Marvin X in Harlem, NY., 1968. One of the founders of the Black Arts Movement coast to coast.Dr. Mohja Kahf considers him the father of Muslim American literature. Bob Holman calls him the USA's Rumi. Ishmael Reed says he is Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland CA. Wanda Sabir says his language is so strong it will knock the socks off old ladies! According to Fahizah Alim, his writing is orgasmic! Rudolph Lewis considers him a master teacher in many fields of thought, and one of America's great story tellers. "I'd put him ahead of Mark Twain."
According to Black Panther co-founder Dr. Huey P. Newton, "Marvin X was my teacher. Many of our comrades came through his Black Arts Theatre: Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas, Samuel Napier!"
photo Doug Harris
Marvin X will make a rare appearance in Harlem this Friday, February 22, 7-9pm at the Schomburg Library for a tribute to revolutionary artist Elizabeth Catlett Mora who joined the ancestors last year. He will read with her son, Francisco Mora Catlett's, and his jazz group Afro Horn.
Ancestor Elizabeth Catlett Mora gave Marvin X refuge in Mexico City, 1970, during his second exile after he refused to fight in Vietnam and resisted arrest. He was ultimately deported from Belize, then British Honduras, back to the USA, convicted of draft evasion and sentenced to five months at Terminal Island Federal Prison.
"When I arrived in Mexico City at Betty Mora's house, she was working on this piece honoring the Black Panther Party. I informed her my friends were Huey Newton and Bobby Seale and that I introduced Eldridge Cleaver to them." See Eldridge Cleaver: My friend the Devil, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, 2009,