness report of the strategies and the conflicts in the crucial battle zones as the fight for racial justice raged across the South.  This memoir by Cleveland Sellers, a SNCC volunteer, traces his zealous commitment to activism from the time of the sit-ins, demonstrations, and freedom rides in the early '60s. In a narrative encompassing the Mississippi Freedom Summer (1964), the historic march in Selma, the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, and the murders of civil rights activists in Mississippi, he recounts the turbulent history of SNCC and tells the powerful story of his own no-return dedication to the cause of civil rights and social change.

The River of No Return is acclaimed as a book that is destined to become a standard text for those wishing to perceive the civil rights struggle from within the ranks of one of its key organizations and to note the divisive history of the movement as groups striving for common goals were embroiled in conflict and controversy.

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The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story

of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

By Eric Liu and Nick Hanaper

American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: The economy is not an efficient machine.

It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest. We’re all better off when we’re all better off. The model of citizenship depends on contagious behavior, hence positive behavior begets positive behavior.

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The Long Affair

Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800

By Conor Cruise O'Brien

In The Great Melody, O'Brien wrote a masterful study of one of the great early opponents of the French Revolution, Edmund Burke. Now he applies his counterrevolutionary principles to an examination of Thomas Jefferson, reevaluating Jefferson's thought and correcting some scholarly misinterpretations. But while the book will appeal to anyone interested in Jefferson and his pivotal role in American politics, the themes are less well-developed than in The Great Melody, and the book is ultimately disappointing. Through plentiful direct quotations from his subject and his own effective analysis, O'Brien demonstrates that Jefferson's support of the French Revolution began to wane after such support no longer furthered his domestic political aims and when he came to see it as a threat to slavery. Because of his support of slavery, says O'Brien, Jefferson is no longer appropriate as an icon for an increasingly multiracial American society.

He points out that racists on the right have begun to claim Jefferson as a prophet, but O'Brien seems to repeat their mistake of evaluating him only through his views on race. Though Jefferson may indeed have been a racist and did not intend the Declaration of Independence ever to apply to blacks, the brilliance of the document was that it could be expanded over the years to include groups previously excluded. Though one would not want admiration of Jefferson's principles to lead to support for white supremacy, neither would one want rejection of white supremacy to lead to disbelief in the revolutionary idea that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

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update 18 August 2012