Beyond Religion Toward Spiritual

Beyond Religion Toward Spiritual


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



 Radical Spirituality—a balm for those who anguish in these troubling times of disinformation.

As a shaman himself, he calls too for a Radical Mythology to override the traditional

 mythologies of racial supremacy that foster war and injustice.




Marvin X just released his book of essays on consciousness, Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality.

Available from Black Bird Press, 11132 Nelson Bar Road, Cherokee CA 95965.  280 pages, $19.95.

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Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality

Essays on Consciousness

 By Marvin X

Marvin X has done extraordinary mind and soul work in bringing our attention to the importance of spirituality, as opposed to religion, in our daily living. Someone—maybe Kierkegaard or maybe it was George Fox who—said that there was no such thing as “Christianity.” There can only be Christians. It is not institutions but rather individuals who make the meaningful differences in our world. It is not Islam but Muslims. Not Buddhism but Buddhists. Marvin X has made a courageous difference. In this book he shares the wondrous vision of his spiritual explorations. His eloquent language and rhetoric are varied—sophisticated but also earthy, sometimes both at once. His moods are both reverent and irreverent: at times he consoles, other times cajoles with biting mockery. At times amusing but always deadly serious.


Highly informed he speaks to many societal levels and to both genders—to the intellectual as well as to the man/woman on the street or the unfortunate in prison—to the mind as well as the heart. His topics range from global politics and economics to those between men and women in their household. Common sense dominates his thought. He shuns political correctness for the truth of life. He is a Master Teacher in many fields of thought—religion and psychology, sociology and anthropology, history and politics, literature and the humanities. He is a needed Counselor, for he knows himself, on the deepest of personal levels and he reveals that self to us, that we might be his beneficiaries.


All of which are represented in his Radical Spirituality—a balm for those who anguish in these troubling times of disinformation. As a shaman himself, he calls too for a Radical Mythology to override the traditional mythologies of racial supremacy that foster war and injustice. It’s a dangerous book, for it reveals the inner workings of capitalist and imperialist governments around the world. It’s a book that stands with and on behalf of the poor, the dispossessed, the despised, and downtrodden.


Marvin X has found a way out of our spiritual morass, our material quagmire. We are blessed to still have him among us. If you want to reshape (clean up, raise) your consciousness, this is a book to savor, to read again, and again—to pass onto a friend or lover.

—Rudolph Lewis, Editor, ChickenBones: A Journal


Preface, Joy and Happiness,  Work

Reconciliation,  Health,   Elders

Women,  Men,   Youth

Children,  Sex,  Solitude

Blessings, Music, Writing

Africa,  Love,  Partner Violence

Prison,  Street Violence,  Pimpin

Rap, Jerusalem,  Teacher,  Myth

Militant, Language, Nature,

Global Violence, Sectarianism

Technology, Ancestors, Death

History, Future, Polygamy

Polyandry, Prostitution, Nukes

Religion, Sufi, Prayer, Radical God

Ritual, Drugs, Family, Marriage

Education, Gay/Lesbian, HIV/AIDS

Art, Traumatic Stress, Poverty

Black Bourgeoisie, Media, Panther

Peace, Politics, Immigration, Land

Holy Joes, Sovereignty, Democracy

Fascism, Amnesty, Capitalism, Americas

Berkeley, Condi, Chinaman’s Chance

Paris Burning, Sudan, London Bridges

Welcome to Mexi-Cali, Pan Africa

Evil, Tookie Williams, Fathers and Daughters

Why I Talk With Cows, Jesus, Pharaoh’s Egypt

Death Angel, When Jazz Ain’t Jazz, BAM at Howard U.

Lucy Is Coming, One Mind, Afterword

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Marvin X is available for lecture/readings. Write to him at, or 11132 Nelson Bar Road, Cherokee CA 95965. Call 510-472-9589

Marvin X Reports on East Coast Tour, 2007



Buy Three, Get One Free

Marvin X on YouTube


Marvin X Coming East: Marvin X will be on the east coast during the month of April promoting his latest book, Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality accompanied by Elliot Bey on keyboard. April 6, Sonia Sanchez will host a party for him in Philadelphia. April 7, he will read and sign books at Robins Book Store, Philly,  7pm. April 8 he will be in Newark at Amiri Baraka’s house, 808 St. Tenth St., 6 pm. April 12, will host party in Brooklyn (tentative). BLACK BIRD PRESS, POB 1317, PARADISE CA 95967 / $19.95 / 510-472-9589 Author’s agent: / 718.496.2305  

Marvin X Table   Review by Nzina

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More on Marvin X

Marvin X is the USA’s Rumi…He’s got the humor of Pietri, the politics of Baraka, and the spiritual Muslim grounding that is totally new in English—the ecstasy of Hafiz, the wisdom of Saadi….

—Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club, New York City

Still the undisputed king of black consciousness!

—Dr. Nathan Hare, Black Think Tank

Declaring Muslim American literature as a field of study is valuable because by re-contextualizing it will add another layer of attention to Marvin X’s incredibly rich body of work. Muslim American literature begins with Marvin X. (Note: The University of California , Berkeley , Bancroft Library, recently acquired the archives of Marvin X.)

—Dr. Mohja Kahf, Dept. of English  & Middle East & Islamic Studies,University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

In terms of modernist and innovative, he’s centuries ahead of anybody I know.

—Dennis Leroy Moore, Brecht Forum, New York

Marvelous Marvin X!

—Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University

Courageous and outrageous! He walked through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal.

—James W. Sweeney, Oakland CA

His writing is orgasmic!

—Fahizah Alim, Sacramento Bee

Jeremiah, I presume.

—Rudolph Lewis,

He’s Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland. His play One Day In the Life is the most powerful drama I’ve seen.

—Ishmael Reed

One of the founders and innovators of the revolutionary school of African writing.

—Amiri Baraka

He laid the foundation and gave us the language to express Black male urban experiences in a lyrical way.

—James G. Spady, Philadelphia New Observer

An outspoken critic of American economic, social and cultural discrimination of African Americans at home and Third World peoples abroad.

—Dr. Julius E. Thompson, African American Review

Although Marvin X emerged from an extremely politicized era and enthusiastically confronted the issues of the day, his work is basically personal and religious and remains most effective on that level. It should remain relevant long after issues are resolved, if ever, and long after slogans and polemics are forgotten.

—Lorenzo Thomas, Dept. of English, University of Houston, Texas

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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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Negro Digest / Black World

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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

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

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

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posted 29 October 2006 / updated 12 July 2008



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