ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Home  ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)


All brother Mixon wanted was a job. . . .there are desperate men and women

like him throughout the streets of Oakland, men and women who will find

no job and become mad enough to follow his act of desperation and despair.



Books by Marvin X

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

*   *   *   *   *

Oakland, Toward Radical Spirituality

By Marvin X



March 24, 2009

We know the spirit world is beyond color, therefore we must pray for all those slaughtered in the streets of Oakland, whether police or citizens. It is indeed sad when officers of the peace are unable to secure the peace of a community, but often become brute beasts in blue uniforms. And in return the citizens must become beasts in self defense, especially when they are already under stress from lacking the necessities of life: jobs, food, clothing and shelter, a stable family environment wherein they can evolve from animal to spiritual consciousness.

When violence becomes the order of the day, when the community is mortally afraid of those employed to protect them, when the citizens resort to violence in interpersonal relations, then that society is not of Divine, but is existing on the animal plane, the lowest level of existence, and yet we pretend to be civilized. Yet we act like violent savages at the drop of a hat, the glance of an eye, we are ready to kill, slaughter each other often without the slightest cause, rhyme or reason.

In my 1968 interview with James Baldwin, he said, "It's a wonder we haven't all gone stark raving mad." Jimmy, I submit 40 years after your statement, we indeed have now gone stark raving mad. The streets of Oakland are no place to be somebody, they are on par with Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Mexico, where violence rules the day and every man must be conscious of his surroundings and behavior at any time. The politicians and police are not the only ones to blame, but the entire community.

We have churches on every corner yet there is something lacking in their spiritual message, something is being lost in translation from pulpit to congregation to street. How can such massive violence exist in a Christian society or Muslim society for that matter? Why is there so little spiritual transformation evident in the people? The prosperity consciousness in religiosity these days only leads to conspicuous consumption that has led us to the present precipice. Shall we continue in our madness until we slip over the cliff, until we are consumed by our own vomit?

Someone, anyone, step forward and show us the light, the path, the way, for we have become a headless monster, a car without a driver, clearly the politicians cannot solve this conundrum of our lives, the educators are lost in perpetuating the world of make believe called white supremacy. Our economic leaders are lost in their shoestrings, trying to revive a decadent and dying free market capitalist system based on greed, cheap labor and cheap resources. They are determined to ignore their own people in a global conspiracy of pyramid and Ponzi schemes which is the essence of international finance.

All brother Mixon wanted was a job. And the tragedy is that there are desperate men and women like him throughout the streets of Oakland, men and women who will find no job and become mad enough to follow his act of desperation and despair. The police had a job watching him. His parole officer had a job watching him. His prison officials had a job securing him. Was he some sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered for all except himself? No wonder his desperation and despair, no wonder his feelings of nothingness and dread.

No wonder his spirituality was crushed to the earth, making him a beast of prey, willing to do the ultimate to escape the jails and prison, the American gulag, the neo slavery plantations that exist throughout this nation, wherein the commodity is the souls and bodies of men and women. Up from Slavery, Up from Ignut, up from the animal plane to the Divine. Throw off the shackles of mental slavery that permits us to claim the gun as our savior, the panacea for all that ills our community, when in reality it is only putting on the armor of God that will elevate us out of the dungeon of wickedness and despair.

The churches must teach a new way, the schools must teach a new way, discarding that old out of date white supremacy curriculum that over fifty per cent of our children are intelligent enough to reject outright for its abject meaninglessness absurdity. The churches are empty, especially of young men because the message does not touch their spiritual consciousness. They are too smart to be pimped by fake pimps in the pulpit.

The brothers at the barber shop asked me, "OG, what's the difference between the pimp and the preacher?" I replied, "The difference is that the preacher has more whores."

As Brother Fritz Pointer noted below, we can and must police ourselves, the police must be from our community, not living in Dublin, Tracy, and Livermore. These are foreigners who have no love for our community. They are here to enforce white supremacy, white privilege, and white power. And nothing shall change but go from bad to worse until the fundamental order is radically restructured. Sun Ra taught me, "The Creator got things fixed, you can't go forward or backward until you do the right thing." So do the right thing, Oakland, the eyes of the world are on you at this hour, as it has been in the past when you raised up to check the power of brute beasts in blue uniforms.

This time around, know that we have a problem that is not physical but spiritual, for when we put on the armor of God no one can touch us. Didn't Hammer tell us, "You can't touch this"? Those of you who don't believe in spirituality continue down the physical path when we know the end of this path. Look at America at this hour drowning from excessive belief in the physical and material things of life, while none of this path has brought joy, peace and happiness to this world.

As I look around Houston, Texas at the mansions owned by black people, at the same time I see the numerous hospitals here to heal those sick from the trappings of materialism, the mental stress, the cancer and other diseases caused by the belief in the physical things of life, while we know our health is our wealth. What good are these mansions if we act like nigguhs inside them, if the women are in golden handcuffs, abused, neglected and depressed, on the verge of suicide?

We consume, consume, consume, and yet there is never enough. Our closets are full of trinkets we never take out of the bag, still with the tags on them because they were wanted but not needed. And yet there is enough to go around but we dare share, we dare give away anything, but hoard for dear life as though there will be no tomorrow. When we do not reach out to men like Mixon, we see the result, it is no mystery the desperation of his heart, the poverty of his dreams for simple things, basic survival in a land of plenty. Continue to deny his generation and await the Calamity.

To avoid the Calamity we must embrace the Religion of the Heart, beyond churches, temples, mosques, but recognize our essence which is spiritual, beyond the physical and material. What is the use of violence when in the end of all wars in political discussion or diplomacy. Why all the violence when ultimately we must do as Isaiah taught, "Reason together."

24 March 2009

Marvin X
is the author of Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality. He continued his message in How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy.His next book is Up from Ignut, or Pull Yo Pants Up fada Black Prez, the Soulful Musings of a North American African Thinker, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2009.

All of you are invited to celebrate his 65th birthday at the Berkeley Black Repertory Group Theatre, 3201 Adline Ave., Berkeley Ca, May 29, 7pm. Save the date! May 1-3 Marvin X will participate in the Black Studies Forty Years Later Conference at Temple University, Philadelphia. Other participants include Amiri Baraka, Muhammad Ahmed, Askia Toure, Sonia Sanchez

*   *   *   *   *

Oakland Police Die in Gun Battle

By Marvin X


March 22, 2009

I got up this morning to see the news that a brother and three police are dead in Oakland, another officer is fighting for his life. I am saddened by this news from my beloved city by the Bay, city of my childhood, city where I learned black consciousness, city of black studies and Black Panthers, once one of the most radical cities in America. Of late she has become a house of death with the black on black homicide, often instigated by the police with weapons sold by the police. As they were in the 60s, the police are an occupying army of mostly white racist officers, and many of the black officers are no better, sometimes even more brutal to prove themselves to their white comrades. Chauncey Bailey is dead partly because he was writing about black police murder squads and shakedowns. The chief recently resigned because journalists were inching closer to his role in allowing abuse under his watch.

The killing of three officers by a young brother may be symbolic of things to come. As we know the new year began with the BART police murder of young Oscar Grant. Yes, the universe has a way of righting itself when things go out of control. We see the universe stepping in to bring humility to the greedy capitalist bloodsuckers of the poor and those addicted to wretched materialism. So it is time to reflect on this rampant violence in Oakland that has left so many people grieving for lost loved ones. And now the police get a taste of their own medicine. As thou has done, so shall it be done to thee. There is no escape for wickedness, especially in high places or low places either. The people do not deserve to live under occupation and violence under the color of law. There is a limit to what a people can take, especially when they see no justice in the land, when the criminals are instituting and administrating the law for their own wicked purpose.

The Black Panthers fought forty years ago against the police—yet today it is business as usual with the "pigs," who banned my open-air classroom at 14th and Broadway, at which people noted I made things better downtown by talking with spiritually burdened youth and adults, counseling them and listening to their problems of homelessness, hunger, ignorance, disease and unresolved grief, so often brought on by the murder of their loved ones. Isn't it strange that youth rioted at the very spot where I taught and tried to bring peace, love and understanding?

I did not discriminate when the white mentally ill came by wanting a dollar, something to eat or simply a kind word like good morning, have a nice day. Often the police would stand next to me, yes, I knew they were listening to my conversation while they supposedly watched young weed dealers making their hustle. For several years the police said nothing to me, then after three or four years they informed me I was vending my books in a restricted area. Restricted for what purpose? There are hardly any stores in downtown Oakland. It is a virtual cemetery, especially after dark while downtown San Francisco is bustling with people all night long.

Oakland has a glorious tradition of radical social action, but it is a tradition soaked in blood, often the result of bad and brutal police relations with the community. Why can't Mayor Ron Dellums use the model the US military exercised in Iraq when they subdued the insurgents by giving them jobs securing their communities? Just as in Iraq, we have young men marginalized and alienated from society, ready to do any crime to "get theirs," but secretly wishing things didn't have to be this way, that all they want is economic parity with the rest of society that likes to eat in fine restaurants, wear nice clothes and take care of their families.

Clearly, the OPD has not and cannot secure the community, so why not be radical, Mr. Radical Mayor Dellums, hire youth to secure the hood you know the police cannot and never will, at least not until there is a radical revamping of this rotten, crumbling capitalist society, restructuring not only the police, but the schools, economic, political and religious institutions, social relations and in the process ending America's cowardly addiction to white supremacy, white privilege, and the desire to dominate the world.

We pray for all those grieving loved ones who are now deprived of their men due to gun violence. We are exhausted from attending funerals, but understand death is life and funerals are a way to help us understand and transcend the pain and suffering of losing the ones we love. We pray the people of Oakland will rise to the occasion to become the great and valiant community recognized around the world for radical social action.

Marvin X is the author of Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality. He continued his message in How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy.His next book is Up from Ignut, or Pull Yo Pants Up fada Black Prez, the Soulful Musings of a North American African Thinker, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2009. All of you are invited to celebrate his 65th birthday at the Berkeley Black Repertory Group Theatre, 3201 Adline Ave., Berkeley Ca, May 29, 7pm. Save the date! May 1-3 Marvin X will participate in the Black Studies Forty Years Later Conference at Temple University, Philadelphia. Other participants include Amiri Baraka, Muhammad Ahmed, Askia Toure, Sonia Sanchez

*   *   *   *   *

Oakland Braces for Sentencing

of Oscar Grant, Jr. Killer Cop

By Marvin X

Again, the City of Oakland circulated a letter to downtown businesses to use their best judgment whether they should leave early on Friday in anticipation of a light sentence for the BART police officer who shot Oscar Grant in the back while under arrest on last New Year's.

Men's Warehouse is boarded up. Shall there be another Day of Absence with white workers fleeing the area early Friday afternoon? They did so when the verdict was announced. They fled by car, bus, subway, taxi, and on foot. It was a day of fear of the North American African response to injustice by Euro Americans, part of a 400 year train of injustices.

Will the murder cop get 14 years? We highly doubt it. Some say five years, 31/2 serve, 1/1/2 years probation. Of course this is a light sentence by a wicked society protecting one of their own who kill under the color of law.

What should be our response? Personally, we feel brother Lovelle Mixon got justice for Oscar Grant when Mixon smoked four Oakland police. The universe has a way of getting justice. Sometimes we pray when God has already answered!

There is no black army for justice. The Oakland Black Panthers were the last to attempt putting police under community control. At least they took the oppression off the people for a moment by having the police focus on crushing the Panthers. Panthers gave the people a time to breathe while the pigs killed Panthers and Panthers killed them. The BPP became a threat to the national security of the United States, according to the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover. His plan COINTELPRO or counter intelligence was to stop the rise of a black messiah by any means necessary, including assassination or outright murder in the case of Chicago BPP leader Fred Hampton, Jr. and Oakland's Lil Bobby Hutton, murdered by the OPD in a shootout in which Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver was wounded.

When violence occurred a few months ago after the verdict, manslaughter instead of murder, small business owners suffered damage and could not understand why they were attacked. Many purposely displayed an Oscar Grant poster in their windows. The small business owners should be spared violence. But we know agent provocateurs shall be in the crowd. And the police are totally useless and themselves provocative. After the verdict was announced and looting at Foot Locker, radical civil rights attorney Walter Riley was beaten by police as he tried to enter his office next door to the Foot Locker. The police were apparently unconcerned about the looters.

The Nation of Islam's newspaper Muhammad Speaks used to have a cartoon of police brutality that asked in the caption Who do you call for protection? We must protect ourselves. We can provide community security. In Iraq the US stopped the insurgent violence by hiring them to secure their communities. It offered the insurgents jobs, education, and housing. It is doing the same in Afghanistan with the Taliban.

So we must move beyond focusing on the police, they are the neo-slave catchers and must fulfill their duties. We can respond to them tit for tat, as Mixon demonstrated, liberty or death!

We can also stop being reactionaries and be proactive with respect to black on black violence. Is Oscar Grant selective suffering? Why is there no anger when we kill each other but only when the white man kills us—murder is murder, death is death—and wrong is wrong. It is hypocritical for us to only respond to police abuse. What about all the suffering families who've lost loved ones to black on black homicide? Why don't we riot about that, kick some doors in about that?

Why do we not protest black on black murder. Why do we not demand blacks use their arms for community defense rather than attacking each other for mostly minor matters. Ain't no nigguhs getting killed over millions, billions or trillions. Most of the homicide is over pussy and dick, not drugs, but pussy and dick matters between all genders. Domestic violence (partner violence) is such that half the community attends court mandated anger management classes.

We must get beyond physical violence, verbal and emotional abuse. We suggest a self imposed tone test with each other and the police. Based on our tone of voice, we can, when stopped by the police, get killed, arrested or released. With each other whether on the street or in the home, we can use the language of love and unity.

We must practice eternal vigilance, stay aware of our surroundings and not try to function in a mind altered state. These are dangerous times and we must wear the armor of God consciousness. For example, we were trapped in the crowd of the millions for the Giants World Series parade. People were pushing at our back yet there was no room to move. We could have reacted to the constant pushing and shoving, but we kept our cool, refused to respond to the fools at our back. We could have turned around and bust them in the mouth. But we were cool, even though the day was hot, the crowd impossible, we're sweating and fools trying to push us forward.

There comes a time when politics becomes war. But you can't make war if you are not prepared, if you are not organized. Marcus Garvey said the world is moving against all unorganized people. Mao Se Tung told you to get organized. Yet it is helter-skelter in the hood.

We like to cry crocodile tears, attend funerals, and suffer our grief alone. Whatever the sentence tomorrow, whatever the community response, this will not bring Oscar Grant back, and yet because family and community organized, a killer cop was at least charged and convicted for the first time in California history. Imagine, Oscar has had more power in death than in life, a few days ago the Longshoreman's union closed down all Bay Area ports in honor of Oscar Grant. There were proclamations by European countries in honor of Oscar Grant. Honor him by continuing to organize against all violence, whether police under the color of law, or black on black violence, or the violence caused by the trillion dollar US defense budget that causes violence around the world.

4 November 2010

Marvin X—poet, playwright, essayist—holds sessions of his Academy of da Corner at 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland and Third and LaSalle, Hunters Point, San Francisco. He's published five books this year: The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, volumes I and II; The Mythology of Pussy and Dick, toward Healthy Psychosocial Sexuality, Pull Yo Pants Up fada Black Prez and Yoself, essays on Obama Drama, and I AM OSCAR GRANT, essays on Oakland, Black Bird Press, Berkeley. Visit his blog: Email:

*   *   *   *   *

Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America

 Woman: Man's Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

Marvin X on YouTube

*   *   *   *   *

News Update

Oscar Grant’s killer on trial again for police brutality—23 November, 2011—Former San Francisco BART police officer Johannes Mehserle is on trial this week, and if his name and affiliation rings a bell, there is good reason: Mehserle was found guilty of killing Oscar Grant, an unarmed transit rider, during a 2009 incident. As luck would have it, that wasn’t the first time that Mehserle went a little overboard. Less than two months before he executed Grant at pointblank range in an Oakland, California train station, the ex-officer allegedly used excessive force and violated the constitutional rights of Kenneth Carrethers at a separate Bay Area Rapid Transit hub.

Carrethers’ attorneys say that on November 15 2008, their client was angry over the BART cops’ lack of help in a case of vandalism that targeted his car. Carrethers says that he called the police force “useless,” and from there Mehserle and a handful of other offices became irate. According to court filings, Mehserle used a leg sweep to take Carrethers to the ground, then punched and kicked him while he was on the pavement.

The complaint continues that cops tied up Carrethers’ arms and legs before hauling him away.  "Well, have you learned not to mess with police officers?" Mehserle allegedly asked him. Carrethers was initially charged with resisting arrest, but six weeks later a cell phone camera filmed Mehserle executing Oscar Grant while the unarmed black man man laid face down in a BART station. A civil case was filed by Carrethers a month later, but was put on hold while Merhselrs waited behind bars during his trial for the Grant incident.

A jury went on to find the ex-officer only guilty of involuntary manslaughter and mobs rioted the streets of Oakland, California. Johannes Mehserle only served 11 months for killing Grant. To RT, a family member of Grant said that the sentence demonstrated "just how racist this criminal justice system is." Mehserle, a white man, is once again being charged with using excessive force on an unarmed black man. Five officers in all are on trial for the beating of Carrethers, 43, as well as attacking him for exercising his freedom of speech. Mehserle is expected to testify on his own 

*   *   *   *   *


Demonstrator Eden Jequinto covers his face during a demonstration after the sentencing in Oakland, Calif., Friday, of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant at a BART station on Jan. 1, 2009. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry sentenced Mehserle to two years in prison.

Mehserle had been called to the Fruitvale station of the BART system in the early hours of New Years Day last year with four other officers to look into reports of a fight on a train. Mehserle tried to arrest Grant but reported that Grant was not cooperating. Grant was on his stomach when Mehserle shot him in the back. The shooting was caught on video by another BART passenger and quickly went viral on Youtube.—CSMonitor (5 November 2010)

CSMonitor  /   Strange Fruit Video  / Oscar Grant Family attorney reacts to sentencing

 Mayor Dellums, Chief Batts react to sentencing  / Oscar Grant's uncle reacts to sentencing

*   *   *   *   *

3 Officers Are Dead After Shootings in Oakland—Tension between police and the community has escalated since the fatal shooting of an unarmed 22-year-old, Oscar Grant III, by a transit police officer on New Year’s Day.

Mr. Grant was shot at close range while lying face down on a train platform. He was among several people who had been removed from the train by police officers investigating a fight. The former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer accused in the shooting, Johannes Mehserle, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.

Violent protests hit the streets in the weeks after Mr. Grant’s death. On Jan. 7, more than 100 people were arrested after protesters marched through the city breaking store windows and setting cars and trashcans on fire.

Oakland’s black community and law enforcement have had a tense relationship for years, including a corruption case known as the Riders case in which a group of police officers were accused of abusing and falsely accusing suspects. Three of the officers were acquitted, but the case nevertheless damaged the department’s reputation.

The Associated Press reported Saturday that people lingered at the scene of the traffic-stop shooting. About 20 bystanders taunted the police. NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

The Cold-Blooded Murder of Oscar Grant—BART cop Tony Pirone, an ex-Marine, was on the platform and he immediately began targeting Black and Latino youth—although he had no description of anyone in the reported “fight.” When four of Oscar’s friends get off, Pirone let three of them leave but grabbed one. Then, yelling and cursing, Pirone banged on the train window and pointed his taser at two young Black men—Oscar and his friend Michael—and ordered them off the train.

As soon as Michael and Oscar stepped off the train, they were hammered. Pirone lunged at Michael, grabbed him by his dreadlocks, and slammed his head, face down, on the concrete, leaving a large cut on the bridge of his nose. Michael’s friends started to yell, “why are you doing that?” “What did we do?”

Then Pirone grabbed Oscar and hustled him to a wall. Soon other cops came and threatened more youth with their tasers, yelling the “N” word at the young men, calling them “motherfuckers.” When three of Oscar’s other friends got off the train they too were held against the side of the train by Officer Marysol Domenici who thrust a taser at each one, tapping one between the eyes with it. Another video clip, not shown on TV until weeks after the murder, shows Pirone suddenly stride by Michael, who was handcuffed and lying on the cement, across the platform toward Oscar, hitting him hard in the face, causing his head to snap back. BlackAgendaReport

*   *   *   *   *

Thousands Attend Oakland Officers' Funeral—All sworn officers and administrative staff members of the police department were given time off to attend the funeral, with personnel from other departments and local sheriff’s deputies covering their shifts. Police headquarters was closed until late afternoon, with a line of police cars from other jurisdictions parked in front. Nearby, a pile of flowers and handmade tributes covered the sidewalk. One read, “We Support OPD.”

The service was held at the arena, home to the Golden State Warriors basketball team, just two miles from where the four officers were gunned down by a 26-year-old parolee, Lovelle Mixon. The police said Mr. Mixon was a prime suspect in a recent rape. Mr. Mixon was pulled over by two motorcycle police officers, Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, and Officer John Hege, 41, shortly after 1 p.m. last Saturday while driving through East Oakland, and soon began shooting. Sergeant Dunakin died at the scene; Officer Hege died later at a hospital. Mr. Mixon fled, only to barricade himself in a building, where he fatally shot two SWAT team members, Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35. A third officer at the scene was injured. Mr. Mixon, who had a warrant out for his arrest, was also killed. NYTimes

*   *   *   *   *

Leading the march down MacArthur Boulevard near the scene of Saturday’s shootout were Lovelle Mixon’s mother (in red) and, beside her, his wife. His brothers and a cousin were also there. – Photo: Dave Id, Indybay

Lovelle Mixon’s cousin spoke passionately at the rally on Wednesday. The photo on the poster is of Lovelle and his wife. – Photo: Dave Id, Indybay

*   *   *   *   *

Kill and be killed: Police murders in Oakland—It’s time to recognize the harsh reality. Police are virtually an occupying military force in Black urban centers. Their presence will neither eliminate the plague of rampant crime nor address the underlying disease of extreme impoverishment. The historical record amply demonstrates this fact though there remains wide disagreement on the reasons. My view is that police represent the propertied and monied power structure in this country which both exploits and excludes the overwhelming majority of our population, particularly minorities.

The police role, therefore, is consciously limited to containing and minimizing inevitable explosions of violence that periodically burst from the enormous pressures of ghetto existence. Police neither have the resources nor job description to resolve the enormous social problems endemic to these communities. In that way, police actions are remarkably similar to U.S. failed military strategies abroad. Police units are dispatched from their headquarters’ bunkers on “search and destroy” missions soon to return to the comfort and safety of the “Green Zone.”

Enormous resources are wasted on these failed military strategies, both abroad and at home. The Oakland police budget, for example, consumes an incredible 43 percent of the city’s General Fund. Clearly, despite repeated calls for more cops, ending violence in the Black Community is not a matter of devoting more police resources. In fact, as we shall see from our later examination of Oakland’s sordid police brutality record, police activity often generates its own crime wave. SBayView

*   *   *   *   *

Grant took picture of Mehserle, prosecutor saysA historic trial over a police shooting captured on video is set to begin here this morning after a prosecutor revealed a final piece of evidence - a photograph he said the victim snapped of the officer who would shoot him just minutes later. The picture shows then-BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle, 28, pointing his Taser at 22-year-old Oscar Grant on the Fruitvale Station platform in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009, said Alameda County prosecutor David Stein. Grant—like many fellow BART riders that morning— had a cell-phone camera. What happened next is the focus of the trial, which was moved to downtown Los Angeles to find a jury that had not been inundated by publicity about the case in the Bay Area. First up, in a trial expected to last two to four weeks, are opening statements. Mehserle is the first Bay Area police officer and one of just a few nationwide to be charged with murder for an on-duty action. Prosecutors say he acted with malice when he shot the unarmed Grant once in the back while arresting him. The former officer has yet to give an honest account of the shooting, prosecutors say.

photo left: 10 June 2010     Sophina Mesa, Grant's girlfriend, says Grant told her he was being beaten for no reason.

*   *   *   *   *

Police officer convicted in California subway shooting— Johannes Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. He shot Oscar Grant in the back in Oakland, California, on 1 January 2009, while attempting to subdue him following a fight.

Mehserle told the Los Angeles court that he had mistaken the pistol for an electric Taser weapon on his belt. . . . The trial was moved to Los Angeles because of the tensions in Oakland. Speaking after the jury's finding, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called on state residents "to remain calm in light of the verdict and not to resort to violence".

Mehserle, 28, faces years in prison.. . . . Mehserle fled to Nevada following the shooting and was arrested about two weeks later. BBC

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#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
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#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
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#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

*   *   *   *   *

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

*   *   *   *   *

Race, Incarceration, and American Values

By Glenn C. Loury

In this pithy discussion, renowned scholars debate the American penal system through the lens—and as a legacy—of an ugly and violent racial past. Economist Loury argues that incarceration rises even as crime rates fall because we have become increasingly punitive. According to Loury, the disproportionately black and brown prison populations are the victims of civil rights opponents who successfully moved the country's race dialogue to a seemingly race-neutral concern over crime. Loury's claims are well-supported with genuinely shocking statistics, and his argument is compelling that even if the racial argument about causes is inconclusive, the racial consequences are clear.

Three shorter essays respond: Stanford law professor Karlan examines prisoners as an inert ballast in redistricting and voting practices; French sociologist Wacquant argues that the focus on race has ignored the fact that inmates are first and foremost poor people; and Harvard philosophy professor Shelby urges citizens to break with Washington's political outlook on race. The group's respectful sparring results in an insightful look at the conflicting theories of race and incarceration, and the slim volume keeps up the pace of the argument without being overwhelming.Publishers Weekly  / Economist Glenn Loury 

*   *   *   *   *

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)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

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

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)






update 27 March 2012




Home  Marvin X Table   Criminalizing a Race: Blacks and Prisons Table   Floyd W Hayes III Table

Related files: Notes from the Occupied Territories  Urban Police and the Order of Community Terrorism   Parable of July 4, 1910  Trayvon Martin Murdered by Wannabe Cop